Forum Speakers 2016

Last Update 6/22/16

Here is the currently list of speakers slated to attend EntreEd Forum 2016. Check this page for updates and changes.


Unleashing the Future: How Entrepreneurial Thinking and the Maker Movement can transform K12 Classrooms for Teachers and Students by Chad Ratliff

chadThe compliance-based model of schooling and the business plan-first approach to entrepreneurship education do not adequately prepare students for an emerging economic reality where the creative application of content and skills are necessary to thrive. The maker mindset and entrepreneurial thinking permeate Albemarle County Schools, creating a district culture where “pedagogical entrepreneurs” design learning experiences across the curriculum where students are designers, creators, makers, inventors and are the agents of their own learning.

Chad Ratliff leads innovation work for Albemarle County Public Schools with focus on the infusion of maker-centered learning, STEAM, and entrepreneurial opportunities across the K12 curriculum as part of the district’s emphasis on student agency and experiential learning. He has represented the district’s work in these areas at the White House on several occasions, presented for the National Science Foundation and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and frequently invited to speak on these topics across the country.

Also an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship and active in the entrepreneurial community, Chad was appointed by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe to his Council for Youth Entrepreneurship in 2015, served as a StartupWeekend EDU organizer and coach, and was a facilitator for the High School of the Future Startup event at the Governor’s 2013 Virginia STEM Summit. He was also a Virginia Board of Education appointee to the State Advisory Committee for Career and Technical Education from 2009-2015 and served as Board Chair for the Virginia Career Education Foundation, a non-profit

Chad earned his Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Virginia and his MBA from Virginia Tech. He is also an alumnus of the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Executive Educators Leadership Institute.

Shark Tank in Your Classroom by Cheryl Peters and Doris Lux

Join us for a discussion on creating a Shark Tank experience in your classroom. Learn techniques for preparing your students, K – 14. Take your great entrepreneurs to the highest level of presentation skills.

Cheryl Peters is the Director of the Generation E Institute (GenEI), a non-profit organization based in Battle Creek, Michigan that has developed curricula, offering training for youth entrepreneurial education programs and consulting services to schools and community-based organizations.

Ms. Peters, a graduate of Michigan State University, taught middle and high school students for 20 years and served as the lead curricula developer for careers and health for eight years.

She is the author of Generation E’s two curricula, and, with staff, has trained and certified more than 325 educators and facilitators for the Institute. Under her leadership, Generation E programs have expanded to include 53 counties throughout Michigan, now outreaching to California, Illinois, and Louisiana. Over 19,000 young people have received youth entrepreneurship education through GenEI courses. Through a unique Five Step Model, each local GenEI program is developed, operated, funded and sustained through local community support and mentorship, creating essential connectivity between youth and community.

Doris Lux is the President of the Executive Committee of EntreEd. She is also owner of several retail businesses, a Ceramic Business for 30 years and a scrapbook business for 9 years and currently an indoor Farmers Market business for 1 year.  She has operated a manufacturing business for 7 years and a wholesale business for 17 years and is currently, in an Ag partnership of 26 years.

Doris is currently the Director of the Entrepreneurship Center at Central Community College, Nebraska and has held that similar position for the past 19 years.  She has taught Business Administration and Entrepreneurship courses for 38 years at Central Community College.  She is a member of the Nebraska Entrepreneurship Task Force.

Allen Distinguished Educators by Jodie Woodruff and Ashley Greenway

The Allen Distinguished Educators (ADE) program, founded by Paul Allen, recognizes teachers in computer science, engineering and entrepreneurship who focus on innovative curriculum and hands-on learning. The program provides teachers a chance to connect with like-minded educators and is an open-source way to share work and to inspire other educators. Learn from two Allen Distinguished Educators as they take you through the ADE resources, micro-grant opportunities, and process of applying for the annual Allen Distinguished Educator award. This workshop will include resources such as, ADE Do-It-Yourself Guides, detailed projects designed by ADE’s, “How they did it” stories of educators from around the country adapting projects to their classroom environments, grants for educators to adapt projects to their classrooms, and an opportunity to sign-up for the ADE newsletter to find out when the next grant opportunity is open.

Motivating Entrepreneurial Thought (MET) by Jodie Woodruff and Ashley Greenway

Jodie Woodruff Director of the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Met in Providence RI, and Ashley Greenway an elementary school teacher in Rome, GA along with student co-facilitators will explore strategies to engage students from 1st through 12th grade in developing an entrepreneurial mindset. This workshop will highlight activities, lessons and readings that engage students in thinking about the opportunities around them, problem solving, and thinking like an entrepreneur. Participants will explore how they can foster MET with the knowledge, resources, and skills that are available in their school and community.

During the latter part of the session, we will explore and dive into the resources that are available to engage students through an entrepreneurial mindset to actionable next steps. All materials for these sessions will be shared along with strategies on how to conduct a systematic business outreach program.

Areas of Focus: Real-World Learning, Project-Based learning through relevance and rigorous work, Working Arts & Science – Creativity and Inquiry at the Core for Improving Student Literacy & Numeracy

(Quick Stop) Sugar Kids by Ashley Greenway– An elementary start-up. Sugar Kids Beauty, an Education Corporation started by first graders at Elm Street Elementary, was implemented as a way to ignite student learning and bring STEM-based skills to life in real world environments. Selling sugar scrubs produced in the classroom, this student-run business is creating space for these young entrepreneurs to master core STEM competencies and entrepreneurship skills at a young age. From research and development to the creation of products and 3D printing, students are at the helm of the company. Students grow their own herbs, distill their own essential oils, use 3D printers to print custom spoons, manage their accounting, and run a real and profitable business right from their classroom. The only thing more impressive than these first graders’ entrepreneurial spirit is their growing self-confidence and service leadership. Hear the story.

(Quick Stop) Activities to Connect Business Topics and Ideas by Jodie Woodruff. (Description coming.)

jodieJodie Woodruff, Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Education (the MET) in Providence, Rhode Island, the model school for the Big Picture Learning organization. She has established herself firmly as a leader, innovator, and inspiration to those around her through her work in special education, being a high school principal, and from concept to creation spearheading the Met’s entrepreneurial programs including the building of the nation’s first freestanding entrepreneurship center for a public high school. Under her tutelage there have been four students named as the Ernst & Young’s New England’s Youth Entrepreneur of the Year, since the program started in 2011 as well as having had students qualify for four years back to back at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship’s national business plan competition. Jodie was recognized as the 2016 Allen Distinguished Educator of the Year, the Global Enterprising Educator in 2014 from the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship organization and the 2014 Alumni of the Year for her pursuit of educational reform and entrepreneurial education from her Alma Mater, The University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. She is a dedicated educator, passionate about her work as a teacher, an advocate for underserved youth, and is passionate in her educational reform and social justice work.

Ashley Greenway is a first grade teacher at Elm Street Elementary in Rome, Georgia.  She was recently named Allen Distinguished Educator, Georgia Power STEM Laureate and Elm Street Elementary Teacher of the Year. The STEM Georgia Educator Laureate Awards are designed to reward Georgia K-12 classroom teachers for exceptional work in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Ashley advocates that the strength of the maker movement is the collaboration of learners and creation of problem solvers. Her low income, minority students have been empowered to take chances and embrace failures as a way to learn and improve. Her most noteworthy classroom initiative is Sugar Kids Beauty, an education corporation designed and run by first grade students. Begun in August 2015, with seed funding from a national company, this business has become a model for successful entrepreneurship in schools. The funding company recognizes it for surpassing expectations for organization, embedded problem solving, and sales. With over $18,000.00 in sales in just eight months, it is the most successful of their funded projects. Ashley and her first grade team have received recognition at forums and organizations statewide, been honored by the local City Commission, and taken part in digital marketing with sales in all fifty states and nine countries. Part of the business plan is to give back; the first graders, under Ashley’s leadership, used profits to purchase a six month’s supply of food (1,700 lbs) for the local Community Kitchen. Sugar Kids Beauty has five student-run departments: Research and Development, Creative Design, Marketing, Finance, and Shipping and Handling where students become “experts” in their area and take part in the training of new groups as they rotate through stations, thus becoming an innovative and sustainable learning model.

The Business Model Canvas as Part of the Entrepreneurial Planning Process. By Micah Lande

micahDesign innovation and entrepreneurship can transform people and the stuff we make. How technical and non-technical people learn and advance a human-centered design approach, what catalysts and barriers for their learning are, and evidence of their design learning will be illustrated with stories of success and research.  Dr. Lande will discuss a framework of lean startup practices, design thinking, making and lean practices. He will share exercises and demonstrate prototyping habits for market success.
Drawing on his work at The Polytechnic School at Arizona State University and at the at Stanford University, Dr. Lande will share how framing and reframing through customer discovery and insight can help scale and sustain innovation.
Session objectives:

  • Introduce the Business Model Canvas and Ambidextrous Mindsets as tools for innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Demonstrate the utility of people-centered and customer-driven need finding
  • Differentiate among agile methods, lean startup practices, design thinking, making and lean practices, and how each is best applied for market success
  • Illustrate how empathy-led user-centered design can be a catalyst for student interest
  • Construct how insights can help scale and sustain innovation

Micah Lande, Ph.D.
is an Assistant Professor in the Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering programs at the Polytechnic School in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. He teaches human-centered engineering design, design thinking, and design innovation project courses. Dr. Lande has taught Lean LaunchPad through the NSF Innovation Corps for Learning program and mashes up design thinking and business model canvas tools in teaching innovation and entrepreneurship at Arizona State.

Measuring the Entrepreneurial Mindset by Thomas Gold

thomasFor the past year, the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) has been engaged in an effort to teach and measure the entrepreneurial mindset. This session will provide a brief description of new research that NFTE has been engaged in with its research partner, the Educational Testing Service (ETS), to develop and pilot an assessment of the entrepreneurial mindset. It will further explore how this Entrepreneurial Mindset Index (EMI) fits within the current efforts to measure noncognitive factors in students in K-12 environments, especially as they relate to employability skills.  The presentation will include some initial findings from this pilot of the Entrepreneurial Mindset Index (EMI) in NYC during the 2015-2016 school year.

Thomas Gold, Ph.D.
is the VP for Research and Evaluation at NFTE. Dr. Gold comes to NFTE with a wealth of experience in education policy, research and reform. He was most recently the Director of Strategic Initiatives at an education think tank at New York University. Prior to that position, Dr. Gold held leadership positions in the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s New York City Department of Education. Dr. Gold is the lead author of the recent report: Usage Patterns and Perceptions of the Achievement, Reporting and Innovation System (ARIS), NYU (2012). Before entering the field of K-12 education, Dr. Gold taught political science at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield Connecticut and managed the university’s study abroad program in Luxembourg. Dr. Gold received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the New School for Social Research and his BA from New York University. He received a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research in Bologna Italy.

America’s Entrepreneurial SchoolsWhat is it? by Gene Coulson

geneCome learn the details of a proposal that EntreEd was invited to submit that changes entrepreneurship education in schools. This past year EntreEd piloted a brand new school designation – America’s Entrepreneurial Schools. The designation was designed to support EntreEd’s philosophy of entrepreneurship education for every student, every year.  The program will be expanded in the coming years with the arrival of a $2.5 million grant. The designation is now open to any school in America – elementary, middle, high school or technical center, public, private or charter. Dr. Gene Coulson, Executive Director or EntreEd will explain how YOUR school can become one of America’s Entrepreneurial Schools.

Gene Coulson Ed.D. assumed the Executive Director position of EntreEd, the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education after retiring from 35 years in Marketing Education and Entrepreneurship in the West Virginia Department of Education. He lives in Charleston, WV with his wife and three Keeshonden.

America’s Entrepreneurial Schools – How They Did It by Melanie Arthur, Charles Thomas, and Bryan Sterns

In Calhoun County, West Virginia, the county school system adopted the Entrepreneurship Education, Every Child, Every Year philosophy. Hear from the principals of an elementary school a middle/high school and a career center how they delivered entrepreneurship education to every student in their buildings and all three schools achieved the America’s Entrepreneurial Schools designation.

Charles Thomas – Principal of Arnoldsburg Elementary, Arnoldsburg WV

Melanie Arthur – Principal, Calhoun County Middle/High School, Mt Zion, WV

Bryan Sterns – Director, Calhoun-Gilmer Regional Career Center, Grantsville, WV

What to Know Before You Start a Company… by Ken Forbes

kenWhat are the questions that should be asked and answered as your students begin the planning process for an actual start-up or a business plan competition? Ken Forbes will leave you with the critical questions every start-up should start with.

Ken Forbes

Ken Forbes’ entrepreneurial experience includes founding companies, raising venture capital and delivering a broad range of software solutions leading to exit events. In 2006, Rainmaker Systems (RMKR, NASDAQ) acquired Metrics Corp.  Ken is also a technology executive with 25+ years as CEO, CTO and VP Engineering experience in F500 public and rapid growth start-up technology companies; including UPS, TransTech Services, AdaptivSoftware, NetManage, XP Systems, Hiho Technologies, Blue Pumpkin Software, Metrics Corp, Rainmaker Systems, AppointYou, DELL, LeftBrain DGA and MiDash.

Entrepreneurship & Small Business Certification – A New Way to Validate Learning by Nich Haber

nichOver the past few years, Career and Technical Education has been transformed by industry-approved certifications.  It has addressed the increasing levels of accountability now demanded by funders and policy makers in education.  Certiport, a global leader in certifications, will be releasing a new Certification on Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management at the end of this year.  Learn more about this program and what it could do for your entrepreneurship education program.

Nich Haber

Nich Haber is Director for STEM & CTE at Certiport, A Pearson VUE Company. He is an experienced executive, entrepreneur and community-builder whose business success has been based substantially in the setting of standards and measuring abilities of digital literacy skills.  His foundation of leadership and problem solving abilities have been brought to bear on projects with organizations as varied as Manpower International, large networks of US-based hospitals, the Belgian government, and the World Food Program of the United Nations.

Innovation and Lessons Learned from Business by Dr. Michael Chambers

michaelDr. Chambers explains why today’s world is the fastest paced, most rapidly evolving time in the history of mankind. With lessons learned from his own entrepreneurial experiences, he discusses how this rapid evolution of business impacts all of us, but particularly students and teachers and the education experience. Finally, he outlines a number of current trends and what they mean.

Michael Chambers co-founded and led InnoRx Pharmaceuticals (ocular drug delivery) until negotiating its sale to SurModics (NASDAQ: SRDX) and then founded and served as President and CEO of Swift Biotech (ovarian cancer diagnostics). Prior Chairman of ProUroCare, a public company based in Minneapolis, he has served on the boards of InQ Biosystems, Gene Capture, BioAlabama and the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama. He founded the Gulf Coast Angel Network, co-founded 1702 (a mentoring organization) and was named “Start-Up Executive of the Year” in 2014 by Alabama LaunchPad. Former Chairman of the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce and District Governor of Rotary, he currently is the Assistant Vice President for Research Innovation at the University of South Alabama.

Roadmap to Entrepreneurship – A Student-Centered Learning Tool that Links to Community Businesses by Horace Robertson

Since 89% of the businesses in the USA have 5 or fewer employees, current students will likely enter an entrepreneurial workplace as they exit education. The focus of this session will be to help teachers get students engaged in an entrepreneurship project of their choosing and engaging them with community resources and mentors helpful to their personal and career development. By focusing the students on their passions to engage them in entrepreneurial endeavors, the students work on problems that are highly engaging to them using the Roadmap.  Participants in the session will learn how to link students to entrepreneurial learning projects of interest to them because they relate to their passions.

Horace Robertson is the Secretary/Treasurer for The Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education. In this role he is working with the program of work for the consortium and with networking with organizations that have interest in enhancing entrepreneurship education in the education system of America.  He also assists with the leadership for the board meetings and the annual Entrepreneurship Education FORUM.  He has worked in other countries such as South Africa and Jordan in helping them become more entrepreneurial. During 2012-2013 Horace served as the acting executive Director while the Executive Director fought a losing battle with Cancer. He spends time demonstrating the cloud-based technology Roadmap to Entrepreneurship with prospective users and works with the web-master to set up new users with their software. He believes that learning should be fun, and we should all be empowered with the skills that allow us to do what we enjoy doing in order to earn our living and make our contributions to our fellow citizens of this planet.

How to Help the Student Discover the Entrepreneur Within by Cheryl Young and Brad Thompson

OVERVIEW:  Simple classroom exercises and games can help young people see themselves as ‘being entrepreneurial’, thereby starting their exploration of self-driven career management.  When this entrepreneurial mindset is sparked, students are more likely to take responsibility to seek out opportunities to develop and renew their skills throughout their careers.  The challenge for the educator-mentor is to engage students experientially so they have sufficient confidence in their capabilities to try ‘being entrepreneurial’.

This highly interactive session will present research-based exercises and games that spark the slow-starting, long-burning entrepreneurial fire.  They are fun and easy to do.  Best of all, they yield engaging ‘aha’ moments that are rich for follow up in class.  Detailed takeaway materials will be provided.

Cheryl Young is an accomplished, award-winning educator with an extra passion for teaching entrepreneurship in K-12 schools.  A successful small business person herself (retail, real estate, publishing, video production), she bridges the knowledge and experience gaps between public education and private enterprise.  Her sessions are always lively, rich with stories from the real world that illustrate the fundamentals of entrepreneurship.

bradBrad Thompson
has written extensively about entrepreneurship, based on his decades-long career as a volunteer counselor for entrepreneurs seeking funding.  He has personally built and sold five companies, including an educational website purchased by Microsoft. He has written more than 150 corporate training programs for AT&T, 3M, Honeywell and other clients, and he’s authored or co-authored 15 books.

Cheryl and Brad have pooled their energies to create the 8-week MyBiz program for use by teachers in K-12 schools.  MyBiz helps young people identify their entrepreneurial capacities, and then take action to realize their dreams.  Cheryl and Brad are based in Minneapolis, MN.

Making Community Connections by Doris Lux

From Bankers to grade school students. To High Schools running a Movie Theater, or a community operating a grocery store.  An antique store that looks like Fifth Avenue display. All are practices in small communities to stay alive and to keep people in town

Growing Entrepreneurial Business across the country, to include building talent pipeline and growing entrepreneurship-talent attraction; creating a vision for an Entrepreneurial Community Opportunities, Best Practices, and Taking Action.

Doris Lux is the President of the Executive Committee of EntreEd. She is also owner of several retail businesses, a Ceramic Business for 30 years and a scrapbook business for 9 years and currently an indoor Farmers Market business for 1 year.  She has operated a manufacturing business for 7 years and a wholesale business for 17 years and is currently, in an Ag partnership of 26 years.

Doris is currently the Director of the Entrepreneurship Center at Central Community College, Nebraska and has held that similar position for the past 19 years.  She has taught Business Administration and Entrepreneurship courses for 38 years at Central Community College.  She is a member of the Nebraska Entrepreneurship Task Force.

On Monday we will meet in a different venue. The Exchange at 202 Government Street (a 5-minute walk) houses a community of entrepreneurs, organizational leaders and cutting edge professionals. From one-of-a-kind offices to open networking areas, you will see a variety of ways to work – standing or sitting, indoors or outdoors, alone or in collaboration. We will tour the Exchange and hold our Monday morning sessions there. This will be a treat. A light breakfast will be served. Todd Greer is the Chief Catalyst for the Exchange.

Reimaging the Future of Work by Todd Greer

toddWhat does business look like in the future? Your students can pave the way! In 2006, high-powered unicorns of the technology industry like AirBnB, Uber, and Snapchat were still years from being part of the public lexicon. Your students are the dreamers, thinkers, and doers that COULD be responsible for the next round of entrepreneurial ventures to bring impact to our society. What can you do to prepare them for the future of work?

Todd Greer – After almost two decades of on-the-ground work in nonprofit organizations, building capacity through communications and leadership development, Todd Greer, PhD. (Organizational Leadership, Regent University) recognized a need for a 3rd space (not the traditional image of home or corporate environment) that could facilitate the movement of people, ideas, services, products, and organization. His mission in life is to grow others through the engagement of their “sweet spot” where they can thrive in teams, organizations and, especially, as people.

As the Chief Catalyst for the Exchange, Todd focuses on Business Development, Community Relations, Operations (the “BIG” picture), Community Culture, Innovation

Help! I’m Graduating… by Hayley Van Antwerp

hayleyPerhaps the only thing more intimidating than the first day of school is the last day of school and the uncertainty of what comes next. Hayley will examine two possible career paths for upcoming graduates: “Going Rogue as an Entrepreneur” versus “Going Corporate”.  She will provide you with tangible examples of the benefits and challenges associated with each of these respective career paths, leaving you with a set of reflective questions you can then use to help your students make educated decisions as they take the first steps into their careers.

Hayley Van Antwerp

Hayley Van Antwerp is the Executive Director of Innovation PortAL, an entrepreneurial and innovation center located in downtown Mobile, AL.  The Innovation PortAL boasts a signature incubation program with the mission of encouraging the successful development of entrepreneurial businesses along the Gulf coast.  Hayley is passionate about economic development, especially here in Mobile.  She been volunteering in her spare time for nearly a year to help create Innovation PortAL.  Hayley is also involved in the community in a number of ways.  She is a board member of the University of South Alabama’s Melton Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and has been recognized by Mobile Bay Monthly’s 40 under 40 program.


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