THE 2016 LINEUP
Co-Founder, Ben & Jerry’s
Entrepalooza 2016 kicks off with a keynote address from Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s. Jerry Greenfield is the co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc ., and one of America’s sensational stories of entrepreneurial success. Perhaps, the company is best-known by consumers for the adventurously and occasionally, controversially named ice cream flavors. Amid politically charged puns and campaigns promoting social responsibility in business, Jerry has effectively used his thriving business platform to raise awareness about important issues including fair trade, social justice, environment and sustainability.
As a student, Greenfield was well-positioned for academic success upon receiving a National Merit Scholarship, prior to declaring a pre-med major at Oberlin College. In an unexpected turn, Jerry’s part-time job as an ice-cream scooper on campus eventually inspired a career pivot from post-degree lab tech to full-time entrepreneur.
Greenfield and Ben Cohen, co-founder and lifelong friend, emerged with radical business philosophies in 1978, launching their venture with a creative approach to entrepreneurship. Through the years, Ben & Jerry’s has been featured in the media for unorthodox, but strategic marketing tactics, giving their premium ice cream products more visibility on the map. Once a foundation for the “World’s Largest Ice Cream Sundae,” Ben & Jerry’s delivered a fun method for grassroots product distribution with a cross-country “Cowmobile.” A favorite promotion is the company’s annual Free Cone Day, made popular across the US and Canada, when all patrons receive a free scoop of the high quality ice cream upon visiting a retail location on that given calendar date.
Jerry and Ben co-authored a best-seller, entitled Ben & Jerry’s Double Dip: How to Run a Values Led Business and Make Money Too, receiving acclaim from Wall Street. The team has also earned accolades from the Council on Economic Priorities and the U.S. Small Business Administration. More recently, the Ben & Jerry’s company gained B Corp Certification, formally aligning their longstanding commitment to social responsibility with the Benefit Corporation movement. The innovative business practices modeled by Ben & Jerry’s demonstrate values-led finance, human resources and supply chain, with a hearty “scoop” of social awareness and impact through sustainable product development, ingredient sourcing, environmental management and community engagement.
Jeremy Peters is the Director of Music Publishing for Ghostly International, and a co-founder of Quite Scientific Records. In his spare time, he’s a professional singer, trombonist, and lecturer in Music Business. As well, Jeremy is a member of the Finance Committee and Vice-President of the Board of Directors of 826 Michigan, Inc. and was appointed by the Mayor of Ann Arbor to serve on the Zoning Board of Appeals. He is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, and is a member of the Governmental Relations Committee of the American Association of Independent Music, the national trade organization for independent labels and associated music businesses in the United States and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Planning Commission of the City of Ann Arbor. Born in Wisconsin and raised in Michigan, Jeremy currently works and resides in Ann Arbor, MI.
Jeremy is leading Workshop I: Start a business in the arts? We’re that crazy, and you can be too!
Dr. Eric Fretz is a faculty lecturer teaching in multiple areas of the University of Michigan, including Psychology, and Entrepreneurship. His teaching and public speaking span nearly 30 years. He is a small business owner, founder & president of a local 501C3 Veteran charity, Faculty mentor to UM Student Veterans Association, Director of the Mentoring Program for the Washtenaw County Veteran Treatment Court, and Chairman of State of Michigan’s Region 9 Veterans Community Action Team (VCAT) among other volunteer roles. He is retired from the Navy after 20 years service as a Surface Warfare officer, with three deployments to the Persian Gulf combat zone including his final mobilization in 2008 serving with the Army’s 18th Airborne Corps in Baghdad. Dr. Fretz has two Bachelor’s degrees, two Masters Degrees, and a dual PhD in Education and Psychology. He lives on the outskirts of Ann Arbor on the Huron River with his wife, Dr. Jennifer Fretz, and their three children.
Eric is leading Workshop II: Entrepreneurial Creativity – A tasting sampler from the very core of the Entrepreneurship Minor!
Tom Frank is an entrepreneur and educator with more than 25 years of leadership experience building top tier companies in advanced technology, software applications, and media-related industries. Tom currently leads the University of Michigan’s Center for Entrepreneurship (CFE) in the College of Engineering. In this role, he works closely with Michigan’s Economic Development Corporation, teaches several courses in entrepreneurship, and acts as faculty advisor to U-M’s largest student entrepreneurial organization, MPowered. Tom began his career at Procter & Gamble and went on to top management roles at companies including Dick Clark Productions, RealNetworks and Cinema Now. He has successfully developed and produced television programming for all of the major television networks, and launched the first web-based content subscription service. He is active on a number of corporate and philanthropic boards, including the U-M College of Engineering Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the U-M Ross School of Business Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, and the Dr. Donald J. Frank Jr. Educational Foundation.
Tom is leading Workshop III: How to Build a Killer Team – Effective Leadership 101
Deb Mexicotte received her BFA and MA in Theatre from Case Western Reserve University and the University of Michigan, and worked in local and regional theater as a designer and painter before starting her career in higher ed. She has spent her career at the University of Michigan working to partner with students and student organizations to help them achieve their highest developmental aspirations. Deb was named Student Organization Adviser of the Year in 1999. Prior to her current role at ArtsEngine, she spent 8 years as the Program Director for Arts at Michigan, a co-curricular arts engagement program at UM. She is also the current President of the Ann Arbor Board of Education and has served the community as a Trustee since 2003.
Debra is leading the first round of Workshop IV: The Creative Process
BBA ‘18, Co-Founder, CHISL Design
Lake Vitton is a BBA Junior studying Entrepreneurship and Finance with a minor in History. He is pursuing a career in Venture Capital/Startups and enjoys contracting for tech startups in addition to school work. Lake is also a member of the Michigan Men’s Rowing Team, recently competing in England this past summer.
Lake is leading the second round of Workshop IV: Your Logo Means Nothing
BBA ‘18, Co-Founder, CHISL Design
Michelle Belgrod is a BBA Junior pairing an emphasis in Marketing & Strategy with a minor in Art from the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design. She is pursuing a career in Brand Strategy and implements the insights she has on the small businesses she works with through her freelance practice.
Michelle is leading the second round of Workshop IV: Your Logo Means Nothing