EEP Business Review Teams
The EEP Business Review Teams are intended to provide student entrepreneurs with the critical links to the contemporary marketplace and their business plans. Thus, the student guidelines for the EEP state that the Business Review Teams will be looking for clarity of thought, originality, focus scale, financial analysis, and related issues that would ordinarily come up in their review of projects of many types. In other words they will be answering the question, "Is this a project that is seen as being reasonably foreseeable as having the ability to succeed?”
Through individual consultation with the student(s) entrepreneurs over an extended period of time, the Business Review Teams will influence the plan so as to enhance its potential marketability. Stated simply, the process is one of being a mentor to emerging entrepreneurs, for a defined period of time for a specific plan or idea.
Members of the Business Review Team include:
Jenny Amaraneni - Mentor since 2012
A recent graduate from SDSU and Louisiana native, Jenny moved to San Diego in 2009 to pursue her Master of Business Administration. Prior to graduating, she co-founded SOLO Eyewear, a unique line of hybrid bamboo sunglasses that deliver a unique value to the buyer: each pair purchased helps fund prescription eyeglasses and an eye surgery for people in need. While pursuing her MBA, Jenny worked very closely with the Entrepreneurial Management Center where she served as Venture Challenge Manager, completed two graduate internships, and started her business. Most recently, she was named one of San Diego’s Top Young Influentials for 2012. Her areas of expertise include marketing, branding, entrepreneurship, social enterprise, and communication.
Steve Bothwell – Mentor since 2011
Named the 2010 Fermanian Business & Economic Institute “Business Partner of the Year,” Steve is a passionate entrepreneur with a long career based upon clear thinking, value creation, and ethical business principles. Steve and a business partner formed a joint venture partnership with a Taiwan Industrialist and started Specification Seals Company in 1984. Spec Seals continues to be a valuable supplier of O-rings and molded rubber parts to major industries such as automotive, food processing and handling, water filtration, consumer products, medical, plumbing, electronics, and pumps/valves/actuators. Most fast food restaurants including McDonalds have Spec Seals O-rings in their soft-serve equipment. Steve graduated from USC with a BA degree in Economics and a MA in Education. After being a high school teacher for 8 years, Steve started his business career in the electronics, product labeling, and industrial rubber prior to starting Spec Seals. Through experience Steve has developed expertise in international business development, sales management, product development, company structure and dynamics, market share penetration, and distribution strategies.
Mr. Gary R. Dyer – Mentor since 2009
Gary R. Dyer has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Farm Credit Services Southwest since 1990, and employed in the Farm Credit System since 1974. He is originally from a farming and ranching operation in northern California. Gary took a short sabbatical from the Farm Credit System in 1981 to 1983 to serve as California State Executive Director of USDA Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. Gary is involved in numerous organizations, including the A.S.U. Advisory Board for the School of Agribusiness and Environmental Sciences. He also served on a congressional commission to address Farm Bill payment limitation issues. Dyer is a highly regarded expert in agriculture, education, economics, international trade and related areas.
Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick – Mentor since 2011
Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick is a 2001 graduate of Point Loma Nazarene University where he majored in biology, and frequently visits the School of Business to share of his entrepreneurial passion. He frequently travels to Nicaragua to provide dental care for rural families, and is also currently incubating several startups in a variety of areas, reflecting his broad set of interests. He received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree from Loma Linda University in 2006. Dr. Fitzpatrick provides dental care in offices in Point Loma and Del Mar. He is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), California Dental Association (CDA), San Diego County Dental Society (SDCDS) and the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). “Dr. Tom” has a broad set of experiences and expertise in health care, international development, real estate and business startups.
Luke Harmon – Mentor since 2011
Following his naming as the 2010-11 Entrepreneur of the Year at PLNU with his business plan for eHipp, a medical records software company with a target market of overlooked sectors in health care that he had worked on for several years while a student at PLNU. Harmon now joins the EEP as a mentor for the 2011-12 program following his graduation in 2011 with a B.A. in Business Administration from PLNU, and is currently a Performance Analyst at the StepStone Group, a comprehensive creative agency providing marketing, design and promotional services. To succeed in the EEP, Harmon shares his experience: “I dove fully into eHipp...and have read books and articles, interviewed physicians, nurses, and medical students, attended classes and conferences, job shadowed venture capitalists, and met with recognized leaders and thinkers of medical innovation. This experience has been incredibly challenging but at the same time amazing, and I have loved every second of it!” Harmon brings expertise in marketing, health care, technology, and branding.
Robert G. “Bob” Harp – Mentor since 2007
Bob brings passion, experience, commitment, and purpose to all EEP projects he mentors. An alum of Wheaton College (B.A., M.A.), he also holds a Th.M from Dallas Theological Seminary. But no “armchair practitioner” is Harp, for he also teaches Real Estate Investments in the PLNU MBA program, and since 1987 he has been President of Global Hospitality Network (GHR), a leading international hospitality advisory, research, and publishing firm. GHR publishes the GlobalHotelNetwork.com website, a leading on-line market intelligence resource for the World of Global Hospitality. He serves on the Program Steering Committee for the Americas Lodging Investment Summit, the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference, the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific, the Central America Tourism & Hotel Investment Exchange, Hotel Investment Forum India, and is Program Chair for the annual San Diego Hospitality Industry Outlook (now in its 18th year), the leading trade event for the industry in the entire region. He holds the designation of Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), and is a past president of the San Diego CCIM Chapter and a current Board member. He is a founding director and past president of the Commercial Realtors Association of San Diego County. His expertise is in the areas of economics, finance, hospitality, branding, networking, communication, and ethics in the marketplace.
Mr. Phil Herbig – Mentor since 2007
Phil is a seasoned professional with a long history in accounting, finance, and operations in the California fresh tree fruit industry. Phil is currently serving as Chief Operating Officer for Wespak Sales in Dinuba California. Wespak is an industry leader in diversified agriculture and services many of the leading retailers and grocers throughout North America. Phil has had two children graduate from PLNU, and has had considerable impact in shaping the procedures of the EEP. He is passionate about working closely with aspiring entrepreneurs, and brings a special sense of accountability, relationship and goal setting to every project he mentors. Phil has particular expertise in organizational dynamics, accounting and finance, organizational architecture, firm accountability, and food & marketing.
Craig Van Hulzen – Mentor since 2007
Craig started Van Hulzen Asset Management in 2000 in Folsom, Ca., and oversees the investment process for the firm, where he recently launched The Iron Horse mutual fund. He also provides technical and option advisory services to institutional money managers with approximately $6 billion in assets worldwide. Craig is a former risk management and expert witness to several state governments with regards to their pension funds. He has been featured in Business Week, Fortune Online, Pensions & Investment, Financial Planning and USA Today. Craig holds a B.A. in Business Finance from Point Loma Nazarene University, where he is a member of the Board of Trustees and is President of the University´s Foundation Board. His many areas of expertise include new venture creation, finance, risk analysis, economics, capital markets and related areas.
Jason Jenkins – Mentor since 2010
Jason Jenkins is the founder, CEO and Chief Investment Strategist for Assetwise Investments, Inc. a low-fee wealth management firm founded in 2010, with a mission to provide efficient, low-cost, secure investment strategies to investors both individual and institutional across the United States. He is responsible for all portfolio construction and client education. He has been in the financial industry for over 14 years and brings an independent, client-centered approach to the firm. Jason graduated from Westmont College in 1997 with a B.A. in Business & Economics and later received his MBA from Point Loma Nazarene University in 2005. In 2010, Jason was recognized by San Diego Metropolitan Magazine with the “Top 40 Under 40” distinction, recognizing San Diego's "Brightest Leaders of Today and Tomorrow”. Jason’s has been an expert resource for Smart Money Magazine, Dow Jones Newswires, The San Diego Union-Tribune, NBC San Diego, KUSI San Diego and many other leading trade sources. He has been awarded the prestigious Five Star Wealth Manager award by San Diego Magazine for the years 2008 – 2011. Jenkins also was instrumental in assisting Dr. Senyo Adjibolosoo launch the Human Factor Leadership Academy in Ghana in 2005, as well as the EEP along with fellow mentor Craig Van Hulzen. Jenkins brings expertise in finance, capital, marketing, economics, international development and related fields.
Zach Johnson – Mentor since 2010
Zach is a PLNU alum from the School of Business in 2008 and founder of Zbiz, one of southern California’s leading social media companies, with headquarters in San Diego. He is a widely regarded Social Media Marketing Consultant and expert in all aspects of social media based brand building, search engine optimization, internet marketing and related fields, and his clients range from small startups to large global companies seeking to expand their businesses. He guests lectures at PLNU frequently in the entrepreneurship courses, and also teaches businesses and professionals to gain massive exposure online and increase their sales dramatically. Zach participated as a student in the inaugural EEP and enjoys giving back to PLNU and helping the next generation of entrepreneurs. His specific areas of expertise are in social media, technology, business trends, customer development and marketing.
Danielle Kelley – Judge since 2010
A PLNU Senior Accounting student in the School of Business, Kelley earned Entrepreneur of the Year award with Danielle Lawson for their business plan Premier Couture in 2009-10. She is currently doing an internship at KPMG and also works part time in PLNU University Advancement, among her many activities on and off campus. An active and engaging student, Kelley will bring organization, accounting, communication and a creative flair to any project she approaches.
Danielle Lawson – Mentor since 2010
Lawson is an energetic and upcoming business professional, having graduated from PLNU in 2010 and earning Entrepreneur of the Year award with a colleague for their business plan Premier Couture the same year. She has worked in the insurance industry but now serves as an Associate Client Sales Manager at Equity Management Inc., a marketing company operating worldwide specializing in corporate trademark licensing and related services including strategic planning, marketing services, concept and product development, prospect mapping, product quality monitoring and retail counsel and direction. She has a passion for startups and young entrepreneurs and has skills in branding, design, bootstrapping, product development and related fields. Her passion for PLNU also extends to service in the leadership of the PLNU Alumni in Business Auxiliary organization.
Stephen Miller – Mentor since 2010
Miller was named the Entrepreneur of the Year in the inaugural 2007-08 EEP, with his Cereal Company business plan, which was further developed as a Honors Project while a student at PLNU. A double major (Magna Cum Laude) with a Bachelor of Arts in both Business Administration and Philosophy/Theology, 2008 Business Student of the Year Miller also obtained a minor in accounting which helped launch his career. He is currently employed as a Staff Auditor at Capin Crouse LLP, a public accounting firm servicing non-profit clients, and recently attained his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certificate in June 2011. Stephen’s particular areas of expertise include finance, non-profit business, entrepreneurship and interpersonal communication and relationships.
Mr. Adam Roark – Mentor since 2009
Roark is a Real Estate Consultant & Branding Manager for Premier Bancorp Realty Group where he works to develop marketing and recruiting platforms to enhance business operations while working with buyers and sellers to complete residential real estate transactions. Prior to joining Premier Bancorp he served as Special Products Manager at Mellace Family Brands, Inc., a leading specialty food company based in Carlsbad. A PLNU class of 2002 alumni, he is active in supporting PLNU and the School of Business and has also been a Junior Achievement Advisor and classroom volunteer. His areas of expertise for the EEP include real estate, brand development, finance and accounting, etc.
Tony Rodriguez – Mentor since 2011
Tony Rodríguez is a multi-functional leader with global C-level experience at Warner Bros. and Seagram Spirits & Wine in finance, strategic business planning, and supply chain and business team management. He combines strong finance expertise with an operating track record of business performance improvement and leadership development with a focus on developing practical solutions for successful implementation. Tony was a North American COO with a focus on identifying root causes and implementing supply chain process improvements. He also has experience as a Deputy CEO managing global commercial joint-ventures (Seagram and ABSOLUT Vodka Co.) and start-up internet business teams. He has leveraged his strong finance & operating experience as a CFO of multi-billion dollar business units to balance controls & compliance with profitable growth to boost shareholder value. He holds an M.S., Accounting, NYU Stern Business School and a B.A., Economics, with High Honors from Princeton University. His professional development also includes advanced executive training at Harvard, Kellogg, Columbia, UCLA and INSEAD and is a Certified Director from the UCLA Director Education & Certification Program, as well as holding membership in the Corporate Directors Forum (Strategy & Program Committee member). He also assists and lectures in the PLNU MBA program in the fields of negotiations and value creation as well as the entrepreneurship course. He brings a wide variety of skills to the EEP including brand development, negotiations, international economics and business, value creation, and finance.
Mr. Randal Schober – Mentor since 2009
Schober has significant experience in non-profits and management, and in addition to serving as the USA Executive Director for SurfAid International, he is also an adjunct professor at PLNU in the MBA program. Surfaid is a non-profit humanitarian organization and seeks to improve the health, well-being and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing. Prior to joining SurfAid in 2010, he was the Executive Director of HeadNorth, a San Diego-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation that exists to enhance the quality of life for people faced with the daily challenges of a spinal cord injury (SCI) by providing financial assistance, resources and guidance. Prior to serving in these leadership roles, Schober founded and ran his own personal health and fitness management company. Schober holds a Doctorate in Exercise Physiology from West Virginia School of Medicine. His areas of expertise include non-profit, board structures, contemporary management, and related fields.
Ms. Jane Schmitz – Mentor since 2008
Schmitz participated in the inaugural 2007-08, and launched at Mission Bay High School her venture “Academy of Entrepreneurship” upon completion of the EEP. A PLNU MBA in 2008, she is a long time faculty member of Grossmont/Cuyamaca College District and also now serves as a faculty member at the Art Institute of San Diego. Jane’s passion and commitment is inspiring young entrepreneurs to dream and to succeed, and her breadth of life experiences, business leadership and focus on practical education makes her an outstanding EEP Mentor. Her particular areas of emphasis are on education, organizational leadership and behavior, and new venture creation.
Atul Suri – Mentor since 2011
New to the EEP in 2011, Atul is a industry expert in wireless technology including innovation, strategy, systems and related areas. Since 2006, he has served as the New Business Development Manager/Director, Program Management at QUALCOMM and is responsible lead for evaluating and making future technology recommendations on several wireless technology initiatives including Digital Home, P2P Mobile Broadband and Embedded Notebook Connection Manager. Activities include identifying the market trends, value chain analysis, developing strategic partnerships, and prototyping wireless use cases. Atul previously served in a similar capacity for Kyocera Wireless, and is also a guest lecturer in the PLNU MBA program. He holds a M.B.A. UCLA, Anderson School, was named a Prestigious MDE Fellow in 2003 and was Ranked 9th in an international business strategy competition (L’Oreal E-Strat Challenge 4). He holds an M.S. Electrical Engineering from Clemson University, Clemson, and a B.S. in Controls Engineering, Delhi Institute of Technology, Delhi, and attended the Entrepreneurship Development Program at MIT. His expertise is in business development, wireless, technology, engineering, new venture creation, marketing, strategic marketing and other related fields.
Mr. Stephen Thesing – Mentor since 2008
Thesing is an accomplished executive with over 20 years of High Technology experience in data management and data protection software, enterprise systems/storage, and the Internet. Functional expertise includes management, sales/business development, marketing, product management/development, customer support, and Internet content. He has a proven track record in building companies through strategic sales partnerships, leading channel and direct sales teams, building operational teams, and closing OEM sales deals. He has broad vertical market experience from many fields including Healthcare, Banking/Finance, Government, and Telecom/Internet. EEP expertise includes organizational vision, product direction, development requirements, and the necessary partnerships to advance business success.
Ms. Jana Walchle – Mentor since 2008
Jana Walchle is a highly regarded professional real estate working in the San Diego region with nearly thirty years of real estate experience. With such a depth of experience, Jana specialize in the sale and marketing of homes, lots, land and commercial property throughout the Inland Empire, and with her husband is the owner of Canyon Country Realty, an independent office in the Corona area. Jana has served on the Education Committee and as the Chair of the Ethics Committee of the Real Estate Association’s Board of Directors. She is passionate and caring in her entrepreneurial passions for aspiring business persons, and brings a special knowledge of family business to her EEP experience. Her experience is in real estate, marketing, networking and team building.
David Warren – Mentor since 2011
David Warren has led marketing strategy, business and channel development, and corporate communications initiatives in a variety of firms. Prior to founding San Diego marketing firm Gray Suit Marketing, David Warren wrote the business plan and helped launch e*ECAD, a major B2B ASP software firm that went from concept to funding to revenue in six months. Additional experience includes integrated, multi-channel, nationwide launches of new technology, as well as executing a schedule of thirty-four trade shows a year in the U.S., Japan, and Europe.
While living in Silicon Valley in 2000, David Warren was selected as one of thirty members of the San Jose Leadership Project by the Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. He earned "The Wall Street Journal Award" in 1997, and is the first person in the history of San Diego State University to earn a Master's degree in Marketing in only two semesters. In addition to owning Gray Suit Marketing, David Warren is also a Professor of Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. His expertise includes strategic marketing, outsourced marketing, demand generation, product launch, campaign management, branding, competitive analysis, market analysis, pricing analysis, promotional planning, and channel strategy.
Jacob Willis – Mentor since 2009
Yet another past EEP participant who supports the program and aspiring entrepreneurs, Willis was named the 2008-09 Entrepreneur of the Year with his Allure Album Designs, a wedding photo service company designed to streamline the ordering process. Much of Willis’s original photography is displayed at the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute as well as the MBA Suites at PLNU’s Mission Valley campus. Willis worked in professional photography throughout his time at PLNU prior to his graduation in 2008, and worked at Bauman Photography prior to launching his own company We Heart Photography in 2010 with his spouse Kristen, a fellow PLNU alum. Jacob has significant experience in bootstrapping, events, photography, branding, client relationships, communication and networking.
Doyle Young – Mentor since 2011
Doyle Young is an executive, author, teacher, consultant and nationally recognized expert in the areas of organizational and employee development, as well as a faculty member at PLNU in Strategy, Management and Entrepreneurship. With over 27 years of management experience and having served as CEO for two successful start-ups, CEO of the nation’s largest human resources chapter, and President of a mature $200M publishing and broadcast media company with 1,200 employees, Doyle is a recognized expert in building and running successful organizations. As the Co-Founder of the EverChange Institute, Doyle consults with organizations of all sizes that are undergoing rapid change and looking to efficiently and effectively execute their business strategy. With a solid background in the theory, as well as the application of practical management approaches, Doyle’s client work centers around the impact of change on the capacity of an organization to sustain continued growth in the key areas of product development, technology, finance and organizational performance. Doyle’s client list includes the U.S. Navy; Allied Waste; Petco; McKesson; AT&T, Applied Materials, First Interstate Bank, E&J Gallo Winery, Ford Motor Company, Hiram Walker, Lawrence Livermore Labs, Longs Drugs, Good Guys!, National Semiconductor, Starbucks Coffee Company, Viacom Cablevision, Ziff Communications, Albertsons Food Stores, the Gap, Bank of America and many more. In addition, Doyle is a member of the Masie Consortium Think Tank, a group of 100 individuals selected from leading U.S. corporations to delve into the issues and challenges related to individual corporate change practices. His expertise is strategy, international business, company dynamics and culture, change and best practices.