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About the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center


The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center empowers students, alumni and community members to build sustainable businesses that do good and do well in Chicago. We are the hub to connect, advise and inspire entrepreneurship and innovation in creating businesses with purpose and passion. Our experiential programs, vibrant ecosystem and academic curriculum cultivate a foundation for entrepreneurial success for our entire DePaul community.


Supported by a $5 million-plus grant from the Coleman Foundation, the center launched in 2003 and opened a 5,000-square-foot facility in 2016. The center complements DePaul's renowned academic entrepreneurship program, which was founded by Coleman Entrepreneurship Chair Harold Welsch in the 1980s.

Coleman Entrepreneurship Center Team

Coleman Entrepreneurship Center Staff

Women in Entrepreneurship Institute staff

The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center’s Advisory Board is a consultative group of distinguished Chicago-area entrepreneurs that helps the center fulfill its mission and advance its overall outcomes. It strives to create a dynamic relationship between DePaul’s educational efforts and the Chicago entrepreneurial community.

  • Al Kutchins, Board Chair, president, managing partner, Kutchins Robbins
  • Patricia Aluisi, COO, MB Real Estate
  • Yasine Armstrong, co-founder, BabyPage
  • Barbara Best, founder, Capital Strategies Investment Group
  • JinJa Birkenbeuel, CEO, Birk Creative
  • Monika Black, co-founder, TandemSpring
  • Kemery Bloom, founder, Grit, LLC
  • Carol Bramson, president & founder, TBG Capital
  • Penny Brown, director, Grant Park Music Festival
  • Carole Crawford, principal, Platinum Commercial Holdings
  • Raquel Graham Crayton , founder, ROQ Innovation
  • John Crosson, president, Cedar Hill Associates
  • John Dilenschneider, CEO/owner, WebQA
  • Alicia Driskill, founder, EvolveHer
  • Kristi Dula, deputy director, Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Technology - Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity
  • Colleen Egan, director of people, cultura & endless possibilities, Clarity Partners LLC
  • Dima Elissa, co-founder,
  • Brian Feldkamp, founder, Kamp Consulting
  • Kurt Florian, COO & general counsel, Loan Ecosystem LLC
  • Chantal Forster, executive director, Technology Affinity Group
  • Laura Gale, executive coach & senior consultant, Right Management
  • Anne L. Gehring, founder, Stanton Blackwell
  • Steven R. Gerbel, founder & CIO, Chicago Capital Management
  • Russ Gottesman, founder & CEO, CommuterAds
  • Diane Graham, CEO, Stratco Global
  • Joan Hannant, CEO, The Soma Institute
  • Jill Hebert, CEO & founder, Matrex Exhibits
  • Michael Hennessy, president & CEO, The Coleman Foundation
  • Art Hofstetter
  • Sandy Hogan, senior vice president, Here Technologies
  • Dave Jackson, principal, Evanston Advisors
  • Valarie King-Bailey, CEO, OnShore Technologies
  • Kate Kimmerle, president, Revolution Beauty
  • Flora (Pete) Kubitz, founder, Strategy Corporate Development
  • Carolyn Leonard, founder, DyMynd Angels
  • Tammy McMiller, founder, Plan Heal
  • Dorri McWhorter, CEO, YWCA Chicago
  • Tricia Meyer, founder & managing attorney, Meyer Law
  • Laura Milani, founder, IN2 Products
  • Nina Nashif, founder, Healthbox
  • Jodi Navta, CMO, SMS Assist
  • Valerie O’Donnell, CEO, Progressive Industries
  • Kristi Piehl, CEO, Media Mindfield
  • Adam Robinson, co-founder & CEO, Hireology
  • Diana Rodriquez-Zaba, partner, Servicemaster Restoration by Zaba
  • Shelley Rosen, founder & CEO, Luxe Bloom
  • Kristi Ross, founder, TastyTrade
  • Robin Ross, executive & leadership coach, R2 Leadership Coaching
  • Kevin Taylor, founder & CEO coach, startup investor, speaker, 83 Mitchell Circle
  • Genevieve Thiers, founder, Sittercity
  • Donna Van Eekeren, executive chair, Land O’Frost
  • Deb Venable, partner, Nimlok
  • Jennifer Wesley, industry director of travel, Google
  • Jim Wicklander, strategic account manager, Lake County Press
  • Tracey Wik, managing director, GrowthPlay
  • Darrell Williams, managing partner, Loop Capital

DePaul Faculty and Staff

  • Bruce Leech, executive director, Coleman Entrepreneurship Center
  • Abigail Ingram, director, Women in Entrepreneurship Institute
  • Emily Doyle, events coordinator, Coleman Entrepreneurship Center
  • Maija Renko, Coleman Foundation Chair
  • Lisa Gundry, professor and interim chair, Department of Management & Entrepreneurship
  • Alyssa Westring, associate professor, Department of Management & Entrepreneurship
  • Zainab Ikram, student communications manager, Coleman Entrepeneurship Center
  • Lance Sanderson, undergraduate representative, Coleman Entrepreneurship Center

The center's advisory team includes DePaul faculty and staff who support the center's entrepreneurship efforts. They are valued members of DePaul's entrepreneurial community and help us extend the reach of the center across the entire university.

Members provide:

  • Assistance to students across campus who have entrepreneurial interests.
  • Recommendations on how the center can support and collaborate with academic/administrative departments, centers and institutes, student organizations and campuses.
  • Awareness of the services and programs available to students across the university through the Coleman Center.

Members include:

  • Gonzalo Obelleiro, instructional assistant professor, curriculum studies, College of Education
  • Behice Ece Ilhan, adjunct professor, College of Computing and Digital Media
  • Eric Landahl, associate professor & graduate program director, College of Science and Health
  • Grace Lemmon, associate professor of management and faculty director of the Management Honors Program, Driehaus College of Business
  • Betty Shanahan, assistant vice president, Administration & Operations, DePaul University
  • Jennifer Tatum, executive assistant to Dean College of Education, DePaul University
  • Donna Kiel, director of the Office of Innovative Professional Learning, College of Education
  • Kathryn Ibata-Arens, director, Global Asian Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Felicia Richardson-McGee, director of advising, Kellstadt Graduate School of Business
  • Salma Ghanem, dean, College of Communication, DePaul University
  • Marty Martin, professor of Management and faculty director of the MS in Human Resources Program, Driehaus College of Business
  • Jason Martin, journalism program director and chair, College of Communications
  • Howard Rosing, executive director, Steans Center, DePaul University
  • Lisa Riley, director of development, Office of Advancement
  • Nezih Altay, associate professor and faculty director of Supply Chain Management Program, Driehaus College of Business
  • Jaclyn Jensen, associate professor and faculty director of Human Resources Program, Driehaus College of Business
  • Tim Cole, associate professor, College of Communication
  • Martin Schray, adjunct faculty, College of Computing and Digital Media
  • Ken Thompson, professor, Driehaus College of Business
  • Andy Clark, visiting assistant professor and faculty coordinator of Sports Management Curriculum, Driehaus College of Business
  •  Jacob Furst, professor, College of Computing and Digital Media
  • Ruth Gannon-Cook, professor, School of Continuing and Professional Studies
  • Leslie Shook, theatre manager, The Theatre School
  • Andrew Gold, professor, College of Law
  • Christie Klimas, assistant professor, Environmental Science and Studies, College of Science and Health
  • B Rich, assistant professor, College of Computing and Digital Media
  • Rachael Smith, coordinator of career and performance services, School of Music
  • Scott Walter, university librarian, University Library
  • Lisa Gundry, professor and interim chair, Department of Management & Entrepreneurship, Driehaus College of Business
  • Allison Tirres, associate professor of law, College of Law
  • Robin Florzak, assistant dean for marketing and communications, Driehaus College of Business
  • Julie Lawton, clinical professor of law; director, Housing & Community Development Legal Clinic, College of Law
  • Karen Burgard, assistant dean and director, Undergraduate Programs Office, Driehaus College of Business
  • Craig Miller, professor, College of Computing and Digital Media
  • Matt Ragas, assistant professor, College of Communications
  • John Mazzeo, associate professor of anthropology; director, Master of Public Health Program, School of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Tom Nguyen, senior director of Corporate Relations, Office of Advancement
  • Christa Hinton, director, Kellstadt Graduate School of Business
  • Dan Gillespie, adjunct professor, Department of Management & Entrepreneurship, Driehaus College of Business
  • Lawrence Hamer, assistant provost, Academic Affairs, Driehaus College of Business
  • Lamont Black, assistant professor, Department of Finance, Driehaus College of Busienss
  • Theresa Steinbach, associate dean, College of Computing and Digital Media
  • Terri Lonier, dean of the Career + Co-Op Center, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Karen Budd, professor emeritus, Catholic studies, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Alan Salzenstein, professor, School of Music
  • Alyssa Westring, associate professor, Deparment of Management & Entrepreneurship, Driehaus College of Business
  • James Moore, director, online learning, Driehaus Driehaus College of Business
  • Tracy Krahl, assistant vice president, Alumni Engagement, Office of Advancement
  • John Lump, adjunct professor, Department of Finance, Driehaus College of Business
  • Leslie Chamberlain, associate director, Alumni Sharing Knowledge, DePaul University Career Services
  • Eiron Cudaback, assistant professor, College of Science and Health
  • Steven Rubinow, executive-in-residence, College of Computing and Digital Media
  • Jaclyn Lansbery, website and social media editor, Driehaus College of Business
  • Karyn McCoy, director, Employer Relations, DePaul University Career Center
  • Kristin Mathews, integrated content manager, Public Relations & Communications
  • Richard Rocco, professor, Department of Marketing, Driehaus College of Business
  • John Shanahan, associate dean, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
  • Melissa Markley, assistant professor, Department of Marketing, Driehaus College of Business
  • Misty Johanson, dean, Driehaus College of Business
  • Mary Mindak, associate professor, School of Accountancy & Management Information Systems, Driehaus College of Business
  • Heather Quinn, instructor, College of Computing and Digital Media
  • Caroline McAteer, associate director, Employer Partnerships, DePaul University Career Center
  • Krystal Lewis, information commons librarian, University Library
  • Shena Ramsay, assistant dean, College of Communications
  • Patrizia Acerra, instructor, School of Continuing and Professional Studies
  • Sheleene Bell, executive assistant to Dean of the Theater School
  • Ivana Zilic, visiting assistant professor, Department of Management & Entrepreneurship, Driehaus College of Business
  • Nicholas Thomas, director, School of Hospitality Leadership, Driehaus College of Business

Coleman Center mentors provide advice, consultation, financial support and networking connections to the center. Our mentors represent a range of expertise and include distinguished entrepreneurs, established business executives and professional advisors.

  • Marc Grens
  • Kristy Nittskoff
  • Levi Baer
  • Jon Berbaum
  • Mike Bodalia
  • Beth Bond
  • Bob Borden
  • John Calzaretta
  • Pat Coveny
  • Archel Desir
  • Ed Doyle
  • Jean Einstein
  • Omar Elkuka
  • Rania El-Sorrogy
  • Brad Emanuel
  • Dmitry Faybysh
  • Eric Gastevich
  • Andrew Given
  • Sheri Hammonds
  • Joel Harris
  • Barb Healy O'Laughlin
  • Cliff Helm
  • Carl Hirschman
  • Jason Jacobsohn
  • Kellee Johnson
  • Steve Krull
  • William Little
  • Jim Longino
  • Martin McGovern
  • Rajiv Nathan
  • Amanda Neely
  • David Novak
  • Bob Nuber
  • Rob Pasquesi
  • Remo Picchietti
  • Rich Reising
  • Jeff Rosset
  • Danny Schuman
  • Justin Sorto
  • Jeffrey Spetter
  • Oliver Stahl
  • Liam Stanton
  • Michael Stark
  • Debra Sunderland
  • Brian Sutherland
  • Anthony Termini
  • Becky Thomas
  • Gabriel Wiesen
  • Koray Yesilli
  • John Yi
  • David Zaretsky

DePaul and 1871

DePaul has a partnership with 1871, the largest incubator in North America, which is located in the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago. Students from every college across the university are welcome to apply for approval to reserve work space in the 1871 DePaul office.  Faculty interested in using the space may email

DePaul and 2112 

All DePaul students have access to our office space and programming at 2112. Check out the workshops and events that that are available. Current students, faculty and staff may apply to access 2112 here .

Coleman Entrepreneurship Center Partners

Thank you to the following organizations for supporting the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center. 

Legal & General Investment Management America
KRD CPAs logo