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.
Leo Friedman, Founder and CEO, iPromo
Leo Friedman began his entrepreneurial ventures in high school, buying inventory for his first business using his mother's credit card. A successful serial entrepreneur, Leo is the personification of right-brain, left-brain balance. His company, iPromo.com, has multimillion dollar revenues and a global presence as a leader in the promotional products industry. It serves most of the Fortune 500 companies and specializes in customized USB flash drives and mobile accessories. Leo is also the co-founder of the retail marketing agency Digital BrandWorks/Buy Happier, which was recently named #132 on the 2013 Inc. 500 list.
Joan Hannant, Board Co-Chair
Founder and President, The Soma Institute
While on leave from teaching political science in Canada, Joan Hannant was exposed to vocational education and became fascinated with the transformative power of adult retraining. Armed with a college textbook about how to write a business plan, she designed a training program in alternative and complementary medicine modalities, found an angel investor and moved to Chicago where she launched The Soma Institute. Soma is now one of the largest independently owned massage therapy schools in the U.S. and is in the process of expanding its program offerings and opening specialized alternative health care clinics. Joan is a member of Vistage International and the Committee of 200.
Jill Hebert, Board Co-Chair
President and CEO, Matrex Exhibits, Inc.
After eight years in the trade show industry, Jill Hebert started Matrex in 1987 with a home equity loan and a passion for quality and excellent client service. Since then, she has grown Matrex into the largest woman-owned exhibit agency in the U.S. Three times Jill has been recognized by Ernst & Young as a finalist for its Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Western Michigan; has received the Trade Show Exhibitor Association's Focus Award and Exhibitor magazine's Sizzle Award for her marketing efforts and contribution to the industry. Jill is a member of the Committee of 200.
Al Kutchins (MST '75), Partner, Kutchins, Robbins & Diamond, Ltd.
Al Kutchins is one of the founding partners of Kutchins, Robbins & Diamond, Ltd. (KRD), a full service, midsized, Chicago-based public accounting firm. Al provides an array of solutions to help accelerate client revenue growth, and is proactive in tax planning as well as succession and estate planning. Al is also well known for his devotion and involvement in numerous charitable organizations. He has participated for many years in TMA, one of the leading Midwest manufacturing associations, the Illinois Venture Capital Association, the Online Lenders Alliance and the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association. Al earned his Masters of Science in Taxation from DePaul University in 1975.
Bruce Leech (MBA '81), Co-Founder, evolve, LLC
Bruce Leech is the Founder and a Director of CrossCom National, an IT systems installation, service and maintenance company, supporting large national retailers such as Kohl's, Walmart, Walgreens and TJX. CrossCom attained over $90 million in revenue and has developed a network of over 1,500 service companies across the U.S. to provide support to the national retailers. He is also Co-Founder of evolve, a membership organization for business owners, helping them with their transition plans. Bruce also stays involved in his philanthropic work, serving on multiple organizations' boards. He received his BA from Michigan State University in 1978 and MBA from DePaul University in 1981.
Greg Silich (BSA '84), CEO, QUEsocial
Greg Silich is a successful entrepreneur, operator, Advisory Board member and investor in growth businesses. Greg is the CEO of QUEsocial, a premier provider of social talent acquisition software and services. Before QUEsocial, Greg was the CEO of CVM Solutions and Capital H Group. These businesses have won numerous awards, including being named an Inc. 500 and 5,000 Fastest Growing Private Company and Network World Top 10 SaaS Companies To Watch. In addition, Greg has participated in mutiple successful strategic exit transactions, including the sale of CVM Solutions to a strategic buyer in 2011. Greg's strategic capabilities and business counsel have been integral as a member of the Advisory Boards for several privately held companies, including Resilinc, BCV, CPRi, Aquent Marketing Staffing, CVM Solutions and Diversity Quest. Greg received his BS in Accounting from DePaul University in 1984.
Dan Smith, President, Capsim Business Solutions
Daniel Smith is President of Capsim Management Simulations Inc., a firm specializing in the creation of business games and associated curriculum for management education. He is a leading expert in the field, having written simulations for industries such as banking, insurance, publishing, manufacturing and hotels. Dan's university-oriented simulations are in use in over 400 business schools in both MBA and undergraduate strategy courses, including Harvard and Berkley. In 1984 Dan published Stratplan, a simulation designed for MBA programs. Since 1985 he has worked as a consultant to universities and private industry in works such as Capstone, Foundation and Comp-XM. Dan was listed in the Platinum Edition of Who's Who Worldwide.