Fireside Chats

Join us every Wednesday evening for an hour or two of stimulating conversation with local entrepreneurs!  If you have ever wondered how businesses or organizations get started, here's the chance to find out.

Each Wednesday an entrepreneur will tell their story.  Some of these entrepreneurs may be well seasoned, some may be just starting out.  Hear how they did it...what they did right...what they might do differently...what they might do next!

Students can earn ACES points for attending, so meet us in the East Hall Lobby at 7 p.m. by the fireplace. 

Fireside Chats - Spring 2015 (Wednesdays at 7 p.m.)

Jan. 21:  When it’s Good to be Bad! with Reka Barabas, Director, Bad Girl Venture Cleveland

Bad Girl Ventures (BGV) is an educational and micro-finance organization, dedicated to inspiring and supporting female entrepreneurs in all the key elements of their business.  BGV enables bold women in how to be Bad in a good way to build and sustain, well-managed, profitable business through guidance, education and access to capital.  Come hear what BGV Cleveland’s director, Reka Barabas has to say about being bad and successful!

Jan. 28:  What I did Last Summer! with Hiram’s 2014 EIW Team – Matt Hare ‘15, Aaron Hare ‘15, Rob Armstrong ’15, Hannah Shrader ’15 and Diontely Harper ’15

Every spring five Hiram students are selected to participate in an exciting 1-week entrepreneurship immersion experience with 50 other college students. Teams from eleven northeast Ohio colleges and universities participate in academic and breakout sessions, explore innovation, creativity and business ideas, network with each other and area entrepreneurs, and at the end compete in an idea pitch for cash prizes.  Come hear what these students have to say about their experience and their idea! Plus learn how you can be part of the 2015 Hiram EIW Team.

Feb. 4:  Ready, Set, Accelerate ! with Charles Stack, co-founder and CEO, FlashStarts

Flashstarts is a Cleveland-based business startup accelerator and venture fund, founded by serial tech entrepreneur Charles Stack, focuses on unique and innovative uses of software and technology.  FlashStarts offers a rigorous 12-week summer accelerator program with rapid feedback and iteration, customized guidance from dedicated coaches, an extensive network of top-tier, experienced mentors, and an award-winning internship program.  Come hear more about the exciting startup opportunities right here in northeast Ohio!

Feb. 11:  Boldly Beating the Odds!  with Nichelle McCall, founder and CEO, BOLD Guidance

According to the Center for Women's Business Research, black women are part of the fastest growing entrepreneurial segment in the country, growing at a rate of 191.4% from 1997 to 2007. CEO of BOLD Guidance, Nichelle McCall, is one of those women and is featured as one to watch by As a first-generation college student, Nichelle had challenges navigating the college application process. She figured if she had challenges, so did others and Bold Guidance, a tech product that helps students navigate the college application process was born.   Come hear Nichelle’s story!

Feb. 18:  Social Enterprise: Money, Mission and Making a Difference! with Kay Molkentin

Join us to learn about the growing area of social enterprise, where money and mission come together to make a sustainable difference.  Social Enterprise is much more than just non-profits. It’s about sustainable impact.  Information on a new Social Enterprise prize category, worth $1,000, at this year’s ideabuild! competition will also be announced!

Feb. 25:  Funding Your Start-Up!  with Bob Cohen, CEO, Braintree Business Development Center

Not sure where to find funding for your startup or small business?  This Chat will discuss finding funders and investors for small businesses, along with other opportunities, such as loans and crowd funding, that may be available to small entrepreneurial businesses.

Mar. 4:  Business in a Box! with Jack Warren ‘86, Director of Operations, Comfort Keepers

A franchise, aka “business-in-a-box”, can be a very appealing way to get a business started. But is it right for you? Come hear Hiram alumnus, Jack Warren discuss what is a franchise, the pros and cons of franchise ownership, misconceptions about franchising, how to find the right franchise, and much more!

Mar. 25:  Training the Bioskills Professionals! with Richard Anthony ‘82, Ph.D., President, Device Company International LLC

Building upon his BA- Biology earned from Hiram and his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Texas Austin, Richard Anthony has established numerous companies, proving himself as a successful entrepreneur.  His current Device Company International LLC provides mobile bioskills training laboratories and kits to physicians, surgical support staff, Investigative Device Exemption investigators, and corporate sales personnel in new product applications and surgical techniques.  Come hear Dr. Anthony share his entrepreneurial story!

Apr. 1:  A Renegade Risks Everything to be Unforgettable! with Cathy B. Horton, serial entrepreneur

Cathy spent 20 years cultivating a global mergers and acquisitions and venture finance legal practice, before striking out on her own.  Now on her 7th start-up, Renegade Brands, she and her team are challenging the competition with safe, high performance products that produce no toxic impact on the environment.  Additionally, Renegade Brands is committed to living and executing its daily operations steeped in outreach by tithing 15% of the total sales proceeds to those in need.  Come hear Cathy's unforgettable entrepreneurial story!


Fireside Chats - Fall 2014 

  • Helping Colleges Market Internationally! with Kevin Wang, Co-Founder, Mango. (9/13/14)
  • E = R! with Thom Ruhe, Founder and President, EcDev Partners LLC. (9/10/14)
  • Innovation: Powering People Forward! with Ryan Farris, Engineering Manager, Parker Hannifin Corporation. (9/18/14)
  • Sweat, Hydrate, Pursue! with Jarred and Brandon Smith, Creators and Co-Founders, NOOMA. (9/24/14)
  • From Mom and Pop to Millionaires! with Rita Scott, President, Young Explorers Montessori (10/8/14)
  • Social Enterprise: Money, Mission and Making a Difference! with Bill Leamon, Joe DeLoss, and Alison Tanker (10/15/14)
  • Developing the Secret Sauce for Success! with Forrest Reed, Founder, R&R Specialty Foods. (10/22/14)
  • Title TBD with Toby and Melanie Maloney (10/29/14)
  • This Doc Makes House Calls! with Sharmyn Clark, DVM, Mobile Veterinary Care (11/5/14)

Fireside Chats - Spring 2014

  • Family Business is in the Bag - or is it? with Anahid Thompson, Co-founder of Noubar Bags, Ltd. (1/22/14)
  • Powering Connections! with Lev Gonick, Co-founder and CEOr, OneCommunity (1/29/14)
  • A Squeaky Clean Idea! with Dave Baiko, Founder and CEO, Shower City LLC (2/5/14)
  • Mustard: It's not Just a Condiment! with Jim '88 and Karen '89 Scher, owners, Uncle Jim's Pepper Mustard (2/12/14)
  • Hiram's Entrepreneurial President! with Thomas V. Chema, President, Hiram College (2/19/14)
  • Growing Greens by Going Green! with Tim Ryan, Co-founder, Great Lakes Growers LLC (2/26/14)
  • Driven by Passion! with Chris Hostetter, Co-owner, Titan Media Blasting (3/5/14)
  • Taking Cleveland Clinic's Expertise to Market! with Dr. Thomas Graham, Chief Innovation Officer, Cleveland Clinic Innovations (CCI) (3/26/14)
  • A Flowering Entrepreneur! with William Goldner '78, National Program Leader, USDA-NIFA, and co-owner, Woodstream Orchids (4/2/14)

Fireside Chats - Fall 2013

  • “A Brighter Idea!” with Gary Allen, Physicist, Principal Engineer, LED Innovation Team, General Electric (9/4/13)
  • Making a Difference! with Rob Nicholson, serial, social entrepreneur and Founder, Nicholson Center (9/25/13)
  • The Psychology of Management!  with Dr. Kimberly Bell, Management Psychologist, PRADCO (10/2/13)
  • It’s What You Say, Now How You Say It! with Nobby Lewandowski (10/9/13)
  • Lights, Camera, Action! with Nancy Carver Adams ’65 & Matt Starr, Co-Owners, I-CONN Video Production (10/16/13)
  • Liberal Arts for a Life Time! with Marshall Winkle ’57, retired HR Director, Ariel Corporation (10/23/13)
  •  What Color Are Your Glasses? with Mel McGee, CEO& Director of Technology, Sales Whale, President, imageNation, and Google Glass Explorer (10/30/13)
  • The Business of Healing! with Dr. John Cassidy ’76, CMO, CEO, President, Nexus Health Systems (11/6/13)

Fireside Chats - Spring 2013

  • Partnering with a Winning Brand! with Sal Baglieri, Owner/Operator, McDonald’s (1/16/13)
  • Keepin’ It Fresh! with Trevor Clatterbuck, founder, Fresh Fork Market (1/23/13)
  • A Dynamic Duo! with Halle and Benjamin Barnett, co-owners media.schmedia and mighty little (1/30/13)
  • Helping Students Achieve! with Jimmy Malone, co-host of the Lanigan & Malone Show on WMJI 105.7 FM, and founder of the Malone Scholarship Fund (2/6/13)
  • Money from a Hole in the Ground!  with Nick Barron, founder, Hole Patch, LLC (2/13/13)
  • Providing Support for Start-ups! with Jack Crews, President & CEO, Regional Economic Growth Corporation (2/20/13)
  • Revolutionizing Recycling! with Jay Schabel, CEO of RESPolyflow (3/13/13)
  • Launching Bio-Tech Spin-Outs! with Al Hawkins, Vice President of Business Development, BioMotiv LLC (3/20/13)
  • An Entrepreneur’s Day at the Beach! with Debbie Kuhn ‘86, founder girltrunks (3/27/13)

Fireside Chats - Fall 2012

  • The Business of Art! with Anthony (Tony) Mastromatteo, artist (9/5/12)
  • Mustard: It's not just a Condiment! with Jim '88 and Karen '89 Scher, Owners (9/12/12)
  • For-Profit Meets Not-For-Profit! with Jennifer Fredricks '95, President, Cancer Angel Network and Phire Branded Apparel and Graphics (9/19/12)
  • Baking Up Success! with Christina Benton '02 WEC, owner Just Pizzelles (9/26/12)
  • Spice it Up! with Sally Koepke, co-founder, Mom's Gourmet, LLC. (10/10/12)
  • Healthy Food from a Vending Machine?! with Tim Klug, co-founder, Essentially Organic Vending (10/17/12)
  • The Family Business! with James Busch '86, President, Busch Funeral Homes (10/24/12)
  • Find a Need and Fill It! with Bonnie Warren, Owner, Comfort Keepers (10/31/12)
  • Discovering Your Authentic Work! with Harriet Rubin, founder of Currency Imprint and Double Day Publishing; contributing editor for Fast Company Magazine; author; journalist; and Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow (11/7/12) 

Fireside Chats - Spring 2012

  • Acting Intrapreneurially! with Erik Weyls, President, Coventya, Inc. (1/18/12)
  • Applying 21st Century Technology to a Centuries-Old Process! With Tom Lix, CEO, Cleveland Whiskey (1/25/12) 
  • A Family E-Affair! with Bill Moss ’79, President, Towpath Polymers and David Moss, Founder, MossMedia (2/1/12)
  • Hatching Great Ideas! With Jim Cossler, Chief Evangelist, Youngstown Business Incubator, John Dearborn, President, JumpStart Inc., and Dar Caldwell, Founder and managing Partner, Shaker LaunchHouse (2/8/12) 
  • The Internship Queen! with Lauren Berger, CEO of Intern Queen Inc. and National College Speaker (2/15/12)
  • The Power of Love! with Alka Subramanian, Founder, Power of Love Foundation (2/22/12)
  • Success= Integrity + Connecting the Dots! with Dr. Fujita, Founder, President and CEO, Quality Electrodynamics LLC (QED) (2/29/12) 
  • Focused on Success! with Lisa Orlandi, Founder and President of Focus Design Technologies (3/14/12)
  • Building a Bio-Enterprise in Northeast Ohio! with Jon Snyder, President and CEO, Neuros Medical (3/21/12)

Fireside Chats - Fall 2011

  • Sweet Entrepreneurship! with Joel Fink, owner, Fantasy Candy (9/7/11)
  • Envisioning Success! with Tony Manna, President, Signet Enterprises (9/14/11)
  • Manufacturing in a Global Economy! with Michael Canty, CEO, President and Chairman of Alloy Bellows (9/21/11)
  • Food, Glorious Food! with Anne Hayman '88, chef and owner, On the Spot Gourmet (9/28/11)
  • A Business Born of Necessity! with Kimberlee Ullner, Founder, President, 1-2-3 Gluten Free (10/5/11)
  • Take Note! with Art Geigel '05, President and Founder, Ground Booth Software, Inc. (10/12/11)
  • From Hiram College to Silicon Valley! with Jim Waschura '83, President and Founder, SyntheSys Research, Inc. (10/19/11)
  • The Art of the Merger! with Doug Grimm '84, Chairman, President & CEO, Grede Holdings LLC. (10/26/11)
  • The Art of Publishing! with Molly McQuade (11/9/11)
  • Collaborating to be Green! with Bud Perry and Robert Stockham, Principals of Great Lakes Design (11/16/11)

Fireside Chats - Spring 2011

  • The Business of Art! with Clayton Pond (1/19/2011)
  • International Entrepreneur! with Isaac Yomtovian (1/26/2011)
  • The Art of the Merger! with Doug Grimm '84, Chairman, President & CEO, Grede Holdings LLC (2/2/2011)
  • GREENnPower! with Aaron LeMieux, Founder & CEO, Tremont Electric (2/9/2011)
  • Exit Strategy! with Kipp Krukowski, Owner & President, Confidential Business Sales, Inc. (2/16/2011)
  • On the Move with Mobile Food! with Chris Hodgson and Jeremy Esterly, owners, Dim and Den Sum Food Truck (2/23/2011) From Nurse to CEO! with Sandra Maddock, CEO & President, IMARC Research (3/16/2011) A Non-Profit Acting Entrepreneurially! with Dennis Allen, CEO, Hattie Larlham (3/23/2011) Measure 'Em Up! with Alex Neals, President, MeasureMeUp! (3/30/2011) A Lifestyle Brand of Doing Well While Doing Good! with Sharie Renee, Creator and President, Cosmic Bobbins (4/6/11)
  • Fireside Chats - Fall 2010
  • Mustard, It's Not Just a Condiment! with Jim '88 and Karen '89 Scher, Owners (9/8/10)
  • Acting Intrapreneurially! with Erik Weyls, President, Coventya, Inc. (9/15/10)
  • Global E-Commerce! with Michael Keresman III, CEO, President and Chairman of CardinalCommerce Corporation (9/22/10)
  • Risky Business! with Steve Osborn, President, Trilogy Plastics (9/29/10)
  • Imagine "What If...! with Jennifer Miller '01, Founder, President, Mission Savvy (10/6/10) Supporting New Business in Northeast Ohio! with Dennis Cocco & Cliff Reynolds, Co-Directors, GLIDE and the Innovation Fund (10/13/10)
  • When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Goat Cheese! Part II, with Jean Mackenzie, founder of Mackenzie Creamery (10/20/10)
  • Building a Bio-Enterprise in Northeast Ohio! with Jon Snyder, President and CEO, Neuros Medical (10/27/10)
  • Building the Future, One Venture at a Time! with Bill Recker, Hiram Trustee and Founder, IronBridge Partners (11/10/10)
  • On the Cutting Edge in Garrettsville! with Bill Whittenberger, President Catacel (11/17/10)
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