Starting in September, the Haworth College of Business Entrepreneurship Forum returns, virtually. Each month a new local business owner tells their story of startup success. Attendees will learn both the personal stories behind each company as well as valuable advice and takeaways on starting a business and sustaining it in the current environment.
The speaker series is sponsored by BlueOx Credit Union, an organization that serves as a partner for many area entrepreneurs. “As an educators’ Credit Union from inception, BlueOx Credit Union is pleased to continue to support local educators, higher education, and local businesses within the communities where we live and work,” says Fran Godfrey, CEO of BlueOx Credit Union. “We believe that giving ignites change, and we live and breathe the ‘people helping people’ philosophy. Our credit union is proud to support the WMU Haworth College of Business Entrepreneurship Forum each year because we are deeply passionate about encouraging local entrepreneurs and believe giving back makes a lasting impact.”
The first presentation will be on September 11 at 8 a.m. and will feature the leadership team from The Scholarship Expert. Alexis Lenderman, founder, and Justin Black, director of communications, will present about the launch of the organization.
Lenderman is a recent graduate of Western Michigan University with bachelor’s degrees in entrepreneurship and global and international studies. She set the record for the number of study abroad programs completed at WMU, totaling eight programs in Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America.
Black graduated debt-free from WMU in 2020 with a degree in public relations and African American and African studies. He completed five study abroad programs, as well as two summer programs in Washington, D.C.
Together, Lenderman and Black have earned over $340,000 in scholarships and along the way, they’ve learned proven methods to access funding for college using planning, resourcefulness, and self-advocacy. Both are proud foster care alums whose passion is to help others succeed and push beyond personal and societal barriers.
To RSVP for the event, visit here and register online by Sept. 9. Once you have registered, you will receive an email within 24 hours with your link to participate.
Check out the speakers for the rest of the series:
- October 16: Kiar Gamsho, CEO, Midtown Fresh Market, and Park Street Market
- November 20: Todd Sanford, CEO and president, Sanford Financial Services
- December 4: Mike Knapick, Owner, Knapick Management
- January 15: Alberto and Sagario Guerrero, Mango Healthy Fruit and Food
- February 5: To be announced
- March 19: Brett Vanderkamp, president, and Amy Kenny, CFO, New Holland Brewing
- April 2: Kyle Monk and Natashia Monk, co-owners, Nonla Burger