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Published April 17, 2023
The University of Wyoming College of Business has selected its panel of judges for the 23rd annual John P. Ellbogen $50K Entrepreneurship Competition.
The competition will take place Friday and Saturday, April 21-22, in person in the UW College of Business Building and virtually via Wyocast. To register to attend the event, go here.
The judges will volunteer their time and expertise to judge student business plans, with each business vying for a share of $50,000 in prize money.
“We are excited to have a diverse and accomplished set of judges for this year’s competition,” says Patrick Kreiser, UW College of Business Rile Chair of Entrepreneurship and Leadership. “Each of the judges is passionate about entrepreneurship and contributes a unique perspective and set of experiences.
“Taken together, the judges represent success in a wide variety of entrepreneurship pursuits,” Kreiser continues. “A great deal of learning takes place from the interactions between the finalist teams and the judges, and this year’s judges are all extremely dedicated to supporting the university and the state. They will serve as an invaluable asset in helping to create and support innovative businesses throughout the state.”
The judges are:
-- Kate Debow Hayes is a certified coach, speaker and writer. She is the owner and coach at High Ground Coaching and Development, where her main goal is to inspire leaders to create leaders through one-on-one coaching, training, workshops, keynote speaking and mentor programs. She also is the founder of Connect2Women, a nonprofit that focuses on connecting women across Wyoming for networking, development and growth by hosting workshops around the state as well as a statewide mentor program.
-- Jennifer Ford has spent over 15 years working with businesses and nonprofits to help get these organizations back on track and profitable. In 2011, Ford founded Frederick Mountain Group to bring small and midsized companies real business development solutions and the expertise to implement those solutions. Her goal is to help define the challenges facing businesses; organize a strategy for tackling those issues in order of priority; and implement so organizations can see results. Ford was a wilderness guide for seven years in Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Idaho. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado and her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.
-- Sandy Hessler has over 30 years of experience in business -- from blue chips to startups. She began her career in brand management at Procter & Gamble before co-founding a marketing services startup called Imagitas, which sold for $265 million to Pitney Bowes in 2005. She has taught leadership, communications and marketing at Tufts University, Miami (Ohio) University and Harvard Kennedy School of Government. At the latter, she served as assistant dean, running the Office of Career Advancement, which focuses on career services and internships.
For the last decade, she has created and taught leadership classes and entrepreneurial programs affiliated with Silicon Couloir and Central Wyoming College, as well as coached clients in leadership and wellness through Six Minutes Daily Inc.
She received her bachelor’s degree in political science and communications from Northwestern University; a master’s degree in organizational communications from Miami (Ohio) University; a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University; and a master’s degree from the University of Santa Monica.
-- Philip Nease started his career in research and development at Martin Marietta (Denver Aerospace) on the Titan IV and ALS launch vehicles. He transitioned to industrial robotics at FANUC America, a robotics company, where he performed development and supported sales and marketing in Rochester Hills, Mich. He then moved to ABB Inc. in Fort Collins, Colo.
Another career change took Nease to Hewlett-Packard, now HP Inc. He has spent the last 22 years there with the high-end desktop workstation division. He develops and maintains the factory process for loading Microsoft Windows OS on desktop workstations; is the primary technical contact with Microsoft; reviews contracts and policies for his division; and supports HP sales and marketing. He received his bachelor’s degree in computer science and his master’s degree in welding engineering, both from Ohio State University.
-- Jedd Rose has more than 20 years of experience building creative, growing brands and forming cohesive company identities. He has worked everywhere from design studios to digital startups to health care agencies. He founded Topo Designs in 2008. Since then, Rose has directed all product design, marketing, branding and online sales efforts for the company.
-- Philip Treick spent 23 years as an equity fund manager in San Francisco with a short stint in Jackson in between. He joined the UW Department of Finance as an assistant lecturer in 2016. Since then, he also has served as chief investment officer for the UW Foundation.
For more information, email Josie Voight, project coordinator, at email@example.com.