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Entrepreneurial Center - Speaker Series 2017-2018

Alumni Panel: Davenport Alumni & The Start-Up Generation


Davenport University’s Alumni will discuss their business ventures, challenges, and how Davenport helped them developed as business leaders.

 

Alumni Panel Moderator
Mike Dokter, ‘10, EMBA, ‘13 Partner and SVP - Motown Property Group

For the past 15 years, Mike has spent his career in all areas of corporate America, new business development, and business ownership. He started his first business when he was 19 and self admittedly, “Ran it straight into the ground”. The life and business lessons he’s learned in this time have shaped how he runs his businesses today.

Mike is an entrepreneur and an educator. He holds his BBA in Marketing and his Executive MBA from Davenport University. Mike has worked with and consulted to many local, regional, and international companies including Coca-Cola, Metro PCS, Bethany Christian Services, and Captain Morgan. Mike is originally from West Michigan and is an active college professor of Entrepreneurship and contributor at Davenport University where he focuses on Strategic Management and Creativity in his curriculum.

Currently, Mike is a Partner and Senior Vice President of Motown Property Group in Detroit, MI, educates for Davenport University and Fortune Builders, and runs his own company Na Zdrowie Ltd, a business education and consulting company located in West Michigan.

When he is not traveling, educating, or helping to redevelop Detroit, Mike is an avid outdoorsman and occasional gym rat.

 

 

Alumni Panelist
Ann Vidro, ‘91, ‘96 Owner, CFO - Creative Studio Promotions

Ann Vidro owns multiple small businesses in the Greater Grand Rapids Area including Creative Studio Promotions, where she serves as the Chief Financial Officer/Co-Owner.

Previously, Ann held the position of CFO for another promotional products company for ten years, Vice President of Operations for a wholesale/distribution company, Operations Manager of a regional CPA firm and CFO of North American Operations for an international manufacturing plant.

Ann is also very involved with the West MI Community and believes in giving back. She sits on the alumni board for Davenport University, previously held the position of Treasurer for Grand Rapids Initiative for Leaders, is the Director of Health Champions for Priority Health and is one of the Co-Directors of the Grand Rapids and MI Titanium Triathlons – one of the fastest growing sports in the United States.

 

 

Alumni Panelist
Carlos Sanchez, ‘07, Director - Latino Business and Economic Development Center

Carlos Sanchez is the Director of the Latino Business and Economic Development Center at Ferris State University. His work at the Center focuses on developing Latino leaders and entrepreneurs.

Mr. Sanchez has over ten years of valuable experience in the areas of Diversity and Inclusion as well as Latino Entrepreneurship. His extensive community involvement includes serving on several Boards and committees such as the Grand Rapids Community Foundation, where he is currently the Board Chair, the Hispanic Center of Western Michigan, Downtown Improvement District Board and Chemical Bank Community Board.

Carlos has received a number of awards, including: Hispanic Business Person of the Year by the West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Alumni Achievement from the Donald W. Maine College of Business at Davenport University and Diversity Champion by the Center for Community Leadership at the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce to name a few.

A graduate of the International Business program at Davenport University, Carlos also holds an MBA level Certification in Design and Innovation Management from Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University. He is pursuing his MBA.

 

 

Alumni Panelist
James Czerew, ‘07, Owner - TechConnect / Co-Founder & CEO - radi8er

James Czerew is an entrepreneur, business owner, technology consultant, instructor, public speaker, and board member for multiple technology, business, and non-profit organizations.

He is currently the Owner and Senior Consultant of a technology security company (TechConnect, LLC) which he started after working in the enterprise healthcare industry as a Network Engineer. He is also in the midst of another startup company (radi8er), which he hopes will disrupt the music industry.

James graduated from Davenport University with dual Bachelor Degrees in Network Engineering and Network Security. He also taught advanced Network Security and Wireless Security courses at DU for 3 years.

He is regular speaker on the topic of technology, network security, business innovation, and diversity in technology.

 

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