Mendoza School of Business

Muggles, Jimmy John’s, Gatorade and a 105-year-old family business

Published: August 23, 2012 / Author: Carol Elliott

The lineup of speakers for the 2012 Entrepreneurial Insights
series at the University of Notre Dame includes a broad range of expertise and
ventures, from Emerson Spartz, the founder of a popular Harry Potter website,
to Jimmy John Liautaud of the sandwich-chain fame, to social entrepreneurs who
blazed new paths in using business as a force for good.

The annual fall speaker series, organized by the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship at the Mendoza College of Business, features
entrepreneurs, investors, innovators and business leaders who offer their
experience and advice in areas critical to the creation of new ventures, the
ongoing viability of existing business, economic growth and the betterment of

Lectures are held on select Tuesdays from 5-6:15 p.m. in the
Mendoza College’s Jordan Auditorium and include a Q&A session at the end of
the talk. The series is free and open to the public, as well as the students,
faculty and staff of the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s College and Holy Cross
College community.

The entrepreneurs represent industries including retail,
solar energy, food, manufacturing, consumer products, travel and financial

“We have a powerful mix of entrepreneurs – serial, corporate
and social – from a broad base of industries and types of businesses, from
young to well-established,” said Michael Vogel, entrepreneur-in-residence and
instructor at the Gigot Center. “The talks provide a great opportunity to learn
first-hand from people who have navigated the startup experience and continue
to lead ventures on scales that range from local to global, digital to
bricks-and-mortar, small to employing thousands.”

Additional speakers include Sarah Robb O’Hagan, former president of
both Gatorade North America and Pepsico Global Sports Nutrition who recently accepted the position of president of Equinox fitness chain; and Chuck
Allen, executive chairman of 105-year-old Sloan Valve Company, along with his
three sons who serve as co-presidents and CEOs in the family business.

Three speakers have developed successful social ventures,
which is a type of entrepreneurship gaining increasing attention as individuals
look for ways to impact social issues through commercial enterprise. Examples
include Better World Books, which was founded by three Notre Dame students, and
Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE), a venture founded by a Notre Dame alumna
that is dedicated to women’s hygienic needs in developing countries. SHE
recently won the prestigious Curry
Stone Design Prize.

The complete Entrepreneurial Insights schedule is as

Aug. 21:
Michael J. Vogel, entrepreneur-in-residence for the Gigot Center; “Welcome to
Entrepreneurial Insights Lecture Series”

Aug. 28:
Michael J. Vogel, entrepreneur-in-residence for the Gigot Center; “Thinking
Like an Entrepreneur”

Sept. 4:
David Brenner, executive director of Innovation Park at Notre Dame; “Innovation
Park and Entrepreneurial Business Creation.” The talk will include
presentations from three Innovation Park startup ventures.

Sept. 11:
Charles DelGrande, managing director of Global Head-Technology, Media and
Interactive Services at C.W. Downer & Co.; “The Top Nine Habits of Wildly
Successful Technology Entrepreneurs”

Sept. 18:
Chuck Allen, executive chairman of Sloan Valve Company, and sons Jim, Graham
and Kirk, all co-CEOs and co-presidents; “Keeping a 105-Year-Old Family
Business Innovative and Entrepreneurial”

Sept. 25:
Frank J. Belatti, managing partner and co-founder of Equicorp Partners, along
with Michael Belatti, research analyst for Equicorp, and Melissa Paulsen,
program manager of social entrepreneurship for the Gigot Center; “Social
Entrepreneurship: The Practical Side and New Business Models for Developing

2: Emerson Spartz, CEO of Spartz Media and founder of; “Spartz:
How it Became a Successful Business and What is Next?”

Oct. 9:
Jimmy John Liautaud, founder and CEO of Jimmy John’s; “My Story: Jimmy John
Liautaud: Founder of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches”

Oct. 23:
Elizabeth Scharpf, founder and chief instigating officer of Sustainable Health
Enterprises (SHE); “SHE: Beginning, Now and the Future”

Oct. 30:
Sarah Robb O’Hagan, president of Equinox fitness chain; former president of Gatorade and global sports nutrition at PepsiCo

Nov. 6:
T.J. Kanczuzewski, founding member and president of Inovateus Solar LLC; “How
We are Managing a Rapidly Growing Solar Energy Startup”

Nov. 13:
John C. Kennedy, founder, president and CEO of Autocam Corporation; “Being a
Serial Entrepreneur”

Nov. 27:
John Anthony, founder, president and CEO of Anthony Travel; “Taking Care of Our
Customers: From Notre Dame Football in Ireland, to Duke Basketball in Dubai and
Everywhere Else”

Dec. 4:
Christopher “Kreece” Fuchs, co-founder and vice president of global logistics
at Better World Books, along with Andrew Perlmutter, president and CEO, and
David Murphy, former president and CEO; “Better World Books: The Start, the
Growth, the Future”

More information about the series, including speaker bios,
is available online at


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