Entrepreneur-In-Residence Program

The Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) program brings seasoned entrepreneurs to SD Mines with a focus on new venture formation based on technology created through SD Mines' extraordinary research. These world class business executives and serial entrepreneurs mine our wealth of technologies for latent opportunities to create or expand business enterprises. Our Entrepreneurs are experienced at developing business plans, acquiring financing, scale-up manufacturing and seeking out appropriate management to begin operations. Working closely with the Office of Economic Development, SD Mines EIRs meet regularly with faculty to evaluate startup opportunities and assist in driving innovation to the market.

Our EIR’s proven track record of success in business creation offers another path to successful commercialization of SD Mines' innovative research. As evidence to the success of the program, SD Mines’ Start-ups have won the South Dakota Governor’s Giant Vision Business Plan Competition for three out of the last four years. Meet our entrepreneurs:
 


Craig Arnold

Craig Arnold

Specialties:

Business Planning, Cross-functional Team Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Executive Management, and Startups

Craig Arnold

Craig Arnold’s leadership experience spans more than 30 years, including technology start-ups, biotechnology and biofuels, as well as leadership positions in philanthropy, computer technology and aerospace industries. Prior to joining Nanopareil, Arnold was President & CEO of Permara, LLC, a South Dakota biotech start-up that commercialized a novel renewable antimicrobial technology. As CEO of Plymouth Energy, Arnold led the $100M debt/equity financing, construction, and production start-up of a Midwest based 50 million gallon a year (MGY) biofuels plant. Craig was a Director at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he was responsible for the Foundation’s access to a technology program that was expanded worldwide. Arnold held leadership roles at Northrop-Grumman and Rockwell International (Boeing) on the B2 Stealth Bomber and B1B Lancer aircraft programs respectively. Mr. Arnold holds a commercial pilot’s license and is a multi-engine and instrument instructor pilot.




Boucher-Mike EIR

Bill Betten

Specialties:

Early stage product development, Commercialization, Executive Managment, Engineering, and Medical Development

William (Bill) Betten

Bill is the president of Betten Systems Solutions LLC, a product development realization consulting organization with an emphasis on early stage product development and commercialization. Bill utilizes his years of experience as an engineer, program manager, and executive in the medical industry to advance device product developments into the medical and life sciences industries. Bill most recently served as Director of Business Solutions for Devicix/Nortech Systems. Bill also served as Vice President of Business Solutions at Logic PD, medical technology Director at TechInsights, Vice President of engineering at Nonin Medical, and in a variety of technology and product development roles at various high-tech firms, including Honeywell and 3M. He has been directly involved in a variety of medical developments, including hearing aids, perfusion systems, PACS and medical imaging, networking/storage, telemedicine, vital signs monitoring systems, and mobile health. His design/manufacturing consulting experience extends from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. His non-medical product development experience includes semiconductors, aerospace/defense, and industrial applications, including connected devices as part of IoT. Bill is a member of the IEEE, Computer Society, and the American Telemedicine Association. He has served on medical Editorial Advisory boards as well as Advisory Boards for the Pediatric Device Innovation Consortium, for St. Thomas University, for the SD School of Mines and Technology where he is also an entrepreneur in residence, for Minnesota State University, for Medical Alley’s R&D Advisory Group, and is a noted author and lecturer. He has served in many roles in his home community, including city council, planning commission, and economic development authority. Bill received bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and physics from SD School of Mines and Technology, and a master’s in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota as well as continuing executive education at Babson College.




Boucher-Mike EIR

Mike Boucher

Specialties:

Software Development, Software Engineering, Distributed Systems, High Performance Computing, and Operating Systems

Mike Boucher

Mike Boucher has founded and successfully exited two technology companies. His first, Dakota Scientific Software, developed innovative algorithms in high-speed software that enabled supercomputers to run nuclear stockpile stewardship, car crashes, and aerodynamics simulations on machines with up to several thousand CPUs. He sold the company to Sun Microsystems, then stayed at Sun working on a variety of projects including an experimental machine with 256K processors and 4 petabytes of RAM. His second company, Dakota Legal Software, developed software to help for lawyers and legal professionals write their briefs and legal memoranda. He sold that last year. He is currently an Entrepreneur in Residence at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology at an entrepreneurial program for students and recent alumni called the Mines Venture Project.




Russel Enns

Russell Enns

Specialties:

Healthcare Industry, Regulatory and Clinical Affairs, Quality Systems, Diagnostic Testing Development, and Leadership

Russell Enns

Dr. Russell Enns retired as the Chief Regulatory Officer for Cepheid at the end of 2012. He oversaw global regulatory, clinical and government affairs, and quality systems for Cepheid since joining the company in 2003.

From 1995 to 2001, Dr. Enns was Vice President of Regulatory and Clinical Affairs, Quality Systems, and Medical Reimbursement at Vysis, Inc., a genomic disease management company that was acquired by Abbott Laboratories in 2001, and subsequently he became a Divisional Vice President at Abbott until mid-2003. Before joining Vysis, he was Vice President, Technical Affairs of MicroProbe Corporation, a biotechnology company, from 1992 to 1995, that was acquired by Becton Dickinson. He served positions as Director of Product Development, Clinical Programs and Technical Affairs at Gen-Probe, Inc., a biotechnology diagnostic company, from 1984 to 1992. From 1979 to 1984, Dr. Enns was the Director of Cell Biology Research at Alpha Therapeutics Corporation, and from 1975 to 1979 he was a Senior Biochemist at Monsanto Corporation.

He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California at Davis in 1976, and his BS in Biochemistry with Honors from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo in 1970. He was a National Foundation Lecturer for the American Society for Microbiology in 1988 and 1989. Dr. Enns was a charter member and past chair of the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) Area Committee on Molecular Methods from 1992 through 2005, and he was a member of the CLSI Board of Directors from 2005 to 2011. From 2009 through 2012 he served on the Strategic Planning Committee for the Association of Molecular Pathologists. Additionally, Dr. Enns served on the MedSci Advisory Board of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation from 2011 through 2013. More recently, Dr. Enns served as a board substitute for the AdvaMedDx board from 2011 through 2014 lobbying for medical diagnostic regulatory changes in Washington, DC, and served as its representative to the World Health Organization on International Biological Standardization, including the 2014 Ebola virus crisis.

Dr. Enns has been a leading force in the implementation of molecular diagnostic tests and testing platforms for cancer, infectious diseases and medical genetics with the development and global commercialization of more than 40 such products during his career.




Kathryn Fitzgerald

Kathryn Fitzgerald

Specialties:

Marketing Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Management, and Market Research

Kathryn Fitzgerald

Kathryn Fitzgerald, Ph.D. is Marketing Strategy and Customer Insight Consultant. She was formerly a full-time Professor of Marketing on the faculty for the M.B.A. programs at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Notre Dame. Kathryn joined a high-tech market research start-up affiliated with neuroscientists at UCLA, the place she earned her doctoral degree with a dissertation centered on the use of metaphor when communicating about complex and/or highly innovative new products. Kathryn also previously worked in a large management consulting firm in Chicago that specializes in expert litigation support. Kathryn grew up in Rapid City and recently returned after living for many years in Santa Monica, CA.




Doug Fluke

Doug Fluke

Specialties:

Chemical and Service Industry

Doug Fluke

Doug is a 1982 Chemical Engineering graduate of the School of Mines and later an MBA graduate of the University of Houston. He spent 30 years in the Chemical business with Shell, Henkel and Ecolab where he worked all over the world. In 2012, Doug was COO of Chemlogics Group, which was sold to Solvay for 1.3 billion. He is currently the President and Owner of North Dakota Infrastructure LLC, which provides rental property in Bakken, ND.

For many years, Doug served on numerous boards as an advisor at the School of Mines. Presently, Doug resides in Rapid City, SD.




Todd Gagne

Todd Gagne

Specialties:

Off Shore Development, Enterprise Software, CRM, Startups, and SaaS

Todd Gagne

Todd is a well-rounded technology executive who has worked in many different-sized software organizations. He has worked in multiple startups and various roles at Concur, one of the world’s leading providers of integrated travel and expense management.

Todd held senior leadership roles during the high growth period of Concur as they grew from $10 million to $1 billion in revenue. In 2014 Concur was acquired by SAP, a German software company.

During his career, he has held executive positions in engineering, account management, sales, marketing and product management. His current role is managing a $100 million product line that provides analytics solutions to corporate clients, travel management companies, credit card vendors and government organizations. These solutions are leverage by over 30 million users in 100+ countries.




Darren Haar

Darren Haar

Specialties:

Business Turnarounds, Leadership, Product Development, Cross-functional Team Leadership, and Entrepreneurship
 

Darren Haar

Darren is a visionary business leader with a proven track record of driving growth and managing change in a diverse set of business environments in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Able to quickly establish strategic direction, identify areas for growth, reduce cost, and develop a strong leadership team. Demonstrated success in restoring profitability to struggling businesses and pushing new growth in existing businesses. Global experience with acquisitions, integrations, and joint ventures. Respected for ability to engage and motivate people at all levels of the organization.

Most recently he was the Global Business Director Microcircuit Materials for DuPont.




John Heinrich

John Heinrich

Specialties:

Product Development, Management, Diagnostic Imaging, and Scientific Instrumentation

John Heinrich

John P. Heinrich, Ph.D. has been involved in the development and management of a wide range of diagnostic imaging, therapeutic, medical diagnostic and scientific instrument companies for more than 30 years. He played a key role in the development of mobile MRI systems in the early 1980s and served as VP of MRI Products at Technicare Corporation.

His responsibilities over the past 25 years include President and COO of Technomed International USA Inc., a leading developer and marketer of therapeutic technology, President and COO of Summit World Trade, a diversified group of health care and technology companies, President and CEO of Otsuka Electronics USA Inc., a developer and marketer of medical and scientific equipment, and President and COO of Meretek Diagnostics Inc., a developer and marketer of medical diagnostics. Dr. Heinrich was responsible for the sales of Otsuka's medical (MRI) and scientific equipment businesses to Elscint Ltd. and Varian Instruments respectively and for the acquisition of Cambridge Isotope Laboratories and Meretek Diagnostics. Over the past ten years he has cofounded a number of companies including Revolution NMR LLC, Acuitas Medical Ltd., Kansas Analytical Services LLC, and PhoenixNMR LLC.

Mr. Heinrich is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with BS, MS and PhD degrees in metallurgical engineering. Prior to his career in business, Mr. Heinrich served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force.




Jeane Hull

Jeane Hull

Specialties:

Mining Operations, Mining Technology, Coal, Lumber, Civil Engineering, and Leadership

Jeane Hull

Jeane Hull is a retired executive with extensive operations and technical experience in the mining sectors including coal. Prior to her retirement in 2015, Ms. Hull served as the Chief Technical Officer for Peabody Energy. During her tenure at Peabody she also had operational responsibilities for their PRB and Southwestern coal mines. Prior to Peabody she was the COO for Rio Tinto at the Kennecott Utah Copper Mine. She is a member of the Boards of Interfor a Canadian lumber company and Cloud Peak Energy, a U.S. coal mining company. She recently joined the board of Epiroc a mining and civil engineering equipment manufacturer and services provider. Ms. Hull has a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and MBA from Nova Southeastern University.




H. Dan James

H. Dan James

Specialties:

Leadership, Sales Process, Sales Management, Management, and Strategy Training

H. Dan James

For the last 6 years Dan James has lead Jamesolutions, Inc. a company focused on Sales Excellence; in the past year, he joined the Black Hills Regional Angel Fund. Immediately prior to this, Dan concluded his 43-year career with the DuPont Company (E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company Inc.) where he acted as Chief Sales Officer for the $30+ Billion Corporation. While in this newly created role, Dan led a global team that delivered innovative compensation, sales management, recognition; negotiation and basic professional selling skills programs that enabled substantially improved Sales and Earnings results.

Prior to this role, he was Global Sales Director for DuPont Chemical Solutions (DCSE), a multibillion-dollar producer of Specialty and Industrial chemicals. He held positions in the United States as Market and Business Director for the Clean and Disinfect portfolio of businesses; and he was the Six Sigma Champion for DCSE. Dan lived in Hong Kong and was Managing Director of DuPont Specialty Chemicals/Asia Pacific from 1993-1999. From 1991 to 1993, he served as Group Managing Director for all of DuPont’s businesses in the ASEAN region. While residing in Singapore, Dan served as a Director on the Singapore Economic Development Board.




Brett Karjalainen

Brett Karjalainen

Specialties:

Product Management, Cross-functional Team Leadership, Cloud Computing, Strategy, and Product Launch

Brett Karjalainen

Brett is a high-tech industry product management and innovation leader with more than 20 years' experience in enterprise software, storage, and cloud technologies. As Managing Director of Hyperscale Ventures, Brett works with private equity sources to invest in high potential start-up and scale-up opportunities in the information technology industry. Prior to Hyperscale Ventures, Brett was a Strategic Marketing Director in Seagate Technology's New Business Incubator where he was a founding member of the team that created an innovation engine that delivered over $500M in profitable revenue in software, security, and storage solutions. Before Seagate, he served as Director of New Business Development at Imation, a spin-off of 3M, where he executed the strategy to transform the company into a trusted storage expert by launching new businesses in storage consulting, product services, and cloud-based data protection and recovery services. Prior to Imation, Brett held engineering and product management positions at IBM where he led the first cloud-based deployment of an enterprise retail industry application for the SMB market.

Brett has an M.S. in Management of Technology from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. in Engineering from The University of Iowa. He is an avid life-long learner completing multiple executive education programs in general management, entrepreneurship and venture capital..




Kip Larson

Kip Larson

Specialties:

Manufacturing, Product Development, Electronics, Engineering, and R&D

Kip Larson

Kip is an experienced engineer, business person and entrepreneur. Kip graduated from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with a BS in Electrical engineering. He spent 6 years working in the materials research group of Martin Marietta before accepting an engineering position with SymCom Inc. During his 20 years at SymCom, Kip held various positions in the company including R&D Manager, Chief Technology Officer, Executive V.P., and President. During his time at SymCom he served on their Board of Directors and was involved in acquisitions of competitors as well as the ultimate acquisition of SymCom by Littelfuse in 2014.

Kip has been an annual participant and host to the School of Mines “Engineers make Great Entrepreneurs” program since its inception, and served on the local economic development board as well as numerous local charities. .




Kip Larson

Eric Leslie

Specialties:

Growth Strategies, Corporate Governance, Team Building, Funding Alternatives and Commercialization of Technologies

Eric Leslie

Eric is a serial entrepreneur living in Calgary, Alberta Canada. For over 26 years Eric, as the principal of Merchant Equities Capital Corp, has provided management consulting and venture capital advisory services to early stage public and private companies. Eric is a co-founder and the Managing Director of TRION Energy Solutions Corp., an advanced battery technology company, that is commercializing, at the School's CAPE lab, a proprietary anode material that is engineered to improve lithium ion battery performance by over 30%. In 1977, Eric received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Western University in London, Ontario Canada.




Neil Munro

Neil Munro

Specialties:

Business Strategy, Strategic Planning, Business Development, Petroleum, and Business Planning

Neil Munro

Neil Munro has more than 25 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry, including international business development, contract negotiations and international project management. Neil is the Management Consultant of Wavefront Technology Solutions Inc., a company that specialize in designing leading-edge solutions for oil well stimulation, secondary oil recovery and environmental groundwater remediation. Previously, Neil was the CEO of Seven Energy (Canada) Inc. a company that was formed as the E&P arm of Weatherford International. Seven Energy concluded a management buyout of Weatherford in October 2007 and is currently a private international operating company. Prior to Seven Energy, Neil was a Business Unit Manager for Weatherford, in Canada. Neil has also been a Founder of a private E&P company, involved in projects in the United States and Latin America. In addition to his position with Weatherford, Neil was Vice President and General Manager of Northland Energy Services; whom pioneered the utilization of Under-Balanced Drilling in Canada, Argentina, Venezuela and Europe. Neil also coordinated the establishment of the first independent UBD Engineering Company in Canada and directed the establishment of Northlands international business units in Europe and Latin America. Mr. Munro holds a Post-Graduate degree in Mathematics from The University of Calgary.


Luke Nehring

Luke Nehring

Specialties:

Cross-Functional Leadership, Vision Building, Team Building, Operations Management, Performance Optimization, Organizational Development and Program Management

Luke Nehring

Luke is an experienced and passionate business leader. Luke graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in History. He spent five years as a Financial Planner, Real Estate Agent and Loan Officer during which time, he completed a Master’s in Business Administration at the University of Phoenix. Immediately upon graduation, Luke joined L3 Technologies as a Senior Accountant and over the next 10 years held several positions across many functions to include, Director of Financial Operations, International Trade Compliance Manager, Empowered Official, Program Manager, Site Manager, Director of Operations and Ethics Officer. Luke currently works as a Business Consultant for Dakota Regional Periodontics and is the CEO of Rapid Foundation Repair. He is also actively involved with Live Like Lilli, which is a local non-profit organization that is working to help kids of all ages reduce the time they spend on social media and increase the time they spend serving others.


Stephen O'Rourke

Stephen O'Rourke

Specialties:

Energy Industry, Petroleum, Mineral Exploration, Oil & Gas Industry, and Geology

Stephen O'Rourke

Stephen O'Rourke is a senior energy executive currently serving as the Managing Director of Heat Mining LLC, a start-up geothermal company based in Rapid City, SD. HMC is focused on commercialization of a patented CO2 based power generation technology through participation in a joint venture with Minneapolis based TerraCOH Inc. In addition to managing Heat Mining, he represents the company’s interests in the joint venture activities and serves on the TerraCOH Board of Directors. Additionally, for the past 5 years Mr. O’Rourke has also been actively engaged as a Consultant to the Energy Sector with emphasis on upstream oil and gas, mining and geothermal related projects.

Prior to June 2011, Mr. O'Rourke was President, Global Petroleum Exploration at BHP Billiton, the world’s largest natural resource company and a major global oil and gas operator. In this role, he was a member of the Group’s Senior Leadership Team and the Petroleum Executive Team responsible for management of the entire Petroleum customer segment group (CSG). Areas of technical responsibility comprised new acreage capture, negotiations and land administration, exploration prospect maturation and drilling, geophysical operations, geosciences technology, and development & production geosciences. Mr. O'Rourke's executive responsibilities included P&L accountability for a $1 billion exploration budget, collective management of Petroleum's portfolio and investment decisions, M&A activity, and general management of BHPB's Petroleum business.

Prior roles at BHP Billiton included VP of Development Planning and VP of Global Appraisal and Petroleum Engineering.

Mr. O'Rourke was employed by Shell from 1983 to 2000 with many assignments of increasing responsibilities. Key roles included Exploration Manager in the Gulf of Mexico, Geologic Operations Manager in Brunei, and Senior Staff Geologist/Team Lead in Shell Offshore, particularly deep-water.

Mr. O'Rourke holds a BSc degree in Geological Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and is a graduate of the Wharton Advanced Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

In addition to his Managing Director and consulting roles, Mr. O’Rourke is actively engaged in supporting higher education. He is a member of the executive committee of the SDSM&T Foundation Board of Trustees and a member of both the Industry Advisory Board for the SD Mines Department of Geology/Geological Engineering and the Advisory Board for the Department of Geology/Environmental Science at Wheaton College.




Barry Owens

Barry Owens

Specialties:

Manufacturing, Sales Management, Marketing, and Process Improvement

Barry Owens

Barry is a multi-faceted executive having worked for DuPont for over 40 years. Early in his career, he worked in various manufacturing and engineering assignments supporting the Atomic Energy Division and the Freon® Division. In 1983, Barry became a Plant Superintendent at the Goibal Plant in Barra Mansa, Brazil. Following this assignment, he worked in a number of sales and marketing assignments for six different DuPont businesses. In the mid-nineties, he was transferred to Geneva, Switzerland as the Regional Director of Europe leading several businesses to record sales and profits. In 2001, he was assigned to the newly formed position of Corporate Top Line Growth Champion to lead the worldwide deployment of Six Sigma into all of the company's Sales and Marketing roles. Before retiring, his last assignment was as the Global Director of Marketing and Sales for the $3 billion Electronics Department in which he was primarily responsible for building world-class marketing and sales capabilities in Asia.

Barry is a Georgia Tech graduate majoring in Chemical Engineering. He is currently on the Board of Directors of two start-up companies and provides marketing consultation to a third. He is an active member of the Black Hills Regional Angel Fund. He resides in Chapel Hill, NC with his wife, Debbie.




Mat Peabody

Mat Peabody

Specialties:

Strategy Development/Implementation, Shareholder Value Maximization, Leadership and Team Development, Geographic and Market Expansion, JV's Acquisitions/Divestitures, Technology Commercialization

Mat Peabody

Mat is global senior executive with very strong entrepreneurial and management skills. He has led organizations ranging in size from start-up to $billions. His background includes Ch. E./MBA degrees, leadership roles with Perrigo, Chemie Linz and others with strong team-building, executive and operations skills which includes very strong technology and team building orientation.

Mat has lived and worked in Europe, Mexico, Asia and US. Fluent in six languages.

 


Dan Quinn

Dan Quinn

Specialties:

Material Handling, Supply Chain Markets, Sales, Marketing, Operations, Finance, and Internatioal Buiseness

Dan Quinn

Daniel is an experienced executive with extensive operational knowledge with businesses in the material handling and supply chain markets. He has run organizations that he had direct line responsibility for all sales, marketing, operational and financial activities, with extensive International experience in Europe, South America and Australia. Daniel has an MBA in business management from the University of Southern Maine and a B.S. in business economics from Merrimack College.




Jim Quinn

James (Jim) Quinn

Specialties:

Business Strategy, Change Management, Coal, Contract Management, and Contract Negotiation

James (Jim) Quinn

Jim has 35+ years of international project experience with the Army Corp of Engineers and ExxonMobil. Over his career he has lived in and managed projects and operations in Germany, Colombia, Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, and the US. This has given him a broad range of direct management opportunities and unique work experiences that can be directly applied to Management Consulting, Turnarounds, and business Sales, Mergers, or Acquisitions. Jim has a degree in Civil Engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and has completed post graduate work towards an MBA at the University of Wyoming, University of Houston, and Rutgers.




Fanar Sefa

Fanar Sefa

Specialties:

Business Planning, Cross-functional Team Leadership, Advocacy, Energy Feedstocks, Biomimicry, Sustainability and Startups

Fanar Sefa

In 2018 Fanar celebrated over a decade dealing with assets and resources in various geographies, functions, and industry sectors. Fanar grew up in a family of engineers and business entrepreneurs. Very early on in his adulthood he handled challenging assignments within the family's distribution business of chicken-eggs, and later at family's engineering and construction firm. During this time Fanar learned the meaning and significance of having contented employees, building business relationships, ensuring client satisfaction, and most importantly how individual commitment played into the success and longevity of an enterprise. Fanar is currently Olin's North America commercial leader for Hydrocarbons, Energy and Brine, and is directly responsible for more than $100MM of sales and $1.2B of spend, which is 60% of global spend for feedstocks (Olin has an annual revenue of ~$6B). Fanar is also founder and CEO of iLight LLC, where he uses biomimicry which is an approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges by mimicking nature's time-tested patterns and strategies.




Alan Smoot

Alan Smoot

Specialties:

Startups, Business Strategy, Strategic Planning, Team Building, and New Business Development

Alan Smoot

Alan has a broad range of business experience, which gives him a unique perspective and appreciation of the diverse needs of a business. Alan holds an MBA and a Juris Doctorate. He has worked as a Manager in Network Administration and Network Maintenance with Southwestern Bell Telephone in Houston and Oklahoma City. He has owned or founded several businesses and is founder and former CEO of a company that now has an international presence in fuels additives.




Alan Smoot

Tom Stengrim

Specialties:

Business Strategy, Strategic Planning, Logistics, Sales, Team Building, and New Business Development

Tom Stengrim

Tom Stengrim is the founder and lead business strategist at Lazios. He works with startup companies in developing a plan to get their idea from the back of a napkin to the market place. Additionally, he works with existing companies that want to grow to that next level, require an evolving strategy, and preparing them to acquire that next stage of capital investment. His start as an entrepreneur came at the age of 7, when he launched a refurbished golf ball stand on a local golf course. Realizing that his customers were also thirsty, he added lemonade and mom’s fresh chocolate chip cookies to the product mix. Tom has had a passion for America, the free-market economy and the opportunity for entrepreneurs to control their own destiny, ever since. Tom moved to South Dakota in 1999 and founded Stengrim Insurance, Inc. He grew the company into one of the country’s top AFLAC operations during which time he consistently exceeded sales goals and trained over 100 agents in a multi-state region. In addition to building his own successful business, Tom led the rebranding and remodel of the business incubator Zeal – Center for Entrepreneurship. He has been in many volunteer and public service roles. Having traveled the world during his 30+ years of military service, Tom also brings a global perspective on economic opportunity and a strong advocacy for entrepreneurship to emerging businesses. With this broad and diverse experience, Tom brings a passionate, collaborative and operational approach to Lazios and its clients along with an extensive network of contacts. A native of Stephen, MN, Tom joined the military in 1986 and was commissioned as a Naval Officer in 2008. He currently holds the rank of Lt Commander and serves as a Logistics Officer).




Ron Van Horssen

Ron Van Horssen

Specialties:

Strategic Planning, Healthcare Management, Healthcare Information Technology, Healthcare Industry, and Hospitals

Ron Van Horssen

Ron has served as an advisor or board member to a variety of technology and service firms, public and private. He is a charter member of the Entrepreneurship Advisory Council for the Donald T. Jones Center for entrepreneurship at Carnegie Mellon University. Van Horssen received an M.S. in Industrial Administration (MBA) from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.S. (honors) in chemical engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He has been named an Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. Magazine and Arthur Young (predecessor of Ernst & Young).




Todd Williams

Todd Williams

Specialties:

Digital strategy development and associated business model innovation and commercialization

Todd Williams

Todd brings over 30 years of C-Suite executive-level management, operations, leadership and strategic experience in the professional services industry, with start-up, privately-held and publicly-traded companies. He maintains extensive business, strategy, engineering and environmental consulting experience leading enterprise-wide business improvement initiatives, as well as developing value-added, client-service solutions for commercial, industrial, infrastructure, legal and financial clients across the US and internationally. He has had success at developing innovative, organic growth-based strategies that incorporate exploring intellectual property commercialization and technology enabled service offerings, as well as identifying and closing strategic acquisitions to accelerate growth. His current business services focus relates to : •Strategy development and deployment of transformational technology-enabled solution offerings for professional service firms •M&A advisory including pre-close due diligence and strategy assessment through post-close innovation and growth acceleration •Intellectual property and technology asset creation for strategic partners •Advisory on and development of streamed data, analytics, telematics and other engineering and science-based applications.




Office of Economic Development

(605) 394-5168
economic.development@sdsmt.edu