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K-State LAB

Chad Jackson 
309 Calvin Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66502




Jason Cyr - Chief Accounting Officer (Retired) - Strategic Hotels & Resorts cyr

Jayson has a B.S in accounting from Kansas State University. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the AICPA and Kansas Society of CPA’s. After retiring from Strategic Hotels & Resorts, he obtained a graduate certificate in personal financial planning at Kansas State. He has served on the CBA’s Accounting Advisory Council and the initial advisory council for the College of Human Ecology’s Personal Financial Planning Program.

Jayson began his career with KPMG and served as a senior manager in the Wichita and Dallas offices. He was the Chief Accounting Officer for NYSE IPO’s for a real estate investment trust that owned four and five-star hotels (Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc.) and a multi-sector real estate investment company (Security Capital Group, Inc.). He also served as controller for a privately - owned Dallas company that owned and managed apartments and hotels.

Areas of Expertise: Financial reporting to owners and lenders as well as the Securities and Exchange Commission | Financial Projections | Enterprise Risk Management and internal control evaluations under the COSO framework | Systems implementation


Brent Depperschmidt - President & Managing Partner - Tallgrass Capital Investmentsbrent

Brent has been working with startups, both for-profit and not-for-profit, for almost a decade. As the Managing Partner of Tallgrass Capital Investments, a private investment firm focused on real estate, healthcare, manufacturing and venture capital, Brent has experience helping companies in a variety of industries. Prior to his position at Tallgrass, Brent worked in strategic planning and market research for several organizations. Brent currently serves on the board of directors for both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. He specializes in working with early-stage businesses to identify and understand their customer needs, market dynamics and building an organization capable of achieving sustained, profitable growth.

Areas of Expertise: Business Plan Development | Strategic Planning | Market Research | Growth to Sustained Profitability | Operational Turnarounds | International Market Entry/Development | Board of Directors/Advisors

Dave Dreiling - Owner - GTM SportswearDreiling

Dave Dreiling has been an entrepreneur since the age of six, and currently owns GTM Sportswear, a global apparel manufacturing company with more than 900 employees. He also has majority interest holdings in several franchise and independent restaurants, fitness clubs, a spa, and other initiatives. Dave also serves on the board of several local, national, and global non-profits.

Areas of Expertise: Business Development | Sales | Franchising | Business Financials



Robert L. Happeny - Marketing Director - SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives)happeny

Mr. Happeny was Vice President and head of the worldwide automotive sector for Lehman Brothers. Mr. Happeny has extensive experience in cross-border merger and acquisitions, and in-depth knowledge of worldwide capital markets. He provided strategic advice relating to the automotive markets throughout the former Soviet Union, Eastern and Western Europe. Mr. Happeny negotiated four joint ventures between U.S. Automotive manufacturers and the Soviet Automaker Avtovaz. In addition, he was the lead manager for several mergers and acquisitions in Hungary and Poland and established the Technology Development Fund for the State Universities of New York. Many university innovations were commercialized. He created the Science and Technology Development (STDP) program in cooperation with former Soviet Union research institutes, and has worked closely with the World Bank, EBRD and International Banks.

Areas of Expertise: Business Plan Development | Early Stage Financing | Business Development | Developing Funding Plans | Technology, Materials


Thomas A. Hintz, CPA, CPMA, PFS - Owner - Varney & Associateshintz

Mr. Hintz has 40 years experience in auditing, tax and business consulting. He is a graduate of Kansas State University with a B.S. in business administration and master of accountancy. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and holds designations as a Certified Professional Management Advisor (CPMA) and Personal Financial Specialist (PFS). Tom is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants - Personal Financial Planning Section, Kansas Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Quantum Institute of Certified Professional Management Advisors.

Areas of Expertise: Mergers & Acquisitions | Financial Institutions | Tax Planning | Profit Enhancement


Lydia Kinkade - Director of Innovation - iiM, LLCkinkade

Lydia Kinkade joined iiM, LLC (Innovation in Motion) as the Director of Innovation in 2013. iiM is an angel investment group that targets seed stage companies in the areas of animal health, human health and agribusiness. Her role is to source and evaluate investment opportunities, as well as to facilitate the due diligence process for companies being considered for funding. Lydia represents iiM in strategic relationships with universities, business accelerators, angel groups, venture capital firms and other sources of deal flow. While at K-State, she served as Student Body President, then taught middle school math as a Teach for America corps member in Washington, D.C. for three years before returning to Kansas.

Areas of Expertise: Business Plan Development | Market Validation | Competitive Analysis | Pitch Presentation Skills 


Sunell Koerner - Sales Representative - Nex-Tech Directory

Sunell has a comprehensive leadership, communications, and business background that spans 25+ years in entrepreneurial, commercial, and governmental entities. She has broad range hands-on experience in advertising & promotions, sales & business development, and community service. As President of KMA Productions, Inc., three unique business endeavors were launched in western Kansas: a national award-winning Audio/Video Production Company/Ad Agency, a pioneering 24/7 Local Origination Leased Access Cable TV news & information facility, and an innovative specialty retail store on Main Street. She has served on the Board of Directors of several civic and non-profit service organizations, and was elected to a 4-year term on the Hays City Commission, serving her final year as Mayor of the City of Hays. Sunell's core philosophy holds that with knowledge, belief, and passion, you can go out and make just about anything happen!

Areas of Expertise: Advertising, Promotions, Image & Brand Development | Sales & Business Development | Audio/Video/Print Production | Writing & Producing | Graphics & Design | Public Speaking


David Kreller - Founder - Midwest Medical Waste, Inc. and Document Resources, Inc.


David Kreller is a serial entrepreneur, founding several companies including Midwest Medical Waste, Inc. and Document Resources, Inc. Document Resources is an information security firm specializing in shredding of confidential materials that he has recently sold. David previously worked as a banking executive for nearly 20 years including work as Corporate Controller and CFO. A native of Stockton, KS, he is a graduate of Kansas State University.

Areas of Expertise: Finance, Accounting and Budgeting | Capital Funding, Investor Relations and Board Development | Operational Logistics and Regulatory Compliance | Recruiting, Staff Development and Personnel Management | Sales and Business Networking



John Kuenzi - President and CEO - Rubicon Scientific, LLC.kuenzi

John has extensive experience in all aspects of strategy, leadership development, process flow and start ups.  He served as President and CEO of premium pet food manufacturer CJ Foods for 23 years taking it from sales of $100 K to $150+ million before selling the business to private equity partners in 2009.  He continues as Vice Chairman of the Board.  He also serves as President/ CEO of Rubicon Scientific a start up company in the biopharmaceutical industry where he has jointly received multiple U.S./ Foreign patents.  John has a significant interest in various social pursuits and is currently Vice Chairman of the KSURF (Kansas State University Research Foundation) which is responsible for aiding in the commercialization of intellectual property at K-State.  He also serves as Treasurer of EBS in Haiti and has done extensive research on other charitable endeavors there addressing child malnutrition.  He is involved with several early stage businesses as a investor, Board member and business consultant.  He has worked across all stages of business, institutional and social/ charitable enterprises. 

Areas of Expertise: Strategy and Board Leadership | Manufacturing Flow and Facility Layout | IP Development and Commercialization | Start Ups and Talent Development | Business Transitions and Acquisitions (M/A activity, Private Equity, Angel)


Walt Lane - President - NetStandardlane

Walt Lane, a 1984 K-State Business College graduate, is the founder and President of NetStandard Inc., Walt has a demonstrated history of multiple entrepreneurial successes. His broad-based business experience includes business development, management of multi-functional personnel and departments and organizational leadership. Notably, Walt founded the first residential and commercial internet service company at Kansas City which served the greater Kansas and Missouri area. Additionally, Walt is well-recognized for his involvement in and support of his community, university, church, and many other area organizations.

Areas of Expertise: Consultative support to lower cost of technology for the business with use of hosted applications on the cloud | Consulting for effective SEO marketing | Overall IT Consultation | Strategic Plan Consultation | Operational Cost Reduction Consultation


Bret Lanz - Commercialization Manager - Advanced Manufacturing Institute at K-Statelanz

Bret has worked with a diverse range of companies over the last 15 years from startups through fortune 50 companies on a range of product development efforts.  He specializes in identifying market opportunities and assisting companies in developing and protecting solutions to meet the market needs.

Areas of Expertise: Customer Research | Intellectual Property Strategy and Development | Prototyping | Marketing Strategy Development | Marketing Plans



Dennis Mullin - Chairman and CEO - Steel and Pipe Supply Co., Inc.mullin

Dennis' strategic initiatives help to grow Steel and Pipe from an 8 million dollars a year company to 800 million dollars a year and one of the top 20 steel service centers in America. He has experience in M & A and start-up companies. He understand supply chain and manufacturing issues, business financials, and what it takes to build a good support team around you.

Areas of Expertise: Business Financials | Strategic Planning | Business Development | People Development


Les Streit - Consultant - Washburn Small Business Development Centerstreit

Les Streit has been working with startups and small businesses the past fourteen years as a consultant with the Washburn Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Prior to joining the SBDC Network, Streit has owned and operated several small businesses. His first venture was a StreitLine Consulting & Publishing which developed training programs and manuals for corporations such as Mercedes Benz Trucks, Farm Services Administration and Payless ShoeSource. These publishing projects lead to a business start in laser printer services and cartridge recycling - StreitLine Recharging. The laser printer cartridge company was sold in 1996. Several years later, Streit established Great Plains Cartridge Recycling and setup recycling routes to purchase OEM cartridge empties to be resold to cartridge remanufacturers around the country. Great Plains Recycling was sold in 2007. Prior to small business ownership, Les Streit taught six years at Oregon State University before returning to Kansas in 1986. Streit started his career teaching agricultural entrepreneurship to high school FFA students in Russell, Kansas.

Areas of Expertise: Business Plan Development | Financial pro forma and cash flow projections | Buying and selling small businesses | Small business taxes and recordkeeping


Dean Thibault - Executive Vice President - Landmark National Bank

Dean Thibault is a career commercial banker with over 40 years of banking experience working closely with a wide range of businesses in different industries while working for banks of various sizes across the state. He also serves as a resource for other commercial bankers in the 23 communities the bank serves, helping them find ways to help their business customers succeed. He understands the challenges of starting a new business and the disciplines necessary for them to succeed.

Areas of Expertise: Strategic Planning | Financial Projections | Business Development



Kraig Vondran - President - Flint Hills Business ConsultingVondran

Kraig is an Alumnus of Harvard Business School and holds a Graduate degree in Management and Undergraduate degrees in Accounting and Business Administration. He is also one of 450 people worldwide to be a Certified Strategy Professional utilizing the Balanced Scorecard. Kraig has over 23 years of experience with 13 years at the "C" level in various industries that include: Manufacturing, Medical, Dental, Software, Food Technology and Telecommunications. Kraig is also a Six Sigma Greenbelt. He has held positions ranging from CEO of a medical software start-up (isalushealthcare.com), to heading up the finance team of a $265 million division of a $1 billion food flavor company.

Areas of Expertise: Strategy, Plan, Design & Execution | Change Management | Finance | Team Building & Engagement | Operations | R&D Tax Credits | Start Ups | Funding (VC & Angel)


Dave Warner - Director, Client Services - Ryan LLC (Ret.)warner

With four decades of professional business development experience, Dave served clients ranging from Fortune 100 Companies to sole proprietorships in sectors including manufacturing, retail, construction, financial services, transportation, food services, and energy. Familiar with bringing to market tangible and capital goods as well as services, he worked for IBM, General Dynamics, and for twenty years in corporate tax advisory services.

Areas of Expertise: Business Plan Development | Developing and Selling a Value Proposition | Product and Market Positioning | Strategic and Tactical Business Development | Building Relationships for the Long Term


Ken Williams - Director of Licensing - Kansas State University Institute for Commercialization


Ken Williams is the Director of Licensing at the KSU-IC. Over the past decade Ken has helped various for-profit and not-for-profit organizations commercialize new technologies via the facilitation of intellectual property licenses and the formation and management of start-up companies. He is a two time graduate of KSU where he received his BS in Agricultural Business and Economics and MBA with an emphasis in Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship.

Areas of Expertise: IP Protection | IP Valuation | IP Licensing | Start-up Launch




Fred Willich - President - Hi-Tech Interiors, Inc.willich

Fred Willich grew up in a small farming community in northeast Kansas. In 1991 he started Hi-Tech Interiors, Inc. a commercial interior drywall business. His people-first focus has allowed the business to continue to thrive and grow with divisions offering all of the components of a full-service interior construction company in areas of painting, flooring, and residential drywall. Hi-Tech presently operates in a four state region and employs more than 100 employees.

Areas of Expertise: Customer Research | Intellectual Property Strategy and Development | Prototyping | Marketing Strategy Development | Marketing Plans