Julie Messing, Executive Director, Entrepreneur Initiatives
Julie Messing is the Executive Director for Entrepreneurship Initiatives at Kent State University. She developed and led the implementation of the entrepreneurship program. The program consists of two minors, a major, a living-learning community, speakers’ series, Entrepreneurship Extravaganza and an entrepreneurial lab. She works closely with the business community to bring opportunities to the classroom as well as support entrepreneurial development in Northeast Ohio. She is the recipient of the Paul L Pfeiffer Creative Teaching Award and the Non-Tenure Track Teaching Award. Both awards recognize faculty for excellence in teaching. She has taught entrepreneurship courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Kate Harmon, Program Manager
As BLP Program Manager, Kate is responsible for the daily operations of the office including serving as the primary Venture Advisor. She has accomplished some pretty cool things in her career. And failed miserably at some other stuff. If you are particularly nosey, you can check out her LinkedIn bio.
Stacey Banks-Houston, Venture Advisor
Stacey Banks-Houston, entrepreneur, author, speaker, trainer, business consultant and coach is founder of SBH Enterprises. “Push Your Passion” is what she articulates to her clients. She advises them to “Stop waiting for the right time because you will forever be waiting for the right time”. Stacey presents her passion in a way that is powerful, motivating and energizes business owners to position themselves for the next level.
Zach Mikrut, Marketing and Events Manager
Zach is responsible for awareness of LaunchPad across Kent State’s campus network. He handles the development and execution of Blackstone LaunchPad events including workshops, luncheons, meet-ups, and webinars. Zach also manages the social media at LaunchPad and will occasionally post a cool Vine video. Zach is a graduate of Kent State’s Managerial Marketing and Entrepreneurship programs. He has professional experience in sales, marketing and consulting small businesses. Zach would be very happy if you follow him on his personal Twitter so he can win a competition against a coworker.