Hands-on Experience Leads to Entrepreneurial Success
When Evan Schuman, BBA ‘17, was a student at Kent State’s Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship, he gained the practical instruction and invaluable hands-on experience that prepared him to be a successful entrepreneur.
As an entrepreneurship major at Kent State, Schumann learned operations, production and finance in the classroom and gained on-the-job experience working with an entrepreneur in Cleveland.
“Yes, there were great courses in finance and accounting and legal that are in relation to the role that I have today,” said Schumann, who is president of L’uva Bella Winery. “But the aspect of getting out of the classroom, the focus on getting real-world experience and the program allowing the flexibility to give us the support to get into businesses and work with entrepreneurs” blended the college and real-world experience to then apply to my own company and where I am today, he added.
After Schumann graduated, he fulfilled his goal to own a business. He started a company in the chemical industry, and he worked in consulting and mergers and acquisitions.
In 2020, Schumann of Chagrin Falls gained the opportunity to put his Kent State education to work when he and his wife Marisa Sergi-Schumann acquired L’uva Bella Winery and Brands, a company that the Sergi family started more than 15 years ago. Sergi-Schumann is the chief executive officer for the company, which distributes in 10 states across the Midwest and East Coast.
When Sergi-Schumann's parents were looking to retire from the family-owned business, the couple acquired the winery.
The winery imports grapes from throughout the U.S. and around the world, manufactures retail brands and retail juice products and includes a bistro and tasting room. L’uva Bella Winery and Brands was recently recognized in the Food & Drink category of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.
Schumann stays engaged with his former professors at Kent State so that he can share how the entrepreneurship program has helped him achieve success in the business world. He is paying his knowledge and skills forward to future entrepreneurs.
“They allow me to come to the classroom and speak to their students about my experiences at Kent State, how it affected me, and what I have done to take the teachings and apply them in real life and share that with the students.”