UC Blue Ash College

Entrepreneur Speaker Series

The stage at one of the Entrepreneur Speaker Series events

The UC Blue Ash Entrepreneur Speaker Series features local business leaders who have turned an idea into an extremely successful venture. These are interactive presentations that encourage questions from the audience, providing important information for business leaders or anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. All presentations are free and open to the public.

We're also pleased to offer an archive of past ESS events, with descriptions of each speaker. 

Panel: Weathering the Storm: An Entrepreneurial Venture from Inspiration to Innovation

Rick Pescovitz and Kelly Mahan
Founders, Under the Weather

Sitting in the cold rain at a youth soccer game, Rick and Kelly saw a real-world need for portable temporary shelter – and their business was born. Learn how this husband and wife team took an idea and turned it into an industry-leading product – the SportsPod®. They’ll share their journey from inspiration to invention to innovation, with successes and pitfalls along the way.

Panel: Entrepreneurship with a Mission

  • Craig Young - Inspiring Service, Founder & Exec. Director
  • Joel Bokelman - ChangingGears, President
  • Lauren LaCerda Merten - Social Venture Partners, Exec. Director

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Panel: Built in Blue Ash

Ryan Rybolt - CEO, Infinitech

The audience listened to Ryan Rybolt discuss his decision to leave a secure career to start Infinitech and revolutionize the payment processing industry.

Carla Eng - President, Abstract Displays

Carla Eng talked about how overcoming adversity has made her a better leader and positioned her company as a leader in its industry.

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Panel: From The Ground Up

From coffee to market research to craft beer, our panel of business owners found a niche and created their companies from the ground up.

  • The audience heard them talk about why they thought the time was right to launch their startup and how they continue to grow their business.
  • What it takes to make it and the potential pitfalls you need to avoid.
  • Gained incredibly insightful information for any current or prospective entrepreneur.

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Tony Maas - JTM

Learn about the business model that turned a butcher shop into an international, multi-segmented food-processing company. Tony Maas talks about how his family relied on core principles to make their dream a reality, and how you can do it too.

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Patty Brisben - Pure Romance

Pure Romance is a thriving international company that specializes in relationship enhancement. It was created 20 years ago by Patty Brisben and maintains its corporate headquarters in downtown Cincinnati.

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Craig Kurz - HoneyBaked Ham

Thank you to Craig Kurz, owner and board member of the Honeybaked Ham Company and Café, for sharing his insight on how a family-owned business with one store grew into a household name with more than 460 locations across the U.S. We also appreciate Craig bringing delicious Honeybaked Ham sandwiches for the reception!

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LaRosa Family - LaRosa's Pizza

Buddy LaRosa, the founder and chairman emeritus of LaRosa’s Pizza, and his sons Mark and Michael, are the featured guests for this installment of the UC Blue Ash College Entrepreneur Speaker Series.

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Jeff Wyler - Jeff Wyler Automotive Family

Jeff Wyler, Chairman & CEO of the Jeff Wyler Automotive Family, will share his tips for starting a new business, some of the secrets to his success, and other valuable information in a free presentation at UC Blue Ash College.

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