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2005 Alumni Entrepreneur Conference

5/19/2005 - Gordon Segal, Co-Founder of Crate and Barrel, stirred up the 2005 Kellogg Alumni Entrepreneur Conference with an inspirational keynote address to the capacity-filled auditorium of 250 attendees.

Segal said, “If you get up every day with a mission, a passion and a belief, and you really enjoy doing it, it is easy to do.” He continued: “Be in a business you really love. You have got to be loving it, being inspired by it.”

Professor Steven Rogers, Director of the Larry and Carol Levy Institute for Entrepreneurial Practice, the host of the conference, said, “What makes our programs so good? Our entrepreneurial activities are not only inspiring and fun, but more importantly, they are great experiential learning opportunities for our students.”

Kellogg Alumnus Cliff Goins IV, ’01 said, "The conference showed me that a lot of the issues I am dealing with, other people are dealing with.”

The agenda for the conference, which was sponsored by Feldco, featured speakers Gordon Segal ‘60, Professor Rogers, and Jamie Crouthamel ’92. There were six panels, each with a topic relevant to current entrepreneurs who deal with tangible issues: sales, partnerships, exit strategy, overcoming self-doubts, corporate issues and getting cash out of the business. Twenty-seven professionals contributed to delivering the panels.

Professor Rogers taught a case-study for the audience. Jaqueline Shohet Zabin ’00 said of the case, “I loved Steve Rogers’ case. It felt great to get those neurons firing again like back at school, thinking critically and analytically about case studies.”

The Marketplace, a new feature of the conference, included twelve alumni businesses exhibited in a large room. Businesses included Johnson Financial Group, Feldco Windows, SincereMilk™ Christian Book Stores, Sarah’s Candies, Nomadic Consulting, Skin Quotient, Colfax Realty, Enjoy Life Foods, Model Metrics, Go2Call, the CHRISTMAN Group and Vibes Media.

Gordon Segal said, “It’s all about presentation, passion, personality and a love of product.” The Marketplace exhibitors demonstrated all these attributes throughout the day, selling products and promoting their services to their fellow Kellogg alumni entrepreneurs.

The Levy Institute handed out three awards to distinguished alumni. Jamie Crouthamel ’92 received the 2005 Kellogg Alumni Master Entrepreneur Award. Jim Reynolds ’82 received the 2005 Kellogg Alumni Rising Entrepreneur Award. Bret Maxwell ’82 received the 2005 Kellogg Alumni Supporter of Entrepreneurship Award. Congratulation to all the recipients.

Based on the success of this conference, next year, The Marketplace will be expanded to many more entrepreneurs. Also, the program will include exciting new features designed to provide customized interaction with professors, venture capitalists and more.

Segal’s parting words were: “If you don’t have a joy every day for the business you are doing, it is not a business you should be in.” Enjoy your work and come to the conference next year on Thursday, May 18, 2006.