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Kellogg Dean Emeritus Donald Jacobs accepts the Master Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the 2008 Kellogg Alumni Entrepreneur Conference.

Dean Jacobs Alumentrep Conference

Donald Jacobs named ‘Master Entrepreneur’

Dean emeritus earns honor at Kellogg Alumni Entrepreneur Conference; Kellogg grads also recognized

By Aubrey Henretty

6/3/2008 - “All of you here are part of the Kellogg family,” Kellogg Dean Dipak C. Jain told the hundreds of faculty, staff and graduates in attendance at this year’s Kellogg Alumni Entrepreneur Conference.

Every seat in the James L. Allen Center’s Tribune Auditorium was filled for the May 29 event as Jain introduced the man named this year’s Kellogg Alumni Master Entrepreneur of the Year: Dean Emeritus Donald P. Jacobs.

As part of a “family tradition,” Jain pointed out the many traits he and Jacobs shared. Not only did they have the same initials, he joked, but both were tea drinkers and vegetarians. Also, 1957 was “a big year” for both of them: “He came to Kellogg and I came to this planet,” Jain said.

The dean’s introduction was followed by a video tribute to Jacobs, in which Kellogg faculty told the rags-to-riches story of the small, unknown, Midwestern business school that gained international prestige under Jacobs’ leadership. When the camera turned on Jacobs, he made the Kellogg School’s rise sound preordained.

“We wanted to be everywhere,” he said matter-of-factly.

Other honorees in the conference’s award ceremony included Grant Gund ’97 and Zachary Gund ’00, managing partners of Coppermine Capital, who jointly received the Rising Entrepreneur of the Year Award; Ivy Walker ’98, managing director at The Taylor Group, who was named Entrepreneur Supporter of the Year; and Kevin Marinacci ’96, founder and vice president for programs at Fabretto Children’s Foundation, recognized as 2008’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year.

Tickets to the Alumni Entrepreneur Conference sold out for the fifth consecutive year. Alumni and distinguished guests gathered for a full day of panel discussions with a global perspective: “Sourcing Globally,” “Global Online Business,” Global Financing Sources” and “Global Concept Arbitrage.” Kellogg Professors James B. Shein, Barry Merkin, Derrick Collins and Robert Wolcott moderated.

The MarketPlace — a conference highlight — allowed alumni entrepreneurs to share their wares with attendees. This year’s participants included alumni from Feldco, JETRO Chicago, Solex Partners and Tario Ventures.

After the conference, student teams took the stage to compete for this year’s Kellogg Cup, an honor bestowed on the team with the best business plan. At the end of each 20-minute presentation, a panel of three esteemed judges — Ronald Gavillet, founder of Neutral Tandem; Adarsh Arora, Athena Security Inc. CEO; and Chris Long, Miami Corporation CFO — grilled students about potential problems with their plans. The last team standing was the trio of True Yardage: Jonathan Miller ’08, Kevin Van Culin ’08 and Tim Schlueter (a Northwestern University alum) took home the Kellogg Cup for their proposed venture, a service that would allow golfers to download course maps directly to their mobile phones or PDAs.