SESSION SPEAKERS


Chris Speicher, Ph.D.
Professor of Business
Entrepreneurship Program Director
Marywood University

 

 


Chris Speicher, Ph.D. is the Director of Entrepreneurship at Marywood University and a serial Entrepreneur. He earned his Doctorate from Temple University while studying the development of Entrepreneurs in Central and Eastern Europe in the 1990’s. Speicher has been involved in over 25 startups in his career.

Chris is currently the Chief Visionary Officer at DartDrones, the largest national drone flight school in the US, which was featured on Shark Tank in February of 2017.

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Mark Leffler
Professor of Entrepreneurship and Management
Angelo P. DeCesaris Executive in Residence
King’s College

 

 


Mark Leffler is a professor of Entrepreneurship and Management at King’s College McGowan School of Business. He is also the Angelo P. DeCesaris Executive in Residence, an endowed chair that encourages career mentoring. The DeCesaris Executive in Residence position also focuses on real world experience as well as ethically and socially responsible behavior.

Mark is an alumnus of King’s College, graduating in 1975 with a degree in Business Administration; he later obtained a Master’s Degree in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. Over his career, Mark has started eight different chemical distribution companies.

Mark is a part-owner of Chemical Solutions LP and a member of the board of directors of EthosGen LLC.

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Don Webster
Executive Director
tecBRIDGE

 

 


Don Webster is the Executive Director of tecBRIDGE where he brings over thirty years of business management and leadership experience to entrepreneurship and innovation activities in NEPA.

Don is a former Wall Street Bank Executive who moved to the region to lead NatWest Services, a 1,300 person operations subsidiary at Montage Mountain in Scranton. Following the NatWest acquisition, Don co-founded a consulting firm and two software development companies. Don also manages an angel fund for small business investment.

Don is a co-founder of the Great Valley Business Plan Competition, and was named the Ben Franklin Technology Partners 2007 Entrepreneurial Advocate of the Year. He is currently a Judge for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Business Plan Competition and is a proud member of several early stage advisory boards in the region.

Don is a graduate of the University of Chicago.

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GUEST ENTREPRENEURS


James Abrams
CEO
EthosGen

 

 


James Abrams is a leading clean energy entrepreneur, pioneer, and voice of sustainability.

James is Founder and CEO of EthosGen, a clean energy innovation company pioneering use of advanced nanomaterials for energy generation. James has successfully deployed energy systems in 13 countries with major utility and Fortune 500 firms.

James serves as a frequent keynote speaker, panelist, and moderator at leading national and international forums and universities on sustainability and entrepreneurship. He has served as lead for Department of Energy Accelerated Clean Energy and ARPA-E programs as well as Department of Defense energy generation expert. He has been selected as Times Leader Top 40 under 40, The Business Journal Top 20 under Forty, 2015 Ben Franklin Partnership Innovative Technology Award recipient, and the only cleantech finalist for Sir Richard Branson’s Xtreme Tech Challenge 2015.

Most recently, James Abrams was recognized as finalist for the Ernest and Young Clean Tech Entrepreneur of the Year.

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Blaise Delfino
CEO
Fader Plugs

 

 


Blaise Delfino is the CEO and Founder of Fader Plugs where they are on a mission to refashion the perception of hearing devices. Team Fader has won two business plan competitions including the 2017 tecBRIDGE Business Plan Competition.

Blaise is a graduate of East Stroudsburg University where he received a Master’s of Science in Speech Language Pathology; he is also a certified Pennsylvania Hearing Healthcare Specialist.

Blaise is also a passionate musician; he plays the piano and acoustic guitar. As a practitioner of creativity and artistic production, he creates and continues to create his own music. Blaise’s audio engineering career led him to successfully produce a number of songs, including the ITunes charting hit, “First”.

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COLLEGE PANEL


Michele Lehman
Wilkes University

 

 

 


Michelle Rae Lehman is the Founder and CEO of RAE SLEEVES.

Michellle is senior at Wilkes University where she is pursuing a Marketing major and Entrepreneurship and Management minor. Michelle’s entrepreneurial spirit was sparked through her employment at the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, where she mentored over 10 start-up entrepreneurs.

Michelle specializes in marketing lifestyle brands, market research and strategic planning. She will oversee all operations and departments associated with RAE SLEEVES. Her main qualification is her passion for RAE SLEEVES and its success.

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Michael Paranich
Penn State Hazleton

 

 

 


Michael Paranich is a driven entrepreneur who is currently a Finance major at the Penn State University Hazleton campus.

Michael is the creator of Plate Palz, a kitchen product that protects against microwave burns.

Michael’s interests include playing baseball and investing. You can always find him venturing outdoors or at Barnes & Noble catching up on the latest business books.

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Dimitri Thompson
Marywood University

 

 

 


I am an Accounting major at Marywood University in my junior year. I was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Queens.

Along with my business partner Kendall Farell we are working on our product, The Uni-Glide, a hand-held undercarriage washer that uses pressurized water from a home garden hose to clean the undercarriage of your vehicle.

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