Select Page

Students who belong to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (C.E.O) are connecting to a large network of passionate business leaders through its on-campus speaker series.

C.E.O. hopes to raise interest in entrepreneurship with its second speaker series that kicks off this month.

Senior education student and C.E.O. president Brett Bartholomew, of Milwaukee, said entrepreneurs enjoy sharing their industry knowledge with the next generation of business owners.

“This year our membership was very interested in connecting with minority business leaders to explore how cultural values, personal backgrounds and business experiences can affect a leader’s career and ultimately their path to becoming an entrepreneur,” he said.

Shaping the future

College of Business Dean Barbara Rau encourages all students to take advantage of the upcoming C.E.O. speaker presentations because as population demographics shift she expects the number of minority business owners to increase.

“According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners, 29 percent of all firms in the U.S. have minority owners,” she said. “This makes it critically important that we, especially those interested in driving the economy through entrepreneurship, begin to understand the unique challenges minority owners face as they try to build their businesses. As future business owners and investors, our students will affect changes in legislation, funding and entrepreneurial support networks that address these challenges and encourage a more vibrant and successful entrepreneurial climate within our region and our state.”

Featured speakers

The presentations, which are free and open to all students, staff, faculty and community members, will be held in Sage Hall.

Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 5 p.m.
Devin Lars built his companies from the ground up, starting in his garage while still a teenager in high school. Currently, Lars is the CEO and founder of Kurieo Media, a full-service advertising agency that serves corporate clients, including Nike, Tesla, iHeartmedia, McDonald’s, The NF, and Google.

Thursday, March 1 at 5 p.m.
EJ Carrion grew up in low-income communities and a single-parent home. He changed his trajectory and future after receiving the prestigious Bill Gates Scholarship and becoming the first in his family to attend college. Carrion, now 28, is the director of Expansion at The Student Success Agency, a modern coaching solution to help students leverage their education and build personal plans. Carrion also was recently recognized by Forbes Magazine as a 30 Under 30 young leader who is expanding access and opportunity in the field of education.

Tuesday, April 4 at 5 p.m.

Gerado Ruiz is the owner of Extreme Painting, which specializes in commercial and residential painting. Ruiz has more than 29 years of experience and his company has served the Madison area for more than 14 years. In 2015, Ruiz and his brother, Omar, expanded their family businesses to include a siding company, 360 Exterior Solutions. As a business owner, Ruiz always is seeking ways to improve both personally and professionally, in order to impact the world and the lives of others.

Tuesday, April 17 at 5 p.m.
Shaheda Govani, ’06, graduated from UW Oshkosh with a bachelor’s in biology and was one of just three Wisconsin dentists to be inducted into the American College of Dentists in 2016. Devoted to oral health and dedicated to patient care and comfort, Govani opened her private practice in 2010. She is an active member of the Oshkosh Area United Way, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Oshkosh Rotary Club.


Learn more: