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About the IEE

The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE), part of the University of Pittsburgh’s Innovation Institute, has served business throughout Western Pennsylvania for more than 25 years. Offering a dynamic mix of consulting, education, and networking opportunities, the IEE strives to be an innovative leader in economic development in the region.

Message from the Director

For more than 25 years, the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence has proven itself to be a vital part of the small business community of western Pennsylvania. Across all of the IEE’s five centers, we strive to serve the diverse needs of businesses at every point of their endeavors. It is an honor to be involved with helping family-owned and closely held businesses grow to create success not only for the business owners, but also for the communities they support. We welcome you to learn more about the IEE and encourage you to reach out to us for business assistance as you explore your own entrepreneurial paths.

Bob Stein
Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Executive Director, IEE
Bob Stein
Rhonda Carson Leach
Rhonda Carson Leach

Senior Program Director: Membership, Urban & Community Entrepreneurship Program, and Entrepreneurial Fellows Class

Ray Vargo
Raymond L. Vargo

Director, Small Business Development Center

Jessica Sinclair
Jessica Sinclair

Director, PantherlabWorks

Brett Smith
Brett Smith

Marketing Director

Lee Ann Briggs
Lee Ann Briggs

EMAP Consultant

Tara Gerek
Tara Gerek

Senior Events Manager & Membership Coordinator

Victoria Hassett
Victoria Hassett

Management Consultant

Meghan Hillegas
Meghan Hillegas

Management Consultant

Nicole Hudson
Nicole Hudson

Senior Program Manager: Urban and Community Entrepreneurship Program and Entrepreneurial Fellows Class

Terri Kennelly-Cook
Terri Kennelly-Cook

Administrative Assistant

Linwood Mitchell
Linwood Mitchell

Senior Management Consultant

Zachery Patton
Zachery Patton

Management Consultant

Lauren A. Scholtz
Lauren Scholtz

Department Administrator

Michael Wholihan
Michael Wholihan

Associate Director, Small Business Development Center

Christina Wilcox
Christina R. Wilcox

Management Consultant

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Pitt SBDC earns top national honor from U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

The University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center (SBDC), part of Pitt’s Institute for…

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Q&A with former SBA Administrator Karen Mills

Bob Stein, Executive Director of the IEE, had a chance to interview former SBA…

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Become an IEE Member

Membership in the IEE connects business owners and leaders of companies generating revenue of $1 million and up with educational program, confidential custom consulting, and networking opportunities to accelerate growth and build deeper connections in western PA's economic landscape.

Learn more about Membership
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Advisory Board

Arjang Assad
Dean Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business
John Bitzer III
President & CEO (Retired) ABARTA
Jessica Brooks
CEO & Executive Director, Pittsburgh Business Group on Health
Gregg Broujos (Chair)
Managing Director & Founding Principal, Colliers International
Arnie Burchianti
President & CEO, AEB Holdings, Inc.
Brian Burley
Marketing Manager, Major Accounts ADP
Greg Cessna
CEO, Consumer Fresh Produce, Inc.
Ava Demarco (Vice-Chair)
President, Little Earth Productions
Denise DeSimone
President & CEO, C-leveled
Ann Dugan
IEE Founder
John Earnest
CEO, Team Laminates Co.
Sharjeel Farooq
Client Executive, Amazon Web Services
Alexandra Gracik
CEO, Sabika, Inc.
David Jardini
Chairperson, Black Diamond Investments
Charles Lenzner
President, Lenzner Tours/Coach USA
Audrey Murrell
Acting Dean, University Honors College University of Pittsburgh
Brett Randall
President & CEO, The Gunian Group, LLC / Aliner
Eric Sauereisen
President, Sauereisen
Keith Schaefer
Chairman, City Paper Box
Dennis Patrick Slevin
Tom W. Olofson Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies (Retired) Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business Emeritus Board Member
Thomas Taucher
Executive Vice President, Pittsburgh Market Manager PNC Commercial Banking
John H. Tippins
Managing Director & Partner, Stonewood Capital Management, Inc.
Jeff Turconi
President, PJ Dick, Inc

Ex Officio

Robert Stein
Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Executive Director of the IEE
Evan Facher
Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Director of the Innovation Institute