About the IEE

The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE), part of the University of Pittsburgh’s Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, 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
Executive Director, Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence; Associate Vice Chancellor, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, University of Pittsburgh
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Bob Stein
Rhonda Carson Leach
Rhonda Carson Leach

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

Jessica Sinclair
Jessica Sinclair

Director, PantherlabWorks

Ray Vargo
Raymond L. Vargo

Director, Small Business Development Center

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

Operations Manager

Zachery Patton
Zachery Patton

Management Consultant

Lauren A. Scholtz
Lauren Scholtz

Department Administrator

Brett Smith
Brett Smith

Marketing Director

Michael Wholihan
Michael Wholihan

Associate Director, Small Business Development Center

Christina Wilcox
Christina R. Wilcox

Management Consultant

Headshot of Cassie Fly, SBDC management consultant
Cassie Fly

SBDC Management Consultant

Headshot of Lynne Nincke, SBDC Management Consultant
Lynne Nincke

SBDC Management Consultant

Headshot of Gordon Manker, SBDC Management Consultant
Gordon Manker

SBDC Management Consultant

Headshot of Janice Crile, SBDC Marketing Management Consultant
Janice Crile

SBDC Marketing Management Consultant

Brent Rondon Pitt SBDC International Trade Consultant
Brent Rondon

SBDC Sr. International Trade Management Consultant

Shelley M. Taylor
Shelley M. Taylor

Family Business Consultant

Jobs Supported
million dollars in increased client revenue
client consulting hours
clients served

In the News: “Mexican immigrants bake traditional treats for Mt. Lebanon market”

Photo Credit: Alexandra Wimley/Post-Gazette Via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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SBDC Success Story: SuLo XYZ Corporation

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SBDC Success Story: Mickey’s Place and Kennedy Bowling

The 2020 pandemic hit the hospitality industry hard in western Pennsylvania. Owners of Mickey’s…

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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

Varol Ablak
Founder & CEO, Ablak Holdings
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.
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.
Alexandra Gracik
CEO, Sabika, Inc.
David Jardini
Chairperson, Black Diamond Investments
Charles Lenzner
President, Lenzner Tours/Coach USA
Joseph A. Massaro III
President and CEO, Massaro Construction Group
Audrey Murrell
Professor of Business Administration, Psychology, Public and International Affairs, 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.

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