Small Business Development Center hosts Entrepreneur Week at Kent State Stark 2010 Stark County Entrepreneur Week to feature Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert

The Small Business Development Center, Kent State University at Stark (SBDC) is proud to announce its first annual Stark County Entrepreneur Week. This event-filled week, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs at all levels, is a collaboration between the Stark County Chambers of Commerce, the Stark Development Board (SDB) and the SDBC and will be held February 22-26, 2010, at The University Center, 6000 Frank Avenue NW in Jackson Township.

Headlining the week of events will be a keynote address by Dan Gilbert, chairman and founder of Quicken Loans Inc., the nation's largest online home lender - as well as One Reverse Mortgage, In House Realty and Title Source; majority owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers; the American Hockey League’s Lake Erie
Monsters; and operator of Quicken Loans Arena.

Quicken Loans closed more than $25 billion in home loan volume in 2009. The company employs nearly 3,000 people nationally and has been ranked in the top-30 of FORTUNE Magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" the past seven years (ranking as high as #2). The company also has been ranked as one of Computerworld Magazine's "100 Best Places to Work in Technology" the past five years, ranking #1 in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Dan founded Rock Financial in 1985. Rock Financial grew into one of the largest independent mortgage lenders in the country. In the late 1990s, Rock launched its Internet strategy and quickly positioned itself as the fastest growing online direct mortgage lender on the Internet.

In January 2000, software maker Inuit purchased Rock Financial and the national online lending business was renamed "Quicken Loans." With Dan as CEO, Quicken Loans became the leading national provider of home loans on the Internet. QuickenLoans.com has gone on to earn "Best of the Web" accolades from Forbes, Money and PC Magazine. In 2002, Dan and a small group of private investors purchased Quicken Loans Inc. from Intuit.

Dan became a majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers in March 2005 and immediately undertook a complete overhaul of the front office, coaching staff, player personnel, the Quicken Loans Arena ("The Q") and game presentation. During Dan's ownership, the Cavaliers won the 2007 Eastern Conference Championship, advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time in the team's 37-year history. The team finished the 2008-2009 regular season with a franchise record and NBA-leading 66 wins; the Cavaliers are currently the only team in the NBA to advance past the first round of the playoffs in each of the prior four seasons.

Dan is a founding partner in the private equity group Rockbridge Growth Equity LLC. The partnership invests in growing businesses in the financial services, Internet technology, consumer direct marketing, and the sports and entertainment sectors.

Dan and his partners also operate and invest in several consumer-based, technology-centered businesses, including: Quizzle.com; ePrize; Fathead; Northcentral University; StyleCaster; Veritix; Xenith; Xeko; Ready Financial and Protect America.

In November 2009, through his Rock Ventures partnership, Dan successfully backed a constitutional amendment bringing casino gaming to Ohio. Rock Ventures will own and operate two casinos (Cleveland and Cincinnati) expected to open mind 2012. He also is an investor and financier with Rock Companies in residential and commercial real estate developments in several states.

Dan launched Bizdom U in Detroit in 2007. The non-profit boot camp trains, mentors and finances young entrepreneurs and their start-up businesses in the city of Detroit. Bizdom U's mission is to create successful businesses, jobs, growth and wealth in large urban cities.

Gilbert serves on the boards of the Cleveland Clinic, the Children's National Medical Center and the Children's tumor foundation (CTF.org).

Gilbert earned his bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and his law degree from Wayne State University. He has received the "Entrepreneur of the Year" award from Ernst & Young and has been inducted into the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame.

The Small Business Development Center, Kent State University at Stark (SBDC) is proud to announce its first annual Stark County Entrepreneur Week. This event-filled week, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs at all levels, is a collaboration between the Stark County Chambers of Commerce, the Stark Development Board (SDB) and the SDBC and will be held February 22-26, 2010, at The University Center, 6000 Frank Avenue NW in Jackson Township.

The week of events will include a keynote address by Ray Leach, CEO and creator of JumpStart Inc., one of the most active and innovative venture development organizations in the United States. Based in downtown Cleveland, JumpStart is a nationally recognized venture development organization that accelerates the progress of high growth, early-stage businesses toward the goal of creating a prosperous future for Northeast Ohio. Through the depth of its entrepreneurial team and breadth of its high-value resources, JumpStart improves client success in achieving the milestones and raising the follow-on capital necessary to create wealth.

This past October, JumpStark was named a recipient of the State Science and Technology Institute’s (SSTI) 2009 Excellence in Technology-Based Economic Development Awards. The organization was the sole award winner in the Increasing Access to Capital category, as an initiative that enhances the ability of companies to access start-up capital. SSTI’s nationwide competition recognizes outstanding achievements in technology-based economic development, emphasizing impact, strategic value and the ability to replicate programs.

Leach’s career began at IBM and has been principally focused on information technology companies previous to creating and leading JumpStart in 2003. He is a Sloan Fellow and earned an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, in addition to a bachelor of arts in finance from The University of Akron. Ray serves on the boards of the Council of Competitiveness in Washington, D.C., Red Cross Blood Services of Northern Ohio and is the chairman of the Invent Now Kids Board of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museum. Leach’s energy and leadership experiences from founding five high-growth entrepreneurial endeavors in the last 20 years will contribute to his inspiring address during the Stark County Entrepreneur Week.
2010 Stark County Entrepreneur Week to Feature JumpStart CEO Ray Leach
Press Releases for Jackie B. Peterson,
Dan Gilbert and Ray Leach
Seminar for creative entrepreneurs featured during Stark County Entrepreneur Week

(Jackson Township, OH - February 2, 2010) The Small Business Development Center, Kent State University at Stark (SBDC) is proud to announce its first annual Stark County Entrepreneur Week. This event-filled week, providing opportunities for entrepreneurs at all levels, is a collaboration between the Stark County Chambers of Commerce, the Stark Development Board (SDB) and the SDBC and will be held February 22-26, 2010, at The University Center, 6000 Frank Avenue NW in Jackson Township.

Jackie B. Peterson, veteran consultant to designers, writers, photographers and artists, will conduct the seminar, Ten Steps to Business Success for Creative Entrepreneurs, on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 1 p.m.
Peterson has been an entrepreneur, teacher and creator for more than 30 years. She began her entrepreneurial life with a CPA firm that served small businesses and many creative clients. Later, her practice grew into a small business consulting firm that continues today as Babicky Performance Partners.
She currently teaches business and entrepreneurship skills to small business owners at the Small Business Development Center of Portland Community College. She also is a corporate trainer for numerous organizations, conducting sessions on professional communication, teamworking, problem-solving skill development and financial success.

Peterson is well known in the Portland area by hundreds of entrepreneurs, particularly those with creative endeavors; photographers, artists, graphic designers, fashion designers, potters and performing artists. Her grateful clients recently named her “One of the 100 most Powerful Women in the Northwest” because of the success she has had in helping entrepreneurs to make choices that result in thriving creative enterprises.
Her entrepreneurial advocacy is being expanded with her recently published book, Better, Smarter, Richer! Ten Steps to Business Success for Creative Entrepreneurs: A Guide For Creative Entrepreneurs To Find Their Way To Financial Success.