Advisory Board

The Coleman Entrepreneurship Center’s Advisory Board is a consultative group of distinguished Chicago-area entrepreneurs that helps the Center fulfill its mission and advance its overall outcomes. It strives to create a dynamic relationship between DePaul’s educational efforts and the Chicago entrepreneurial community.

John Crosson

john-profileJohn is a successful investor and entrepreneur. He founded MainStreet Advisors, a nationalprovider of outsourced investment solutions to trust and wealth management professionals, in 2003. Over the years, John navigated the startup through one of the worst financial crises of all time while managing tremendous growth. In 2014, John founded Cambium Asset Management to capture business across new markets and clients. Most recently, he ledhis holding company through a successful process which ended in the acquisition of both companies by MB Financial. In his new role as President, John is responsible for leading, defining and articulating both firms’ visions as well as developing the strategies for achieving those visions. He has extensive experience in the field of financial services as well as in managing and building companies, strong teams, and deep client relationships.


John Dilenschneider

JohnDilenschneider is owner and CEO of WebQA, a provider of custom customer service solutions to more than 600 organizations that service over 125 million people worldwide. As a software entrepreneur, he has started and grown four major corporations and acquired four others – all without outside funding. He has sold some of these organizations, including industry leading ICG Consulting, to the world’s largest private equity firms. As a senior executive, he has developed new products and businesses for Ameritech, Touche Ross, First Chicago, and Anexsys, LLC: a JP Morgan Chase and US Bank technology joint venture where he was president.  Mr. Dilenschneider holds a BA, with Honors, from the University of Notre Dame in American Studies and Spanish as a Notre Dame Scholar; an MBA from the University of Chicago in Marketing and Finance; and, an MS, with Distinction, from DePaul University in Computer Science. Mr. Dilenschneider has received several national awards in technology.  He has also finished 68th in the Chicago Marathon.


Joan Hannant

Founder and President, The Soma Institute

As the Founder and President of theSoma Institute Joan oversees the strategic direction of the Chicago and Toronto-based company. Frustrated with the bureaucratic constraints of traditional higher educationand the limited standards of training for health and wellness providers, Joan developed a new category of wellness called clinical wellness and built Soma into a nationally accredited and acclaimed provider of adult training programs. Prior to starting Soma, Joan was an instructor of political science at York University in Toronto Canada.  She is a member of the Committee of 200 and the International Women’s Forum.


Michael Hennessy, Coleman Foundation President

The Coleman Foundation was photographed June 8, 2015.Michael Hennessy has had career stops in Community Mental Health, education, and as an Officer and Director of Fanny May Candies. He began working with the Coleman Foundation in the late 80’s, became a Director and Officer, and assumed the Presidency in 1991. Hennessy, the Board and Staff have built upon and expanded the Foundation’s inaugural programs in entrepreneurship education, cancer care and developmental disabilities.  The Foundation seeks to fund entrepreneurship programs that help emerging entrepreneurs have: the motivation to act; the right knowledge and the opportunity to practice the right skills to advance their business ventures.


Dave Jackson

Dave-Jackson16Dave’s passion is helping entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. Dave is a successful entrepreneur and business owner. After selling two health care related businesses in the late 90’s, Dave became an active business investor and professional business advisor sharing his knowledge and experience with other successful business owners. Dave is a Principal with Evanston Advisors a multi-family office firm and co-founder of evolve USA a business owner peer-group and mentoring organization. Dave also is involved with several family foundation boards, non-profit and charitable organizations. Dave earned degrees in Business Administration and Public Policy from Carthage College (82).



Al Kutchins (MST ’75), Board Chair

Partner, Certified Public Accountant

allen_kutchinsAllen is one of the founding partners of KRD (Kutchins, Robbins & Diamond, Ltd).   He is committed, service-driven and advocates a holistic approach to financial planning throughout the various stages of a client’s business and life cycle. Allen is known for providing an array of solutions to help accelerate client revenue growth, and is proactive in tax planning as well as succession and estate planning.  He truly focuses on creating long-term relationships emphasizing integrity and personal service.  Allen is also well known for his charitable work with various entities. ,



Bob Nuber

Bob is a Managing Director of Technology for troncX, where he leads software engineering teams responsible for the digital presence of dozens of news sites such as the Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune and LA Times. His career has included a variety of roles in a range of technology companies, from bootstrapped and VC funded startups to medium and large enterprises. With BS and MS engineering degrees and an MBA from Babson College, Bob approaches business as an enthusiastic disrupter, systems thinker and value creator. In short, an entrepreneur. He enjoys brainstorming and collaborating with fellow entrepreneurs from all industries and disciplines, and is a frequent speaker on technology leadership and innovation topics.


Harold P. Welsch, Coleman Foundation Chair

Ph.D., who holds the Coleman Foundation Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship at DePaul University, has been active in entrepreneurship development for over 30 years in his role as educator, consultant, researcher, entrepreneur, author, and editor. Dr. Welsch is well known for his expertise in entrepreneurship education, gestation patterns, privatization, technology commercialization, entrepreneurship career paths, formal and informal strategic planning, information seeking and decision behavior, ethnic entrepreneurship, economic development, and small business problems. Dr. Welsch’s work has appeared in many publications including the Journal of Business Venturing, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, Journal of High Technology Management Research, International Small Business Journal, Journal of Small Business Management, Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, Revue International PME, Research in Entrepreneurship, Group and Organization Studies, Internationales Gewerbe Archiv, and Human Relations. His recent books include Strategic Entrepreneurial Growth (2nd ed.) by Thomson/South Western, Entrepreneurship The Way Ahead by Routledge and The Strategy of Entrepreneurship (in Chinese) by Thomson. Dr. Welsch has received grants from the Coleman Foundation, the Booz-Allen-Hamilton Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Commonwealth Edison, the U.S. Department of Transportation, United States Information Agency (USIA), and Argonne National Laboratories.


  • JinJa Birkenbeuel, CEO, Birk Creative
  • Carol Bramson (BUS ’89), president and founder, TBG Capital, LLC
  • Terri Brax, founder, Women Tech Founders
  • Penny Brown, director and chair, Grant Park Music Festival
  • Bob Carmody, founder, Diana’s Bananas
  • John Crosson (MBA ’95), founder, MainStreet Advisors
  • John Dilenschneider (MS ’92), owner and CEO, WebQA
  • Dima Elissa, CEO, Vismed
  • Laura Gale, executive coach, Right Management
  • Steven Gerbel (BS 94), founder and president, Chicago Capital Management
  • Russ Gottesman (MBA ’11), founder and CEO, CommuterAds
  • Joan Hannant, founder and president, The Soma Institute
  • Jill Hebert, CEO, Matrex Exhibits, Inc.
  • Michael Hennessy, president, Coleman Foundation
  • Dave Jackson, principal, Evanston Advisors
  • Syed Khalid, founder, Nextplant
  • Allen Kutchins (MST ’75), president and managing partner, Kutchins, Robbins & Diamond, Ltd.
  • Jodi Navta, marketing consultant
  • Bob Nuber, managing director, Technology, Tronc, Inc.
  • Robin Ross, leadership coach, R2 Coaching
  • Kevin Taylor (BA ’97, DBA ’20), principal, startup advisor and investor
  • Harold Welsch (BS ’66, MBA ’68), professor and Coleman Foundation Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship
  • Jim Wicklander, strategic account manager, Lake County Press
  • Darrell Williams (BS ’81), CEO, Loop Capital