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J. Noah Brown

President and CEO


J. Noah Brown is a widely recognized and award-winning higher education policy and governance expert, author, and educator whose experience spans nearly 35 years in the nation’s capital working in the nonprofit sector. Noah has served as president and chief executive officer of the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) since 2005 and has worked for the association since 1996. He also serves on the faculty for the Doctorate in Community College Leadership program at Ferris State University in Michigan. Noah’s inaugural book, First in the World: Community Colleges and America's Future, won the 2013 Bellwether Book Award.


Craig Buerstatte

Acting Director
Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
U.S. Economic Development Administration


At West Point and in the Army I developed a passion for leading teams. In demanding, ambiguous environments around Iraq, I honed my entrepreneurship skills creating innovative solutions in a challenging wartime environment. This fueled my interest in startups and inspired me to found a company that provided technology services to early-stage startups, helping them secure millions in seed funding and start many new jobs. Today, I enjoy leveraging those experiences to serve my nation again by developing and managing programs to stimulate economic growth through innovation and entrepreneurship. 

Mike DeLazzer

Founding Member


Mike was inducted into Chicago Entrepreneur Hall of Fame in 2006. In 2001, he founded GETAMOVIE, a developer of DVD robotic vending kiosks that merged with McDonald’s Corporation in July, 2005 and was relaunched as RedBox, LLC. Mike also founded New Retail Ltd. which licenses RedBox kiosks in the UK and Europe. He currently serves as the managing director for GARB, LLC, a holding company for shares of RedBox stock.

In 2005, Mike founded SafeGuard Shutters, a manufacturer, reseller, and installer of hurricane shutters for Home Depot in Florida. In 1996, he started Kodel Corporation, an industrial design and importing company that provides custom products designed by Kodel and manufactured by its sister facilities in Taipei and Shenzhen, China.

Prior to Kodel, Mike was the Vice President of International Importers which developed customer mechanical and electronic products from Asia selling to large OEM’s in the U.S. Mike developed the firm’s agent network in Asia, and hired and trained its entire U.S. sales force.

Mike graduated from Valparaiso University Ind. 1977 with a BS in Marketing. He earned an Associate Degree in Electronic Engineering from Harper College in 1981. 


Deb Hoover

President and CEO
Burton D. Morgan Foundation


For the last decade, Deborah Hoover has served as President and CEO of Burton D. Morgan Foundation, a committed philanthropic champion of the entrepreneurial spirit based in Northeast Ohio. Morgan Foundation seeks to build the entrepreneurial mindset in children, teens, and college students through educational and experiential opportunities that target problem solving and innovation skills. For adult entrepreneurs, the Foundation works with its ecosystem partners to provide new ventures and their founders with ready access to knowledge, mentors, and financing.

Ms. Hoover was instrumental in establishing the Foundation’s Northeast Ohio Collegiate Entrepreneurship Program, a Kauffman CampusesSM Initiative, to spread entrepreneurship across liberal arts campuses; and in establishing NEOLaunchNET, a collegiate experiential startup program. Most recently, she spearheaded the effort to create a Scalerator™ program in Northeast Ohio designed to help mid-sized companies develop the tools to grow. She serves on the Steering and Program committees for the Deshpande Symposium, an annual convening designed for innovators and entrepreneurship leaders on university campuses.

Ms. Hoover is Chair of the Advisory Council for the Foundation Center, Midwest and serves on the national Board of The Foundation Center, the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide.

Ms. Hoover earned her B. A. from Williams College and a Master’s in the History of Art from the University of Chicago. She continued graduate studies at George Washington University National Law Center where she earned a J.D. degree. She will receive a second Master’s Degree in Cultural History from Kent State University in May of 2018, a program of study that has allowed her to explore the direct connections between entrepreneurship and philanthropy in America.


Andrea Ippolito

VA Innovators Network Lead
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Getting her start at VA as a Presidential Innovation Fellow, Ms. Andrea Ippolito now leads the VA Innovators Network within the VA Center for Innovation. In this capacity, she designed and oversaw the creation of a program that provides the tools and resources to VA employees to develop innovations that improve the experience of our Veterans. The Innovators Network currently includes Innovation Specialists at twenty-two VA Medical Centers across VA. She recently completed her role as a Presidential Innovation Fellow working with VA. Ms. Ippolito has pursued doctoral studies in the Engineering Systems Division at MIT and is the Co-Founder of an innovative application that improves access to care called Smart Scheduling (acquired by athenahealth in 2016). She also previously served as the Co-Director of MIT’s “Hacking Medicine” program, as an Innovation Specialist at the Brigham Innovation Hub and Product Innovation Manager at athenahealth. Ms. Ippolito completed her MS in Engineering & Management at MIT. Prior to MIT, Ms. Ippolito worked as a Research Scientist within the Corporate Technology Development group at Boston Scientific. She obtained both her BS in Biological Engineering in 2006 and Masters of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering in 2007 from Cornell University.


Red Katz

President, Red Inspires


Red Katz is a dynamic, “real world” professional keynote speaker who has been able to leverage his professional success as an entrepreneur, as well as his membership and leadership in organizations like Toastmasters International and the Mankind Project, with the realization of his dream of helping others find their passions. 


Madeline Pumariega

Florida College System


Madeline M. Pumariega is Chancellor of the 28 colleges that make up the Florida College System, which serve more than 800,000 students. Recognized amongst the top in the nation, the Florida College System is committed to maintaining the highest quality programs to meet Florida's growing workforce needs and to make sure college is accessible and affordable. Appointed as the first female and Hispanic Chancellor in August 2015, Chancellor Pumariega has worked to build upon successes of the Florida College System. Her goal is to ensure that all students have a pathway to complete their degree or professional credential that leads them to their academic goals and ultimately helps them get a job.

A product of the college system herself, Pumariega began her academic career at Miami Dade College and returned to the college where she spent 20 years growing her career culminating as President of the Wolfson Campus. At Miami Dade she is regarded for her work in developing innovative approaches to support academic progress and student success, ensuring that thousands of youth can access and complete college. Pumariega was instrumental in supporting workforce programs by leveraging key partnerships in the community.

Before becoming Chancellor, Pumariega served as president of Take Stock in Children, a statewide non-profit focused on breaking the cycle of poverty through education. Take Stock in Children has helped more than 25,000 students living in poverty successfully complete high school and move into post-secondary education and careers.

Pumariega is a member of the Florida Prepaid College Board, Higher Education Coordinating Council, Florida Council of 100, The Center for Postsecondary Success at Florida State University, City Year Miami and an advisory board member of the Florida College Access Network. She was a Kellogg Fellow for the League for Innovation’s Expanding Leadership Diversity in Community and a graduate of Leadership Florida Class 33.

Chancellor Pumariega holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science from St. Thomas University, Master of Education from Florida Atlantic University and is a doctoral candidate at Barry University.


Dr. G. Devin Stephenson

Northwest Florida State College


An Alabama native, Dr. Stephenson has extensive experience in community college executive administration. He served as President/CEO of Big Sandy Community/Technical College in Kentucky and Three Rivers College in Missouri prior to coming to NWF State College. He has held a number of leadership positions within the Alabama Community College System, including Vice President of External Affairs and Dean of Students at Bevill State Community College, CEO of Snead State Community College and Dean of Students at Walker State Technical College.

Most recently, Dr. Stephenson served as the Kentucky Community and Technical College System Liaison to SOAR (Shaping Our Appalachian Region), working with Congressman Hal Rogers and Governor Matt Bevin to transform the economy of the region. He is a Commissioner on the American Association of Community Colleges’ Commission on Professional Development and Leadership and an experienced peer evaluator with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the Higher Learning Commission. In December 2016, Dr. Stephenson was elected to the SACSCOC Board of Trustees.

He earned an associate degree in science from Walker Junior College, followed by a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from Birmingham-Southern College and both master’s and doctoral degrees in the Administration of Higher Education from the University of Alabama.

Dr. Stephenson and his wife, Judy, have two adult children, Jon and JuliAnne.

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