Dave and Demi Kiersznowski are the Founders and Owners of DEMDACO, a wholesale gift company, and Red Rock Traditions, a direct selling company. Demi has a BA in Business from Trinity University, and an MBA from Northwestern University. Dave has a BS in Manufacturing Engineering from Boston University and an MBA from Northwestern University.
Demi and Dave hold to the philosophy of pursuing business the way it ought to be. They are committed to the idea that business does not solely have to be a financial endeavor. It is first and foremost a human endeavor.
Gary Fish is a serial entrepreneur and investor with many business interests. Mr. Fish currently serves as CEO of Fishtech Labs, a company he founded in 2015. Since 1996, he has founded, acquired, and sold more than a dozen technology companies. Throughout his career, he has been recognized many times for his achievements; he was named a technology entrepreneur of the year by Ernst and Young, a Security Super Star by CRN magazine, a Kansas City Top 100 Business Leader, a Distinguished Alumni by DeVry University, and was inducted into the Kansas City Business Hall of Fame. Besides his strong business acumen, Mr. Fish is also known for his philanthropic work particularly in causes supporting children and animals. A graduate of DeVry University, he served in the United States Army National Guard.
This award honors an entrepreneurship student who has successfully developed and launched a business, product or venture. The winner will receive a $2,500 scholarship and is selected by the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation leadership and Regnier Institute Advisory Council.
Ewing Kauffman had an instinct for the future. The epitome of American entrepreneurship, he understood how to bring organizations to life to be productive and vital. Above all, he had a zest for life and a social awareness that was grounded in his belief in people.
From modest beginnings, Ewing Kauffman grew Marion Laboratories into a billion dollar pharmaceutical empire and established the Kansas City Royals baseball team. His business succeeding beyond his wildest dreams, Kauffman turned his vigor, intellect, curiosity and wealth to a new style of purposeful philanthropy that sought to invest in bold approaches to address the complex social problems. He established the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to help young people, especially those from underserved backgrounds, get a quality education, and to foster entrepreneurship as one of the most effective ways to realize individual promise and spur the economy.
During 2016, the Kauffman Foundation commemorates the 100th anniversary of Ewing Kauffman's birth on September 21, 1916, by celebrating the legacy that guides the Kauffman Foundation and inspires others to build legacies of their own.
Out of their success in the private sector, Dr. Joseph and Judy Roetheli founded and manage The Roetheli Lil' Red Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable entity, to build on the themes of instilling respect, encouraging dreams, and providing hope. The Foundation has four specific focus areas: Third World Assistance, Pet Therapy, Entrepreneurship, and Inspirational Stories.
Joe and Judy's international success began with the foul breath of the family dog, Ivan. In 1996, Judy persistently urged Dr. Roetheli to find a way to improve Ivan's bad breath. The concoction Dr. Roetheli created quickly grew from a household lifesaver to a national name brand. That same year, the couple co-founded S&M NuTec, LLC, and their Greenies® dog treats rapidly became a popular pet treat. By 2005, it had become the #1 dog treat in the USA, one with proven efficacy in deterring buildup of tartar on dog's teeth. The company later developed other pet products including Greenies® for cats. In fewer than 10 years, the company had grown to become the eighth largest pet food/treat company in the world and retail. In May 2006, Mars, the largest pet food/treat company in the world, purchased S&M NuTec/Greenies®.