Tom DueningEPIIC Chair, Event Emcee
Lauren M. Hug, J.D., LL.M.Founder, HugSpeak
Krista HeinickePR/Food and Beverage, The Broadmoor
Benjamin KwitekInstructor, Bachelor of Innovation Degree
Tracy MillerOwner, Tracy Miller Gallery
Krithika PrashantOlympic City USA Taskforce
Patrice RavenscroftCEO, REACH Pikes Peak
Lauren DeSutterProject Director, Alternativ Global Entrepreneurs
Thomas Duening previously was the director of entrepreneurial programs for the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and then attended the University of Minnesota, where he received his master’s degree in philosophy of science and his doctorate in higher education administration. While completing his Ph.D., Duening was a consultant at Robert S. Banks, Associates, Inc., an international consulting firm serving the electric utility industry. He also has served in many executive positions, including president of U.S. Learning Systems, LLC, vice president for Content Development at Edgia, Inc., and still remains owner and CEO of the consulting firm INSYTE Business Research Group. Before joining ASU in September 2004, Duening successfully launched the Entrepreneurial and Venture Development Center at the University of Houston-Downtown. For nine years, he was the assistant dean for administration, and international and executive programs at the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston main campus. Duening is the author of numerous journal articles, and he is the author of 12 books on investing in entrepreneurship, including Technology Entrepreneurship released Aug. 19, 2009.
Lauren M. Hug, J.D., LL.M.
An accomplished speaker, writer, and thinker, Lauren has helped people reach and motivate audiences for 20 years.
For the past decade, she has applied her analytical and communication skills to branding, messaging, and market research needs of businesses, big and small. More recently, she has focused on integrating social media strategies into branding, marketing, and communication initiatives.
Through insightful questions and intense listening, Lauren cuts to the core of each client’s identity, leveraging their uniqueness to understand and move ideal target markets.
Her positive, collaborative approach has been described as empowering, life-changing, and even therapeutic.
Krista Heinicke is a former international athletic competitor, avid foodie and tireless public relations professional. She has worked in all aspects of hospitality from assistant to concierge to restaurant owner and Public Relations Manager for Food and Beverage for The Broadmoor. Having marketed restaurants that garner top ratings via Forbes and AAA as well as organized events and FAM trips Krista enjoys the stimulation of the daily challenges that work and life present. The early mornings, 4 children, 2 dogs and a husband keep Krista believing that “can’t” is a dirty word.
Benjamin Kwitek is an instructor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs in the Bachelor of Innovation Degree. Dr. Kwitek has over a dozen issued/pending US Patents and has created or advised numerous startups in California, Colorado, Texas and Europe. His inventions have been successfully licensed by leading global companies including: Acer, Dell, Fujitsu, Lenovo, Pentel and Sony.
Tracy Miller opened her namesake gallery in Manitou Springs selling her artwork in 2011. Since then the gallery has grown to represent over 20 artists working in both painting and sculpture encompassing the Art of the New West vernacular.
Tracy has been recognized locally as a leader in the visual arts. She was nominated for an Athena Award in 2014. She has given talks on the business of selling art, and has represented the “for profit” gallery side of the business on the arts day panel for Leadership Pikes Peak for several years. This past December she was a guest on the Mandy Connell show segment “It’s a Living” on Denver’s 850 KOA News Radio.
Corporate collections are also starting to happen with Newmont Mining Company, CampoRico Brazil, Flying Horse Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Denver all adding her work to their environments.
Krithika Prashant serves on the Olympic City USA Taskforce. In addition, she sits on several boards, including CASA of the Pikes Peak Region and the Colorado Springs Rising Professionals and volunteers for the CS Dance Theater. She has also served on the Chamber of Commerce board. She won the 2017 Young Professional of the Year and 2013 Rising Star awards. Along with three masters degrees in communications and business, Krithika holds diplomas in Indian Classical Dance, Voice, Violin, and Tabla. In 2016, she won the Best Dancer of the Year Award from the Pikes Peak Arts Council. She is also a 2017 Colorado Springs Leadership Institute ( CSLI) graduate and was recently featured as one of Living Well magazine’s Women Who Inspire.
Patrice is a Colorado Springs native, graduate of Chardon State College in Chadron Nebraska where she received her Bachelors in Communication as well as competed with an athletic scholarship for collegiate track and field and volleyball player. Patrice currently serves as Executive Director/CEO of REACH Pikes Peak and has served the nonprofit community for the last ten years. Patrice is a former El Pomar Foundation Fellow and is dedicated to community impact and making our Colorado springs community thrive. She is a proud wife and the mother of a three-year-old daughter as well.
Lauren holds a MA in Global Finance, Trade, and Economic Integration from the prestigious Josef Korbel School of International Studies with concentrations in International Development and Nonprofit Management. She also holds a BS in Economics from Texas A&M University. She has consulted for numerous NGO’s around the world, streamlining project management systems and creating monitoring and evaluation strategies. Working across multiple sectors such as global health, microfinance, and community development, has cemented her passion for building underlying economic capacity – the only sustainable solution to endemic cyclical poverty. She currently resides in Colorado Springs with her husband and 2 children, ages 15 and 8.