The Innovation DuPage (ID) Owner-to-CEO Accelerator program is taught for the benefit of a cohort of carefully selected small businesses. The instructors consist of highly qualified business professionals with years of experience building successful companies of their own and assisting scalable startups from the ground up. Through coaching, ID faculty help small business owners become industry leaders. During the course of this 12-week intensive program, participants learn useful information in an immersive environment including business and financial planning, leadership, organizational strategies, marketing and sales, social media, technology management and human resources. Learn more about our Owner-to-CEO program.
Over the last 25 years, Hilary has used her expertise in entrepreneurial and small business financing, growth and strategic development to guide her client companies toward success. Hilary has worked with literally thousands of business owners at all stages of growth–from solopreneurs to companies with hundreds of employees–in industries ranging from manufacturing to service and retail.
During the course of her career, Hilary has facilitated the development of business, strategic and marketing plans that helped clients acquire over $250 million in financing.
Hilary is the executive director of CP 504. The company brings businesses, banks and the U.S. Small Business Administration into a partnership to provide fixed assets financing with terms that enable small businesses to compete and grow. Prior to this, as director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Governors State University, Hilary designed, developed and delivered programs to support existing and aspiring entrepreneurs. While there, she brought specialist centers focused on international trade, high growth potential entrepreneurs, government contracting and financing to the area.
Angela Adams has been with the Management Association since 2000 and has over 20 years of experience in the human resources (HR) industry. She consults with clients on affirmative action issues and a variety of HR topics. Additionally, Angela provides training services in human resources and management for member organizations via the HR Hotline.
Angela is a University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign graduate and holds a Master of Science in Human Resources Management from Boston University. She is a Senior Professional in Human Resources as designated through the Society for Human Resource Management and a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
David K. Gay
David previously served as Director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at College of DuPage for 21 years. Throughout his career, Dave was advisor, counselor, coach and trainer to thousands of businesses throughout Northeastern Illinois. He established a reputation as trusted advisor in the business community with particular expertise in small business financing, business planning, franchising, acquisitions, government resources for businesses and economic development.
In 2013, David founded InSight Business Advisors to continue his work with small businesses and to maintain his close relationship with local Small Business Development Centers, economic development organizations, bankers, accountants, consultants and other professionals that work with the small business community.
David’s academic credentials include a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hanover College (Ind.) and an MBA in finance and post-graduate work in entrepreneurial studies from the University of Denver. He is a graduate of the Oklahoma University Economic Development Institute program and is a Certified Economic Developer under the International Economic Development Institute.
“Profit Spotter” Tom Gray helps small business owners grow profits and guides those considering a sale. His proven techniques improve marketing, management, operations, business planning and financing. Upon optimizing business results, he manages the process of selling the business if desired by the owner.
Following a 30-year career at Ameritech in operations, marketing and mergers/acquisitions, Tom launched a consulting firm in 2000. In addition, he has served as interim CEO and director at two small NASDAQ companies, co-chair of the Pro Bono Committee of the Turnaround Management Association (Midwest Region), and current member of MBBI: Midwest Association of Business Brokers and Intermediaries.
He is a management consultant, business broker, MBA professor and author. His credentials include Certified Turnaround Professional, Certified Business Development Advisor, and Certified SCORE Mentor, and Registered Business Broker.
Rita has been the executive director of the Business Development Center (BDC) at College of DuPage since July 2011. The BDC houses programs through the Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the Illinois International Trade Center (ITC) and the Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). These programs are grant funded through federal and state dollars; the BDC has been hosted by College of DuPage since 1985. Her career at the college has spanned twenty-eight (28) years with twenty-one (21) of those years focused on the development and growth of small business in government contracting. Her varied responsibilities include running the operations for the three centers while working within her passion of advising on government contracting.
Rita has guided her team to substantially increase annual performance measures of all programming year over year. She is certified as a Contracting Assistance Specialist , U.S. Veteran Administration Federal Contracting Certification Mentor, U.S. Veteran Administration Verification Certification Counselor and holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northwood University, Michigan. She is a member of many professional organizations and has been actively involved in leadership within many of those organizations, including the National Contract Management Association, the North Central Regional Council, the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Center, the Midwest Small Business Liaison Officer Group and the Illinois Entrepreneurial and Small Business Growth Association.
Mark Heintz is an experienced executive entrepreneur with a proven track record of creating calue for a wide range of businesses, from startups to well-known consumer brands.
Mark began his career in accounting and finance, where he gained a generous understanding of business operations and how to use analytics to create a value-driven strategy for top tier companies. He supplemented these experiences by earning an MBA in marketing and strategy from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Applying his MBA, Mark organically grew product lines and brands through new product development and implementation of fully integrated marketing strategies. Leveraging his knowledge and experiences, he launched several award-winning extrepreneurial businesses. Throughout his career, Mark has been consistently selected for leadership roles and received awards for the work he has performed. This is a testament to his commitment to excellence and his ability to help take companies from aspiration to achievement.
Mark lives in the suburbs of Chicago with his wife and three daughters. In his free time, he enjoys working out and traveling with his family.
Michael Hesek has been developing custom software solutions for nearly 20 years. Working in over 12 different programming languages he has assisted companies to develop desktop, web and mobile solutions that are tailored to their unique requirements and needs. Along with developing business solutions he has also consulted and provided training services for businesses looking to improve workflows and identify process gaps in daily operations.
Michael received his BS in Computer Science from Northern Illinois University. Throughout his career he has continued his education by learning the necessary skills required to keep up with an ever changing industry. Michael lives in the suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two children. When not sitting in front of a computer screen he enjoys the outdoors and historical reenactment.
Jean Lin is an ITC (International Trade Center) program manager at College of DuPage and is dedicated to helping small to mid-size companies make their entry in the global market. With years of international business experience in multiple markets, Jean brings valuable trade knowledge and diverse cultural insight to help her small business navigate international trade hurdles. Her background includes expertise in strategic planning for exports, international regulations, sales, product development and distributor management. Jean is passionate about coaching small business to be successful in international sales and imports/exports.
Barry Saltzman has enjoyed a successful career as a proven executive who is strategic, results- oriented and adept at anticipating future business trends. Barry is comfortable with the daily challenges of management in a highly competitive market. With a strong focus on developing people, he has earned a reputation for building great teams and future leaders.
As a hands-on leader throughout his career, Barry has experience working in both public and private global companies. He has been responsible for global sales, P&L, business development and leading and managing complex project teams. His work has influenced service delivery, service and sales operations and customer relationships.
During Barry’s career, he succeeded in a major financial turnaround of a $60 million dollar privately held business; he grew revenue from $35 million to over $200 million for a large IT services business; and he managed a $535 million dollar P&L with over 1500 technical and sales employees for a large services division of a public company. In addition, Barry has taken a leadership sales role in closing global deals valued at over $25 million dollars. He started his career as a professional services manager, where he developed a unique style and skill set that allowed him to move into the leadership positions of VP outsourcing, SVP sales, chief operating officer, president and chief executive officer.
Since 1997 Doug has served as the “Idea Stalker” and strategic marketing lead for international, national, regional and local brands in virtually every industry (business-to-business and consumer). His portfolio of marketing experience ranges from writing TV commercials for Pepsi and the Principal Financial Group, to facilitating name development for biotech companies and microbrew products, to designing qualitative online research for marketing to millennials.
Doug is also a guest teacher and speaker on marketing, creativity and communication at UW-Madison School of Journalism, Loyola University Chicago, Old Town School of Folk Music, and CADCA’s national conference on drug abuse prevention. Doug is a business advisor with the Illinois SBDC at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. His twitter handle is @IdeaStalking