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Entrepreneurial Leadership Series Luncheons

Five times a year, alumni/ae entrepreneurs or professionals supporting entrepreneurs gather together for our Entrepreneurial Leadership Luncheon Series, including our Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. They come to celebrate our award winners, and listen to a peer tell their career story and the current challenges of their industry. Since its beginning ten years ago, nearly 2000 people have attended at least once.

To see a list of past speakers, read their bios or watch or hear their speeches, click here!

We want your feedback! If you are interested in telling us how we are doing with our luncheons, or how we can improve, please take our survey below. Thank you!

Luncheon Survey


Sponsors help make these luncheons possible. Thank you to all our sponsors!

Title Sponsor:  Steve Kennedy with Faegre, Baker, Daniels

 Faegre Baker Daniels is dedicated to serving the legal needs of local, national and international businesses. From offices in the United States, United Kingdom and China, our more than 800 legal and consulting professionals provide the depth and breadth of expertise necessary to solve complex business challenges. With roots dating back to 1863, our firm is one of the 100 largest law firms headquartered in the U.S. 
Learn more at      Contact Steven Kennedy '81 at (612) 766-8577 or [email protected].

Signature Sponsors: 

Cresa is a corporate real estate advisory firm that exclusively represents tenants and specializes in the delivery of fully integrated real estate services. Our mission is to provide customized solutions exclusively for tenants/corporate space users by offering fully integrated services that align their real estate with their business plans, delivering maximum cost savings and exceeding expectations. For more information, contact Tom Sexton '81 at (612) 373-0289 or [email protected].

Merrill Lynch The Kluge Rathmanner Group at Merrill Lynch provides wealth management services to business owners and entrepreneurs. It is their mission to deliver unbiased and independent advice, while building client loyalty through trust, integrity, and unsurpassed service. These services bring clarity to clients' financial affairs, leaving them more time to focus on other activities that are more important in their lives.  Contact Jeff Kluge '91 at (651) 298-1780 or [email protected]; and Jeff Rathmanner '83 at (651) 298-1756 or [email protected].

 Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC, a subsidiary of Marsh, was established in 2008 to meet the needs of midsize businesses in the U.S. MMA operates independently from Marsh to offer commercial property, casualty, personal lines, and employee benefits to clients across the U.S. More information is at or

MHS Companies is an Independent Financial Services firm providing comprehensive financial and estate planning, investment, and insurance.  Tom Hokr is responsible for bringing top-flight products and services through Signator Investor Investors, Inc. , and through individual consultations and is registered in a number of states.  More information is available at  Contact Tom Hokr ’72 at  (952) 541-9201 or [email protected].

Platinum Bank  is a full service independent bank focused on serving established, growth oriented the businesses and their owners.  The Platinum Standard is centered in providing, swift, creative and customized solutions for situations that are outside of the box.  Clients work directly with owners and decision makers who have entrepreneurs' hours and not banker hours. Contact, David Faust '90 at 651-332-5214 [email protected] or visit


Starting in March 2015, the luncheons will cost $35 per person, and to reduce the overall costs, the Center will no longer be able to cover parking for guests. Parking will be $7.00. The Minneapolis Club accepts cash or check.

Registration for these luncheons can be found linked to this page after the invitation is sent out. Watch your email for the invitation to our next event! The Entrepreneurial Leadership Series Luncheons are by invitation only. To find out how you can be added to the invitation list, contact Kelli Gradin at [email protected]

To find out how you can become a luncheon sponsor or speaker or more information on how you can volunteer with the McNeely Center, contact the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship at 320-363-2764 or Kelli Gradin at [email protected]