The Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity, housed in the Madden School of Business and a resource for the entire Le Moyne College community, has announced three new hires as the Center begins making in-roads on-campus and in Central New York’s entrepreneur community.
Thanks to the continuous generosity of Tim and Kathleen Keenan, ‘81 and additional gifts by alumni and corporations of $2 million, the Keenan Center will continue to build an entrepreneurial pipeline from the Le Moyne College student body directly into the Central New York business community. The Center has already helped to support a number of students, alumni and community entrepreneurs, has participated in events like Upstate Unleashed, and will be hosting Le Moyne’s annual Dolphin Tank this spring, a showcase competition where student teams compete for over $30,000 in pre-seed dollars from regional business leaders.
According to Mike D’Eredita, Ph.D., ’92, director of the Keenan Center, this is part of a larger plan. “Our goal is to have a transformational impact on our students’ lives while also working to do the same for Central New Yorkers by becoming a feeder for our regional entrepreneurial community. Forming a core team of creative, forward-thinking leaders focused on making, doing, designing and communicating was a necessary step in that direction.”
The Keenan Center announced three new staff members. James Shomar has been named Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Shomar, a national start-up business leader, is currently a general partner at StartFast, a nationally respected early-stage venture accelerator housed in the Madden School of Business. Shomar is also the former founder and CEO of Solstice Power and served as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Syracuse University.
Doug Hill has been tapped to lead the Maker Space, the creative and making aspects of the Center. Hill will split his time between Le Moyne’s IT department and the Center. Hill is an award-winning creative leader with over 25 years of industry experience in product development and is respected in the regional inventor community for his work with the Le Moyne Maker Zone.
Matt Read has been appointed to lead all of the Center’s marketing and public relations efforts. Having worked at agencies like Ogilvy and Mower, Matt has over 20 years of experience in the creative advertising and public relations fields. Before joining Le Moyne as a professor of practice in the communications program, he most recently served as the chief operating officer of the Digital Hyve.
D’Eredita continued: “Creating a team of doers that is representative of various aspects of the entrepreneurial community is vital. In Doug, we have a maker and a true creator. James’ experience driving StartFast will help further develop our approach to new business formation, venture creation and community building. Matt’s role in helping our students create their own brands and marketing strategies while also doing the same for the Center rounds out our strategic approach. These are all individuals committed to the campus, the greater Upstate New York community and a more impactful campus-community connection.”