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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Press Releases > Eller College Honors Entrepreneurs

Press Release

Eller Press Contact

Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller College of Management

Eller College Honors Entrepreneurs

April 2, 2002

The Karl Eller Center at The University of Arizona's Eller College of Business and Public Administration announces honorees in two distinguished categories. The Entrepreneurial Fellows represent the best entrepreneurs in Arizona; the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame recognizes outstanding achievements of Berger Entrepreneurship graduates and associates.

Entrepreneurial Fellows

The Karl Eller Center is proud to annually recognize individuals who are accomplished entrepreneurs in Arizona and award them the status of Karl Eller Center ENTREPRENEURIAL FELLOWS. As an Entrepreneurial Fellow, the Karl Eller Center honors the nominee's roll in the economic development of Arizona. This is part of the center's efforts to increase the appreciation and understanding of the role that entrepreneurs play in the growth of the state and the nation.

ENTREPRENEURIAL FELLOWS serve as role models, participate in Berger Entrepreneurship Program classes and outreach programs , and serve as mentors and liaisons for business contacts within the community for entrepreneurship students. This years awardees will be recognized following the final round of the Tegeler Business Plans Competition Finals on April 16.

The Entrepreneurial Fellows Program has brought substantial value to the entrepreneurship program, its individual students, and the entrepreneurs it recognizes, so much so that it has become a model for other organized recognition and mentor programs within The University of Arizona and among other institutions.

Patrick Clifton, Founder, Chairman, and CEO.AutoAuto Wash

Patrick Clifton is the Founder, Chairman and CEO of AutoAuto ® Wash, LLC. Founded in 1998, utoAuto® Wash, LLC, will by 2002 year-end be the largest independent owner/operator of petroleum based automatic car washes in the US. From 1996 through January 1998, Mr. Clifton served as the Chairman and CEO of SpinCycle™ Inc. Mr. Clifton took SpinCycle™ from a start-up development stage concept to the largest coin-operated laundry chain in the US, introducing over 100 large format "superstore" laundry units in less than two years. Prior to this, in 1994 and 1995, Mr. Clifton served as President and CEO of Northstar Restaurants, Inc., the exclusive area developer for the Boston Market™ concept in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota. During this time, he was responsible for the successful multi-unit development of over 50 Boston Market retail locations. From 1992 to 1994, Mr. Clifton served as co-Chief Executive Officer of Mid-America Entertainment Company, the exclusive franchisee for Blockbuster Video™ in Minnesota, where he was responsible for the multi-unit development of 32 Blockbuster Video™ units. In 1993, Mr. Clifton's work was honored when Mid-America was awarded the coveted Developer of the Year Award by Blockbuster Entertainment, Inc. From 1988 to 1991, Mr. Clifton was President and CEO of The Movie Superstore, Inc., a ten-unit, video rental company in Phoenix, Arizona, which he co-founded and developed. Prior to this, he worked in a family owned real estate investment and development company located in Arizona.

Doug Goodman, President and CEO, Ridgetop Group and Ardext Technologies

Doug Goodman's primary business ventures have been in providing tools for the Semiconductor industry. Prior to relocating to Tucson from Oregon, Doug has helped build or form several businesses in this sector leading to liquidity events through IPO or an acquisition by a larger company. He formed Ridgetop Group in Tucson to develop and commercialize technology in select niches. Doug received his BS in Electrical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University and his MBA from the University of Portland. Doug and his wife Jo established an Award for the Best Technology Business Plan that will be announced at the Statewide Business Plan Competition. In addition to his involvement with Ridgetop, he is presently President and CEO of Ardext Technologies, a Semiconductor Tools firm.

Jim Jindrick, President, Wencil Research, LLC
Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, Class of 2001

Jim Jindrick has over 25 years of experience in electronics and software technology research and development, product engineering, international marketing, consulting and business development. He is vice president of Ridgetop Group, Inc., a specialized microelectronics intellectual property engineering company in Tucson, Arizona and with a development center in Kiev, Ukraine. Jim is also president of Wencil Research, LLC, a technology venture development company. He was a founder and vice president of Intelligent Instrumentation Inc., now a Texas Instruments subsidiary, and vice president of marketing at Galtronics USA, Inc., a worldwide leader in cellular telephone antenna technology. Jim has also held management positions with Burr-Brown Corporation (Texas Instruments - Tucson), the Thomas A. Edison Technical Center (Cooper Industries), and Snap-On Corporation. Jim served 10 years as an adjunct faculty member in the Eller College of Business and Public Administration at The University of Arizona, and was elected to the UA Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. He has been granted seven U.S. and numerous international utility patents. Jim has an engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and pursued graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin and University of Michigan.

Francine Hardaway, CEO, Stealthmode Partners, Inc

Stealthmode Partners is headed by Francine Hardaway, Ph.D.,an experienced technology marketing strategist with special expertise in early stage company operations. She is a developer of strategic partnerships, and a strategic relationship manager with experience in marketing and public relations for growth companies (from startup to IPO to maturity.) As a partner in Stealthmode Partners, she helped package and secure funding for four early-stage technology companies in one year. She has created positioning and marketing strategies for dozens of early-stage companies, and is a founder of Opnix, Inc., a venture-backed Internet infrastructure start-up that received $8.35 million seed financing. Prior to co-founding Stealthmode Partners, Dr. Hardaway was Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Innovative Environmental Products, and Manager of Worldwide Press Relations at Intel's Computing Enhancement Group, where she planned the entrance of the intelligent I/O server chip into the OEM market and created the public relations plans for digital imaging, in-car computing, USB, and home networking. As an entrepreneur, Dr. Hardaway built the largest marketing/public relations firm in Phoenix, Arizona before leaving it to join Intel.

Stealthmode Partners is a network of people and companies working together behind the scenes (in "stealthmode") to help portfolio companies grow bigger, better, faster. Companies that are accepted into the Stealthmode Partners portfolio receive coaching, consulting, and connections to the people and resources they need to reach success

The Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame

The Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame was established in 1998 to formally recognize the significant achievements of alumni and associates of the Karl Eller Center and Berger Entrepreneurship Program. Past inductees have included CEO's, founders, presidents, and educators encompassing a wide variety of private enterprise and learning initiatives.

For Contributions to Investment in Entrepreneurial Ventures
E. Stephen Krawchuk, Managing Director
Vintage Capital Group
Los Angeles, California
Class of 1990

Stephen Krawchuk's tenure in the world of finance is a mural of commitment, contribution, and innovation—all benefiting the growth of business. A requisite element of entrepreneurial growth, finance must itself be entrepreneurial—ever changing, flexible, yet responsible in both pursuing and creating opportunity. Stephen's experience and skill in capitalizing companies extend from all facets of debt to equity and make him an architect of commercial growth. From investment banking to principal equity investing, Stephen has managed transactions relating to financing small entrepreneurial companies requiring $1 million to large corporate conglomerates requiring $500 million of capital. He has worked with start-ups to multi-national industrials, financing all stages of corporate life from inception to restructuring.

For Outstanding Contributions to Entrepreneurship
Regeneration, New York City, 2001
Darlene Newman, Business Advocate
New York City Partnership, ReSTART Central
New York, New York
Class of 1997

Darlene was less than a month out of a senior management position at a software firm working on a project based in the World Trade Center, and living in downtown New York City when the towers were struck. Beyond the clear travesty, in the background, small businesses around ground zero were devastated at every level. It was in the midst of this national tragedy and personal hardship that Darlene Newman's entrepreneurial light shined among the very brightest. Joining ReSTART Central, an organization created in response to the World Trade Center disaster in a coordinated effort between The New York City Partnership, NYC Economic Development Corporation and the Empire State Development Corporation, Darlene spent the next six months as a full time volunteer, working one-on-one with affected businesses to help them regain stability. With more at stake than money, and with more to give than money, it was a perfect match. Said one ReSTART Central beneficiary, "She has just been a godsend, straight from heaven. She has helped us solve problems we hadn't even thought of yet."

Approximately 263 individuals have volunteered their time through ReSTART Central since September 2001. Of the 263, over 40 professionals with 5 or more years of professional experience have devoted time in a business advocacy role to over 724 businesses.

For Innovation and Outstanding Product Development
Jay Steinmetz, President and CEO, Inc.
Baltimore, Maryland
Class of 1990

Working for an armored vehicle manufacturer, Jay Steinmetz developed a new technology using bar codes and hand held computers to easily and inexpensively track valuable military equipment. In the truest entrepreneurial spirit, Jay recognized the commercial value of this concept in configurable barcode tracking software to manage equipment and other inventory challenges. In the best entrepreneurial focus, Steinmetz went on to found in 1999 ( Today, ready to enter the wireless market, employs 35 and will generate $15 Million in 2002 revenue. Jay's foresight is not lost among his peers, personally or professionally—he was recently named one of Baltimore's "top 40 under 40" entrepreneurs by the Baltimore Business Journal.

For Business Development based on Top Business Plan
Mike Voevodsky, Vice President Business Development
Hextek Corporation
Tucson, Arizona
Class of 1986

The vitality of an entrepreneurial genesis has a strong pull. Michael Voevodsky felt the pull of his Berger Entrepreneurship Program venture, Hextek, even years after he left it. As the basis for his Berger program business plan, Voevodsky created a master blueprint for Hextek's growth. So successful was Voevodsky's endeavor, it was one of the two top business plans of his class and within weeks of the completion of the business plan, the company received its first order—from Los Alamos National Labs to supply over 100 mirrors for the high powered laser project called AURORA. AURORA was among the first big laser fusion projects underwritten by the Department of Defense and Department of Energy. Following the launch of Hextek in 1985 and his departure in 1987, Michael pursued, and gained, a Harvard MBA—and put it to work in the corporate world. No small success there, but in unquestionable entrepreneurial spirit, Michael answered the call and has returned to Tucson-based Hextek "not just to run the business, but to develop and grow it—to make it the best in its class".

For Outstanding Business Development
Michael Williams, President
Mesa Communications
Falls Church, Virginia
Class of 1989

It was not enough to have led a telecom tower pioneer to the top of its industry—Michael Williams has led two. The founding, building, and subsequent sale of TeleCom Towers, LLC, in 1999 (a top five tower company), created a path for Williams to co-found Mesa Communications, virtually weeks later. Mesa Communications, already the 8th largest in the industry, is positioned to be a key player in the communications tower business. 2002 has already brought an $85 million round of financing to Mesa, which will support the company's new network of clustered "community towers." The quintessential entrepreneur, Michael astutely identifies need and opportunity. In business, he recognizes the value of a dollar, the value of timing, but most importantly, the value of people.

The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program No. 11 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 — Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program No. 48 in the U.S. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers the No. 25-ranked Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,800 undergraduate and 800 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and on its satellite campus in downtown Phoenix.

Press Contact:
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management

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