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Alex (DuBois) VandeHei ’12 is founder and CEO of HeiPro Digital in Green Bay.

Entrepreneur Alums Share a Connection

A digital hub is giving alumni entrepreneurs the chance to connect with their communities, locally and globally. There are currently more than 270 businesses in the new Alumni-Owned Businesses Network with some 400 more in the works.

“Some of these alums have stories and businesses that will knock your socks off,” says Dee Geurts-Bengston (College Advancement), architect of the network. She and her team have personally reached out to all 600-odd SNC entrepreneurs in hopes of bringing the owners together and showcasing their successes and services. Local alumni are invited to meet in person, while out-of-state and out-of-country alumni are welcomed virtually.

Launched in December, the nework, at snc.edu/ alumni/directory, is already seeing some of the highest traffic on the college website. The listings represent 30 plus different fields and are searchable by owner, type of service and location.

In addition to the core directory, a spotlight feature focuses on a different alum every six weeks to offer a deeper dive into their journey and current business. With every spotlight, more alumni reach out to have their story told.

Geurts-Bengston says that the network is a way for the college to stay in touch with alumni and “offer a service free of charge. It’s for alums to connect and support each other. I just have a lot of fun doing it. … Once people knew about it and see maybe a friend they roomed with or in a club with, it could be a great thing, to connect.”

It’s a way for alums to grow their business, also: If there’s a service one owner needs, they may choose to buy it from another.

Next on the docket are window clings and digital stickers that alumni owners can place in their storefront windows and on their websites. Geurts-Bengston gets giddy thinking of spotting these at businesses scattered across the country, and around the world: “Imagine someone on vacation, and they say, ‘Oh my gosh, I graduated from there!’ ”

Business owners ...
... already profiled on the Alumni-Owned Business Network include:

Pam Foti ’89: Vesta Senior Network, “a realty company for long-term care.”

Jason Neef ’93: Kicksite, developers of software that makes the lives of martial arts school owners easier.

Christine Herman ’97: Willow Clothing Co., makers of cute casual clothing at affordable prices.

Know an alumni-owned business you would like to see listed on the network? Contact alumni@snc.edu.

Nov. 5, 2021