Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship

After Hours Speaker Series

Past speakers

Steven Wallace, Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company

Wallace spent the summer of 1978 in Ghana, West Africa as a high school foreign exchange student. He returned at the age of 29 to start The Omanhene Cocoa Bean Co. Omanhene is the first entity to sustain exports of gourmet chocolate made entirely in Africa. Wallace has been recognized by President Jimmy Carter and former ambassador Shirley Temple Black, among others, for this entrepreneurial accomplishment. He is featured in the recently published books, “Food Heroes” by Georgia Pellegrini and “Chocolate Nations” by Orla Ryan. Omanhene has been recognized by the United Nations Global Compact for its path-breaking business model and corporate citizenship.

John Stollenwerk

Former CEO, president and owner of Allen Edmonds Shoe Corporation

In 1980, Stollenwerk purchased the Wisconsin-based Allen Edmonds Shoe Corporation. During his time as president and CEO of Allen Edmonds, Stollenwerk showed that quality people and a quality product are integral elements in any successful business venture. During his After Hours session, Stollenwerk discusses his work at the shoe brand, as well as his commitment to keeping manufacturing in the United States. Stollenwerk has received numerous awards and honors during his career including being named a Marquette University Emeritus Trustee.

Steve Ausnit, pioneer of Ziploc

Ausnit discusses his six decades of business ventures, including the formation of Minigrip, Inc., which led to the development of the re-closable plastic bag. While retired from Minigrip, Ausnit remains an active entrepreneur, investing in various businesses around the world – he still holds 116 patents in his name and co-holds 67 more.