Led by Founder & CEO Gary Schoeniger, ELI has assembled a team of entrepreneurial staff, contributors, and advisory board members who are dedicated to achieving our vision and mission.
Founder & CEO
Author and entrepreneur Gary Schoeniger has emerged as an internationally recognized thought leader in the field of entrepreneurial mindset education and training. Gary is the co-author of Who Owns the Ice House? Eight Life Lessons from an Unlikely Entrepreneur, an international bestseller described as “required reading for humanity.” Drawing from decades of research, Gary led the design and development of the original Ice House Entrepreneurship Program through a partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Gary has presented around the world including the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, European Commission, U.S. State Department, and the Colombian Ministry of Education.
Gary currently serves as a board member for the Hershey Montessori School, a member of the Dean’s Council at Purdue Polytechnic Institute, and an advisory council member for Tecnologico de Monterrey’s Tec21 model to produce graduates with an entrepreneurial spirit and humanistic outlook.
Vice President of Strategic Partnerships
Vice President Rob Herndon is responsible for client engagement, new product development, thought leadership and training. With degrees in Astronautical Engineering and Systems Management, Rob spent over eight years in education at the university, community college, and high school levels as well as twenty-one years as a United States Air Force officer. In his varied roles as an engineer, pilot, commander, faculty member and associate dean, Rob positively impacted hundreds of colleagues and students that he’s enjoyed interacting with over the years.
Rob has served as a volunteer youth soccer and baseball coach and currently serves as the President of Lemon-Aide’s Friends, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to assisting cancer patients in need.
Director of Training & Operations
Director of Training & Operations Joanie Weber is responsible for coordinating ELI keynote, workshop, and training services as well as the oversight of ELI operations, human resources, and finances. Prior to joining ELI in 2014, Joanie earned her B.A. in Entrepreneurship and Marketing from Kent State University and served as a research intern for the Burton D. Morgan Foundation in Hudson, Ohio. She worked to gain a deeper understanding of business plan competitions, identify best practices, and review outcomes and impact through an in-depth review of objectives, processes, and structures.
Previously a volunteer for the Humane Society, Joanie now has two rescue dogs of her own, Cooper and Maizie, and has become the standby dog sitter for traveling colleagues.
Client Engagement Specialist
Client Engagement Specialist Nic Houle provides support for client engagement, program implementation, and order fulfillment. Prior to joining ELI, Nic performed national service through AmeriCorps for two years, where he assisted with a healthy futures program in the city of Lansing, Michigan. In this role, Nic served a diverse community of residents, promoting healthy living through gardening and farming. Through this experience, Nic participated in community leadership trainings, service project event planning, and neighborhood resource development within the program.
With a degree in Comparative Cultures, Politics & Social Relations, Nic has served as a member of the nature stewardship team at Fenner Nature Center and as a volunteer with Michigan State Representative Theresa Abed to ensure all voices were heard in the state legislature.
Program Evaluator/Data Analyst
Catherine Bornhorst contributes to ELI program evaluation, data analysis, and educational research. Catherine’s experience is focused on program evaluation and educational research largely committed to social and educational change. She has previously taught in kindergarten through third grade classrooms in Cincinnati Public Schools and has engaged in multi-lingual classes as well as high schools. With degrees in Early Childhood Education and Educational Leadership, Catherine currently serves as the Executive Director for the National Network for Educational Renewal (NNER) and is a professor in teacher education at the elite Miami University in Ohio. Catherine is also the Founder and CEO of Born Ingenuity.
Catherine has served as a board member for the Southwest International Dyslexia Association (SWIDA) and volunteers her time with the mentoring committee for the Women’s Leadership Collaborative of Greater Dayton. She is also a mentor for Miami University’s Varsity Volleyball team.
Curriculum Designer/Implementation Specialist
Dr. Lynne Chandler-Garcia contributes to ELI’s curriculum development, program assessment tools, and program implementation support. Lynne was the lead curriculum writer for ELI’s newest product, the Ice House Student Success Program (IHSS), as well as the customization of IHSS for Tecnologico de Monterrey’s implementation in 2017. A prolific author, Dr. Garcia has a wide range of publications as well as over fifteen years of teaching, instructional design, and curriculum development experience. With a Master’s and Ph.D. in Political Science, Lynne currently works as a professor of Political Science at the United States Air Force Academy.
Lynne volunteers for Junior Achievement and serves on the the Colorado Spring’s School District 12 Accreditation and Assessment Committee.
Fernanda Lozano Martinez
Fernanda Lozano Martinez contributes as ELI’s intern supporting data gathering and assessment, administrative tasks, and product development. Fernanda is passionate about educational innovation and entrepreneurship and has been an entrepreneur since 2014 starting Doblado, a food company, and Otto, a blue light-proof eyewear company. A graduate of Prepa Tec, Fernanda is currently studying Innovation and Development Engineering concentrating with Neuroscience at Tecnologico de Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico.
Fernanda volunteers for youth programs and is currently working with Soñar Despierto Monterrey, an international non profit organization working with underprivileged children to bring values education to public schools.
Tony Wagner currently serves as an Expert In Residence at Harvard University’s new Innovation Lab and as a Senior Research Fellow at the Learning Policy Institute. Tony’s previous work experience includes twelve years as a high school teacher, K-8 principal, university professor in teacher education, and founding executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility. Tony is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences and a widely published author. His work includes numerous articles and six books including Most Likely To Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for The Innovation Era and Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The World. Tony earned an M.A.T. and an Ed.D. at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Milena Stoycheva is the CEO of Junior Achievement Bulgaria and Visiting Professor with the EIT Digital Master School in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneur and educator, she is passionate about the importance of education and the opportunity for young people to develop their talents and discover their future as entrepreneurs. Milena has served as the Chair of the Global Member Council of Junior Achievement Worldwide and Senior Adviser of Higher Education of Junior Achievement Europe. She was the first Dean of Students of the American University in Bulgaria following its establishment in 1991. Additionally, to having a few own ventures, she has served on the entrepreneurship and science core group of Intel Education Team in Europe; worked as a journalist with AP television; and mentored teams in different training programs on business development and technology entrepreneurship. She has degrees from Bulgarian and American universities.
Frank Magwegwe overcame homelessness in his twenties through starting a street fruit and vegetables business in Johannesburg, South Africa. Today, he is one of South Africa’s leading financial wellness experts having been profiled in national publications, radio broadcasts, and television shows. Frank left a successful twenty-year career in financial services to establish Thrive Financial Wellness and Frankly Speaking Financial Coaching, which provides practical solutions to improving financial behaviours and the related impact on employee engagement and productivity. Frank is a third-year doctoral student in personal financial planning at Kansas State University. He previously completed the Advanced Management Program (2013) at the Harvard Business School; Masters in Financial Mathematics (2002) at Pretoria University; BSc Honours in Advanced Maths of Finance (1997); and BSc in Mathematical Statistics (1996) at Wits University. In addition, Frank holds the CFP®, CAIA® and FRM® certifications.
Professor David Romero is a Senior Research Scientist and Scientific Project Manager at the Center for Innovation in Design and Technology at Tecnológico de Monterrey University in Mexico. Previous roles include executive director positions in the departments of Research & Development, entrepreneurship, innovation and technology management as well as business incubation and acceleration, family business and technology transfer. His research interests include the interdisciplinary fields of innovation, technology, and engineering management for emerging technologies and digital business models. David is a member of the IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society. He has published more than 100 journal and international conference articles and serves at different editorial and scientific committee boards in the disciplines of business and industrial engineering.
Margie Worthington Smith is passionate about developing human capital. Her roles at the South African Institute for Entrepreneurship, Cape Town Embrace, and the Triple Trust Organization have all contributed towards empowering individuals to find their strengths to grow towards excellence. Margie has served on several boards and as the executive director of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, an organization committed to cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset in the youth of South Africa. Margie currently consults organizations on building vision, strategy, and culture and is working to establish a new organisation, Encompass, with a purpose of empowering children to develop tools to cope with the pressures of modern technology.
Mark Nolte is the President of the Iowa City Area Development Group (ICAD) and has been working to help Iowa companies and entrepreneurs for over 17 years. A native Iowan, Mark believes Iowa’s best days are ahead with a continued focus on innovation and collaboration. Before his role with ICAD, Mark was the National Training Director for the Abilities Fund and with the Institute for Social and Economic Development. In his current role with the Iowa City Area Development Group, he works to grow new companies, support existing firms, and attract new businesses to Iowa’s Creative Corridor. Mark is the father of five, the husband of an entrepreneur in the arts, and solid little league coach.
David Galbenski is an entrepreneur, lawyer, author and public speaker with global reach. His entrepreneurial achievements include being recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner and a two-time recipient of the Inc. 500 award which celebrates the 500 fastest growing, private companies in the USA. David is a passionate supporter of building the next generation of entrepreneurs to innovate and create products and services that help to solve some of the world’s biggest issues. As the Global Chairman of The Entrepreneurs’ Organization in 2008/09, he helped fuel the entrepreneurial spirit in over 40 countries around the globe. David graduated with distinction from the University of Michigan Business School in 1990 and cum laude from Wayne State University Law School in 1993.