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Entrepreneurial leaders speak April 17 at Hughes Lecture Series

Four entrepreneurs will share their business experiences as part of the John R. Hughes Lecture Series in Entrepreneurship April 17 at the Pappajohn Business Building.

The University of Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center and Hills Bank and Trust Company are sponsoring the program, which is free and open to the public. It features speakers Marianne Fons, Liz Porter, Rachel Stauffer Windsor and Ben Freuh, who will discuss their unique experiences and successes and the future for fellow Iowans as entrepreneurs in today's economy.

Co-authors of dozens of quilting books, Marianne Fons and Liz Porter are co-owners of a profitable quilt supply company in Winterset, Iowa. Marianne and Liz have co-hosted over 100 public TV episodes, including a five series program "Sew Many Quilts," and two 13-part series of "Quilting With Fons and Porter." Their programs have been broadcast on more than 250 public television stations across the nation.

In 1996, Fons and Porter launched a bimonthly quilting magazine called "Sew Many Quilts," which is now titled "Fons and Porter's For The Love Of Quilting." As executive editors of the magazine, they bring their relaxed, fun-loving approach to the projects and feature articles that reach over 100,000 readers.

They promote their business extensively on the Internet and provide extensive resources to quilters world-wide through their web sites. The team also teaches workshops and lectures across the country and abroad. They will share their experiences in a presentation entitled "Move Over Martha Stewart -- Stitching Together a Business."

The second presentation at the Hughes Lecture will be "Linking Private Institutional Capital to Entrepreneurs in Food and Agriculture," by Rachel Stauffer Windsor, a partner at Cybus Capital Markets in Des Moines. As a partner in Cybus, Rachel was a member of the team that bought the company and undertook management of a venture capital fund based here in Iowa.

Her presentation will describe her company's role in working with growing, entrepreneurial Iowa companies and her position in the company as deal execution and client management partner.

Rachel works with investment banking and private equity clients in deal structuring and assessment, pricing and valuation negotiations, due diligence, legal documentation and portfolio management. She is a board member of Rudi's Bankery, Inc., a portfolio company of tecTerra Food Capital Fund.

Before joining Cybus, she performed marketing and underwriting for the leveraged buyout finance group of Whirlpool Financial Corporation and account origination and portfolio management at both AT Commercial Corporation and Connecticut National Bank.

After graduation from Iowa State University with a degree in Industrial Engineering, Ben Frueh a 29-year-old Dubuque native, was the seventh person to join Minneapolis-based start-up, Allaire Corporation. The company quickly grew to fifteen employees and moved to Cambridge, Mass. He will share the story of his involvement in the entrepreneurial growth of Allaire Corporation and the development of its web page design application, Cold Fusion, from inception to the years after the company went public. In his presentation, "Decisions and Consequences: Lessons Learned from the Internet Gold Rush," he will discuss the development of the Internet from an insider's point of view.

While at Allaire, he was responsible for developing classroom and web-based training courses. Since leaving Allaire in March 2000, he has pursued a career as a web consultant and commercial pilot. He and his wife, Celine, also formerly with Allaire, now live in Maine.

Doors open for the program at 6 p.m. April 17 in the Buchanan Auditorium, Room W10 in the Pappajohn Business Building, followed by the presentations at 6:30 p.m. and a reception at 8:30 p.m.

To register or for more information, contact the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at (319) 335-1022 or email carolyn-norton@uiowa.edu.


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