Entrepreneurs Week


Entrepreneurs Week

Held in September each year, Entrepreneurs Week is a series of workshops focused on educating and guiding startup and experienced entrepreneurs. Here is this year’s speaker lineup.

Women Founders Night

Suzy Chang, Kandice Henning and Dawn Hershik are three women founders who successfully operate entrepreneurial enterprises. One created a new business based on her own ideas, one operates a business as a franchisee and the third member of this presentation team founded a not-for-profit organization. They will address how they dealt with the startup process. Their shared experiences will instruct and inspire!

  • Suzy Chang’s inspiring and energetic personality comes from her life experience… Just a small sample: she lived in 11 different countries by the time she was 11 years old, she’s a veteran of the US Air Force, and she’s fought wildfires in California with the U.S. Forest Service. After the birth of her son, Hayden and without the option of being a stay at home mom, she took a chance at an entrepreneurial venture. She believed that by investing in herself and her business, she could spend more quality time with her family and have more control over her financial future.

    Suzy runs a high-end, premium boutique photo booth experience complete with marketing tools to drive exposure for her clients. She is a visionary who hatched her strategic plan based on a single tenant: Commitment to growth, both personally and professionally. Since the beginning in 2015, she has taken advantage of every opportunity to learn by attending workshops, seminars, coaching, expos etc. In turn, she was a speaker at the 2017 Booth Summit in Los Angeles, Ca lecturing on sales strategies specifically to photo booth industry professionals to help others grow their business. Suzy currently serves on the board for Women in Business for Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce and NaperLaunch.

    In the two and half years since starting her business she has continued to grow her family (with the birth of her daughter in 2017) and her business. Suzy maintains a competitive edge in her industry and has expanded her services and her fleet to seven photo booths and hired staff to help her run events. Her biggest win is running over 200 events since launching with a commitment to quality that resulted in a perfect record of 5-star reviews. She is here to share some of the lessons she has learned since starting out, mainly how to structure your business with a solid foundation, prioritize tasks, work more efficiently, and more importantly, to be present with your family.

  • Kandice Henning is the Founder and Executive Director of the nonprofit Alive Center, a teen center in Naperville Illinois. The Alive Center is an inclusive Teen-Led Teen-Driven place where teens empower other teens. The Alive mission statement was written by our teens and is the voice and heart which drives the center. Our Mission is to be a teen-led, teen-driven center focused on empowering the youth of today to become the impassioned, resilient leaders of tomorrow. Alive is not only a place for teens to belong, but a place for them to explore who they are. Kandice won a Those Who Excel award in 2017 from the Naperville 203 School District as well as the Illinois Board of Education for her work starting Alive.

    After spending 25 years as an executive in the corporate world at Accenture and IBM, Kandice is now following her true passion — helping people, specifically teens, to create the life they desire. Kandice believes that inherent within each of us is infinite potential that is waiting to be unleashed. She is passionate about empowering others and inclusivity. On top of being a long time corporate executive, she is a Life Coach and Certified Yoga Teacher (CYT).
    At Accenture Kandice was an Alliance Director, managing teams that supported Accenture’s largest relationships with companies such as IBM, SAP and Oracle. Kandice is a dynamic leader that loves to collaborate in teams.

    Kandice has a B.A. in Communications from the University of Illinois. Kandice is a graduate of the life coaching school Coach for Life. She also is a certified Heal Your Life workshop leader (Louise Hay’s work). She has her 200-hour CYT from Moksha Yoga in Chicago and is currently obtaining her 500-hour CYT through ParaYoga (Rod Stryker).

  • Dawn Hershik is the Managing Director of a Supporting Strategies franchise based in Naperville. Faced with a decision during a reorganization at the company she had been with for over 25 years, she made the decision to leave and pursue her dream of owning a business.

    Working side by side with her husband, Elliot, since 2015, they’ve built a successful business, winning accolades from the franchisor every year. They have a team of skilled, seasoned accounting professionals who provide efficient and effective bookkeeping and operational support to growing businesses.

    Dawn has enthusiastically built extensive ties with businesses throughout Chicagoland which allow her to make beneficial connections for fellow business owners and others. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (Summa Cum Laude) from Northwood University.

Producing Marketing Video

Jonathan Charles, Byron Stanger and Conor Cunneen will address various methods of creating and using video in the promotion strategies of a business and demonstrate how library resources can support those strategies.

  • Jonathan Charles is a Technology Instructor in Emerging Technology Services at Naperville Public Library. Among other things, as an ETS instructor, Jonathan helps orient library customers on how to use the video equipment and services available at the library’s three locations, including the green screen room and sound recording studio at the 95th Street Library.

    He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Robert Morris University with a degree in graphic design, followed by a one-year artist in residence. After working in prepress for years, he received his A+ and Network + Certifications to venture into the IT world. Jonathan is currently working on a M.S. degree in computer science with a concentration in security.

  • Byron Stanger is an executive leader with extensive marketing experience from 40 years in the corporate world, as an undergraduate and graduate school professor, and a recent entrepreneur who co-founded a full-service marketing solutions agency, outcome management llc.

    Byron is also a NaperLaunch coach and instructor at the NaperLaunch Academy.

  • Conor Cunneen - In coming weeks, keynote speaking engagements for IrishmanSpeaks - Conor Cunneen include Bermuda, Canada & Naperville - engagements he secured because clients whom he did not know contacted him after finding his videos online. Conor will share some simple tips, tricks and techniques to help an entrepreneur get found. Tips, tricks and techniques that will help grow a business effectively and inexpensively.

    IrishmanSpeaks - Conor Cunneen is an in-demand business speaker whose clients range from Harley-Davidson to Helsinki. He is author of five books including two on Mark Twain.

Starting a Not-for-Profit Organization

Starting a not-for-profit organization requires a significant amount of research and preparation. This session will help would-be NFPO entrepreneurs understand the basic steps to follow when launching a new NFPO.

  • Wayne Schreiner has many years of experience in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, both domestically and internationally, including starting for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. He has also been a consultant to not-for-profits, particularly in such areas as strategic planning, organizational and board development.

Entrepreneurs Week Events

Entrepreneurs Week Speakers

Suzy Chang

Suzy Chang

Kandice Henning

Kandice Henning

Dawn Hershik

Dawn Hershik

Byron Stanger

Bryon Stanger

Conor Cunneen

Conor Cunneen

Wayne Schreiner

Wayne Schreiner

Entrepreneurs Week Partners

Fox Valley Score - a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed nationwide. See more about SCORE Mentoring at NaperLaunch.

Naperville Foundation -The Naperville Foundation is an exciting, new self-sustaining “Business Development Foundation” partnering with NaperLaunch in an effort to improve the economic climate in Naperville by increasing the success rate of Naperville based entrepreneurs to whom we provide training and adequate start-up capital.