The Old Carnegie Library 401 Watson Street Ripon, WI 54971
The Creative Enterprise Center P.O. Box 248 Ripon, WI 54971
Academics | Creative Enterprise
Creative Enterprise Center
“Managed by students. Mentored by professionals.”
Professional Services for Entrepreneurs
The Creative Enterprise Center (CEC) is a student-organized and operated consulting business providing services to existing businesses, entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, and not-for-profits.
Ripon College has a tradition of student-community partnerships. With generous support from the Kemper Foundation, the Ripon College Creative Enterprise Center was created in 2008. By supporting students, the grant enables the CEC to serve clients year round.
Services include business planning, feasibility studies, marketing plans, financials and budgets, and market research – anything to assist with the business development process.
CEC student consultants are supervised by Ripon College faculty in appropriate disciplines including business, economics, communications, mathematics and statistics. Highly experienced professional community mentors also help to insure quality services. Services are affordable because fees include only the amount necessary to support the student workers.
The Creative Enterprise Center (CEC) is a student operated and professionally mentored consulting firm. The CEC serves as an affordable resource for early-stage business ventures in their creation of a feasible and sustainable enterprise within an 80 mile radius of Ripon College.
For profit and nonprofit, early stage organizations within an 80 mile radius of Ripon College, the Creative Enterprise Center is a student led self-sufficient consulting business that focuses on all aspects of early-stage business planning and refinement. The Creative Enterprise Center’s innovative perspective will offer affordable services to maximize the probability of success through the collaboration of students, mentors, faculty, and alumni while providing a mutually educational experience for the consultant and the client.
“I am very impressed with the business plan the Creative Enterprise Center produced for starting my business. They worked in a timely manner and extended great professional advice to make sure my business is successful and adaptable in the Ripon area. I appreciate all of the great work the Creative Enterprise Center provided!”
-Kristy Sadlon, Divine Passage, LLC
“The Creative Enterprise Center of Ripon, assisted ADVOCAP, Inc. with several Grant Projects that we have been involved in. This past year they also assisted us with developing a business plan for a client in one of our rural areas. They have always been very professional in the way they have handled these projects and done a great job. I would strongly recommend their services to other organizations and businesses.”
-Kathy Doyle, Director ADVOCAP Business Development
“The Creative Enterprise Center listened to my intent & helped create a survey for our team. The results were well tabulated. The CEC is a great resource for our community. Thank you!”
-Candie Baker, Pick ‘n’ Save
Meet the Mentors
Associate Professor and Director of Business Management
Professor Avery has received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, M.B.A. in Management from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and is a Certified Management Consultant.
She has received many awards and honors through her business endeavors and is a well-known asset to the Ripon community. In 1993 she was nominated SBA Women in Business Advocate and since then, has been a member of various nonprofit boards. Her specific areas of interest are: social entrepreneurship, nonprofit organizations, development finance, strategic management, and market research.
Professor Avery has been an entrepreneur, economic development consultant, and small business owner from 1986-2003. She now is employed by Ripon College as Associate Professor and Director of the Business Management program.
Tom Avery has been an independent consultant to businesses, communities, organizations, lenders and economic development being responsible for project structuring and financial consultation regarding appropriate financing vehicles. Though this he has had leadership in over 1200 economic development projects statewide has resulted in over $500 million in financing generated for Wisconsin businesses, and thousands of jobs.
He was the President and Founder of Riverfront, Inc., LaCrosse, WI. He was directly responsible for the growth of manufacturing sales revenues from $130,000 to $1.6 million annually with corresponding growth in employment from 7 to 145. As head administrator he was able to develop fiscal control systems, administrative procedures, and personnel policies for the corporation. Development responsibilities included total public relations efforts, media contacts and government relations as necessary to fulfill needs.
Tom Avery has received his BS from the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse and a BS Certification Rehabilitation Administration from DePaul University, Chicago.
Candace Renwall, CEO and founder, launched Technology Business Partners in early 2005. Taping into the knowledge, experience and contacts spanning a 35+ year business career, Renwall utilizes decades of executive level experience in marketing, finance, operations, government affairs and meeting management to successfully lead organizations, particularly non-profits, through complex internal and external challenges in today’s difficult financial environment.
David Sakrison, of Ripon, WI, mentors the CEC staff in report writing and entrepreneurship. He has been a professional writer and editor for more than 35 years, working for businesses, associations, health care, non-profits, museums, political campaigns, and the press. In early 1994, he became a full-time freelance copywriter and editor. Since then, he has worked for a wide variety of clients from start-up businesses to multinationals and Fortune 500® companies.
He is the author of three non-fiction books and he has been a guest speaker at the Wisconsin Historical Society, Kentucky Society of Natural History, Patuxent (MD) Wildlife Research Center, Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, and Ripon College.
A former college instructor in business and technical writing, Sakrison has conducted workshops on newsletters, news releases, sales letters, technical writing, crisis communications, salesmanship, and leadership.
He holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Wisconsin/Oshkosh with an emphasis on marketing for health care and non-profit services.
Consultant & Grant Director
Intake & Director of Client Relations
Senior: Business Management, Sports Management & Leadership Studies
Director of Marketing
Junior: Art History, English, & Anthropology
Junior: Business Management and Spanish
Senior: Business Administration, Sports Management & Leadership Studies
Junior: Business Management & Economics
Junior: Business Administration & Communication
Junior: Business Administration & Spanish
Faculty Advisory Board
Deano Pape: Assistant Professor of Communication (part-time), Director of Forensics, & College Days Advisor
Karl Beres: Professor of Mathematics & Computer Science, Coordinator of Environmental Studies
Peng “Roc” Huang: Assistant Professor of Economics and Business Administration
Steve Sorenson: Attorney
Thomas Keuler: CPA, Instructor of Business Administration
Paul Schoofs: Patricia Parker Francis Professor of Economics