Regnier Institute Team
Managing Director – Hatchery Program Coordinator
Tony Mendes is an acclaimed entrepreneurial educator and administrator of nationally and internationally recognized programs. In his role with the Regnier Institute, Dr. Mendes is responsible for the integration of entrepreneurship in all of the academic units of the university. Dr. Mendes formerly served as Director of the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of North Texas and Executive Director of the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership (AEL) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Mendes is the past President of the Unites States Association for Small business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) and currently serves on that organizations leadership team.
Assistant Director – Entrepreneurship Scholars Program Coordinator
Bryan Boots coordinates the Entrepreneurship Scholars Program and teaches New Product Development and Technology Entrepreneurship in the Department of Global Entrepreneurship. Bryan earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Kansas State University’s College of Engineering. After spending time in large companies as well as working with and as a part of startup teams, Bryan realized his interest in business and decided to pursue his M.B.A. through UMKC. While completing his M.B.A. with a dual concentration in Entrepreneurship and Finance, Bryan worked as a department assistant with the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation on its E-Scholars program, and upon graduating joined the Institute team full-time.
Associate Director – Operations Manager
Stephanie Campbell has served as the Associate Director-Program Coordinator for the Regnier Institute since June of 2016. Prior to joining our team, she was an instructor in the marketing department and she volunteered as an E-Scholars mentor. She is a data-driven marketing professional with a background in non-profit sectors and the arts. Stephanie spent six years in show business developing strategic marketing campaigns for a national Broadway presenter. Stephanie earned her M.B.A. at UMKC in 2016 and her undergraduate degree in Journalism, Strategic Communications from the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas in 2007.
Assistant Director – Mentor Program Coordinator
Phillip Gonsher has responsibilities in the nationally acclaimed Entrepreneurship Scholars program, extending to Coordinator of Curriculum for the undergraduate Entrepreneurship academic programs. He a full time instructor at UMKC Bloch School, teaching courses in the Entrepreneurship and Marketing Departments with a focus on Entrepreneurial Marketing, Creativity and Innovation and survey entrepreneur courses. Phillip holds a BA in Management from Ottawa University, a M.L.A. from Baker University, M.A. in Business from Webster University, and a M.A. in Marketing from Webster University. He completed a 24-year career with Sprint in leadership marketing positions. Phillip started his career as an Entrepreneur in Phoenix Arizona in the retail soft goods clothing industry.
Bloch Venture Hub Manager
Ben Gruber is the Manager for the Bloch Venture Hub. He joined the Regnier team in February of 2016 while finishing his MBA, triple emphasizing in Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Marketing at UMKC. Prior to his work with the Venture Hub, his professional life included being an entrepreneurship instructor, a TV station manager, and an opera singer. He brings an eclectic skill set to the team, from fine arts to finance, and an inextinguishable enthusiasm for all things Kansas City.
Assistant Director – Arts Entrepreneurship Program Coordinator
Bloch Venture Hub Program Coordinator
Andy Heise is the Accelerator/Incubator Coordinator, Assistant Director of the Regnier Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and an Instructor in the Department of Global Entrepreneurship. He has significant experience in program development, mentoring students and program administration. Andy earned his M.B.A. from Millikin University in 2013 and his Bachelor of Music in Commercial Music in 2008. Andy’s work experience includes roles of Associate Director of Programs & Operations and Program Coordinator for the Center for Entrepreneurship at Millikin University Taber School of Business.
Assistant Director – Student Programs Coordinator
Ben Williams is the Coordinator of Student Programs for the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UMKC and Faculty Advisor for Enactus, CEO, and Regnier Student Ambassadors. He joined the University of Missouri-Kansas City in August 2013 while pursuing an M.B.A. Ben is an Instructor for Global Entrepreneurship Department and holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from Drury University, an M.B.A. from the UMKC, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Connecticut School of Law. His professional background includes work with several small businesses including his own startup.
Naomi O’Donnell joined UMKC in April of 2016 as the assistant for the Regnier Institute and PhD Program Coordinator. She earned her MFA from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and her BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, where she previously worked for the Academic Affairs department.