Each year, the Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship recognizes several outstanding LMU alumni who have made significant contributions to the field of entrepreneurship.


  • Mardi Norman (MBA 2002) - President & CEO of Dynamic Systems Inc. Mardi has successfully built a first-rate corporation in the information technology and services industry for the public sector. She was named by INC magazine as one of "The Top 50 Women Entrepreneurs in America" in 2015. Watch video
  • Michael Rue (BBA 1973, JD 1976) - Founder & CEO of Marketplace Properties, a firm that has developed 24 successful neighborhood shopping center projects in California and Arizona. In his career, Mike has developed over 40 retail projects with a market value in excess of $500 million. Watch video


  • Jim Demetriades (BS 1988) - Founder and managing partner of Kairos Ventures. Jim has been a technology industry pioneer for the last three decades. Watch video
  • Dr. Edison Y. Miyawaki (BS 1952) - President, Chairman and CEO of Family Health in Honolulu. Edison is also part owner of the Cincinnati Bengals and Cincinnati Reds and has been active in philanthropy around the country. Watch video
  • Tami Pardee (MBA 2001) - Owner and principal broker of Halton Pardee + Partners. Tami is the #1 agent in Los Angeles and the company is the #1 brokerage on the Westside. Watch video


  • Jennifer Belcher (MBA 2006, JD 2007) - Corporate attorney and co-founder/VP of Go and Tell, a non-profit organization dedicated to implementing social entrepreneurship projects around the world that empower orphans, widows and refugees. Watch video
  • Sean Kane (BSA 1999) - Co-founder and former president of The Honest Company, a consumer goods company that emphasizes non-toxic household products, from 2011 to 2017. He will stay on as an adviser as he starts a new company. Watch video
  • Mark Macedo (BBA 1986, MBA 1994) - Founding partner and COO of Hanover Financial, a leading private equity investment firm in real estate. Watch video


  • Jacques Soiret (BA 1964) - Considered one of the best trial attorneys in the nation, Jacques has represented numerous large corporations and argued before the United States Supreme Court. As chairman, he was successful in growing his law firm to over 100 professionals. He has been involved in several entrepreneurial enterprises including West Coast Asset Management.
  • Jason Wilk (BBA 2007) - Jason is a serial technology entrepreneur who has successfully launched digital companies including 140Fire, 1DaySports, TinyComb and WhiteyBoard. He is currently co-founder and CEO of AllScreen, a leading video syndication and audience engagement company that was recently acquired for $85 million.


  • Don Hutchison (MBA 1980) - Don is a seasoned technology entrepreneur and investor who's founded numerous companies over the past 30 years. Since 2002, his principal employment has been as an angel investor in startup technology companies.
  • William "Bill" Strickland (BBA 1971) - As Senior Managing Partner of Stealth Sports/Stealth SME, Bill is one of the most successful business executives and sports agents in the nation. He is a true triple threat – achieving enormous success as a sports agent, attorney and entrepreneur.


  • Don Steiner (BA 1988) - Don is the founder and CEO of Profit Recovery Partners (PRP), the largest administrate cost reduction consulting company in North America. He is also the founder of Two Masters Wine Club and Steiner Innovations.
  • John N. Yonai (BS 1980) & Rose Acosta Yonai (BS 1981) - John and Rose founded Tierra West Advisors, Inc., a full-service real estate and development advisory firm serving the public and private sectors. They originally formed the company in 1980 while students at LMU.


  • Jerry Katz (MBA 1980) - Jerry Katz started his career as an accountant with a small local CPA firm. He became partner at 25, and doubled the size of the firm. He founded his own accounting firm in 1983 and used that firm as the foundation for creating a number of skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and many other firms.
  • John Tomich (BBA 1996) - In 2004, John co-founded OneStop Inc., a leading provider of outsourced, e-commerce services to leading brands and services. The firm now has offices on three continents and is one of the fastest growing e-commerce firms in California.


  • Edward J. Carpenter (BBA 1967) - Edward founded Carpenter & Company and currently leads it as chairman and CEO. It is an exceptionally successful investment bank, broker-dealer, financial advisor and private equity firm specializing in banks and distressed assets.
  • Greg Lontok (BBA 2001) - Greg is currently involved as a partner and chief technology officer at GlobalWide Media. The firm is currently engaging a valuation approaching $100 million and is in negotiations to purchase another firm.
  • Denise O'Brien (BA 1986) - After success in the business world, Denise has now dedicated her life to being a social entrepreneur. She founded and became the CEO of "Wings of Love International," a nonprofit organization devoted to helping survivors of domestic abuse.


  • William Scott Brown (BBA 1973) - William formed W. Brown & Associates, a managing general agency specializing in aviation insurance and underwriting property and casualty lines. It is the only privately-held aviation managing general agency in the United States. It has also been ranked as one of the top ten firms of its type in the USA for more than 10 years.
  • Mark S. Hoffman (BA 1979, JD 1982) - Mark is a general civil and trial attorney specializing in commercial law. He has been a part-time municipal and superior court judge for over 20 years. For more than 20 years he has been a volunteer reserve police officer, volunteering his time to work the streets and help people.
  • Christopher J. North (BBA 1985) & Julianne Barry North (BA 1988) - Christopher and Julianne met as students at LMU and left a powerful and lasting institution at the university – they founded the De Colores Organization, which is still going strong 25 years later with 30 students each month spending a weekend in Tijuana, Mexico building homes and schools. Christopher founded a successful aircraft equipment firm in Mexico which still flourishes and employs 800 people. The Norths also founded "Build a Miracle", a non-profit organization that has built 135 homes for impoverished families in Mexico as well as a community center and adult school.


  • Matthew Graczyk (BBA 1989) - Matthew Graczyk has started 14 companies since he was 14 years old. With six public company exits under his belt, Matthew has been living his dream of making his entrepreneurial career fun and fulfilling.
  • Martha Diaz Aszkenazy (BBA 1981) - Martha is the president of Pueblo Construction Services and co-publisher of the San Fernando Valley Sun Newspapers and El Sol. Her volunteer involvements in helping her community are exceptional.
  • Ken Meany (BA 1964) - In 1980, Ken opened the first Boot Barn specialty store. The "Urban Cowboy" movie craze propelled the popularity of boots and the chain was built up to 36 stores before he and his son, Patrick, sold majority ownership of the chain in 2007. Today, there are over 80 Boot Barn stores and the chain is still showing strong growth.


  • John Baudhuin (MBA 1990) - As a trained CPA with a passion for exercise, John fell in love with the concept of indoor exercise on a stationary bicycle. He turned his concept into a worldwide phenomenon with millions of exercise enthusiasts taking classes daily using the stationary bicycles. The spinning exercise program is a worldwide operation with 35,000 Spinning Clubs in 75 countries around the world!
  • Mark Kuli (BA 1991) - The tragic loss LMU basketball star Hank Gathers inspired and motivated Junior Mark Kuli to design a special custom memorial bandana, "Hank 44." Little did Mark know that this would lead to his career and his life's work! This hobby business grew into a wonderful, thriving, multi-million dollar business that operates today internationally as "Kuli Image" and "Kustom Imprints" with several dozen employees.
  • Sam Renick (BA 1980) - Sam has devoted his entire life to creating his Economic Education company, "Its a Habit." This program has taught and inspired over 250,000 young children world-wide to learn to save and invest in the future.
  • Mike Smith (BA 1966) - Mike and his brothers along with his Dad opened a Volkswagen,Porsche and Audi Dealership in 1963. He is currently involved in exceptionally successful Toyota, BMW and Mini Cooper dealerships, and now his sons are also involved in the business.


  • Bill Sanders (BA 1988) - Bill Sanders, along with his partner, Adam Dishell, founded a unique, fascinating, and world-renowned business -- "The Shave of Beverly Hills." It is the luxury male grooming destination in our region, holding a worldwide reputation.
  • Adam Dishell (EMBA 2003) - Adam Dishell, along with his partner, Bill Sanders, founded a unique, fascinating, and world-renowned business -- "The Shave of Beverly Hills." It is the luxury male grooming destination in our region, holding a worldwide reputation.
  • Don Camacho (JD/MBA 2000) - Don Camacho started in the family restaurant business and was deeply involved in growing and developing the firm, Camacho's Inc. He has risen to the position of President of the firm and leads a team of over 500 employees.
  • Tim Dean (BBA 1982) - Tim Dean is the founder and owner of Houdini Enterprises -- wine country gift baskets. He created an entirely new niche of marketing from scratch and has grown the firm to a volume of $250,000,000 a year, shipping up to 50,000 gift baskets each day during the holiday season.
  • Mario Palladini (BBA 1978) - Mario Palladini is the founder and owner of Litho Pac, Inc. The firm specializes in printed packaging for major regional, national and international customers in the food industry, including grocery, health and natural food customers. Key customers include Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Costco Kirkland, Dole Foods and Clif Bar.
  • John Keenan (BBA 1952) - John Keenan, CLU, is the founder and Chairman of Keenan & Associates, one of the largest insurance brokerage firms in America and the largest in California, with $130,000,000 in revenues. He has over 700 employees in ten offices, specializing in insurance services for schools, municipalities, and hospitals.
  • Forescee Hogan-Rowles (BBA 1981) - Forescee is President and CEO of the Community Financial Resource Center, a major public-private partnership nonprofit economic development corporation. They specialize in servicing the needs of distressed communities in Los Angeles County, providing management consulting, micro-loans, and economic development assistance, including first-time home ownership programs, technical assistance, and financial literacy programs.


  • Zain Khan (MBA 2002) - Zain founded his firm, iConstituent, LLC, in 2002, just as he was graduating from LMU with his MBA degree. The firm has grown very rapidly to the extent that it is now the leading provider of e-communications technology to members of the U.S. House and Senate, and to State Legislatures around the country.
  • Norma A. Provencio (BBA 1979) - Norma founded Provencio Advisory Services, a consulting and accounting organization offering top level services to the health care industry. Her firm is a powerful success story that clearly reflects her strong ethical grounding.
  • Denise Richards (BA 1968) - Denise founded Quari Design Studio, a highly-recognized and honored custom design and interior architectural services firm specializing in residential, commercial and government sites throughout the world. Her creative abilities have garnered wide international acclaim.
  • Ron Valenta (BBA 1980) - Ron began his entrepreneurial career in the portable sanitation business, and quickly became the largest firm in the field. In recent years he has built his operations up to include a number of other businesses.


  • Donald J. Nores (BBA 1952) - Donald founded his own firm, Digital Printing Systems, which revolutionized the way the ticket industry operated. He was a social entrepreneur who was extremely active in community and church affairs.
  • Myles Dempsey (BA 1957) - Myles founded his own firm, Dempsey Enterprises, "on a shoestring!" Since that time he has grown this original business into five separate firms in the industrial supply and business-to-business market sector.
  • Michael Ricci (BBA 1959) - Michael founded MARCO Manufacturing, Inc., a business which manufactured a wood burning fireplace line. He built the line into the largest selling fireplace product in the new construction industry in America.
  • Steve Page (BBA 1962, JD 1968) - Steve has built a long career as a corporate entrepreneur. He was CFO and director of United Technologies, a major aerospace and building systems company. He also led Otis Elevator Company as president and CEO.
  • Martha De La Torre (BS 1978) - Martha founded El Clasificado, the largest Spanish language free weekly magazine in the United States. She also founded Al Borde, an entertainment guide for the Latino community. She is Publisher and President of both firms.
  • Mason Shayan (BBA 1990) - Mason started a small car rental business, Los Angeles Rent-A-Car. He slowly built up the size of his fleet, five cars at a time. He expanded into owning and operating parking facilities at the airport as well as owning and managing office and apartment buildings.
  • Joel Daly (MBA 1996) - Joel founded a firm called LINK VTC, a global provider of video conferencing services. He then founded InFlow Inc. a national IT services provider which grew to 14 centers throughout the USA. Daly has sold both businesses and is starting on his third business, QTC, INC. a national health services provider where he is an owner and Chief Operating Officer.
  • Bryan Freeman (JD/MBA 1996) - Bryan started his first business while a student in the LMU JD/MBA program. It was a specialty gourmet coffee kiosk that is still in operation on the LMU Mall. He grew this business to 16 stores, which made him the largest coffee kiosk operator in Southern California. He sold this business and entered the pretzel business. He built a firm called Snack Works which made upscale hand twisted pretzels. He was shipping 40 million pretzels a year when he sold this business. He is now launching his third business, MolliCoolz! Incredible Ice Cream Minis, LLC, which adds new technology and innovation to the mini ice cream beads business.