Purdue Ag students to learn from experts how to succeed in business

November 7, 2014  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University College of Agriculture's annual Entrepreneurship Day on Nov. 13 will feature six alumni who will explain to students how they became successful in business.

Students' daylong interaction with the alumni culminate with presentations in Deans Auditorium of Pfendler Hall on the West Lafayette campus. The program, open to the public, will begin at 6 p.m. with a welcome by Jay Akridge, Glenn W. Sample Dean of Purdue Agriculture.

"Entrepreneurship Day provides an opportunity for our students to learn from people who have helped launch new companies and/or who own their own business," Akridge said.  "We want our Purdue Agriculture students to think about the entrepreneurial path as they consider their career options, and engaging with our guest entrepreneurs is a great way for students to better understand the rewards and the challenges of launching their own venture."

The speakers (all have degrees from Purdue) are:

* David Hefty (B.S., agricultural economics, 1999), CEO and co-founder of Hefty Wealth Partners of Auburn, Indiana. He provides vision and direction to a team of advisers delivering financial planning services.

* Stacy Hefty (B.S., agricultural economics, 1999), president and co-founder of Hefty Wealth Partners. She manages all aspects of business operations and client care and oversees compliance and the company's public relations work.

* J. Christian Layer (M.S., agricultural and biological engineering, 1981), principal engineer and group engineering manager specializing in servo control systems for the aerospace and industrial segments of Moog Inc., near Buffalo, New York.

* Donald Orr (B.S., animal sciences, 1967), corporate president of Sheridan, Indiana-based JBS United, which provides research-based products to the animal nutrition industry worldwide.

* Jonathan Stapley (Ph.D., food science, 2004), co-founder of Fargo, North Dakota-based Dynamic Foods Ingredients Corp. His graduate work resulted in intellectual property patented by the Purdue Research Foundation, and he co-founded DFI to industrialize the technology.

 * Don Villwock (B.S., agricultural economics, 1972), president of Indiana Farm Bureau and Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance. His farming operation produces white corn, soybeans, seed soybeans and seed wheat.

A question-and-answer session with the speakers will follow.

Writer: Keith Robinson, 765-494-2722, robins89@purdue.edu

Source: Jay Akridge, 765-494-8391, akridge@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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