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Innovation + Startup News

Eileen Weisenbach Keller directs NKU Entrepreneurship Institute

Northern Kentucky University professor Eileen Weisenbach Keller brings years of on-the-ground experience in the business world to her new role as director of the NKU Fifth Third Bank Entrepreneurship Institute.

She takes the helm of the growing, nationally recognized institute after coming to NKU in 2006 as an assistant marketing professor teaching marketing principles and marketing strategy. She has her business bona fides as well. Before coming to the university, Weisenbach Keller spent nearly 15 years in the private sector working in the pharmaceutical, manufacturing and consumer goods industries, including two years as senior product manager for Mr. Coffee.

Weisenbach Keller earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Indiana University, a master’s in business administration with concentrations in finance and marketing from the University of Chicago and a doctorate from Kent State University. She continues to serve as a consultant for small and Fortune 500 companies.

She honed some impressive skills during that her time in the private sector that will no doubt serve her well in this new role, including new product development, marketing and supply chain and budget management.

"Just this week I met with two companies and had quick rapport with their leaders due to our common experiences in the areas of profitabiltiy, product development and management, promotion and marketing communication," she says. "These relationships will allow us to quickly incorporate local entrepreneurs and business people into the Entrepreneurship Insitute for mutual gain. The companies will help us incorporate realistic application of the fundamental principles students must learn and we will help the companies by creating more capable students for internships, and graduates for jobs or new ventures."

The NKU Institute has been recognized by both Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine for its undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship programs and outreach. There are plans for expansion of programs including a new entrepreneurship course next fall that will be open to students from any major at the university.

"For 10 years the Institute has created value in our region by combining the efforts of the university faculty, administration and staff wtih those of the very generous and innovative local business community," Weisenbach Keller says. "One goal is to continue and enhance that cooperation for one primary purpose: to strengthen the knowledge and skill set of our student graduates so that they are an ever-increasing positive force in the economy. Enhancements such as more internships and increased mentor relationships will play a very important part."

By Feoshia Henderson
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