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Alumni students at the first alumni retreat

If you can't feed
a hundred people,
then feed just one.

-  Mother Teresa



Alumni Programs

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E CITY announces the first Advanced BizCamp
Advanced BizCamp (For E CITY graduates only)
Dates & Time: August 14-18
Location: Nance College of Business Administration
Teachers: Del Daniels and Katarina Zacharia (from NFTE NYC office)

   Click here to download the application for Advanced BizCamp (MS Word)

     Click here to download the application forAdvanced BizCamp (PDF)
Alumni News

At E CITY alumni events and in the hallways of Cleveland schools, we often hear about E CITY students who are still running their businesses.  We are thrilled by that news, and so are our volunteers!  Lately, we’ve heard from:

Shrekka La’Vette, Success Tech Academy, who is running her nail painting and manicure business in between school and her job at the Cleveland Heights Public Library.  She spoke at E CITY’s Annual Awareness Breakfast, and thanked all of our donors, on behalf of E CITY.

Jermaine McWilson, John F. Kennedy High School, who is still selling candy at school.  He says he makes $50 per day!

Chaz Blackwell, Success Tech Academy, who continues to sell clothing which is painted with artwork.  His dad tells us that one popular item was a shirt decorated with Pink Panther, and coordinated pants trimmed with a paw print pattern. 

Gentry Gillespie, of St. Peter Chanel High School, who attended an E CITY summer “BizCamp,” is still running her pet care business in her neighborhood.  She was recently recognized by Tufts University alumni for the positive example she is setting.

Fantashia Stevens, now at Jane Addams Business Careers Center, took the E CITY program when she was at Alexander Hamilton Middle School.  She continues to make and sell soaps.  She also created all of the wonderful centerpieces at E CITY’s Annual Awareness Breakfast.

Kalina Johnson, who graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 2005 and attended the E CITY program there, now has her own storefront for her artificial flower arrangement business!  She making profits while taking classes at both Tri-C and CSU.

Upcoming Alumni Programs:


Our Alumni Program is Growing!
When: Sunday, July 30 from 11:30 am-2:30 pm
Where: Swings & Things
Topics: Day of Fun and Games
August Mr. Z teaching the original alumni classes called Master Class held on Saturdays at
Tri-C Metro Campus.
When: Friday, August 18 from 1:00 pm-6:00 pm
Where: CSU - tentative
Topics: Advanced BizCamp Business Plan Competition
For more information call Nicole Lawrence 216-373-7802 or her


Alumni students at Business Etiquette Luncheon hosted by Executive Caterers at Landerhaven
2005 Alumni Program Update:

The E CITY alumni program continues to draw between 25 and 45 students each month, thanks to the passion and creativity of E CITY’s Director of Programs, Nicole Lawrence, and the volunteers who assist her.  This is what they’ve been up to since our last newsletter:

  • September:  Fore!  We partnered with First Tee Cleveland, to teach our students fundamentals of golf.  Thanks to Kevin Sullivan, P.G.A. Professional and Director of Programs and Volunteer Services for First Tee, we met at Shawnee Golf Course to learn to chip, put, and hit from the driving range.  Kevin also explained why golf has become an effective way to develop business relationships.  He reminded us: your behavior on the course is more important than your score, and knowing when to talk or not to, shows your respect for others.

  • October:  It’s “Making Cents.” A business simulation game in which three teams of students- two manufacturers and one retailer- navigate through scenarios that help them learn: the relationship between supply and demand, how to estimate market size and demand in order to plan production and purchases, and how to define deals in terms of quantity, quality, delivery date and price.  E CITY board member, Catrina Latten, helped the students with this game.

  Rodney, CET, teching the second alumni class,
  Real World

Entrepreneur Panel talking to the alumni in June 2005

               Alumni students busy at work

  •  November: Zap!  Laser tag let us take playful shots at one another, at Whirlyball Laser Sport in Bedford, but not before owner, Rick Morad, spent time with the students.  Rick described how he started his business, and emphasized courage and perseverance when he told us that no one believed there was a market for his business.  Who would want to ride around in a bumper car, using a scoop to capture and throw a ball into a basketball hoop?  (Lots of people, of all ages, that’s who)!

  • December:  Ho, ho, ho!  E CITY students felt like Santa Clauses during their first philanthropy project.  They spent more than six volunteer hours helping “It Takes a Village” set up and manage its holiday giveaway.  Organizers, Tony and Angela Spring enlisted them for the “heavy work” in this massive giveaway of clothing, toys, furniture and books, for needy families in Cleveland.  The event brought out some E CITY alumni we hadn’t seen in awhile.  In fact, 27 students showed up, to unload trucks, sort merchandise, set up tables, greet and assist families, and then clean up.  E CITY board member, Bill Proctor, spent the whole day with us, too.

  •  January:  Wing It!  That’s what entrepreneurs have to do on many days, according to Kurt Zitzner, owner and founder of “Mugzee’s,” a restaurant known for zesty chicken wings.  We traveled to Kent to see his new restaurant and hear the 23-year-old Cornell graduate’s story of the birth of his business.  The take-home lessons were:  think outside the box with your marketing (wallpaper the Kent State University campus with your flyers), be alert to business opportunities (his restaurant is located within an existing bar which had no food service), look in every nook and cranny for bargains that will reduce your start-up costs (a story in itself). 

  •  February:  Pounding the pavement.  Several brave students bundled up against the cold and joined Nicole Lawrence, John Zitzner, E CITY board member Jeff Concepcion and Marshall Emerson (Entrepreneurship Prep School’s Head of School) and delivered flyers door-to-door in the Glenville neighborhoods, recruiting sixth graders for E Prep’s founding class.  The take-home lessons were: start-ups involve a lot of hands-on, grass roots, time-consuming work…even if you have a successful business or two under your belt.

  • March:  Order in the court!  Through a mock trial, students argued both sides of a case in which a company sues an employee for using a corporate credit card without asking permission…even though the employee thought it was all in the context of “professional development.”  E CITY board member, Catrina Latten helped design the event and was passionate about underscoring business scruples, while E CITY Director of Development, Mike Wolff, played the role of judge and firmly delivered the final verdict.  We thank Joyce Banjac, Dean of the McDonald School of Business at Myers University, who donated meeting space for this event.

  •  April:  Pleased to meet you!  Jeff Nischwitz conducted a workshop to give our students some basic tools for business relationship-building.  Through suggestions such as note-taking on the back of business cards, to making eye contact while speaking, he took some of the mystery out of the ways that adults build business networks.  We also spent time with Mark Kernohan, of “Voices & Choices,” an initiative engaging over 20,000 people in conversations about our region and how we can transform the economy.  E CITY students gave personal insights on jobs and education.  Says Kernohan: “Thank you…what a great group of people!  The alumni provided some excellent input into the Voices and Choices process and seemed to have learned some things along the way.”  We thank Deborah Bibb, Program Director at Case Western Reserve University, who coordinated our use of the Peter B. Lewis Building for this event.

If you have a skill, lesson idea, or meeting location that you are willing to share with our alumni program, please contact Nicole Lawrence at 216-373-7802 or . 

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