CONTACT: SHAWN PRESLEY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Leadership symposium promotes "Entrepreneurial Spirit"
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Nationally known and local entrepreneurs will be
featured when students from the University of Iowa MBA program present
"The Entrepreneurial Spirit: Believing and Achieving" Friday,
April 4 from 7:30 a.m. to noon in Buchanan Auditorium (Room W10) in the
Pappajohn Business Administration Building. The symposium is free and open
to the public.
The 1997 Leadership Symposium will feature Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff,
founders of the nationally acclaimed Three Dog Bakery; Westell Technologies
CEO Gary Seamans; and Quass Broadcasting Company owner Mary Quass.
Dye and Beckloff's company began with a 59-cent biscuit cutter and a
mixing bowl. The dog treats produced by their Kansas City company have
attracted the attention of The Wall Street Journal, CNN, People magazine,
NBC's Today Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
In addition to six company-owned retail locations, Three Dog Bakery
canine confections are sold by Nieman Marcus, Hallmark and PetsMart Superstores.
The company has 50,000 mail-order customers. Dye and Beckloff authored
"Short Tails and Treats from Three Dog Bakery" (Andrews and McMeel),
featuring selected recipes and business tips.
Seamans, an Iowa City native and UI graduate, helped turn the suburban
Chicago company Westell Technologies into a key player in the attempt to
upgrade phone lines for the information superhighway. Westell's technology
allows regional Bell companies to transmit video and computer data without
replacing their copper-line infrastructure.
Before taking the top post at Westell, Seamans worked for MCI and AT&T.
When he began work at Westell, it was a declining firm with 114 employees,
$8 million in revenues, substantial losses and a product line approaching
obsolescence. At the end of the 1996 fiscal year, it had 750 employees,
$83 million in revenues and the company's November 1995 initial public
offering raised $35 million. In the eight months following the offering,
the value of the stock rose 504 percent.
Quass began working at KHAK Radio in 1977 in an entry-level sales position.
Eleven years later, she became owner of Cedar Rapids' award-winning country-music
station. A former UI MBA student, she moved up the ranks at KHAK, leading
the station to its first profitable year after becoming general manager
As owner, president and CEO of Quass Broadcasting Company, Quass acquired
the Christian station KTOF, which she moved to the AM band to make room
for the soft-rock station KDAT-FM. Since then KDAT's audience share has
Active in community and professional organizations, Quass was named
1994 Broadcaster of the Year by the Iowa Broadcasters Association and received
the Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce 1995 Entrepreneurial Excellence