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Amanda J. Billings
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Phone: (812) 330-6222
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Inaugural Cook Institute to kick off with keynote speaker, honorable John M. Mutz

October 18, 2010

Bloomington, Ind. The Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech Bloomington will host its Inaugural Cook Institute for Entrepreneurship on October 20, 2010 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Ivy Tech Student Commons. The Cook Institute luncheon will engage Ivy Tech students, individuals and the community to focus on entrepreneurship education, support and awareness. Tickets to the inaugural event are sold out.

The Cook Institute begins with lunch, then the keynote address, and finally a panel discussion with local entrepreneurs. Former Lt. Gov. and entrepreneur John M. Mutz will serve as the keynote speaker and Gayle & Bill Cook will participate in the event. Mutz will speak about the growing need for entrepreneurship and innovation in Indiana and the world. 

The panel discussion with regional entrepreneurs will provide insight into the rewards and challenges of starting and operating small businesses in today’s economy. The panel discussion will be moderated by Gerry Dick, host and creator of Inside INdiana Business television. Panel members are; Dan Gluesenkamp, COO for Designscape; Candy C. Santo, CEO,; and Kenny Simpson, President, Bedford Stonecrafters, Inc.

Additionally, an update on the progress of the Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech’s Bloomington campus will be presented to the community.

The Gayle & Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship was created in 2010 to develop and provide practical tools for students, individuals and the community to foster entrepreneurship at Ivy Tech-Bloomington and in the region it serves.  

Entrepreneur Panel Member Bios

Dan Gluesenkamp, COO, Designscape
Dan Gluesenkamp founded Designscape 24 years ago with his wife, Debra. Dan is former president of the Indiana Nursery and Landscape Association. Of his company, Dan says, “At Designscape, we value our people, quality service, accountability, citizenship, and the environment. Our purpose is to develop leaders who have a purpose in life greater than themselves and which will help mankind for eternity.”

Candy C. Santo, CEO,
Never without a flattering pair of non-pierced earrings, Candy Santo, is CEO of a website that is meeting its corporate goal of being the “Kleenex of Clip Earrings.” was launched on Thanksgiving Day in 1999. In its 11th year, Cliptomania’s customer base is over 25,000 and continues to grow.

Kenny Simpson, President, Bedford Stonecrafters, Inc.
Bedford Stonecrafters, Inc. opened in 1999. The stonemill’s carving work can be seen on Kirkwood Ave., Harmony School, French Lick Resort Casino, and in other places throughout the country. One of their recent jobs was commissioned by an organization in New York. Of his company, Kenny Simpson said in a Herald-Times interview, “It’s the employees who make the company great.”

Ivy Tech Community College is the state's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system serving nearly 200,000 students annually.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.