Three Wisconsin School of Business graduates were among five University of Wisconsin-Madison alumni honored April 26 for outstanding entrepreneurial achievements.
The awards ceremony, which took place at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, was designed to recognize the vision and leadership of UW-Madison alumni who have made a significant impact through their own entrepreneurial pursuits.
The three business school graduates are:
Jim Berbee, who earned his MBA in finance in addition to a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering. Berbee is founder and retired chair of Berbee Information Networks Corp. in Fitchburg, Wis. He went on to medical school at Stanford University and is currently a resident emergency medicine physician at UW Hospital.
Chad Sorenson, who earned his MBA in entrepreneurial management in addition to a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering. Sorenson is president and co-founder of Sologear LLC, based in Middleton, Wis. The company manufactures and markets FlameDisk, an invention designed to bring convenience and simplicity to grills based on a new solidified ethanol fuel that the company developed.
James Weinert, who earned a B.A. in English and an MBA in marketing, and encouraged the idea of teaching entrepreneurship at UW-Madison before it became a national phenomenon. He gave the business school support to enable students in the WAVE (Weinert Applied Ventures in Entrepreneurship) program to invest in promising business ventures and provided funds to endow the Weinert Center for Entrepreneurship. He remains active in the program by mentoring student entrepreneurs and serving on the boards of several businesses run by former Weinert students.
Two other UW-Madison alumni were honored at the April 26 event. Judy Faulkner (M.S. computer science) founded Epic Systems in 1979. The privately held health care software company, based in Verona, Wis., makes software for mid-size and large medical groups, hospitals and integrated health care organizations in the U.S. and abroad. Hector DeLuca (M.S., Ph.D. biochemistry) is president and CEO of Madison-based Deltanoid Pharmaceuticals Inc., a drug-development company involved in breakthrough treatments for metabolic bone diseases.
“UW-Madison has developed a strong and vibrant culture of entrepreneurship among our faculty, staff, and students," says Chancellor Biddy Martin. "We have created this prize to honor talented and creative alumni who have had great success as entrepreneurs, who have been instrumental in creating jobs and who offer models for our students. These alumni have inspired us, and they serve our students by mentoring them and shaping their aspirations."