Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Staff

Meet the Lavin Center Team

In order to fuel the passions and dreams of entrepreneurs, the Lavin Center provides a wide range of support staff. These members have expertise that include web design, accounting, strategic consulting, and marketing, among many other areas.

The Lavin Center staff also has a far reaching network that starts with SDSU faculty and goes to outside contributors from the likes of CEOs, senior level executives, business founders, SDSU alumni, and affiliated industry organizations. We represent and provide access to hundreds of other academic and business professionals who support the Lavin Center’s mission of entrepreneurship which is to actively inspire entrepreneurs in and outside the San Diego community.

Lavin Center Staff

Alex Denoble

Alex DeNoble

Executive Director, Lavin Center Professor

email: [email protected]

Alex F. DeNoble is a Professor of Management and Executive Director of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center in the College of Business at San Diego State University. He currently also serves as the Chair of the College of Business Steering Committee. Prior to his role in the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, he served for 3 years as the Chair of the Management Department in the College of Business.

His primary areas of expertise include entrepreneurship and corporate innovation, technology commercialization and strategic management. He has conducted research in these areas and has taught related classes in the University's undergraduate, graduate and executive MBA programs. He has published articles in such journals as IEEE Transactions on Management, the Journal of Business Venturing, the Journal of High Technology Management Research, the Journal of Technology Transfer, International Marketing Review, and Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice.

His other professional activities encompass both executive training and strategic consulting. Recent assignments have included business plan development consulting for new and existing entrepreneurial firms, market research and analysis for technology-based companies and entrepreneurship training for Taiwanese, German, Russian, Japanese, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Finnish, Danish and U.S. executives. Over the past several years, he has conducted training programs or consulted with such companies as Qualcomm Inc., Siemens Corporation, Delta Electronics (Taiwan), the U.S. Russia Center for Entrepreneurship, Banco Nacional de Commercio Exterior (the National Export Bank of Mexico), NEC Electronics USA, Shell Technology Ventures, and Orincon Technologies (now a part of Lockheed Martin).

Dr. DeNoble is the recipient of several awards including the 2008 Monty Award from SDSU for Outstanding Faculty Contributions, 2004 Educator of the Year award from San Diego's T-Sector Magazine; the 2001 Gloria and Edwin Appel Award from the Price-Babson Fellows program for excellence in entrepreneurship education, and the 2000 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (in the supporter category).

He received a B.S. in Accounting from Monmouth University in 1975, a M.S. in Accounting from Virginia Tech in 1977 and a Ph.D. in Strategic Management from Virginia Tech in 1983.

Beryl Pratts

Beryl Pratts

Finance and Programs Analyst

email: [email protected]

Beryl Pratts is currently working as the Finance and Programs Analyst for the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center. She is responsible for financial forecasting, budgeting, and program evaluation, as well as streamlining and managing financials for the Center's programs.

Prior to working at the Center, Beryl worked a variety of accounting positions with Sempra Energy, San Diego Gas and Electric and Southern California Gas Companies. Beryl has worked in financial analysis with experience in financial systems. She graduated with a degree in Business Administration, Accounting major from Loyola University in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Student Staff



Sarah Ainsworth

Program Coordinator

Email: [email protected]

Sarah Ainsworth is a third year Business Management student at San Diego State University. She was born and raised in San Diego, California to a family with entrepreneurial spirit. In April 2022, Sarah was brought on as a Programs Coordinator at the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center. Sarah’s responsibilities include coordinating the LEAP program, the SEED Fund Program, SEED Fund Dinners, the L. Robert Payne Lecture Series and the California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference. At the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, she makes it a priority to remember to plan and execute in a way which will properly attest to Leonard Lavin’s vision. Her passions include sustainability, travel, uniting people for a common goal, and climate advocacy. In her free time, Sarah enjoys going to the gym, skiing, live music and spending time in the sun.



Anna Skulteti

Executive Assistant

Email: [email protected]

Anna is an international student from Hungary in her senior year pursuing a degree in Business Administration - Entrepreneurship. She is a member of various leadership groups and committees on campus including Mechatronics and Aztec Electric Racing. In her role as executive assistant, Anna supports the executive director and  students at the center and ensures access to various programs and community impact partners including the Urban Poverty Business Initiative program, California Entrepreneurship Educators Conference, Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Board Meetings and other programs via the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center. She is interested in data analysis, social entrepreneurship, and tech.



Gwen Butterfield

Director of the Lavin Entrepreneur Program

Email: [email protected]

Gwen is a junior at San Diego State University majoring in Business Management with a minor in Spanish. At the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, she is responsible for recruiting mentors, onboarding students and mentors, serving as the primary point of contact for mentors and community impact partners such as Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), and planning and coordinating events throughout the year. Additionally, Gwen serves as President of the Entrepreneur Society and is an active member of the professional business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. Previously, Gwen coached tennis and private lessons and worked as a ZIP Launchpad intern for a tech start-up. Gwen is committed to carrying on the values and legacy of Leonard Lavin and is actively working to build her own business.


Aishwarya Khanna

Pooja Vaidya

Web Developer & CRM

Email: [email protected]

Pooja is a graduate student at SDSU pursuing her Master’s in Computer Science. She recently completed her summer internship as a front end engineer intern at Amazon Web Services. Before coming to SDSU, she completed her Bachelor of Engineering in Information Technology and worked a couple of years with Dassault Systemes as R&D Engineer; and with Cybage Software as Software Engineer in India. At the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, Pooja is responsible for developing and updating the Center's website, managing our Salesforce account, creating Web-To-Leads web forms, migrating data to Salesforce from Excel and CSV files using Apex Data Loader and enhancing the website's current design and technologies. She also supports additional websites created and managed by the Center.



Nicholas Shanker

Programs Manager and Social Media Manager

Email: [email protected]

Nick is a senior and second year Lavin Entrepreneur student majoring in Business Management - Entrepreneurship. As a child of immigrants, he grew up being taught that America is the land of possibilities, and he grew to believe that entrepreneurship is one of the true American dreams. Nick saw all of the great things that this country gave his family and chose to give back by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps immediately after graduating from high school. Two years after enlisting, he was selected to be a part of the Marine Corps Officer Selection program. He was fortunate enough to finish at the Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Virginia at the top of his class. Outside of the Marine Corps, Nick attended Evergreen Valley College in San Jose before being accepted as a transfer student to San Diego State University. Some of his favorite hobbies include spending time with friends, running, filmmaking, and volunteering.


Mariana Solares Bolanos

Graphic Designer

Email: [email protected]


Mariana is a senior majoring in Graphic Design. In her role as a graphic designer for the Lavín Entrepreneurship Center she is responsible for any design collateral needed for the Center's programs and events. Mariana also holds a leadership role in the AIGA student chapter at SDSU and has been involved in creative roles with various student groups on campus.


Blake Sanders

Internship Director

Email: [email protected]

Blake Sanders is a senior at San Diego State University majoring in Marketing. He is the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Internship Director, and has extensive experience in marketing, recruiting and sales. As the Internship Director, Blake is responsible for creating marketing emails to reach local San Diego companies about internship opportunities with SDSU students. He connects the students with job opportunities that allow them to further their skills and knowledge towards their careers, while simultaneously helping companies grow.


Urandari Otgonbaatar

Accounting Assistant

Email: [email protected]

Urandari Otgonbaatar is a first year international MSA student specializing in Accounting Information Systems (AIS) at San Diego State University. She received her BBA in Accounting from Mongolia in 2018 and worked as a Fixed Asset Accountant in one of the biggest telecommunication company in Mongolia. On campus, she is serving as a Treasurer for the Beta Alpha Psi - Beta Eta Chapter in 2022.

Urandari has joined the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center Staff as an Accounting Assistant in January of 2022. For the center, she prepares the monthly financials and helps aid in the financial strategies of the center. With her accounting skills, Urandari is excited to share her experience and knowledge to the Lavin Center as well as expand her accounting skill set.


Kaleb Smith


Email: [email protected]

Kaleb is a Lavin Entrepreneur student, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration - Information Systems. Kaleb has two years of experience running his own videography business. He has interests pertaining to technology and art. His role as a videographer is to capture and highlight the various events hosted by the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center. Kaleb's role is to film and edit short and long-term content, interviews, promotions, and more.


Will McCaffrey


Email: [email protected]

Will is a junior and First Year Lavin Entrepreneur student majoring in Business Administration - Financial Services. At the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center, he is responsible for writing the monthly newsletter, annual report, and other communications. Prior to returning to school, he worked in television production for 7 years. Will started as a Production Assistant in charge of fetching coffee at HBO. He went on to work for 12 major television network shows. This hard work resulted in his eventual promotion to Post Producer. When the Covid pandemic shut down the television industry, Will decided to pursue his dreams of education and entrepreneurship. When Will isn’t working, he enjoys hiking, backpacking, and reading.


Sylvia Paredes

Events Coordinator and Creative Supervisor

Email: [email protected]

Sylvia Paredes is a senior at San Diego State University majoring in Graphic Design and minoring in Marketing. In addition to having a passion for design, she enjoys growing her artistic skill set when it comes to illustration and experimental work which usually consists of recycled materials. Her goal while working at the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center is to create design that accurately reflects the center’s message while being artistically engaging through the continued exploration of design possibilities. She believes design has much to offer the world.