Lavins and Mentors 2017-2019
Entrepreneurial SDSU students collaborating on innovative ideas
Here are the current Lavin Entrepreneurs that make up the 2017-2019 Cohort
Blake Meyers is a business marketing major who was born and raised in San Diego. He loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, camping, and swimming. He has had a passion for entrepreneurship since a young age. He used to create and sell duct-tape wallets to his classmates in middle school and started a pet sitting service in high school. He took the Journey to Entrepreneurship Course his freshmen year at San Diego State and it resparked his interest. Despite being shy, he competed in the Venture Start competition and he and his partner were awarded 2nd place for their product pitch. Since then, he has gotten out of his comfort zone by getting involved in several campus organizations including the Entrepreneur Society, American Marketing Association, TEDxSDSU, and Alpha Kappa Psi. He now enjoys public speaking and giving sales pitches for products. He competed in Pitchfest competition and won 2nd place for his business idea. He is looking forward to learning valuable knowledge from the Lavin Entrepreneur Program to create successful businesses in the future
Louise Persson has been studying Economics for the past two years at SBCC and is now starting her junior year at SDSU as an International Business major with emphasis on North America. Born and raised in Sweden, but have lived both in Spain and United States as well, she posses a broad range of knowledge, experience and network. During her exchange year in Spain she was the CEO for a start-up company operating both in Sweden and in Spain, which later gave her the possibility to become an entrepreneurial coach at the European Young Enterprise as an alumni student of the organization.
Art, Interior Design
Lexi Oplinger is an Art major with emphasis in Interior Design with a minor in Sustainability. Born in Pennsylvania, she grew up in a small town and learned about entrepreneurship through her parent’s business. Living amongst the mountains in PA, she developed a love for the Earth and made it a goal to live as sustainably as possible. Wanting to travel and learn about different cultures, Lexi found her second home at SDSU. At SDSU, she is a member of Green Love, a sustainability club on campus where she helps run the social media accounts. Lexi was also a part of the American Marketing Association as the Multimedia Director taking pictures and videos, along with making graphics for social media. Her love for creating led her to make her Etsy account where she crochets winter hats. In the future Lexi looks forward to using her love of the environment and art to create a sustainable lifestyle that will positively impact future generations.
Since the prime age of 10, Andrea Roberts has been creating and selling her own products. In middle school she sold pre-made as well as custom made jewelry, in high school she sold homemade cookies, cake-pops, brownies, and her own creation the “crownie”. Using instagram to her advantage, she advertised with mouth-watering pictures and delightful captions offering exclusive deals to develop a better relationship with her customers and entice new buyers. By senior year of high school she was using her profits from selling the baked goods to fund her all-natural body care business. She is eager to learn and participate in all aspects of business whether it be real-estate, marketing, advertising, communications, economics, or psychology. With a full-range of interests, Andrea is pensively planning out her next entrepreneurial endeavor. She is excited to utilize the Lavin VentureStart program's effective tools for healthy business development and expanding networks.
Guillermo Miranda's proudest achievement has not only been the opportunity to be an Aztec but to also become a mentee at the Lavin Entrepreneurship Program. Starting as a junior and pursuing International Economics studies, one of Guillermo’s goal is to anticipate a relationship with Cuba in the foreseeable future. Whether it's exporting goods from chips (Tostitos, Hot Cheetos, etc.) to fraud dollar scanners and mobile ATM machines. By first-hand experience, Guillermo recognizes that ease is a greater threat to progress than adversity. Guillermo is proud to be the first in his family to endeavor a four-year university. He has learned to have a romantic relationship with progress and to remain obsessed with the end goal. Today you can find him managing his two authorized dealer Metro PCS stores. Guillermo recognizes the responsibilities he has as a student and business owner which is why he argues that at this time window it is ok to work 18 hour days in order to secure your future. He encourages those around him to be persistent and commit. He shares entrepreneur characteristics that aspire him to become not only a businessman but an innovator. Guillermo hopes to one day become a mentor at the Lavin Entrepreneurship Program to give the same opportunity he once was given to influence and impact mentees.
Stu Massengill is an executor and a true believer that you can live your dream life - if you want it you can create it. You have one shot at this thing called life and you have to do whatever it takes to make your one shot count. Look fear in the eyes, follow your heart and things will always work out. Stu started showing his entrepreneurial tendencies early, running a business in his neighborhood and selling candy at his high school, all while becoming an Eagle Scout. Eventually this drive to push life to its limits turned into a global business that he grew for almost 4 years, generating millions in revenue. After traveling across the globe and recently beating cancer, he plans to bring his positive mindset and strong work ethic to the Lavin Program. Here he hopes to expand his mindset and take his ventures to a whole new level, ultimately making a positive impact on this world. A few of his interests are snowboarding, scuba diving, skateboarding, traveling, business, deep conversations, reading, learning and enjoying life to the fullest extent.
Katie Whitmore is a San Diego native and an alumni of Canyon Crest Academy. A soccer player until her senior year of high school, she created a work ethic based on two principles: do the work of one and a half people and if you cheat you are only cheating yourself. With this work ethic, she arrived at SDSU, majoring in Mechanical Engineering, with a desire to grow as a person and do well academically. She has been on the Dean’s list for three semesters and is a member of Society of Women Engineers, Tau Beta Pi, and Aztec Baja SAE. In Society of Women Engineers she aids in the preparation and volunteers for Girls Day Out and other outreach events that encourage women into STEM. In Tau Beta Pi she has been elected as the first Outreach Chair for the organization. Finally in Aztec Baja, she has helped with fundraising and creating parts to test the vehicle. Katie hopes to get out of the entrepreneurship program the necessary business background for an engineer to create a successful product.
Kumar Kilambi was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in Temecula, California. He is currently a Junior majoring in Business Management with a specialization in Entrepreneurship. When he was younger, he quickly realized he had a desire to compete both athletically and mentally through his involvement in sports. His competitive nature coupled with his desire for independence ultimately fueled his interest in becoming a business owner. He is always striving to absorb as much information as possible with the hopes of better understanding how the world works. style="width:120px" Although his interests lay within multiple industries, he ultimately wants to end up running a tech company. As of right now, Kumar is working on a small business revolving around a fun and useful product. He is looking forward to gaining more knowledge through the Lavin Program and pursuing some of his other entrepreneurial ideas.
Monique Rashid is the first generation in her family to go to college. She was born in the United States but raised in Mexicali, Mexico until the age of 18 until she moved to San Diego to pursue a better education. She speaks fluent English and Spanish. Monique's accomplishments include two Associate degrees, one in science: Biology and the other one in Arts: Kinesiology for Transfer. Monique is currently in the process of completing her bachelors Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis on exercise since. Monique's long term educational goal includes a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Once her education is complete she is determined to start her own business providing alternative treatment to people of low income. Monique has participated in different extracurricular activities that helped her to shape her entrepreneurial skills such as being the founder of the W.I.S.E. Club in the junior college she attended, volunteering for San Diego and Chula Vista Scripps Hospital in different departments, and many hands-on experience in different conferences and internships. Monique is a goal oriented individual that is willing to accomplish all her goals one step at a time.
Anabel Han is a transfer student at San Diego State University majoring in Business Administration. As a first generation Mexican-American brought up in a predominantly immigrant community, she found her own professional success in property management overseeing large multifamily communities. She is currently a financial manager for an innovative property management company and her experience in climbing the corporate ladder has afforded her the professional experience that a company seeks within their candidates. Her accomplishments in the real world molded her mindset to return to school with a level of drive she never knew she had. She made the President’s List two years in a row and obtained two Associates Degrees in the process. Today, her mindset is aimed at giving back to her community and build a future business model that promotes real world opportunities that exist outside their comfort zone. She's very excited for the opportunity to learn all she can in the Lavin program and looks forward to being a future mentor in entrepreneurship.
Television, Film and New Media Production
Kevin Gallegos is a San Diego native currently majoring in Television, Film and New Media Production. Before transferring to SDSU, he was the first student to establish a video section for the student run news program at MiraCosta Community College. He is also in the process of creating his own photo & video production company (100 Clips Productions) with a longtime friend. From humble beginnings growing up in the foster care system, Kevin has managed to build a happy and successful life for himself through hard work and determination. His passion for creating videos has pushed him to reach new heights he never thought possible. Within the next five years, he plans to start a nonprofit organization that will provide current foster youth the opportunity to learn photo and video production techniques with free lessons and equipment. He hopes to utilize the Lavin Entrepreneur Program as another resource in his journey to becoming a successful businessman and philanthropist.
Joseph Pascual is a musician and skateboarder making his pivot within the Lavin Entrepreneurship Program. As a private piano teacher and skateboard coach, Joe has helped many kids overcome challenges and fears whether they are at the keyboard or dropping into bowls. Through these lessons, he has recognized the importance of inspiring the next generation--as they will be the next ones to help carry the torch. With the unique lens of music and skateboarding, Joe hopes to create a leading brand that fosters vibrant mental and physical health, strong community, and environmental stewardship.
Vanessa Johnson is starting SDSU this fall of 2017, pursuing a Business Management degree with a focus in Entrepreneurship. She grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from an Art highschool and loves to oil paint. She moved to San Diego in 2012 and loves it here and never wants to leave. She is a single Mom and has a beautiful 8 year old daughter. She is a transfer student from Southwestern College; where she obtained her AA degree in Real Estate. She loves outdoor activities, especially stand up paddle-boarding. She has many business ideas she looks forward to implement with the tools she will learn from SDSU and the Lavin program.
Emmanuel Gambino was born in Tijuana, Mexico in 1993, and attended kindergarten through sixth grade before moving to Chula Vista and attended Chula Vista Middle School and later Chula Vista High School. After High School, he attended Southwestern College where he got his AA in accounting and is now at San Diego State University. During High School and junior college he participated in the sports of water polo and swimming. Through sports he learned that discipline and hard work make the difference between the good and the great and that if he applies the same conviction and energy to other aspects of his life such as School and work he will see the same results. His academic goal is a degree in Accounting, reason being because he wants to own and manage his business. My areas of interests include the craft beer market and real estate development in local and neighboring cities.
Tammy Nguyen is a student at SDSU that is pursuing a Business Marketing degree with a minor in entrepreneurship. Tammy is a compassionate leader, motivator and philanthropist. She is currently one of the executive leaders and the event planner for Streets of Hope San Diego, a non-profit organization that feeds and builds relationships with the homeless every week and throws big events monthly. Tammy has been a shift manager at a salon for over 4 years and is currently a Business and development intern at C3 Church where she helps develop and lead the whole internship program. She is constantly striving to be a better leader and person in every area of her life. What motivates her is a burning desire to make a difference in the lives of others. She believes that being an entrepreneur will be the most effective way to impact the world. Tammy is excited to find out how the Lavin Entrepreneur Program will give her the tools and experience necessary to create a business that can one day make that dream become a reality.