Innovation & Entrepeneurship

//Innovation & Entrepeneurship
Innovation & Entrepeneurship 2018-12-31T17:28:54+00:00

Center for Executive Leadership – Innovation & Entrepeneurship – REGISTRATION is OPEN!

A RUTHERFORD Cable program offering graduate-level instruction in conjunction with the Middle Tennessee State University Jennings A. Jones College of Business and University Honors College and underwritten by Nissan.

Assistant Professor, Kristen Shanine, has a Ph.D. in Management from the University of Alabama and an M.B.A. from Bradley University. She currently teaches Introduction to Entrepreneurship at MTSU, and her primary research applies theory from psychology and sociology to family business in an effort to better understand the family factors that influence succession failure.

10 Sessions — MTSU College of Business —  Classes begin Jan. 10th, 2019

Apply Here

Scholarships are available on a limited basis to qualified applicants.

Scholarships are available online. Scholarship deadline – Nov. 16th, 2018
Apply Here

Curriculum Highlights

Week 1-January 10-Nature Of Entrepreneurship

Opportunities (what are opportunities, who exploits them, and how?)
Its role in economic development
Are entrepreneurs born or made?
Entrepreneurs v. Intrapreneurs (types of entrepreneurs)

Week 2-January 17-Nature of Entrepreneurship (continued)

Are opportunities discovered or created?
Are entrepreneurs different?
Are you an entrepreneur?

Week 3-January 24-The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Using the entrepreneurial mindset to creatively solve problems
Design thinking
Guest Speaker-Tony Threatt (co-founder, Design Thinking Nashville)

Week 4-January 31-Corporate Innovators

Nissan Tour
Importance of Innovation
Creating an Innovation Culture
Guest Speaker-Allyson Fearns (SCM Director, Nissan)

Week 5-February 7- Social Entrepreneurs/Microenterprises

What is it?
What do they do?
How do they measure success?
Can they promote economic growth?
Guest Speaker-Will Anderson, Salemtown Board Company

Week 6-February 12-Women & Minority Entrepreneurs/Diversity

Why do women entrepreneurs, on average, underperform their male counterparts?
How can we better support women and minority entrepreneurs?
Do you feel like an impostor?
Does age or life stage make a difference?
Guest Speaker-Pam Wright

Week 7-February 21- The Entrepreneur’s Identity and Social/Human Capital

Work-Family Balance Issues
Is it better to segment or integrate work and family?
Is family support helpful or harmful?
Guest Speaker-Sarah Nuse (Founder, Tippi Toes)

Week 8-February 28-Finding and Leveraging Local Resources

TSBDC workshop
Guest Speaker-Chris Swoner

*Phase 2- March 7 & 14 (Optional One-on-One Coaching)

Business Plan Development (2.5)

Complete a business plan and obtain feedback
Guest Instructor – Pat Geho

Design Thinking (2.5)

Creatively solve a problem within your organization
Guest Instructor – Design Thinking Nashville

Graduation- March 21, 2019

What is the Leadership Academy?

  • Professional-level instruction focusing on the tenets of innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Begins Thursday, Jan. 10th
  • 10 sessions
  • 6 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. weekly
  • Location is the Jones College of Business Executive Education Center
  • $295 per person, for Cable Members.
  • $495 for non-Cable members, and includes a one year membership to RUTHERFORD Cable

Course Instructor

Assistant Professor, Kristen Shanine, has a Ph.D. in Management from the University of Alabama and an M.B.A. from Bradley University. She currently teaches Introduction to Entrepreneurship at MTSU, and her primary research applies theory from psychology and sociology to family business in an effort to better understand the family factors that influence succession failure. She also researches gender issues in entrepreneurship. She has recent publications in the Academy of Management Annals, Human Resource Management Review, and Journal of Small Business Management. Additionally, she’s the internship coordinator for the Department of Management and the chair of MTSU’s chapter of Sigma Nu Tau (Entrepreneurship Honor Society).  


“I joined Cable for professional growth after my season at home raising children.  Twelve years away from the workforce found me lacking confidence and the Center for Executive Leadership had a significant impact on my professionalism.  It was not just the content of the program, but the knowledge and insight of the women sitting alongside me in each session that accelerated my career.”

Carolyn Tumbleson, Development Director, Jones College of Business

“I participated in both Phase I and Phase II of the CEL program.  It was really rewarding to be with other Cable members every week in a relaxed setting to learn and discuss higher-level business topics that you just don’t have time to delve into in your normal day-to-day professional life.  Hearing thoughts, questions, comments and energetic discussion, especially when Cable members shared specific problems or situations they’re dealing with, not only was a great learning experience but also helped me to get to know those other members better.  This type of learning—with trusted colleagues—helps build stronger networking relationships and lays a more solid foundation to better support each other in our business and professional development.”

Terri Donovan, Owner, Sterling Communications

“Since I work for a large corporation, I get professional development training all the time. So, I went into the CEL class thinking I was not going to learn much if anything new. I was completely wrong. I gained a wealth of additional knowledge in leadership, ethics, communications and much more. It was well worth the time and financial investment.”

Veronica Terrell, Deloitte

“My participation in the Center of Executive Leadership was truly a rewarding investment in myself.  The variety of subject matter afforded me the opportunity to hone my skill sets that produced results in my professional career.  The interactions and dialogue with fellow students provided a forum to grow personally. I was able to take their learnings and experiences and advance myself forward.”

Stephanie K. Kusch, Vice President, Small Business Relationship Manager, First Tennessee Bank NA

“I first learned about CEL through Rutherford Cable.  I knew I was interested in pursuing personal growth options and this was enticing. In my mind I was feeling a little unsettled about it until I received encouragement through another fellow Cable member.  We spurred each other on to do it and we did.

I was thrilled with the class, the content, the professors that shared their wisdom with us and the layout of the course.  It was very much attainable even while working a full time job. I feel that this CEL course helped me to see myself as more worthy of being a woman in business and that I do have much to offer.

My life has been enriched with new friendships as well.  I am grateful that I took the leap and participated.”

Cherillyn A. Maddox, Goco Center for Aesthetics

“As a “seasoned” business person, I was a bit apprehensive about returning to the classroom for the CEL.

I found I enjoyed greatly the graduate-level instruction, incorporating reading materials and discussions taken straight from current headlines in business news. The blend of perspectives from the younger and seasoned members in the class was also enlightening. But perhaps the greatest benefit to me was the opportunity to develop lasting friendships with several fellow Cable members.

I highly recommend the CEL.”

Gina Urban, Principal, Urban Expert Services

“I went into the CEL program knowing I wanted to make a move in my career, but I didn’t know exactly what. Through the class, the excellent professor and the group of classmates, I was encouraged to follow my dream.  I went from Marketing a host of other business fields to marketing my own business. I had a class full of cheerleaders as I stepped out on my own. I still look back at what I learned in class and from the professor as I build my own business.  One of the best things I ever did for myself personally and professionally was attend CEL.”

Missy Lay, Owner, Wild Goose Chase Events

“CEL is an awesome experience that provides you with self-growth, new insights, and friendships that will last a lifetime. It  provided me with knowledge and an extra support system that I didn’t even know I was missing. CEL is an opportunity to better yourself while contributing to the growth in others as well.”

Angelique Spracklen, First Tennessee

At some time in your life, you’ll be called on to lead. Once that happens, there’s no going back.

So today, it’s time to become the best leader you can be, because leadership isn’t optional. Join us in this groundbreaking opportunity.

For Questions regarding the program, contact Andrea Lewis at