Business Professors and Students Recognized by Future Founders CEO


FFF AwardsMore than 40 students, faculty, and staff attended the 1st Annual Entrepreneurship at Trinity Dinner on May 7 to celebrate the strides business students have made over the semester in discovering their inner entrepreneur and the ways in which they can serve the greater Trinity community.

Special guests Scott Issen, Future Founders president and CEO, and Katie Sowa, Future Founders director of community engagement, presented the Outstanding Community Partnership award to Assistant Professors of Business Dr. Rick Hamilton and Kyle Harkema.

Trinity became a founding partner with the Future Founders Foundation (FFF) during the Fall 2014 semester. The College joined an impressive group of founding Community Organization and University Partners such as Business Enterprise Law Clinic at The John Marshall Law School, Coleman Entrepreneurship Center at DePaul University, Entrepreneurship Law Center at Northwestern University School of Law, Stuart School of Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and Lewis University, among others.

“It is so much fun to see the energy, enthusiasm, and action of Trinity students as they seek to identify, define, and develop their God-given gifts for creativity and service,” Hamilton said.     

Harkema echoed the sentiment. “What a joy to walk along side and be part of our student community as it engages the vibrant entrepreneurial community in the greater Chicago area.”

Throughout the academic year, 20 Trinity students participated in several FFF events ranging from the U.Pitch Competition to several E-Pass programs where students met and conversed with influential community business leaders. In addition, freshmen Ryan Hesslau of Mokena, Illinois, and Tom Iwema of Oak Lawn, Illinois, were selected to be part of a selective year-long FFF program designed to accelerate the development of “rockstar” student entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial-minded individuals.

“Trinity Christian College does a tremendous job of supporting entrepreneurship on- and off-campus, ensuring their students gain critical real world experience,” said Issen. “We are thrilled to work with a faculty and student body that exudes the entrepreneurial spirit and has a passion for learning. We look forward to building on our strong partnership to help Trinity students achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.”            

During the evening, student efforts in developing independent businesses and the formation of the Trinity Entrepreneurship Club were also recognized. First officers of the Entrepreneurship Club include Tony Dykstra ’18 of Highland, Indiana; Tyler Schneider ’18 of St. Charles, Missouri; and Tanner VanMaanen ’18 of Leighton, Iowa.

Read about the exceptional opportunities Trinity business students have been afforded through this partnership:

Students Invited to Network with Top Chicago Entrepreneur

Future Founders Students Selected for Fellowship

Entrepreneurial Students Semifinalists at U.Pitch Competition