Heeg Takes Over as Fusion 59 EIR

Sep 08, 2020

Since Fusion 59 opened in 2018, many people across campus and from the Chicagoland area have benefited from Trinity’s innovation and co-working space. As Haley Heeg ’20 takes over as Fusion 59’s Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR), she is looking forward to continuing and expanding on that tradition.

“Students from all backgrounds, majors, and disciplines engage with Fusion 59 in some form while being on and off campus throughout the summer months and school year,” said Heeg. “Alumni will come back to Fusion 59 to speak, present, or do workshops about how they are innovating in their current field of business.”

Heeg said she is excited about serving as Trinity’s EIR. The role allows her to serve as on-campus director and mentor within Fusion 59, while managing her own career. She takes over from Fusion 59’s first-ever EIRs, Ryan Hesslau ’18 and Tom Iwema ’18.

Fusion 59 consists of four core components: community, events, student clubs, and Trinity’s Consulting Team, Heeg said. “My job will be to manage the space and all initiatives that flow from the space.” She said she is particularly looking forward to working with guest speakers for “Fusion Friday” events and advising the Consulting Team, which works with clients from within and outside the Trinity community to help with event management, web design, social media marketing, photography, team management, and other functions.

Since Trinity has moved to online classes for the fall in order to keep the community safe, all Fusion 59 activities will be offered virtually. “Innovation Club will be virtual,” said Heeg. “We will be having a ‘Fusion Friday’ at least once a month for the entire school year, where guest speakers will present on Zoom [See more information below]. This will be very interactional, and students will be able to ask questions.”

Trinity’s Consulting Team will also be primarily virtual. “We will be helping local businesses in the Palos Heights community grow their social media and marketing strategies.”

Like several other campus facilities, Fusion 59 will be open as a place where students who are on campus can work in socially distant groups. The space, located in the Jennie Huizenga Memorial Library, will have a capacity of 15 people.

Heeg has always been an entrepreneur, and her time at Trinity helped her to focus on that calling. “From a young age I was always coming up with creative ideas and ‘businesses,’” she said. “At age 7, I started making doll clothes and selling them to my classmates. At age 15, my sisters and I started our own jewelry company called Trendy Trio.”

A native of Oklahoma, Heeg knew she wanted to study business at Trinity but wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her degree. “My business department advisor and I discussed many things about my interests and skills,” said Heeg. Along with her interest in business, Heeg has successfully participated in pageant competitions, including being named a semifinalist in the Miss Illinois pageant in 2019. “I mentioned to him that I was selling my old pageant wardrobe and was ‘flipping’ dresses I bought from consignment stores. He told me that I was meant to be an entrepreneur and I have a business that I need to be serious about!”

With that encouragement, Heeg expanded Rosebud Bloom Online Boutique. “Because of the encouragement I received from my professor and advisor, I was able to pay my way through college and save money that would help me after graduation.”

Along with her studies and running Rosebud Boutique, Heeg was actively involved in Fusion 59 as a Trinity student and served as team manager for the Consulting Team and as president of the Innovation Club. “My professors and classes at Trinity equipped me to launch and succeed in owning my own business while being a full-time student, the Innovation Club President, and an active student in the classroom,” said Heeg, who graduated in May with a marketing major. “Now that I have graduated, I am fully prepared to enter corporate America and make a positive impact in my community.”

Along with serving as EIR, Heeg has a job with Ozinga as a Dispatch and Customer Service Representative. As part of her EIR duties, Heeg is on campus several evenings a week.

Fusion Friday Speakers

Throughout the academic year, Fusion 59 will be presenting a series of speakers who bring a variety of expertise and information. All Fusion Friday events will be accessible via Zoom. Scheduled speakers include:

Sept. 11 at 4 pm

Lawrence Weller, president of ECF Wealth, will be speaking and presenting on what being a business owner and working in finance has been like during a pandemic and offering advice for students who want to be entrepreneurs.

Visit here to learn more, including information about joining the Zoom meeting.

Oct. 9 at 4 pm

Anthony Ciccarone, coach and consultant with Amplify Chicago, will speak on career planning. Amplify Chicago addresses the racial wealth gap in the justice system by involving young people.

Nov. 6 at 4 pm

Rachel Holden, who is involved with recruiting and development at Northwestern Mutual, will be speaking about training, hiring, and recruiting, what companies are looking for during a pandemic and how students can be innovative in their approach.