TEA Board of Advisors
Dr. John Elstrott
Chairman of the Board
Dr. John Elstrott is a Professor of Entrepreneurship and the Executive Director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship at Tulane University's Freeman School of Business in New Orleans, LA. He holds bachelor and master's degrees in economics from Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge and a doctorate in economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Prior to joining the Tulane University faculty, Dr. Elstrott was Chief Financial Officer for Celestial Seasonings, Inc. He is an active entrepreneur in the venture capital, wetlands mitigation banking, music, pharmaceutical, financial services, natural food, and authentic herbal remedy industries. Dr. Elstrott serves on the boards of several public and private corporations and non-profit community service organizations. He serves as the lead director and is past chair of the audit committee for Whole Foods Market, Inc., a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company. Read complete bio
Ron is currently an associate with the Altira Group, an energy technology venture capital firm in Denver, Colorado with $300 million in assets. He started his career as an engineer with experience in hands-on refinery operations with ExxonMobil. He has proven financial modeling expertise as an upstream E&P financial analyst with AG Edwards and Howard Weil with a long track record of starting successful businesses in a variety of industries-from international sports to environmental biotechnology. Today, Ron has presided over two dozen transactions totaling over $500 million and is a board observer for several Altira portfolio companies. Ron has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Penn State University (1999) and an MBA from Tulane University (2003).
Ludwig is the CEO of Ludwig Ventures, an accounting and financial consulting firm located in upstate New York. Prior to his career in finance he was a crisis therapist and worked in medical research at a major hospital in Denver, Colorado. Mr. Ludwig has served as the CFO for companies in the clinical trials and trucking industries. He has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Northern Colorado (1988) and an MBA from Tulane University (2002). He is a licensed CPA in the state of Tennessee.
Chairman Board Member
Will Donaldson is a vice-president of the private real estate fund, Resource Conservation Fund, LLC (RCF). RCF makes ecological investments in the restoration of wetlands. The fund generates valuable returns for investors by selling the offset credits that this process generates. He is also a past president of the Tulane Entrepreneurs Association, where he increased applications to its business plan competition nearly threefold. He is an avid real estate entrepreneur and freeman alum residing in New Orleans.
Lina Alfieri Stern
Lina Alfieri Stern obtained a BA in Sociology from Tulane University's Newcomb College in 1992 and an MBA from the Freeman School in 1987. She is the director of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute and in this capacity plans and implements projects relating to entrepreneurial studies, urban economic development and social entrepreneurship. Ms. Alfieri Stern places and mentors volunteer business students in consulting projects for disadvantaged businesses and not-for-profit organizations. As director of the Institute she facilitates the student-run Tulane Business Plan Competition, an international competition that subscribes to the values of conscious capitalism and social entrepreneurship and awards $50,000 in cash prizes to the winning team. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Central City Economic Development Corporation and has worked closely with the New Orleans public housing community in economic development efforts. Read complete bio
Matt is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Global Management, with concentrations in finance and strategic management. Before arriving at Tulane, he served five years with the US Marine Corps and the Department of State. Matt began his entrepreneurial career in 2007 by working as the operations manager for a start-up venture in London. He holds BAs in International Business and the Russian Language from American University in Washington, DC. During his MBA, Matt has also gained experience in real estate development, an area in which he is currently seeking employment and looking for new opportunities.
Stephanie Bosse Barksdale
Stephanie is the Special Assistant to President Cowen and is responsible for managing the Social Entrepreneurship Initiatives at Tulane University. New to New Orleans, Stephanie has the very humbling and inspiring job of helping Tulane build upon its strengths in service learning and civic engagement to develop a university-wide, interdisciplinary social entrepreneurship program. Stephanie received her Masters in Public Administration in 2008, with a concentration in non-profit management, from NYU Wagner School of Public Service. Previously, Stephanie has worked for The Low Income Investment Fund, Upwardly Global, and the King Hussein Foundation International.