John Dretler Joins the Dolan School as the first Executive-in-Residence.
Now more than ever, the Dolan School is seeing an increased interest in entrepreneurship from current and prospective students. As Dolan’s Entrepreneurship Program continues to grow, more alumni and local business professionals are brought on board to lend their expertise and mentor students through the program.
Over the past few years, the Dolan School has welcomed the following alumni and local business professionals to join faculty in the classroom to create authentic learning experiences for students studying entrepreneurship: Entrepreneur-in-Residence Chris Hamer, founder and CEO of CrowdFlik, Inc; Entrepreneur-in-Residence Scott DePetris, founding member of Portware, LLC; Investor-in-Residence Phil Cagnassola ’92, founder of Frasier Capital.
Most recently the decision was made to create an Executive-in-Residence position. Last fall the Dolan School welcomed John Dretler, a highly successful sales executive with 30 years of experience in his field, to join management professors in the classroom and to mentor students as part of the School’s Entrepreneurship Program and extracurricular activities.
“I was impressed with the people involved and all that the Dolan School is doing to expand their Entrepreneurship Program. I was eager to become involved,” said Dretler. “I recently retired from a full-time corporate role and started a consulting practice helping B2B companies leverage social media to increase sales. This afforded me the time to increase my involvement in mentoring others. I am excited to contribute to the experiential learning of Dolan students.”
So far this year Dretler has worked with students in Assistant Professor of Management Jeff Moretz’s Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management class. As part of the class, Dretler taught a module on the impact of social media on Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) selling. In this module, Dretler explained how social media platforms have changed buyer behavior, impacted the sales process, and how-best-in-class companies are taking advantage of this opportunity. He also discussed how students can use LinkedIn to build their personal brand.
In his role as Executive-in-Residence, Dretler will continue to mentor student teams participating in the annual entrepreneurship competition, the Fairfield StartUp Showcase, as well as work with students in other classes.