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Your Entrepreneurial Center & Women's Business Center Team

General Information: 860.768.5681

    Fred Wergeles is the Director of the Entrepreneurial Center.

Director

Fred Wergeles, MA
860.768.5965
wergeles@hartford.edu 
LinkedIn

After managing intelligence collection for the federal government and Pratt & Whitney, Fred opened his own practice, Fred Wergeles & Associates LLC. Utilizing his 25 years of experience, he helped companies, from Fortune 500 to small firms, to quickly and effectively improve their strategic planning and market assessment capabilities.

Fred is an active player in Connecticut’s entrepreneurial market. At the University of Hartford’s Barney School of Business, he teaches Market & Competitive Intelligence and Marketing Management in the MBA program, as well as entrepreneurship and marketing classes to undergraduates. He is the founder and president of the Connecticut Economic Gardening Group, an organization dedicated to providing business information, analysis, and marketing services to small businesses.

In 2016, he joined the Center’s team as Director and looks forward to continuing to raise the Center’s profile and reputation as a key entrepreneurship resource in Connecticut.

Milena Erwin is the Program Manager of the Women's Business Center.Program Manager, Women's Business Center

Milena Erwin, MBA, CGBP
860.768.5667
erwin@hartford.edu
LinkedIn

Milena has over 20 years’ experience managing, counseling, and training small business owners. A native of Bulgaria, she speaks five languages and has lived on three continents. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. With her expertise in marketing and export sales management, she has led companies to international growth in an increasingly global world.

A passionate advocate for women in business, Milena strives to give small business owners the tools and support needed to fulfill their dreams. At the Women’s Business Center, Milena develops and manages all training and programs, including business advising, as well as directly advising women entrepreneurs. 

Shelli McMillen is the Marketing & Technical Assistance Program Manager for the Entrepreneurial Center & Women's Business Center.Program Manager, Marketing & Technical Assistance

Shelli McMillen, BA
860.768.5653
mcmillen@hartford.edu
LinkedIn

Shelli received her BA at UCONN in Economic Development and Human Rights in Latin America. Working on these issues in Central America, she became passionate about developing small businesses in struggling communities. When she returned to the US, she collaborated in several startups and eventually started her own business.

Shelli enjoyed working in small business, but missed the direct community work and decided to combine her two interests. She began her career with the Center in 2012 and manages marketing and two technical assistance programs, including the Hartford Small Business Technical Assistance Program and the Small Contractor Development Program. In addition to working at the Center, she continues her entrepreneurial venture as the co-owner of Open Wire Lab, a Hartford business that develops innovative software and hardware.

Lacey Banks McGill is a business advisor for the Entrepreneurial Center & Women's Business Center.Business Advisor

Lacey Banks McGill, JD
860.768.5667
lbanks@hartford.edu
LinkedIn

Lacey received an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Columbia University and a law degree from the University of Chicago. After law school, Lacey worked with a small start-up helping to develop the strategic plan and managing investor relationships. Having caught the entrepreneurial bug, she became a Center Manager for Project Enterprise, a micro-lending institution which provides loans and training for small businesses.

At the Entrepreneurial Center, Lacey provides one-to-one counseling and group training on topics including financial modeling, loan packaging, basics of government contracting, and marketing strategy.

Elaine Thomas Williams is a business advisor for the Entrepreneurial Center & Women's Business Center.Business Advisor

Elaine Thomas Williams, BA in Education
860.768.5681
etwilliam@hartford.edu
LinkedIn

Elaine has a combined 40 years of experience in the fields of teaching, small business development, and youth entrepreneurship training. She is fluent in business plan writing, loan packaging, grant proposals, budgeting, and training in the arenas of corporate-nonprofit, municipal, state, and federal government programs.

She brought this invaluable experience and love of teaching to the Center in 1990 and has since helped countless businesses to startup and obtain financing. Before that, she was the Executive Director of the Greater New England Minority Supplier Development Council and the Coordinator of the State of Connecticut Youth Entrepreneurship Program. She believes developing an entrepreneurial spirit can help people imagine their business dreams.

Jim Lofink is the Database & Technology Coordinator for the Entrepreneurial Center & Women's Business Center.

Database & Technology Coordinator

Jim Lofink, BA
860-768-5681
jlofink@hartford.edu
LinkedIn

Jim brings a variety of experience and skills to the Center. He enjoyed a corporate career in marketing, rising to VP of New Product Development for a multinational manufacturing company, and then became CEO of a Hartford-area non-profit. Having gained small business skills through these experiences, he next helped develop 2 startups. He is currently teaching courses in Technical Skills for Business Success at the University of Hartford’s Barney School of Business. In his spare time, he is cultivating his own business - a vineyard which recently produced its first bottles of wine.

Jim is energized by the success stories of our clients. He quantifies this success in numbers and statistics, using that knowledge to build a business case that fuels the continued success of the Entrepreneurial Center & Women’s Business Center.