🔍 menu
Thiel College
The Haller Enterprise Institute
in this section
The Haller Enterprise Institute Overview

Entrepreneurs embrace new ways of thinking. Where some see challenges; they see opportunities. Some are destined to start businesses; others infuse passion and creativity into the workplace.

The Haller Enterprise Institute at Thiel College aims to cultivate entrepreneurial-minded students by providing an intensive, high-quality educational experience to a select cohort of undergraduate students, regardless of major.

Program Benefits

Members of the Haller Enterprise Institute actively engage with like-minded students, as well as network with respected business leaders from across the region -- many of whom are influencers within their fields. Haller Institute members are also encouraged to become involved in our Region’s economic development efforts and to gain valuable connections and experience as they begin to apply principles of entrepreneurship in real-world settings. Other benefits include:

  • Each year, first-year and upper-level students apply and interview for a number of highly sought-after positions. Those selected are eligible for scholarships.
  • A guaranteed seat in the popular Introduction to Entrepreneurship course. This course is designed to encourage and support individuals who are considering going into business for themselves. This course focuses on identifying business opportunities and developing the business plan.
  • An invitation to the annual banquet which spotlights the Haller “Entrepreneur of the Year” and “Student Entrepreneur of the Year” awards.
  • Access to the Haller Institute’s Advisory Board, a distinguished team of business professionals and educators who are committed to providing support, guidance and encouragement to Thiel’s student-entrepreneurs.

About the Haller Enterprise Institute

The Haller Enterprise Institute celebrated its 25h anniversary in 2020. The Institute is named after Henry E. and Grace Mary Haller, major benefactors to the College with a keen interest in entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneur of the Year and Student Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

Each year, the Institute honors an influential member of the business community who epitomizes the spirit of the Institute. Previous recipients include, Michael G. Zawoysky ’79, retired CEO for Shoe Sensation Inc and Carol A. (Yeager) '71 and Barry D. Stamm, M.D. '70, co-founders of Stamm Cataract and Laser Surgery.

Also honored is an undergraduate student who best implements a new business venture or who otherwise best exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship. Recent recipients and their current employer include Justin Pearce ’20, Massive Gains Apparel; Greg Galbo ‘19, Automotive Parts and Athletic Shoe Reseller; Randy Santarelli, ’18, RS Outfitters.

Haller Leadership

Haller Enterprise Institute Executive Director - Gary J. Witosky, CPA '79

Professor Witosky has served as Executive Director of the Haller Enterprise Institute since 2020. He is a professor of Economics and Business Administration and the David M. Miller Endowed Chair of Accounting.  He has extensive experience working with and advising entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies.

Haller Enterprise Institute Executive Director Emeritus - David M. Miller, '61, H ‘20

Dr. Miller is the founding Executive Director of the Haller Enterprise Institute, as well as an emeritus professor of Economics and Business Administration. He is also the former Norman P. Mortensen Chair of Economics and Department Chair of the Arthur McGonigal Dept. of Business Administration and Accounting.  Miller has a long-time interest in entrepreneurship and has started and operated several businesses during his career.

Haller Enterprise Institute Advisory Board

The Institute’s Advisory Board is comprised of local business leaders and Thiel faculty and administration. Current members are:

  • Gary Witosky, C.P.A, C.G.M ’79* Executive Director - Professor of Business and Accounting, David Miller Endowed Chair of Accounting, Thiel College
  • Dr. David Miller ’61, H ‘20 Executive Director Emeritus* - Professor Emeritus of Economics and Business administration, Thiel College
  • Joel Bussard ’09 - Operations Project Manager, The NPR Group LLC
  • Dale Deist - Founder, Deist Industries, Inc.
  • Patricia Ferry – Branch Manager, PNC
  • Angelo Giannini* M.B.A. -  Professor of Business and Accounting, Thiel College
  • John Gomolchak, Esq.* - Assistant Professor of Business Administration and Accounting, Thiel College
  • Linda Haller H’13 – Philanthropist, Thiel College
  • Connie Jablonski* M.B.A.- Associate Vice President for Finance and Management, Thiel College
  • Rae Johnson ’59  - Teacher (retired)
  • Steven Kandray* - Assistant Professor of Business and Marketing, Thiel College
  • Jack Kuchcinski - Partner, Black Bashor & Porsch, LLP ‘99
  • Roberta Leonard* - Vice President for College Advancement, Thiel College
  • Mario Marini ’91 – Executive Director, United Way of Mercer County
  • Melissa Oakes, C.P.A, C.F.E, M.B.A ’03* - Associate Professor of Business Administration and Accounting Associate Chair, Thiel College
  • Robert Olson, Ph.D. ’60, H’09 – President (retired), Thiel College
  • Richard Orr* - Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, Thiel College
  • Richard Parker ’82 – Principal Owner, R. Alan Parker & Associates
  • Sandy Parker ’81 – Branch Manager (retired), PNC Bank
  • Jim Plunkett ’93 – Owner, Jim Plunkett Insurance Agency
  • Brett Stedman, J.D. ’04 – Attorney, Ekker, Kuster, McCall & Epstein, LLP
  • John J. Suhar ’93 – Founder, MetaSelf Behavioral Technologies
  • Nick Travaglianti ’11 – Team Lead, Payroll & Compensation, Dealer Tire
  • Susan Traverso, Ph.D.* - President, Thiel College

* Thiel College employees