Christo B. Vermeulen
I am a farm boy who was born and raised on a family farm in the Karoo, South Africa. I lived and worked in South Africa before my wife and I immigrated to the United States in November 2003.
I am the founder of Meerkat and co-founder of RoastMore and Synertunity Investments (PTY) LTD.
Professional Environment: As a Wisconsin licensed pharmacist, I have 20+ years of pharmacy management experience and 10+ years of preceptor (professional youth development) instruction, training, and supervision for pharmacy students from Concordia School of Pharmacy and UW-Madison School of Pharmacy.
Business Environment: As a business owner, I have 12+ years of private equity, and 18+ years of agronomic management experience. In addition to having an MBA, I am an MIT certified entrepreneur, and also well versed in the core to advanced elements of Lean Six Sigma methodology, as I am a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.
Educational Environment: In 2015, I authored two books, (You)r Life and (You)r Life Junior. In 2016, I completed an online course at Harvard, Introduction to Family Engagement in Education. In 2017, I completed an online course at MIT, Shaping the Future of Work, and in 2018, I completed the MIT Entrepreneurship Online Bootcamp.
Lou D. Banach
Lou's banking career spans nearly three decades, and he is the Business Executive for both the Financial Institutions and Government Banking segments at Associated Bank. He earned an MBA in Finance and Accounting with honors from Penn State University, and he is a published author of three books (The New Breed: Living Iowa Wrestling, Uncommon Bonds: A Journey in Optimism, and Start it, Grow it, Sell It: The Journey of Business ) – and has also published over 75 business articles. At the request of long time friends, he is outlining a fourth book centered on our Nation's issues.
Lou's dedication to his community extends beyond his banking expertise. He is a past board member of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC), and he serves on the Advisory Board of Midwest Athletes against Childhood Cancer Fund (MACC Fund) and as a Trustee for the Wisconsin Public Policy Forum. Past board positions include the Autism Society of Southeast Wisconsin, Three Harbors Boy Scouts of Southeast Wisconsin, and Economics Wisconsin.
During the 1984 LA Olympics, Lou earned an Olympic Gold Medal in Freestyle Wrestling - and is a Distinguished Member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. He wrestled for the University of Iowa from 1980-1983, where he was a two-time NCAA Champion and a three-time All-American. His military service was as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army in the Adjutant General Corps, where he served three years of active duty at West Point, New York.
With purpose and by design the culmination of our professional, business, and educational experiences all lead up-and-into the program that we coined Micro-MBA. Our program taps four invaluable resources, (1) Just Start, Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future (by Charles Kiefer and Leonard A. Schlesinger, Harvard Business Review Press), (2) Disciplined Entrepreneurship, 24 Steps to a Successful Startup (by Bill Aulet, Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and Professor of the Practice at the MIT Sloan School of Management, (3) Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want (Strategyzer), and (4) Start it, Grow it, Sell it: The Journey of Business (by Lou D. Banach and Jeff Rasmussen).
We love the quote by Arthur Ashe, "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." We hope you will find your inspiration...start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can.
See you in class!
Christo and Lou