The George Washington University School of Business today hosted its inaugural awards ceremony inducting alumni and faculty into the Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame. The event was held in the City View Room on GW’s campus in the heart of Washington, D.C.
The GWSB Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame recognizes innovative alumni and faculty who have made significant contributions to entrepreneurial excellence across the United States and around the world. This inaugural and foundational class of Hall of Fame members inspires our GWSB community, mentors our entrepreneurial students and alumni, and sets an example by leading, teaching, and researching through innovation.
GW President Mark S. Wrighton presided over the event, welcoming the inductees, their families, business partners, friends, and even international dignitaries to the ceremony. “Our honorees are not only outstanding because of the businesses they’ve built, they’re also exceptional because of the way they’ve helped to encourage and shepherd other entrepreneurs and small business owners,” said Wrighton.
Honoring the inaugural class with remarks celebrating their esteemed accomplishments, GW School of Business Dean Anuj Mehrotra noted that the inductees have made “significant contributions to entrepreneurial excellence. They inspire us, and represent the very best of GW and the GW School of Business through their ingenuity, their leadership, their support of our university and our students, and their teaching and research excellence.”
The GWSB Entrepreneurial Hall of Fame Inaugural Inductees
GWSB BBA ‘75
- Read Mr. Bendit's Bio
Charles R. Bendit is the co-chief executive officer of Taconic Partners. Taconic is an owner, operator, and developer of commercial and residential real estate, from adaptive reuse and urban revitalization to luxury residential development. Since 1997, Taconic has successfully acquired, developed, redeveloped, and repositioned over 15 million square feet of office, mixed-use, and retail space and more than 3,000 units of for-sale and multi-family rental housing in New York City with select projects in Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.
A graduate of the George Washington University, Mr. Bendit serves on the University’s Board of Trustees. He is the chair of the Audit and Compliance Committee and a member of the Committee on Real Estate, Campus Planning, and Facilities and the Committee on Finance and Investments. Mr. Bendit is a former member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Advisors of the George Washington University School of Business, and is a former member of the Advisory Board for the GWSB’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis.
Mr. Bendit is very involved in the educational community having served two terms as the Manhattan representative to the Board of Regents of the New York State Education Department, he also served as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of PENCIL, an organization that creates and supports partnerships between public schools and private enterprises.
PENCIL serves schools in five cities in the U.S. Currently, Mr. Bendit serves on the Board of Directors for The Bank Street School. He is also an active member of The Partnership for NY, serving as trustee for the Fund for the Partnership for NY. Mr. Bendit lives in Manhattan, where he has resided for 35 years. He is married and has two daughters.
GWSB BBA ‘73
- Read Mr. Blaser's Bio
Mitchell E. Blaser has more than 40 years of accomplishments in international insurance markets. He is the Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Bermuda-based Mosaic Insurance, a global specialty company that launched in February 2021 and today counts 125 employees across seven countries: the US, UK, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. With a Lloyd’s syndicate and underwriting hubs around the world, Mosaic zeroes in on seven highly specialized lines of business relevant to the current geopolitical and economic landscape — including cybersecurity, political violence, and M&A insurance. Previously, Mitch was a founding executive of Ironshore, a commercial insurer that launched in Bermuda in 2006 with $1 billion in private equity capital. He helped drive its growth to become a global property and casualty company with more than 800 employees in 15 nations before it was acquired by Liberty Mutual Group.
Mitch held key roles in Ironshore’s evolution, including COO of Ironshore, Inc., CFO and CEO of Ironshore Bermuda, and CEO of Iron-Starr Excess Agency and IronServe, as well as Chief Transformation Officer of commercial lines for Liberty.
Earlier in his career, Mitch was CFO, Americas, for Swiss Re, and a member of the leadership team at Marsh, Inc., including roles as both Global CFO and Head of Technology & Corporate Services. Mitch received his MBA in Finance from Pace University, and is a qualified CPA. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the George Washington University, where he has chaired the School of Business advisory board for 30 years. Mitch is a former GW parent — twice; both his daughters Ali and Heather are alumni alongside their Dad — and he also served as the inaugural chair of our Family Leadership Circle.
GWSB BBA ‘71
- Read Mr. Chaletzky's Bio
Kenneth B. Chaletzky was born in Dorchester and raised in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. He started working at the age of five, helping his father on weekends. In 1967 he set off for Washington, D.C., where he received his BBA from the George Washington University in 1971. He was advertising manager, business manager and production manager of The Hatchet, the student newspaper.
In 1974, he received his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Along with a former Hatchet colleague, he started a computerized typesetting company in 1974. In 1979, they started Copy General. They sold the typesetting company in order to focus on Copy General and other ventures.
In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, they were approached by Ken’s old Hatchet editor about opening a copy center in Budapest. The first Budapest Copy General opened in 1991. Prague followed in 1992, then Warsaw and Moscow. By 2000, there were about 50 Copy General facilities in Eastern Europe employing over 600 people. His latest venture is as co-owner of Salt Cay Divers, a scuba diving center in the Turks & Caicos Islands.
Ken has been scuba diving for more than half a century. In addition to the dive center, his team owns a restaurant and several residential properties that they rent to guests. He recently sold his interest in the US Copy General operations. He is focusing on his other business ventures and investments.
He currently serves on the Dean’s Board of Advisors at the GW School of Business and is treasurer of the Loudoun First Responders Foundation. Ken and his wife Linda live in Bethesda, MD when they’re not at their home outside of Bethany Beach. Linda is a realtor with Evers & Company, a Long & Foster company.
CCAS BS ‘87, GWSB MS ‘93
- Read Mr. Ford's Bio
Antwanye E. Ford is President & CEO of Enlightened, Inc., an Information Technology and Management Consulting firm founded in 1999. Enlightened serves federal and local government agencies, and provides cybersecurity, software engineering, and management consulting. Antwanye has led the Company’s growth from a start-up to a diverse organization with over 225 employees and leads the Company’s corporate vision and innovation efforts. The company has staff across the country and has done business throughout the world. Enlightened has recently established a commercial division and has invested in several small businesses. In 2019, Enlightened founded Prolightened, LLC, a commercial real estate development firm, which has several commercial and residential properties under ownership and management. He has also co-founded three joint ventures to explore new industries, including construction, critical infrastructure, and telecom.
Antwanye is the Vice Chair of the US Black Chambers, Inc. and founder of the Greater Washington Black Chamber of Commerce. Antwanye is Secretary of the Board of the National Association Workforce Boards and the Board Chair of the DC Workforce Investment Council. He serves as the Chair of the Cybersecurity Education & Research Center at Howard University.
An advocate for community investment, youth mentorship and corporate philanthropy, Antwanye’s personal philosophy is “to whom much is given, much is required.” He spends much of his personal time in ministry, mentoring youth and overseeing the management of a robust internship program. He has authored several chapters in business books on leadership and life’s challenges.
A native Washingtonian, Antwanye earned his Bachelor of Science (’87) and Master of Science (’93) degrees in Information Systems Technology from the George Washington University with honors. In June 2019, he obtained a MS in Divinity from Lancaster Bible College, graduating summa cum laude.
GSEHD BA ‘80 and MBA ‘83
- Read Mrs. Moore's Bio
- Angela H. Moore is the Managing Partner of Ravensdale Capital, an investment platform created to provide angel and venture capital investments in startup and early-stage technology businesses in the U.S. She is also the Managing Director of Macha Capital Partners, a private investment fund focused on making investments in small, growth-oriented businesses in Ireland, with a special focus on women-led initiatives, investing in businesses beyond seed stage in a broad range of sectors including manufacturing, technology and tradeable services. Angela was named an honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE). She is Board Chairman of the Virginia Distillery Company, makers of a super premium, award-winning, American Single Malt. Angela serves on the boards of several organizations, including: University College Dublin Michael Smurfit School Advisory Board; Women in Business Northern Ireland (NI); Northern Ireland US East Coast Advisory Council; Governance Board at Crescent Capital; North American Friends of the Lyric Theater Belfast; Somos Amigos Medical Missions; and The Ireland Funds America, where she serves as Vice Chair. Angela is also a member of the Irish Global Economic Forum. She received her undergraduate training at St. Mary’s College, Queen’s University Belfast, and has BA and MBA degrees from the George Washington University.
- Read Mr. Moore's Bio
George G. Moore was the founder of multiple businesses known as one of the earliest pioneers of the information and data analytics industries. After coming to the United States to earn his master’s and doctoral degrees in business from the George Washington University School of Business, Mr. Moore began his career in Silicon Valley and co-founded his first business, National Decision Systems, which was acquired by Equifax in 1990.
In 1993, he co-founded Virginia-based company Targus Information, a provider of caller and customer identification services that would be acquired by Neustar in 2011 for $650 million. He became a managing partner of Ravensdale Capital, a venture and angel capital firm where he supported early stage companies and entrepreneurs in the information technology and consumer data analytics field.
Mr. Moore also became an investor in china and crystal companies, and was chair of Erne Heritage Holdings, which owned popular Irish pottery, china, and crystalware brands. He was named “one of the most successful Irish-American businessmen of his generation” by The Irish Times following his passing in 2013.
His undergraduate alma mater, the University College Dublin (UCD), called him one of their “most successful, distinguished and generous alumni.”
Mr. Moore was recognized with many honors for his achievements as an entrepreneur. He was named an honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth for his contributions to the economy of Northern Ireland. In addition, he received an honorary degree from the University of Ulster in 2006. Mr. Moore was also active in civic and service leadership capacities, including as a board member of the New Ireland Fund, The Flax Trust, the Northern Ireland Trade and Investment Council, as a trustee of the Northern Ireland Memorial Fund, and through his involvement with the the Northern Ireland Trade and Investment Council Irish Technology Leadership Group.
GWSB BBA ‘81 and HON ‘14
- Read Mr. Ramsey's Bio
Financier and philanthropist W. Russell “Russ” Ramsey is a great example of someone who equates success with generosity. Founder, chairman, and CEO of Ramsey Asset Management, a hedge fund management firm. Ramsey is the chair of the Governing Board for the George Washington University (GW) Investment Institute and the chairman emeritus of the GW Board of Trustees. Ramsey previously served as president and co-CEO at Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, which raised $7 billion in capital for clients and had become the largest trading and investment banking firm in Washington in its first seven years. Newsweek magazine named Ramsey as one of its four “people to see” in Washington’s finance community, while the Northern Virginia Technology Council cited him as “Financier of the Year.”
He also served as chairman and CEO of Washington 2024, leading an effort to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to his native Washington, D.C. In 2021, Ramsey was inducted into the Washington Business Hall of Fame.
GWSB MBA ‘98
- Read Ms. Russell's Bio
A visionary who started her now award-winning, multi-million-dollar business with a personal investment of $500, LaJuanna Y. Russell has more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of business operations and government contracting. She is particularly practiced in the areas of human resource management and process improvement and is a sought-after speaker on topics such as Future of Work, leadership, diversity and inclusion, entrepreneurship, and women in government contracting.
In addition to her certification as a Six Sigma Green Belt, Ms. Russell holds a BA in Communication Studies from Virginia Tech and an accelerated MBA with concentrations in International Business and Finance from George Washington University. She is chair of Small Business Majority’s Board of Directors, a member of Alexandria Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, a member of the George Washington University School of Business Advisory Board, a member of Professional Services Council Board of Directors, immediate past chair of Alexandria Commission on Employment, an incoming board member for The Campagna Center, the incoming DC Leadership Council Co-Chair for Vital Voices, a member of Women Impacting Public Policy’s Leadership Advisory Council, a member of Intuit’s Small Business QuickBooks Council and an alumna of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program.
She was a featured panelist for Daymond John’s Inaugural Black Entrepreneur’s Day (2020). Recently, she served as an expert witness for the Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, “Big Ideas for Small Businesses: Fostering American Entrepreneurship Through Starting, Sustaining and Growing Small Businesses.”
- Read Ms. Selby's Bio
Susie L. Selby is the Founder, Sole Proprietor and Winemaker for Selby Winery, which she started with her father, Dr. David K. Selby, in 1995.
Susie grew up in Dallas, Texas and graduated from Vanderbilt University with her BA in Economics ‘83, then the George Washington University School of Business, MBA ‘85. After GWSB, Susie was the Director of Marketing/Development for Ballet Austin in Austin, TX. She subsequently moved to Atlanta, Georgia and was the Development Director at Peach State Public Radio, then Northside Hospital. She was honored to be the first female Rotarian in Georgia and continues her support of Rotary International today.
In 1993, Susie moved to Sonoma County, California to follow a passion for wine that was influenced by her father. She worked for a large winery in hospitality, then national sales and marketing as she was starting the Selby brand. In an apprenticeship role, she had intense hands-on production training and was the lead cellar worker and head of all vineyard operations. Two years later her father tragically passed away, but she continued Selby by herself as one of the few female winemakers in the industry.
Today, Selby Winery produces over ten thousand cases and has won hundreds of gold medals and numerous accolades. Susie made wine for many NFL and NBA players, was Robert Redford’s winemaker for eight years, and has been served frequently in five White House administrations. Selby remains an international anomaly as one of the only female Sole Proprietors/Winemakers in the industry. “Enjoy wine; enjoy life,” is Susie’s quintessential expression to describe the passion and enjoyment she will always have for making wine.
Susie’s unwavering passion for the creation of quality wines has led her to become the first female Cellar Master in Sonoma County, among many other recognitions.
GWSB BBA ‘92
- Read Mr. Simons's Bio
Daniel B. Simons is the Co-Founder of the innovative Founding Farmers Restaurant Group (FFRG) — majority owned by American family farmers — with a mission to earn farmers a larger share of the food dollar while delivering thoughtfully-sourced, scratch-made food, and exceptional hospitality. FFRG operates seven restaurants and one distillery (Founding Spirits) throughout the DC, MD, VA, and PA area, and through the Pandemic pivoted their business model to include an e-commerce Founding Farmers Market + Grocery, selling everything from prepared dinners and hand sanitizer made in their DC distillery, to homemade chocolates and bottled cocktails. Dan is a frequent speaker and vocal advocate for supporting mental health in the workplace.
His passion for overall human health extends to the planet as well, motivating Dan to found the nonprofit Our Last Straw, a business-led coalition working to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics, and he is also a founding Board Member of Conscious Capitalism DC.
GWSB DBA ‘83
- Read Mr. Solomon's Bio
Dr. George T. Solomon is a professor emeritus of management and former director and co-founder of the Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence (CFEE) at the GW School of Business. He is a book author and has also published and edited over 130 articles, book chapters, reference materials, proceedings articles in the area of entrepreneurship, small business management and organizational behavior and dynamics. He was one of the first individuals to receive a doctoral degree that focused on these areas from a major accredited school of business when he graduated from GW Business in 1982. He has advised and consulted more than 200 small businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as national and international organizations on strategies to assist small and medium-sized entrepreneurial enterprises. Between 1976 and 2004, he served in a number of managerial positions at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Additionally, Dr. Solomon served as president of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) and the International Council for Small Business (ICSB).
He has received numerous recognitions and awards for his leadership and contributions to education and research on small business management and entrepreneurship. Dr. Solomon was one of the first four SBA employees to be honored with the Arthur S. Fleming Award for outstanding federal employees. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Global Leader Award from the ICSB, and the Max Wortman Lifetime Achievement Award from the USASBE. He is a Justin G. Longenecker Fellow of the USASBE and a Wilford L. White Fellow of the ICSB and also served as past chair for both fellowships. Additionally, Dr. Solomon was twice awarded the George Washington Freedom Medal in Economic Education from the Freedom Foundation.
Professor Emeritus, GWSB
- Read Mr. Winslow's Bio
Professor Emeritus Erik K. Winslow, Ph.D., served as a professor at the George Washington University for more than four decades. During his tenure, he was transformative in making GW Business a leader in entrepreneurship both nationally and within the city of Washington, D.C., and in incorporating entrepreneurship as a pillar of academic programming and experiential learning at the School. Professor Winslow was the founding director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence (CFEE) and spearheaded the creation of new courses and certificates in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management. He also served as chair of the Department of Management. Professor Winslow founded a Center for Family Enterprise at GW and was crucial in transitioning the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) to its current headquarters at the university. In 1992, Professor Winslow established the Erik K. Winslow and Deana and Gerald Stempler Research Fund, which awards funding to graduate students seeking careers in fields related to entrepreneurship.
With his colleagues, he sponsored an annual series of Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conferences, which were held between 1982 and 1992. He was elected as a Wilford L. White Fellow by the International Council for Small Business and as a United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) Justin G. Longenecker Fellow, distinguished honors that recognized his contributions to the “development, furtherance and benefit” of small- and medium-sized business. Professor Winslow’s many accomplishments have left a lasting legacy on the GW School of Business, which continues to advance entrepreneurial education today.