Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Founder Headlines Entrepreneurship Week 2013

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Founder Headlines Entrepreneurship Week 2013

The world needs more entrepreneurs – are you one of them? The Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business will host its third-annual Entrepreneurship Week from Monday, Nov. 18, through Wednesday, Nov. 20. Tim League, founder of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, headlines the week, with a Q&A set for Monday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m. in Halpin-Harrison Hall, Stimpson Auditorium. League will also be presented with the Entrepreneur of the Year award.

“Entrepreneurship Week is integral for our students and the community at large,” said Dean of the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business Miles Davis, Ph.D. “We have the opportunity to expose current and future entrepreneurs to the ‘cream of the crop’ when it comes to starting your own business venture and providing new and unique services to the marketplace.”

This entrepreneurship celebration is held in conjunction with Kauffmann’s Global Entrepreneurship Week, the largest celebration of entrepreneurship in the world. Join the business school to learn about entrepreneurship and get expert advice from several experienced guest speakers. All events are held in Halpin-Harrison Hall, Stimpson Auditorium on the campus of Shenandoah University, and are free and open to the public.

Entrepreneurship Week also includes the second-ever Student Expo, where current Shenandoah University students and local community members will present their goods and services. Students and community members are invited to set up tables with information about their current or future business endeavors.

For more information about Entrepreneurship Week, contact Business School Administrative Assistant Donna Fazio at 540/665-4572 or


Monday, Nov. 18, 5:30 p.m. – “An Evening with Tim League” features a Q&A with founder of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Tim League. This exciting event will begin with a reception for League at 5:30 p.m. in the Stimpson Auditorium lobby, followed by an open forum, question and answer style interview conducted by Dr. Davis, beginning at 6 p.m. At the conclusion of the interview, Davis will present League with the Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 6 p.m. – “Revitalization of the Downtown Walking Mall & Local Entrepreneurs” featuring City of Winchester Downtown Manager Jennifer Bell and founder of Bright Box Theater Marilyn Finnemore. Bell will discuss the goals of the City of Winchester and will present a video detailing the revitalization of the Winchester, Va., walking mall. Finnemore, who is also a member of the City of Winchester’s Old Town Development Board, will discuss her reasoning behind investing in Winchester’s walking mall and why she believes the arts play a crucial role in the revitalization effort.

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – “Student Expo” featuring display tables with information about current or future business endeavors by university students and community members. This “trade fair” atmosphere will allow participants to also attend the “Mind of the Entrepreneur” discussion in the Stimpson Auditorium at 6 p.m. that evening. The expo will also include collaboration with students from Sherando High School who are working on a project (DECA) with female community entrepreneurs.

Wednesday, Nov. 20, 6 p.m. – “Mind of the Entrepreneur” featuring Top of Virginia Regional Chamber President Michael Guevremont and CEO of Family Alliance Jeffrey Hester ‘85, who will speak on what it means to be an entrepreneur and what makes an entrepreneur’s thought process different from other working professionals.


Tim League graduated from Rice University in 1992 with degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Art/Art History. After a two-year stint at Shell Oil in Bakersfield, Ca., League turned his back on the engineering profession and opened his first movie theater. An unmitigated financial disaster, the Tejon Theater closed in 1995, and League and his wife Karrie loaded a truck with 200 seats, a projector, screen and speakers and headed to Austin to start the Alamo Drafthouse, where he remains as CEO today. League also co-founded Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival in the United States and has recently started a Drafthouse-branded distribution label. When asked about his early qualifications for opening a movie theater in the first place, League said, “none, other than really liking movies, which I guess is the most important part.”

Jennifer Bell, City of Winchester downtown manager, joined the City team in 2013. Bell works directly with the Old Town Development Board to increase the vitality of Old Town Winchester. She previously served as director of the Main Streets program in Salem, Mass., where she began a Farmers’ Market attended by more than 3,000 people weekly. She has also started a series of events, including an arts festival, and worked on business recruitment and retention overseeing 80 new businesses open on the mall during her tenure.

Marilyn Finnemore, CEO of Mind & Media and owner of Bright Box Theater, holds a doctorate in English and Rhetoric and undergraduate degrees in Finance and Business Administration. Finnemore is an avid writer/blogger, building renovator, horse enthusiast, world traveler and environmentalist. Alexandria-based Mind & Media, which she started in 1994 with her life-partner Aldo Bello, creates communication and training campaigns for the Federal Government. The eclectic company has won more than 180 awards in communication excellence.

Michael Guevremont, president and CEO of the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber, has an extensive background in security and has spent the last 25 years in roles ranging from the military police to security positions at the White House. He has also held the positions of supervisor at a juvenile detention center and CEO of Executive Protection Systems in Winchester, Va.

Jeffrey Hester ‘85 became president of Pierce Foods in 1990 the age of 33, and during his tenure there, tripled sales revenue and net worth of the company. In 1999, Hester jumped into academia to teach entrepreneurship at Shenandoah University and during this time created Collaborative Resources, Inc., a consulting company for family businesses. Recently, he helped found The Shenandoah Family Business Alliance in Winchester, Va., with the mission of fostering operational effectiveness and, more importantly, developing unique, profitable strategic positions for family owned businesses. Hester earned his MBA at Shenandoah University.