In June 2004, the North Central Now ran the story, “Coleman loan launches virtual entrepreneurs.” Nearly 10 years later, the company founded at North Central by then-students Michael Wenger ‘04 (pictured left) and business partner Bret Bonnet ‘05 has been hugely successful. The two entrepreneurs founded Quality Logo Products with a web address and a toll-free number to sell promotional products and ad specialty items. The partners received an interest-free loan as seed money from the Coleman Foundation after submitting a business plan to Gary Ernst, then the Coleman Foundation Professor of Entrepreneurship and Small Business and professor of international business and marketing. Today, Quality Logo Products employs 67 people in a 7,000-square-foot office space and has served 75,000 clients. It has been ranked four times on the Inc.com 5,000 list of fastest-growing companies in America.
“Some of our best employees are North Central alumni, including our top sales representatives, accounting manager, web content/social media director and head programmer,” says Wenger, who maintains employee anonymity due to the competitive nature of the business. “While things have changed since Bret and I were in college rubbing pennies together in a dorm room, we continue to stay focused on our goal to be the best promotional products company.”