Entrepreneurs-in-Residence at Grove City College coach and mentor students, research, conduct focus groups and guest lecture, as well as assist with placement, internships and professional development. Currently, the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation funds two entreprenuers-in-residence.
In 1988, Allison co-founded Tollgrade Communications, a leading provider of hardware and software network assurance testing solutions for the telecommunications and cable broadband industries.
At the company, he served as chief executive officer, chairman and CEO and later retired in 2005. Allison is responsible for raising $6 million in start-up capital and growing the company’s sales from zero in 1988 to $114 million in 2000, as well as helping complete two successful mergers and acquisition transactions.
Allison has earned more than 20 business and writing awards, including the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005 and the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association 2002 Entrepreneur of the Year. His efforts also helped Tollgrade Communications receive Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s No.1 ranking in its Top 50 Public Companies of 2000.
Currently, Allison serves on the board of trustees and as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Allegheny College. He is columnist of “You’ll Manage” for Pittsburgh Quarterly Magazine and contributor for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editorial page. Allison is also a member of the board of directors for the Timesys Corporation.
James P. Van Eerden ’85 is co-founder and managing director of The Helixx Group, a merchant bank for high-impact entrepreneurs.
Van Eerden’s commentary involving media and non-profit work has appeared in USA TODAY and other publications. He has been a speaker at the National Press Club and international forums, including a guest lectureship at Harvard University on the subject of “Philanthropy 2.0.”
Van Eerden first became involved in film investing with the Academy Award-nominated short film, “MOST” in 2004. He has since served in executive producer roles for several award-winning feature films including “Bobby Jones,” “The Ultimate Gift” and “The Perfect Game,” and for highly acclaimed documentary feature films, “WarChild” and “Running the Sahara,” which he executive produced with Matt Damon. He is currently in production on a documentary called “In God We Still Trust” and is chief editor of Life(n) Media.
He co-founded MISSION Skincare Products with Mia Hamm, Steve Nash, Serena Williams and others and is on the board of this leading athlete-engineered skincare company. He served as board chairman for the H2O Africa Foundation and is a founding board director for BDA Foundation, a non-profit effort to advance biotechnology for sustainable development in Africa. He also served as a member of the board of governors for Opportunity International, the world’s largest faith-based micro-lending agency, and for Wilberforce Forum.
He holds a master of arts in philosophy from Trinity International University, a graduate study program at Oxford University (St. Peter’s College) and an MBA from Wake Forest University. He is a doctoral candidate in education at Gordon College.