Frank De Santis spent decades with Sears before he took over as director of the Emerging Enterprise Center. He started as an h.r. manager, worked as a store manager and moved from Sears stores to the Sears Tower.
He knows what businesspeople want: “They’re looking for practical advice they can use,” he said. “We walk them through the steps they need to take. We give them support, access to resources and advice and they graduate with a business model they can grow.”
“We have rules,” he said, “but they’re written in pencil.”
Incubator tenants said De Santis is always asking, “What do you want to do and how can we help you? What skills do you need to develop?”
He designs training programs and chamber events around the needs of the entrepreneurs who are accepted into the incubator program.
“Frank has a tremendous wealth of knowledge on business,” said Greg Fylak of University Consultants, an incubator grad. “Through his own expertise and other folks he knows, he can definitely help you.”
“The business education seminars are really good,” said Chip Grimes of Facility Services Group. “Frank takes a lot of time and puts a lot of effort into making sure that the seminars are relevant to what’s going on right now. He asks a lot of people what things they need to learn. This program is phenomenal. If you use the resources that he makes available to you, then you’re going to succeed.”