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The NEA Leadership Team consists of professionals from a variety of industries with extensive experience in business non profits, education and banking. They are committed to the success and development of entrepreneurs and small business owners throughout the country, working diligently to ensure the implementation of quality programs and events. Our mission statement. 

ZaLonya Allen, PhD


Dr. ZaLonya Allen is President/CEO of National Entrepreneurs Association. She has been an entrepreneur for over 20 years. As a Speaker/Trainer specializing in leadership and entrepreneurship, she has delivered hundreds of talks for organizations throughout the country and coaches professionals in a variety of industries. Dr. Allen has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Woman of Wonder Award from University of Phoenix, Unsung Hero Award from Wayne state University Association of Black Business Students, the Spirit of Detroit Award and the John W. Copeland Civility Award from the YMCA. She earned a Bachelors in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Michigan, a Masters in Industrial Relations from Wayne State University and a Doctorate in Psychology from North Central University. Dr. Allen has been an educator since 2002 and enjoys teaching online psychology classes. Learn more at

Jerry Scrivo, MBA (Past Chair)

Jerry Scrivo is a speaker and author as well as the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Master Mind Consulting Network where he has worked for over fifteen years serving clients in the areas of marketing, human resources, operations, communications and finance. He is a specialists in planning successful implementation. Prior to joining Master Mind Consulting he had over 30 years experience at some of America’s largest companies including General Motors, Teledyne, Textron, Firestone and Shell Oil along with top management and board experience at several smaller companies. Jerry has degrees from Michigan Technological University (BSME) and Wayne State University (MBA). He is a member of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). He has 7 patents and has been listed in “Who’s Who in Technology”

Janice Cardwell, MBA, PhD (Chair)

Dr. Cardwell is former Vice President/Campus Director for University of Phoenix-Detroit and a strong advocate for entrepreneurs. She has 30 years experience in adult learning and higher education. Dr. Jan is also an entrepreneur. As CEO and Founding Partner of Conceivers LLC, her firm provides Empowerment (life) Coaching, Executive Coaching, and Dissertation Coaching services. She brings a wealth of experience having held numerous board positions for a variety of non profit organizations. Dr. Cardwell earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Education from Capella University. 

Colette Hughes

For Colette Hughes Real Estate is not just her's her passion. She has 25 years of experience in various areas of real estate from traditional real estate sales, short sales, bank foreclosures, tax foreclosures / auctions, helping first time home buyers, helping seasoned buyers and sellers, property management to property investments. She is currently the Broker/Owner of Virtual Real Estate Services, LLC, a real estate firm in Sterling Heights, Michigan. In addition, she has been a board member for the National Entrepreneurs Association since 2018. Colette earned her Associates Degree in Business Administration from Detroit College of Business and has a BA in Christian Studies from Midwestern Christian Institute.

Ross Sanders, MBA

Ross Sanders is the Manager of Corporate Partnerships at Lawrence Technological University (LTU). Prior to joining the university, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Bizdom, where he launched one of the first startup accelerators ever to operate in Detroit and Cleveland. He led this non-profit to mentor 80 tech-based startups, assist in raising $17 million in startup investment, provide over 550 startup events, raise over $20 million in donations, and played a leading role in revitalizing these two cities. As an executive team member of Quicken Loans, one of the nation’s largest online lenders and best places to work, he created the first team dedicated to continuous process improvement within the company, opened 18 retail branch locations across six states, and led the relocation of the company’s headquarters. Ross has a Masters in Business Administration from Wayne State University, a Bachelors in Business Administration from Michigan State University, a Six Sigma Black Belt certification, and has been recognized as one of the top 100 leaders advancing technology innovation in Detroit.

Van Allen

Van Allen is a lifelong entrepreneur. He began his career in investing over 25 years ago. His primary investments include real estate and blue chip stocks as well as numerous entrepreneurial ventures. In addition, he is an award winning motivational speaker and former cable talk show host. He has received numerous speaking awards including first place in the District 28 World Championship of Public Speaking Contest for Toastmasters International. His signature presentation “Are You a Winner” encourages audiences to step out of their comfort zone to reach their true potential. He attended Henry Ford Community College and Wayne State University. He is a Master NLP Practitioner which allows him to help individuals tap into the power of the subconscious mind. Currently he is Owner and President of Van Allen Productions which specializes in producing video and audio projects. 

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