Secrets of Entrepreneurship Success Being Featured in Rose-Hulman Open Event

Monday, March 13, 2023
Members of the Sawmill Society meet on the Rose-Hulman campus.

This year’s Sawmill Society Weekend will bring together successful entrepreneurs to discuss topics about startup creation, finding a mentor to provide helpful advice, and issues of sustainability and innovation.

Rose-Hulman alumni will share lessons learned in starting innovative entrepreneurship and sustainability enterprises during a day-long campus event April 22. The public event, targeted to budding, mid-career and experienced innovators, will feature members of the college’s Sawmill Society network of entrepreneurial-minded alumni.

That would include Erica Buxton, a 2002 chemical engineering alumna who will present the event’s keynote address on the topic “Path to CEO.” She is president of Hello Bello, a brand co-founded in 2019 by actors Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard that’s making premium and affordable baby products available to all parents, regardless of their family budgets. 

Advanced registration is required. There is a $40 registration fee that covers attendance to all events and lunch. Rose-Hulman students with a valid ID are admitted for free. Individuals can register at

Buxton was previously CEO with EQtainment and chief operating officer with Razor USA. She also worked for Mattel and oversaw finance and strategy for a nearly $5 billion retail portfolio of Barbie, Hot Wheels, Monster High, and Ever After High products. 

A session on sustainability enterprises will feature alumni Dean Moretton, chief commercial officer with Hydrogen Technologies; Corbet Kull, CEO with Tillable; Marty Wessler, CEO of Wessler Engineering; and Jenny Mueller, PhD, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering. 

Moretton, a 1987 electrical engineering alumnus, is a seasoned professional with a concentration in renewable and sustainable energy project sales, design and management. He has successfully demonstrated an ability to create product, expand market presence, and add value through his thorough understanding of electricity systems, energy markets, renewable energies, and energy wholesale markets.

Tillable is Kull’s second entrepreneurial venture. It is providing an all-digital real estate platform to help landownders and farmers buy, sell, rent, finance, manage, and research farmland. The 1990 electrical engineering graduate earlier led the development of connected agriculture solutions with The Climate Corporation, worked with mobile software provider PacketVideo, and helped Motorola implement satellite communications systems. 

A 1987 civil engineering alumnus, Wessler has a wealth of experience in wastewater collection system and treatment projects. His areas of expertise include wastewater treatment plants, combined sewer overflow and sanitary sewer overflow improvements, sanitary sewer extensions and lift stations, inflow and infiltration analysis, and sewer system assessments. 

Mueller is an expert in ecological engineering and environmental issues within engineering and has helped integrate sustainability efforts into STEM curriculums, research initiatives and student organization activities.

Other sessions will highlight Rose-Hulman entrepreneurship and innovation. These discussions will feature alumnus Brian Dougherty, senior director of Rose-Hulman Ventures, an innovation workspace on the institute’s south campus; Craig Downing, PhD, associate dean of lifelong learning and professor/head of the Department of Engineering Management; professors Hossein Alisafaae, Miles Canino and Nicole Pfiester; and students Sam Blake, Ian Rose and Trilokshan Vinayagamoorthy.

The Sawmill Society is a group of more than 90 innovative and forward-thinking alumni and friends of Rose-Hulman who know what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. The organization’s mentor, ventureship and angel networks are encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs and innovators in a variety of STEM areas. 

All sessions will be hosted in the Mussallem Union on the Rose-Hulman campus. 

The full event schedule is listed below. 


Saturday, April 22
Lake Room – Mussallem Student Union
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
8:30-9:15 a.m. – Registration
9:15-9:30 a.m. – Opening Remarks
9:30-10:30 .M. – Session I: Entrepreneurship at Rose-Hulman
10:45-11:45 – Session II: Sustainability
Noon-1 p.m. – Buffet Lunch & Short Program
1:15-2:15 p.m. – Session III: Innovation at Rose-Hulman
2:30-3:30 p.m. – Keynote Address: “Path to CEO,” Erica Buxton, CEO, Hello Bello
3:30-4:30 p.m. – Session IV: Meet a Mentor
4:30-6 p.m. – On-Campus Reception

Registration fee is $40 per person and free for Rose students. Register at

For more information contact Christian Shuck at