The Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University serves to champion and catalyze the vocation of entrepreneurship. To accomplish this mission, the CEI practices two objectives: talent development and the support for businesses. Find out who is behind the work at CEI . . .



Kevin McCurren

Executive Director

J. Kevin McCurren joined the Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in May 2011 as the Executive Director. Kevin has over 25 years of combined corporate and entrepreneurial experience. As an entrepreneur he has been involved in the start-up of a medical management company, a dental laboratory company and several biomedical companies. As an investor, Kevin has been involved in several angel investment groups and recently served on the Executive Committee of the Venture Club of Louisville. Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science and Masters Degree in Public Health and Health Services Management from the University of Missouri.


Shorouq Almallah

Associate Director

Shorouq Almallah is the Associate Director at the Richard M. & Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) at Grand Valley State University.  She joined CEI in June, 2010.  In this role, she provides the necessary leadership and strategic direction for the centers management, program development, curriculum development, marketing, public relations and community outreach.   She is responsible for resource facilitation to entrepreneurs, program development, curriculum development, project management, organizational processes, and grant solicitation and management.  Previously, she served as Knowledge Resource Manager for the Family Owned Business Institute where she played an integral role in supporting the Institutes research, mission and initiatives.  Almallah has over six years of experience in designing and coordinating the entrepreneurial education programs in West Michigan.   She is responsible for talent development initiatives on the University level and the region by working with community organizations on collaborative events and programs. She serves on a number of advisory and steering committees including the Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship, the West Michigan Colleges and Universities Group (WMCUG), the West Michigan Foundations Endowments & Family Offices (FEFO), and Grand Rapids Economic Development Partners Group (ESO).  Shorouq is fluent in both Arabic and English.  She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University in English and Linguistics, with a minor in Middle East Studies, and a Masters of Information Science from Indiana University


Dr. Tim Syfert

Clinical Faculty and Staff Member

Tim Syfert teaches entrepreneurship and small business management, international business, and organizational strategy at Grand Valley State University to both undergraduate and graduate students. Tim has over 25 years business experience in key strategic roles at Timex Watch Company, Haworth, Royal Consumer Business Products, Sherwin Williams, Roadway Express Trucking Company, and Johnson Controls. His work at these companies resulted in several domestic and international patents for many products that are currently in production around the world. As a designer and business consultant, Tim has helped inventors and start-up companies develop new products, expand product portfolios, and launch new business ventures. He is currently developing his own new venture blending alcohols for use in sangria. Tim has a bachelors degree in business from Oklahoma State University, a masters in business administration in strategic planning from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institutes Lally School of Management and Technology, and a doctorate in organization development from Capella University.


Amy Gascon

Office Coordinator

Amy Gascon joined the Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation in November 2014 as the Office Coordinator. In this role, she helps maintain the daily functions of the office. Before coming to Grand Valley, Amy held a variety of positions in the local non-profit field including time with AmeriCorps, United Way and Girl Scouts. Amy is a graduate of GVSU, receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies.


Spencer Covey

Entrepreneur In Residence 

Spencer Covey has joined the Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation as the Entrepreneur in Residence. Prior to graduating from GVSU in 2005, Spencer was an active member within the CEO club and is thrilled to return and continue to drive the organization forward. Spencer comes to us with over ten years of experience in startups and corporate growth ventures. Past businesses ventures include computer repair, property management, CRM consulting, and he currently owns and operates Greetology. Greetology is a consulting firm which specializes in sales and marketing for high growth initiatives. Notable clients include Spectrum Health, Perrigo, Wolverine World Wide, Meijer, and The Stow Co. In addition to consulting, Spencer also has his own startup focused on corporate creative retreats hosted at his 120+acre farm on Lake Michigan located in Saugatuck, MI.    

Lindsay Noonan


Lindsay is currently an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University studying business management and economics. Lindsay began her college career studying graphic design and creative writing. Through a combination of serendipity and excellent teaching on the part of GVSU professors, she became interested in entrepreneurship. Her creative interests have translated well into the start-up scene. She has skills in leadership, public speaking, and marketing. She also serves as President of GVSU’s Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization. 


Michael Kurley


Michael Kurley is a Graduate Assistant at the Richard M. and Helen DeVos Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  He is currently developing a certificate program for the management of Craft Breweries and Distilleries.  In addition, Michael helps mentor student entrepreneurs and provide support to various other office operations.  Outside of that, Michael runs a company called Soletics, a wearable technology startup in the medical space.


Anna M. Dorsey


Anna M. Dorsey began her design career in 2011, while studying art and design at Grand Valley.  At CEI, Anna has completed works including the 2013 Neu Magazine for Entrepreneurs, as well as Family Owned Business Institute's Executive Survey of 2014. Currently. Anna has continued designing for Grand Valley's CEI while preparing for graduation, in April 2015. In her spare time, she enjoys playing mandolin and violin in her Celtic band. 


Tyler Cottle


Tyler Cottle is a senior at Grand Valley and the Web Designer at CEI, however his major is in Accounting. He has worked for a local web design company within the Grand Rapids area for over 2 years allowing him to acquire knowledge in various programming languages such as PHP, Java, Javascript, Ruby, HTML and CSS.  After graduating, Tyler intends to start his career within the Accounting Information Systems field. 


Grayson DeYoung


Grayson DeYoung is the current Editor-in-Chief of NEU, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation's annual publication. She holds other positions as Poetry Editor for the student literary journal fishladder, and as a writing consultant at the Writing Center. She will graduate Winter 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Writing, as well as in English Language and Literature. In the future, she plans to pursue a career in magazine writing and editing. 



Alaina Clarke


Alaina is one of two graduate assistants at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Through CEI, she is able to research the impact of artists as entrepreneurs, develop curriculum, assist students in the ideation stages of their product or business idea, and engage in program development throughout the university and local community. Alaina has her BFA in Metalsmithing and Jewelry from Grand Valley State University and is finishing her Masters degree in Public Administration: Nonprofit Management and Leadership from GVSU with a concentration in curriculum development of entrepreneurship and the creative community to bridge the gap between business and art.