“If you are succeeding in everything you do, then you're probably not pushing yourself hard enough. And that means you're not taking enough risks. You risk because you have something of value you want to achieve.” ~ John C. Maxwell
Norm Heikens, Chief Mentor In Residence
Norm Heikens is the founder and owner of Norm Heikens Communications LLC, which tells the stories of entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations through writing, editing, strategic communication, content creation and project management.
Norm spent more than 30 years as a reporter and editor at newspapers including Indianapolis Business Journal and the Indianapolis Star. Norm also served as Project Manager and Editor of the Indiana Bicentennial Visioning Project, which gathered more than 100 forward-thinking individuals from throughout Indiana to set ambitious goals for the state to achieve in the first half of Indiana’s third century. He helped launch some recommendations in the Bicentennial report as a Senior Fellow at Sagamore Institute in Indianapolis.
Ron Brumbarger, Founder and President of Apprentice University
Ron Brumbarger is one of Indiana’s most recognized technology and education entrepreneurs and visionaries. As a dedicated husband, father, friend, mentor, business owner, and volunteer, Ron continually strives to weave his many passions into a unique tapestry to serve others.
He has spent his entire professional career leveraging an entrepreneurial mindset to help disruptively change education, apply technology to enhance business practices, and facilitate organizational growth. He co-founded BitWise in 1992 and served as the company’s president and CEO for 26 years. He was tapped in 2006 by Governor Daniels to start Indiana’s first, statewide virtual-charter school. In 2013, he founded Apprentice University®, an award-winning, competency-based education alternative to traditional higher education, preparing future leaders and intentionally extraordinary individuals.
During Ron's time at Bitwise, one of the Midwest’s most accomplished digital marketing and web development firms, he employed 14 professionals and managed an impressive roster of nearly 1,000+ satisfied clients. Ron lead his company to more than 26 years of successfully planning, designing, and implementing over 3,000 web-related engagements, many internationally with Fortune 100 corporations. The company has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Indiana Growth 100 award for 5 consecutive years.
Apprentice University presently employs 14 people and works closely with over a dozen of Central Indiana’s most respected businesses to develop well-rounded, career-ready future leaders through apprenticeships in entrepreneurship, technology, business, and more.
Ron is frequently asked to teach at the collegiate level and speak on topics such as entrepreneurship, education, work-life balance, and various technology-related topics. He is a recognized leader in Indiana’s economic and business development landscape, and is actively involved in dozens of business and philanthropic organizations throughout the state. His passion towards Civic Entrepreneurship has led him to be of service to many organizations in the Central Indiana community.
The business community has honored Ron with several awards including the Indianapolis Business Journal’s "Who’s Who in Information Technology" and the “40 Under 40” award. In 2004, he was awarded Mentor of the Year for Ball State University’s Entrepreneurship Program. Also in 2004, he was recognized as one of the seven most influential young business leaders in Indiana by KPMG. He was awarded Indy’s Best and Brightest in Technology in 2005 by KMPG.