We are building a robust, visible ecosystem that cultivates high-impact women entrepreneurs by:
- Connecting: peer advising & Coffee Connection networking
- Training: bootcamps, classes, & accelerators
- Catalyzing: students, early stage & seasoned entrepreneurs
e51 supports women pursuing political positions. We believe female voices from all sides of the table should be heard.
Who we are
Her work is hailed by leadership scholars Kouzes & Posner as extraordinary leadership, breaking the bounds of traditional leadership programming. She has given presentations on leadership and innovation to universities and conferences around the world. Heather holds a Ph.D. in political science with a specialization in gender from Indiana University.
Leadership exCHANGE, founded in 1999 trains future leaders, global citizens, and social innovators. The programs have catalyzed university students from more than 80 countries. As the Founder and Executive Director, Heather designs the curriculum and oversees multi-country programming in Prague, Berlin, Rome & Raleigh. Her curriculum design and teaching experience spans 18 years, including teaching leadership, women and leadership, women and innovation, social entrepreneurship, and political science courses at Indiana University, St. Mary’s College-Notre Dame, Christopher Newport University, University of Monterrey Mexico, and Charles University.
As Director of the Innovate Carolina Global Network, Sheryl leads external relations and engages with alumni, faculty, staff and students from across campus to influence and impact university innovation. Formally, Sheryl was the Program Manager of the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network in the RTP region and has over 20 years of experience working with education, business and government leaders to create and implement successful programs. Sheryl began her career as an entrepreneur, co-founding a wireless data communication company, Padcom, Inc. She held numerous leadership roles at Padcom including Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Director of Business Development where she was instrumental in the development and implementation of the sales and marketing framework leading to the company’s success and eventual merger with a leading data communication company, NetMotion. Sheryl holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Virginia Wesleyan College.
As Director of Raleigh Initiative of Leadership exCHANGE, Ryan leads global university students through the Lean Startup Method of business creation, in partnership with HQ Raleigh and the ThinkHouse.
Her entrepreneurial experience includes: (1) Startup Team and General Manager for the award-winning urban farm, Raleigh City Farm (2) Startup Team and Director of Hiring and Human Resources at REVGEN, a software sales company that sells Citrix products, and (3) e51.
Before moving to Raleigh five years ago, Ryan spent 10 years in the mental health industry, counseling and educating families both internationally and domestically. She holds an MA in Counseling from Appalachian State University and an MBA in Sustainable Business from Marlboro College in Vermont.
e51 Guest Contributor
Cooper received her BA in Economics and Women's & Gender Studies from Sewanee in TN. She is passionate about forwarding women in business and has focused her research on the Economics of Gender. She is attending Vanderbilt to receive her MA in Economic Development.