Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
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Meet the Staff


Kelly Penwell

Kelly Penwell, Interim Director for Experienced-based Learning

July 1, 2013 - The University of Memphis is creating a new academic unit focused on experience-based learning. This new unit, housed within the University College, will bring together the University’s nationally ranked internship program with the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) and the Experiential Learning Credit program. Kelly Penwell, assistant director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, has been named the interim director of the new unit. For more information please visit:

Upon her arrival in Memphis, Kelly Penwell created the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) at the University of Memphis. Managing daily operations, she exceeded her original benchmark of launching 3 businesses in two years by over 1000%. Kelly continues to assist aspiring entrepreneurs in becoming successful business owners, yet her assistance reaches far beyond the Center's +170 clients. Through Kelly’s efforts, the CEI has partnered with numerous community and government organizations, local and international businesses, and charitable foundations aside from reaching out to the Latino market within the tri-state area. She recognizes the importance of giving students the opportunity to become valuable members of the Greater Memphis community, serving on the University of Memphis Internship Team and employing the largest number of interns on campus. Kelly can also be attributed with the creation of I.D.E.A.T.E., a newly created initiative giving student innovation teams the opportunity to complete short term projects for community businesses. This in turn provides students with experience to bolster their resume and lends help to businesses under the guidance of expert staff and faculty.

Kelly’s experience reaches far beyond the CEI. Prior to relocating to Memphis from Long Island, New York in June of 2011, she owned a packaged ice and home-heating fuel company, taught high school, and coordinated internship programs both on the secondary level and within higher education. Kelly has a long history of involvement with Rotary including experiences such as a Rotary Youth Exchange Student (1984-1985), mother of a Rotary Youth Exchange Student, host mother, District Co-Chair of RYLA, District Committee member for Rotary Youth Exchange, and Interact Club advisor.

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Angela Trillo
Angela Trillo

Coming from an international background, Angela was born in Venezuela to Italian parents and has traveled to over 10 countries. The past 12 years of her life she has lived in Miami, Florida, where she had the opportunity to work with a diverse group of great people. She has a Degree in Marketing with a minor in Sales, and an associate in Arts. Angela is currently seeking her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Management at The University of Memphis and will be graduating this year. Her work experience is a mix of 17 years in marketing and sales, 7 years of being a trainer, and over 10 years in volunteer services on different associations. She has received many performance recognitions, loyalty pins and certifications. She is multilingual and speaks English, Spanish, and Italian. Angela also has strong computer skills and networking.  

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Amber Davis 

Amber Davis

Amber Davis is a junior at the University of Memphis studying Marketing Management and Public Relations. She is from Ashland, Mississippi and graduated from Ashland High School in 2010 as Valedictorian of her class. After high school, she began studying Chinese. She is skilled at website development, film editing, and social media promotion.  Amber has developed websites for businesses like Duet Photography and Fragrance For Less Scented Oils. At the University of Memphis, she is Vice President of the Student Marketing Association, a member of the Black Student Association, and a member of the Professional Assertive United Sisters of Excellence. Amber also likes to give back to her community by volunteering with the Youth Empowerment Group at her church, where she directs college preparatory programs for the youth. She is currently an intern at The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation where she manages social media accounts, interacts with local media to gain exposure, and creates marketing material for the center. One of her long-term goals is to own a fashion boutique after attending graduate school. She is the creator of her own fashion blog, AC Style Diaries and is in the process of starting an online boutique.

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Ravyn Patton

Ravyn Patton

Ravyn is a junior accounting major in the Fogelman College of Business and Economics. Her main career interests are in financial policy and sustainable development with a personal interest in fashion and social behavior. Ravyn is currently interning with the Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation with the hopes that this will broaden her awareness of the financial needs and market for entrepreneurship in the City of Memphis.
During Ravyn's short time at the University of Memphis, she has become a member of the Helen Hardin honors program and the Fogelman College of Business and Economics Honor program. She also has obtained a Microsoft Specialist certification and completed a professionalism first seminar sponsored by First Tennessee.
Ravyn is currently a member of the Golden Key Honor Society, Beta Alpha Psi, Alpha Lambda Delta, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, NAACP and the Fogelman College of Business Student Delegate Board. She is also a part time employee with The University of Memphis Annual Giving Department. Ravyn serves in her church and volunteers in her community. Since the age of 12, she has volunteered with an array of associations that include: The Salvation Army, Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association, and the Commission of Missing and Exploited Children. In addition to her work schedule, academic and community responsibility, Ravyn enjoys sewing, scrapbooking and reading.

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Jason Jones

Jason is senior journalism major with a concentration in advertising and a minor in marketing.  He is from Arlington, TN where he graduated from Arlington High School.  After graduating from college, Jason would like to work for an advertising agency or marketing firm dealing with either creative or accounts using his presentation, design, social media, and communication skills.  He is currently interning at the Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation with the desire to broaden his business horizons  to become more versatile in the workforce.  He also works with the University of Memphis' Student Involvement Zone helping to create marketing strategies and materials such as flyers, t-shirts, brochures, etc.  Jason is also very involved on campus as the Speaker of the Senate for the Student Government Association, a Frosh Camp counselor, an Orientation Guide, and Vice President of his fraternity. In his spare time he likes to stay active through many sports including basketball, football, soccer, and Jiu Jitsu.

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Graduated Interns:

 Casey Beck

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 Jennifer Borwick

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 Antoinette Booker

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 Justin Brooks

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 Artie Edingbourgh

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 Jerry Ivery

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 James Northcutt

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 Colt Schwerin

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 Corey Wilkinson


Breanna Wilson

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Last Updated: 7/29/13