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Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship & Business Ethics

» Our Team

photo of Cynthia West, Ph.D.

Cynthia West, Ph.D.

Director, Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics
Clinical Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship
Dr. West is a serial entrepreneur who has over 25 years of sales leadership experience. She was a key executive in 4 technology startups growing the revenue from $0 to multi-million dollars. Two of the start-ups had successful exits.
TestDrive, a try before you buy software channel, was acquired by R.R. Donnelley & Sons, in fourteen months. Audio Highway, a patented MP3 player and audio distribution company, went public in less than three years with a $42m valuation.
Dr. West grew Project Insight, a mid-market project management SaaS solution, from $0 to $3m, with an average recurring revenue of $10k.
She worked at PROS as their first female VP of Sales and turned around an underperforming team, going from $0 to $10m in two years. This team also closed the biggest deal in company history with $3m in annual recurring revenue from Lenovo.
At Fresco, Dr. West grew the sales by 500% in two years. She uses her process orientation to establish best practices for exponential revenue growth.
photo of Mario Reza

Mario Reza

Assistant Director of Operations
Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics
Mario is like a Swiss army knife, with a versatile skill set and a broad range of experiences including leadership of multiple start-ups, program management at Microsoft, and chief information and marketing officer roles.
He is a proven international leader recognized for assembling cross-functional teams and implementing robust business intelligence strategies, harnessing data-driven insights to shape key decisions and drive process enhancements. Mario is an accomplished Stanford Product Design graduate and innovative problem solver with a passion for excellence.
As someone who lives in the community, Mario is enthusiastic about helping run the operations at the Center and see the positive ripple effect it has across the area and beyond.
photo of Nella Khachian

Nella Khachian

Marketing Intern
Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics
Nella is a driven senior Business Marketing major and Data Analytics minor at Chapman University. She serves as the student marketing intern at the Leatherby Center with tasks surrounding website building, event planning, attending business and acquisition meetings, and assisting in database management.
She is also involved in various extracurriculars on campus such as sorority Greek life and clubs. Nella has experience in Marketing and Analytics internships, currently working at Data.ai. Her determination for long-term growth helps drive her success both inside and outside of the Leatherby Center Internship.
photo of Kajal Reddy

Kajal Reddy

Marketing Intern
Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics
Kajal Reddy, a dedicated junior at Chapman University, is currently immersed in the world of communication with a keen focus on advertising and visual journalism, pursuing a double minor in these dynamic fields. She is a part of the student marketing team and works with alumni entrepreneurs to create content and increase the center's brand identity and overall awareness.
Passionate about writing and brand creation, Kajal aspires to be the creative force behind entrepreneurs and startups, guiding them in establishing their brand identity from the ground up.
photo of Kiara  Hastings

Kiara Hastings

Marketing Intern
Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics
Kiara Hastings is a passionate first-year at Chapman University, pursuing a major in Business - Real Estate and a minor in Law & Liberal Arts. She works as a student marketing intern at the Leatherby Center, offering executive support, participating in business meetings, overseeing operations, and crafting marketing content. Her specialty lies in events, where she sees through the process from start to finish and liaises with alumni, partners, and sponsors.
Kiara is also active in various professional initiatives on campus; including Chapman’s Entrepreneur Organization, Chapman Real Estate Association, and the Pre-Law Society. Her ambition helps drive her pursuits within the Leatherby Center internship and beyond.
photo of Ralph  Leatherby

Ralph W. Leatherby

The Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics is a prominent center for entrepreneurial education at Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics. Our Center was founded with a $3 million endowment by Ralph W. Leatherby in 1995. 
Ralph Leatherby was an Orange County businessman and patriarch of the philanthropic Leatherby family. He served as chair of the Advisory Board of the George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics in the 1980s. Later, he was a trustee of the then-named Chapman College. Ralph was the first Director of the Center in 1995.  
Ralph was born in 1925 in a small farm town in Iowa. He served in World War II as a member of the U.S. Army infantry. He founded the Leatherby Insurance Company in Fullerton, California. Later, he founded UniCare Insurance, which was at one time the largest insurance firm in Orange County. 
 Today, the Center plays a vital role in empowering the next generation of talent to have an entrepreneurial mindset to participate in the global economy.  
The Leatherby Center is an incubator for startups. We offer a structured program guiding entrepreneurs from idea to business plan. Students, staff, and alumni may apply.

Get Involved

Learn about the multiple ways to get involved by visiting our various program pages.