Villhard Innovation Lab – Events

TRU-Entrepreneur Speaker Series

Past Events:

 Thursday, April 25 – 12:00-12:50 


Marco Ilardi (’99)

Marco Ilardi, Managing Partner at V2 Ventures for the past six years, and to date has officially funded, built and sold a total of eight companies in the digital publishing, advertising technology, and marketing technology industries. Marco is renowned for nurturing enduring relationships and fostering innovative talent. His pivotal role in launching, growing, and selling successful digital marketing companies showcases his visionary insight, unwavering dedication, and passionate commitment to innovation. Proficient in Digital Strategy, Mobile Advertising, Performance-Based Marketing, Audience Development, and Product Development, Marco’s impressive background also includes being the former President at Adknowledge and Senior Vice President at FOX Interactive Media. His dedication to empowering entrepreneurs and driving innovation firmly establishes him as a prominent industry leader.


 Thursday, March 21 – 12:00-12:50 


Pat Foglesong (‘91)

A Kirksville native, Pat was fortunate to be influenced by a number of local entrepreneurs. Those individuals were contractors, administrators, sales professionals, deal makers, and healthcare professionals. They all came from humble means and achieved their success by building from the ground up. Following in those footsteps, Pat, and his wife of 35 years, Christina (’90), began their business adventure as janitors cleaning offices, factories, clinics, and even a fraternity house. Today, their family business includes a variety of companies across multiple industries including service, building materials, general construction, healthcare, fitness, real estate development, and business management. Pat and Chris believe it is important to give back to their community and to continue to invest in Kirksville, their hometown.

Pat and Chris met while attending junior high school in the Ophelia Parish building on the Truman State campus. They were later married in 1987 while students at Truman (then, Northeast Missouri State University). After graduation, Pat and Chris chose to make Kirksville their home to be near family and enjoy the quality of life a small town offers. Kirksville remains their home and is the headquarters for their business entities. Pat and Chris are the proud parents of 3 children and 4 grandchildren (plus another on the way). While his various business interests provide Pat with a number of titles, the ones he cherishes most are husband, dad, and now Papa.

Thursday, February 15 – 12:00-12:50

Madelaine Anderson is the co-founder and creative director of Talus Films, a video production company creating original documentary content and impactful films for purpose-driven brands. A graduate of Truman State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, her diverse background includes project management, producing, podcasting, professional acting, production design, aerial silks, and a deep, life-long passion for storytelling. 

Alongside her film work, Madelaine hosts “The Wild We Share”, a podcast fostering connection and stewardship outdoors. An avid lover of being outside, she enjoys hiking, camping, backpacking, and traveling with her family. After over a decade in Chicago, Madelaine now resides in Fort Collins, CO with her husband, daughter, and black lab.

Thursday, October 26 – 1:30-2:30 pm

Sarah Schlafly (’11) is a “cereal” entrepreneur—cricket cereal, that is. Her inspiration for Mighty Cricket was born out of a problem that bugged her: the harmful effects of industrialized meat. Before founding Mighty Cricket, Sarah spent 12 years in the food industry as a chef, culinary instructor, and marketer. Featured in Forbes and Inc Magazine, Sarah gets Americans over the mental barriers of eating bugs by blending cricket protein powder into delicious products.

Thursday, September 21 – 1:30-2:30 pm

Doug Villhard (’94) started out his early career at Disney before becoming a serial entrepreneur starting, selling, buying, advising, and investing in companies. One of Doug’s most successful ventures is Second Street, a technology company he co-founded in 2007. Based in St. Louis, Second Street is an audience engagement software platform used by media companies to run contests and interactive content on their websites. Doug is also the managing director and co-founder of Villhard Growth Partners.

After decades of starting and selling companies, Doug is supposed to be retired, but instead is having too much fun heading the #1 ranked entrepreneurship department at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. Doug is also author of a book titled Company of Women.

When it comes to business knowledge, Doug is interested in disseminating as much as he is acquiring. He was the driving force behind Truman’s Bulldog B.I.T.E. pitch competition, and Villhard Growth Partners has been a sponsor. He chose to give back to Truman through a pitch competition primarily because he wants students to know creating a business is as viable of an option as going to work for someone else, and a young person’s lack of finances is actually liberating.

Doug and his wife, Diane (’95), established the Villhard Innovation Fund at Truman in 2016 to assist Truman in expanding entrepreneurial and innovative opportunities for students. The Doug and Villhard Innovation Lab in the Pickler Memorial Library made its debut in August 2023 through a generous gift from Doug and Diane.

In addition to their support for Truman, Doug and Diane enjoy contributing to charitable endeavors in his hometown of Glen Carbon, Ill., and even founded a Catholic high school that in just its sixth year already enrolls hundreds of students or, as Doug calls them, “future entrepreneurs.”