New director named for Elon’s entrepreneurship center

The seasoned entrepreneur and entrepreneurship educator will lead the Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership in its efforts to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem at Elon.

Alyssa Martina, whose career includes working in startups, academia and consulting, has been named the director of Elon University’s Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

Alyssa Martina
As director, Martina will oversee the center’s cocurricular design thinking and entrepreneurship-themed programming, as well as the Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community and Innovation House, the university’s residential spaces for students passionate about entrepreneurship. Additionally, she will develop relationships with entrepreneurs and employers to expand students’ internship and professional development opportunities, and work with the center’s advisory board and the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business’ entrepreneurship program.

Martina is the founder of Metro Parent Publishing Group, a Michigan-based multimedia company focused on all things related to parenting, and served as the president and publisher for 28 years. She founded and served as CEO of Memloom, Inc., a technology social media platform, and created Windsor Parent Magazine, which she sold in 2001. Martina is also the founder and president of B.L.A.C. (Black Life Arts and Culture) Magazine, a lifestyle magazine for African-Americans in and around Detroit.

Her academic experience includes teaching and designing entrepreneurship, business and negotiation courses at the University of Michigan Law School, Wayne State University and Fordham University, as well as for several organizations focused on entrepreneurship education.

Martina also advises businesses and nonprofit organizations on strategic, legal, marketing and entrepreneurial matters.

A recognized business and community leader, Martina is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Michigan Business and Professional Association’s Women in Leadership Award, Women’s History Month Celebration’s Outstanding Leadership and Career Achievement Award, Crain’s Detroit Business’ Small Business Entrepreneur Award, the National Association of Women Business Owner’s Woman Business Owner of Distinction Award, and Wayne State University’s Spirit of Diversity Award.

Martina earned her MBA and bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and her law degree from Wayne State University.

“Alyssa’s educational background, and more importantly, her vast experience as a successful entrepreneur, who has started and built organizations, made her a very attractive candidate,” said Raghu Tadepalli, dean of the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business. “Building organizations from the ground up requires the ability to work well with a cross section of stakeholders. This ability will serve her very well at Elon University. I am confident that under her leadership the Doherty Center can build on the success it has enjoyed.”

The Doherty Center focuses on experiential education that encourages creative and design thinking, opportunity recognition, and plan formulation and implementation. Established in 2007, the Doherty Center is named for Elon Trustee Ed Doherty and his wife, Joan, entrepreneurs from New Jersey and parents of 2007 Elon graduate Kerry. Their company, Doherty Enterprises, Inc., is one of the nation’s leading franchise operators of quality family restaurants, including Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Panera Bread and Chevy’s Fresh Mex.