About Us

Rita Haake, Center for Entrepreneurship Manager, Program Manager of PTAC

(630) 942-2616
Email: haaker@cod.edu

Rita Haake

Rita Haake

Though she began her employment with College of DuPage in 1991, Rita began her career with the Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) at College of DuPage in 1997.  In 2013 she added to her responsibilities by accepting the Center Manager role. Her focus has been to implement change in the form of a refreshed approach in our look and services.  She believes becoming different comes with great challenge, fear and risk but can offer great reward.  For over 18 years she has been advising small business in government contracting, certifications, operations and management.  

Zach Person, Program Manager of the International Trade Center

(630) 942-3041
Email: personz@cod.edu

Zach Person

Zach Person

Zachary (Zach) Person joined us in February 2014 as the Program Manager at the International Trade Center (ITC) at the College of DuPage.  He is tasked with helping clients grow their export business through one-on-one consulting and delivery of services such as international lead generation, market research, logistics strategy, international financing, multilingual website development, global branding and distribution channel development.  Prior to this role, Zach consulted with various companies helping grow their global brands and businesses through innovative marketing and distribution channel strategies.  He also spent two years building a successful startup company - launching it into both US domestic and international markets. Prior to this, Zach worked for Chicagoland based manufacturers, where he developed and administered multi-channel sales and distribution strategies - coordinated through a multi-country network of distributors. 

Marla Sandy, Program Manager of the Small Business Development Center

(630) 942-2771
Email: sandym@cod.edu

Marla Pacheco

Marla Sandy

Marelena Sandy (Marla) began her career in September 2014 as our Client Liaison supporting all programming. This position has a heavy volume of business inquiry and general advising. In 2016 Marla was promoted to the SBDC Program Specialist  and in early 2017 gained the position of the SBDC Program Manager. Her role is vital in advising small business with their business plans, financing options, social media strategies and operational concerns both for new to business and the more established. Marla has been busy creating new training programs for the small business owners to achieve the knowledge and education they need to continue on a path of success!

Amber Gardner, Procurement Technical Assistance Center Coordinator

(630) 942-2184
Email: gardnera277@cod.edu

Example ImageAmber Gardner

Amber Gardner

Amber began with us as Client Liaison in 2013 and was quickly promoted in August, 2014.  She brings to us a diverse and strong small business background with expertise in marketing and communications.  In her current role she assists small business in local, state and federal contracting as an area of growth.  In a little over six months on the job, she is proving to be a powerhouse advisor in not only government contracting but in certifications for small business.  Already she has been awarded the Veteran Verification Counselor status by the US Veteran Administration.  This counselor status is awarded after a grueling eight hours of training and passing the Veteran Verification exam. 


Contact Information

Center for Entrepreneurship
Main Line: (630) 942-2600
2525 Cabot Drive, Suite 201
Lisle, IL, 60532

Rita Haake, Center Manager
Phone: (630) 942-2184
Fax: (630) 505-4931

Hours of Operation
Monday to Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137

(630) 942-2800 (Main)

(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)

  2017 College of DuPage