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Director, Entrepreneurship Institute

Ferris State University


Novasearch Consultants & Publishing was awarded a two-year contract with Ferris State University to design and conduct student-centered entrepreneurial events, as well as, devise entrepreneurial curricula and degree programs.  As FSU's Director of Entrepreneurship Institute, Zella developed and ran entrepreneurial events designed to expand opportunities for students to learn start-up mechanisms, obtain venture capital and launch new businesses. These events included the New Gen StartUp Competition and EXPO, as well as, the International Art Business Symposium.  Zella showcased her award winning entrepreneurial students from these events on Wood TV8 in, "Celebrate the New Generation of Entrepreneurs." In addition, Zella conducted research on successful entrepreneurial degree programs and made recommendations for an MS degree in Technology & Engineering Entrepreneurship with SMART and NSF funding opportunities so students could obtain a tuition-paid degree with stipend. This degree had broad appeal to FSU's existing BS students in Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET), Software Design, as well as, Optometry and Pharmacy.

TV8 Maranda Show
New Gen Start Up

TV host, Maranda interviews Kelley Roney and her student film crew Brennan Ramirez, Peter Januzelli, and AJ Ebels on the set of Wood TV8's Maranda Show, "Celebrate the New Generation of Entrepreneurs". Zella coached the student film crew on their production of their DECA film project, "FSU's Entrepreneurship Institiute" then created the show concept to air the film and interview. 


"Working with Zella really opened the door to a lot of great opportunities. Being featured on The Maranda Show was a great experience that wouldn't have been possible without Zella's help!"

~ Brennan Ramirez


Dr. Zella Jackson Hannum was extremely resourceful in helping us put together our DECA project. Without her we wouldn't have had the chance to experience the wide range of events we attended. She is one of the nicest, most down to earth people I know and it was such a pleasure to work with her.  ~ Peter Januzelli


Zella Hannum is not only one of the most motivating people I know, she is also very resourceful and fun to work with. Without her, we would have never gained the knowledge and experience that we now have. She was instrumental in helping us achieve what we did with our DECA project.  ~ AJ Ebels


Zella makes things happen! She is inspiring, motivating, uplifting, encouraging, and extremely resourceful. I have really enjoyed working with Zella this year and look forward to collaborating on future projects.  ~ Kelly Roney


    Student Artists
Learn fromVeterans 

Internationally recognized veteran professional artist, Saffell Gardner pictured with his son, Asukiie Gardner at FSU's International Art Business Symposium 2013.  Asukile is a bright young artistic talent and was honored with a trophy for an exquisite etching.  He then appeared with a collection of his art on the TV8's Maranda Show, "Celebrate the New Generation of Entrepreneurs." 


"Zella taught me the importance of branding myaself as an artist and taking charge of my art career.  She gave me the tools to take my art business to the next level.


My dad and I had a tremendous experience plus I learned from other industry veterans. It was exciting to have my art on television and have the opportunity to share what I learned at the symposim with the viewing audience."

~ Asukile Gardner

Zella pictured with college division winners of FSU's New Gen Start Up Competition;  First Place Winners, Jayson Schepers and Thomas Custer; Second Place Winner, Robert Johnson. Winners received cash awards, a trophy plus certificate and an appearance on TV8's Maranda Show, "Celebrate the New Generation of Entrepreneurs."


"I learned a great deal from participating in FSU's New Gen Start Up Competition.  It afforded me the opportunity to pitch my business idea at StartGarden, a venture capital group and submit a formal business plan complete with projected income and expenses.  I won first place, earned cash to invest in my business and went on to earn thousands from this business idea.  The competition served as a catalyst for so much of my success."      ~ Jayson Schepers, FSU Student Entrepreneur

   International Art Business Symposium

Zella produced FSU's International Art Business Symposium 2013. This was a capstone experience for FSU's Kendall College of Art and Design (KCAD) and served to connect successful professional artists and gallery owners from around the US and Canada in an uplifting educational two and one-half day event.  Student and professional artists participated in a juried competiton.  Winners received trophies and acknowledgement at the Awards Banquet.  Winning student artists also received an appearance on TV8's Maranda Show, "Celebrate the New Generation of Entrepreneurs."


"My son, Forrest Miller had the opportunity to have extended conversations with internationally-recognized artists, receive feedback on his work and discuss possible marketing directions for his paintings.  There was a good mix of successful gallery personnel and renowned entrepreneurial artists.  As a faculty member at Delta College, I can see the benefit of this symposium to future students transferring to FSU's KCAD." ~ Barb Handley-Miller, Humanities Professor


"Thank you for hosting the Internal Art Business Symposium at Kendall College of Art & Design. What a wonderful place to gather and discuss our Art Industry. I was one of the guest speakers and was very impressed by the caliber of art professionals Zella Hannum assembled. I am a veteran of the industry with over 25 years of art and product design experience. The Malton Gallery is one of the most recognized and respected galleries in Cincinnati…in business since 1974.


As owner/director for 16 years, it is wonderful to be a part of an event that not only gives the to opportunity to share information as a speaker and industry expert, but also to learn…as a student! The symposium achieved a number of its objectives as they were originally presented to me by Zella. The practical tools and methods of envisioning and orchestrating a successful art business were explored in presentation format, as well as in conversations. New ideas and templates for business development were shared. New and creative young student talent was presented along with veteran “star “artists.


Critiques and evaluations were collectively discussed. The experianced were inspired by the freshness and energy of the emerging and the emerging learned from the knowledge of the experienced.Personally, I discovered many ideas and refinements that I am sure will result in a stronger and more dynamic art business template for the Malton Gallery. I was greatly inspired by the creativity, achievements and “out of the box” ideas of students and professionals from across the country. Looking forward to next year’s symposium at Kendall and looking forward to meeting and sharing with that next wave of creative individuals who make our industry so vibrant and meaningful.~ Sylvia Rombis, Owner, Malton Gallery




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