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Meet the Engler Experience Team

Why an experience team?

Experience! The Engler Program is designed to provide you a playing field where you have the opportunity to be in the game (or even reinvent it). By being in the game you experience the joy, exhilaration, risk and accountability that comes when investment of time and talent matters, when you can affect the outcome, when you put it on the line to compete!

We offer an experienced team who has made it their mission to coach, cajole, challenge, and celebrate aspiring entrepreneurs. Over time we expect you to grow into a role as a colleague and collaborator with us.

Tom Field, PhD tfield2@unl.edu
103K Miller Hall
(402) 472-5643

Tom is a passionate advocate for education, agriculture, free enterprise, engaged citizenship, and the potential of young people. He serves the people of Nebraska as the Director of the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program and holder of the Engler Chair in Entrepreneurship at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is also a noted agricultural author with works including his column "Out of the Box" and featured commentator of "The Entrepreneurial Minute" on the Angus Report on RFD-TV.

A frequent speaker at agricultural events in the U.S. and abroad, he has consulted with a number of agricultural enterprises and organizations, and has served on numerous boards related to education, agriculture, and athletics. He is the co-owner of Field Land and Cattle Company, LLC in Colorado. He and his wife Laura watch over a brood that includes a son in the Teach for America Program, twins who are seniors in college and toddler twins to round out the team.

Tom Field
Michelle Bassford

Michelle Bassford mbassford7@unl.edu
103 Miller Hall
(402) 472-9274

Michelle grew up in Minden, Neb., and is a graduate of UNK with a BS in Comprehensive Business Administration with emphasis in Marketing. During college, she married her "high school sweetheart" Jeff Bassford, who is also employed at UNL in IANR. After graduation, they moved to Tucson, Ariz., and spent 10 years starting careers and a family. During that time, Michelle worked in the insurance industry as a licensed staff person for a State Farm agent and then a claims adjuster for Allstate Insurance Company in the property damage/bodily injury arena. In 2001, after adopting a 1 year old son from Russia, she moved back to Lincoln with Jeff and chose to stay at home for a period of time.

During 2003 she became a self-employed Mary Kay Consultant and in 2005 they added to their family by adopting an infant girl here in Lincoln. Michelle felt a calling to become a part-time office manager in 2007 for Eastridge Presbyterian Church and worked there for 6 years until an amazing opportunity arose. In July 2013 she transitioned into her current role as Chief Experience Officer for the Engler Program and looks forward to helping build the Engler Experience every day!

David Lambe dlambe1@unl.edu
391 Plant Science Hall
(402) 472-1125

Dave is passionate about students and how free enterprise can change lives. His background is in business, with degrees in accounting, agriculture, and a Master of Business Administration. His purpose is to help students find their best path through the entrepreneurial process. Dave teaches business plan writing, marketing, and entrepreneurial finance both as resident and distance courses, and the best part of his day is working with students to find solutions to current business issues.

Dave sits on several boards involving food for the future and has research interest in local food production and seasonal crop extension. Dave is co-owner of Cutts Floral Distributing with his wife Terri. The company, a logistics business, moves cut flowers from across the globe to local businesses in Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas. They have twin daughters and from them, 11 grandchildren—the other best part of his day!

David Lambe
Brennan Costello

Brennan Costello bcostello3@unl.edu
201 Miller Hall
(402) 472-9274

Brennan Costello's goal is to turn everyone in Nebraska into an advocate for the Engler Program. He is a recent alumni of the program, currently serves as the Chief Business Relations Officer and is having a ball while doing it. In this role Brennan's job is to construct a network of business leaders, leading entrepreneurs, and community supporters the student entrepreneurs can access and tap into. He's working to create partnerships to share ideas, knowledge and expertise to grow the Engler Program, Lincoln area and greater Nebraska. He's in search of student internship opportunities, coaches and mentors, and challenges for students to tackle.

Brennan's also very interested in the ideation process of entrepreneurs and he has been developing an rapid brainstorming formula titled the Idea Storm. He is helping students quickly identify industry pain points, create solutions and learn to think in an entrepreneurial mindset. Brennan also is a certified facilitator for Three Day Startup and travels the country facilitating startup sprints for collegiate students.

Outside of Engler Brennan is a founding partner in FarmAfield, an Agriculture Technology startup focused on reducing business volatility for farmers around the world. In Spring 2016, FarmAfield traveled to Zurich, Switzerland to compete in the Thought for Food Student competition challenge. And in Summer 2016 Brennan and his team where awarded a Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the National Science Foundation.

Brennan grew up raising sheep and working for a local row crop and cattle farmer in Gothenburg, Nebraska. He graduated from the University of Nebraska -Lincoln with a degree in Agribusiness and a Minor in Engler Entrepreneurship and Leadership.

Stacy Carlson

Stacy Carlson Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Stacy L. Carlson, a native Nebraskan, is a serial entrepreneur and self-proclaimed systems and process nerd. From 2005 until 2017, she was the CEO of Gotta Pixel, an eCommerce company that sold digital scrapbooking supplies while also providing a robust community for digital scrapbookers. During those 12 years, the company employed over 100 freelance designers, 200 volunteers while providing a community to over 75,000 users who ultimately uploaded over 1 million images to the site's gallery. In 2014, she launched a second business, oneCanvas and is an alumnus of nMotion Accelerator program.

Following Gotta Pixel, she was the COO of SitStay.com, an eCommerce dog supply company as well as a co-facilitator of nMotion's pre-accelerator program, PreLaunch, which helped entrepreneurs validate their early business ideas through customer development and validating learning.

She is also the co-facilitator of Ladies Launch Lincoln, a Lincoln-based networking group that is supporting women of all ages and in all stages of entrepreneurship.


Sarah Osbornsosborn4@unl.edu

Sarah Osborn I am a sophomore with a Biochemistry major. In the Engler program I will be the Alumni Advocate and be personally contacting each of them to keep their info up to date, inform them of Engler happenings, and relay their program input to Engler leadership. I am involved in the sorority Alpha Delta Pi, the Biochemistry club and the ballroom dance club learning nights when I can. I am also the Treasurer for Alpha Lambda Delta, a Freshman Honor Society. I love being a part of Engler and I cannot wait for everything that will happen this upcoming year!

Emily Frenzenefrenzen2@unl.edu

Emily Frenzen Emily Frenzen, Engler Storyteller, will be capturing moments at Engler events, as well as creating photo and video content for social media to share the experience of students and alumni. Emily is a junior studying Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Communication, and also has an Engler minor. Her favorite entrepreneurship quote is, "Work hard in silence. Let success be your noise."

Samantha Pardesparde2@unl.edu

Samantha Parde I am a Junior Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management Major here at UNL and will be an Events and Experiences Intern this year working with Michelle and team. I grew up in Syracuse, NE, with parents and three older brothers. I also work at Hillcrest CountryClub as a server. I do have a few different career aspirations I would like to achieve. Currently, I would love to own a wedding and event venue that also has a daily entertainment location for friends and families of all ages to enjoy. I am an excitable person and eager to help and learn from the Engler Program this year.


Join Us!

Feeling that Engler fire? Ready to start this journey?

Learn more about how to join the program