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Tom Porter and Dick Sarns to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award

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ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The New Enterprise Forum announced today that Tom Porter and Dick Sarns, both successful Ann Arbor entrepreneurs, would receive Lifetime Achievement awards at the NEF 25th anniversary gala on February 17th, 2011.  The recipients exemplify notable entrepreneurship through their ability to build Ann Arbor companies that are leading in their respective fields.

Dick Sarns is a creator of a heart and lung machine for open heart surgery patients.  From start up, Sarns was able to sell his apparatus to 3M, and later Terumo.  Sarns also developed a therapeutic, recombinant exercise bike and founded NuStep.  Tom Porter is the founder of NEF.  Twenty-five years ago he recruited a group of like-minded entrepreneurs and launched the non-profit organization to help entrepreneurs prepare their investor pitches and  connect them to people who could help them successfully launch their company.  Porter was a principal at EDF, one of the first venture capital firms in the state.  Today, Porter continues his mission by training the next generation of investors through his work at the University of Michigan’s Wolverine Fund.

“Both are forward thinkers, moving from one venture to the next, while giving back as advisors and enthusiasts for the non-profit organizations that support their industry,” says the NEF team.  “Today, they share their expertise as advisors and investors in fledgling companies that benefit from their experience and wisdom.”

NEF is pleased to recognize these two entrepreneurs and invites you to join the celebration on February 17th. The 25th anniversary gala will be held at Eastern Michigan University Student Center, EMU Campus, Ypsilanti from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Cost is $35.  The celebration will consist of networking, and NEF award recognitions.  VIP tickets and other special ticket packages are available and are expected to go quickly. Visit www.NewEnterpriseForum.org for further information.  Sponsorship opportunities are also still available.  “Interested parties can look at our registration page for special ticket packages which allow for all kinds of nostalgia. You can visit as a VIP or sponsor a table (each table represents a year in NEF’s history), and stakeholders and sponsors can have an exhibit. Also, check out our film sponsorship packages, sponsor our book, or just pick up an event sponsorship,” says Jan Gensheimer, NEF president.  Contact Jan at seracon@aol.com to become a sponsor.

ABOUT NEF: Through its hands-on work with entrepreneurs, NEF has been planting the seeds for Michigan’s economic prosperity for over two decades. NEF serves Michigan entrepreneurs by linking them with management expertise, venture partners, business services, capital, and other critical resources. NEF also provides free coaching teams who assist entrepreneurs with investor presentations and business planning in preparation for fundraising meetings. For information, visit www.NewEnterpriseForum.org.

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