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IIE Team

Wade Martin

Wade Martin, Ph.D.

Director, Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

California State University, Long Beach

Dr. Wade Martin is Professor of Economics and Director of the Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at California State University, Long Beach. He works primarily in the area of risk analysis related to business development and sustainability for local economic development. He has worked on research and development projects for Downtown Long Beach Alliance, CalRECYLES, the World Bank, U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the USDA Forest Service, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Government of Indonesia and has been a visiting scholar at Harvard Institute for International Development. Dr. Martin has published in numerous academic journals, edited three books and been a commentator on Market Place on NPR as well as for numerous newspapers. He has served as editor-in-chief of the academic journal Contemporary Economic Policy.

Ebony Utley

Ebony Utley, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

California State University, Long Beach

Ebony A. Utley, Ph.D. is a professorpreneur. As a Professor of Communication Studies at California State University Long Beach, she researches, publishes, and teaches interpersonal communication. Her expertise has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Network as well as other national and international radio, print, and online outlets. As an entrepreneur, she curates experiences and develops products for social impact. Her contributions include but are not limited to raising awareness about the dark side of technology, improving romantic relationship communication, supporting women recovering from infidelity, preventing domestic violence, and healing through yoga. Her two worlds collide as the Associate Director for the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at CSULB.

Brenda Freshman

Brenda Freshman, Ph.D.

Faculty Champion, Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

California State University, Long Beach

Brenda Freshman is a professor in the CSULB Department of Health Care Administration, where she has been a full-time faculty member since Fall 2007. From 1996-2006, Dr. Freshman served as a faculty member at the UCLA School of Public Health, training health care professionals in both managerial and leadership competencies.  

Dr. Freshman's research and practice interests concentrate on collaboration across disciplines, workforce development for an aging population, the impact of ethics training, and how thoughts and emotions influence behavior, productivity, and quality of life. She is a sought-after speaker and has been facilitating workshops on self-development and leadership skills since 1993.

Dr. Freshman holds a BS in Psychology (UCLA), an MA in Applied Psychology at University of Santa Monica, and both an MS and a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology  at California School of Professional Psychology.


Jeremy Stumpp

Entrepreneur Fellow, City of Long Beach/Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Jeremy is currently an M.A. Economics student at CSU Long Beach. He graduated with honors earning a B.A. in Economics and a second degree in History this past spring. As the Entrepreneur Fellow with IIE he will gain practical experience in a position that requires Jeremy to interact with the public, allowing him to learn more about his community and enhance his skills in economic development at the local level.


Gemma Ballini

Student Intern, Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

California State University, Long Beach

Gemma is a Creative Writing student at California State University, Long Beach. She began her professional journey working for the LA community college district as a tutor. Here, she combined her creative skills and passion for writing to help students achieve their academic goals. During this time, she contributed to various academic enrichment programs and created the Writer’s Club Resource Center, a tutoring center and creative writing community.
Gemma enjoys exploring local businesses, volunteering for Meals on Wheels, and supporting the Long Beach literary community. She is currently working on two fiction novels and on a YouTube channel dedicated to creative writing and book reviews. When she graduates, she hopes to further her education and pursue a master’s degree in Communications.