In 2001, I was fortunate to receive a call from Dr. James O’Neill, the Director of Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship at the University of Delaware. He had recently read “The Family Business Answer Book” published by then leading accounting firm, Arthur Andersen and its Center for Family Business.

The opening section of the book is entitled “How well is your business doing in its industry and in the context of the current economy” and uses Eli’s Cheesecake as a case study of how to survive and thrive in a changing environment.

Well we have seen some seismic changes since then in our business environment, the world and our economy. Fortunately we continue to work hard with the same dedication to quality and to our customers. We are also very fortunate to have made a great friend in Jim O’Neill and his program at the University of Delaware.

At that first meeting in 2001, we learned about the Summer Program at Delaware whereby teachers could get their Masters Degree in Economics and Entrepreneurship for Educators during a two year summer residency program. With the support of the Illinois Council on Economic Education, we were able to nominate James Andersen, then a teacher at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Science Sciences (and a graduate of CHSAS and UIUC) for the program. Mr.. Anderson did exceptionally well in the program and is today studying for his PHD at the University of Missouri Columbia.

Every semester, I now have the privilege to be a guest lecturer for Professor O’Neill’s Economics and Entrepreneurship Class. We send the cheesecake ahead and I tele-teach the class via arrangements made by Wright College and our IT Director, Kai Man-Liu. In the past, I went to a classroom at Wright that was set up for tele-conferences. Today that technology has been replaced by a web based program so I taught from our conference room at Eli’s.




The Center for Economic Education & Entrepreneurship is in the Lerner College of Business & Economics at the
University of Delaware. There is an emphasis on entrepreneurship in the center’s mission and its master’s degree program. It values the important contributions that entrepreneurs make to the economy.

Marc was able to talk to the class at the University of Delawarevia a lap top connected to the internet.




Students could see Marc and he could see them in the screen. Thanks to Wright College for making the connection possible.

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