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Dennis Tracz ('78)

Entrepreneur, CEO of Barista on Demand

Photo: Dennis Tracz

Dennis Tracz has a taste for coffee -- good coffee, that is. This entrepreneur is CEO and founder of Barista on Demand, a coffee company that only buys beans from growers who use sustainable farming. Like other sustainable brand enterprises, his company embraces environmental and social responsibility as a brand value. Dennis sees his product as a tool to make a difference in the lives of coffee farmers in developing nations while protecting ecosystems. Explaining the special appeal of the brand, Dennis says, "We are the first coffee company that offers fresh roasted, organic, Rainforest Alliance coffee at the workplace. We believe that today's organizations are interested in sustainable ways to serve their employees and guests." This dynamic businessman has been involved in a number of startup companies and enjoys the excitement that comes with uncertainty and challenge. When asked to describe one important thing he's learned through the life of an entrepreneur, Dennis says: "Keep breathing!" He hasn't forgotten his roots at Madison. As one of the founding members of the College of Business Executive Advisory Council, he regularly mentors JMU students, guiding others in the same direction of independence and opportunity.

"When facing big changes, people may get nervous and look for cover; but I see lots of opportunities in chaos."