In today’s global marketplace, entrepreneurship is the indispensable element to America’s growth and prosperity and critical to our continued economic and political leadership in the world.
The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur was founded in 2006 to provide Culver students with a deeper understanding of creativity and innovation in the marketplace. Through interaction with successful entrepreneurs, a college-level curriculum, field trips to exciting destinations, and challenging competitions, students gain a greater appreciation for the magic of the entrepreneurial spirit.
Our overriding objective is to be the leader among all secondary schools, in effect to become the model for entrepreneurial studies in the 21st century.
Ron Rubin, Minister of Tea and Chief Executive Officer of The Republic of Tea is dedicated to enriching people’s lives through premium teas, education and innovation – emphasizing a “Sip by Sip Rather Than Gulp by Gulp” lifestyle!
Rubin sparked a specialty tea revolution in 1994 when he purchased The Republic of Tea, a twenty- two month old company, founded by the creators of Banana Republic. Since then he has been on a mission to seek out and procure only the most exquisite teas from the world’s premier tea gardens and make them accessible to people everywhere.
As Minister of Tea, Rubin introduced nearly 200 teas and tea-inspired products including unsweetened varietal glass bottled iced teas for fine restaurants, Be Well Red Teas, Superfruit Teas, exclusive Stir Fry Tea Oil, Little Citizens’ Herb Teas, motivational business books and tea ware. The Republic of Tea products are available nationwide through gourmet food stores, natural food merchants and select department stores, gift boutiques, cafés and restaurants and via the company’s website and mail-order catalogue.
Further, Rubin is mindful of how his company’s actions impact the greater community and actively supports worthy organizations like Susan G. Komen for the Cure, The Prostate Cancer Foundation, Room to Read, Sunny Hills Services, and The Ethical Tea Partnership.
In keeping with its whimsical identity as an independent Republic, Rubin designates employees as Ministers, sale representatives as Ambassadors, customers as Citizens and retail outlets as Embassies. An advocate of education and personal enrichment, each year he sends a contingent of Ministers and Ambassadors to visit a specific tea-growing region. To gain hands-on product knowledge as well as appreciation for the local culture, the team plucks tea alongside growers and workers in destinations the likes of China, Taiwan, India, South Africa and Japan.
Prior to The Republic of Tea, Rubin formed the Mount Vernon, Illinois based New Age Beverages in 1990. The company became the master licensee for Clearly Canadian Sparkling Water in the Southeastern United States. In a ten-state region, he created a network of over 100 distributors selling over 3,000,000 cases of Clearly Canadian
The beverage business is part of the Rubin lineage. Rubin entered the family wholesale business, Central Wholesale Liquor Co., located in Mount Vernon, upon graduation from Culver Military Academy in 1968 (Company D) and the University of Illinois. At the company for 22 years, he managed the distribution of wine, liquor and beer in 48 counties throughout Central and Southern Illinois, in addition to developing and introducing numerous new lines to the product portfolio. His son Todd, Minister of Evolution, joined The Republic of Tea in 2007.
Rubin, a native of Mount Vernon, divides his time between Missouri and California. He serves on the St. Louis Regional Board of Teach For America and is an Adjunct Professor at Saint Louis University where he teaches Selected Topics in Entrepreneurship while mentoring student entrepreneurs. Ron begins each day with a steaming cup of Republic Darjeeling.
Director, The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur
Alex Kurrelmeier is the Director of The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur at Culver. Most recently, he was the President and Chief Operating Officer for International Airport Centers L.L.C. (IAC) based in Highland Park, Illinois. IAC is a $1B national developer of transportation related warehouse distribution facilities with locations across the continental United States. Prior to joining IAC in 1997, Mr. Kurrelmeier worked in commercial banking.
Mr. Kurrelmeier (W ’79 and CMA ’83) received a BA in Business Administration with a focus on Strategy and Control from Eastern Michigan University and an MBA in Finance from the University of Toledo. He and his wife, Stephanie Scopelitis (SS ’79 and CGA ’83) together have five children.
Founding Director, The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur
Harry D. Frick III came to Culver Academies in 1986. He taught American history and served as the Chairman of the History Department for seven years. He was the founder of the Global Studies Institute at Culver Academies in 2000, and served as its director until 2005. That same year, he founded The School for the Entrepreneur, which became The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur in 2009 with Mr. Rubin’s endowment. Frick served as its director until 2014.
He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Indiana University in Bloomington. Frick holds the Eugene C. Eppley Chair in History at Culver Academies and teaches Government to seniors. He also serves as a consultant on entrepreneurial studies programs.