I congratulate Dr. Zachary Hodges and HCC’s Center for Entrepreneurship. Dr. Hodges has done an excellent job insuring that HCC is contributing to entrepreneurial business education and growth. He has taken risks to get the things done, just as any entrepreneur must do, and they have paid off. Sandra Louvier, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship has been tireless in her efforts as well. Dr. Maya Durnovo, Associate Vice Chancellor for Economic Development and Entrepreneurial Initiatives, HCC System has been instrumental in raising funds to grow the Center. I meet Dr. Hodges back in 2007 when he agreed to partner with Newspring, a faith-based 501(c)(3) organization to launch Newspring’s Business Plan Competition. My dear friend and colleague, Jack Barry, introduced me to Robert Westheimer, the founder and Chairman of Newspring and invited me to be an Advisor to participants in the competition. From 2007 – 2012, I was privileged to be involved in that capacity. In 2013 I became a Final Competition Judge. I will judge the final presentations again in 2014 and will also co-facilitate the competitions education classes along with Jack Barry. Jack has been the competitions education instructor from the beginning. He really does a marvelous job.
From the outset of the Newspring’s Business Plan Competition it made sense that HCC offer courses in Entrepreneurship, since at that time, they had none. Of course, HCC had no money budgeted to start a new set of classes. Jack Barry, his son (another Jack Barry and a fantastic entrepreneur), and I sat down and discussed some “real world” ideas of what should be in the courses. Jack and Robert Westheimer brought the ideas to Dr. Hodges and he ran with it. Dr. Hodges brought in Sandra Louvier and they created the first curricula. Somehow Dr. Hodges pulled together the funds and they kicked-off the very first classes. In short order, those first classes have grown to become the Center for Entrepreneurship, which is now a vibrant part of the community and of HCC.
I should mention that for the first competition Newspring did not have money for prizes or a curricula for the competition classes. That would slow most organizations down, but not Newspring and it’s founder and Chairman, Robert Westheimer. Being a faith based organization, Robert took the Biblical idea that “faith without works means nothing” to heart. He had faith and he went to work. Robert acquired the corporate sponsors for prize money and Jack designed the Business Plan Competition classes. These classes are in addition to the entrepreneurship classes students would take at HCC. The first Business Plan Competition was a great success thanks to all the people I mentioned and many Advisors and support people I did not get to mention. The Competition has grown more successful each year. Thanks to Dr. Hodges entrepreneurial spirit, what started out as an entrepreneurship class has grown to the Center for Entrepreneurship, one of the crown jewels of the HCC System.
I have a belief; “Leaders see opportunity where others see obstacles.” Thank God for leaders!
On this day I take my hat off to Dr. Hodges and HCC’s Center for Entrepreneurship for a much deserved award from the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE).
The information below is from HCC’s Public Relations Department’s email announcement. Look for a full Press Release by them in the days to come.
We are very excited to announce that Houston Community College Northwest President, Dr. Zachary Hodges, has been named the 2013 Entrepreneurial President by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship(NACCE).
In 2007, Dr. Hodges partnered with Newspring, a faith-based 501(c)(3) organization aimed at the economic development of the Spring Branch area of Houston, to launch HCC’s first business plan competition that awards prize money to entrepreneurs.
Taking progressive steps by testing small projects and building successes that fueled support for the next phase of growth in entrepreneurship, Dr. Hodges made another first step in developing HCC’s Center for Entrepreneurship in 2009 by committing start-up funding to hire a director for the Center. Continuing success and commitment to both programs, the college also spearheaded the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program in 2011, which offers Greater Houston small business owners access to a practical business and management education.
The NACCE Entrepreneurial President award recognizes a community college president who has taken action by dedicating resources committed to fostering entrepreneurship and small business development on their campuses, thereby spurring innovation and job creation in their communities. Dr. Hodges received his award October 15 at NACCE’s annual conference in Charlotte, NC.
Formal media announcement to follow
HCC is one of the country’s largest singly-accredited, open-admission, community colleges offering associate degrees, certificates, workforce training and lifelong learning opportunities for 75,000 students each semester. HCC is composed of six colleges that serve the greater Houston area’s diverse communities by preparing individuals to live and work in today’s increasingly international and technological society. To learn more go to hccs.edu.
National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is a non-profit organization for educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals to provide quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serve as advocates for “entrepreneurship movement.”
NACCE was founded in 2002. The organization held its inaugural conference in 2003 and has held annual national conferences each year ever since. It became a membership association in early 2006.
As a membership association, NACCE helps community colleges nationwide link their traditional role of workforce development with entrepreneurial development. Through membership, an annual conference and exhibition, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars and podcasts, a dynamic list-serv, and other resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These programs and courses advance economic prosperity in the communities served by its member colleges.
Jack Barry’s philosophies regarding leadership, management, customers, employees and shareholders are based on 38 years of firsthand experience and success plus 12 years of consulting and training experience. His firsthand experience includes the United States Navy, Fortune 500 Companies such as IBM, Xerox and Harris through mid-size companies and entrepreneurial companies. Jack is an Author of four books. For more information about Jack Barry please visit: About Jack Barry
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