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Member Spotlight

Donna Duffey

Residence: Olathe, Kansas

Organization:  Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, KS

Occupation: Professor & Department Chair, Business Administration and Entrepreneurship

First job: In high school I checked groceries after school at an Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) grocery store in Mt. Prospect, Illinois. It was before scanners so I became rather proficient at the cash register keypad and bagging groceries. I also was responsible for marking down the day-old bread each evening and learned early in my career the impact a price change can have on customer motivation!

Philosophy: Work your hardest to convert obstacles and challenges into opportunities.

Favorite music: Country western

Favorite movie: Pay it Forward

Favorite book:  The Invitation by Clifton Taulbert

What got me interested in my work: Without a doubt, the answer lies in both my childhood experiences and my career in retail management before joining the higher education sector. My father was focused and persistent; my mother was creative and patient. Both were committed to lifelong learning. Combined, what key success traits for an entrepreneurial mindset! At a very young age, my mother taught me to sew, thus a love for the fashion industry was born. While pursuing a degree in this area, I realized my greatest contribution in this industry would be positioning myself on the “business side” of fashion. With 16 years of both buying and management experience (with Macy’s), I realized I was “teaching” much of the time. Through various organizations, I had built relationships throughout the industry community and accepted an invitation to teach as an adjunct faculty member at Johnson County Community College. Yes, like many of you, I began my higher education career as an adjunct faculty member! I discovered the sense of accomplishment and job satisfaction when I was able to assist my students in finding their career passion and developing their expertise. That joy continues today.

Greatest accomplishment: On a personal level, it is definitely raising my son. On a professional level, it is leading my Entrepreneurship faculty team (with a lot of fabulous ideas and support from my Advisory Committee and the NACCE Nation) to developing and maintaining the Entrepreneurship courses, certificates and degree programs we offer at JCCC.

Success is... Success can be found by committing your life to improving the lives of others. In doing so, you will accomplish success yourself.

Favorite Quote:  “You can do anything you set your mind to.”

Current Project/s:  Always on my “to-do” list is the ongoing pursuit of continually assessing and improving the currency and effectiveness of the Entrepreneurship programming at JCCC. Recently the chair position for the Business Administration program has been added to my responsibilities; I look forward to working with that team to identify and implement new programming opportunities for students in that program as well. Personally, I am currently working on my Ed.D in Community College Leadership through the Roueche Graduate Center at National American University. My dissertation work is focused on the impact of a course in Entrepreneurial Mindset on student persistence at the community college level.

How has NACCE impacted your work?   I have had the opportunity to work with my community college entrepreneurship colleagues across the country since the first

gathering/conference of NACCE in Springfield, Massachusetts. Over the years, I have received much more than I have given to this association. It has served as the primary catalyst to igniting my entrepreneurial mindset and, in turn, impacting the lives of the many students we have had the opportunity to serve. Thanks NACCE Nation!

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