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Rick MacLennan

Residence: Deep Creek Lake, Maryland

Organization:  Garrett College

Occupation: President

First job:
 My parents opened a Shell service station when I was eleven years old. I worked on the weekends at a starting salary of 25 cents per hour. My job: washing every window on our customers' vehicles—no matter the amount of their purchase (I had to stand on a wooden crate to make the reach).

Philosophy: The Clan MacLennan motto is "Dum Spiro Spero" ("while I have breath, I have hope"). Not just for myself, but for my family, college and community, I believe that while we are here, we have the possibility, as well as the responsibility to optimistically pursue a better future.

Favorite music: Old school rock and roll.

Favorite movie:  Action/Adventure 

Favorite book:  For fun I’ve enjoyed reading just about everything by W.E.B Griffin, the Diana Gabaldon “Outlander” series, Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” novels, and “Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett. For maneuvering through difficult communication situations, the simple principles I learned from reading (and occasionally rereading) “Getting to Yes”, by Roger Fisher and William Ury of the Harvard Negotiation Project, have served me very well.

What got me interested in my work: At what I then thought was the very old age of twenty-five, I resumed my education at Portland State University. I was offered a veterans' work/study position in the office of the Vice President of Student Affairs, and after four years of experiencing college as a returning adult student and watching and participating in attempts to meet the needs of PSU’s student body, I knew this would be the course of my career.

Greatest accomplishment:   Convincing great people in my life that they could reach heights they didn’t know or believe they were capable of achieving.

Success is.... . .believing it’s always within reach.

Favorite Quote: “Hey, hey, hey — don't be mean. We don't have to be mean. 'Cause, remember: no matter where you go, there you are.” (Peter Weller as Buckaroo Banzai in, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!)

Current Project/s:  We’ve set an ambitious goal of becoming the epicenter of entrepreneurial education, development and support for our Greater Cumberland region. In addition to a number of initiatives (e.g., incubator, hive, workshops, curriculum, angel network, Maker space, etc.), we are planning two regional conferences on entrepreneurship next year (one in October and the second in March). The fall conference will target individuals and entities that we’ve been referring to as the “infrastructure” people who are in roles the might, could or should support and facilitate entrepreneurism and innovation (economic development, commissioners, chambers, mayors, banks, angel investors, higher education, government agencies, etc.), as well as actual and aspiring entrepreneurs. We will launch regional competition for entrepreneurs at both the secondary and collegiate levels that will culminate as a feature of the spring conference—a NACCE regional summit.


How has NACCE impacted your work?

Emphasizing our role in teaching, supporting, and modeling entrepreneurship arose as a significant goal from a planning process that began when I arrived at Garrett College in 2010. The knowledge and support we’ve gained through our involvement with NACCE are embedded in everything we’re doing on this subject.

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