CVCC Partners’ with NACCE to Host "Community Outreach” Regional Summit
June 3rd was an exciting day for CVCC, because we had the opportunity to host a NACCE regional summit focusing on the importance of developing a strong college Community Outreach Program. Our summit drew people from over twenty community colleges located throughout the southeastern United States.
We were very happy with the large turnout because it illustrated these colleges’ commitment to foster entrepreneurship in their service markets. We know with budget issues in many states we had really dedicated people attending our summit.
Our summit was a fast paced day filled with a variety of speakers, workshops, panel discussions and tours of two of CVCC’s most innovative programs’ facilities. Karen- Michelle Mirko of NACCE kicked off our day by giving an enthusiastic talk on "Sustaining an Entrepreneurship Culture on our Campuses.”
She reviewed five keys action steps to success:
1) Create or Expand Internal and External Teams Dedicated to Entrepreneurship;
2) Increase Entrepreneurs’ Engagement in Community Colleges;
3) Engage in Industry Cluster Development;
4) Leverage Both Community College and Community Assets to Spur Innovation and Job Creation; and
5) Create Buzz and Broad Exposure of the College’s Commitment to Entrepreneurship.
Her talk set the stage for the day’s activities to follow.
Dr. Garrett Hinshaw, CVCC’s president, followed KM Mirko and spoke on the "Importance of Presidential Leadership and Creating Iconic Transformation.” Dr. Hinshaw emphasized the challenges of implementing change and building on the new foundation created by the change.
He stated that with change there is the risk of failure, but we must be willing to fail, if we are to create meaningful change. We should look at failure as a means to becoming successful, if we persevere.
Dr. Hinshaw gave an illustration of a dream, which was challenged by many doubters and skepticism, and if he had listened to the skeptics CVCC’s Simulated Hospital would never have become a reality and a source of great pride for our college and community. It was a great way of illustrating that strong leadership requires, not only, vision, but internal fortitude, because there will be times when a leader will be standing by himself in pursuit of a dream.
Dr. Hinshaw’s inspirational message was a great lead in for our next speaker, Alan Jackson. Mr. Jackson is President of the Jackson Group, a very successful entrepreneurial venture. The business was started by Mr. Jackson’s father and Alan has continued the family tradition by starting several new businesses. Mr. Jackson is not only a successful businessman, but he is a local leader, committed to creating partnerships to foster entrepreneurship in our community.
Mr. Jackson discussed the importance of developing a network of partnerships which work closely together to promote the community and establish the support system necessary to start and build businesses. He gave several examples similar to Dr. Hinshaw about the importance of persistence and dedication to achieving your goals. These traits are essential for leaders and entrepreneurs to be successful.
They are also essential for colleges attempting to build a strong "Community Outreach Program,” because there will be people in the college as well as the community, who will downplay the importance of partnerships or they will become disenchanted when things don’t move forward as quickly as planned.
As our day progressed each speaker built on theme of the earlier speakers, and the summit audience were very much engaged in each discussion.
Dr. John Enamait, Dean of CVCC’s Business School, was our next speaker and described the support system CVCC put in place to foster entrepreneurship within the college and our community. The college established the "Job Creation Center” to coordinate the activities of our Curriculum programs, Small Business Center, Manufacturing Solutions Center and Workforce Development, so the college could provide the best service possible for budding entrepreneurs.
He also described the activities CVCC has put in place to make entrepreneurship fun and interesting, such as our National Entrepreneurship Week Celebration, which included the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour Kickoff and our annual "Shark Tank” competition. He emphasized that we need a comprehensive program to support entrepreneurs in various stages of development as well as develop a program which makes entrepreneurship fun so we can attract more people to our programs.
Sheena Lindahl, co-founder of the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour (EET), and named one the country’s top 25 entrepreneurs under the age of 25 by Business Week, finished off a great morning with an interactive workshop on engaging students on our campuses.
Sheena led a high energy event, which was made even more impressive by the fact that she travelled all night, overcame bad weather and a flat tire to be at our summit. She even did a nice dance as she came on stage, similar to the "CVCC Extreme Entrepreneurship Harlem Shake” youtube video Sheena showed from our February National Entrepreneurship Week Celebration Wrap up with the EET team.
Our afternoon session started with a very interesting and informative guided tour of our Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC) led by its Director, Dan St Louis. The MSC has the goal of bringing manufacturing into the NEW ERA of changing technologies and production innovation. The Center works with companies from all over the world including Nike and Hanes Brands.
We are very proud of our MSC facilities, but we are even more proud of Dan, Tony Whitener and their staff and the effort they put forth for our clients.
Tim Putnam, NACCE Fellow and Associate Director of John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at Northern Iowa Area Community College, led a lively presentation on the importance of Community Mapping in identifying areas of emphasis in developing our Community Outreach Programs.
We believe developing strong internal and external partnerships is essential to growing an entrepreneurship program at a community college. Tim’s discussion was a perfect lead into our Community Leaders Panel Discussion.The Panel Discussion focused on the challenges of building partnerships and the best ways to establish strong long lasting relationships.
Our panel was made up of a diverse group, which provided a wide range of perspectives.The panel included Danny Hearn our Chamber of Commerce President, Bill Parrish the Regional Director of our SBTDC, Jonathan Williams student entrepreneur and a graduate of Wake Forest, EJ Martin our first MSC incubator entrepreneur, Sheena Lindahl of EET and Tim Putnam of NIACC.
The discussion was an outstanding way to pull the day’s activities together with many of our strategic partners.
Our very exciting day concluded with a tour of our Simulated Hospital and a reception for summit participants to interact with our speakers. It was a great day and another step toward achieving our long-term goal of instilling an entrepreneurial spirit across our entire college and community and assisting colleges in their quest to achieve similar goals.