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John Pappajohn Awarded NACCE Lifetime Achievement in Entrepreneurship Award

Tuesday, October 20, 2009   (0 Comments)
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John G. Pappajohn was awarded the Lifetime Achievement in Entrepreneurship Award from the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) on Tuesday, October 13, in Chicago, Ill. 


"This award marks yet another acknowledgement of the incredible work and generosity that John has shared through his entrepreneurial endeavors.  As a NIACC graduate, John has served as the inspiration for so many of our students to follow their dreams,” Dr. Deb Derr, North Iowa Area Community College president, said.

The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center located on the NIACC campus in Mason City nominated Pappajohn for this prestigious award and is thrilled that his efforts to support entrepreneurship are continuing to be recognized on a national level.

Pappajohn has said his dream is to help Iowa become the most entrepreneurial state in the country.  With his leadership, vision and financial support, Iowa is on its way. His primary businesses, Pappajohn Capital Resources and Equity Dynamics Inc., are still very active today and sponsor the New Venture and Iowa Business Plan Competitions giving many new companies in Iowa a strong start. At 81, there is no slowing Pappajohn down; he still is as active and engaged as ever in Iowa and nationally.

"It is hard to imagine a single individual who has had a greater impact on entrepreneurship in the State of Iowa than John Pappajohn. John has contributed a tremendous amount of time, encouragement, vision and financial resources to growing entrepreneurship in our state and on our college campuses,” Steve Carter, director, Iowa State University Research Park, said.

As the most well known, largest and most successful venture capitalist in the state of Iowa, Pappajohn is a fixture in New York City and as equally well known to the investment circles throughout the country. Unlike other venture capital companies, Pappajohn’s companies were built with his own hard-earned capital.  His story serves as an amazing and incredible inspiration for all entrepreneurs. Born in Greece, immigrating to the United States, losing his father at sixteen and working his way through college, Pappajohn knows the lessons of life and has been willing to pay the price for success. He has been and still is an entrepreneur; he has helped an incredible number of entrepreneurs. A very successful business career began with the start of an insurance company, the Guardsman and its eventual IPO led him into venture capital as a career and a passion.

"John Pappajohn has clearly had a remarkably successful career as an entrepreneur.  But he is most widely admired and appreciated for the profound impact that his generosity and vision have had on the community, and on entrepreneurial education at several of the Iowa's leading universities.  Mr. Pappajohn's support of entrepreneurial education ensures that we will graduate generations of students to follow in his footsteps--creating jobs and using their wealth to enrich the lives of those around them,” Dr. David E Maxwell, president, Drake University, said.

Pappajohn has laid the foundation for Iowa to become more entrepreneurial by planting seeds all across the state and has touched many, many lives with his generosity, inspiring personality and his positive outlook on life.  He provided for the base start-up funding of the five Iowa John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Centers located at North Iowa Area Community College, University of Iowa, Iowa State University, Northern Iowa University and Drake University. To date he has provided over $15 million to support these centers, first established in 1997.

"John is a game changer,” Jamie T. Zanios, vice president of NIACC JPEC and Institutional Advancement, said. "He has changed forever the landscape of Iowa through his generosity and foresight. Over 80,000 students and business persons have been educated as a result of his gifts in Iowa and thousands of new jobs have already resulted from the many new business starts it helped support.”


Pappajohn is also an avid and accomplished art collector, wine connoisseur, philanthropist and great husband, father and grandfather. Pappajohn and his wife, Mary, have given over $100 million to charities and organizations of interest over the years.  Pappajohn’s family was present to support him as he accepted his Lifetime Achievement in Entrepreneurship Award.

The NIACC JPEC provides college level courses and degree programs in entrepreneurship, as well as comprehensive consulting services for business start-ups, existing industries and owner transitions in the North Iowa region.   Space is available for start-up businesses in the North Iowa Business Incubator. For more information, contact the NIACC JPEC at 641-422-4111.

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