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,
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
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