Member Spotlight

Alicia HooksTim Putnam

Residence: Mason City, IA

Organization: North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC)

Occupation: Director, John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center

First job: In the 7th grade I set up, cleaned and took down tables for St. Joe’s Bingo in Rock Island, IL.

Philosophy: I like to make a difference and have a bias for getting things done. Sometimes you have to be the one who carries the wood, but most of the time you just need to keep on chopping.

Favorite music: Currently I’ve been listening to country but enjoy a wide variety of music that includes classic rock, hard rock, pop, and the blues.

Favorite TV Show or Movie: I’d rather be outside doing something: riding a bike, swimming, snowshoeing, or walking our dog at the local nature center. Recently, I swam Bayfield to LaPointe, Wisconsin in Lake Superior in an event called Pointe to LaPointe Open Water Swim.

Most Recent Book (Favorite book): The Terrorist’s Son by Zack Ebrahim. This is the current book chosen for NIACC’s Common Read.

What got me interested in my work: In 2000 I applied to be the client manager for the NIACC Pappajohn
Center because I believed I could help small businesses improve their customer service and financial performance. I was told that this was not a very good job and not to apply… so glad I ignored that advice!

Success is... Success is making a difference in one person’s life.

Pet Peeve: Those who stand on the sidelines not wanting to be a part of the solution.

“The only man who never makes mistakes is the man who never does anything.” - Theodore Roosevelt

Favorite Quote: “I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.” - José N. Harris

Current Project: We are working on the Vision North Iowa regional comprehensive plan to build out the ecosystem as it relates to innovation and entrepreneurship. One part of the Vision North Iowa plan is to recognize and celebrate entrepreneurs, and to do this, the centers will host our inaugural Pappajohn
Entrepreneur Gala. This event will also serve as a fundraiser for the center as part of our sustainability plan.

What impact has NACCE had on your college's entrepreneurship efforts? NACCE has been key in many aspects of the growth of the NIACC Pappajohn Center. The networking with NACCE members and learning about all the diverse entrepreneurial programs being delivered was instrumental in our growth. We still deliver the ‘Entrepreneur for a Day’ program for 5th graders that we learned about at the very first NACCE Conference. We have received grants that allowed us to prototype and test various programs over the years. We have also served as mentors to a number of other entrepreneurial programs; typically we learn as much from them as they learn from us.