NACCE Announces 2020 Entrepreneurial College and President of the Year Awards
Houston Community College and President John Rainone of Dabney S. Lancaster Community College Receive Top Honors
NASHVILLE, TN | The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, has named Houston Community College in Houston, Texas, the 2020 Heather Van Sickle Entrepreneurial College of the Year at its 18th Annual Conference, now underway in Nashville, Tennessee. John Rainone, Ed.D., president of Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, in Clifton Forge, Virginia, has been named NACCE’s 2020 Entrepreneurial President of the Year.
2020 Heather Van Sickle Entrepreneurial College Award
Houston Community College’s (HCC) selection as NACCE’s 2020 Entrepreneurial College of the Year attests to the leadership of President Cesar Maldonado, Ph.D., P.E. For the past several years, the college has steadily expanded its entrepreneurial initiatives. In 2019, HCC offered 350 entrepreneurial workshops, drawing 8,000 participants. More than 750 individuals have graduated from HCC’s Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program, and 350 students have participated in HCC’s Business Plan Competition that awards cash prizes of $26,000 and in-kind prizes totaling $200,000 to competition winners. The HCC Entrepreneurship program started in 2008 with a $100,000 innovation grant. Today, the program budget is $800,000, with additional grant-funded programs and gifts.
“Houston Community College is a model of how colleges contribute to their local entrepreneurial ecosystems,” said Rebecca Corbin, Ed.D., president and CEO of NACCE. “Through persistence and entrepreneurial mindset and action, HCC has scaled replicable and sustainable entrepreneurial programs that have impacted thousands of students over the past several years. It is a pleasure to recognize this outstanding college, which was selected by an independent judging panel, as the winner of NACCE’s 2020 Entrepreneurial College of the Year Award.”
2020 Entrepreneurial President Award
John Rainone, Ed.D., president of Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, recently raised approximately $1 million to acquire and develop the college’s new workforce and entrepreneurship center that will open in 2021. Under his leadership, DSLCC was one of 80 colleges selected for a national apprenticeship program through the American Association of Community Colleges. Through NACCE, the college was selected to participate in the Everyday Entrepreneur Venture Fund, a program that fosters entrepreneurship by providing funding otherwise not available to start-ups and scale-ups with an eye toward innovation, diversity, inclusion and local economic growth.
“President Rainone has worked with a number of private foundations to expand the college’s entrepreneurial programs both on campus and throughout the community,” said Corbin. “He has also expanded workforce development offerings in the college’s service area through key partnerships with employers. We are proud to honor President Rainone with NACCE’s Entrepreneurial President of the Year Award for 2020.”
NACCE is an organization of educators, administrators, presidents and entrepreneurs focused on igniting entrepreneurship in their communities and campuses. NACCE has two main goals: to empower college leaders to approach the business of running a community college with an entrepreneurial mindset and to grow the community college's role in supporting job creation and entrepreneurs in their local ecosystem. NACCE has over 340 member colleges, representing nearly 2,000 members and approximately 3.3 million students. For more information, visit www.nacce.com. Follow us on Twitter at @NACCE, like us on Facebook, and join our LinkedIn group.