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Member News: NACCE Press Releases

Six Florida Community Colleges Join National Entrepreneurship Forum

Wednesday, February 15, 2012   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kristina Moy
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CONTACT: Heather Van Sickle
(413) 306-3131 ext. 303


National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship Program to Stimulate Local Entrepreneurship Gains Momentum as Florida Community Colleges Join New Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum

Springfield, MA –February 15, 2012 -- The National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship(NACCE), the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, has announced that six Florida community colleges have joined its new Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum. Through the program, presidents of community colleges throughout the country commit to increase the focus on entrepreneurship at their institutions and the impact these colleges have on the economic well being of the communities they serve.

The Forum is in response to the Startup AmericaPartnership, a White House-led initiative to stimulate economic growth state by state by encouraging entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. NACCE is a founding affiliate of the Startup American Partnership, an alliance of the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs, corporations, universities, foundations, and other leaders. To date, over 100 community college presents have joined NACCE’s Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum, which is open to both NACCE and non-NACCE members.

The Florida community college presidents who have joined the forum are: David Armstrong, Broward College, Ft. Lauderdale; James Kerley, Gulf Coast State College, Panama City; Edwin Massey, Indian River State College, Fort Pierce; Dennis Gallon, Palm Beach State College, Lake Worth; Edward Meadows, Pensacola State College, Pensacola; and Lars Hafner, State College of Florida, Manattee-Sarasota. Marcia Hardney, provost at Palm Beach State College, has also joined the forum.

"America has been built by entrepreneurs, and it’s entrepreneurship that will put our nation back to work,” commented IRSC President Dr. Edwin Massey. "At Indian River State College, we’ve integrated entrepreneurial skills throughout the curriculum, so students in every discipline learn the keys to business success. I’m excited that the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum will provide us a great opportunity to promote this multi-disciplinary approach to entrepreneurship on a national scale.”

"As a national organization supporting entrepreneurship development, NACCE touches the lives of students and community members across the country,” said Ron Thomas, NACCE board chairman and president of Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount MN. "NACCE has an obligation to lead the way in providing assistance to entrepreneurship education programs, which are an essential part of the economic recovery at local, regional, national and global levels.”

According to NACCE Executive Director Heather Van Sickle, the Presidents for Entrepreneurship Forum is a way for community colleges to advance entrepreneurship and create jobs across the country. The Forum was launched at the While House in January 2011 and works to dramatically increase the prevalence and success of American entrepreneurs.

Community college presidents who join the Forum make five commitments:

• Develop transparency of community college and community assets

• Create internal and external teams dedicated to entrepreneurship

• Increase entrepreneurs’ engagement in community colleges

• Engage in industry cluster development

• Create broad exposure to their college’s commitment to entrepreneurship.

"The five commitments were developed based on NACCE’s observations of what was working best on member campuses,” said Van Sickle. "After observing the entrepreneurship-related activities of our members over a period of years, we started to see commonalities among the more successful institutions,” she said. "One of the major things that clearly makes a difference is the commitment by leadership to entrepreneurship. So we want to put something in front of leadership that they can actually commit to. We want to create a national network of institutions sharing these commitments and see what impact that can have on communities.”


The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is an organization of educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals providing quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serving as advocates for "entrepreneurship movement.”

Through membership, an annual conference and exhibition, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars and podcasts, a dynamic list-serv, and other resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These programs and courses advance economic prosperity in the communities served by its member colleges.

For more information about the Presidents forEntrepreneurship Forum, or to join NACCE, visit Follow NACCE on Twitter at @NACCE and like the NACCE – National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship page on Facebook.


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