An Entrepreneur's Journey is a convocation sponsored by the Frost School of Business. It is designed to inspire entrepreneurial-minded and innovative thinking and to foster an understanding among all centenary students of how ideas can become opportunities for business success.

 

Previous Convocations 

STEWERT HAMEL OF SKYRUNNER

Listen to Stewart Hamel

Centenary's Frost School of Business  hosted Stewart Hamel, CEO and Founder of SkyRunner, LLC, for the annual An Entrepreneur's Journey presentation on Thursday, October 30. 

"Stewart's entrepreneurial journey has included multiple successful startups along the way," said Dean of the Frost School of Business Christopher Martin. "However, Skyrunner presents unique challenges. First and foremost, the idea of the flying car had been tried many times before, and had failed. What's different between these past failures and Skyrunner's success may not be Stewart's passion or perseverance, characteristics that we often associate with entrepreneurs. It may be more closely linked to Stewart's ability to successfully pivot to a business model and a revised product that profitably matches his target market."

About Stewart Hamel

Hamel began his executive career as a co-founder of Empire Mergers and Acquisitions alongside former Caesar’s Palace President Dean Harrold. In 2004, he was recruited to the launch team for a seed capital-backed internet company, ReachLocal, Inc. He served as the National Sales Manager for six years until the company went public in 2010 and reached a market valuation of over $800 million. As a founding member of ReachLocal's distribution organization, Hamel became one of ReachLocal's largest individual shareholders.

In 2010, Stewart launched a Shreveport-based private investment company, Hamel Interests and Private Equity, LLC, the funding arm for SkyRunner's research and development, manufacturing, and distribution. SkyRunner builds and sells all-terrain/light-sport aircraft vehicles.

 

- See more at: http://www.centenary.edu/news/2014/0000185#sthash.gHPeuPNL.dpuf

 

TONY SIMMONS OF MCILHENNY COMPANY

The Frost School of Business held a special convocation for its series “An Entrepreneur’s Journey” on Tuesday, February 7, 2012. Tony Simmons, President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the McIlhenny Company, was the featured guest speaker.

This Frost School of Business special convocation series is designed to inspire entrepreneurial-minded, innovative thinking among Centenary students and foster an understanding of how ideas can become opportunities for business success.

About Tony Simmons

"Tony’s story and that of the McIlhenny Company highlight the significant role that an entrepreneurial culture and mindset play in the success of any organization," said Dr. Chris Martin, Dean of the Frost School of Business. "This mindset was certainly required when Edmund E. McIlhenny started selling his pepper sauce over 140 years ago. Today, entrepreneurial thinking is just as critical as the Company continues to grow its product line, expand internationally, partner with other companies, and grow the TABASCO® brand."

As President and COO, Simmons is the fifth generation to be involved in management of the family business. Located on Avery Island, the McIlhenny Company was founded in the mid- to late-1860s by Tony’s great-great-grandfather, Edmund McIlhenny, the inventor of TABASCO® Pepper Sauce. He grew his first commercial pepper crop in 1868. Over 140 years later, TABASCO® Sauce is made much the same way except now the aging process for the mash is longer – up to three years in white oak barrels – and the vinegar is high-quality distilled vinegar.

Labeled in 22 languages and dialects, sold in over 160 countries and territories, added to soldiers’ rations, and put on restaurant tables around the globe, McIlhenny TABASCO® is the most famous, most preferred pepper sauce in the world. The McIlhenny Company is now in its seventh generation of shareholders, and all of the 183 shareholders are family members.

 

MATT SAURAGE OF COMMUNITY COFFEE

Sponsored by the Frost School of Business, President and CEO of Community Coffee Company Matt Saurage spoke to Centenary undergraduates about "An Entrepreneur's Journey," on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011.

Sponsored by the Frost School of Business, President and CEO of Community Coffee Company Matt Saurage spoke to Centenary undergraduates about "An Entrepreneur's Journey," on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011.

This Frost School of Business special convocation series is designed to inspire entrepreneurial-minded, innovative thinking among Centenary students and foster an understanding of how ideas can become opportunities for business success.

About Matt Saurage

Matt Saurage joined the family business in 1995 and gained experience in numerous areas of the Company, including the coffee roasting facility, marketing, and new product development. In 2005, he became the fourth generation of the Saurage family to take the helm of Community Coffee Company.

Community Coffee Company has sold the finest fresh-roasted premium coffee in Louisiana since Henry Norman "Cap" Saurage began selling coffee out of his country store in 1919. Today, Community Coffee is the largest family-owned and operated retail coffee brand in America and can be found in stores, offices, hotels, and restaurants throughout the South.

 

GARRETT BOONE OF FROST SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

 

Sponsored by the Frost School of Business, Garrett Boone spoke to Centenary undergraduates about "An Entrepreneur's Journey," on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2010.

Boone also spoke at The Executive MBA Breakfast Series. This Breakfast series brings exemplary business leaders to speak to Centenary MBA for Executives students and alumni.

About Garrett Boone

Garrett Boone is the Co-Chairman and one of the founders of The Container Store, the nation's leader of storage and organization products. With initial cash capital of only $35,000, provided by Boone, his father and architect John Mullen, The Container Store opened its first location in Dallas on July 1, 1978.

Boone has helped drive the company's business since the very beginning, and today, the company has grown to 48 stores and projected sales of $500 million. His commitment to maintaining the company's culture has contributed to The Container Store being selected by FORTUNE magazine as the "Best Company to Work For" for the past 11 years. In 2006, along with Kip Tindell (Chairman and CEO) and Sharon Tindell (Chief Merchandising Officer), Boone was inducted into the Retailing Hall of Fame.