NACCE Announces Additional Keynote Speakers for Annual National Conference in Chicago October 7-10

Springfield, MA, August 11, 2012 --( The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) has added additional keynote speakers to its annual conference October 7-10. The three-day conference, which marks NACCE’s 10th year as a major force in entrepreneurship education, is expected to draw 500 community college administrators and faculty to Chicago’s Hyatt Regency O’Hare. An early-bird discount of $100 is available for all who register before September 14.

According to NACCE Executive Director Heather Van Sickle, there will be over 50 learning sessions and workshops that will highlight the pivotal work being done at community colleges across the country to support the entrepreneurial aspirations of the people they serve. The three speakers just added to the stellar lineup of keynoters who underline this year’s conference theme, “Committed to Entrepreneurship” are:

• John Harthorne, founder and CEO of MassChallenge. The world’s latest startup accelerator and competition, MassChallenge provides $1 million in funding annually to high-impact start-ups from around the world, along with providing the resources they need to launch and succeed.

• Doris Christopher, founder and chairman emeritus of The Pampered Chef, a business she started in the basement of her home with a $3,000 loan. Today, The Pampered Chef is part of Berkshire Hathaway with more than 60,000 consultants worldwide.

• Thom Ruhe, vice president of Entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, which is a long-time supporter of NACCE. Ruhe manages the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Education programs.

Previously announced keynoters are:

• Johnny Earle, founder of Johnny Cupcakes, who turned a simple idea into a multimillion-dollar business using nontraditional business strategies and innovative marketing techniques.

• Steve Mariotti, founder of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), and an expert in education for at-risk youth, who has reached more than 450,000 young people through his programs in the U.S. and abroad.

• Ray Charles Robinson Jr., author, entrepreneur and founder of the Ray Charles Jr. Foundation for America, a non-profit corporation dedicated to helping vulnerable children and families.

Also featured during the three-day conference:

Student Entrepreneur Business Showcase
The showcase offers cash prizes to three students who capture the most “investment” money during a presentation of their innovative business idea or small business. Presentations will be October 8 during the conference, with winners announced later that day. Nominations are due September 18.

Student Essay Contest
NACCE is sponsoring an essay contest for entrants to express how entrepreneurship education at community colleges benefits students. The winner will win a travel stipend and free admission to the conference to read his/her essay to conference attendees. Deadline for entries is September 18.

Conference Fees
Conference fees are $695 for NACCE members, $795 for non-members. An early bird discount of $100 is available for those registering before September 14. Full conference registration includes admission to all general and breakout sessions, networking groups, and three breakfasts and two lunches. Symposium charges are $149 for members, $169 for non-members. Workshops are $79 for members, $99 for nonmembers. Discounts are available for groups of five or more. For more information, visit the conference web site at

The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, is an organization of educators, entrepreneurs, and distinguished business development professionals providing quality programs and services in entrepreneurship education and serving as advocates community-based entrepreneurship. Founded in 2002, NACCE is at the heart of the "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. NACCE is a founding member of the White House-ledStart-up America Partnership. For more information, visit
National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship
Jeanne Yocum