National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship Honors Entrepreneurship Educators & Alumni Entrepreneurs at 11th Annual Conference

NACCE names 2013 Entrepreneurial President and honors two other outstanding entrepreneurship educators, along with three community college alumni who have achieved entrepreneurial success.

Charlotte, NC, October 15, 2013 --( The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, has announced the winners of its 2013 Impact Awards, Alumni Entrepreneur Awards and Entrepreneurial President Award. The annual awards, which were made today NACCE's 11th Annual Conference in Charlotte, are sponsored by Community College Week.

“This year our awards honor two leaders in entrepreneurship education and an outstanding college president who has built a culture of entrepreneurship on his campus that benefits the whole community,” said NACCE President and CEO Heather Van Sickle. “These dedicated individuals have championed entrepreneurship, bringing colleges and the communities they serve together to promote entrepreneurship while powerfully impacting how students and community partners think about entrepreneurship.

“We’re also pleased to honor three community college alumni who have gone on to achieve entrepreneurial success and who are supporting their local entrepreneurial ecosystem in important ways,” added Van Sickle. “We are always inspired by seeing people who have gotten their entrepreneurial start at a community college and gone on to achieve the American dream of business ownership.”

The 2013 Impact Award Categories and Winners are:

· Entrepreneurial President: Dr. Zachary Hodges, Houston Community College - Northwest, Houston, Texas - Zachary Hodges has broadened the definition of entrepreneurship at the community college level and views entrepreneurship as the third tier along with academic and workforce. In 2007, he partnered with a group of innovative business leaders, launched HCC’s first business plan competition, awarding prize money to aspiring entrepreneurs. Taking progressive steps by testing small projects and building successes that fueled support for the next phase of growth in entrepreneurship, Hodges established HCC’s first Center for Entrepreneurship in 2009 by committing start-up funding to hire a director for the Center, and tapped into Houston’s vibrant entrepreneurial eco-system and entrepreneurial leaders in the area. The strong foundation and success of the Center for Entrepreneurship was instrumental in HCC being selected to implement the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative in 2010. Hodges further showed his support for entrepreneurship by being among the first NACCE member presidents to sign on to NACCE’s Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge.

· Impact Award: Sandra Louvier, Director, Center for Entrepreneurship at Houston Community College, Houston, Texas - Louvier was hired in 2009 assist in creating and launching HCC’s first Center for Entrepreneurship. She has played a key role in establishing the Center for Entrepreneurship as a community focal point for students to access HCC programs and those of its strategic partners. Her work with external partner Newspring on the annual HCC Newspring Business Plan Competition has helped increase recruitment of prepared students and contestants. She has also established, maintained and developed ongoing strategic partnerships with entities such as SCORE, Constant Contact, Chambers of Commerce, UH SBDC, Economic Development Agencies and Management Districts. Louvier has also served in various positions in the 10,000 Small Businesses project devoted primarily to recruitment of small business owners through community, regional, and national partners. Louvier have been chosen along with seven other community colleges to serve as an ambassador for NACCE due to her active participation in NACCE and use of NACCE resources and contacts to grow HCC programs over the last five years. She is in contact with over 50 colleges in 30 states on behalf of NACCE to assist members in accessing NACCE resources to grow their programs.

• Impact Award: Jamie Zanios, Vice President, North Iowa Area Community College,
Mason City, Iowa - Zanios directs NIACC’s Institutional Advancement division and the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, where he initiated the John Pappajohn Business Incubator and Accelerator. He is working to have entrepreneurship curriculum in all degree areas across NIACC’s campus and is supporting Entrepreneurial Academies in local high schools. Outside the college, he has solidified ties with local communities by initiating a Leadership symposium for e-ship, creating a Community Venture Capital Funds, and has been a driver for helping many companies with succession planning, access to capital and making the networks to take the business to another level. He worked to solidify strong partnerships with the area Economic Development and Chamber Offices to help local businesses succeed in. Zanios also has been the key driver to establishing a statewide business plan completion and has led the efforts since its inception. In addition, he established the Iowa Angel Network bringing in Venture Capitalist's from around the Midwest to look at Iowa-based deals and chairs the committee today.

· Alumni Entrepreneurs:
– Sarah Pizarro, owner of Ability Home Care Inc. Port Saint Lucie, FL – Pizarro graduated from Indian River State College in Ft. Pierce, FL, with a BAS in Organizational Management in 2010. In 2008, Pizarro opened Ability Home Care Inc., servicing patients on the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach County. Using the skills she learned while taking courses at IRSC, Sarah has grown her business by 400 percent and currently employs 45 individuals. In addition to quality care services, Ability Home Care Inc. also operates the Ability Career Institute, which offers the training needed to become a licensed Certified Nursing Assistant or Certified Home Health Aide. Pizarro was recognized in the 2012 Empact 100 Showcase, which recognizes organizations started by entrepreneurs aged 35 and under, and whose annual revenues or operating budgets are more than $100,000.

– Fabi Preslar, owner of SPARK Publications, Charlotte, NC – A graduate of Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC. Preslar owns and manages SPARK Publications, a 15-year-old graphic design and creative publications firm, whose staff of six full-time employees serves over 150 entrepreneurial (local and national) companies, universities and associations. Preslar has received numerous recognitions, including the Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award from Central Piedmont Community College in 2009. SPARK Publications has received more than 80 industry awards for their creative and effective client projects. Preslar shares her time and energy as a mentor and advisor and serves as an award selection judge for several national entrepreneurial competitions. Since 2009, she has served on the Central Piedmont Community College Advisory Board for Advertising + Graphic Design and among other positions serves as a mentor in the Pride Entrepreneurial Education Program.

– Heather Howe, owner of Fields of Heather Bakery – Chester, MD – Howe received her degree in Baking and Pastry as well as Business Management and Entrepreneurship from Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) in Arnold, MD. She then got her Bachelors in Food Service Entrepreneurship from Johnson & Wales University. She started with a handful of customers in 2001 and now serves hundreds of customers and is growing every month. Fields of Heather Bakery was awarded The Golden Anchor Award of 2012 for Best Bakery and Favorite Business Owner; Howe also won the "Spirit of Entrepreneurship: Rising Star" from Entrepreneurs Exchange in 2011. Howe hosts Business Management and Entrepreneurial Studies classes in her bakery and describe to the students how she became a successful entrepreneur, thus infusing those students with her entrepreneurial spirit. She also mentors students involved in the Entrepreneurial Studies Club on campus and has hired AACC students and alumni to work in her bakery.

The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) is an organization of educators, administrators, presidents and entrepreneurs, focused on inciting entrepreneurship in their community and on their campus. NACCE has two main goals: 1. Empower the college to approach the business of running a community college with an entrepreneurial mindset, and 2. Grow the community college’s role in supporting job creation and entrepreneurs in their local ecosystem.

Founded in 2002, NACCE is at the heart of the "entrepreneurship movement.” Through membership, an annual conference and exhibition, regional summits, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars, a dynamic list-serv, and training resources, NACCE serves as the hub for the dissemination and integration of knowledge and successful practices regarding entrepreneurial leadership, entrepreneurship education and student business incubation. These initiatives and resulting actions advance economic prosperity in the communities served by its member colleges. NACCE is a founding member of the White House-led Startup American Partnership. For more information, visit
National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship
Jeanne Yocum