National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Names 2015 Entrepreneurial College and Entrepreneurial President at 13th Annual Conference

Maricopa Corporate College in Arizona and President Bryan Albrecht of Gateway Technical College, Wisconsin, Receive Honors.

Springfield, MA, October 14, 2015 --( The National Association of Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, has named Maricopa Corporate College (MCOR) in Phoenix, Arizona as its 2015 Heather Van Sickle Entrepreneurial College of the Year at its 13th Annual Conference, now underway in Houston. Bryan Albrecht, Ed.D., president and CEO of Gateway Technical College, Kenosha, Wisconsin was been named NACCE’s 2015 Entrepreneurial President of the Year.

2015 Heather Van Sickle Entrepreneurial College
“I am delighted that Maricopa Corporate College has been selected by an independent judging panel as the winner of the Heather Van Sickle Entrepreneurial College Award,” said Rebecca Corbin, president and CEO of NACCE. “This award recognizes a college for embracing the NACCE Presidents for Entrepreneurship Pledge (PFEP), and for its significant entrepreneurial achievements in the local communities it serves.”

MCOR is part of the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), one of the largest higher education systems in the country with nearly 250,000 students. The college’s mission is to transform the workforce by providing customized solutions that impact the economy. This is accomplished by providing relevant workforce solutions to companies and their employees to keep them growing and competitive in the marketplace.

“Whether local companies are experiencing gaps in their labor pool, losing their competitive edge in the marketplace, or need to bring employees up to speed with the latest industry developments, MCOR delivers workforces solutions that are locally focused, economically impactful and ultimately make our partner companies more competitive,” said Eugene Giovannini, Ed.D., president of MCOR and new NACCE board chair.

One shining example of its innovative nature and entrepreneurial leadership is the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI), which is a division of MCOR. CEI is a comprehensive business incubator that provides the services, space and support critical to the development of early-stage and startup companies. Its mission is to facilitate job creation in the region.

“In addition to upskilling the local workforce, what MCOR has brilliantly accomplished is maintained relevancy within the startup ecosystem in the Phoenix area and adjusted to the changing needs of entrepreneurs,” said Corbin. “This is a great example of what an entrepreneurial college with innovative leadership can do.”

2015 Entrepreneurial President
“President Albrecht has demonstrated a deep commitment and support for entrepreneurship initiatives that have impact across the college and the community,” said Corbin. “He has invested significant time, energy and resources to foster innovation at Gateway Technical College and invigorate the area’s startup community.”

President Albrecht’s leadership and commitment to entrepreneurship are evident on a daily basis, as he inspires his faculty and staff to develop new programs, enrich opportunities for Gateway students and nearby communities, and explore entrepreneurial ventures. Over the past nine years, Albrecht has driven development of business and education initiatives at Gateway that include but are not limited to: establishing a President’s Leadership Advisory team for Entrepreneurship at Gateway; supporting the development of a Fab Lab; serving as president of the Racine County Economic Development Corporation, co-founding the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3); championing the development of the “Launch Box,” a growth accelerator located in southeast Wisconsin; hosting entrepreneurial events such as the women-led SBA conference, the U.S. Fab Lab Symposium, FastPitch competitions and youth camps on starting your own business; supporting the expansion of entrepreneurship curriculum and articulation and supporting Gateway’s participation in “The Commons,” an entrepreneurial skill accelerator program for students.

“It’s clear from President Albrecht’s credentials, achievements and awards that he is a very accomplished leader in entrepreneurial endeavors,” said Corbin. “But it is interesting to note that despite his board commitments and administrative duties as a community college president, he maintains an open door policy at Gateway. Employees, faculty and staff are invited to share their ideas with him openly and without formality. This willingness to explore new ideas and opportunities for Gateway and the communities the college serves epitomizes his entrepreneurial spirit and makes him the innovative leader deserving of the NACCE Entrepreneurial President Award.”

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.

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NACCE has over 300 member colleges, representing nearly 2,000 members and approximately 3.3 million students.

Karen-Michelle Mirko
National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship
Carol Savage