The National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the nation’s leading organization focused on promoting entrepreneurship through community colleges, and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) will co-sponsor a regional symposium for community college leaders and educators in Appalachia who are interested in enhancing economic growth in their areas. The summit, “Leveraging Assets in Your Local Community to Promote Economic Development,” will be held March 30-31, 2017 at Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee.


“This summit, which is open to all regional educators, serves as a springboard for infusing entrepreneurship as an engagement strategy among faculty and administrators,” said Rebecca Corbin, Ed.D., president and CEO of NACCE. “It also offers many actionable and creative ways for attendees to leverage community assets to generate funding for projects, more effectively access federal grant dollars for programs, and advance K-12 partnerships with community colleges that advance local economic development goals.”


The keynote speaker for the event is Randy Boyd, former Tennessee Commissioner of Economic & Community Development. “For Tennessee to accomplish the “Drive to 55,” our state’s mission to get 55 percent of Tennesseans equipped with a college degree or certificate, innovation and entrepreneurship are essential,” said Boyd. “All states have bold post-secondary attainment objectives, and like Tennessee, they also must have a strong entrepreneurial culture to succeed.”


Scholarships Available

The first 100 participants to register for the symposium will receive scholarships to cover the cost of the two-day conference. The summit includes tours of local businesses and innovation hot spots, keynote presentations from college presidents using entrepreneurship as a leadership strategy, success stories from local entrepreneurs and networking with peers, funders and industry leaders. All attendees will receive free entrepreneurship educator resources, including curricula, syllabi and rubrics that can be implemented immediately in the classroom.


“We’re honored to lead the discussion of innovations in workforce and economic development in East Tennessee,” said Pellissippi State Community College President L. Anthony Wise, Jr., Ph.D. “Pellissippi State has a long history of partnerships with local industry that creates educated graduates who bring relevant training and critical thinking skills to their careers and thus positively shape our community.”


Among the additional presenters at the symposium will be:

  • Chris Whaley, J.D., president, Roane State Community College, Tennessee
  • Anthony Wise, Ph.D., president, Pellissippi State Community College, Tennessee
  • Gene Coulson, Ed.D., executive director of the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education, West Virginia
  • Angeline Godwin, Ph.D., president, Patrick Henry Community College, Virginia
  • Ron Thomas, Ph.D., Ret. President of Dakota County Technical College and Presidential Liaison for NACCE ARC outreach
  • Michael Torrence, Ph.D., assistant vice president of academic affairs, Volunteer State Community College, Tennessee
  • Kim Simons, professor, Business Administration Coordinator, Madisonville Community College, Kentucky
  • Charles Eason, Small Business Sector Navigator, California Community Colleges Economic and Workforce Development Program, California
  • Lorinda Forrest Meyer, Program Grant Manager, Basic Skills & Student Transformation, College of the Siskiyous, California