The Reeves School of Business (RSB) at Methodist University held the Inaugural Reeves School of Business Symposium and Awards Dinner tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Embassy Suites, 4760 Lake Valley Dr., Fayetteville.
The event’s keynote speaker was Dan Roselli, who spoke on “Building a Startup Ecosystem: Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship within Communities.” Roselli is an internationally recognized expert on building startup ecosystems. “Startup ecosystem” is the name given to the organized interaction of people, startup businesses, and other organizations working together to create new startup companies.
Seven awards were also presented at the event: Alumni Business Person of the Year, Business Person of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Greater Good Award, Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, The Silver Spoon Award, and the Small Business Excellence Award.
Dr. Kimberly Scruton, dean of the Reeves School of Business, said this event is the new version of two events previously hosted by the RSB’s Center for Entrepreneurship for more than 40 years.
“The Reeves School of Business and Methodist University continue to evolve and build upon our reputation for excellence,” Scruton said. “In our pursuit of continual quality improvement, we have recently made some organizational changes that more effectively and efficiently align our resources. We have consolidated these two events into one Reeves School of Business Symposium and Awards celebration. This single event will continue with our longstanding tradition of recognizing award winners and also reflects the entirety of the Reeves School of Business.
About the awards
The Alumni Business Person of the Year is a graduate of Methodist University who has shown promise for a successful career. This year, the award was shared by a couple, Gwen and Tim Holtsclaw, who are both graduates of Methodist. Their children, Scotti Marshburn and Jamie Sykes, who are also Methodist alumni, accepted the award on their behalf.
Together, the Holtsclaws own Cheer Limited and ScrubOaks Contemporary American Pub, along with several other businesses. They have been Loyalty Day volunteers, and separately have both won the Outstanding Alumni Service Award. Gwen has also served on the MU Foundation Board, and the MU Alumni Board. In 2012, the couple instituted the Holtsclaw Leadership Award for the Student Leaders at Methodist Program.
The Business Person of the Year an executive who makes great contributions, not only to the successful operation of local business and industry, but also to the civic and cultural life of the community. This year’s award went to William Temple Allen, who has operated his Certified Public Accountant agency in Fayetteville since 1983. He and his wife, Nancy, are both from Fayetteville, though they met in Germany while he was serving in the U.S. Air Force.
Bill is a past president of the Sandhills Chapter of the North Carolina Association of CPAs, and currently serves on the association’s Tax Committee. In 1996, he inadvertently became CEO and CFO of Riverside Mattress Company, after he helped the original owner convert the business to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan company upon his retirement, saving 55 employees and their pension plans. He is also a board member and former Audit Committee Chairman of the First Federal Bank of Dunn.
Entrepreneur of the Year is awarded to a risk-taker in the free enterprise system: a person who sees an opportunity and then devises strategies to achieve specific objectives. This year’s winner was Dr. Brian Kent, who is president and CEO of K3 Enterprises, a business he started out of his home after a 20-year career with the U.S. Army. Since then, the business has moved and expanded several times, most recently into the former Sears Roebuck warehouse on Cumberland Street, which he renovated. His wife, Rhonda, is the company’s vice president.
The Greater Good Award is given to a professional who has shown kindness, charity, humanity, love, and friendship to his/her associates. This year’s recipient was George Breece, executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Orthotics and Prosthetics in Washington, D.C. since its formation in 1987. He says his greatest accomplishment is being married to his wife, Dena Breece, who happens to be a Methodist graduate and faculty member in the Reeves School of Business, but he also has a long list of civic accomplishments and accolades that reflect his numerous efforts to enhance the Fayetteville community. Among them, he has received North Carolina’s Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the 18th Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg’s Iron Mike Statue, and in 2015 was given the Fort Bragg Good Neighbor award. He also loves Methodist football, and in 2013 was recognized with a home game in his honor.
Outstanding Woman Entrepreneur is a North Carolina resident who owns, has established, or manages a small business. The award committee will also consider the individual’s creativity, innovativeness, and personal contributions to and involvement with the community. This year there were two recipients, Susan Guy and Martha Owen, two friends who together own the Home Instead Senior Care franchise in Fayetteville. By recognizing and responding to needs they saw in their own families, the two friends partnered to open the franchise in 2006. Their goal was to become the go-to people in the community to provide consistent, reliable care for those dealing with elderly parents, illness, and surgeries. Whether that care is walking a dog, running errands, or helping with hygiene and nutrition, their non-medical CAREGivers allow many seniors to remain in their home. Susan is married to her high-school sweetheart, Nicky, and they have two children, David Guy and Mitch Guy, who is married to Molly, with a first grandchild expected in December. Martha and her husband, John, have been married since 1983 and have two children, Katherine Vanias, married to Stephen with two children, Owen and Grace; and Thomas Owen, who is married to Anna.
The Silver Spoon Award is given to a person who, though not born with the proverbial spoon in his/her mouth, has originated and built a successful business recognized for its uniqueness in planning, production, or some other aspect of its operation. This year’s winner was David Allred, regional vice president at Cunningham and Company and former president of Carolina Mortgage Company and Atlantic First Mortgage Corporation. He is one of five children, all of whom his parents sent to college, even though neither his mother nor father finished their high school educations themselves. He is married to his wife, Lauren.
The Small-Business Excellence Award goes to a business that employs fewer than 300 persons and generates revenue of less than $15 million per annum. The award committee will also consider the creativity of the business, the uniqueness of the product, the employees’ welfare and the contributions of the business to its community. This year, the award went to Bob Bangs, who owns and operates the Chick-fil-A store on Ramsey Street in Fayetteville. The restaurant is a frequent supporter of events and organizations in the North Fayetteville community, including Methodist University, since it opened in 2008. Bob and his wife, Shannon, have four daughters, Sarah, Anna, Bethany, and Olivia.
About the speaker
Roselli, along with his wife, Sara Garcés, co-founded Packard Place, one of the largest entrepreneurial and tech centers in the country outside of New York, Boston, and Silicon Valley. The company is devoted to developing fast-growth entrepreneurial companies and has more than 100 companies in residence under its six different business incubator programs.
Formerly in senior marketing positions with General Mills, Colgate Palmolive, and M&M/MARS, Roselli moved to Charlotte in 2000 to oversee Brand Strategy and Marketing Communications for Bank of America, where he was the youngest person ever to serve on the Operating Committee with the company.
In 2003 Roselli began his entrepreneurial career as an original co-founder of internet marketing firm Red Ventures. He has since co-founded three different companies that have made it to the INC 500 list of fastest growing private companies in America. Roselli has been recognized more times than any other entrepreneur in his city by the Charlotte Business Journal as one of its “Fast 50” companies.
Roselli has a finance degree from Michigan State University, and an MBA in marketing from the University of Minnesota.