Tag Archives: Arkansas

“Entrepreneurship at the Next Level” on April 7th – 8th, 2011

Map of Arkansas highlighting Greene County
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Press Release

Paragould, AR: Entrepreneurs, economic development leaders, and entrepreneurship educators from across  the state of Arkansas will have the opportunity to hear from experts at a two day conference on April 7th and 8th, 2011.

“Entrepreneurship at the Next Level,” hosted by the Arkansas Association of Two-Year College’s Entrepreneurship Training Consortium and Black River Technical College, Paragould Campus in partnership with Winrock International and Innovate Arkansas, will be held at the Greene County Industrial Training Center located on Black River Technical College’s campus in Paragould.

This two-day entrepreneurship conference features Sherese Duncan, President and CEO of Effició Inc., an accomplished entrepreneur who received a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University and her MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. She is involved in a variety of industry-related organizations including becoming a SCORE Counselor in 2006, implementing Training Programs for Community Colleges and Universities, and is active in various associations, groups, and trade organizations.  Duncan’s signature company programs include SWIFT™, GROWTH™, and the proven system Getting to the CORE of Business®, which provides the tools small businesses need to create perpetual profitable businesses. Duncan will present a sampling of Effició Inc.’s modular Non-Credit or For-Credit curriculum in an effort to allow colleges, chambers of commerce,  and area economic development leaders to consider offering the program(s) to local small businesses ready to take their business to the next level.

Other guest speakers include Matt Hampton of MH Marketing in Little Rock, a successful serial entrepreneur since his youth, who will speak on youth entrepreneurship and innovation programs, Dr. Tim Cornelius of NorthWest Arkansas Community College, who will share his Denmark Entrepreneurship benchmarking tour, Michael Marshall who will present a Delta Regional Authority Grant opportunity, Steve Sparks and Pat Nunn Brown of the AEDC Small and Minority Business Development Division, Dr. Ed Franklin, Executive Director of the Arkansas Association of Two-Year Colleges, Charles Fullen of alt.Consulting and Vicki Malpass of Innovate Arkansas and Winrock International.

The  Speaker of the House, the Honorable Robert Moore, has also been invited to speak on Thursday April 7th, 2011, about his support for rural and statewide entrepreneurial development.

The AATYC Entrepreneurship Training Consortium combines the efforts of two-year colleges to foster economic development through entrepreneurship education.  Ten of the AATYC Entrepreneurship Consortium colleges have collaborated to deliver the same seven courses with common curriculum, textbooks and faculty over the past 2.5 years. Each course counts towards a Technical Certificate in Business and/or a two-year Business AA Degree.  The 10 partnered two-year colleges are Arkansas State University-Beebe, East Arkansas Community College, North Arkansas College, NorthWest Arkansas Community College, Ouachita Technical College, Pulaski Technical College, Southern Arkansas University Tech, South Arkansas Community College, Southeast Arkansas College, and the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville. At least 4-6 other colleges including BRTC offer Non-Credit training, Cossatot CC of the UA has embedded entrepreneurship skills into all of the technical skills Career Pathways programs, and others at this event will all report-out on their current status and needs to progress. We predict that members of the AATYC/Arkansas Chamber of Commerce/AIA statewide Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee will also be in attendance to participate.

The registration fee for this two day event is $60.00 and includes donuts, fruit and coffee for breakfast, beverages, with hot buffet lunches both days and many networking opportunities. Registration for this event is required by March 25th , 2011 . Please email annie.aatyc@cox-internet.com for a registration form. For more information please call (479) 424-0071.

The Unthinkable Connects Us: @chrisbrogan & September 11th

Arizona Daily Star
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Chris Brogan posted a blog about his reflections on September 11th and how it affected him. His readers had a lot of comments on his personal opinion. Some folks did not smile upon his personal opinion and made it out like he was being selfish for sharing his personal experience.

September 11, 2001 changed my life forever. I was not “there.” I did not loose any close family members as a result of the day. However, I lost faith in many things and changed my life perspective entirely!

I was in Berea, Kentucky where I was then attending college on a $75,000 scholarship. I was in a Social Economics course (I was a sociology major) and we were focusing on consumerism. The television was playing in the next room and we HEARD the airplane hit the world trade center. Everyone in my class got up and ran to the television in shock. Our instructor had the nerve to say that there was nothing we could do about it, so we should return to our studies. We tried, but it was ineffective at best.

After classes were out for the day, I had to go to work in Richmond, Kentucky at the local Applebee’s as the fry cook. I remember walking into work and Bin Laden‘s picture was on every television screen, even though they were on different channels.

The following day on Berea College campus I remember sitting under a century-old-tree and writing in my journal about how everyone at school was going through the motions, but no one was present.

I was 715 miles away from home, without money or transportation and only wanted to be at home with those I loved. Uncertainly and lack of any security resonated through every fiber of my being and my life and I was not the only one, but we were all alone. Everyone to some degree felt as I did, but no one panicked. We were awakened nightly in our residential halls to fellow student’s having nightmares. The news was always on and everyone seemed to be waiting for salvation, yet it didn’t come.

My mother begged me to drop out of school and return home. But the sense of urgency that I felt and feeling that the life and place I was in, was a once in a lifetime opportunity and the need to stay and honor my commitments ruled.

Systematically I began to fall apart. It only took from September 11th until February 1st for everything I lived, believed and thought to completely fall apart and fall away. During that time I took a stress test and the results were over 700! Needless to say by the end of winter term, I withdrew and returned to Arkansas to lick my wounds and put myself back together. When I tried to return to school, they would not consider me for re-admittance.

I moved back home and stayed with my mother for about 6 weeks and then moved to Fort Smith, AR, rented my own place and proceeded to start over from scratch. It took me three years to pay off Berea College to get my transcripts released so that I could go back to school. By then I was married, a wife and a mother.

It took 8 years, but I did what it took to finish both an associates and bachelors degree. Do I sometimes still wish that I had been able to stay at Berea College and graduated in 4 years with a bachelors degree? Yes.

But 9/11 showed me in a very real way that my wish was not what was important. Being the creme-de-la-creme of Berea College in Berea, KY was nothing compared to living an authentic life and surrounding myself with my friends, family and the people I love.

There is always more than one way to shoot for the stars and to achieve success. My life-long I have believed that success is the fulfillment of God-given potential. 9/11 taught me that only God knew how I would be successful.

Respectfully,

Annie Sells

** Please note that this article in no way reflects my personal opinions on the cause of September 11th, only that such an incident forever changed life in my country forever.

Adding another hat: Secretary at AATYC

Michelle, my friend and asset to Fort Smith, AR, recommended me to a friend of hers who interviewed me today. As of tomorrow morning I will be the newest addition to the Arkansas Association of Two Year Colleges (AATYC), as the satellite location’s secretary. I am excited about the change and to be going to work in the important industries of education and workforce training.

I have no doubt that the new “hat” will have its share of challenges and that there will be a learning curve of some measure. However, I will be working with professionals who have gone above and beyond to contribute to my community, to my state and to the lives of oh so many people seeking to improve their quality of life.

This position should be a great opportunity to put all of the skills that I have been working to gain and utilize to work for one of the most important causes, as far as I am concerned, out there. Working for AATYC should also be a great fit, as it is a part time position and I will be free to continue to pursue my other dreams.

I will continue to help with the Marketing of Tidbits, the Social Media management of TeamRVBN, writing as the Fort Smith Social Media Examiner and doing Social Media Coaching. It should be fun and if I feared lack of challenge and direction, then those fears are now assuaged.