The Smith Hall conference room was filled with students’ cued applause as the radio program “Everything Fort Worth” began at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. For the following hour, host Shivaun Palmer questioned panelists David Minor, Curt Moore, Justin “Red” Sanders and Adam Blake about the Neeley Entrepreneurship Center, its impact on the community and their personal experiences in business.
Minor, the William N. Dickey Entrepreneur in Residence and director of the program, helped found the entrepreneurship program at TCU in 2000 after working for 20 years as president and CEO of a landscape service company. He recalled his childhood lawn-mowing business and elaborated on the awards and other successes of the business school.
“We’ve been really blessed,” Minor said. “More important to me, though, is the recognition that our students are getting. That’s really where the joy comes for me.”
Blake, a senior entrepreneurial management and finance major, received the 2005 Global Student Entrepreneur Award for his real estate investment company. Watching his father’s experience in the corporate world, Blake said, motivated him to start his own business.
He said, as a freshman, he saw an opportunity to rent property to students and eventually expanded into Blake Venture Corp. with more than $3 million in assets.
“TCU really helped me take my business to the next level,” Blake said during the radio interview. “They were able to introduce me to different professionals in the community. In addition, they contributed their own resources and time to help me along and grow my own business.”
After sophomore business major Justin Anderson appeared on Palmer’s show in January, she decided to come to campus and dedicate an entire show to the Neeley Entrepreneurship Center, said Sheryl Doll, coordinator of the TCU Texas Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Program.
Sanders, a TCU graduate, owns Red Productions, a video production company, and won a Lone Star Emmy for a documentary created in conjunction with the radio-TV-film department.
He described his business philosophy for Palmer and about 25 students, faculty and staff in the conference room.
“What’s good for the bottom line for business can also be good for society,” Sanders said. “If we are going to point our creative lens at something, we want it to be something positive.