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Ruben UrquizaRuben Urquiza is an efficient guy. Or rather, he likes executing tasks in a logistical manner so that the end goal is met in an efficient and effective way. This summer, the international business major from Westminster, South Carolina, is fine tuning his logistics and efficiency skills with an internship at Mercedes-Bens Vans in North Charleston, S.C. Read full story here »

The College of Charleston School of Business recently hosted a fireside chat with local businessman Tommy Baker and retired vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina Jack Jones during the Fifth-Annual Tommy Baker Entrepreneurship Hour.

At this year’s event, hosted by the business school’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Carter Real Estate Center, Baker interviewed Jones in a sit-down that highlighted his professional journey, as well as his time at the Boeing South Carolina site.

The Tommy Baker Entrepreneurship Hour is named after the well-known Charleston philanthropist, owner and president of Baker Motor Company. The annual event seeks to connect budding and seasoned entrepreneurs alike on hot topics in the industry. A prominent figure at the School of Business, Baker taught a senior-level entrepreneurship class at the College for 22 years before retiring from instructing in 2013. He currently serves on the School’s Board of Governors where he’s been a member for more than 20 years.

“Here at the School of Business, our close ties to the business community allow us to host some of the most distinguished business leaders, such as Jack Jones,” says Alan T. Shao, dean of the School of Business. “During the span of his career, Jack has established himself as an outstanding global business leader, one that our students can look to as a source of inspiration.”

A retired VP and general manager of Boeing South Carolina, Jones oversaw Boeing’s operations and facilities in North Charleston before retiring in 2015.

Prior to joining the Boeing South Carolina team in March 2011, Jones served as vice president of its Everett Delivery Center, overseeing Airplane-on-Ground, Paint, Pre-Flight and Delivery operations for the Boeing wide-body models (747, 767, 777 and 787) assembled in Everett, Wash.

left to right: Tommy Baker; Chad Ross ’18; Jack Jones; and David Wyman, Ph.D.

Jones’ history with Boeing spanned many years. The ops expert began his career with the company as an industrial engineer in 1980 on the 757 Program. He spent time working on several commercial and military programs, including B-2 Stealth Bomber and Air Force One prior to his assignment in Everett.

The Entrepreneurship Hour also included its annual one-minute elevator pitch competition, featuring the finalists for the 2018 Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Biology major and entrepreneurship minor Chad Ross ’18 won the $1,000 prize for his business pitch on Chuck Waters Apparel—a clothing line dedicated to providing simple and comfortable clothing while donating proceeds to vulnerable communities everywhere.

Williams scholars in class

Williams speaking to the Stuart M. Williams Impact Scholars

According to Stuart Williams, impact entrepreneur-in-residence at the College of Charleston School of Business, he doesn’t have an “off” switch.

“My brain never shuts down because I’m always thinking about the many things that need to be fixed in the world,” says Williams, founder of impact ecosystems architecture firm, In Place Impact.

But it’s not just the problems of the planet that keep his mind abuzz; it’s their potential solutions as well.

Williams has dedicated a large portion of his professional life to impact entrepreneurship — or, making a difference through profit-based initiatives — and has created a program at the School of Business to inspire the next generation of innovators and problem solvers.

The Stuart M. Williams Impact Scholars program, which officially launched this fall, is designed to provide seven exceptional undergraduate students with the guidance, resources and network to tackle some of the most pressing issues of the 21st century.

“There are so many young people who are truly passionate about affecting change in the best way possible,” says Williams. “I want to give as many students as I can the opportunity to make those dreams a reality.”

Participants in the program have the chance to sharpen their skills through professional development, roundtable dinners, internships and tours of local impact businesses. The Scholars also meet weekly with Williams as well as other mentors and advisors, including Professor David Wyman, Professor Lancie Affonso and MBA candidate Kelly Muxworthy to discuss their respective impact projects.

The 2017 Stuart M. Williams Impact Scholars are Latosha Andrade, Mya Belden, Carlie Christenson, Kionnie Epps, Catherine Hill, Sofia Troya and Brandon Williams.

The impressive inaugural cohort, which was selected after a rigorous application and Williams Impact Scholarsinterview process, is comprised of freshmen and juniors from a diverse range of disciplines, including business, public health, political science and criminal justice.

Some of the young innovators have already launched exceedingly successful businesses, says Williams. All of them have incredible personal stories and achievements: one student carried more than 50 credits into college from high school; one came all the way from Ecuador to learn how to solve the problems in her country; and, one spent more than five years serving in the military.

Students in the program are looking to take on various social and economic issues such as eradicating poverty, improving supply chain sustainability in the coffee industry and ensuring quality primary school education for children.

“It’s all about impacting in a way that is fulfilling for you,” Williams told students at one of their first meetings.

What seems to fulfill Williams is ensuring that the School of Business is properly positioned to become one of the nation’s leading academic institutions offering impact studies.

Williams is a noticeable presence at the school, not only through his new scholars program but also through the ICAT program and the Center for Entrepreneurship. He has also successfully helped the School integrate impact studies into many of its classes.

The business school was honored to have Williams join its board of governors this year. “We owe a great deal to Stuart here at the School of Business and are thrilled he has joined our Board,” says Alan T. Shao, dean of the School of Business. “His passion for impact studies paired with his commitment to further the strategic goals of this institution have paved the way for our students to become the socially and environmentally responsible business leaders of tomorrow.”

With no “off” switch in sight for Williams and the students he continues to inspire, it’s safe to say the biggest impact is yet to come.

Kelly Shaver, Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies

Kelly Shaver, Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies

Kelly Shaver, professor of entrepreneurial studies in the School of Business, was awarded the College of Charleston Distinguished Research Award for his significant career of research. Shaver was honored on April 22 at the College’s Celebration of Faculty ceremony in the Stern Center Ballroom with a $1,500 award and a framed certificate.

The Distinguished Research Award was established in 1977 and is awarded to one recipient annually. Shaver is the first School of Business faculty member to receive this prestigious award.

“This is a wonderful honor; one that I hope in the future will be shared by other scholars in the School of Business,” said Shaver.

Recipients of the Distinguished Research Award are chosen based on the body of the nominees’ scholarly and/or creative works within the past few years, and are judged for their quality and significance as well as their quantity.

Shaver’s scholarly research expertise is steeped in topics such as social and cognitive processes in entrepreneurial behavior, and attribution of causality, responsibility and blame. His highly cited work has been supported by the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and the Partnerships for Innovation Program at the National Science Foundation.

In addition, Shaver was recently honored by the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE). He was selected as a USASBE Justin G. Longenecker Fellow, a recognition given to “individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the development, furtherance, and benefit of small and medium businesses.”

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