NACCE 2019 Entrepreneurship Explorations

NACCE 2019 Entrepreneurship Explorations, held in beautiful Newport Beach California, ignited creativity and engagement for all attendees with record attendance this year. The mission of NACCE that resonates with so many is ‘to provide leadership and sustainable, scalable resources to foster entrepreneurial thinking and action in one of the largest entrepreneurial ecosystems in North America’.  (Make sure to check out the video highlights below!)

NACCE President & CEO Dr. Rebecca Corbin kicked off the conference by pointing to the Centers of Practice around the themes of entrepreneurial mindset, equity and inclusion, engagement, apprenticeships and workforce development, making and global entrepreneurship. The exhibit hall provided an opportunity for friends to learn more about the COPs and meet all the sponsors. During the conference several events took place including two new pitch competitions, a film screening of Most Likely to Succeed, live music, book giveaways and plenty of sponsor gifts and interactions!

NACCE awarded Clinton E. Day the Entrepreneurship Star Award in August and two more distinguished NACCE awards were presented during this annual conference. Dr. Paul Dale, President of Paradise Valley Community College accepted the Entrepreneurial President recognition and Dr. Constance Carroll, Chancellor of San Diego Community College District accepted the distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award.

Saturday opened with an Offsite Tour opportunity to explore Newport Beach led by Katie Calabrese Director of Membership and Projects. A beautiful day on the Pacific Ocean with a self-guided Duffy Boat Cruise made for a memorable networking opportunity between educators.

Sunday was your preconference chance to grab autographs for the newest NACEE book Community Colleges as Incubators of Innovation – Unleashing Entrepreneurial Opportunities for Communities and Students. Dr. Corbin kicked off the event and the book’s authors took the attendees through firsthand entrepreneurial accounts and best practices. Author Dr. Ron Thomas shared lessons including: ‘Don’t go it alone, Know you, Solve problems, and Involve customers. Design Thinking expert and author Beth Kerley pointed out entrepreneurship is ‘Not about resources, it is about Resourcefulness.’ President and CEO of the Morgan Foundation and author Deborah Hoover provided impactful stories of how a profession of ecosystem builders is growing sharing how the Morgan Foundation is leading the charge in Ohio.

For the Opening General Session, a warm welcome was provided by Dr. Corbin, NACCE Chair Dr. Susan May, Host Colleges Dr. Lori Adrian. The main keynote was provided by the brilliant Direct Selling Education Foundation invite Gordon Hester. His candid approach kept the audience engaged as he shared his success stories built on the fact that ‘Standards are more important than Goals.’ Chris Mackey General Manager of CPP Innovation Labs of Myers-Briggs noted the importance of looking for opportunities to share entrepreneurship with kids early on with a nostalgic testimony of him and his son touring Washington DC complete with a thoughtful thank you card to a Senator.

Monday opened with lots of excitement as Charles Knippen, President of the National Society of Leadership and Success transformed the audience’s perspective on how high someone can jump. Jaws dropped at the end of the presentation when he described the car wreck him and his husband survived by showing a gory picture of his bloody shirt….a shirt he had cleaned for the presentation. He stated that it reminds him of the importance of fully loving each day. Tallahassee Community College EVP Madeline Pumariega talked disruption to educators asking ‘if we are prepared for the UBER of education’ like taxi medallion owners thought would never happen. Intuit VP of Education David Zasada spoke on Design for Delight (D4D) teaching corporations and institutions on how ‘it is everyone’s job to Innovate.’ They followed up with a detailed walk through of D4D in the last breakout session of the day.

For Breakout Session 2, Entrepreneurship Resources, Inc. had a full breakout room. The audience engaged in Lean entrepreneurship tools and training solutions with an experiential exercise. Participants came away more prepared to face the frightening pace of automation and disruption that will continue to impact workforce and the economy.

For lunch, the Verizon Innovative Learning panel discussed amazing impacts on communities they had across campuses. The Keynote Ted Dintersmith author of What Schools Could Be and a producer of the film Mostly Likely to Succeed provided a very blunt view of how colleges and K-12 need to improve their approach of education. He passionately pointed out that a kid shouldn’t fail out of school for a subject like algebra when most school President’s possess an elementary math level as well. He had a film screening of his documentary that proved project-based learning as the core can be an alternative educational approach vs the current hierarchy dominated memorization path.

Coffee, Dessert and Networking please!! NACCE Director of Marketing and Communications Leah Deppert delivered Speed Networking and Meet-Ups with Rosé in the Rose Garden Monday evening before the film screening Most Likely to Succeed. We all were in awe of the California sunset dipping into the Pacific before heading in for the thought-provoking film.

While the author of this article had to make an early departure Tuesday, please make sure to check out to see the full agenda!  Enjoy the video highlights:

By Clinton D. Swigart, CPA, MA

Entrepreneurship Resources, Inc.