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A Letter from 2014 USASBE President, Tony Mendes

Tony Mendes
Dear USASBE Members,

When I first ran for President of USASBE and was elected to the office, I thought it would be a great opportunity to "give back” to this great association. I wanted to address the numerous challenges I knew the organization faced. USASBE struggled with financial difficulties, tepid conference participation, membership numbers were stagnant and we were searching for a new home for USASBE. My confidence in the dynamic, committed and very creative Board of Directors provided an ideal platform from which to launch a renewed energy and vigorous forward focus. I have been very gratified and inspired by the incredible determination of our board. Their efforts have resulted in an astonishing turnaround in all of the issues I had thought would be much more difficult to mitigate.

If you attended the conference in Fort Worth, you enjoyed one of the most memorable conferences I have experienced in my time as a member of USASBE. Texas Christian University, as the first "host” University for the USASBE conference, demonstrated tremendous creativity and professionalism. They gave us all a real taste of the "Cowboy Culture” in Texas. Undoubtedly, the bull riding event at Billy Bobs will be remembered for years to come (and we all have a greater appreciation for the athleticism and courage it takes to get on the back of a 1,500 pound angry animal!). The idea of asking universities to host the USASBE conference was very successful. Last week we saw improved revenue and a demonstration of a partnership model; one where host universities have an opportunity to shine and our members can experience the best in entrepreneurship education. I believe we couldn’t have selected a better university than TCU to set us on this new path.

Our new home for USASBE at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, is one of the best "moves” USASBE has ever made. The College of Business and Economics, under the leadership of Dean Christina Clements, has embraced our organization and has already demonstrated extraordinary commitment and resources. I feel confident that this change will help us to both increase membership and continue to develop new programs. Our new Executive Director, Patrick Snyder, has hit the ground running and if you met him at the conference, you know how enthusiastic he is about opportunities to grow the organization.

In the year to come, you will see why I’m so thrilled to be President of USASBE in 2014. I continue to have the support and guidance of an outstanding Board of Directors and the new initiatives we have planned will provide greater benefits for all our members. New initiatives coming in 2014 include;

  • Another teaching certificate offered to USASBE members on "Technology Entrepreneurship”
  • Enhanced member benefits including teaching materials and curriculum resources
  • New partnerships that will link national resources to our member campuses and greater involvement
  • And expansion of our Special Interest Groups (SIGs).
  • A Mentor Program matching highly accomplished entrepreneurship faculty with junior faculty members of USASBE

Planning for the 2015 conference, hosted by the University of Tampa, is underway and is sure to be another remarkable experience for our members. In Tampa, we will participate in the warm weather, engaging and informative sessions while we enjoy the hospitality of another exceptional entrepreneurial university.

Perhaps my greatest hope for USASBE in 2014 is greater involvement of our membership. We are very interested in building future leaders of USASBE and there are many ways our members can prepare for leadership roles. Opportunities include; contributing to our syllabus exchange, getting more involved with our SIG’s and volunteer for the conference in Tampa as a facilitator, paper reviewer or pre-conference presenter. Our future depends on volunteer leadership and I would encourage all members to consider leadership opportunities.

Tony Mendes,
2014 President, USASBE

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