The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) began its Entrepreneur Speaker Series on Wednesday with speaker Tom Love, founder of Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores.
Love founded his company in 1964 after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps and attending St. John’s University and the University of Oklahoma. Love’s company ranked number nine in Forbes Magazine’s 2012 list of America’s largest private corporations.
Notable speakers included in this year’s series are Jeff and Ally Davidson, founders of Camp Gladiator, Luke Hejl, co-founder of Social Factor, and Clay Selby, founder of SocialRest.
The Griggs Center’s Entrepreneur Speaker Series is a product of CEO, a student-led organization that connects students with entrepreneurs and provides networking opportunities to its members.
The series will take place during CEO’s weekly Wednesday meetings. The series features entrepreneurs sharing their journeys, discussing their struggles and providing insight into the life of an entrepreneur.
Rudy Garza, president of CEO, is excited to begin working with new members and help foster the development of members’ entrepreneurial skills.
“This year I’m hoping for more involvement from students across campus,” said Garza, junior marketing major from Corpus Christi. “Thinking like an entrepreneur can be vital to success in any field, and our speaker series and projects are designed to engage and strengthen that thought process.”
While CEO has averaged roughly 25 to 30 members in years past, Garza says 85 students have already signed up for membership this year.
Dr. Jim Litton, director of the Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy, is also excited about the high membership numbers because of the organization’s new activities.
“We have worked to add a number of projects and events with CEO this year,” Litton said. “These new events include raising money for Mission Lazarus, an ACU entrepreneur alumni dinner, and a spring break service trip.”