David Clark predicts innovative thinking will become more ingrained part of Huntsman culture.
China does not pose an economic threat; Utah is positioned to do some amazing things in the global marketplace; and innovative thinking will eventually become second nature to students at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business.
At least that’s the way the school’s new executive director of entrepreneurial programs, Dave Clark, seems to see things. Clark, who comes to Logan from Salt Lake City, where he was president and CEO of Prolexys Pharmaceuticals, Inc., aims to help students bring out their entrepreneurial instincts and see the new opportunities now available to them on a global scale.
Some may think of entrepreneurs as people who are willing go out on a limb and bet all they own on the success of a start-up venture. Entrepreneurship is more than that, Clark said.
“Entrepreneurship isn’t just for people who are risk takers,” he said. “Entrepreneurship is a spirit that reflects innovative thinking in whatever setting you find yourself and that can be in General Motors or it can be in the little ski shop you’ve started down on the corner. Everybody can think more innovatively.”
Clark is exactly what the Huntsman School of Business needs right now to move its entrepreneurship efforts forward, according to Dean Douglas D. Anderson.
“We had some very strong candidates for this position but were impressed with Dave’s understanding of our economy and his optimism about what we can do to help our students,” Anderson said. “He believes in our vision of what the Huntsman School of Business can become and he clearly has the leadership skills to make things happen. He will be an incredibly strong addition to our team.”
Clark graduated from Brigham Young University in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in botany. He earned a master’s degree at the University of Illinois in agronomy in 1978 and received an MBA from the University of Utah in 1980. He has spent his career in small, innovative business settings. He has directed business development, financial analysis, fundraising, corporate communications and administrative efforts.
Clark set a goal a few years ago to eventually return to a university setting and sees the opportunity to come to USU as ideal. He said the elements are in place for the Huntsman School of Business to make some transformational changes.
“When it comes to opportunities, I don’t know where I’ve seen a situation that is more exciting,” Clark said. “When you combine Mr. Huntsman’s contributions, President Albrecht’s vision, Dean Anderson’s leadership, the enthusiasm of the faculty, the quality of the students and the reputation of this school, we have something substantial on which to build. I believe our work here will change lives and change this university.”
As a member of the USTAR Advisory Board and the Utah Technology Council, Clark has seen some of the possibilities brewing for Utah. He said business leaders with the right mindset can succeed in today’s global economy.
“I’ve heard people describe the emergence of China and India as a threat to our economy,” he said. “That is not a threat. That’s an opportunity. If we’re entrepreneurial in our thinking, we’ll be competitive in world markets by finding innovative ways to work with and take advantage of the energy and drive coming out of these emerging economies. We will create interconnections in ways that haven’t even been imagined yet.”
In addition to teaching, Clark will be directing the eventual establishment of an Entrepreneurship Center that will serve as a resource to Huntsman students and those of other disciplines, especially those in science and engineering. He will also work closely with the Utah Small Business Development Center, USTAR, the eStation at Innovation Campus, the Utah State University Technology Commercialization Office and the Entrepreneur and Business Resource Center in Cache Valley. Clark will also develop and market the services of the Entrepreneurship Center through USU’s regional campus network.
“The Huntsman School of Business is perfectly positioned to foster entrepreneurship as an integral part of its educational offerings and to be recognized for its significant impacts in local, national and global markets,” Clark said.