Mike Glauser and Jeff Clark
At a time of significant economic change brought about through technological innovation and the economic development of large parts of the world, entrepreneurial skills are critical to business leadership. An anchor gift of $6 million from Jeff and Bonnie Clark has laid the financial foundation for the newly named Jeffrey D. Clark Center for Entrepreneurship at the Huntsman School of Business, with the aim of creating an entrepreneurial mindset in all Huntsman students. Jeff has also committed to help raise an additional $4 million to complete the funding for the Entrepreneurship Center. The endowment will fund headquarters offices in the soon-to-be-built Huntsman Hall and programs that foster an entrepreneurial spirit among Utah State students from across campus and from the distance campuses around the state, as well as among Cache Valley citizens.
Mr. Clark is a Utah State graduate, a Huntsman School of Business National Advisory Board member, and a pioneering entrepreneur in the financial industry. His wife, Bonnie, is a graduate of Weber State University and sits on its Board of Trustees. Jeff, a loyal Aggie with deep ties to northern Utah, said of the Entrepreneurship Center, “I am gratified for this opportunity to take what I’ve learned and what I have to give and try to make a difference in the world. And I don’t mean by that just making a difference through wealth but also through experience and leadership.”
Jeff said he is particularly looking forward to working closely with Dr. Mike Glauser, the Executive Director of the Clark Entrepreneurship Center. “I admire Mike so much and the work he has done with the Center thus far,” Jeff said. “I really value the opportunity of working with him to help expand our reach.”
“This is a tremendous opportunity for us to work together,” Mike Glauser said, “potentially to change the face of entrepreneurship education in the state of Utah. We are so excited to have Jeff and Bonnie as our benefactors and partners.”
Dean Douglas Anderson said, “This gift from Jeff and Bonnie and their active involvement with our entrepreneurship programs will move us ahead significantly. Now we can provide ever more concrete, effective assistance to budding entrepreneurs who have great ideas they want to develop.”
Jeff graduated from USU with a degree in accounting in 1982 and throughout his professional journey in the finance industry, his wife Bonnie has been at his side. “My wife is a fantastic partner,” Jeff said of Bonnie. “We started over in business three times, and each time she supported me in those decisions.” Bonnie was his high school sweetheart at Weber High School in Ogden, Utah. Along with her work on the board of Weber State University, she has also served on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of Weber Davis and the Weber School Foundation. Today Jeff and Bonnie are focused on “social impact investing,” in which they seek investments that have the potential to change the world for the better. Their investment in the Clark Center for Entrepreneurship fits perfectly in that category.
Under Mike Glauser, the Clark Center has a variety of programs, events, activities, and curriculum development efforts that create a bridge between formal education and real-world undertakings. “One of the many ways we are providing assistance to entrepreneurs now,” Mike Glauser said, “is through our mentoring program. Our talented board of advisors, other successful entrepreneurs, and business leaders mentor students and student teams throughout the year. They assist with concept validation, business model development, venture planning, funding, team building, networking, marketing strategies, and business plan execution.”
In addition, the Clark Center assists with state-of-the-art curriculum development in entrepreneurship. The Huntsman School of Business has benefited from that expertise and now offers an undergraduate minor in entrepreneurship available to any USU student. Members of the community can also take any of the entrepreneurship courses under a Continuing Education format. The world-class Small Enterprise Education & Development (SEED) Program will now reside inside the Clark Center, and will be the centerpiece of the school’s social entrepreneurship initiatives.
The Center sponsors the Lectures in Entrepreneurship series, a number of business competitions, and a number of workshops on topics important to entrepreneurs and startup companies. A student-led Entrepreneurship Club has several teams that assist with critical stages of business development, from idea generation through execution plans. The club also sponsors competitions, workshops, and conferences.
Master the technical and leadership skills to be able to conceive, plan, launch, lead, and build new for-profit business ventures.
Learn to create innovative new products, services, processes, and divisions within existing corporations.
Create and lead social ventures designed to address community challenges and increase economic prosperity.