The Griggs Center for Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy is pleased to announce our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence for the 2011-2012 academic year. These accomplished entrepreneurs live in Abilene or visit campus frequently to advise ACU students interested in entrepreneurship by sharing their expertise and prior experiences. Their interactions with students include serving as mentors, advising student businesses, providing coaching for class projects, appearances in classes and working with the ACU CEO Club.
These entrepreneurs come from a variety of backgrounds and bring experience from a wide range of industries.
Jim Porter has served in a comprehensive range of technology industry, community, and professional activities with a healthy mix of career advancement experience and “give back activities”. He has been a principal participant in over 30 mergers and can account for more than 26 CEO’s who have worked for him over the last 20 years. He has managed in the public company sector for most of his career and has raised over $500 million in the public marketplace.
Jim is past Chairman of CCI/Triad and, for twelve years, served as the CEO and President of Triad Systems. During his tenure, the market value of Triad Systems moved from $54 million to $366 million. His earlier career included an Industrial Engineering degree from Texas A&M, Captain in the US Air Force, faculty member at Texas A&M where he was awarded two grants for study and research, graduate studies at Harvard University, and systems engineering manager at IBM.
This early period was followed by executive roles in two successful start-up companies both of which built, sold and serviced end user software for the life insurance industry. His professional career has always been heavily weighted toward mission critical software for large numbers of customers.
Industry support activities have included several terms on the board and executive committee of the Information Technology Association of America plus leadership roles in quality management and financial practices initiatives for the software industry. Jim served for ten years on the AICPA Accounting Standards Executive Committee for the software industry.
He has served on numerous public and private company boards and most recently served on the board of SVB Financial, a 1.8 Billion Company (NASDAQ), three privately held company boards; Cardone Industries, (a $1.0 Billion Company), Genesis Network Solutions (a $10.0 Million Company), Stellar Technology Solutions (an early stage company). He also serves on one private university governing board, Pepperdine University Board of Regents, where he is Vice Chair and for many years chaired the Investments Committee which oversees their $700 million portfolio. For 20 years Jim served on the ACU Board of Trustees. He currently serves as a faculty member at Abilene Christian University where he is working to build a College of Business program in Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy. He also has given back from a rewarding life by serving on the boards of two large medical centers in California and several Foundations.
Jim is a principal of Porter Capital Partners and an active investor in early stage companies including several technology companies, a community bank (Dallas) and a regional investment bank (Houston). He is also an active member of Rain Dance Capital in Abilene, Texas. He resides with Lela, his wife of 54 years in Abilene, Texas. All three of their children and one granddaughter are ACU graduates.
Jerry G. Browder (ACU’76) has served in various executive roles in the healthcare field. During his 30 plus year career, he has initiated numerous business startups, raised investor capital, managed multi-state operations and facilitated various mergers and acquisitions. He is the founder and president of Signet Health Corporation, a national healthcare management firm which provides services to hospitals in 16 states.
Jerry has a special interest in mentoring young people who have a desire to be entrepreneurs. He has provided training and coaching to numerous young people regarding business startups. He has also served as a business mentor to young entrepreneurs and has facilitated several business apprenticeships. All three of his children are actively engaged as employees of his business and have apprenticed in the “University of Dad”.
Jerry lives in Denton, TX. He received degrees in Agriculture Business and in Accounting from Abilene Christian University, and was licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in 1979 (Texas Inactive). Jerry and his wife, Marcia (Cox) Browder (ACU’76) met as freshmen at ACU. They have been married for 36 years and have 3 children and 2 daughters-in-law, all 5 of whom also attended ACU. They are: Tiffany Browder (ACU’03) of Corinth, TX, Tyler & Ashley (Hanson) Browder (ACU’06) of Denton, TX, and Blake (ACU’08) and Katie (Mack) Browder (ACU’09) of North Richland Hills, TX.
In addition to his family and work, Jerry serves as an elder of Singing Oaks Church of Christ in Denton, TX, and is active in charitable and community activities. He has a heart for children, the poor and disadvantaged, and lost souls. He has served on the boards of California Christian School, Habitat for Humanity, Medina Children’s Home, Arms of Hope and Mission Alive.
Jarrod Brown graduated from ACU in 2000 with degrees in International Business and Spanish. After spending a short time in the corporate world, Jarrod realized he wanted something different. In 2001, Jarrod quit his consulting job and moved to Honduras for a 10-month commitment that turned into 10 years and a career. In 2004, Jarrod and his wife Allison founded Mission Lazarus, a Christian non-profit organization that uses humanitarian and developmental programs to plant and grow churches. Mission Lazarus now has ongoing established programs in Honduras and Haiti. Jarrod and Allison have two children - Soledad (age 8), and Levi (age 6). The Browns now reside in Franklin, Tennessee. In addition to his time spent at ACU, Brown also travels extensively to visit their ongoing programs and to speak at conferences and churches across the United States.
David Bruce is the founder and CEO of Alliance Recruiting Resources, a national physician staffing company that provides services to hospitals and physician groups across the country. He has over 25 years experience in the healthcare staffing field and has served in many executive and management roles throughout his career. He has managed sales teams, built new divisions, and initiated several business startups. David also currently serves on several non-profit company boards. David has a desire to mentor and help shape the business leaders of tomorrow and encourage young people to incorporate their God-given gifts in their career goals.
David and his wife, Valinda, currently live in McKinney, Texas. He has a daughter, Hope, who is a college sophomore and a son, Landon, who is a junior in high school. David and his family currently worship and serve at Greenville Oaks Church of Christ in Allen, Texas. David has always been an active member in a local church family in the various locations he has had the privilege of living throughout the country. David has served as both Ministry Leader and/or Deacon during his years of church service at these various congregations.
David attended ACU from 1982-1984 and played on the Wildcat football team. He completed his studies at The University of North Texas in Denton, Texas where he also played football and ran track for the university. While at UNT, David served as student president of the Christian Campus Center, which is the campus bible chair for Singing Oaks Church of Christ in Denton, Texas. He graduated from UNT with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1987.
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