HCC ‘owned’ the show at national entrepreneurship conference

HOUSTON (October 25, 2013) – Houston Community College Northwest president, Dr. Zachary Hodges, has been named the 2013 Entrepreneurial President of the Year by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE).

In 2007, Dr. Hodges partnered with Newspring, a faith-based organization aimed at the economic development of the Spring Branch area of Houston, to launch the area’s first business plan competition with prize money awards.

Taking progressive steps by testing small projects and building successes that fueled support for the next phase of growth in entrepreneurship, Dr. Hodges made another first step in developing HCC’s Center for Entrepreneurship in 2009 by committing start-up funding to hire a director for the Center. Continuing success and commitment to both programs, the college also won and spearheaded the HCC Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program in 2011, which offers Greater Houston small business owners access to a practical business and management education.

“I have always believed that small business growth is essential to Houston’s economic vitality. We’ve been committed to aiding that growth for six years by providing programs that result in stronger small business decision making for both startups and existing businesses. We are dedicated to empowering small business owners and their employees to grow and thrive. I’m honored to be recognized by NACCE for my efforts in fostering the dreams of entrepreneurs,” said Dr. Hodges.

The college’s Center for Entrepreneurship director, Sandra Louvier, won NACCE’s Impact Award. Hired in 2009, Sandra assisted in creating and launching HCC’s first Center for Entrepreneurship. She has also established, maintained, and developed ongoing strategic partnerships with entities such as SCORE, Constant Contact, local chambers of commerce, University of Houston Small Business Development Center, economic development agencies, and management districts. Ms. Louvier has also served in various positions in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses project devoted primarily to recruitment of small business owners through community, regional, and national partners.

HCC has been chosen, along with seven other community colleges in the U.S., to serve as an ambassador for NACCE. Ms. Louvier serves as the HCC representative ambassador due to her active participation and use of NACCE resources and contacts to grow HCC programs over the last five years. She is in contact with over 50 colleges in 30 states to assist their members in accessing NACCE resources to grow their programs. “We are humbled by these honors and also grateful for the opportunity to place HCC in a national spotlight,” said Louvier.

“This year our awards honor two leaders in entrepreneurship education and an outstanding college president who has built a culture of entrepreneurship on his campus that benefits the whole community,” said NACCE President and CEO Heather Van Sickle. “These dedicated individuals have championed entrepreneurship, bringing colleges and the communities they serve together to promote entrepreneurship while powerfully impacting how students and community partners think about entrepreneurship.

Founded in 2002, NACCE hosts an annual conference and exhibition, regional summits, a quarterly journal, monthly webinars, a dynamic list-serve and training resources. The organization recognizes community college presidents and representatives who have taken action by dedicating resources committed to fostering entrepreneurship and small business development on their campuses, thereby spurring innovation and job creation in their communities. NACCE honored Dr. Hodges and Ms. Louvier with their award October 15 at NACCE’s annual conference in Charlotte, NC.


Pictured l to r: Dr. Ron Thomas, Vice President of Membership, NACCE and Dr. Zachary R. Hodges, President, HCC Northwest.


Pictured l to r: Dr. Ron Thomas, Vice President of Membership, NACCE and Sandra Louvier, Director, HCC Center for Entrepreneurship.