Kathryn A. Simon, vice president and managing principal of Leopard Communications in Boulder, today was named director of the Robert H. and Beverly A. Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
CU-Boulder College of Business Dean Steven Manaster and College of Engineering Dean Ross Corotis named Simon to the post. Her appointment is effective Sept. 15, pending the approval of the chancellor.
"I congratulate the members of the search committee, especially committee chair Tom Washing, for identifying and attracting a candidate as outstanding as Simon," Manaster said. "The committee deserves high praise for recognizing the great value that Simon brings to the table. Her business experience will enable the center to build stronger bridges joining academia and the world of entrepreneurs."
The College of Business's entrepreneurship program, which is ranked among the top 16 in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report, is one of the most popular tracks at the college.
Simon replaces Denis Nock, who retired in May. Nock had served as director of the center since its inception five years ago.
Manaster cited Simons experience as an entrepreneur and with startups and large corporations as one of her greatest assets. Since 1994, Simon has been a managing principal and vice president of technology and planning at Leopard, a privately held interactive communications agency. During that time, Simon helped Leopard achieve several years of 60 percent annual growth.
She also is an entrepreneur who in 1996 co-founded Proactive Personnel Services, a human-resources consulting firm for small businesses and professional firms. Prior to her term at Leopard, Simon worked for IBM from 1978 to 1994 in a variety of capacities. She earned an MBA in marketing from Columbia University and is active on several community boards.
The Deming Center, a joint program of the colleges of business and engineering, is dedicated to creating learning opportunities for students interested in entrepreneurial pursuits. It fulfills that mission by delivering a world-class entrepreneurship curriculum, conducts rigorous academic research on topics useful to entrepreneurs, and creates a living laboratory for entrepreneurship by establishing relationships with the regional business community.
Noting the unique collaboration of the two colleges, Corotis said, "Simon has both the business and technological experience to move the Deming Center to even greater heights of national prominence."
Robert Deming, who endowed the CU-Boulder center and a professorship in entrepreneurship, agreed.
"Kathy brings a wealth of entrepreneurial experience, enthusiasm and creativity to the position," Deming said. "She is an advocate of entrepreneurship and of a strong interaction with the business community. Her strong real-world background in entrepreneurial enterprises will be a valuable resource in helping students become successful entrepreneurs. I am very proud and pleased that someone of Kathy's stature is joining the program."
A celebration of Simons appointment is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 27.