By: S. Ann Becker, Dean of the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business
Ms. Jacie Stivers, accomplished entrepreneur, kicked off the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business Visiting Entrepreneur Program on October 6, 2011. She gave a refreshingly, insightful talk entitled, “Are You an Inspired Entrepreneur? The Unromantic View”. Based on her experience and expertise, Ms. Stivers shared a real-world perspective on what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
Ms. Stivers knows what she is talking about — she is a consummate business leader with 28 years in the commercial real estate business. Ms. Stivers is known for her extensive expertise in real estate negotiations, financing, and sales. She is the principal managing partner of Commercial Investment Real Estate, Inc. in Melbourne, Florida, which she started in 1983 with less than $500 of her own funding. Today, Commercial Investment Real Estate is considered one of the premier commercial real estate brokerage firms in the Space Coast of Florida with over $100 million in closings.
During her talk, Ms. Stivers quoted Mr. Mark Senti, American Magnet Lab, in defining entrepreneurship. She stated, “The definition of an entrepreneur is one who has the strength and courage to do what cannot be done.” She provided insights such as, “Practice being brave –have the tenacity to push through your comfort zone”; and, “Practice creative visualization – prepare for meetings and confrontation.” Then, she had the audience practice via a brief, yet powerful visualization exercise.
Recently, Ms. Stivers was the Entrepreneur in Residence at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. She worked with faculty and students, across a range of disciplines, in exploring how business ideas could be turned into business opportunities. She assisted many with their business plans and provided valuable insights to developing and managing business enterprises.
Ms. Stivers’ passion for helping budding entrepreneurs was apparent during her lecture to undergraduate students in Dr. Deborah Carsten’s Management Information Systems class. Dr. Carstens shared afterwards, “Students in our program benefit from the real-world experience of accomplished entrepreneurs. This was evident by how students interacted with Jacie during the classroom exercise. She provided them with ten steps, supplemented with examples, in how to negotiate successfully. Students now have the potential to be as savvy in their negotiations as she has been in her career.”
Jacie Stivers talk was well attended by students, faculty, and business leaders. Pictured above are several attendees at the Visiting Entrepreneur event. Vicky Peake is the director of the Florida Small Business Development Center at Brevard Community College, Mardi Sale is an accounting professor at Florida Tech, Ann Becker is the dean of the Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, and Donn Miller-Kermani is the director of the Women’s Business Center at Florida Tech.
The Nathan M. Bisk College of Business is spreading the spirit of entrepreneurship through its Visiting Entrepreneur Program whereby accomplished business leaders share their insights, experiences, and knowledge about business development. The Center for Entrepreneurship and New Business Development, through its Women’s Business Center, offers services to entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement for the next Visiting Entrepreneurs featured speaker.