Executive Director, Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies, Sibermen College of Business – Fairleigh Dickinson University
In addition to the hundreds of students he teaches each semester, James Barrood, executive director of the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies at the Silberman College of Business–Fairleigh Dickinson University, has expanded the school’s outreach programs to assist hundreds of small business owners in the tri-state area, including the Family Business Forum and the Female Entrepreneurs’ Alliance. The Family Business Forum is designed to provide family businesses in the metropolitan area with an opportunity to learn from leading experts about proven strategies for successfully owning and operating a family business through outcome-oriented educational programs and seminars that address the unique challenges of family business life. The Female Entrepreneurs’ Alliance provides a venue where female entrepreneurs in the region can network amongst themselves, providing business support and mentoring to one another.
Barrood also developed a mentoring program that connects new entrepreneurs with seasoned entrepreneurs. “Jim has been tremendously successful in expanding our outreach programs,” says William M. Moore, Ph.D., dean of the Silberman College of Business at Farleigh Dickinson University. “These programs appeal to a broad scope of people and engage a wide constituency.”
Since 1997, Barrood has elevated the Rothman Institute entrepreneurship program to national recognition: The undergraduate program ranked seventh and the graduate program ranked 19th on the Entrepreneur magazine and Princeton Review’s Top 50 Entrepreneurial Colleges for 2006. Offcampus, Barrood sits on the boards of several other organizations, including the Silberman College of Business, the Franklin Foundation for Educational Excellence, the National Association of Corporate Directors–NJ (Advisory Committee), and the Billion Minds Foundation. He is also a member of the Council on Competitiveness and Rotary International.
“He may come across as low-key, but Jim is a highly respected and highly influential person in the business community,” says Moore. “He deals with a tremendous array of individuals and he deals with each individually. He gives one-on-one attention to the people in his program and he cares about their businesses.”
Editor-at-Large for Inc. magazine, author
An interesting dynamic occurs when the reporter becomes the story. The Small Business Advocate Award represents a shift for Bo Burlingham: The small business community that Burlingham has covered and celebrated for most of his writing career is now recognizing his efforts. In his book Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big, Burlingham sent out a powerful message to business owners all over the country that owning a large company is not the only measure of success.
Burlingham started his career at a small weekly newspaper in Boston. Looking for more gainful employment, he took a corporate writing job in 1982 with Fidelity Investments, where he wrote for Peter Lynch, Ned Johnson and other “honchos.” When he started the job, he didn’t know the difference between a stock and a bond, but he soon was surprised by his deep interest in business matters.
In 1983, he was recruited away from Fidelity by a start-up glossy named Inc. “It was an exciting time because of the personal computer,” says Burlingham, who served as executive editor of Inc. until 1990. “Steve Jobs appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Suddenly, the whole concept and idea of entrepreneurship was changing dramatically. It was like there was this huge revolution going on.”
“About 30 years ago, Bo Burlingham discovered the people in the business world most like himself: unconventional, talented, passionate and very, very smart. In other words, entrepreneurs,” says Jane Berentson, editor of Inc. “Through the pages of Inc., Bo has told stories of success and failure and all the fascinating narratives in between. At the same time he’s been a mentor to countless young staff members — and at least one editor-in-chief. Bo is wonderfully gifted, funny and kind, which is why we at Inc. admire him tremendously and love him completely.”
After resigning his full-time position at Inc. in favor of an editor-at-large position, Burlingham wrote two books with Jack Stack, the co-founder and CEO of Springfield Remanufacturing Corp. and the pioneer of open-book management. He also began co-authoring Inc.’s popular “Street Smarts” column with serial entrepreneur Norm Brodsky. In 2006, Burlingham published one of his greatest successes, Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big. He and Brodsky teamed up again to write The Knack, scheduled to hit booksellers next month.