2010 Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards
LONGMEADOW, Mass.—Bay Path College students and alumni from the traditional undergraduate and One-Day-A-Week Saturday programs and the Graduate School were among the recipients of the 2010 Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards. Given annually by the Harold Grinspoon Charitable Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, the award recognizes students and recent alumni of colleges and universities in the Pioneer Valley, who have demonstrated entrepreneurial spirit. This year, five Bay Path students and alumni received the coveted awards. They include: Judith Bennett G’08, Stacey Bilodeau ’12, Crystal Senter Brown ’12, Javon Overstreet G’08, and Colleen M. Smith ’12.
Judith Bennett G’08 of Holyoke, MA, recently earned a master of business administration degree from Bay Path, and received the award for her firm, Communication Connections. Through her company, Bennett offers copywriting and editing expertise across a multitude of industries and helps clients connect with their customers through written copy that accurately informs, meets regulatory standards and conveys a positive image. Bennett’s business can be found on the Web at www.communication-connections.com .
Performance artist, poet, and Chicopee, MA resident Crystal Senter Brown ’12, a liberal studies student in the One-Day program, was honored for her children’s book series, Gabby Saturday. Through Brown’s main character, Gabby Saturday, the series encourages and inspires little girls of color to dream, read and be empowered. In collaboration with her mother and illustrator, Janice Treece Senter, Brown is developing cards and bookmarks based on the series. For more information on Gabby, visit www.gabbysaturday.com.
Artist and occupational therapy undergraduate Colleen M. Smith ’12 of Uxbridge, MA, received an award in recognition of Collage De Trois, a fine arts business that includes wire work, paintings, and original duct tape creations. Smith is best known in the area for her unique creations in multicolored duct tape, including her custom-designed wallets and purses. Many of her creations feature elaborate jewelry and clothing sculpted entirely in duct tape. Her work is currently exhibited at crafts and art shows and on the Internet.
A recent graduate of the Master of Business Administration Program, Javon Overstreet G’08 of Windsor, CT was recognized for his company SecureTek Solutions, which provides businesses with temporary staff to manage their technical projects. A full services technical recruiting firm that supports specific industries, such as aerospace and defense, energy, environmental and architecture, SecureTek Solutions’ competitive advantage is its thorough understanding of the disciplines and positions in the engineering field, and the specific needs of all parties involved in the recruiting life cycle. Learn more about SecureTek Solutions by visiting www.SecureTekSolutions.com.
Stacey Bilodeau ’12 of Manchester, CT, a psychology major in the One-Day-A-Week Saturday Program, was honored with a Spirit Award for her business Independent Solutions, LLC. Launched in 2007, Independent Solutions offers professional home care to clients with traumatic brain injuries. Bilodeau has gained the reputation for providing her clients with an exceptionally high level of personal, compassionate care, and for always going above and beyond to serve its clients. In just two years, the company has grown from $70,000 to over half a million in revenue.
Overstreet and Bilodeau were also among the five recipients of the 2010 Grinspoon, Garvey & Young Entrepreneurship Award, an additional honor from the Entrepreneurship Initiative. The 13 regional colleges were asked to nominate only two students and/or recent alumni for the new award, and Bay Path was the only college in which both nominees received the $1,000 cash prize, and Bilodeau was the only woman among the top recipients. Overstreet and Bilodeau will compete among the three additional recipients for a chance to win an additional $1,000 prize.
All five Entrepreneurial Spirit Award recipients will be among the students honored at the HGCF’s annual banquet on Wednesday, April 28, at The Log Cabin in Holyoke, MA. The Entrepreneurship Initiative is one of several initiatives supported by the philanthropy of Longmeadow, MA resident and businessman, Harold Grinspoon. For more information about HGCF initiatives, visit www.hgcf.org.