Advertising, software, and garage doors were the business topics that started the three-day Maastricht Institute of Entrepreneurship at Missouri Valley College today, March 26. The sixth annual institute, with sessions in the R. Wilson Brown Room, runs through Wednesday, March 28.
Sally Poole, an artist and owner of Poole Advertising of Hannibal, described herself as “an accidental entrepreneur” who opened an ad agency in 1984. The first in her family to go to college, she eventually helped her husband with their dairy business. Then, with her graphic arts background, she opened her own ad agency “and the company kept growing.” Her first major customer was the Hannibal Regional Hospital. Her agency now also has an office in Marshall.
“It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it,” she said, adding that she would encourage college students to start their own businesses.
Her company designed the new “window” logo for Missouri Valley College. The company also produces wine labels, book covers, Salsa labels, billboards, political advertising, video work, magazine ads, vehicle graphics, maps (including a map of Marshall for tourism), and other promotional products.
Poole said the media industry has changed a lot, with more demand for websites and videos. “I am a big believer in trying new technologies,” she said. Poole encouraged students to gain experience in web design and web development.
The second presentation for the day was by Reyndert Coppelmans, CEO of CVIVE, a video recruitment software company. Coppelmans traveled from Maastricht, the Netherlands, for the institute, as did several other featured guest speakers for the next two days. (Watch for an upcoming story by Paulene-Wendy Ntsame Assoumou that will feature Coppelmans’ presentation.)
The third session featured Kerry Wright and Terry Wright, brothers who co-own Garage Door Services USA of Houston. The company is the largest installer of garage doors in America.
They had a special connection to MVC, as Kerry’s son Hans, who works with them, was a 2004 MVC graduate, active during his college years, serving as president of the SGA.
Terry Wright said they knew early in life that it was a lot better and more fun to work for their own company. He advised student to never be afraid to make a career move if the opportunity occurs. “Always think outside the box,” he said.
The four entrepreneurs for the Monday sessions and the many students, faculty, and community members in attendance were
welcomed by MVC President Bonnie Humphrey; Institute Director Larry Stockman; Program Logistics Director Eric Sappington; and MVC Board Member Benoit Wesly, president and CEO of Xelat Group in Maastricht, the Netherlands, who also helped to found the annual institute at MVC.
Describing the students, Wesly said, “These are the minds that will determine our future.” He added that MVC is a “place of optimism.”
Scheduled Maastricht Institute speakers for Tuesday, March 27, are Dr. Alexander Walker, principal of World Health Information Science Consultants in Newton, Mass.; Curtis Bourgeois, founder and CEO of Les Bourgeois Vineyard in Rocheport, Mo.; and Homan Karimi, founder and CEO of StudyTube, a learning platform, of Maastricht, the Netherlands.
On Wednesday, March 28, scheduled speakers are Gert Poppe, senior entrepreneurship lecturer at Maastricht University; Wendy Torrance, entrepreneurship director for Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City; and Tom Taylor, co-owner of Taylor and Padgett Financial Group of Camp Verde, Arizona.