(October 24, 2014)

Frost School of Business to host entrepreneur Stewart Hamel

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary's Frost School of Business will host Stewart Hamel, CEO and Founder of SkyRunner, LLC, for the annual An Entrepreneur's Journey presentation on Thursday, October 30, at 11:15 a.m. in the Whited Room of Bynum Commons.

Stewart Hamel
Stewart Hamel is coming to campus

"Stewart's entrepreneurial journey has included multiple successful startups along the way," said Dean of the Frost School of Business Christopher Martin. "However, Skyrunner presents unique challenges. First and foremost, the idea of the flying car had been tried many times before, and had failed. What's different between these past failures and Skyrunner's success may not be Stewart's passion or perseverance, characteristics that we often associate with entrepreneurs. It may be more closely linked to Stewart's ability to successfully pivot to a business model and a revised product that profitably matches his target market."

Hamel began his executive career as a co-founder of Empire Mergers and Acquisitions alongside former Caesar's Palace President Dean Harrold. In 2004, he was recruited to the launch team for a seed capital-backed internet company, ReachLocal, Inc. He served as the National Sales Manager for six years until the company went public in 2010 and reached a market valuation of over $800 million. As a founding member of ReachLocal's distribution organization, Hamel became one of ReachLocal's largest individual shareholders.

In 2010, Stewart launched a Shreveport-based private investment company, Hamel Interests and Private Equity, LLC, the funding arm for SkyRunner's research and development, manufacturing, and distribution. SkyRunner builds and sells all-terrain/light-sport aircraft vehicles.

In addition to speaking with the Centenary community this Thursday at 11:15, Hamel will be unveiling the newest two-seat model of Skyrunner.

The annual An Entrepreneur's Journey program presented by the Frost School of Business is designed to inspire entrepreneurial-minded and innovative thinking and to foster an understanding among all centenary students of how ideas can become opportunities for business success. Past speakers of An Entrepreneurs Journey include Tony Simmon, CEO of the Tabasco brands; Matt Saurage, CEO of Community Coffee; and Garrett Boone, founder of The Container Store.

The event is free and open to the public. Convocation passports are available for students. For more information contact the Frost School of Business at 318.869.5141.