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JFK University's Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership Announces Honorees for Third Annual Entrepreneurship Awards Luncheon

February 12, 2014

CONCORD, CA – John F. Kennedy University’s Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership (IEL) will honor outstanding world-class entrepreneurial leaders as part of the Third Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Ceremony to be held May 16, 2014 at the Blackhawk Auto Museum in Danville.

At the luncheon, also sponsored by Chevron, the IEL will be presenting the Awards for Global Entrepreneurship, Global Corporate Leadership, Emerging Entrepreneur, and Lifetime of Civic Leadership – all named in honor of Chuck Smith, retired CEO of AT&T West.

“We are very excited to announce the honorees for two of the awards today and look forward to announcing the additional honorees next month,” said Dr. Raul Deju, IEL Director.

The Chuck Smith Award for Global Entrepreneurship will be presented to Jean Charles Boisset, President of Boisset Family Estates and Gina Gallo, Chief Winemaker of E. & J. Gallo Winery.

As President of Boisset Family Estates, Jean-Charles continues the entrepreneurial spirit of his parents who founded the company in 1961. He has implemented organic and biodynamic farming at all of the family’s estate vineyards in Burgundy and California and instituted the concept of "viniculteur", redefining the company’s traditional role to encompass a close and active interest in all aspects of wine-growing to ensure premium quality and sustainable farming practices.

Gina Gallo, the granddaughter of California wine pioneer Julio Gallo, certainly has wine-making in her blood. She has received numerous international awards for her work to improve the standards of wine making. In 2009, Gina wed Jean-Charles Boisset, marking the beginning of an international wine partnership bringing entrepreneurial innovation and a drive for quality reflective of the global entrepreneurial spirit that the IEL recognizes with this award.

Tim Harden, President of AT&T Supply Chain and Fleet Operations, is responsible for the entire supply chain and fleet operations for all divisions of AT&T. He will be honored with the Chuck Smith Award for Global Corporate Leadership. Under his leadership, AT&T leads the pack in corporate spending with minority, women, and disabled veteran business enterprises, ranking #1 on Diversity Inc.’s List of the Top 10 companies for supplier diversity. In 2012, AT&T spent nearly $13 Billion with diverse enterprises representing 24% of the company’s total procurements.

The luncheon program will begin at 11:30 am on May 16th with a “Shark Tank” type new business pitch by the three finalists in IEL’s regional new entrepreneur competitions this past year. The audience will vote on the best business pitch and winners will receive mentoring and financial awards.

Before and after the luncheon, there will be book signings including Dr. Raul Deju, IEL Director and author of Planet in Conflict; and Bill Wiersma, IEL Adjunct Faculty and author of The Power of Professionalism.

Tickets are $80 general admission or $105 for a general admission and a student-sponsored ticket. Event tickets can be purchased online at Event sponsorship information is available by contacting Kristine Magdefrau at .

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About the Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership (IEL)
The Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership (IEL) is an initiative of John F. Kennedy University designed to stimulate and scale entrepreneurship and job creation both regionally and nationally, one student-entrepreneur and one business at a time. The IEL offers academic courses and certificate programs in conjunction with the University’s Colleges and specialized entrepreneurial classes and seminars. Through the Resident Entrepreneur program, budding entrepreneurs have access to low-cost office space at the IEL’s Business Accelerator in Concord along with a wide range of support and mentoring services. Thus far, over 85 student-led companies located in 12 states have flourished from the IEL, achieving 2013 revenues of approximately $1.1 Billion. With growing corporate sponsorship and increased recognition in the business community, the IEL is poised, as it enters its fourth year of operation, to expand the number of entrepreneurs that it assists. For more information, visit

About John F. Kennedy University
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, John F. Kennedy University, an independent non-profit affiliate of the National University System, was among the first institutions of higher education in California committed to lifelong learning for adults. Today, the University’s three Colleges provide innovative higher education opportunities to more than 1,500 professionals who, despite a full range of life responsibilities, are determined to advance their education and improve their future. The Continuing Education division provides professional development education to more than 2,500 individuals per year. A pioneer of education that integrates theory and practice, John F. Kennedy University and its students touch the lives of more than 30,000 people in Bay Area communities every year through their support of outreach centers and public programs.