If you are looking for a person filled with entrepreneurial spirit, business expertise and graceful acumen to guide your future path, look no further than Faith Power, Ph.D. (above left). As associate professor of management at the Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business, Dr. Power also leads the university’s Institute for Entrepreneurship and serves as director of its landmark program.
Power comes to Shenandoah with a rich history in business. She was founder and CEO of Power/Warner Communications Group. She also founded Ambriel Technologies, a Winchester research and development firm. In addition to her business background, Power holds a doctoral degree in human and organizational learning from the George Washington University. Recently, she was appointed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to the Virginia Port Authority Board of Commissioners for a term of five years. This appointment will add to Power’s considerable background, allowing her to continue to grow her expertise in organizational leadership.
“The more knowledgeable I become about various organizations, the more I can impart that knowledge to my students,” says Power. “I’m also hoping it will lead to some research opportunities for Shenandoah University.”
Paramount in her mind is that “practice informs theory, and theory informs practice.”
“Remaining connected to the local business community and the state community allows me to bring subject matter experts in for my students to really expand the curriculum we offer,” she said.
Power is currently in the process of building an advisory board for the Institute for Entrepreneurship. The board will consist of other successful entrepreneurs who can help guide and build the entrepreneurship program. She is also spearheading the founding of an innovation lab that would serve not only Shenandoah University members, but also community members who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs.
According to Power, the Institute for Entrepreneurship provides individualized business education driven by entrepreneurial thinking, global understanding and ethical practice. The institute aims to delivers courses and events that support the entrepreneurial spirit with practical knowledge in management, marketing, finance and law with real-life applications. The institute also seeks to inform, educate and enrich the community at large.
“Our entrepreneurship program is not just for our students; we want to be a resource for the whole community,” said Miles Davis, Ph.D., dean of the university’s Harry F. Byrd, Jr. School of Business. “Whether attending a lecture or taking a class, the institute is here for everyone.”
Power, a firm believer in community engagement, agrees. “We want to throw open the doors, invite people in, and have them take advantage of what others are learning here,” said Power. “We also want to learn from community knowledge, too.”
One event in particular fulfills this vision. Entrepreneurship Week, held in conjunction with the Kauffman Foundation’s global entrepreneurship week during the second week of November, seeks to inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and investors. A key speaker, former Byrd School business student Nghia Tuan Luong ’09, will discuss the building of Eco Park, an environmentally conscious city near Hanoi in North Vietnam.
In addition to these endeavors, Power will work with Dr. Davis to select speakers and faculty members to teach a second master class in organizational leadership and culture this fall. As one of the founding faculty members, Power taught the first masterclass last spring, along with former Circuit City CEO Alan Wurtzel and Executive-in-Residence,Trustee and retired Chairman and CEO of American Woodmark William Brandt Jr. Only a select number of senior students were chosen to participate in this unique class based upon academic merit and completion of an interview with Dr. Davis.
This fall, Power will teach courses on the mind of the entrepreneur, small business and management. She recently taught a summer course on organizational structure and behavior and is looking forward to teaching a course on leadership and cultural change this spring.
— Katherine Anderson