Kevin O’Mara to lead Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership
The Doherty Center offers scholarships for students interested in entrepreneurship, sponsors a speaker series, and awards the Elon University Medal for Entrepreneurial Leadership to business leaderes whom epitomize the values of the university.
Kevin O’Mara, a professor of management in the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business, has been named the executive director of the Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.
As executive director, O’Mara is responsible for guiding the center in involving Elon students from all disciplines to develop their creativity, innovation skills and entrepreneurial mindset. The center’s goal is to enable Elon students to pursue their passion for social entrepreneurship or desire to start business ventures.
O’Mara hopes Elon students will recognize what the Doherty Center can offer. “America has never needed new thinking and innovation more than today,” O’Mara said. “This applies to our economy, our educational systems, our pressing social issues and the environment. Fortunately, there has never been a better time for an entrepreneurial mind that aims to make an impact.”
“The Doherty Center hopes to encourage Elon students to impact their world by providing workshops, external contacts, events and coordination across campus to all Elon departments. We want our students to act as well as learn. Our intention is not to grow internally but assist existing departments and programs across campus to better fulfill their missions and objectives by making the resources of the Doherty Center available to them.”
O’Mara teaches at the undergraduate, MBA and executive levels with primary teaching responsibilities in the strategy and innovation fields. He has been awarded the LSB Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the LSB Dean’s Award for Scholarship and the LSB Dean’s Award for Service-Faculty. He has led study abroad courses to Cuba, London, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia and the Cayman Islands. As the director of the Elon MBA program from 1997-2005, the program underwent a complete and highly innovative redesign culminating in attaining its initial AACSB accreditation in 2003. The program was ranked #1 and #4 nationally by Educational Benchmarking Inc., and cited by The Princeton Review as the nation’s “Best Administered” MBA program.
Prior to entering academia, O’Mara was a strategic analyst for a Fortune 100 oil exploration company in Houston. He holds the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) designation, and currently serves on multiple boards including the North Carolina Small Business Technology Development Center Board of Advisors, The Hawbridge School Board of Directors and the SBTDC Central Carolina Region Board of Advisors as chair. O’Mara is a recent past president of the Academy of Business Education and currently serves on its executive board.
O’Mara earned a Ph.D. in technology management from North Carolina State University, an MBA with a concentration in accounting from the University of Houston, and bachelor’s degrees in engineering and business from the University of Texas.
The Doherty Center focuses on experiential education, teaching entrepreneurial thinking, and preparing students for success as entrepreneurs. It offers scholarships for students interested in entrepreneurship, sponsors a speaker series, and awards the Elon University Medal for Entrepreneurial Leadership annually to a business leader whom epitomizes the values of Elon University.
The Doherty Center was established by an endowment gift from Ed and Joan Doherty, entrepreneurs from Saddle River, N.J. The Dohertys are the parents of Kerry Doherty, a 2007 Elon graduate, and they have served on the university's Parents Council. Ed currently serves as an Elon Trustee.
Their company, Doherty Enterprises, Inc., is one of the nation's leading franchise operators of quality family restaurants, including Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Panera Bread and Chevy's Fresh Mex.