• Cook honored for entrepreneurship education

    Posted: March 07, 2011

    Author: Meaghan Gordon

    LIVINGSTON, Ala.—A University of West Alabama assistant professor recently received the 2011 College Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year award from the University of Alabama for his contributions in the classroom and the Black Belt.

    Charlie Cook, a 20-year UWA employee, has taught entrepreneurial classes and led the UWA Small Business Development Center. He and four others from across the state were honored at a ceremony and reception in the North Zone at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

    “Mr. Cook is very deserving of this recognition due in part to his many years of dedicated service to all things entrepreneurial, from teaching and inspiring students in entrepreneurial classes to engaging communities and businesses in strategic, comprehensive economic development planning,” said Dr. Ken Tucker, UWA College of Business dean, who nominated Cook.

    Cook has encouraged and supported students in starting their own businesses. He says former students now contribute to the economic health of their communities through their business ventures in home building and construction, restaurants, automobile dealerships, accounting practices, marinas, art and fashion boutiques and more.

    As director of the UWA Small Business Development Center, Cook developed a simplified business plan format that was adopted for statewide use by beginning entrepreneurs to define and monitor their progress on requirements critical to the initial success of their entrepreneurial endeavors. He has also worked closely with officials in the University’s service area to prepare comprehensive development plans for their communities.

    Cook, a Sam Walton Fellow, served as faculty advisor to UWA’s Students in Free Enterprise chapter and Delta Sigma Pi professional business fraternity. He has also assisted with UWA’s online program through set up and trouble-shooting.

    Although he will retire in May, Cook maintains an active private consulting practice to advise local businesspeople and provides many hours of pro bono advisory and technical support services to public and private entities.
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