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Entrepreneur Connect Speaker Series

Image of the College of Business and Economics building masked in blue and orange squares

Next speaker: John Jackson, Founder of Jacksons Food Stores

November 9, 2022

3-4:15 p.m.

Skaggs Hall of Learning Room 1301, Micron Business and Economics Building

Open to the public, no RSVP or ticket required. Free parking is available in the Brady Garage (University Drive and Brady St. or Earle St.).

About John Jackson

John D. Jackson founded Jacksons Food Stores, Inc., in 1975 as a single service station. Jacksons has grown to be a nationally recognized chain of 230+ Chevron, Shell and Texaco branded convenience stores in 6 western states. All company operations currently employ approximately 3,000 associates.

Jacksons is one of the largest privately held corporations in Idaho. They have achieved Top Performer status in the nation, for each year of the Chevron’s Customer First and Shell’s Mystery Motorist customer service and store cleanliness programs.

Jacksons was awarded the Patriotic Employer Award by the Idaho National Guard, the Pectin and the Pearl Award for community service from Shell and the 2006 Idaho Brightest Star Award, awarded by the governor. With the help of our employees and customers, Jacksons Food Stores has raised millions of dollars for local charities/community including St. Alphonsus Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital, Idaho Partners for Justice, St. Jude’s Children Hospital, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Red Cross, Paint the Town, College of Idaho, Boise State University, Little League teams, schools, Boise Rescue Mission, and many more.

Connecting entrepreneurs, students and the community

  • Entrepreneur Connect Speaker Series seeks to connect successful entrepreneurs with students and the community to share stories and advice in a casual, open setting. A faculty panel will asks questions about entrepreneurship and encourages members of the audience to share inquiries of their own.
  • Entrepreneur Connect will be held twice a year, once in the fall near or during the Global Entrepreneurship Week and once in the spring.
  • Entrepreneur Connect celebrates fresh perspectives, taking risks and bringing new ideas to life.

Impact beyond the scheduled event

The speaker series has impact beyond the date of the event. Classes watch past presentations and instructors pull out words of wisdom for learning moments. For example instructor Karen Nicholas plans to use material from Jay Parkinson’s presentation on March 16, 20 in her Managerial Problem Solving (BUS420) class.

“When Jay talked about what makes a company valuable, he describes it so succinctly and clearly — and that’s not an easy task! I feel that our students will identify with his words. I plan to use several snippets from his talk this fall in BUS 420 and hope to use it in future classes as well.” — Karen Nicholas, assistant professor

Past Events:

Entrepreneur Connect Speaker Series

Jay Parkinson, CEO and Founder, Stonehill Environmental Partners

On March 16, 2022, Idaho native Jay Parkinson shared the path his career took from private equity to founder and CEO to serial entrepreneur.

Founded in 2021, Stonehill provides infrastructure and environmental solutions to the upstream energy industry. Their financial partner is Golden Gate Capital, a $19 billion private equity fund based in San Francisco, California.

Read more about Jay
Entrepreneur Connect Speaker Series

Randy Hales, CEO, Next Level Apparel

November 10, 2021

Learn the what the levers are to lift any enterprise and the simple way to value you company and the competition — play the “Using Four Simple Levers to Dramatically Increase Enterprise Value” video.

Read more about Randy Hales

Using Four Simple Levers to Dramatically Increase Enterprise Value

The Making of a Super Computer

Amy Gile, Co-founder and CEO, Silverdraft Supercomputing

November 4, 2020

amy gile

Learn how Amy Gile went from in front of the camera to behind the scenes to provide the computing power entertainers, production artists and visual effects makers need.

Tales of the 2nd Largest Grocery Store Chain

Andy Scoggin, Founding member and Executive VP, Albertsons LLC

February 5, 2020

Learn how Albertsons LLC  grew from a regional chain with $4 billion in annual sales to the second-largest nationwide traditional grocery chain and the third-largest private company in the United States with more than $63 billion in annual sales.

Starting PetIQ - From Card Table to Millions

Cord Christensen, Founder and CEO, PetIQ

November 18, 2019

Learn how successful entrepreneur Cord Christensen disrupted the animal health and wellness industry and created a company with a billion dollars in sales. He gives excellent business and personal advice, too. Have a listen.

Starting ClickBank and Kount

Founder Eileen Langan Barber and Founding CEO Brad Wiskirchen Share Their Stories

February 6, 2019

From the leaders of ClickBank and Kount. Keynetics, the parent company of ClickBank and Kount, has grown to become Idaho’s largest privately held technology company.

Inaugural Event Nov. 13, 2018

Ward and Joe Parkinson Tell the Story of Starting Micron

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 marked the inaugural lecture of the College of Business and Economics’ new Entrepreneur Connect Speaker Series. A standing-room-only crowd welcomed Micron co-founders Ward and Joe Parkinson to Skaggs Hall in the aptly named Micron Business and Economics building. The twin brothers took turns recounting the early days of founding one of Boise’s biggest success stories. Ward, the engineer of the duo, had never before spoken publicly about the company making it truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the students, faculty and community members in attendance. There were lots of laughs and lessons as the duo shared experiences. They talked of the ups and down — times they nearly lost the company and times when they worked with a team of Boise’s best to keep things going.

joe and ward parkinson with small group of students
For more than an hour, Ward and Joe Parkinson answered questions from a small group of lucky students.

Many from Micron came to hear the lecture and Ward and Joe called out the names of several as stories of Micron’s early days involved them. COBE entrepreneurship faculty Jeff Sugheir and Timothy Dunne kicked off the question and answer period and several student questions followed. After the lecture in the Executive Education Classroom, a small group of MBA students was treated to the unique opportunity of having their questions answered by Ward and Joe.

Joe and Ward Parkinson and the first working DRAM chip

Joe and Ward Parkinson and the first working DRAM chip

ground breaking for Micron building

Groundbreaking for the Micron building in 1984

Joe Parkinson, Tom Nicholas and Ward Parkinson at the Stagecoach Resraurant 1983

Joe Parkinson, Tom Nicholas (early investor) and Ward Parkinson at the Stagecoach Restaurant 1983

aerial view of Micron Technology campus

Micron Technology campus 2012