A plastics innovator, a global macro investment strategist, and a pioneering steel and oil businessman are new inductees of the UTC College of Business Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. 

In 1999, Dr. Richard Becherer and a group of community and business leaders began to plan an Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame to be housed at the UTC College of Business. The goal of the Hall is to honor Chattanooga entrepreneurs that represent both the early foundations of entrepreneurship in the region, as well as, current area entrepreneurs.

By celebrating this entrepreneurial legacy, the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame highlights this critical aspect of the economy and creates entrepreneurial role models and communicates an entrepreneurial perspective to current students.

This year’s honorees are: Harshad Shah, Hamilton Plastics; Renée Haugerud, Galtere Ltd; and the late Gordon Parkhurst Street, Wheeland Foundry and North American Royalties.

Harshad Shah

Harshad Shah came to the United States from India in 1974 with only $8 in his pocket in pursuit of higher education and greater opportunities.  Shah moved to Chattanooga in 1982 to assume an R&D management position at a plastics firm in Dalton, Georgia. In 1986, he started Hamilton Plastics with an innovative idea—to produce trash bags that would be twice as strong as the industry standard using half the material.

By 1990, Shah had built a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that has won awards for its architectural design.

Since 1991, he has also been involved in the lodging and hospitality market and is President of the 3H group which manages and develops hotels throughout the nation.  Shah also joined a group of local business leaders to organize and start Capital Mark Bank and Trust in 2006, and he serves on their executive board.

Shah has repeatedly been recognized for his business acumen and entrepreneurial success by the Chattanooga community, including: the Spirit of Innovation Award (2003); Small Business of the Year (2004); Manager of the Year (2008); and the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award (2011).

Renee Haugerud

Renée Haugerud is the Founder and CIO of Galtere Ltd., and she has become an active member of the Chattanooga community since locating here in 2008 with her husband John Murphy, UTC alumnus.  Haugerud and Murphy founded The Galtere Institute: Finance for the Future Initiative (FFI) at UTC College of Business, a program which promotes a broader macro approach to market analysis with a goal to involve more women in portfolio management.  She began trading in the global financial and commodity markets in 1980 for agriculture and food giant Cargill Inc.  She held posts in international financial centers including London, Hong Kong, Geneva, and Melbourne, trading across all asset classes before founding Galtere Ltd., an investment advisor managing commodity-based global macro strategies from offices in New York, Minnesota, and Switzerland.

Haugerud has been a guest on CNBC, CNN and the PBS Nightly Business Report, and has also been profiled in Barron’s, eFinancial News, Forbes Magazine, Fortune, ForbesLife Executive Woman, MAR Futures, Time and Trader Monthly.

Gordon Parkhurst Street

Gordon Parkhurst Street was born in 1902 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and attended Baylor School, the University of Chattanooga, and Cornell University.  At the beginning of World War II he worked for the Wheland Company and was heavily involved in the manufacture of anchor windlasses for the Merchant Marine and big-bore guns for the Navy’s warships.  After the war, the Wheland family hired Gordon Street to help them sell the company, but Street has said that he did such a good job of selling Wheland that he bought it himself.

General Motors gave Wheland a contract to build brake castings for Chevrolet, making Wheland one of the largest foundries in the nation.  Street also renovated Wheland’s oil drilling equipment and became increasingly ambitious in the oil business, expanding his operations into Oklahoma, the Texas Gulf Coast, and South Louisiana.  He took his company public in 1969 by merging it with North American Royalties and moved its headquarters to Chattanooga.

Street’s entrepreneurial legacy contributed significantly to the growth of the American automotive industry and produced oil and gas for the energy needs of this country.

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