Kim White ’82 was the featured speaker at the 19th Annual Clarence E. Harris Entrepreneurial Forum, presented by the UTC College of Business. The President and CEO of River City Company and proud alumna of UTC told the students she left Chattanooga for more than 20 years, but she is glad to be back.
“One of the first things I did when I moved back to Chattanooga was to reestablish my relationship with UTC. It is one of the reasons I chose to come home to my city,” White said.
White promotes downtown development at River City. She also guides the nonprofit’s focus on attracting jobs, growing the residential population, and cultivating retail investment.
“Chattanooga has a history of doing the impossible. Groups come here from all over the world to discover what is in our ‘secret sauce.’ And it is really no secret. What makes us great is our connectedness—not just through technology and the Gig—but a connectedness of vision and spirit. Our strength is in our collaboration. Visioning is how this city works. We don’t just say ‘working together works.’ We live it. And isn’t that collaborative, problem-solving approach just perfect for entrepreneurs?” White asked.
White has held her position at River City Company since 2009. She has served on the boards of non-profits and she has been very involved at UTC, serving on the UC Foundation, UT Foundation, and as the past president of the UTC Alumni Board. She told the students they have an opportunity to shape the next 30 years of a city that welcomes the new ideas of entrepreneurs.
“It energizes me to look out and see such a great group of students. I know our future is in good hands,” White said to students.
In addition to White, panelist speakers were invited to share their thoughts with students. The group included:
- Benjamin Wald, Spartan Ventures
- Sheldon Grizzle, Spartan Ventures
- Travis Truett, Ambition
- Jared Houghton, Ambition
- Max Poppel, The CrashPad and Flying Squirrel
- Dan Rose, The CrashPad and Flying Squirrel
- John Ying—The CrashPad
- Cameron Doody—Bellhops
The Clarence E. Harris Entrepreneurial Forum is funded by an endowment from the Harris Foundation. The goal of the Forum is to provide and exchange between students, faculty, and entrepreneurs regarding the entrepreneurial process. The UTC College of Business Administration thanks the Harris Foundation for its generous support of the Clarence E. Harris Chair of Excellence and the Mary Harris Distinguished Professorship in Entrepreneurship.