Kirby lecture speaker to highlight veteran entrepreneurship

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Courtesy of Wilkes University

Zachary Smith, Staff Writer

Lt. Col. Allen B. West will visit Wilkes University as part of the Allan P. Kirby Lectures in Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship series on Oct. 5.

Lt. Col. West will speak about the importance of small businesses as cornerstones of the American economy. West also served as a member of congress and fought against recent laws such as the Affordable Care Act, as he deemed it detrimental to small businesses and the economy as a whole.

In addition to speaking about the importance of small business, West will also discuss the need to get more veterans involved with entrepreneurship. West will discuss opportunities for businesses to not only help reintegrate our soldiers into the economy, but make them an invaluable part of any organization.

Lt. Col. West’s visit is also part of a coming initiative by the Allan P. Kirby Center, to help veteran’s participation in entrepreneurship. Executive Director of Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Dr. Rodney Ridley is optimistic of the initiative, saying,   “Veterans have such a diverse skill set, they are such highly trained individuals, and yet are underutilized in the workforce today”

The lecture is free and open to the public and starts at 7 p.m. in the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center.

Previous speakers in the lecture series has included Michael Reagan (son of President Ronald Reagan), author Mary Fisher, and ABC reporter John Stossel, among others. While he could not comment on future speakers for next semester’s lecture, Ridley has stated that, “We have some really interesting speakers lined up”.

One of the goals of these lectures, according to Ridley, is to demonstrate how entrepreneurship and free enterprise can be a jumping off point to accomplish other great feats. Previous speakers have used entrepreneurship and free enterprise to combat human trafficking, fund AIDS research, and with the addition of Lt. Col. West, bring attention to and assist with veteran’s affairs.

To learn more about this or any upcoming lecture, students can visit the Allan P. Kirby Center, located next to the Farley Library, during normal university hours.