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Eller College Home > News, Events, and Multimedia > Press Releases > McGuire Center to Honor Innovation Champs

Press Release

Eller Press Contact

Liz Warren-Pederson
Eller College of Management

McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship to Honor Innovation Champs at April 14 Public Event

Awards, student venture presentations to cap year-end celebration at Eller College of Management.

TUCSON, Ariz. – April 6, 2011 – The McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management will honor four business and innovation leaders at its Year-end Celebration on Thursday, April 14: John Bardis, Fred Boice, Debbie Claggett, and Rick Myers.

The Center established its annual awards program in 1985 to recognize successful entrepreneurs as well as individuals who have gone the extra mile to support entrepreneurship education.

2011 McGuire Center Honorees

John Bardis: Entrepreneurial Fellow
John Bardis, alumnus of the University of Arizona, founded MedAssets in June 1999, and has been the company's chairman, president, and CEO since its inception. Inc. magazine named Bardis Entrepreneur of the Year in 1995.

Fred Boice: Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame
Fred Boice has been active in the Tucson community for more than 45 years and was the first person to serve two consecutive terms as president of the Arizona Board of Regents. During his tenure, he helped develop ways to expand access to UA education as the UA experienced record levels of diversity, enrollment, retention, and graduation.

Debbie Claggett: Entrepreneurial Fellow
Debbie Claggett is co-founder of the online triathlon-focused e-store, established 20 years ago in partnership with her husband Seton Claggett. The Claggetts also created and help fund the non-profit organization TriSports Racing, which supports youth sports and physically challenged athletes.

Rick Myers: Entrepreneurial Fellow
Rick Myers is chief operating officer of Critical Path Institute, a non-profit organization working to tackle issues in drug development. Myers has been active in building capacity and infrastructure in Arizona and is currently serving an eight-year term on the Arizona Board of Regents.

Supporting Top-Ranked Education

"We're very grateful to all of this year's awards winners for their role in advancing education and helping create an environment where entrepreneurship and innovation can thrive," said Sherry Hoskinson, director of the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship. "It’s their support and the work of many others like them that have helped make the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program one of the top-ranked programs in the country."

In addition to the awards ceremony, the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship Year-end Celebration will include all of this year's 23 student teams presenting their venture concepts and plans in fast-paced "rocket pitches" before investors, judges, and others.

The Year-end Celebration event is free and open to the public at the University of Arizona's McClelland Hall just north of the main campus at 1130 E. Helen St. Student venture pitches begin at 12:30 p.m. and awards presentations begin at 4:30 p.m. For more information, visit

The McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship is a National Model Program of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship and is home to the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program, ranked the #2 public undergraduate and #1 public graduate program in the nation by Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review. Established in 1984, it was one of the first university-based entrepreneurship centers in the country. Today, the Center offers entrepreneurship education for any graduate program at the University of Arizona and reaches more than 1,000 undergraduate students every semester. With courses in business, law, science, engineering, health, medicine, arts, and humanities, the McGuire Center advances the state and regional economy, advances entrepreneurship education nationwide, and teaches life-long problem solving for economic, social, scientific, and environmental progress.

The Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona is internationally recognized for pioneering research, innovative curriculum, distinguished faculty, excellence in management information systems, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller undergraduate program No. 11 among public business schools and two of its programs are among the top 20 β€” Entrepreneurship and MIS. U.S. News & World Report ranks the Eller MBA Full-Time program No. 48 in the U.S. In addition to a Full-Time MBA program, the Eller College offers the No. 25-ranked Evening MBA program, the Eller Executive MBA and the Online MBA. The Eller College of Management supports more than 5,800 undergraduate and 800 graduate students on the UA campus in beautiful Tucson, Arizona, and on its satellite campus in downtown Phoenix.

Press Contact:
Liz Warren-Pederson, Eller College of Management

For additional information, please contact us.