Associate Professor of Finance Dr. John Gonas was presented the Jack Kahl Entrepreneurial Leadership Award for the Sam. M. Walton Free Enterprise Fellow of the Year at the recent Enactus National Exposition in Kansas City. Nominated by his students, Gonas won the award for his “outstanding contribution to the Enactus Team at Belmont University and to the advancement of the entire Enactus organization.”
In a letter supporting the nomination, College of Business Administration Dean Dr. Pat Raines wrote, “The results from John Gonas’ leadership of our Belmont SIFE/Enactus teams over the past eight years are remarkable: two National Championships and two trips to the World Cup… It is impossible to relate to you in a letter how much John cares about the personal and professional development of his Enactus students. He spends countless hours with them, developing Enactus projects and simultaneously developing character that they will take with them for the rest of their lives. In my experience, I have not seen anyone contribute more to Enactus students and the Enactus organization than John Gonas.”
In addition, Dr. Gonas recently published an article in the Nashville Nonprofit Review detailing the lessons he has learned from Spring Back Recycling. The article, “Social enterprise: profitability in an open marketplace” is on page 8. The online-only publication seeks to be a source of information for the nonprofit community in Nashville and beyond, focusing on issues that are important to our sector.
Belmont’s Enactus team developed the concept, business plan, supply chain, licensee structure and operations manual for Spring Back Recycling, a nonprofit business that employs formerly homeless or incarcerated workers in recycling mattresses, giving them an opportunity for sustainable employment and small business training.