“Serial entrepreneur” returns for Shoemaker Speaker Series’ conversation

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For more than 40 years, North Carolina-based “serial entrepreneur” Vance Patterson ‘72 has served as an executive, foundation leader and educator. This spring, Patterson will return to the Hanover College campus as featured guest for the 2023 Shoemaker Speaker Series.

Vance Patterson ’72

Since the early 1980s, Patterson has launched 23 companies and a non-profit foundation. His global experience includes joint ventures in North America, Europe, Asia and South America, as well as teaching at Oxford University. He currently serves as president of eight of his North Carolina- and South Carolina-based entities.

Patterson will speak on Hanover’s campus at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 18, in the Science Center. John Riddick, professor and executive director of the Hanover College Business Scholars Program, will serve as host for the conversation. The event is open to the public, free of charge. A pre-event cocktail reception will be held from 6:30-7 p.m.

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In 1982, Patterson began working with Solar Shield, Inc., which manufactures and installs industrial roof-cooling systems. In 1989, he started the Patterson Fan Company, which manufactures and sells industrial fans around the globe. He continues as president of both companies and also leads The Subsidiary, Inc., Patterson Ventilation Company, WITSITS, Inc., Mainstreet Broadcasting, Inc., Frenzy T’s, Inc., and Fishbowl Enterprises.

Patterson is also the founder of Foundation Forward. The nonprofit organization is committed to teaching civics and preserving American history. Foundation Forward designs, builds and gifts permanent displays of the “Charters of Freedom,” including the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and now, the Civil Rights Amendments, in communities across the U.S. Forty-nine memorials have been gifted, providing localized access to these historical documents in a proper setting for educational purposes, including one on Hanover’s campus. Another 22 are scheduled for 2023.

Patterson lives in Morganton, N.C, with his wife, Mary Jo Cody Patterson ’75.

The Shoemaker Speaker Series, part of Hanover’s expanding entrepreneurial network, was established in 2022 to feature prominent voices on business, leadership and innovation. The program is made possible through the generosity of John Shoemaker ’64 and his wife, Donna.

Shoemaker has more than four decades of experience in high technology, including executive management roles at Sun Microsystems and Xerox Corporation. He is currently the board chair at Extreme Networks and has also served as a board member for numerous companies such as Altera Inc., SonicWall Inc., Astute Technologies, Inc., and Conformative Systems, Inc.

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