After a motivational keynote address during the Aggie Alumni Entrepreneur’s Conference, North Carolina A&T State University Board of Trustees member and entrepreneur, Janice Bryant Howroyd was presented with the inaugural Distinguished Aggie Alumni Entrepreneur Award.

“It’s always new,” she said about being honored by N.C. A&T. “It’s emotional. It’s motivational and it shows that I’m growing.”

Howroyd is chairwoman and chief executive officer of the Act•1 Group, a global leader in the staffing and human resources industry that has provided more than 30 years of service to companies in the Fortune 1000. The Act•1 Group consists of: Agile•1 Workforce Solutions, AppleOne Staffing and Business Services Solutions.

A fiery motivational speaker, Howroyd shared with conference attendees how she left North Carolina for California and turned $1,500 and a single phone line into a $3 billion company.

“Act•1, in so many ways, is a house Dean Craig built,” she shared. “I realized earlier on that the talent in my organization has to be better educated – Dean Craig sent some of that talent to my organization.”

This is the second year for the entrepreneur’s conference that will become an annual event during Homecoming week. Dr. Thaddeus McEwen, professor and director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Entrepreneurship and E-business told the audience that this conference is the only one of its kind in the Piedmont Triad region.

“We wanted to provide an opportunity for our alumni to network and learn about entrepreneurship and network with the entrepreneurship students on our campus,” McEwen said.

According to McEwen, the entrepreneurship program in the School of Business and Economics is the fastest growing in the Department of Management.

“We are looking to partner with our alumni entrepreneurs to help us by coming in to speak during workshops or classes and to be mentors for our students,” he said.

In addition to Howroyd’s keynote address, students had the opportunity to participate in an elevator pitch competition while other attendees had an opportunity to attend various break out sessions to learn more about social media marketing, transitioning from start up to growth and increasing sales through government and corporate contracts.