Kevin Tucker Acts as Entrepreneur-in-Residence
Throughout the year, the Center for Entrepreneurship invites various entrepreneurs to participate in the Entrepreneur-in-Residence program.
Currently, the five Entrepreneurs-in-Residence are John Rothenberger, Jeff Pompeo, Mary Knebel Gillespie, Jon Craver, and Kevin Tucker. Each of the five entrepreneurs rotates visiting JMU throughout the semester. While acting as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence, the entrepreneur will spend time visiting classes, meeting with student groups, and holding office hours that are open to students. The Entrepreneur-in-Residence acts as a resource, offering professional advice and mentoring students.
Recently, Kevin Tucker, owner and president of SOLitude Lake Management Company, returned to his alma mater with the hope of sharing his experiences and advice with JMU students during his time as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence. He says, “I enjoy interacting, educating, and sharing knowledge with students about my experiences. I love JMU and I loved my experience here, and selfishly this gave me a reason to come to campus more and engage with students. “
Founded by Tucker in 1998, SOLitude Lake Management is a company dedicated to the preservation of natural resources and focused on the growing need for proper management of lakes and retention ponds. About his company, Tucker says, “It was a good niche. I wanted a business that was a good niche and I wanted a business that I could afford to hire high quality people, expect a lot from them, and pay them well.”
Though his first time acting as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Tucker has been actively engaged with the JMU community for the past two years. In addition to speaking in various classes, Kevin has also acted as a mentor for the Venture Creation course, offering guidance to students navigating the launch of a potential new business.
As a business owner, Tucker advises students, "When I am looking at hiring people, I am looking for quality of character and work ethic because training will take care of everything else. I can’t train people to be honest, and I can’t train people to be hardworking. You must have initiative—it’s all about initiative.”