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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI to host lecture on corporate entrepreneurship Nov. 8

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

Event is the semi-annual Risica Lecture on Innovation and Entrepreneurship


KINGSTON, R.I. -- October 25, 2007 -- Dallas-based entrepreneurs S. Kent Fannon and Diane Fannon, both alumni of the University of Rhode Island, will discuss "Entrepreneurship in the Corporate Environment" on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 4 p.m. as part of the Anthony J. Risica Endowed Lecture Series on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Cosponsored by URI's College of Engineering and College of Business Administration, the lecture will be held in Cherry Auditorium in the Kirk Center for Advanced Technology on the Kingston campus. It is free and open to the public.

In their careers, the Fannons have worked in large, established, and in some cases well-known corporations and pursued numerous entrepreneurial ideas with the support and encouragement of the corporate entity. In their lecture they will discuss how their successes and failures helped satisfy their entrepreneurial drive, and what it meant to them and to the people with which they worked.

Over the past 30 years, S. Kent Fannon has applied his entrepreneurial spirit in multiple industries, from airlines and broadcasting to retail and healthcare. He was chief financial and development officer of EmCare, Inc., the nation's largest hospital and physician services company, and while in private equity he served as chief executive officer of two healthcare services portfolio companies. He currently works with the executive search firm D'Antoni Partners.

Diane Fannon has spent most of her career in the advertising business. At Tracy-Locke in Dallas, she became executive creative director while developing award-winning campaigns for Frito-Lay, Phillips Petroleum, Taco Bell and Budget Rent-a-Car. Later she ran the photography division of The Image Bank, and she now heads up new business development and brand management as a principal in The Richards Group. Her clients include Home Depot and Fruit of the Loom.

Diane graduated from URI with degrees in English and education, while Kent earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from URI and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

The Anthony J. Risica Endowed Lecture Series on Innovation and Entrepreneurship was established in 2003 with a donation from Tony Risica, a URI engineering alumnus who most recently was involved in the start-up of Sonus Networks, a telecommunication company involved with Voice over IP (VoIP) technology.

For more information about the lecture, call the College of Engineering dean's office at 401-874-2186.