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The Whittemore School of Business and Economics

UNH's Whittemore School Honors N.H. Business Leader with First Entrepreneur Venture Creator Award

By Denise Hart
UNH News Bureau

May 14, 2003

DURHAM, N.H. -- Chances are you will not find Robert "Bob" C. McCray's name in an Internet search or even in the business headlines. You have to dig deeper to find the man with a passion for creating and supporting new businesses honored by the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore School of Business and Economics with the first annual Entrepreneur Venture Creator award.

McCray was presented with the award May 2 at the fifteenth annual Paul J. Holloway, Jr. Business Plan Prize dinner.

A recognized leader n the New Hampshire business community and beyond, McCray has been instrumental in helping people start new businesses since the 1970s. He is one of a group of investors known as business angels, who quietly provide entrepreneurs with the capital needed to make dreams come alive. McCray has been involved with more than 28 start-up companies, investing both capital and personal expertise to help them rise above the competition to success.

"We are honored to recognize Bob with our first annual Entrepreneurial Venture Creator award," says Steve Bolander, dean of the Whittemore School. "He is a leader and strong supporter of the entrepreneurial spirit in this economic region."

McCray grew up in a small mill town in Massachusetts, earning a degree in aeronautical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and later graduating from the Navy Supply Corp School at the Harvard Business School. His talents brought him to the manufacturing industry, where he rose to become CEO of Worcester Controls. With the equity and leadership skills he acquired, he went on to start several of his own companies and resolved to help others do the same.

"Bob's name consistently came up on top when we sought nominations for this award," says Bill Naumes, associate professor of management. "He has given freely of his time to other entrepreneurs as well as our students. All those who know Bob and have engaged in conversations with him come away with a better understanding of what it takes to start and run a successful business. He has been a successful entrepreneur, a strong mentor of other entrepreneurs and a long time supporter of entrepreneurial programs at the Whittemore School. The first presentation of this annual award was probably the easiest one to make."

McCray was an early board member of the M.I.T. Enterprise Forum, New Hampshire High Tech Council and the Venture Capital Network of Durham. He has, at various times, been a director and member of the executive committees of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts
and the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire.

The Entrepreneur Venture Creator award is given to a New Hampshire resident with a demonstrated commitment to the state's business community, an appreciation for UNH and its resources, and a track record of creating entrepreneurial value by starting companies, supporting and promoting new ventures and mentoring individuals engaged in business start-ups.

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