VGCC Vice President appointed to Black Entrepreneurship Council
Dr. Jerry Edmonds, III, a vice president at Vance-Granville Community College, is among 25 individuals recently appointed to serve on the inaugural North Carolina Black Entrepreneurship Council (NC BEC).
NC IDEA, a Durham-based private foundation committed to supporting entrepreneurial ambition and economic empowerment in North Carolina, formed the council to serve the entrepreneurial aspirations and economic potential of North Carolina’s Black community.
“I am excited to have the opportunity to work with such an accomplished team of North Carolina entrepreneurs, educators and community leaders,” Edmonds said. “Collectively, we have the opportunity to provide valuable mentorship and access to capital through the NC Black Entrepreneurship Council. This important work aligns with that of VGCC in educating students for the workforce of tomorrow while promoting entrepreneurship as an important career option in an ever-changing workplace.”
“We are encouraged and humbled that our announcement of the Council drew an overwhelming response from accomplished individuals, affirming community support for this vital work,” said Thom Ruhe, CEO and President of NC IDEA. “The Council will focus on economically empowering Black people with entrepreneurship, thereby combating economic inequality that perpetuates racial disparities,” Ruhe added.
The NC BEC will help guide the NC IDEA Foundation in its programmatic and grant making ambitions in furtherance of North Carolina’s Black community. Council members will work closely with the Foundation to identify, recommend and support partners and programs with the expressed purpose of elevating Black Entrepreneurship in North Carolina. Service on the Council will also include input on the Foundation’s funding decisions, specifically grants awarded to partner organizations through the NC IDEA ECOSYSTEM program.
A resident of Henderson, Edmonds has served as Vice President of Workforce Development and Community Engagement at VGCC since 2019. He oversees training programs that respond to community needs and prepare students for workforce success, including apprenticeship programs, and economic development support for the region. In addition, Edmonds leads the development of partnerships with businesses and government agencies, and coordinates outreach and marketing for the entire college.
Edmonds previously served as Dean of Workforce and Economic Development at Halifax Community College. Prior to his role as Dean, he served as the Small Business Center Director at Halifax Community College, from 2014 until 2017. Edmonds worked for International Business Machines (IBM) and Johnson and Johnson in the private sector before entering the higher education field, earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree, with an emphasis on Marketing, from Marshall University and his Master of Science degree in Human Services Management from Springfield College. He recently received his Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Educational Leadership from Wisconsin-based Edgewood College.
“We are proud of Dr. Edmonds’ appointment to the NC BEC, as it provides yet another avenue for VGCC to be a catalyst in supporting strong communities where everyone can experience a fulfilling quality of life,” said Dr. Rachel Desmarais, president of the community college. “Indeed, Dr. Edmonds is uniquely qualified to make an important contribution to this council, as he is one of the few members who represents an area that includes the rural ‘Tier 1’ counties that often have the most acute needs.”
About NC IDEA FOUNDATION
NC IDEA is an independent private foundation committed to empowering North Carolinians to achieve their entrepreneurial potential. Through our powerful combination of competitive grants and programs, and a network of strategic partners, we help entrepreneurs when they need it most. NC IDEA’s resources are highly competitive, enabling the foundation to support North Carolina’s most ambitious entrepreneurs. We believe entrepreneurs transform communities and view our work as a catalyst for positive change. Learn more at www.ncidea.org.