Ivy Tech regional board of trustees chair, Connie Ferguson, earns Chamber’s Diane Breeden-Lee Catalyst Award

Ivy Tech regional board of trustees chair, Connie Ferguson, earns Chamber’s Diane Breeden-Lee Catalyst Award

Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington’s regional board of trustees chair, Connie Ferguson, has earned the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce 2014 Diane Breeden-Lee Catalyst Award. Ferguson was presented the award at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting at the Bloomington Monroe County Convention Center earlier today.

The Diane Breeden-Lee Catalyst Award recognizes individuals who demonstrate an ability to create consensus and motivate others to accomplish a greater goal.

Ferguson was awarded the Diane Breeden-Lee Catalyst Award for her ability to collaborate with community leaders and convince the College to reverse its early 2014 decision to merge the Ivy Tech-Bloomington region with Evansville (and soon to follow Terre Haute), leaving the Bloomington campus as a stand-alone region.

“I’m thankful to be a part of this organization and thanks to the other regional board members, because without their support, we could not have made it happen,” said Regional Board Chair Connie Ferguson. “The Ivy Tech-Bloomington campus is going to continue to grow and do more and better things. I couldn’t be more proud and humbled to win this award.”

“Ivy Tech-Bloomington owes it all to Connie and our regional board, and we’re so very appreciative of her unwavering support and leadership that resulted in our campus becoming a stand-alone region again,” said Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. “We couldn’t have done it without her. Connie became the voice of our community. She knows Ivy Tech-Bloomingtonthat this region is uniqueand was sure that remaining a stand-alone region would enable us to continue to be responsive to the communities we serve.”

Ferguson has served as regional trustee since 1998 when Bloomington was still part of the Columbus region. She was elected to serve as chair of the regional board of trustees in June 2001 when the Bloomington campus was chartered as its own region. Further, Ferguson has always been an engaged member of the board, having been an active participant in in every Ivy Tech-Bloomington commencement ceremony since being appointed as chair.

CareerBuilder CEO: Learning among keys to successful business

The Herald-Times
Posted: Saturday, September 20, 2014 12:00 am
By Bob Zaltsberg 812-331-4364 | rzaltsberg@heraldt.com

Matt Ferguson incorporated a few video clips into his keynote address at Ivy Tech Community College’s 5th Annual Cook Institute for Entrepreneurship Thursday. Along with Super Bowl commercials featuring unruly chimpanzees that rocketed his company, CareerBuilder, into the public consciousness, he showed interviews with some well-known business leaders.

Two of those leaders, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, were asked about the most important things they do. Ferguson liked the similarities in their answers.

“When they asked the two wealthiest people on the planet what they do every day, they say reading and learning,” he noted.

Ferguson, a Bloomington High School North graduate, son of Cook Group Inc. Chairman Steve Ferguson and CEO of CareerBuilder, believes those are key elements to running a strong organization, especially in a time of rapid change and the need to stay ahead of the competition.

There’s been a lot of reading and learning along the way for Ferguson as his online recruitment company has grown from 30 employees in 1999 to 3,000 today, and from 500,000 unique visitors to the website a month to more than 30 million. CareerBuilder now has a presence in 60 countries as it expands its global footprint.

Ferguson talked about building a company with a strong mission statement and core values, noting how CareerBuilder’s mission has changed as it has grown and technology and the employee recruitment industry have changed. What started out as becoming the “U.S leader in recruitment advertising” has changed to “Empower employment: We are striving to organize all the world’s human capital data and make it meaningful for society.”

Five core values start with candor and also include agility, which Ferguson said he likes to blend into “cagility.” He wants honesty and truthfulness in the workplace, which will lead to making quick decisions to capitalize on opportunities.

He made several other points about entrepreneurial leadership, noting that start-ups need to have “plenty of money” behind them because most fail in the first year and entrepreneurs should not fight having partners because “sharing a bigger pie is always better.” He also said a person with a great idea for a product has to have somebody who can build the idea.

He said what separates the United States from other countries he does business in is the importance of education and that the U.S. values the younger generation. “Our society believes young people can do great things,” he said.

He also said it’s important that businesses like his follow the pattern set by others like the Cook Group, which give back generously to the community. He also said it’s important to have fun.

The Cook Institute is sponsored by the Gayle and Bill Cook Center for Entrepreneurship, which offers a wide range of help and services to small businesses trying to get started.

Latest Ivy Tech fundraising effort is well worth community support

The Herald-Times
Posted: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 6:55 am

Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus continues to grow, both in size and in stature. The capital campaign launched Tuesday is important to that growth.

The campaign is being called “Here We Grow Again!”

It wasn’t that long ago that Ivy Tech in Bloomington was a wholly different operation. When ground was broken in April 2000 on what is now the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building, enrollment at the college was around 2,000. When that groundbreaking was held, Willie Kimmons was the Ivy Tech chancellor and a man of bold and brash predictions. He said then he believed Ivy Tech’s enrollment in Bloomington would grow to 5,000 in five years, and he wasn’t too far off.

By 2007 enrollment had more than doubled and a capital campaign had already raised more than $3.5 million to make improvements to Ivy Tech. The Grow Ivy Tech campaign raised money for expanding life-sciences programs; scholarships for students; the Center for Civic Engagement; and future building expansion. Ivy Tech had already outgrown the “new” building, which opened in 2002.

Now, enrollment is about 6,500 and opportunities for those students have grown exponentially from what was available in 2000. A big reason is that new academic building, but others include visionary leadership by Kimmons’ successor, John Whikehart, and an active, thoughtful and opportunistic regional board of trustees.

Whikehart has moved on now to become deputy mayor for the city of Bloomington, so new chancellor Jennie Vaughn oversaw Tuesday’s kick-off event for a campaign to raise $4 million to put into an expansion project partially funded by the state. Funds from this campaign will benefit students in a number of ways, including adding state-of-the-art lab spaces and classrooms, expanding the Olcott Library and the Hoosier Times student commons space, and creating group and individual study areas, a lecture hall, and other educational amenities. The additions will save nearly $300,000 being spent leasing space outside Ferguson Academic Building.

Through partnerships with businesses and industries, Indiana University and local high schools, Ivy Tech has provided high quality training and educational opportunities to thousands of students over the past decade. It has moved forward fast, from a quiet but useful learning alternative in our community to a vigorous and strong civic and educational player.

There’s no reason to slow that growth. 

The “Here We Grow Again” campaign deserves support .

$1M Cook gift puts Ivy Tech halfway to goal for expansion

The Herald-Times

Posted: Wednesday, September 10, 2014 12:14 am | Updated: 12:38 am, Wed Sep 10, 2014.

By MJ Slaby 812-331-4371 | mslaby@heraldt.com

The fundraising campaign for an expansion of the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building at Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington already is halfway to its goal after a new, $1 million gift was announced at Tuesday’s kickoff event.

Carl Cook, CEO of Cook Group, presented a $1 million check to the campus leaders for the capital campaign.

“Everybody reaches a point in their life where they need a place to go,” Cook said. “Ivy Tech is a place for them to go so they can get somewhere else in their lives.”

The fundraiser has a goal of $4 million to finish an expansion to the academic building. It is already at $2 million between the Cook donation and a previous $1 million donation from the Fergusons.

In total, the nearly 90,000-square-foot expansion will cost $24 million, but $20 million was given to Ivy Tech from the state. The addition includes added classrooms and labs, as well as a 400-seat lecture hall, and will expand the Olcott Library, Hoosier Times Student Commons and Bloomingfoods Market and Cafe.

School officials also announced Tuesday that the expansion will permit the culinary, baking, pastry and hospitality classes to be a part of the main campus.

The move will bring the majority of Ivy Tech classrooms to the main campus, said Bloomington campus Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. It was announced as part of the campus’s “Here We Grow Again!” fundraising kickoff event on Tuesday.

Vaughan said previous plans for the expansion had a space with an undetermined use, but a meeting with the architects led to using that space for a cooking lab, baking lab and restaurant.

Although current students already have those facilities in leased space, the move to the main campus will make sure there will always be a permanent home for the culinary and hospitality program, Vaughan said.

“It’s another student area for success,” she said.

Plus, Vaughan said leasing less space will lead to savings for Ivy Tech. She said the community college will still lease some spaces, but those are mostly offices.

The restaurant, like the current one, will be open once a week to avoid heavy competition with the Bloomingfoods cafe on campus, Vaughan said. She said having a restaurant is important to students in the hospitality, culinary, baking and pastry programs.

“It helps students learn the front part of the house — those are essential skills,” Vaughan said.

And the chancellor said she is excited to make the new space a reality.

“It positions us to better respond to the needs of our students now and in the future,” she said.



New northwest entry of the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building at Ivy Tech Bloomington.



Courtesy photo

Jennie Vaughan, Ivy Tech chancellor.

Photo by Lisa Walker