DANBURY — For local businessman Jim Kennedy the spirit of entrepreneurship means perseverance, faith, a dash of humor and the passion to create something beautiful.
Kennedy, founder of the Network Support Co., was honored Thursday by Western Connecticut State University as the Constantine S. Macricostas Entrepreneur of the Year.
Kennedy started the information technology company in 1996 and today employes 55 people. The firm has quickly become a leading provider of services for organizations in Connecticut and Florida.
“I never really thought about opening my own business,” Kennedy admitted during the awards luncheon held Thursday at the Amber Room.
“But I do have a desire to create beautiful things. I wanted create something of immense value for both our employees and our clients. The spirit of entrepreneurship is creating something that doesn’t exist and doing it beautifully.”
Building a successful business, he said, is a lot like helping his father with projects around an 18th-century farmhouse when he was growing up.
A simple project like changing the linoleum would uncover rotten floor joists, exposed wiring and leaky plumbing that also had to be fixed.
“What I learned from my father is that you just have to do it and have the confidence that you’ll figure it out as you go along,” Kennedy said.
“Problems in life are normal. The goal is solve them, grow and find a new set of problems that have to fixed.”
He added that after a difficult bout with cancer his father, who used to run three miles a day, would tell Kennedy he was successful in running 10 steps that day.
“The next day it was 30 steps, and then it was 100 steps,” Kennedy said. “He never gave up, and that’s a big part of running a business.”
University President James Schmotter said during the luncheon that he couldn’t think of a better recipient of this year’s award than Kennedy.
Besides being a successful businessman who has created jobs and economic value, Schmotter said Kennedy has also been very active in the community.
He works with Danbury Hospital and the Western Connecticut Health Network, helps the Ancell School of Business with its IT needs, and is a founding member of the Samaritan Health Center, a free pediatric clinic in the city.
“Kennedy creates jobs and economic value for the area,” Schmotter said. “But he’s also been very active in the Danbury community.”
The entrepreneur of the year award is funded through an endowment from the Macricostas Family Foundation to encourage, promote and recognize entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial studies at Ancell for the benefit of students and the community.
SOURCE: News Times (http://www.newstimes.com/local/article/Kennedy-given-entrepreneur-award-4885562.php)