CULLOWHEE – The Western Carolina University College of Business recently bestowed honorary membership into the WCU chapter of the Beta Gamma Sigma international honor society upon David A. Woodcock Jr., a successful entrepreneur whose business dealings include helping develop NFL Properties and building Formula 409 spray cleaner into a national brand.
Woodcock, who resides in Flat Rock and in Fort Pierce, Fla., received the honor during a fall semester kickoff event at the WCU College of Business on Thursday, Aug. 29.
In presenting him with the recognition, Ken Flynt, associate dean of the College of Business, called Woodcock “an innovative entrepreneur, business executive and corporate leader” who has an illustrious career spanning 50 years. “But of greater importance to Western Carolina University is his close friendship with the College of Business, our faculty and especially our students,” Flynt said.
Representatives of the College of Business first met Woodcock at a meeting of the Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council in Asheville about eight years ago, when he asked how to get involved with the university’s entrepreneurship program, Flynt said. He became a regular guest speaker in business classes, and is the longest-serving judge for end-of-semester presentations by students in business strategy courses.
In 2008, Woodcock became chair of the advisory board of WCU’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. As an adviser to the entrepreneurship program, he helped develop a community college entrepreneurship degree program through which community college graduates can transfer seamlessly to WCU and earn a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship two years later.
“We cannot thank David enough for his friendship and service to Western Carolina’s entrepreneurship students and faculty,” Flynt said. “He exemplifies the important attribute displayed by entrepreneurs – the need to help other entrepreneurs when they need advice and encouragement. David has graciously given his insights and support to our young men and women. He has figured out how to bake a really great entrepreneurship cake, and his friendship for our program is the icing on that cake.”
Woodcock began his business career in the mid-1960s in Jacksonville, Fla., as one of the early executive search practitioners in the United States. After teaming up with Pete Roselle, then-president of the National Football League, to help develop the NFL Properties licensing group, he joined with television personality Art Linkletter and Atlanta entrepreneur Wilson Harrell to create the strategic marketing firm Harrell, Woodcock & Linkletter.
The three partners bought Formula 409 for $30,000 in the 1960s and took it national, eventually selling the company for more than $7 million. They grew Wilson Harrell & Company, a food service company founded by Harrell, into the largest organization selling consumer products to worldwide military commissaries and exchanges, and they bought some 60 food brokerage companies in 17 major markets.
As CEO, Woodcock led Harrell International to become the largest publicly traded international food service distributor, with sales greater than $500 million annually. Later, he was instrumental in growing Inc. Magazine by founding its Inc. Magazine Council of Growing Companies.
Beta Gamma Sigma is an academic honor society for business students and scholars. Founded in 1913 at the University of Wisconsin, it has more than 725,000 members selected from more than 525 collegiate chapters in business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
The purpose of Beta Gamma Sigma is to encourage and honor academic achievement in the study of business and to foster personal and professional excellence among its members.
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