Turner School Announces Inaugural Speaker

February 18, 2013

Dr. Gerry Hills, Founding Academic Executive Director of the Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Bradley University, is pleased to announce the kickoff of the Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker Series on Monday, February 25. Jeff Hoffman, a founder and former CEO of the Priceline.com family of companies, will deliver the inaugural talk.

A serial entrepreneur, Hoffman has launched, grown, and sold companies spanning multiple industries that include e-commerce, entertainment, and the Internet. After Priceline, Hoffman founded and served as Chairman and CEO of Black Sky Entertainment, an independent production company in the film and music industries.

“We are thrilled to have Jeff Hoffman as the inaugural speaker of the Turner School’s Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker Series,” Hills said. “Jeff embodies the entrepreneurial spirit, stellar leadership qualities and a track record of success in business startups that current and future Bradley students aspire to attain.” 

Hoffman’s first startup was a software company in the travel industry named CTI, a company that quickly became the industry leader in technology for the travel and tourism industry, and was later acquired by American Express. He also was a founder and CEO of early e-commerce pioneer Virtual Shopping, Inc., which developed patented, proprietary software and hardware for online retailing on the Internet, and was later acquired by Europe’s Wallenberg Group.

In 2010, Hoffman received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Entrepreneurship from the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Entrepreneurs by the National CEO Council. He was also awarded the 2012 Champion of Entrepreneurship Award.

The Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, one of only three such schools in the nation established as a standalone academic unit, is named for Robert and Carolyn Turner. The Turners are long-time supporters of Bradley University, and established the Robert and Carolyn Turner Center for Entrepreneurship in 2002. Robert Turner ’77, MBA ’78 is the current chair of the Bradley Board of Trustees, where he has served as a member since 1998.

A recent article about the Turner School appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The inaugural lecture will take place on Monday, February 25 at 7 p.m. in Bradley’s Hayden-Clark Alumni Center. Admission is free and open to the public.