UNI JPEC CBA Student Entrepreneur of the Year 2005

Russell Hotchkiss, who graduated in May from the University of Northern Iowa with a major in finance, is the recipient of UNI's John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center's Student Entrepreneur of the Year award. The award comes with a $200 cash prize. It was presented to Hotchkiss at the College of Business Administration's Spring Gala.

Hotchkiss, while a UNI student, purchased Waterloo Fire Extinguisher in 2001 from a local family. He brought new energy to the company and has more than doubled revenue, services, trucks, and employees. The company remains more than one year ahead of its revenue goals and is making plans to purchase three competitors within the next year.

Being an entrepreneur and a student simultaneously has been a challenge and a substantial test of character and will. However, Hotchkiss made a promise to his mother before her death in December of 1993 that he would be the first in the family to obtain a college degree.

Hotchkiss has taken the cash award and matched it with funds from his company. That money has been sent to Peoria, Illinois, for the college fund of Keenan Gienau. Keenan Gienau is nine-years-old and the son of Hotchkiss's high school friend, Brian Gienau, of Tripoli. Brian Gienau was killed in Iraq on February 27, 2005. The last time Hotchkiss saw Brian Gienau was in the fall of 2003, when the two were in a marketing class together.

Photo Caption: Russell Hotchkiss (left) and JPEC Director Randy Pilkington.