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CN Moser Center announcement
March 26, 2024 | Katelyn Keenehan

Carson-Newman dedicates new Entrepreneurial Leadership Center to community figure

The new center at the Jefferson City-based university is named after local entrepreneur, Jay Moser.

Dozens of community members, university supporters, and advocates for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the East Tennessee area showed up to celebrate the launch of a brand new Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at Carson-Newman University. It is a step toward the university’s commitment to building up its locally owned and operated businesses in Jefferson City, and the greater East Tennessee area.

During the award ceremony, it was announced that the new center would be dedicated to Jay Moser, who is a long-time entrepreneur in Jefferson County. Moser is a businessman and community leader who has been in the liming business since 1978. He owns Mossy Creek Mining and operates a 2,000-acre farming operation in the county. In 2012, he was named Jefferson Countian of the Year and has received many other recognitions over his decades-long career.

In his honor, the program will be called “The Moser Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

Jay Moser accepts Center dedication.

Robin Van Huss, who is the Assistant Professor of Management and Director of the new academic program believes the Center will have a ripple effect in the community.

“We seek to change the economic situations of our students through the launch of this program,” she said. “Entrepreneurship provides a pathway. It gives graduates a purpose that transcends profit-making.”

She said the Entrepreneurial Leadership MBA and certificate program will focus on developing business skills, and encourage courage and creativity in potential business endeavors. She emphasized that entrepreneurial skills aren’t just valuable for people who want to run their own businesses but can also be valuable to corporations that prioritize entrepreneurship. Companies are constantly seeking innovative individuals to join their teams, and place a higher monetary value on candidates with those skills.

John Morris, the Director of the Moser Center, and multi-time entrepreneur said it’s a huge step for him both personally and professionally.

“I’ve been an entrepreneur committed to growing businesses in Tennessee, and I’ve also always been a Christian.  This is the first time my two motivations are colliding by getting to invest in entrepreneurship at a Christian University,” Morris shared.

John Morris
John Morris

Morris revealed that the Moser Center has a lot of opportunities in the works. They are planning a business plan pitch competition in the fall semester to inspire students to put their business ideas onto paper. The Moser Center is also exploring new connections to capital, to help connect student start-ups directly to cash flow to help launch and grow their businesses. Morris said the Moser Center is specifically looking into avenues to provide students with pre-seed, and in some cases series-A funding to get their business plans off the ground.

Additionally, the Moser Center will provide students with new opportunities to learn from successful entrepreneurs, with one future session already on the calendar. On May 7 from 8-9 a.m., David Ogle, the Founder and President of Five Oaks/Ogle, Inc. will share his entrepreneurial journey at Scrambled Jakes with students, faculty, and community supporters of the Moser Center.

For more information about the Moser Center, visit the website.

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