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The Director

Kirby Center• 570-408-4590 (T) • 570-408-4591(F) • Email


Dr. Jeffrey R. Alves never read the Wall Street Journal classifieds, but one day his eye fell on an employment ad that sounded just like his resume. Wilkes University sought an experienced entrepreneur and educator to lead a new center for free enterprise and entrepreneurship.

Ready for a new challenge, Alves became distinguished professor of free enterprise and entrepreneurship and director of the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. As such, he has developed undergraduate, graduate and youth courses and programs in free enterprise and entrepreneurship, including a minor and major in entrepreneurship.

His excellence in the classroom has been recognized by Outstanding Faculty, Interdisciplinary Teaching, and Outstanding Advisor Awards. He currently serves as an executive board member and president of the U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE).

Before joining the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Alves led a small company named Vergason Technology Inc. to the “Fast-Track 500” as one of the 500 fastest growing private companies in the United States. From 1983 to 1990, he launched four businesses: yacht sales, a research and development limited partnership, a small business computer firm, and a management consulting company specializing in start-ups, financing, and workout situations. He also led several initiatives at Corning Inc. to acquire toe-hold investments in important technology and sell spin-off enterprises too small for corporate development.

Always interested in teaching young people, Dr. Alves served as assistant professor of finance and entrepreneurial studies at Babson College from 1978 through 1983. There he developed and taught the capstone courses for one of the first entrepreneurship undergraduate majors and graduate concentrations in the United States.

Dr. Alves earned his B.S. from the U.S. Air Force Academy, M.B.A. from Southern Illinois University and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts. He is the author of books and articles related to entrepreneurship and small business management and serves a number of regional economic development and corporate boards.

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