Lamberti Center for Rural Entrepreneurship

The Donald F. and Charlene K. Lamberti Center for Rural Entrepreneurship is a place where new businesses will grow as jobs are created, impacting Iowa's rural revival.

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The potential to create a prosperous community lies within the power to cultivate economic growth, and the Lamberti Center for Rural Entrepreneurship strives to serve as the catalyst to revitalize our rural communities. Through the Center, new businesses will launch, jobs will be created, individuals will be empowered to define their future, and the ethical business leaders of tomorrow will be educated.

The Center’s applied programming teaches the skills to build a prosperous future for students and their communities. The Center’s idea incubator, called The Foundry, supports local businesses and entrepreneurs by providing the training and resources for success and prosperity. Our goal is to help rural America not only survive—but thrive.

“Don’s leadership, in concert with a number of dedicated donors, puts us on a track to offer support for business start-ups while providing a creative space for social entrepreneurship, additional collaborative efforts, and even an inclusive entrepreneurship minor aimed at students of all majors who desire to turn their passion into a career.”

President Joshua Merchant

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Entrepreneurship Minor

An academic minor in rural entrepreneurship is being developed, with an applied, practical approach to business education.

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The Foundry

An incubator to encourage entrepreneurship, collaboration, creativity, and innovation. The Foundry serves as a central space where ideas are developed and nurtured.

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Innovative Programming

Academic offerings put students’ signature skills in problem solving, effective communication, and integrative learning in overdrive.

Merchant, Lambertis, Gov. Reynolds

Governor Reynolds Announces $2.9-Million Lamberti Gift for Rural Entrepreneurship

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds joined Buena Vista University President Joshua Merchant in announcing that Don Lamberti, founder and longtime chairman/CEO of Casey’s General Stores, Inc., has provided a $2.9-million gift to establish The Donald F. and Charlene K. Lamberti Center for Rural Entrepreneurship at BVU.

The announcement occurred on Sept. 4 before a crowd of Iowa business and education leaders, and BVU alumni at Gravitate Coworking in downtown Des Moines.

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$1 Million Gift Funds BVU’s Invest in Rural Iowa Scholarship Program

An anonymous donor believing in Buena Vista University’s mission to make Northwest Iowa thrive has given the University $1 million for student scholarships.

Stepping forward to fund BVU’s Invest in Rural Iowa Scholarship Program, the benefactor pledges to provide four years of scholarship assistance to new enrolled students from Northwest Iowa who demonstrate significant financial need while showing high potential to return to their rural communities to be engaged, supportive citizens.

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BVU Joins Forces with Iowa Lakes Corridor in Winning Grant

BVU’s Center for Rural Entrepreneurship in the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business joins the Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corporation to embark on a “Match, Learn, Launch” initiative. This project pairs retiring business owners with up-and-coming business operators throughout Iowa and provides mentoring and educational support to new entrepreneurs from succession match to new launch.

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Gary Sterling

Meet the Director

Gary Sterling
Instructor of Management

Sterling, an executive with more than 30 years of business leadership in the medical-device industry, is the director of The Donald F. and Charlene K. Lamberti Center for Rural Entrepreneurship.