“The Gigot Center is an integral part of the Mendoza school’s vision to create principled and innovative entrepreneurs for the next generation,” Woo said. “In Pat Barry, we have found a leader who brings a unique combination of practical entrepreneurial skills and academic knowledge.”
Prior to his appointment, Barry taught as an adjunct professor in the Mendoza College and advised a number of start-up ventures as a principal and founder of Arete Advisors, a management consultancy. Barry also founded and served as principal of The Keystone Group, a Chicago-based management consulting firm. He was a senior vice president at Quality Dining Inc., a leading national restaurant franchisee company, where he led its turnaround efforts.
Barry earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He takes over the directorship from James H. Davis, who previously served as director of the Gigot Center while teaching on a half-time appointment as a management professor.
The directorship was restructured to be a full-time position to accommodate the growing demands of the center and the increasing interest in entrepreneurial studies. Davis will continue as an advisor to the center.
Established 10 years ago, the Gigot Center provides students the skills and experience vital to building successful businesses through its innovative curriculum, business plan competitions and mentoring opportunities with Notre Dame alumni. The center recently added a two-semester microventuring course that focuses on starting micro-enterprises, which are socially minded, sustainable business ventures started with very few resources in impoverished communities.
The center also is involved in the Innovation Park at Notre Dame project. The park is designed to help convert promising technology ideas into marketable businesses that can later be relocated to the local community. The complex will provide space for Notre Dame faculty and students, as well as resources and customized services for entrepreneurs and others from the private sector.