Mike Curb, the Renaissance man who has influenced the worlds of music, motorsports, politics and philanthropy, offered a personal perspective of his accomplishments and experiences to a capacity News-Journal Center audience gathered on Wednesday evening, Feb. 13.
“The secret to becoming successful as an entrepreneur is to be prepared,” said Curb, the year’s first guest of Daytona State College’s L. Gale Lemerand Entrepreneurial Speaker Series. “I think the opportunities for entrepreneurial activities have never been better. The key is if you have an idea, stick with it. You don’t have to be the best at anything, but if you can get the best people around you, you can build something that will last.”
Curb Records, which he founded more than 50 years ago as a young college student, singer and songwriter, is one of the most successful independent labels in the country. Curb’s motorsports teams have won national championships with some of the biggest names in racing. He’s a former lieutenant governor of California and served as an advisor, confidant and campaign operative to presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. The Mike Curb Family Foundation has donated millions in support of music education, health-care programs and cultural arts.
Most recently, Curb has committed to donate $500,000 over five years to support Daytona State’s Mike Curb College of Music, Entertainment and Art. He reflected on the rewards of being able to give back through philanthropy, saying investing in the future of students leaves a permanent mark on their lives as well as their communities.
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The evening began with a welcome by President Carol Eaton and introductions by Doug Peterson, chair of the Mike Curb College of Music, Entertainment and Art.
During the event, three Music Production Technology program students – Amanda Light, Martino Baltiero and David Neimann – were awarded scholarships from the entrepreneurial series namesake, L. Gale Lemerand.
The evening was set in a fireside chat-style, with Curb interviewed by Jake Niceley, assistant chairperson of the Curb College and a principal architect of Daytona State’s Music Production Technology program.
Curb also fielded questions from several students led by Elena Jarvis, senior professor of journalism, ranging from his years in politics to his purchase of Elvis Presley’s first home in Memphis, Tenn.
Students in the Curb College performed before the talk, while visitors enjoyed light refreshments and a reception with Mike Curb and L. Gale Lemerand, shared by President Carol Eaton, Board members and administrators.
Feb. 13, 2013