Nashville business leader Phil Pfeffer will receive the first “Entrepreneur of the Year” award by Lipscomb University’s Center for Entrepreneurship Thursday.
Pfeffer is president and CEO of Treemont Capital Inc. a private equity investment company. The company’s activities, through its investments, include specialized newspaper and magazine publishing; web-based data management; data intelligence and data delivery; web-based training; occupational health management; reverse logistics; brick and mortar retailing; internet retailing; outdoor furniture manufacturing, repair and sales; and real estate.
“Phil is one of the most well-respected businessmen and entrepreneurs in Nashville. He has led some of Nashville’s most successful companies and is an inspirational role model for our students and future entrepreneurs and business leaders,” said Joe Ivey, executive director for Lipscomb’s Center for Entrepreneurship.
Prior to his semi retirement, Pfeffer served as president and CEO, director and member of the executive committee of Random House Inc., the world’s largest English-language general trade book publisher until the sale of the company to Bertelsmann A.G. Random House sales and profits increased significantly during his tenure.
Prior to joining Random House, Pfeffer served as chairman of the board and CEO of Ingram Distribution Group Inc. headquartered in Nashville. Under his leadership, total revenue of the Ingram Distribution Group Inc. — which includes Ingram Micro Inc. and Ingram Book Group — grew from $36 million to $12 billion. While at Ingram, Pfeffer served as executive vice president and as a member of the board of directors and the executive committee of Ingram Industries Inc. (the parent company of the Ingram Distribution Group).
He now serves as chairman of the board of directors of Nashville company Essex Technology Group and on the boards of PureWorks Inc. in Nashville; Optoro Inc. in Washington, D.C.; and Casual Furniture Repair and Sales in St. Petersburg, Fla. He also serves on the boards of several not-for-profit organizations.
Pfeffer received a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and chemistry and a Master of Arts in economics from Southern Illinois University He completed postgraduate studies in economics at Vanderbilt University as a National Science Foundation Fellow and holds an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Southern Illinois University. Pfeffer and his wife, Pam, reside in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Nashville.
Pfeffer will be honored at a luncheon Thursday, March 24, at noon in the Ezell Center, room 301, on the Lipscomb University campus. The luncheon is part of Entrepreneurship Week activities at Lipscomb. The Lipscomb University College of Business is celebrating the launch of its Center for Entrepreneurship with four days of activities promoting the entrepreneurial spirit among students and the community. Events include the luncheon honoring Pfeffer, a public lecture by Pfeffer and an elevator pitch competition.