Jeff Clanagan named latest Centennial Hero of Business

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Jeff Clanagan is often credited for his roles as president and CEO of Codeblack Enterprises, and president of Laugh Out Loud, the new comedy network from Kevin Hart and Lionsgate; but on Thursday, Feb. 22, the Lipscomb University College of Business honored Clanagan for his commitment to integrity and investment in the next generation by naming him its latest Centennial Hero of Business.

“Since 2009, we have had the privilege of honoring business leaders who have achieved great success in their business, but have also displayed their faith and character in their industries as a Hero of Business. This year, we are celebrating our 100th anniversary of business education and launched a Centennial Speaking Series to highlight individuals who embody the college’s core values of being a servant, bold, purposeful, creative and credible,” said Ray Eldridge, dean of the College of Business.

Clanagan_Side1“Jeff Clanagan has been a successful entrepreneur and a positive force within the entertainment industry, one that often has a negative stigma around it,” Eldridge continued. “It is very refreshing and encouraging to hear his prospective of how he is leading Codeblack in a way that is honoring to God and is investing in the next generation of students at Lipscomb and across the country. We are very proud to recognize Jeff as our “creative” Centennial Hero of Business.”

During his day at Lipscomb on Thursday, Feb. 22, the award-winning producer and innovator was the featured speaker at several events on campus including a breakfast, breakout chapel with business students and a free community event that was moderated by News Channel 5’s Tuwanda Coleman, who hosts “Talk of the Town.”

The breakfast, which featured a Q&A session with Clanagan led by Eldridge and Natasha Johnson, instructor in management in the COB for local business; allowed for local and business entertainment leaders to ask questions and learn about Clanagan’s background in distribution as well as his efforts in leading a movement in the entertainment industry and his Kingdom work investing in his employees and in local high school students. 

Steve Taylor, assistant professor of film and creative media in Lipscomb’s George Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts has had his own success in the entertainment industry as a filmmaker, producer and Grammy-nominated recording artist, and says he is thrilled to have Clanagan on-campus to invest in Lipscomb students.

“Jeff is a major player in the entertainment world and he is a true entrepreneur. In the George Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts, we bring in a lot of film and creative media professionals such as writers, directors and actors, but Jeff is at the executive level and enables us to be able to see all those things because he is a guy who understands distribution. I have been following Jeff Clanagan for seven or eight years because he made a big splash with his first big theatrical release and has continued to do so throughout the years.”

Following the breakfast, Clanagan spoke to a group of students in Lipscomb’s weekly business chapel where he encouraged them to always follow passion but to maintain their integrity.

“I am kind of a quiet leader and do my best to lead by example,” said Clanagan. “Whether it is maintaining my integrity when leading my business or how I treat and deal with others, people see my actions and want to follow that same example. I believe in investing in the next generation because they are going to be our future leaders. My pieces of advice is always to follow passion and your faith, but in doing so keeping your integrity. It is easy to be swayed by the things that are going to be thrown at you; staying disciplined is key.”

Clanagan_Side2?Clanagan concluded his time on campus with a crowd of local community members for a public lecture about faith and diversity within the entertainment industry. During the event, which was moderated by News Channel 5’s “Talk of the Town” host Tuwanda Coleman, Clanagan spoke about his experience within the industry and where he believes the entertainment industry is headed.  

In his roles with Codeblack Films, a division of Lionsgate dedicated to serving the black community worldwide, Clanagan and his team have acquired and developed films for distribution such as the Golden Globe®-nominated indie drama Frankie and Alice, Addicted and more. Clanagan graduated from the University of Washington before attending Harvard Business School and has been profiled in The New York Times, The L.A. Times and GQ Magazine.

On Sept. 21, the College of Business recognized Becca Stevens, president and founder of Thistle Farms, as its “servant” Centennial Hero of Business for her role in offering victims of trafficking, violence and addiction a loving and grace-filled community at Thistle Farms. Later that month, Ernesto Silva, retired CEO of Coca-Cola FEMSA, was honored as the college’s “bold” Centennial Hero of Business for his commitment to servant leadership and the bold action as he led a team of 44,000 employees to reach the all time record in terms of volume, income, profits and share of sales at FEMSA in Mexico.

Want to learn more about Lipscomb’s College of Business and future Centennial Hero of Business recipients? Visit: