ASPIRE Entrepreneurial Workshop Series


The ASPIRE Entrepreneurial Workshop Series ​features notable speakers who share their experiences in business. The ASPIRE Entrepreneurial Workshop Series was launched by Ambassador Edward F. Crawford while posted in Ireland as he served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland from 2019-2021. The first ASPIRE event at Kent State was held in Fall 2021.

ASPIRE Workshop Featuring Mario J. Gabelli 

Kent State University

The Spring 2023 ASPIRE Entrepreneurial Workshop featured Mario J. Gabelli, Chairman and CEO of GAMCO Investors, Inc. (NYSE: GBL).  The event featured a moderated discussion between Gabelli and radio personality Thomas Kelly with an introduction by Ambassador Edward F. Crawford.

Mario J. Gabelli is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GAMCO Investors, Inc. and LICT Corp. He is Executive Chairman of Associated Capital Group, Inc.  Mr. Gabelli is a member of the Board of Overseers of Columbia University Graduate School of Business and the Board of Trustees of Roger Williams University and he is a Trustee Associate of Boston College.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Foreign Policy Association, American-Italian Cancer Foundation and the Foundation for Italian Art & Culture.  He is a Trustee of the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States and the E. L. Wiegand Foundation.  Mr. Gabelli is a summa cum laude graduate of Fordham University and holds an MBA degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Business, and an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Roger Williams University and Fordham University.

ASPIRE Workshop Featuring Ambassador Edward F. Crawford

Kent State University

Ambassador Crawford was the featured speaker at Kent State’s first ASPIRE Entrepreneurial Workshop Series held on March 8, 2022. The program featured an interview between Ambassador Crawford and radio personality Thomas Kelly. Students, faculty, university administrators, donors and special guests were in attendance to hear Ambassador Crawford discuss his experience as an entrepreneur and the importance of being able to overcome rejection.


"Rejection is Energy" Featuring Ambassador Edward F. Crawford

Smurfit Business School, Dublin

The Ambassador gave the talk, "Rejection is Energy" at the Smurfit Business School in Dublin, Ireland in November 2019. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Ireland from 2019-2021.