Hall of Fame Award Recipient: Cindi Gilliland, Social Innovation Award

April 22, 2019


In 1998, the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship (then, the H.N. & Frances C. Berger Entrepreneurship Program at the Karl Eller Center, College of Business of Public Administration) established the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. Established to formally recognize the significant achievements and contributions of alumni and associates of the Karl Eller Center and Berger Entrepreneurship Program, past inductees have included CEO's, founders, presidents and educators encompassing a wide variety of private enterprise, public service and learning initiatives. Seven years later, the Hall of Fame is being reintroduced, kicking off with a reception on April 24th, 2019. 

In preparation for the Awards Reception, we will be highlighting our 2019 inductees. The Social Innovation Award recognizes someone that has given back to their community in an effort to solve grand challenges. This recipient is credited for their dedication and commitment to better their social surroundings.

Social Innovation Award

Dr. Cindi Gilliland received her Ph.D. in social psychology at Michigan State University in 1992. She is a university award winning Professor of Practice in the Management and Organizations Department of The Eller College of Management at The University of Arizona. She has taught approximately 20,000 undergraduate, graduate, and executive students in her thirty-year university career and has consulted with multisector organizations locally and worldwide. Cindi is Founder and Co-Director of Eller Social Innovation, which provides business/entrepreneurship education to students, social impact professionals, and social entrepreneurs. Her professional passions include social innovation and impact, integrative leadership, and diversity and inclusion. Cindi has been married to Dr. Stephen Gilliland for 26 years, and they have two children, Austin, 25, a Senior Associate for CBRE Manhattan, and Caitlin, 22, a married student in Toronto, ON.

Q. How did your involvement with the McGuire Center impact your life/career? 

A. I have known a few of the people in and around the McGuire Center for more than 20 years. It always seems to be a place that attracts great people--just like my home department, Management, does. I am grateful to McGuire for exposing me to the discipline and practice of entrepreneurship in general and social innovation in particular, because it has given me a whole new set of tools and techniques to suggest to students and organizational leaders.

Q. What is your favorite memory of your time at the McGuire Center? 

A. I loved the Bake Off we did at the Girl Scout Camp retreat. Everyone was flying around the kitchen, spatulas in the air, trying to come up with creative decoration schemes. We were all so sure that having Mark on a team was an unfair advantage, but in the end, my team prevailed. Must have been Remy's leadership. #Nailedit

Q. What is the best piece of advice you've ever received? 

A. Be humble, generous, and kind. Listen and seek to understand rather than judge.