SAB readers attending the CPAC conference were surprised when a man from North Dakota won an award last night.
Turns out it was Bruce Gjovig, head of the UND Center for Innovation Foundation in Grand Forks, who got the Ronald Reagan Award. According to the press release, it’s “an honor given annually to a leader fighting in the trenches for the conservative principles embodied by President Ronald Reagan.”
Here’s the full press release I received:
March 8, 2014
Bruce Gjovig receives 2014 Ronald Reagan Award
Washington, DC — Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) announced Bruce Gjovig, founder, CEO and Entrepreneur Coach of the UND Center for Innovation Foundation of Grand Forks, ND, is the 2014 recipient of the Ronald Reagan Award, an honor given annually to a leader fighting in the trenches for the conservative principles embodied by President Ronald Reagan.
The award was presented at the 50th annual conference during the Ronald Reagan Banquet in National Harbor, MD. About 11,000 are in attendance at the conference.
In presenting the award, Chairman Al Cardenas said, “Bruce Gjovig during his tenure as the leader of the Center for Innovation for 30 years, built the organization into a force for entrepreneurship and innovation nationwide fostering free enterprise and capitalism. The entrepreneur center has helped about 700 ventures launch that employ over 6,000 people plus the entrepreneur center has inspired thousands of students to be innovative and entrepreneurial for a lifetime. That impact is immeasurable.”
Gjovig started the Center for Innovation after being inspired by President Ronald Reagan’s message to unleash the potential of individuals through private enterprise rather than dependency on government. The Center was among the very first entrepreneur outreach centers in the nation when launched in 1984. Today entrepreneurship is a strong national movement to create new employers, foster innovation and to grow the economy. The Center has received 14 national and international awards for excellence and remains a leader in innovative programming.
“It is humbling to receive the national Ronald Reagan Award, named after the President who helped America restore its economy and greatness – at home and abroad – after the terrible malaise, a gruesome economy killing inflation rate of 13.5%, and a dangerously high unemployment rate in the late 1970s,” Gjovig said. “A photograph of President Ronald Reagan still hangs in my office that continues to inspire me 30 years later,” he added. “You can never go wrong by unleashing the creative genius of ordinary people allowing them to create extraordinary ventures that provide employees economic freedom and independence in the process. Reagan believed in the genius of small business owners,” Gjovig noted.
“The winners of this award, our highest honor, are not household names, but the men and women working in the trenches who sacrifice much, make great strides and in so doing set an example for others,” Cardenas said. “Bruce Gjovig exemplifies these qualities.”
The Ronald Reagan award includes a $10,000 cash stipend.
The American Conservative Union is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization. The American Conservative Union Foundation’s annual CPAC meeting is the largest gathering of conservatives annually and draws most potential presidential candidates as speakers.