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Relationships, Service Highlight Upcoming Hayes Lecture

October 11, 2018

web-Ron-FriersonA former Emporia State basketball player now working for the nation’s fourth-largest real estate and investment firm returns to his alma mater to deliver the eighth-annual Sam E. and Jeannene Hayes Lecture to kick off 2018 Homecoming activities.

Ron Frierson, director of national incentives at NAI Capital Inc., in Los Angeles, will speak on “Our Companions on a Successful Path: Relationships, Change, Challenge and Service” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, in the Memorial Union’s Webb Hall. His talk is free and open to the public.

Dr. Sam Hayes (BS 1962) of Mission Hills, Kansas, and his wife, Jeannene, established the lecture series as a way to engage Emporia State’s alumni in highlighting their successes. Individuals whose leadership qualities, skills and accomplishments have led to distinction are featured in each annual lecture, which is organized by students in the Blue Key Honor Society at ESU.

Emporia State students attending the lecture are eligible to participate in an essay competition based on key leadership principles presented by Frierson in his lecture. A team of Blue Key students and professionals will review essay submissions, and winners will receive one of five Doug and Nan Smith scholarships valued at $1,000 each. The inaugural Hayes Lecture speaker, Doug Smith and his wife, Nan, of Leawood, Kansas, provided funds to create the scholarships. 

To be eligible for a scholarship, students must attend the lecture and complete a scholarship application, which includes a series of essay questions. The deadline for the submissions is 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21.

Frierson played basketball under legendary ESU Coach Ron Slaymaker while earning a bachelor’s degree in social science. After graduating, he lived and played basketball in Australia and France. He served as a consultant to music management company, JAM Inc., representing the music estates of legacy (deceased) legendary artists like Jim Morrison and The Doors, Janis Joplin, Peter Tosh and Rick James. He and fellow ESU grad Kevin Robinson co-founded a technical recruiting company, Ad Hoc Staffing Solutions, which eventually became a certified vendor for NBC Universal. As a hobby, Ron executive produced and hosted “FOCUS With Ron Frierson,” a podcast that aired on Universal Broadcasting Network. The show has since been added to the iHeart Radio platform.

In his work at NAI Capital, Frierson advises companies where to locate their facilities and negotiates with state and local officials to ensure a business-friendly environment for his clients. Along with managing multimillion-dollar incentives projects, Frierson regularly consults with state and local economic development organizations across the country.

Frierson’s lecture topic comes from his belief that all of his personal and professional achievements are directly related to his desire to serve others. He believes acts of service are the most effective and therapeutic means of navigating the ups and downs of life and career. Although there is no straight line to success, service to others make the highs satisfying and the dips shallow and brief.

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