As Matt Price was graduating from Georgia Tech College of Management in 1978, he hoped he'd one day be in the position to give back to the school in a major way.
President and CEO of a health-care staffing company providing travel nurses (Advantage RN), allied professionals (Advantage Allied), and physicians (Allied Locums) to hospitals and other medical facilities, Price credits Georgia Tech with helping him succeed throughout this career.
"The College's focus on developing real-world leadership, management, and problem-solving skills is essential to succeeding, especially in the current environment forced by the new economy," he says.
Price and his wife are funding the Sharon M. and Matthew R. Price Family Chair in the College of Management. They liked Dean Steve Salbu's idea of a chair open to various to academic areas. "His idea of establishing a 'rotating' chair within the College of Management to meet the most critical needs intrigued me, and I ultimately chose to give the dean the ability to award the chair where the need is greatest."
Price had first considered endowing an academic chair a few years ago. "But I reluctantly hesitated due to the financial impact of the recent recession and was waiting for more stability in the economy. However, when I learned of the matching Challenge Grant, I decided the time was right to move forward."
Made by an anonymous donor in 2009, the $20 million Challenge Grant matches qualifying gifts dollar for dollar. Therefore, a $2 million chair can now be established with a commitment of $1 million. And it can bear the name of the triggering donor or the donor's designee.
Price, who resides in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio, started his career with Bechtel as a cost scheduling engineer for power plants. Then he went to work for a software company that had been a vendor of Bechtel.
But eventually, he says, "I had an itch to own and build my own business. I'd had an entrepreneurial bug all along."
He bought a software company that he ran for about six years, then led a manufacturing business for a couple of years, before decided to start another business. "I started up a staffing business, which was a point of departure for me. I'd done a lot of research and saw the emerging growth of the healthcare segment of the economy."
He partnered with someone experienced in the healthcare industry to form Worldwide, which he ran for a couple of years before venturing out in 2003 to begin forming his Advantage business. By 2008, Advantage RN was the 12th largest staffing company for traveling nurses in the country, with placements in 48 states.