Jim McClenahan's mission is to link the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business's most valuable asset - its students - with companies that will benefit from their skills and talent. As the college's director of corporate relations and outreach and as the current chairman of The Chamber's board of directors, McClenahan is strengthening business-community connections for the both the college and the University.
"Before this position, there was no one who could directly connect graduate students with the business community," College of Business Dean Greg Mosier said. "What Jim has done is leverage relationships between the college and some of the key business engagement networks in our community. This is incredibly valuable to the success of our students."
McClenahan's involvement with community businesses allows him to introduce students to a variety of industries and organizations. In addition to serving as chairman of the board for The Chamber (the merged Northern Nevada and Reno Sparks Chamber), he is a member of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) board and past board member for Western Industrial Nevada (WIN). His connections within these organizations allows for a clear synergy between the college and the local business and industry. McClenahan shares the pulse of the business community with students, faculty and staff and conversely offers University assistance and expertise when a partnership makes sense.
"Jim has the ability to emphasize and see both sides, and yet be extremely fair in his decision making process," Len Stevens, executive director of The Chamber. "His tie to the University, especially the College of Business, has helped in so many ways. He's incredibly good at mediation, having played an instrumental role in the merger of the two Chambers, and is an asset to the community's plans for business development and growth."
In addition to connecting students with business, McClenahan recruits new graduate students from local businesses and administers the Corporate Partners Program at the College of Business. He oversees the Nevada Global Business Program, designed to give graduate and undergraduate students short, experiential, international course experience. McClenahan also teaches marketing at the University and is currently leading a class of 13 students in an effort to help re-brand the city of Fernley, Nev.
Previously he served as the director of management and executive programs for Extended Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno where he was responsible for overseeing noncredit, professional programs in many areas such as social media, human resources and gaming management.
"Much of the University and the College of Business's role is to leverage the knowledge, resources and talent of the University for the advancement of Nevada business," McClenahan said. "My role helps blur the lines between campus and community to create a model of cooperation and connection."