Show by Example! An Interview with Fran Verotsky of HACC’s Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies

Camera Box Professional Photography believes in the value of education. In keeping pace with this theme, we have a Q&A with Fran Verotsky, Director of the Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies at Harrisburg Area Community College!

In your opinion, what role does education play in the future of an individual and for society, as a whole?

Formal education is very important for individuals.  This education process helps us mold our future and our places in society.  Learning, however, never ends.  We continue to learn within the scope of our daily employment, our personal lives, and via continuing education courses.

What role has education played in your life?

It seems that education has been a part of my life always—grade school, high school, college, teaching and administration responsibilities in high school and the community college levels.  I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher or be a part of education when I grew up.

If there was one thing you could say to young people about education, what would it be?

Read!   Read!   Read! There is something special about holding a book in your hands and enjoying the journey the words in a book take you on.

I must say, though, I love my Kindle.  Try new ways to read such as using a Kindle or other type of eReader.   Young people today have been growing up using computers, smart phones, etc.  Incorporate technology in your reading and learning methods.

Education is what you make of it. How do you propose that we help children and young adults make the most of their education?

Show by example.  Utilize the education you have earned via formal and self-taught education.  Prove to children and young adults that we learn from successes and failures.  Turn those failures into positive educational realities.


Fran VerotskyFran Verotsky is the director of HACC’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies (IES). The Institute has grown from a concept originated by the College and two regional businesses in 1999 into a center that has helped nearly 3,000 prospective entrepreneurs explore how they might start a business of their own.

Credit for the phenomenal growth of the Institute goes to Fran’s vision and focus. Fran started at HACC in 1986 as a faculty member in the Business Division and became the Director of the Institute in 1999. The Institute began when the Capital Region Economic Development Corporation and Harrisburg Regional Chamber joined with HACC in seeking a way to provide pre-venture advice and counseling for people looking to turn their ideas into viable business plans. Today the Institute is operated solely by HACC, with funding support from Fulton Bank for the Fulton Bank Small Business Center. Most of the clients are not HACC students but people from the community. Approximately 75% have been women, and about 60% have been members of minority groups.

Fran is instrumental in implementing one of the most successful outreach events of the IES—The Talkabouts which provides a networking opportunity for entrepreneurs in an educational, yet approachable, atmosphere. 

Fran has served in many outreach capacities at HACC and in the community. She has been responsible for promoting Blood Drives at the HACC Harrisburg campus for the past ten years. She serves as member of the Board of Directors for the Murata Business Center.   As a member and past president of the Harrisburg Chapter of Executive Women International (EWI), she has been able to assist in EWI’s many fundraising and philanthropic endeavors.  Being a member of the MS Society Leadership Class of 2007 and its MS Advisory Board had been an honor and a privilege. Also, receiving the Women of Excellence Award in 2010 emphasized Fran’s commitment to the community.

Education has always been an important part of Fran’s life, and she encourages this importance to others.

She is married to her husband, Ed, for 42 years, has three grown children and four wonderful grandchildren who are the loves of her life.