Entrepreneur of the Year

2018 Entrepreneur of the Year Recipient: 

Robert J. Libman and his Family

Libman Family - Use this photo

Members of the Robert James Libman family will receive the V. Dale Cozad Entrepreneur of the Year Award during the Parkland College ninth annual Entrepreneur of the Year Banquet, presented by SUPERVALU, Inc. An annual fundraiser for the Parkland College Entrepreneurial Program, the banquet will be held Tuesday, May 8 at the I Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign. 

For over 120 years, the Libman family has made quality their utmost priority. William Libman started The Libman Company in 1896 with one mission; to make the finest, most durable wire-wound corn brooms. William’s sons, grandsons and great grandchildren have since expanded that mission to include the finest mops, brooms, brushes and cleaning tools.

As one of the founder's grandsons, Robert joined the company in the mid-1960s as the company looked to create radical new production lines utilizing modern technology. By 1980, The Libman Company became one of the largest vertically integrated housewares facilities in the country. By 1995, the company had expanded its product line to become the leading manufacturer of high-quality brooms, mops and brushes in the U.S.

Twenty years later Robert’s children who represent the 4th generation, Andrew, Rachel, Aaron and Rebecca have come aboard. Like their predecessors, they are looking towards the future. They are focused on expanding distribution in the retail and commercial markets with the Libman High Power line and expanding into the international market with the entire Libman line. While working on growing distribution, they continue to focus on quality, national advertising, service and product innovation.

Thank you to our 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year Sponsors

Logo Page 2018

About the Entrepreneur of the Year Program

The Parkland College Foundation awards the V. Dale Cozad Entrepreneur of the Year annually to an individual who demonstrates the best traits of entrepreneurship including being a leader, a self-starter, willingness to take risks, drive perseverance, discipline, confidence, a strong worth ethic and passion.  

Award recipients are celebrated each year in partnership with the Founding members of the Parkland College Entrepreneurial Program, the result of a partnership between the college and community members,  committed to developing strong, educated leaders for today’s workforce. 

The Entrepreneurial Program provides scholarships to students demonstrating potential for growth as future managers, leaders, and innovators, for immediate entry into District 505 industries and companies. Ultimately, the program aims to increase the number of graduates with a strong work ethic and commitment to excellence that supports existing industry, creating a more attractive community to future employers.

Founding Members

Cozad Asset Management

David Eades

Donald C. Dodds, Jr. 

Meyer Charitable Foundation

Peter Fox

Chuck Keeling

Roy Lambert

TSM Ventures, Inc. - Stewart Family 

Westchester Group, Inc. 

V. Dale Cozad Entrepreneur of the Year Award Recipients

2010 Clinton Atkins

2011 Rick Stephens

2012 Dwight Miller

2013 Rudy Frasca

2014 Murray Wise

2015 Steve Hillard

2016 Lori Gold Patterson

2017 Jeff Hartman 

2018 Robert J. Libman Family

Lifetime of Entrepreneurship Award

2014 Roy Lambert

2015 George Shapland

Student Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Parkland College provides students with several entrepreneurial opportunities including: 

Parkland Entrepreneurial Network
Applied Media Promotions
Perimeter Road Sound Recordings