A seasoned entrepreneur who left a successful career at IBM to lead a variety of entrepreneurial ventures into high growth will give a lecture at the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics on Wednesday, March 26, at 5 p.m., Room 458.

A. A.”Nick”Nicholson is president and chief executive officer of Green Compass, a company focused on creating online processes for sales performance improvement. In his talk,”Entrepreneurship: From Concept to Hyper Growth,”Nicholson will share some of his company’s growth strategies. Green Compass provides top executives with Web-based training and software tools to achieve fast growth for their firms. The Green Compass strategy helps companies achieve these results by getting a place on a success list, from local lists such as the BusinessFirst Fast 50 to national lists such as Inc. 500 and others.

Nicholson has had a remarkable career spanning diverse businesses, from computer sales to waste management. A 1970 marketing graduate of the WVU College of Business and Economics, Nicholson went from”Rookie of the Year”at IBM in 1974 to president of a sales and sales management training business and then leader of an Ohio-based waste and recycling firm. In 1996 Nicholson was president of Connective Management in Boca Raton, Fla., a company that sold training to more than 160 clients in a three-year period.

One of those clients was The Ecology Group, which led to his joining that company the same year as a contract CEO . He liked it and became owner in 1997. He led that company to the rank of 87 on Inc. magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies in 1998 and sold the company for two and one-half its industry standard valuation in 2001.

Besides these endeavors, Nicholson was also an executive instructor at IBM , teaching corporate executives to manage the use of IBM computers. From there he went to computer sales and marketing, then sales training. He’s also writing a book on sales.

This lecture is part of the Acordia/Royal&SunAlliance Distinguished Lecture Series, which the College of Business and Economics has offered since 1984. Known for 15 years as the McDonough Caperton Distinguished Lecture Series, it was renamed the Acordia/Royal&SunAlliance Distinguished Lecture Series in response to changes in sponsorship. Acordia, one of the largest insurance brokers in the world, is a nationwide network of companies that provides insurance brokerage, managed health care administration and consulting services. Acordia of West Virginia is based in Charleston, W.Va. Royal&SunAlliance USA Inc. provides property and casualty risk management and insurance solutions and is one of the 25 largest property/casualty insurers in the U.S. It is part of the London-based international Royal&SunAlliance Insurance Group, which transacts business in some 130 countries.