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Simpkins Lecture Features Famous Businessman, Emmy Winner

Jim StovallMarch 9, 2015 - Jim Stovall started losing his sight at a young age, and had lost his eyesight fully by age 29, but refused to allow the disability to hold him back.

Instead, he has soared to remarkable heights as an internationally known businessman, humanitarian and author.

Stovall will tell his story titled “Yes You Can” on April 7-8 at Eastern Florida State College as part of the Simpkins Business Seminars for Entrepreneurial Development.

The presentations are free and open to students, faculty and the public.

Stovall will appear:

  • April 7, from 10-11 a.m., at the King Center for the Performing Arts on the Melbourne Campus
  • April 8, from 10-11 a.m., at the Simpkins Fine Arts Center on the Cocoa Campus

Stovall’s many accomplishments led Steve Forbes, president and CEO of Forbes Magazine, to call him “one of the most extraordinary men of our era.”

He has been a national champion Olympic weightlifter, is president of the Emmy Award winning Narrative Television Network and author of the best-selling book “The Ultimate Gift” that was made into a major movie starring Jim Garner and Abigail Breslin. Stovall's television network adds narration to describe the visual elements in television and movies so they can be enjoyed by the visually impaired.

The President’s Committee on Equal Opportunity has selected Stovall Entrepreneur of the Year, and he was chosen as the International Humanitarian of the Year, joining former President Jimmy Carter, former First Lady Nancy Reagan and Mother Teresa as a recipient of the honor.

“Listening to Jim Stovall is an opportunity to hear from someone who has broken down every barrier in his life and achieved success at every turn,” said Eastern Florida President Dr. Jim Richey.

“It’s a story of courage and inspiration that can help people reach their goals, and is especially valuable to students who are striving to overcome challenges in their lives.”

The Simpkins Seminars are named after Bernard Simpkins, a former member of Eastern Florida State College’s Board of Trustees who established an endowment to create the sessions that have brought some of the nation’s top business leaders to the college.

The endowment also started the college’s Business Entrepreneurship Program, which was named the best emerging program in the nation in 2010 by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship.