Tulane honors Jim Coulter and Daryn Dodson as 2022 Entrepreneurs of the Year

Jim Coulter, Daryn Dodson and Mike Fitts at the Lepage Center Awards Gala

Jim Coulter, Daryn Dodson and Tulane President Mike Fitts, left to right, at the 2022 Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Awards Gala, which took place at the NOPSI Hotel on March 24.

Tulane University recognized Jim Coulter, executive chairman and founding partner of the global private equity firm TPG, as Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year and Daryn Dodson, managing director of social impact fund of funds Illumen Capital, as Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2022 Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Awards Gala. The ceremony, an annual presentation of the Freeman School, took place on March 24 at the NOPSI Hotel in New Orleans.

The Lepage Center presents the awards each year to highlight outstanding entrepreneurs in the community. The Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneur of Year Award honors individuals who combine a history of entrepreneurial success with philanthropic generosity and service to the community. The Tulane Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes individuals who are solving social problems and meeting community needs through the use of entrepreneurial principles.

“The impact that Jim Coulter and Daryn Dodson have had on business in general and New Orleans in particular is truly incalculable,” said Freeman School Dean Paulo Goes. “Given their long personal relationship and shared commitment to the city, it’s especially fitting that we honor them together as our 2022 Entrepreneurs of the Year.”

Jim Coulter speaks at 2022 Lepage Center Awards Gala

Jim Coulter, recipient of this year’s Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year Award, speaks at the Lepage Center Awards Gala.

Coulter and Dodson’s connection to New Orleans goes back to the years following Hurricane Katrina. Dodson, then a Stanford MBA student, approached Coulter with the idea of sending MBA students to New Orleans to assist entrepreneurs with rebuilding their businesses in the aftermath of the storm. Coulter anonymously provided funding for the initiative, which became known as IDEAcorps, and the Freeman School and The Idea Village provided coordination and support. New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, the annual event highlighting the city’s business innovation and spirit of entrepreneurship, grew out of the IDEAcorps program.

Coulter co-founded TPG in 1992 and helped build the organization into a leading private investment firm managing in excess of $100 billion in assets. Based in San Francisco and Fort Worth, Texas, TPG has been a lead equity investor in more than 175 companies. Coulter also serves as co-managing partner of The Rise Fund and management partner of TPG Rise Climate.

Over the course of his career, Coulter has served on over 35 corporate boards and currently serves on the boards of Creative Artists Agency, Philz Coffee and Rodan + Fields. He also serves on the Stanford University Board of Trustees and has served on the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College. He is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Dartmouth College and earned his MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Daryn Dodson speaks at Lepage Center Gala

Daryn Dodson, recipient of the Tulane Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award, addresses attendees at the gala.

A passionate advocate of social and economic justice, especially for disadvantaged and marginalized groups, Dodson founded Illumen in 2017 to increase gender and racial equity within the financial markets. Illumen invests in top growth, private equity and venture impact funds, and then provides coaching and tools to fund managers to reduce implicit bias. He previously led the Special Equities Program as a consultant to the board of the Calvert Funds, a pioneer of the impact investing field. Prior to that, Dodson was director of university and corporate partnerships for The Idea Village, where he created a platform engaging leading private equity firms, business schools and Fortune 500 companies to invest over 100,000 hours and $2 million into more than 1,000 New Orleans entrepreneurs.

Dodson is the co-author of published research examining the influence of race in financial judgements of asset allocators, and he currently serves as vice chair of the board of directors of Ben & Jerry’s. He holds an AB from Duke University and an MBA.

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