A $500,000 distinguished professorship has been established in entrepreneurship in the UTSA College of Business in memory of Melvin Lachman, a San Antonio businessman and entrepreneur. Lachman, who passed away in 2005, was known not only as a successful businessman, but also as someone who helped others build businesses as well.
“Melvin was a character,” said Judy Lachman, his widow. “After the war, he didn’t know what he wanted to do, but he wanted to be successful. He never knew a stranger. People would gravitate to him.”
A San Antonio native, Lachman was a graduate of Jefferson High School and the University of Texas at Austin. He served in the Army during World War II, and when he returned he began his career as an entrepreneur. He initially invested $3,000 and went into business selling pots and pans. Then, he shifted gears and became one of the largest toy distributors in the Southwest. Selling that business in the 1970s, he entered into a new partnership with San Antonio real estate entrepreneur Quincy Lee.
“The magic to Melvin was that he was totally unorthodox,” said Steven Lee, son of Quincy Lee. “When my father first introduced me to Melvin, he was wearing red, yellow and green checkered slacks and an Oak Hills golf cap. Melvin was a natural born salesperson. He taught me all that I know about selling.”
“Business is not technical it is personable,” said Zach Lee, grandson of Quincy Lee. “The value he added through relationships was something that could not be tracked in a spreadsheet.”
William Flannery, chair of the Department of Entrepreneurship and Technology Management, has been named the inaugural holder of the Melvin Lachman Distinguished Professorship in Entrepreneurship. Flannery, who has been a faculty member at UTSA since 1975, is the co-founder of the college’s Management of Technology program.
“I am honored to be the inaugural recipient of this professorship,” said Flannery. “I plan to utilize these resources to build the college’s entrepreneurship program and encourage the development of student entrepreneurs.”
Currently more than 100 UTSA students own their own businesses. The department’s mission is to plant the seeds of entrepreneurship into the students and provide them with the education, experiences and exposure they need to be successful. The department offers a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship; MBA concentrations in management of technology and project management; a master’s certificate in technology entrepreneurship; and a master’s of science degree in the management of technology.
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