New Mexico State University’s Arrowhead Center and Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies are pleased to announce the launch of the NMSU Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. Its first inductee, who will be recognized during Homecoming events in October, is NMSU alum Frank Seidel, president of Seidel Technologies.
“Frank has been a champion for not only young entrepreneurs at Arrowhead Center but has also been instrumental as foundational force to help grow NMSU’s Chemical Engineering department and NMSU as a whole,” said Kathryn Hansen, director of the Arrowhead Center.
The Entrepreneur Hall of Fame award recognizes the outstanding achievement in entrepreneurship among alumni from colleges and disciplines across the NMSU system who have launched successful businesses, introduced innovative entrepreneurial concepts and practices into workplaces, and/or who have contributed to the entrepreneurial climates of their regions.
“Frank is an exceptional chemical engineer who both grasps technical fundamentals, has strong business sense, and understands customer service,” said NMSU Chemical and Materials Engineering department head David Rockstraw. “All of ‘La Familia de CHME’ is proud of Frank’s accomplishments and will celebrate with him as he receives this accolade.”
Seidel, who graduated NMSU in 1981, said he is humbled by the selection.
“There are great entrepreneurs all across New Mexico,” Seidel said. “I’m honored by the award.”
After a career in oil and gas, Seidel founded Seidel Technologies, an engineering consulting firm, 10 years ago to capitalize on the skills he had picked up along the way.
“I always wanted to be my own boss,” Seidel said. “Now it’s en vogue, but when I left NMSU, it was a different time.”
The drive for business had always been there for Seidel, who comes from a family of entrepreneurs. His grandfather, who first came to Roy, New Mexico, after World War I, was a farmer who also opened mercantile shop selling coal and lumber. Seidel’s father worked full-time and owned a second-hand store. Seidel worked at that store alongside his family, while also selling newspapers – the Spring Tribune in Springer, New Mexico – when he was just 9 years old.
“I’ve always been hungry and had a drive to improve, to be a continuous learner,” Seidel said. “My industry, and technology, is always changing. You have to keep up with what’s going on and embrace change, even if it’s just learning to tweet.”
It’s this dedication to growth, sensing current trends, and communication on par with young entrepreneurs, that has allowed Seidel to make even more connections. As a member of the NMSU Foundation Board of Directors, which supports NMSU’s fundraising efforts, Seidel has also worked with budding business owners through Arrowhead Center’s Entrepreneur Encounters.
“If a youth is hungry and looking for direction, and I’m happy to give that,” he said. “It’s a blessing to help companies, and to help young entrepreneurs realize the value of their assets.”
Seidel explained that the role that mentorship has played in his own life makes him especially cognizant of what he might be able to do for others starting out.
“I know that I’m a part of a legacy from those who taught me in the oil fields to professors at NMSU,” he said. “I’ve found a sense of satisfaction of working with the CHME department and Arrowhead Center. More and more, I see people getting onboard to come back and support NMSU where they got their start.”