Introducing the Greg Dees & Anita McGahan YEP Award

Greg Dees and Anita McGahan are two luminaries in social entrepreneurship and business for whom the award is named. They both took an interest in PYD in various ways. Greg was a former PYD board member. Greg and Anita were professional colleagues while at Harvard Business School.Through this professional relationship Anita came to know PYD, and bring recognition to PYD through her own family engagement in the organization over the past 25 years.

J. Gregory Dees was considered the “father of social entrepreneurship education.” He was instrumental in founding and developing social entrepreneurship as an academic field, through his work at Duke, Stanford, Harvard and beyond. When he began, “social entrepreneurship” was a new and novel term. Now, a Google search reveals more than 65 million hits, and Dees’s seminal piece, “The Meaning of Social Entrepreneurship” is one of the most widely distributed pieces in the field.

Greg Dees, recognized as a leading scholar in social entrepreneurship, took the reins of the Duke Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative’s social entrepreneurship pillar in 2013. He was clinical professor at the Fuqua School of Business, where he co-founded the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship, and he previously taught at Stanford, Harvard and Yale universities. In 2007, the Aspen Institute and Ashoka recognized his pioneering work with their first Lifetime Achievement Award in social entrepreneurship education.

Greg published extensively, including two books with Jed Emerson and Peter Economy, “Enterprising Nonprofits” and “Strategic Tools for Social Entrepreneurs.” He cofounded the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Previously, at Harvard Business School, he helped launch the Initiative on Social Enterprise, and in 1995 received Harvard’s Apgar Award for Innovation in Teaching. While at Harvard, Greg took leave to work in Appalachia with the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development in Berea, Ky. Following time with McKinsey & Company as a strategy consultant, Greg’s academic career started at the Yale School of Management, where he developed a highly regarded course on new venture creation.

Greg chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Councils on social entrepreneurship and on social innovation. He served as President of the Board of Directors of PYD ca. 1990. Also serving on the board of trustees and external Knowledge Advisory Council for the Bridgespan Group and served on advisory boards for numerous organizations, including Volans, REDF, Business Leadership for Tomorrow, the Limmat Foundation and Root Alliance. His research focused on strategies for scaling the impact of social innovations, business models for social entrepreneurs and how societies can better capture the benefits of social entrepreneurship.

Greg completed a doctorate at Johns Hopkins University and master’s degrees from Yale and Johns Hopkins, as well as a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati. Sadly, our dear friend, colleague and leader passed away on Friday, December 20, 2013.

Anita M. McGahan is Professor and Rotman Chair in Management at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. She is cross appointed to the Munk School of Global Affairs and the Physiology Department of the Medical School; is Senior Associate at the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard University; is the Chief Economist in the Division of Health and Human Rights at the Massachusetts General Hospital; and is President of the Academy of Management. In 2013, she was elected by the Academy of Management’s 18,000+ membership to the Board of Governors and into the Presidency rotation. In 2014, she joined the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Opening Governance. During her 2010-2015 appointment as the Director of Toronto’s PhD Program and as the Associate Dean of Research, the School’s PhD and research rankings internationally increased from #11 to #4 and #17 to #4, respectively.

McGahan earned both her PhD and AM at Harvard University in two years. She holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School, where she received highest academic honors as a Baker Scholar, and a BA from Northwestern University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She also spent several years at both McKinsey & Company and Morgan Stanley & Company, and was previously on the faculties of both Harvard Business School and Boston University.

McGahan’s credits include three books and over 100 articles, case studies, notes and other published material on competitive advantage, industry evolution, and financial performance. Her current research emphasizes entrepreneurship in the public interest and innovative collaboration between public and private organizations. She is also pursuing a long-standing interest in the inception of new industries. Her recent work emphasizes innovation in the governance of technology to improve global health. McGahan has been recognized as a master teacher for her dedication to the success of junior faculty and for her leadership in course development. In 2010, she was awarded the Academy of Management BPS Division’s “Irwin Distinguished Educator Award” and, in 2012, the Academy conferred on McGahan its “Career Distinguished Educator Award” for her championship of reform in the core curriculum of Business Schools. In 2012, she was elected a Fellow of the Strategic Management Society, and in 2015, she was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Management.

Ray Grandoit, recipient of the inaugural Greg Dees & Anita McGahan YEP Award, is a PYD YEP Career Readiness program alumnus, PYD Mentor Match alumnus and has also served as a PYD board member over the years. Popularly known as Ray Grand, he was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. Growing up, Ray always had dreams of playing in the NBA and being a CEO of his own company. At the young age of 14, Ray contracted spinal meningitis, which left him in a coma for several weeks, paralyzing from the waist down making him wheelchair bound. This changed his life completely but not his dreams or aspirations. He looked at being paralyzed as a blessing, he was alive and still able to do everything anyone else could, just differently, including playing basketball and being the CEO of his own company.

At age 16, he was chosen by a high school teacher to participate in the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) class. This NFTE class gave Ray the spark to launch his own entrepreneurial endeavors which he used as an opportunity to start a clothing line, Ray Grand Apparel ( and ( The company Ray Grand Apparel is the celebration of overcoming adversity expressed through clothing. Along with being the CEO of Ray Grand Apparel he provided custom orders for organizations, teams and clubs with custom graphic design tee shirts and accessories. Ray is an active member in Mass Mentoring and Partners for Youth with Disabilities, where he was featured in their national mentor month public service announcement with his mentor, Federal Judge Reginald Lindsey.

Unfortunately, in February of 2007, medical complications left him on complete bed rest and in the hospital for 11 months. Shortly after Ray was honored by the Boston Celtics with the “Hero Among Us” award for demonstrating extreme courage, and overcoming a disability and manage to accomplish as much as he did.

In 2008, Ray earned a full scholarship to Oklahoma State University to play wheelchair basketball which gave him an opportunity to pursue a degree in Entrepreneurship. The School of Entrepreneurship and the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship were the catalyst that Ray needed to further progress in his ventures. Ray Grand Apparel was accepted as a student business in the Cowboy idea hatchery, a student business incubator operated by the Riata Center of Entrepreneurship at OSU. Ray progressed well and within a year completed a detailed business plan and expanded his business model to include the B2B segment by providing products and services to established businesses. The resources and mentors available through the school helped Ray device a model that was robust and adaptable so Ray could successfully operate his business remotely.

In February of 2011, medical complications left him on complete bed rest again and in the hospital for several months. During this time, Ray leveraged his entrepreneurial skills and resources to turn his hospital room into an office. Ray over came all the adversity he had been dealing with and returned to OSU and completed his degree in Entrepreneurship. His positive energy and contagious smile has been a positive influence to those around him. Ray believes we all have it in us to be grand and say “I Am GRAND!” and he is the living testimony and reminder to those who aren’t able to see it in themselves that they are GRAND!