The University of Southern Mississippi College of Business and Economic Development recently honored Rodney Richardson, founder of Hattiesburg-based agency RARE Design, as the 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year.
Richardson was recognized during the 2020 Golden Idea Pitch Competition event on Thursday, Nov. 19 and through a video shared to the Southern Miss Business YouTube channel on Friday, Nov. 20. The video includes several friends, former colleagues and clients congratulating him on the honor.
Following a brief introduction by Bret Becton, dean of the College of Business and Economic Development, Richardson shares some memories from Southern Miss and words of advice for those in attendance physically and online.
The Entrepreneur of the Year was created to recognize and celebrate successful entrepreneurs and emphasize the college’s focus on entrepreneurship as an academic endeavor.
The celebrated entrepreneur is selected based on several criteria, including entrepreneurial spirit, strategic direction, impact, innovation and integrity.
Richardson, a Southern Miss alumnus, is one of the country’s foremost storytellers for professional sports franchises. After working for Nike for several years, Rodney opened RARE Design in Hattiesburg in 1999 and has helped organizations develop their branding and tell their stories ever since.
His clients include the likes of the Atlanta Hawks, New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Texans, Charlotte Hornets, Sacramento Kings, NASCAR, Minnesota Timberwolves, Milwaukee Brewers and Southern Miss Golden Eagles.
He is known for his creativity, determination, ingenuity and integrity throughout the industry and the community.
Not only is Richardson a great example of entrepreneurial success, he is an exceptional person who gives of himself to the local community and even the world through his support of ministries in Uganda, according to officials.