By Peter Tormey
SPOKANE, Wash. – There is a standing joke among students and alumni of Gonzaga University’s Hogan Entrepreneurial Leadership Program that a half-day is needed to visit with Norm Leatha, assistant director of the program and its entrepreneur in residence. That’s because Leatha loves his students, current and former. Leatha was honored as Mentor of the Year at the Fourth Annual Spokane Catalyst Awards for technology, held Oct. 6 at Gonzaga’s McCarthey Athletic Center.
Leatha was honored for working with hundreds of students, mentoring them in critical business and life skills. He is credited with helping many of the program’s graduates move their projects from the classroom into business ventures. Leatha also was singled out for his commitment to mentoring students at all of the local universities. Leatha has used his experience and knowledge as an entrepreneur to find mentoring opportunities and internships for numerous students. He also co-founded the Delta Angel Group in 2002 and served as its president from inception until last year.
Leatha says he is “very honored” by the award.
“It’s recognition for something I love doing. I would be doing this regardless,” Leatha said. “The students I get to work with are just unbelievable. Gonzaga develops students the world needs most and I get 25 of the cream-of-the-crop students to work with for four years. By the time they’ve been with the program for four years, I feel like they are my kids. ”
View a complete list of the winners.