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Business Education Partnership Celebrates With Big Announcement

Murfreesboro, Tennessee - September 21, 2018 - The Business Education

Partnership Foundation (BEP) celebrated its 30th anniversary and honored longtime

partners Nissan, the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, and State Farm with a

luncheon at Embassy Suites Hotel.


Local business leaders formed BEP in 1988 to help prepare students for the workforce.

Today, BEP's programs support students, teachers, school counselors, and leaders.


Emil Hassan has served as chairman of the board of the Business Education

Partnership since it was founded. Announcing his upcoming retirement from the role,

Hassan and his wife Lilly presented BEP with a major gift; the Hassans have pledged

$100,000 to BEP for the establishment of the Emil and Lilly Hassan Teachers Fund.

This fund will assist in the purchase of equipment for special projects that fall outside

the parameters of the BEP Nissan Teacher Minigrant Awards program, which offers

grants for special hands-on learning projects in amounts of up to $500 twice annually.


The fund will be especially helpful for teachers of science, technology, engineering, and

math, as STEM equipment and supplies can be prohibitively expensive. The Emil and

Lilly Hassan Teachers Fund will enable educators to expand the scope of existing

projects as well as to undertake projects that had previously been unrealistic due to lack

of funding. The Hassans see the new fund as both an investment in students’ futures

and as an opportunity to encourage exceptional teachers.


“Lilly and I have always believed and continue to feel that giving back to the community

that has been good to us and our family is a must. We hope that this grant will serve a

noble cause of helping teachers who aspire to do more than what their duties require by

awarding their grant requests in order to fund needed materials or equipment to

facilitate projects and special programs to expand students’ knowledge and better

prepare them for the business world,” Hassan said.


At the celebration, the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce was recognized for its

role in founding the Business Education Partnership, the roots of which can be traced to

a 1980s Chamber education committee. Chamber President Paul Latture accepted

BEP’s Commitment to Education award. Commenting on the history of the

organization, Latture said, “The BEP would not be what it is today without the leadership

of Emil Hassan.”


State Farm was acknowledged for its support of BEP Summer Business Camp, which

began in 2002. Since then, hundreds of middle schoolers have learned about business

through friendly competition at BEP Summer Business Camp Presented by State Farm.

State Farm Payment Plan (SFPP) Director Micha Wilkowski accepted BEP’s Launching

Young Entrepreneurs award on behalf of State Farm, its employees and agents who

have participated in the camp, and “all of the bright young minds who have come to us

to learn about leadership, and who are now so active in our community”.


Nissan was recognized for its key role in the founding of BEP and for the broad scope of

support it gives the organization, such as providing funding for the BEP Nissan Teacher

Minigrant Awards, and for assisting with multiple BEP programs and events. Heath

Holtz, who serves as Nissan North America’s senior vice president for manufacturing,

supply chain management and purchasing, accepted BEP’s award for Driving

Innovation in Education. Holtz praised BEP and teachers alike for “translating

theoretical learnings into practical applications” to improve students’ comprehension of

concepts. Holtz said, “At Nissan, we build more than great vehicles. The way we see it,

BEP is one of those things that we feel like we are a part of, and that we helped build,

as well.”


BEP then honored Emil Hassan for his tenure as board chair. Executive Director

Amelia Bozeman said, “Emil’s passion for education and his dedication to students are

unequaled. For 30 years, he has chaired the BEP board: guiding the ship, and never

straying from the vision and mission of BEP.”


Hassan was presented with an award, which reads: “In Grateful Appreciation to Emil

Hassan, Chairman of the Board, For Your Vision and Your Unwavering Dedication.

Because of You, Our Students’ Futures are Brighter.”


“Lilly and I, along with our family, feel very strongly about the importance of a good

education in a community. I have always felt and continue to believe that for a

community to have good quality of life, it must have two main ingredients: good

education and good healthcare. There is no better way for us to contribute to our

community than through this grant that we are making,” Hassan said.


For more information about the Business Education Partnership, visit rutherfordbep.org ,

or contact Amelia Bozeman at (615) 278-2008.

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