Camille’s Sidewalk Café Founder to Speak at RSU Nov. 18

Rogers State University will mark Global Entrepreneurship Week with an keynote speech Wednesday, Nov. 18 by David Rutkauskas, founder and CEO of Camille’s Sidewalk Café. The event, which begins at 11 a.m. in room 149 of Herrington Hall, is free and open to the public.

Rutkauskas plans to share his story of how he turned a unique restaurant concept into a world-renowned franchise. Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe was founded in 1996 by David Rutkauskas, his wife Camille and father Otto, with the first location opening in the Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa in October of that year. Today there are Camille’s locations in 27 states. In January 2008, the company reached an agreement with Wal-Mart to include Camille’s restaurants in new Wal-Mart supercenters. Camille’s Sidewalk Café, has experienced success with double-digit sales growth, penetration into the global marketplace, and projected sales of over $100 million by 2009. In addition to Camille’s Sidewalk Café, Rutkauskas has launched two new concepts, Coney Beach and FreshBerry.

The Nov. 18 event is sponsored by the RSU Innovation Center and Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE.)

“Entrepreneurship is the key to economic recovery and growth. The next generation of innovators holds that key,” said Dr. Ray Brown, vice president of economic and community development at RSU. “Now more than ever, we need to unleash the creativity and ingenuity of our youth by engaging them in the endless possibilities of entrepreneurship. We are pleased to offer our students and members of the community the opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship through this special event.”
During the week of November 16, 2009, countries all around the world will join together to carry the banner of Global Entrepreneurship Week, an initiative created to inspire, connect, inform, mentor and engage the next generation of entrepreneurs.

A luncheon in the Herrington Hall commons area will follow the presentation. During the luncheon attendees will have the opportunity to visit with Rutkauskas and meet other successful entrepreneurs from a variety of industries. The luncheon is free and open to the first 100 people who attend the keynote presentation.