James J. "Jim" Morrell ’66 has been named the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year by Siena College.
The award is presented annually to a Siena graduate who has excelled as an entrepreneur, positively impacted the community, and is driven by the entrepreneurial spirit and Franciscan values of the College.
Morrell accepted his award at an April 16 reception on campus.
“Jim Morrell embodies the type of individual we imagined when Siena College created the Entrepreneur of the Year award,” said Michael J. Hickey, director of Siena’s Stack Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “He not only is a successful serial entrepreneur but also a philanthropist, who continues to support a multitude of great Capital Region causes.”
Morrell is currently the chairman of Pamal Broadcasting, which operates nearly two dozen radio stations in New York and Vermont.
Morrell and his family own Destination Nissan and Destination Kia in Albany; ABC Sports and Fitness, Add Development and Management, and the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, all in Latham; and several other businesses in the Capital Region.
The Morrell family and its business enterprises have a long history of philanthropy in the area. The Morrell Science Center on the Siena campus houses classrooms, lab space and the Stewart’s Advanced Instrumentation and Technology (SAInT) Center, and the family has long been a lead donor to the College, according to Hickey. Morrell is a former member of the College’s Board of Trustees; his wife, Kathleen, was an associate trustee.
“When I was a student at Siena, I very much looked to others for mentorship,” Morrell said as he accepted his award, and explained the impact his days at the College had on him. “I was surrounded by people who gave of themselves day in and day out. They led the way.”
Following that example, the Morrells have also made significant contributions to Albany Medical Center, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, the Cerebral Palsy Association, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, among others.
Morrell currently serves on the board for the Peter Young Housing Industries and Training Program, and the finance council of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.
Sureet Pabbi ’21, made remarks as president of Siena’s Entrepreneurship Club.
“What binds us together in this organization is our desire to one day be entrepreneurs, whatever that may mean,” he said. “What I really appreciate about our honoree is that he has had a rather unconventional journey. Entrepreneurship doesn’t always mean creating a new product or disrupting the market. At the end of the day, entrepreneurship is really only growing a successful business.”