Darlene Ryan speaks at TCU CEO Distinguished Speaker Series


Darlene Ryan, the executive director of TECH Fort Worth, told university students her key to success: Never stop asking questions and never stop learning.

Ryan spoke about her education and career path as a businesswoman during her time as a guest speaker for TCU CEO’s Distinguished Speaker Series Thursday evening in Smith Hall.

Ryan’s company, TECH Fort Worth, “is a nonprofit business incubator which helps entrepreneurs bring to market innovative technologies,” according to its website.

Business leaders are invited to speak at the university each semester as part of the Distinguished Speaker Series. The speakers talk about their businesses and interact with the students who attend, Blake Burch, vice president of marketing for TCU CEO, said.

TCU CEO is a part of the way the Neeley Entrepreneurship Center looks to "educate and encourage students to succeed as entrepreneurs," according to the Neeley website.

The series helps students build connections, network and potentially land internships and full-time jobs, Brad Hancock, director of the Neeley Entrepreneurship Center, said.

“It opens your eyes and your mind and your thinking to what opportunities there might be for you,” he said.

Junior economics major and TCU CEO member Jonathan Amerson said he has been to several of the Distinguished Speaker Series events.

“It’s a bunch of indispensable knowledge," he said. "It’s a bunch of really smart people in a room telling you how they did it."

Ryan said one of her goals was to tell students how to be successful in a job they love, she said.

“The reason I think I did so well and progressed faster than the others was because I wasn’t afraid to ask questions,” she said.

Ryan closed her speech by telling students to sign up for everything they can. Most of life’s obstacles are imagined ones, she said.

“Do what you love. Do it well. Don’t be afraid to look stupid,” she said.

The Distinguished Speaker Series is open to all university students. The Entrepreneur’s Boot Camp and Start Up TCU are two other workshops hosted by TCU CEO.