Fashion icon Daymond John to speak at UNT's Murphy Center luncheon; Norm Miller of Interstate Batteries to receive lifetime achievement award

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 18:31

What:          University of North Texas Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship’s BDO USA, LLP 2013 Leadership Luncheon — Featuring keynote speaker Daymond John, founder of fashion brand FUBU and cast member on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” UNT alumnus Norm Miller, chairman of Interstate Batteries, will be honored as the Murphy Award winner.


When:         11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 8 (Friday)


Where:      Hilton Anatole, 2201 N. Stemmons Freeway in Dallas


Cost:            Luncheon tickets are $200 each


Contact:       Register at For more information, email


DENTON (UNT), Texas — Daymond John, founder of the fashion brand FUBU and a cast member of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” will speak about entrepreneurship at the University of North Texas Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship’s BDO USA, LLP Leadership Luncheon Nov. 8 (Friday). UNT alumnus Norm Miller, chairman of Interstate Batteries, will receive the annual Murphy Award, given to an entrepreneur for a lifetime of achievement in business.

The event takes place at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 8 (Friday) at the Hilton Anatole, 2201 N. Stemmons Freeway in Dallas. Luncheon tickets are $200 each. Sponsorships are available at the $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000 levels. Money raised from the luncheon will benefit scholarships, student awards and programs offered through the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship.

John founded the fashion brand FUBU, which stands for “For Us By Us,” after making tie-top hats and selling them on the streets of Queens. Buoyed by the success of his hats, John and his partners began offering other types of apparel with the FUBU logo, eventually gaining national exposure for the brand and hitting $350 million in annual sales.

In 2009, John joined the ABC reality show “Shark Tank,” in which he serves as one of the “sharks” listening to entrepreneurial business plans and choosing ideas in which to invest. He is also the author of “Display of Power: How FUBU Changed a World of Fashion, Branding and Lifestyle” and “The Brand Within: How We Brand Ourselves, From Birth to the Boardroom.” He has received the Brandweek Marketer of the Year award, the Advertising Age Marketing 1000 Award for Outstanding Ad Campaign, Crain’s Business of New York Forty Under Forty Award and Ernst & Young’s New York Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Miller, who began his career as a salesman at Interstate Batteries and eventually became the head of the company, will be presented with this year’s Murphy Award, given to an entrepreneur for a lifetime of achievement in business.

After graduating from UNT in 1962, he began working as a salesman for Interstate at his father’s distributorship in Tennessee. He later returned to the North Texas area to work for Interstate’s founder, John Searcy. In 1978, he became CEO and chairman of Interstate and expanded the company to more than 200,000 dealers across North America.

Miller stepped down as CEO in 1990 and now serves as chairman of Interstate, which is known as the No. 1 replacement brand battery in North America.

Past recipients of the Murphy Award have included EDS and Perot Systems Corp. founder H. Ross Perot, real estate legend Ebby Halliday and businessman Sam Wyly.

Also at the event, student scholarships will be awarded and donors will be recognized. Student winners will be announced for the New Venture Creation Contest, in which students earn seed money to launch their businesses.

Media: Audio and video recordings are permitted during the first three minutes of John’s speech.


About the Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship

The Murphy Center for Entrepreneurship, housed in the UNT College of Business, opened its doors in 2000 with a $1 million donation from Ken and the late Shirley Murphy, founders and owners of The Mail Box. The center encourages entrepreneurship by providing students with counseling, mentoring and training opportunities that help them turn ideas into viable business entities. The annual Leadership Luncheon began in 2002 with General Norman Schwarzkopf as the inaugural speaker. Previous keynote speakers at the luncheon have included boxer George Foreman, baseball legend Nolan Ryan and Perot.


About the UNT College of Business

With more than 5,600 students, the UNT College of Business is one of the largest business schools in the nation and has been continuously accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International since 1961.

With 112 full-time faculty members, the college offers 17 undergraduate degrees, 24 master’s degrees and 10 graduate certificate programs. Five centers and institutes in the College of Business create synergy among scholarship, research and teaching. Classes take place in the new 180,000-square-foot Business Leadership Building, which opened in 2011.

Students enhance their learning experience through student organizations, study abroad programs, internships and the Professional Leadership Program to develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in today's technological and global business environment. 



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