American Campus Communities (NYSE: ACC), the nation’s largest owner, manager and developer of high-quality student housing properties in the U.S., announced that CEO Bill Bayless was named the 2017 National Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year in the category of Real Estate, Hospitality and Construction.
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Bill Bayless, American Campus Communities, CEO (Photo: Business Wire)
Now in its 31st year, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Award recognizes leaders and visionaries who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to building world-class businesses and supporting their communities. The Entrepreneur Of The Year® winners are chosen from an independent panel of judges including entrepreneurs and prominent leaders from business, finance, and local community leaders. As the first and only truly global awards program of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.
Bayless forged his vision of what would someday become American Campus Communities while he was still a student at WVU working as a dishwasher, grill cook, night desk attendant, and as a resident assistant at Summit Hall. In 1993, the 29-year-old Bayless co-founded American Campus Communities with an ambitious mission to improve housing and the quality of life for students. In 2004, he led the student housing industry to a new plateau when ACC successfully consummated its IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, becoming the first publicly-traded student housing company in the nation and introducing the sector to Wall Street and institutional investors.
Today, ACC has a team of 3,200 nationwide with 350 located at the home office in Austin, Texas. American Campus Communities provides modern, academically oriented student communities to nearly 130,000 students at more than 90 colleges and universities across the country. His vision, passion, and tenacious determination have not only fueled the success and prominence of American Campus Communities but have also served as a catalyst for the entire student housing industry becoming a well-respected asset class within the commercial real estate sector.
“Once again, the hard work and success of the American Campus Communities team have resulted in personal accolades,” Bayless said. “I am humbled and honored by this recognition and am thrilled that the entrepreneurial spirit of hard work, innovation and pursuing your passion thrives at our company. The timing of this honor is truly special as we are about to embark on our 25th anniversary. The ACC team’s commitment and dedication to put students first continues to inspire me to further build on the mission we set upon in 1993.”