Whipping up successful business ventures is nothing new to Lynn and Creed Ford III. In fact, you can probably attest to that if you’ve ever dined at Chili’s Grill and Bar, Kona Steak House or Johnny Carino’s Country Italian.

After more than 20 successful years with Brinker International Inc. (formerly Chili’s Inc.), Creed ’75 formed the Ford Restaurant Group with Lynn, which supports franchised restaurants such as Chili’s Grill and Bar, Rudy’s Texas Bar BQ and Ozona Grill and Bar. Creed also co-founded Fired Up Inc. with Norman Adballah, which is the parent company for Johnny Carino’s Country Italian.

The Fords are hoping to ignite a similar entrepreneurial passion in Mays faculty and students through a recently committed security interest with a current market value of $1.85 million. As part of the One Spirit One Vision Campaign, their gift will establish the Ford Entrepreneurship Endowed Fund within Mays’ Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship to support faculty research, course development and student opportunities.

“Entrepreneurship is the cornerstone for all successful businesses,” says Creed, who with Lynn have two Aggie children, Harper ’00 and Creed IV ’02, and a daughter-in-law Cassie ’01. “Our wish is that this contribution will provide support for the center to educate and research the ever-changing dynamics of new business ventures. Hopefully, the center will play a major role in helping entrepreneurs build companies, create jobs and ultimately benefit Texas A&M.”