Harry Garmon Entrepreneurship Fund established at the Robins School

March 22, 2021
"Harry was a human LinkedIn in Central Virginia."

Harry Garmon, R’69, gave generously of his time and talent for entrepreneurship, business savvy, and mentorship in the Richmond community during his life. Garmon died March 6, 2021, after a long battle with heart disease.

“When we got an idea that we would not have particularly much time left with Harry, we wanted to come up with a way to honor Harry’s commitment to the small business community in Central Virginia,” said Jeff Crook, ’01. “Organizing a fund in his name at his alma mater to benefit students of entrepreneurship, in particular, felt like a great way to do that.”

As a serial entrepreneur, Garmon founded and sold three successful companies in the Greater Richmond area, and provided employment for scores of families for more than half a century. He never truly retired from business until he was in the end stage of congestive heart failure. Customers, colleagues, and even competitors often refer to Harry Garmon as a mentor, master-networker, community leader, and difference-maker to job seekers. 

To honor his entrepreneurial business career, service to the Richmond community, and friendship to so many, friends and colleagues created the Harry Garmon Entrepreneurship Fund at the University of Richmond. The Harry Garmon Entrepreneurship Fund will support entrepreneurship studies, programs, and students in the Robins School of Business. 

Jeff Crook met Harry Garmon when he joined an investment group to purchase one of Garmon’s businesses, PayTime, a payroll company based in Richmond, in 2005.

“I believe he will be most remembered as a relentless networker,” Crook said. “Harry was always working to make connections that would yield either new business opportunities or employment opportunities. Put simply, Harry was a human LinkedIn in Central Virginia.”

As an alumnus of the Robins School and current vice-president at Village Bank, Crook shared how lucky the students are to have this fund available for their entrepreneurial ventures.

“Small businesses have been crushed by the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdowns. That said, they are also the lifeblood of a growing economy,” Crook said. “This fund helps present opportunities for students interested in entrepreneurship – the type of students who can and will get keep the economy moving and growing again.”

“This fund will help current and future students pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. From providing prize money for pitch competitions, helping to support internships in startups, to funding Entrepreneurs and Founders in Residence, among other initiatives, Harry’s legacy will live on in the next generation of entrepreneurs,” said Mickey Quiñones, dean of the Robins School.

In lieu of flowers, the family asked members of the community to please consider a contribution to the Harry Garmon Entrepreneurship. Many community members have shared their thoughts on his commitment to the RVA business community. You can read the rest of his obituary here.