NEW YORK, May 9, 2023Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), a global education nonprofit that ignites the entrepreneurial mindset of the next generation of diverse leaders, is hosting its annual Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards Gala on Thursday, May 11, in New York City.

The evening will be hosted by Emmy award-winning journalist Myles Miller of WNBC-TV. NFTE will honor alumnus and Product Gym co-founder Cody Chang for his entrepreneurial leadership and ongoing support of the next generation of entrepreneurs by connecting alumni with investment opportunities and serving as a resource to current NFTE students. Maxine Clark, founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop and NFTE board member, will receive the same award for her philanthropic efforts and volunteerism. Santander Bank will be recognized for its longtime dedication to youth entrepreneurship education, with employees and corporate executives working closely with NFTE students across the U.S.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to recognize the talent, dedication and entrepreneurial spirit of our award recipients this year,” says Dr. J.D. LaRock, president and CEO of NFTE. “They are incredible examples and supporters of the power of entrepreneurship education to help young people find their passions and turn those passions into real goals. We are so grateful for their ongoing support of NFTE.”

Additionally, Texas advisory board member Adrienne Palmer will be honored with the Exemplary Board Service Award for her ongoing dedication to NFTE’s mission and values to keep the spirit of entrepreneurship alive.

​​​​​NFTE’s programs include in-school and after-school entrepreneurship courses, summer camps, online resources and tools and business plan competitions. Through these programs, young people learn to identify and analyze market opportunities, develop business plans, pitch their ideas and build and manage successful ventures.

Over the past 36 years, NFTE has helped more than one million young people start their own businesses or pursue careers in entrepreneurship. These young people have gone on to create thousands of jobs, generate millions of dollars in revenue and make a positive impact in their communities and beyond.

Funding raised through this year’s gala will support young entrepreneurs, teachers and programs in the U.S. and around the world. The cocktail reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. EST followed by dinner and an awards ceremony at 7:30 p.m. EST. Tickets are available for purchase at

NFTE extends a special thank you to Citi Bank, Santander Bank, Mary Beth and Gus Harris, ServiceNow, Susan and Tucker York, and many others for their support of this year’s benefit.

For media inquiries regarding NFTE, please contact Vanessa Hsia at 929-551-3813, [email protected]; or Denise Berkhalter at 917-281-4362, [email protected].

About NFTE

Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) ignites the entrepreneurial mindset with unique learning experiences that empower students to own their futures. A global nonprofit founded in 1987, NFTE provides high-quality entrepreneurship education to middle school, high school and postsecondary students. NFTE brings the power of entrepreneurship to students, regardless of family income, community resources, special needs, gender identity, race, or ethnicity. NFTE has educated more than a million students, delivering our programs in school, out of school, in-person, online, or through hybrid models. Visit to learn more.