Clarence Wooten ’93, Alumni of the Year
CCBC alumnus Clarence Wooten ’93 was one of five persons honored by the American Association of Community Colleges as Outstanding Alumni of the Year.
The AACC award recognizes community college alumni for their career achievements, philanthropic contributions and inspirational impact.
A self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Wooten was fascinated with video games at an early age. That captivation fueled an interest in computers and sparked a curiosity about how software was made. Clearly, he was an entrepreneur in the making.
“You can say I was a kid who was 14 going on 35,” joked Wooten. “I was the only kid in high school handing out business cards to anyone I saw while everyone else was handing out notes or invites to parties. I was in the zone. There was no option for Plan B, only Plan A.”
In 1990 Wooten enrolled at CCBC to pursue his dreams of architecture and computer design. He excelled in Computer-Aided Design for Architecture and Engineering, and received the foundation and support he needed to start his first company, Envision Design, an endeavor based on the concept of CAD and animation. While Envision garnered little success, it laid the ground work for other Wooten ventures like Metamorphosis Studios, ImageCafe, Progressly, Groupsite, and others to soar.
The 1999 sale of his first successful company, ImageCafe, for $23 million to Network Solutions/Verisign propelled Wooten into the national spotlight as a tech-savvy businessman. He has been featured in such well-known publications as Black Enterprise, The Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Business Journal, Entrepreneur magazine and numerous others.
A staunch supporter of education, Wooten credits CCBC for his start.
“Of course my motivation and drive helped to formulate my big ideas, but without CCBC to steer me in the right direction and give me the tools to succeed, my big ideas would never have become reality,” Wooten explained. “I have been blessed to have created companies that have helped society and others achieve their own dreams. It’s all about having the tools, education and people to make things happen. CCBC provided all of that and more for me.”