The Rasheed A. Wiggins Entrepreneurial Prize honors a unique emerging entrepreneur and/or startup team at Duke University each year. The winners will represent the persona of a man just as unique. It was created in the honor of Rasheed A. Wiggins, a creative and talented marketing executive with an innate passion for entrepreneurship.
Rasheed was born in Belleville, New Jersey, on March 24, 1977. Rasheed was the youngest of three children of Ronald and Mary Wiggins. He attended Chad School, St. Lucy’s Elementary School and the distinguished St. Benedict’s Preparatory High School in Newark. His father and caring coaches nurtured his athletic gifts. Through hard work and dedication, the warrior earned numerous accolades while on the school’s fencing team and as a member of the Metro National Karate team. He was also an esteemed member of Shakil’s School of Martial Arts Karate Organization, Inc. As an adult, he began boxing and won both the local Golden Glove Championship in Cincinnati and the Dynamic Fighting Championship in Orlando.
Rasheed valued education. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Duke University. He later earned his Master of Business Administration degree from Duke’s prestigious Fuqua School of Business. He was a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
After college, he followed his heart and became an entrepreneur. He co-founded AdRelief, a digital advertising agency. The marketing professional went on to build a strong career through positions at several Fortune 500 companies in Chicago, Cincinnati and Orlando. He worked on a variety of brands, increasing their digital, social and general performance. He relocated to Orlando in 2013, accepting a position at Darden Restaurants, parent company of international casual dining chains Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, the Capital Grille, Eddie V’s, and Yard House. While living in Central Florida, he and his wife, Kimberly Holmes Wiggins (also a Duke graduate), attended the Orlando World Outreach Center Church.
Rasheed will be remembered for his affable personality, strong faith in God, warm smile, courageous ambition and incredible strength. He loved being with family and friends, and would give his all to help anyone in need. He brought light into the lives of everyone he met. He tragically passed on April 16, 2016 in Orlando, Fla. He was 39 years young.