• PCC men's soccer and volleyball in action on 9/20. Men's soccer vs NOC-Tonkawa at 3PM. Volleyball vs Hutchinson at 6:30PM.

CoreCivic CEO credits time at Pratt Community College for success

14 September 2017
CoreCivic CEO credits time at Pratt Community College for success

Damon Hininger is the President and CEO of CoreCivic Inc., a diversified government solutions company based in Nashville, Tenn. His day to day life involves running the publically traded company with more than 15,000 employees. In 2011, he was named one of Forbes Magazine’s “Top 20 Most Powerful CEO’s 40 and Under.” He is also a Pratt Community College Alumnus.

Hininger grew up in Lansing, Kan., before attending PCC in 1988 on a track and field scholarship. Obtaining the scholarship was special, as it allowed him to be the first in his family to attend college. He said the experience allowed him to make a smooth transfer from his small high school to a larger university and ultimately to the position he is in today.

“PCC got me in an academic environment that is a little less threatening. What struck me was the class size and the instructors, as they clearly cared about the students. They were always available, proactive and willing to help,” said Hininger. “That type of environment you don’t really see in a bigger school because of sheer volume of students.”

After attending PCC his freshman year, Hininger left Pratt in 1989 to continue his education at Kansas State University. There, he obtained Bachelor of Science degrees in sociology and criminal science. His experience at PCC allowed him to establish a routine and to become more disciplined to ensure his success at the four year institution.

After graduating from Kansas State University, Hininger moved to Leavenworth, Kan., in 1992 to work as a correctional officer for the Corrections Corporation of America, now known as CoreCivic. He steadily climbed the ladder in the company which required relocations to Arizona and to company headquarters in Nashville, Tenn. In 2000, he earned his M.B.A. from the Jack Massey Graduate School of Business at Belmont University. That same week, he was promoted to vice president of the company. Eight years later he became the CEO.

Hininger firmly believes it is not essential to have an Ivy League background to be successful in the business world. The path through community college is just as viable as any other direction.

“Community colleges around the country do not get the recognition and appreciation of how valuable of an academic experience they can be,” said Hininger. “You can have a very good living attending a community college and have a very rewarding experience.”

Hininger resides in Nashville, Tenn., with his wife Carrie and their two children. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Kansas State University Foundation as well as the Board of Directors of Men of Valor, a rehabilitation program for male ex-prisoners. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville and the Board of Trustees for Belmont University. He is also the Council President of the Middle Tennessee Council of Boy Scouts of America. He has received numerous alumni awards from his alma maters, including PCC’s Outstanding Alumnus in 2011.

“I really appreciate that time at Pratt,” said Hininger. “It really laid the ground work on how to get the most out of going to school and making sure you are disciplined and in a routine to ensure you are successful.”