Batavia, NY- It takes quality dairy to make quality ice cream. Just ask Jerry Greenfield. The ice cream magnate and unique flavor creator comes to dairy-rich Western New York next month to speak at Genesee Community College. Greenfield, co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s Homemade, Inc., headlines the College’s 2013 Wolcott J. (Jay) Humphrey III Symposium on Leadership and Community Life. He will speak on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 from 5-7 p.m. in the Stuart Steiner Theatre. An ice cream reception will follow.
The Humphrey Symposium honors the memory of one the region’s foremost civic leaders, Jay Humphrey. After his sudden passing in 2001, his family worked with the College to develop the Symposium as a way to continue Jay’s commitment to leadership development. A committee of community and college leaders work together to explore different kinds of speakers and topical issues, and to coordinate a community event that not only honors Mr. Humphrey’s memory, but also engages the community in a meaningful way.
“It can be a challenge finding the right speaker who warrants community interest and reinforces leadership qualities valued by Jay Humphrey” said Lori Stupp, executive director of the United Memorial Medical Center Foundation and the current Humphrey Symposium committee chairman. “We are excited to have Jerry Greenfield as our Symposium speaker. He’s not only a successful businessman, but he’s committed to civic service and social responsibility as well, qualities synonymous with Jay Humphrey.”
Greenfield is also well-versed in the workings of the dairy and food processing industries, both significant in Genesee County. A national publication (Business First) has, for the fourth year in a row, ranked Genesee County as one of the fastest growing food processing industry metro areas. The county welcomed the openings this year of two new yogurt plants in the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park.
Greenfield, and his longtime friend Ben Cohen, cobbled together $12,000 ($4,000 from each and a bank) in 1978 and opened the first Ben and Jerry’s scoop shop in Burlington, VT. Greenfield made the ice cream, while Cohen manned the sales counter. In an article in Fortune magazine Greenfield noted “Ben is really entrepreneurial and creative, and I do well within the box, as they say.”
With unique promotions, a quality product, and a “double dip” bottom line focused not only on its profits but also its people, Ben and Jerry’s experienced incredible success and fantastic growth. Twenty-two years after its founding, Ben and Jerry’s was purchased for $326 million by Unilever as a wholly owned subsidiary, maintaining autonomous operations.
Jerry Greenfield continues to head the Ben and Jerry’s Foundation which the company created in 1985. Prior to the sale to Unilever, Ben and Jerry’s contributed 7.5 percent of the company’s pretax profits to the Foundation. When it purchased the company, Unilever agreed to contribute $5 million to the Foundation.
Greenfield will speak about “Building the Ice Cream Empire” and share the promises and pitfalls of a “values-led” business. Ben and Jerry’s has become the first wholly-owned subsidiary to earn B Corp Certification. B Corps are committed to using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.
Previous speakers at the Humphrey Symposium include an impressive array of topics and issues. They include Syracuse University Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim; Paychex CEO Thomas Golisano; Dr. Donna M. Fernandes, President of the Buffalo Zoological Society; William Hudnut III, former U.S. Representative; Paul S. Speranza, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Vice Chairman, General Counsel, and Secretary of Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.; and Fred Grandy, television star, radio personality, former CEO and U.S. Congressman.
Tickets to hear Jerry Greenfield speak are $25. Registration is available online at http://www.genesee.edu/cms/home/events/humphrey/ or by contacting the GCC Foundation Office at 585-345-6809.
For more information contact Marketing Communication Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email: email@example.com.
A photograph of Jerry Greenfield is available at http://marketing.genesee.edu/images/Greenfield_Jerry.jpg . and the company website is http://www.benjerry.com/.
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