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Fall 2022 Inspired Business Forum Welcomes Boler Graduate Students

Students listening to instructorThe Boler College of Business at John Carroll University—Cleveland’s Business School— hosted the fourth annual Inspired Business Forum on August 27th and welcomed new graduate business students who began, or are beginning, their studies in 2022.

JCU and Boler leadership opened the Forum with words of welcome from Dr. Alan Miciak, President of JCU, Dr. Elad Granot, Dean of the Boler College of Business, Dr. Steven Herbert, JCU Provost and Academic Vice President, and Dr. Rebecca Drenovsky, Dean of Graduate Studies.

Kahai Miciak WebingerAttended by 85 students, faculty and staff, the Forum provided students the opportunity to understand the expectations of the programs as well as the unique brand and quality of graduate business education that is offered at Boler. Participants heard from speakers and faculty whose work embodies responsible leadership and the notion of “inspired business,” and they had the opportunity to meet and network with fellow students and Boler faculty in addition to enjoying a catered lunch.

Brandon Chrostowski, founder of EDWINS (Education Wins) Leadership and Restaurant Institute was the keynote speaker. Chrostowski told of his mission to change the face of re-entry in the United States and Chrostowski talking to studentshis belief that every human being—regardless of their past—has the right to a fair and equal future. EDWINS provides formerly incarcerated individuals with an education in culinary arts and restaurant management as well as life skills. Participants are able to live rent-free in the Institute’s Life Skills Center, a safe and supportive environment, while they attend the program.

Innovation and the ability to remove obstacles is Chrostowski’s forte. Recently, he raised more than $350,000 to remove a barrier for female students who, due to the lack of affordable and accessible child care, were frequently unable to complete the program. Chrostowski purchased a building, is currently renovating it, and plans to open a free child care center for his students in the coming months. The center is within walking distance of the Institute, so there will be no need to find transportation, eliminating yet another hurdle to participation in the program.Two guys at table

Chrostowski’s inpired mission is the subject of an Academy Award nominated documentary, “Knife Skills.” A graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, he is a classically trained chef and sommelier. In 2020, Chrostowski received IFMA’s Silver Plate Award, and he was named a CNN Hero in 2016. He has also received the Richard C. Cornuelle Award from the Manhattan Institute for Social Entrepreneurship.

Daniel Brown, co-founder of Rust Belt Riders in Cleveland, was also a featured speaker at this year’s Forum. Brown’s company, with a motto of “Feed People, Not Landfills,” seeks Daniel Brown speakingto provide alternatives to landfills for food waste. His presentation, entitled “Changing the Face(s) of the Climate Crisis,” focused on ways that everyone could participate in minimizing food waste and create a positive societal impact through community activism as well as a demand for focus on the issue from political and corporate leaders.

Students on balconyDr. Scott Allen conducted a networking exercise with students on “Leading (and Following) with Style” while Online MBA students participated in a Q&A panel with alumni via Zoom.

“Tools for Integrating Justice into Inspired Business” was the topic of Dr. Tina Facca-Miess’s presentation, and Dr. Doan Winkel led an exercise in creativity which he called, “Your Idea Sucks (or It Doesn’t Matter What Your Idea Is).”Group of students at table

Ms. Tracy Patterson and Ms. Natia McKnight provided some insight to resources—academic, experiential, and support—that are available to graduate students, and Drs. Mariah Webinger, Brian Saxton, Joanna Garcia, and Simran Kahai discussed “Inspired Business in Action” through their work in the classroom and beyond.Students applauding

Dr. Elad Granot, Dean of the Boler College of Business, provided closing remarks to another outstanding Inspired Business Forum that included his plans for continuous innovation in the graduate business programs with a focus on technology, internships, societal impact, and international study.

Students at table

For more information on the business graduate programs at Boler, contact Tracy Patterson, 216-397-1970 or

Boler Faculty Staff at IBF