Skip to main content

Boler Inspired Business Forum Returns to Campus

Inspired Business Forum 2021On Saturday, August 28, 2021, the Boler College of Business at John Carroll University was excited to return to campus and host the third annual Inspired Business Forum, welcoming new graduate business students who began, or are beginning, their studies in 2021. The Forum provides 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.

With more than 100 in attendance, students, faculty and staff enjoyed an enlightening experience that featured speakers whose work embodies responsible leadership and the notion of “inspired business.” In addition, students had the opportunity to meet and network with fellow students, hear presentations of key program elements and highlights from Boler faculty, and enjoy a catered lunch from EDWINS.

Keynote speaker, Brandon Chrostowski, founder of EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute and the subject of an Academy Award nominated documentary, “Knife Skills,” discussed his mission to turn incarceration into inspiration through perseverance, passion, and purpose.

Under Chrostowski's stewardship, EDWINS provides a chance at a new life for the formerly incarcerated and has grown to include culinary education and life skills training at its flagship French eatery and haute dining concept, EDWINS Too (a butcher shop, bakery, and diner); a nearby Second Chance Life Skills Center campus for additional learning, housing, and support services; and an on-site program at Grafton Correctional Institute as well as curriculum for inmates at all Ohio state prisons. Students were inspired by Chrostowski’s story of redemption, leadership, and his continuous fight to serve others and do what is just and equitable.

“We all continue to be inspired by Brandon,” said Dr. Walter Simmons, Associate Dean for Graduate and International Programs and creator of the Forum. “Brandon’s work epitomizes Inspired Business and he lives it every single day--that’s responsible leadership in action and it’s important for our students to see the impact that one person can make.”

Students were also inspired by featured speakers, Daniel Brown and Patrick Hackett, ‘17, ‘19G.  Brown is co-founder of Rust Belt Riders in Cleveland, a company with a motto of “Feed People, Not Landfills,” and seeks to provide alternatives to landfills for food waste. Hackett, a graduate of Boler’s MBA program, is now an associate at Jumpstart, Inc. and focuses on building entrepreneurial ecosystems for women and people of color.

A rotation of Boler faculty presented students with a glimpse into the four critical mindsets that are instilled in students throughout the program, equipping them to make sound business decisions and lead with integrity, as well as highlights from each graduate business program and an overview of what it means to manage the triple bottom line.

The Forum closed with a message from Dr. Alan Miciak, JCU President and former John M. Boler Dean, who posed the question, “Did you come to get an MBA or to become an MBA?”

“It’s time to stretch...expect more from yourself,” said President Miciak. “It’s time to connect. Take the opportunity to build a great network of fellow students, teachers, coaches and mentors. Our mission is to inspire you to become the next generation of responsible business leaders who will create game-changing assets and enduring value for the region.”