Alumni Spotlight: Jerry Lewandowski, '85
On May 19, Weatherhead alumnus Jerry Lewandowski was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award at the graduation awards reception. Jerry is a 1985 graduate of the Executive MBA program and has been an active member of the Weatherhead Alumni Association.
“I grew up in Maple Heights,” Jerry recalled. “I am pretty much a local guy. I was educated in this area.” After graduating from Cleveland State University, Jerry began what would be a 25 year career in the healthcare industry in the Amherst and Lorain County area.
While in the healthcare industry, Jerry decided to pursue his MBA. “Since I went to CSU, I thought I’d try that so I signed up for a few courses at night,” Jerry remembered. “I was actually halfway through the night program when I was promoted. My new position made attending evening classes impossible so I was looking for an alternative. The Executive MBA program at Weatherhead was the perfect fit.”
After retirement, he embarked on his second career as a financial planner.
“In my profession, I meet people who become clients and the longer you know them the broader their questioning becomes,” he explained. “I get asked frequently ‘where did you get your MBA?’ I proudly tell them “at Weatherhead.’”
Volunteerism is an important aspect of Jerry’s life. “I have been involved in community service a lot, because I enjoy it,” he said. “I support volunteer work and do it because I think it’s something worthwhile to do.” However, the connections he has made through his volunteer work have also benefited his business. “I don’t do any advertising, seminars or trade shows,” he commented. “I get all of my clients from referrals, people that I meet through my community involvement.”
Jerry is a former member of the Weatherhead Alumni Association Board of Directors, and he currently serves on the Relationship Development Committee. He has also found time to mentor students, attend almost all Weatherhead Alumni events, and help recruit prospective students for the Executive MBA program.
Recruiting new students is one of Jerry’s favorite activities. “I always tell students that this is a quality organization here at Weatherhead,” he said. “I tell them that they can’t go wrong by choosing this school.”
“I encourage them to meet as many alums as they can because alums love students,” he commented. “I tell them to have fun while they're here and that the grades will take care of themselves. I also stress that after they graduate they shouldn’t forget about the school.”
“I am just flattered and humbled beyond belief to receive this award,” Jerry said. “I know all kinds of people who put in as much time or more time than I do and I am honored to be recognized.”