Walsh Alum Bob Shearer ’74 Opens 2016-17 Garage Blueprint Speaker Series


School News

On Wednesday, September 28, The Garage Innovation Center welcomed Walsh alum Bob Shearer ’74 as the first lecturer of the Blueprint Speaker Series for the 2016-2017 academic year.  The Blueprint Speaker Series is a monthly forum that connects aspiring innovators to regional thought leaders who provide insight and challenge students to turn their ideas upside down to examine them from new perspectives. After the lecture, attendees were invited to visit and tour The Garage and enjoy light refreshments.

"The Garage is a space we were able to create through the generosity of several donors with the goal to provide a path, along with the ability and space, for students to follow their passions and create businesses," said Garage Co-Founder, accounting major Matt Strobelt. "The Blueprint Speaker Series is designed to offer the blueprints for how to become an entrepreneur. This series is designed to help guide us through the process."

Mr. Bob Shearer is the Co-Founder, former Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Shearer’s Foods, Inc. the manufacturer and distributor of Shearer’s Award-Winning Snacks. During his remarks, he spoke to the audience about the importance of surrounding yourself with good people, learning from your mistakes, and making the most of the opportunities that come your way. 

"That is the secret to being successful; you have to hire people who care," said Shearer ’74. "When I graduated from Walsh in 1974, we didn’t have the opportunities that you have today. We didn’t have The Garage or access to the scope of knowledge, experience and mentoring that you do today. Whether you’re graduating this year or you’re a freshman, sophomore or junior, be sure to really take advantage of everything you can. And remember that you really are fortunate to have Walsh University." 

Shearer began his career early in the family-owned grocery store, and continued working through college, where he earned a B.S. in Finance from Walsh University in 1974.  When the family decided to buy a potato chip distribution business that same year, Mr. Shearer sold and delivered products to customers.

Through helping start a company and growing it to a value of $500 million with more than 1,800 associates while developing a delicious brand along the way, Mr. Shearer installed a culture of passion that permeated his company.  He believes that passionate leadership is contagious; part of the DNA of any successful company.

Mr. Shearer serves on numerous Boards throughout Northeast Ohio including MelCap Partners Financial Advisory Board, Label Print Technology, R.S. Hanline Company Board of Advisors, and Flavorseal.

The Garage initiative was developed by Walsh business students Iagos Lucca, Josh Ippolito, Andrew Chwalik and Matt Strobelt, with a plan to transform an unused garage space at Walsh’s St. Katharine Drexel House into a student innovation center. The Garage formally opened last January 2016.