Southfield, Mich. - Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., will speak about the entrepreneurial spirit and social responsibility at Lawrence Technological University's convocation for new students on Tuesday, Aug. 25, at 2 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the campus quadrangle at 21000 West Ten Mile Road in Southfield.
Greenfield and long-time friend and business partner Ben Cohen built a storefront venture into a $300 million ice cream empire by making social responsibility and creative management strengths instead of weaknesses.
With their best seller, "Ben & Jerry's Double-Dip: Lead with Your Values and Make Money, Too," Greenfield and Cohen created both a nuts-and-bolts guidebook to the promise and pitfalls of "values-led" business and an inspiring wake-up call about the growing international influence of the "socially conscious" or "mission-driven" corporation.
In his speeches, Greenfield delivers a rousing tribute to America's entrepreneurial spirit, full of anecdotes and radical business philosophy, while also conveying the great sense of fun that is the company's hallmark.
Greenfield and Cohen opened the first Ben & Jerry's Homemade ice cream parlor in Burlington, Vt., in 1978. Greenfield began by making all the ice cream, but as the company expanded into new markets, he soon found himself handling everything from distribution to orientation to employee motivation.
In 2000, Ben & Jerry's was purchased by Unilever, one of the world's largest consumer products companies with more than 400 brands, in a transaction valued at $326 million. Greenfield and Cohen continue their involvement with the company.
Lawrence Technological University, ltu.edu, offers nearly 100 undergraduate, master's and doctoral degree programs in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management. Founded in 1932, the 4,500-student, private university pioneered evening classes and today has a growing number of weekend and online programs. Lawrence Tech's 102-acre campus is in Southfield, and programs are also offered in Detroit, Lansing, Petoskey and Traverse City. Lawrence Tech also offers programs with partner universities in Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.