You will immediately see why Dr. Stephen Spinelli has been successful every step of the way. On Wednesday, March 15, 2017, he will be JBN’s guest speaker at Temple University Center City campus where he will share his route to the top. It started when he was a college football player, and chosen by James Hindman his then coach to be part of an entrepreneurial endeavor. Hindman had made a fortune in business and wanted to inspire some of his best and brightest players to excel outside of the gridiron. Spinelli accepted the challenge. First they identified a small business with what they thought had huge untapped potential. It was a mechanic’s shop in Ogden, Utah that performed oil changes fast and was called JiffyLube. They purchased the tiny company and vowed to take it international. They quickly realized that franchising was the highway to take. And they were right. In a few years time there were 1200 Jiffy Lube’s in the US, Canada, France, England and Australia. Today more than 22 million customers rely on JiffyLube to keep their cars running smoothly.
As a franchisee himself, Spinelli was financially set at 36 and decided to go back to school. He and his wife and two small children moved to London where Spinelli would go on to earn a Masters and eventually PHD degree. During his time on campus he shared with other students how to think like a business professional He explains his mantra, Think deeply act divisively. “I’m on the Board of Planet Fitness. I’ve applied my practical experience even though it was in a different industry. As always, I’ve tried to use my knowledge to create value” said Spinelli.
Spinelli consulted for major corporations then went on to become Vice-Provost at Babson College, his alma mater. In 2007 he took up the Presidency of Philadelphia University. After years of leadership in academia, business and philanthropy he utilized all those skills to establish the College of Design, Engineering and Commerce. He is proud that in the past five years 95% of the universities students have landed jobs or graduate school placement. Spinelli says, “You have to be nimble. Things are changing at the speed of light. I ask what does the market need? I consult alumnus, and we reach out to our 60 companies to ensure students have a position after their time at the University is over”.
Which leads to the impending and exciting merger with Thomas Jefferson University, due to be completed by July 1, 2017. The combined universities, each with 3700 students will be fifth in size in our region. The most intriguing aspect to Spinelli is the way the two compliment each other “We are exploring trans-disciplinary opportunities. For example an architect from Philadelphia University collaborating with a doctor in training from Jefferson to plan the operating rooms of the future. These extraordinary institutions of learning will be stronger and even more relevant together”.
Spinelli is jazzed about all the possibilities in front of him and the school. He cited exploring how medical marijuana and hemp help ease pain of disease as just one cool project among dozens that has him revved up about the future.
Luncheon: Temple University
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 noon