Many GCC faculty and students got to do this on Wednesday Sept. 25! Jerry Greenfield is the “Jerry” of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.
What a joy attending the annual Wolcott J. Humphrey III Symposium. The guest speaker, Jerry Greenfield was incredibly inspirational. Prior to the main event Mr. Greenfield met with a few staff members and business students to answer questions they had for him. He is very down to earth, and I felt very comfortable and was drawn in by his demeanor and enthusiasm. Nearing the end of our allotted time he turned to the students and wanted to know more about us, asking what we were pursuing as careers. Before he left to speak at the Symposium, all of us were given the opportunity to take a pictures.
I’m not sure if it could get any better than meeting him in person, but to my surprise it did! During his talk, Mr. Greenfield took us on a journey down memory lane. He started his speech by telling the story of how he met Ben. They met as young men in school while on the track. They were required to run a 7 minute mile, and the two of them shared the “bringing up the rear” position in the race, which he joked about. Throughout his speech he spoke of many problems they faced in business together and how they got through them. Many of the memories he shared were told humorously, and the situations Ben and Jerry found themselves in were very funny. All of the stories were told with the undeniable respect and appreciation he has for his partner. He described how they almost quit because the job was no longer fun, and they were becoming the type of business they didn’t want to become. A friend told them not to quit and if they didn’t like it, change it. This was the start of the Ben and Jerry’s that cared and wasn’t afraid to show it.
Although there were plenty of laughs, I can’t forget the sadness as he spoke about selling Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Company. Mr. Greenfield’s voice became softer, and his eyes lost their sparkle and for a brief second his grief had returned. It was only for a second and then back to business! The business of Ice cream! JERRY BROUGHT ICE CREAM! Everyone that attended the symposium got to enjoy it after he had finished speaking.
The evening was wonderful and I would like to thank the Humphrey family, GCC and my motivational teacher, Mr. Dudkowski, for giving me the opportunity to meet Mr. Jerry Greenfield. It was an honor and pleasure.
Blog post contributed by: Ellen Kirkpatrick