Executive Leadership Series: Jake Gosa
Posted on October 26, 2021 by MCOB Outreach
Each semester, the Mitchell College of Business hosts the Executive Leadership Series (ELS). This event provides students with the opportunity to learn firsthand from leading executives as they discuss their careers and leadership experiences. These experiences help students bridge the gap between the classroom and the corporate world.
On October 14th, the Mitchell College of Business welcomed Jake Gosa as the first in-person ELS engagement since the pandemic began. Gosa is an alum of the Mitchell College (‘73), member of the inaugural Alumni Fellow class (‘17) and recipient of the USA Distinguished Service Award (‘20). He enjoyed fruitful marketing and operations careers with Owens-Corning and the Thomas Somerville Company before transitioning into management with American Woodmark, where he retired from as CEO.
Throughout his visit, Gosa imparted wisdom about the importance of lifelong education, strong values and integrity, vision, and balance. Gosa spoke to graduate and undergraduate classes on topics including strategy, leadership, managing people, and the importance of a companies’ vision, mission, and objectives. Gosa shared some of the early struggles faced by American Woodwork. “At one point, when the company would have a meeting, everybody in the room expected to lose money in the upcoming year because it was the mindset - that it was just the way it was.” Through instilling strong and attainable company values, making sure that everyone was working towards the same goals, it eventually led to an increase in efficiency, productivity, and a positive mindset within the organization. Today, American Woodmark is one of the nation’s largest cabinet manufacturers, employing over 10,000 individuals across the globe.
Additionally, Gosa gave insightful business advice such as: Never compare your achievements to the achievements of others, success doesn’t happen overnight, and a positive attitude and outlook can change everything. He emphasized the importance that, “whatever your goals and aspirations are right now, you can always achieve more.”
MCOB is grateful for the insight shared by Mr. Gosa and looks forward to hosting him again in the near future.
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