John Gerlach, MBA
Senior Business Executive in Residence & Associate
Upon graduation from the Wharton School he joined the consulting firm of Booz, Allen and Hamilton. He then went on to become the Vice President of Corporate Development at General Mills, where he was responsible for the acquisition of 43 companies in the United States and twelve foreign countries. He left General Mills to start a venture capital firm that made investments in 19 companies, the most successful of which was American Woodmark, with a market value over $500 million. Mr. Gerlach was then elected President and Chief Operating Officer of the Horn & Hardart Company, a restaurant and direct marketing company listed on the American Stock Exchange. He then accepted a position in corporate finance with Bear Stearns where he worked on a number of acquisitions and refinancings.
During the course of his business career, Mr. Gerlach has been elected to serve on the Board of Directors of eight public companies in the United States, one public company in France and several private companies. As part of his service on these boards he has been the chair of several audit, executive and personnel committees. He has also served on the Board of Directors of four non-profit organizations including the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, St, John's University and the Merton House in Bridgeport, where he is also a volunteer.
In his academic career, Mr. Gerlach has taught at Drexel University. Mr. Gerlach began his career at Sacred Heart University as a special assistant to the President, served as interim Vice President of Institutional Advancement, was named the first full-time director of the MBA program and now is a full-time faculty member. He founded an Investment Club for MBA alumni both in the United States and in Luxembourg.
Degrees and Certifications
- MBA in International Finance from the University of Pennsylvania
Investments and Sports Finance (course developed by Prof. Gerlach) at the undergraduate level; Global Investments, Alternative Investments, Mergers & acquisitions and Financial Regulatory compliance at the graduate level; (the latter three courses developed by Prof. Gerlach)
Awards and Fellowships
He received the University Medal from Czech Technical University for his efforts in helping that university with the transition from communism to a free society.
Publications and Presentations
Mr. Gerlach has taught at Drexel University been the co-author of two books: Successful Management of New Products and Restructuring Corporate America. He is currently writing a chapter on Systemically Important Financial Institutions Role in the Financial Crisis for a book “Managing Systemic Risk” to be published in early 2013.