Renacci ’80 Serves as Business School Executive-in-Residence

Posted on 4/3/19 8:00 PM

On March 25 and 26, 2019, Jim Renacci ’80 served as Executive-in-Residence for the IUP Eberly College of Business and Information Technology

During his visit, he spoke with several hundred students in seven business classes, made a presentation to the Student Accounting Association and met with faculty, administration, and staff. At the end of his visit, Renacci met with players and coaches of the IUP men’s basketball team.

Jim Renacci '80 Executive-in-ResidenceAlong with a BS in business administration from IUP and 30 years of business experience, Renacci is a former member of the United States Congress who served on the Ways and Means Committee and Budget Committee. During his tenure in Washington he was the author of several common-sense pieces of legislation and was one of the architects of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs bill. He is an entrepreneur, business owner, and job creator.

A proven leader respected throughout Ohio, Renacci has built a positive reputation in the business community over a 30-year career. An acclaimed specialist in health care management, mergers and acquisitions, financing, and banking, he has owned and operated more than 60 entities, created more than 1,500 jobs, and employed more than 3,000 people. His business experience includes manufacturing, health care services, construction, entertainment, and CPA consulting services.

Dean Camp and Jim Renacci '80 Executive-in-ResidenceOver the two-day period, Renacci shared his experience throughout his business career and provided guidance to students in a range of business areas such as management, entrepreneurship, auditing, business policy, and taxes. In addition to sharing his experiences in business and politics, Renacci stressed to all students three key principles, including:

  • The importance of keeping your word—if you say you are going to do something, do it!
  • The importance of a good work ethic—work hard: go early and stay late!
  • If you are going to go into business—look for something different; find a niche that isn’t being filled; project out as to what may be needed given the problems and gaps of today.

Junior Jake Pascarella appreciated Renacci’s visit. “Mr. Renacci spoke to my Principles of Management class about how his time working in a company that was in need of his expertise sparked his entrepreneurial spirit. He realized that the issues his company had were common across the industry, and he worked to capitalize on this in the market. Renacci called it ‘finding his niche’ and encouraged anyone with dreams of starting their own businesses to also find something that the world needs and run with it,” said Pascarella.

Jim Renacci '80 Executive-in-Residence talks to students


Senior Brandon Aguirre added, “Mr. Renacci’s story was really fascinating. I appreciated learning about his career path, including moving from IUP to Grant Thornton, taking risks, seizing opportunities, and making decisions related to changing directions. While there were times in his career where things did not go as he hoped or planned, it was interesting to learn how he dealt with challenges and took advantage of opportunities.”

Robert Camp, dean of the college, commented on the value of the Executive-in-Residence program.  “A major strength of the Eberly College is the involvement of its alumni. In a given semester up to a dozen alumni return to campus as guests speakers and Executive or Entrepreneurs-in-Residence. In addition to sharing valuable insights, they function as role models for our students. They are invited based on their career success and good citizenship. Jim Renacci embodies these characteristics, and his advice to our students was invaluable.”