Entrepreneurs Ben and Jerry Give Talk at the U of R

March 27, 2009 -

The duo who built Ben & Jerry's into a $300 million ice cream empire are set to bring their message of social responsibility and creative management to the University of Redlands.

Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield will give a lecture March 31 at 7:30 p.m. in the university's Memorial Chapel. The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of the university's Convocation and Lecture Series. Free ice cream will be given away to up to 1,000 people.

The lecture is expected to focus on socially responsible entrepreneurship. Cohen and Greenfield also will discuss their company, give tips for business and career success and answer audience questions. The two were childhood friends who went their separate ways after high school. After doing some research on the food industry, they took a $5 Penn State correspondence course on ice cream making and launched their first ice cream parlor in Burlington, Vermont.

They quickly became known for their unique flavors and community-oriented approach, sponsoring a free outdoor movie festival and celebrating their anniversaries with a free cone day. Cohen's initial jobs included scooper and taste-tester, truck driver, marketing director, salesperson and president. Greenfield's early responsibilities included making all the ice cream, distribution and employee motivation.

Cohen and Greenfield have been named the James Beard Humanitarians of the Year and the Peace Museum's Community Peacemakers of the Year. They also have been recognized by the Council on Economic Priorities, which awarded them the Corporate Giving Award in 1988 for donating 7.5 percent of pre-tax profits to non-profit organizations.

Call 909-793-2121, etc. 8103 for more information.


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There are more than 1,700 trees on the University of Redlands campus.

In April 2010, it was designated a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation. Redlands is among just three other colleges or universities in California to receive this designation.

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