A new class of 124 Penn State Berks students will receive their baccalaureate and associate degrees on Friday, December 18, 2015, at 7:30 p.m. in the Beaver Community Center when Berks hosts the fall 2015 commencement ceremony.
The keynote speaker will be Jack D. Gulati. For 48 years, Gulati has been a ?serial entrepreneur.? During this time, he has owned 42 companies worldwide. He has written a book titled Serial Entrepreneur in the hope that others may learn from his experiences.
Born in India in 1942, Gulati immigrated to the United States with his family in 1958 when he was 15 years old. He attended high school in New York City and then enrolled at the University of Minnesota. After a somewhat circuitous route, he received Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota in 1966.
Like his father and grandfather before him, Gulati had ambitions to become an entrepreneur. He acquired his first business in 1968 at the age of 26, and in the ensuing years, he bought, sold or created 42 businesses. His companies in the United States and Europe have included Fidelity Technologies Corporation, TeleAlarm Group, Fidelity Investment Corporation, SafetyCare Technologies, and Stokesay Castle.
Recently, during his third attempt at retirement, he heard that the Reading Royals, ECHL, affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, were in danger of being moved out of the City of Reading. So he came out of retirement once again, and in April 2014 he bought the team. Then in March 2015, he and his two sons took over the management of Sunnybrook Ballroom, a well-established banquet and restaurant facility located in Pottstown, PA.
Gulati has received many honors over the years. President George H.W. Bush appointed him to the Small Business Advisory Committee of Federal Communications Commission. He was a delegate to the 1986 and 1995 White House Conferences on Small Business appointed by Presidents Reagan and Clinton.
He served as chairman of the National Federation of Independent Businesses of Pennsylvania. He was Chairman of the Board of the Township Supervisors in Upper Merion Township, Pennsylvania. For six years, he served on the Board of Trustees of Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. In 2015, Chestnut Hill College honored Gulati by giving him an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Gulati and his wife, Rosemary, have three sons, David, Charles, and Michael, and eleven grandchildren.