By Jennifer Erb
2016-08-252016-09-01https://wvuieleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/[email protected]WVU IE200px200px
George Bennett started WVU as an Electrical Engineer, but quickly transferred to Industrial Engineering because he wanted to work with computers. George had won the WV Science Fair his senior year in high school so he was well known as a freshman. After George’s freshman year, he got a summer internship at Ford, where he added to his computer programming expertise. George then returned to Ford after his sophomore year. That summer he wrote a program that balanced work loads on assembly lines that, over time, was adopted by all of Ford’s plants in North America. George spent his 3rd summer working for IBM. IBM was starting to use graphical CRT terminals and needed to develop a computer language that would facilitate writing business programs for the new technology. For the year prior to George’s arrival as a summer intern, 140 IBM programmers had been working on developing such a language (at a location different from the location where George spent his summer). George, not knowing about their effort, developed a language during his summer internship that IBM was able to use as its initial language release for the new technology.
When influential people see how you think and work, they will create opportunities for you
A Vice President of IBM took a special interest in George and helped him get the financial resources he needed to earn an M.S. in Business Administration and a PhD from Carnegie-Mellon University. While at Carnegie-Mellon, George in collaboration with others, developed a simulation of the U.S. banking system. George eventually did training for the American Bankers Association and the FDIC using the new simulation model. While in graduate school, George also consulted for the FDIC and made enough money to stimulate both his interests in consulting and in being an entrepreneur.
When George completed his PhD he went to work for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), one of the highest regarded consulting firms in America. While at BCG, George was mentored by Bruce Henderson and Bill Bain, two of the top consultants in the country. After a few years, George and Bill Bain founded Bain and Company with a third partner. This was the start of a series of entrepreneurial startups that George founded or co-founded.
George’s entrepreneurial career has included the following start ups:
George’s current start up is Good Measures, a company that specializes in care for patients with metabolic syndrome disorders such as obesity and diabetes.
George took a year’s sabbatical from his entrepreneurial ventures to serve on the Grace Commission, an organization created by President Ronald Reagan to eliminate waste in the federal government.
George advises graduates who want to have a high profile career to “play in traffic.” By this he means that they should put themselves in a position where they can meet people who can create opportunities for them. “When influential people see how you think and work, they will create opportunities for you.” He also advises graduates to not be afraid to take responsible risks.
George Bennett has been building innovation-driven businesses for more than 40 years. He co-founded Good Measures, LLC in 2011 and currently serves as its Chairman and CEO. Working with the Joslin Diabetes Center and other world-class organizations, Good Measures has developed a breakthrough approach for helping individuals (with or without diabetes) improve their eating habits.
George earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from West Virginia University in 1967 and earned his MS and PhD degrees in Industrial Administration from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1970 and 1971. He then joined the Boston Consulting Group and in 1973 co-founded Bain and Company and in 1976 co-founded Braxton Associates, two very highly regarded international strategy consulting firms. Later, he co-founded Symmetrix, a management consulting firm that specialized in helping large firms translate innovative strategies into cost effective operating practices. In 1997 he co-founded Health Dialog, an international health care services company that provided services that were available to 24,000,000 individuals when the firm was sold in 2008 to Bupa, a large British not-for-profit enterprise dedicated to improving world health.
George spent a year in Washington in the early 1980s as a member of the Grace Commission, a commission created by President Ronald Reagan (and headed by Reagan’s Democratic friend Peter Grace) to bring state-of-the-art business practices to the federal government. Bennett has remained active in Washington and has been an active participant in the ongoing debate regarding health reform.
George Bennett serves (or has served) on the board of directors of a number of organizations, including the Population Health Alliance, Health Forum (a for-profit division of the American Hospital Association), the National Youth Science Foundation, and Urban Improv, a Boston based not-for-profit organization focused on “improving the odds” for Boston’s inner city youth.
George is an avid boater and fisherman and he has four children and seven grandchildren, all of whom live in the Boston area. He and his wife, Mimi, live in Brookline, Massachusetts, and are active in the Brookline and Boston communities.