Retired Bemis North America president shares passion for servant leadership with MBA-Executive students - UW Oshkosh Today
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University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumnus Jim Ransom ’83, of Neenah, has a proven track record of profit and loss (P&L) leadership in large public, global manufacturing and service industries. As the president of Bemis North America, he had full P&L responsibility for a $3-billion operating unit, which represented approximately 75 percent of Bemis Company earnings and employed 8,000 people.

Today, Ransom has traded in the board room for a classroom where he teaches strategy to graduate students enrolled in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Master’s of Business Administration–Executive Program. The transition hasn’t been easy but one that has been rewarding in every sense of the word.

“I had to adjust to the fact that I no longer have direct reports. My purpose had to change to solely serving the students in the classroom. My goal is to help them become better leaders, equip them for managing culture and prepare them to deliver results. It has been the most rewarding experience of my career,” Ransom said.

Dale Feinauer, assistant dean of graduate programs for the College of Business, said many MBA students aspire to achieve the kinds of positions that Ransom has held. Having an instructor like Ransom who has climbed the corporate ladder provide personalized career advice and strategy lessons to UW Oshkosh students is invaluable.

“Jim has an amazing drive and compassion for others. Using this combination, he has been able to share constructive feedback in a way that helps students grow in skill and achieve their goals,“ Feinauer said.

Ransom said the key to success for the MBA-Executive students is to worry less about themselves and their next career move and instead focus on the success of the people around them.

“I strategically joined companies where I could serve in leadership roles, and it seemed the less I worried about myself and instead focused on supporting those around me…the more personal success I also received. My promotions allowed me to make larger impacts on the companies and support larger teams,” Ransom explained.

Currently, UW Oshkosh is running two MBA-Executive cohorts with a total of 20 students. Ransom has formed tight bonds with his students and continues to mentor and giving career advice even after the program has ended.

“I am proud and happy to be a part of our students’ journey to the next stage in their careers. My new mantra is to get up every day and inspire someone to a new level of success that they might not have achieved otherwise,” he said.

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