Experienced Entrepreneur Learns New Skills in MBA Program

June 27, 2019 - 3 minute read


Greg LeFever

Greg LeFever MBA '18

Greg LeFever, 51, had plenty of business experience under his belt, having run a $300 million marketing budget for Land Rover and started his own corporate wellness business, but Concordia’s MBA program taught him new skills that he put to use right away — and helped him bring in more business.

“I had done contracts and sales, but I hadn’t ever used something that you just learned in class,” Greg says.

Having graduated from college in “1991-ish,” Greg had a few more years and a lot more experience than most of his classmates.

“I was the old guy in class, and I absolutely loved that role,” he says. “As I get older I’m very open to learning.”

I need to be a higher-level person to swim in this pool. I have background experience but I’m not where I want to be. My goal was to take a step up through the MBA.

In the 2000s he had run sales incentive programs for Land Rover-Jaguar North America dealers, helping to set price points, special rates, budgets and sales forecasts. When he left the automotive industry and later started a second fitness industry business, he found himself dealing with CPAs, capital funding partners and business attorneys about building the business beyond what he had experienced before. Greg felt he needed more practical business education.

“I thought, ‘I need to be a higher-level person to swim in this pool,’” Greg remembers. “‘I have background experience but I’m not where I want to be.’ My goal was to take a step up through the MBA.”

He jumped into CUI’s program and “went full throttle,” he says. Classroom learning had immediate application, particularly the negotiations class with Professor Virginia Suveiu. Greg decided to test-drive principles from the class when he went to meet with a new client for one of his businesses.

“I like real experiences,” Greg says. “I want to know, how do I make my company better? My thing was practical applied knowledge.”

Using tactics that Professor Suveiu had just lectured on, Greg followed her recommendations, down to the sitting postures, physical gestures and strategies to show preparedness.

“I got as much information on the client as I could: What does she want? What is she restricted by? What didn’t work before that I can overcome? What’s her price point?” he says. “Then I listened to her as we went through, and solved her pain points while we were talking. It created more value and I offered an expanded list of services. Inside I was chuckling because it was working. The deal was supposed to be a two-month trial, and it went to a year and a quarter, from ‘We’ll try you once’ to ‘Let’s schedule the rest of the year and next year.’ The tools Sue gave us in class, I used in real-time.”

I expected the education to be practical, which is why I chose Concordia. This was the first time I enjoyed going to school.

The MBA program even gave him clarity about his business personality.

“I didn’t realize I had an entrepreneurial spirit,” Greg says. “I was doing it, but never stopped to think I was an entrepreneur.”

True to form, while in Concordia’s program Greg started another company, Empowered Youth Life Style, which teaches leadership skills and healthy lifestyle habits to teenagers. In his capstone course, Greg’s professor recommended turning the for-profit into a non-profit, which Greg did. He hadn’t even graduated yet.

Today, Greg runs a corporate wellness business, with clients such as Kia Motors and Kelley Blue Book, and operates Empowered Youth Life Style which he started while earning his MBA.

“I expected the education to be practical, which is why I chose Concordia,” he says. “This was the first time I enjoyed going to school.”

MBA Testimonial: Greg LeFever

MBA Testimonial: Greg LeFever

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