Thursday, August 19, 2010

JEM ready to launch

Heading into retirement last winter, Jerry Scott wanted to keep busy.

He found his outlet in helping other executives grow their business.

Scott, who retired as chairman of GHSP Inc. in Grand Haven in February, is one of 10 business executives to become mentors with Jandernoa Entrepreneurial Mentoring, a mentorship venture in Grand Rapids launched by former Perrigo Co. Chairman and CEO Mike Jandernoa.

JEM’s goal is to help entrepreneurs and companies “reach the next level,” Jandernoa said.

After a successful career in business, Scott views mentorship as “an opportunity to give back,” he said.

“I’d like to still stay active and try to help others be successful,” Scott said.

Mentors and mentees in Jandernoa Entrepreneurial Mentoring commit to a three-year process in which mentors work closely with executives. As a mentor, Scott can offer outside counsel that provides a mentee with a new perspective or helps mentees avoid a costly mistake with their business.

The role often has the mentor acting as a “sound board” for a mentee and asking “probing questions” that help steer a business down the right path, he said.

“Oftentimes, they don’t know where to go to have that conversation with someone who knows what they’re dealing with,” Scott said. “It’s more about insight and helping leaders gain insight through someone who’s been there before and has experienced that.”

JEM’s inaugural class includes nine participants. Executives enrolling in the program as mentees must have been president or CEO of a company with more than $1 million in annual revenue that employs at least five people full time, have been the company’s top decision-maker for three years minimum, have a desire to grow the business “substantially,” and “display internal and external integrity as a business owner.”

“Entrepreneurs are working in a down economy with increasing uncertainty, hindering their ability to grow their business further,” Jandernoa said. “We believe that veteran business leaders who have faced many of these hurdles can help today’s business leaders with issues that are unique to decision-makers.”