MR. JEFFREY A. BERNEL
Principal of Bernel Consulting, LLC
Jeff Bernel is the current and founding chairman of the Healthcare Foundation of LaPorte, who’s mission is “empowering our residents to live healthy and well in around LaPorte.” It is a 501(c)(3) private foundation was created on March 1, 2016, from the proceeds of the sale of LaPorte Hospital. The Foundation manages ~$200 million in assets.
Jeff retired in 2016, after twenty years as a full-time teaching professor with the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame and a co-founder and director of Gigot Center for Entrepreneurship. He taught entrepreneurship and principles of management and strategy to undergraduate and MBA students. Jeff continues to be a part time adjunct professor with the Management and Organization department.
He is the former chairman, CEO and president of American Rubber Products Corporation from September 1979 to August 1996. American Rubber Products Corporation was a financially struggling manufacturer and fabricator of engineered seals and gaskets for the international and North American automotive industry. Over eighteen years, the company’s turnover grew from ~$1.5 million to ~$50 million with above average profitability. Its customers included the OEMs of GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda and first and second tier component manufacturers for GM, Ford, Chrysler, Volvo, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, SIA, Mazda and Mitsubishi. The company employed approximately six hundred non-union associates with divisions located in La Porte, Indiana; Buffalo, New York; Staples, Minnesota; Niles, Michigan and Morgantown, Kentucky. The Company entered into supply chain partnerships with companies located in Japan, Korea, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Plus, participated in a joint venture with two Japanese companies in Thailand to produce dense rubber injection molding products for the company’s automotive customers. The company was sold in May of 1996.
Jeff acquired UniTek Sealing Solutions, Inc, of La Porte, Indiana, in an asset purchase in June 2006. The company was a financial turnaround challenge and a non-union manufacturer of high tech, thermoplastic and rubber multi-durometer cellular and dense extruded seals and gaskets for the North American automotive, RV, architectural, wastewater treatment and semi-truck industries. The company was successfully and profitably sold to Arnold Jaeger, GMBH, of Hannover, Germany in August of 2011.
Jeff has served on the boards or advisory boards of Middleburg Capital Development, DayBlink Consulting, Vennli, Nuron, Inc, Bremen Castings, LaPorte Hospital, and LaPorte Bank and Trust and served for eight years as an elected school board director with the LaPorte Community School Corporation. He has also served on several other for profit and non-profit boards.
He was a member of Young Presidents’ Organization and World Presidents’ Organization and served for many years as a Forum Moderator with the Indiana Chapter.
Jeff earned his MBA from the University of Notre Dame and attended the University of Buffalo. Jeff is a six-year active duty veteran of US Navy Nuclear Submarine Service, serving as a nuclear trained engineer on a Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine during the Vietnam/Cold War era. We won!!
Jeff lives in Granger, Indiana, a suburb of South Bend with his wife Kathryn. They have five adult children. He enjoys sailing, international motorcycle touring, skiing, reading and enjoying being with his family.
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