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
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
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.
Our capital investments are conditioned upon finding opportunities where there are shared values
of transparency, interdependent participation, and an intense commitment to value creation.