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OhioHealth CEO and Donatos Chairwoman offer Otterbein grads advice for life

OhioHealth CEO and Donatos Chairwoman offer Otterbein grads advice for life

New alumni from the Class of 2017, with 498 undergraduate, 129 graduate and eight doctor of nursing practice students, are already starting new jobs and preparing for the next phase of their lives and careers.

As they begin their journeys, we hope they carry these pieces of advice with them.

David Blom, president and CEO of OhioHealth Corp., spoke to graduate students on April 30.

He shared two keys to success from his experience to the master’s and doctorate candidates. “First, your future success—no matter how you define it—is dependent on your ability to do more than communicate; you need to be able to connect with people. True connection is about people not just hearing your words but also feeling something.  Through your interactions they find something of value,” Blom said.

“Your future success isn’t as much about what you’ve learned as it is about how you apply it and your ability to connect to people,” he added.

“Second, a mentor is key to success in life and it’s never too late to find one.”

Blom shared the story of his mentor. “It was that investment of him in me and me in him that lead to a both a meaningful and valued relationship for both of us,” he said.

He ended his address by encouraging the graduates to make connections in life.

Jane Grote Abell, founding family member and chairwoman of the board of Donatos Pizza, spoke to the Class of 2017 at the undergraduate commencement ceremony on April 30.

“I can remember as a little girl, standing under the sign and listening to my dad talk about how he was going to grow Donatos, that Donatos would be all over the world and that we would be able to make a difference on every block,” Abell shared with the audience.

“It was never about being the biggest or making the most money. It was about building a business based on principles.”

Abell said that what she learned as the family business grew and changed, was that there are four keys success: character, courage, conviction and compassion. She wrote about them in her book, The Missing Piece.

She explained, “The first C is character—the fiber of your moral code. It is who you are, it is not what you do. The second C is courage—having the ability to have a voice and stay true to who you are even when it is difficult. The third C is conviction. Conviction is about having passion, holding strongly to your beliefs and living a life of purpose while you are purposefully living.  The fourth C is compassion.  Compassion is about having a deep awareness of oneself and an emotional maturity that is centered on love.”

“If I were to write another book, the fifth C would be curiosity.  Your generation exemplifies this character trait and I am confident that we will be a better country because of you,” Abell said.

“You are changing the way we work. You are changing the way we hire and the way we think about our communities.  You are causing companies to be authentic, environmentally friendly and more philanthropic than ever before in our history.  You are the change we wish to see in the world,” she said.

She ended her speech by encouraging the Class of 2017 to always be curious. “Being curious in all things—mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually—allows us the opportunity to better understand our obstacles, our strengths, our passions and our desires.”

Check out all of our commencement week coverage:

 - Undergraduate and Graduate commencement photo galleries
 - Replay of the undergraduate commencement ceremony
 - Facebook Live video of the Undergraduate and Graduate March to Commencement
 - Lavender Graduation photo gallery
 - Senior Celebration photo gallery
 - Noble Transitions photo gallery
 - Honors Convocation photo gallery