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Students learn a business lesson from legendary CEO

Business 100 students Joe Hammer, Nichols Grant and Cherise Kendall.
Business 100 students Joe Hammer,
Nichols Grant and Cherise Kendall.

Students in Lori Herrick’s Business 100 class didn’t just learn about the pros and cons of entrepreneurship and franchises from a lecture. They listened to one of the premier experts in the field who took time to visit their classroom on the Virginia Beach Campus and then provided them with a free “textbook.”

John Hewitt, founder and CEO of Liberty Tax Service, spoke to Herrick’s students about the importance of accumulating assets, encouraging them to consider becoming entrepreneurs. A day after his talk, a stunned Herrick received 30 copies of the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad.” The Robert T. Kiyosaki book challenges the way we think about money with perspectives that often contradict conventional wisdom.

“I called for a speaker and expected to get a marketing person and got the CEO,” said a delighted Herrick. “The chapter we were covering was about franchising, and I was looking for a speaker to bring the concepts to life. Hewitt did just that.”

With 42 years of tax industry experience, Hewitt is the most experienced CEO ever in the tax preparation business, and founder of two of the top three tax companies.

“I learned that it’s important to find the value in what you buy – and don’t become materialistic,” said Joe Hammer, an Army veteran studying engineering. “I learned about 401Ks, and now I’m starting one of my own.”

“His presentation answered questions about franchising, and that’s what I’ve been considering,” said business major Kristiana Plimb, aiming to own her own coffee shop. “After hearing his talk, I decided not to franchise because I want to have more control over the business. The real-world knowledge he shared was invaluable.”

In addition to teaching at Tidewater Community College, Herrick is the energy management administrator for the City of Virginia Beach.  She received her bachelor’s in business administration from Youngstown State University and her master’s in business administration from Old Dominion University. An avid reader, she read “Rich Dad Poor Dad” many years ago.

“I learned more from that book than from getting my MBA,” she said.

Thanks to Hewitt’s generosity, her students can, too.