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|AEB Profile Lonis|
JUSTIN LONIS AEB PROFILE
I double majored in accounting, communication and had a minor in entrepreneurship.
Where are you from?
Where do you currently live?
Cleveland Heights area.
3 words to describe yourself?
Energetic, creative and inquisitive.
What is the most interesting thing about you?
One morning, I woke up and signed up for a marathon in 2015, only the day before with no training and completed it. I played basketball, so, even though I am used to sprinting, I thought I could totally run 26 miles. I couldn’t walk for three days afterwards.
How did you find Hiram?
Family ties. My Uncle helped out with the Coleman renovations. He did not go to Hiram as a student, but he was close to the athletic director, Tom Mulligan. Hiram was close to my previous school, The University of Akron, so I had heard about it and I was recruited to play basketball as a first-generation college student.
What clubs were you involved in?
I was in baseball, basketball, the Lambda Pi Eta communication honors society, ideabuild!, ideaLabs in the center of entrepreneurship, I was a tutor and a representative in SAAC for the basketball team.
You’re favorite Hiram traditions?
The basketball team always volunteered at Grace and Andy each year. Springfest was always a great time with the concert and we played and won the three on three basketball tournament. Lots of comedians came to perform on campus so we saw many good ones. We played stickball in the Quad until it evolved into real bats, so we went to the baseball diamond at the police station to play. There were thirty to forty of us, we sang the national anthem, and everyone had baseball caps. I played basketball for the school, but it was fun to play another sport during my free time.
Professor Earl Kissell in the accounting department, Professor Amanda Armeni, Audrey
Wagstaff Ph.D., MJE and Kay Molkentin, the director of the Center for Integrated Entrepreneurship. I am so involved with Hiram now thanks to the strong entrepreneurship center. I developed a patented product at Hiram and raised money with Kay’s help through the center. I now work at Case Western Reserve University and it makes me appreciate how hard we work at Hiram when we don’t have the same resources as the other schools do. Here at Hiram, the professors truly want to be here, and they really care.
What is your favorite location on campus?
Not on campus but, as a part of my experience, my friends and I hung out at Slim and Jumbo’s. The Martin Fieldhouse was special too because we, the basketball team, were the five-time consecutive champs of dodgeball and were the champions of the Spring Fest basketball 3 on 3 tournament.
During the fall, we ran down Udall where there were amazing views of Hiram College when the leaves would change and, of course, we often ran the 6-mile square for basketball conditioning.
What is your favorite Hiram memory?
My junior year, we beat the nationally ranked team, #9 Ohio Wesleyan at home at Hiram in basketball.
What is the most important thing that you learned from Hiram?
You develop relationships in a tight community where there are lots of things to learn, such as, seeing people as a good person. And to still see them as a good person when there is a conflict in work, situations and the community. I was in a creative writing class and thought, how will this help me with a balance sheet? I did not realize until after graduation how things in the curriculum were designed to get us to think differently. That diverse portfolio of classes challenged me to think in different lenses and perspectives. The ability to consider other people’s perspectives before making a big decision is especially important. I think that the next big thing in business is a liberal arts education.
Do you feel that Hiram prepared you for your future?
Absolutely. As classmates, all of my friends from Hiram, we can’t express the bonds we created at here, how everyone is emotionally invested in each other’s lives. Our class was about three-hundred to four-hundred people, when we were all on the Goodtime III cruise, everyone knew each other, and no one was isolated. This happened naturally at Hiram; I never felt trapped or forced to like anyone.
What is your current employment? Retired? What are you doing now?
When I graduated, I thought, do I want to start my own company yet? No, because I knew nothing about business. Thanks to Hiram, I was able to connect and call a friend to ask for an opening at her Dad’s company (CardinalCommerce). I worked there for two years, then I went to work for Case Western Reserve University and it has been nearly three years since.
I received my Master of Education: MED in adult learning and development in ’18 at the Cleveland State University and I will complete my Master of Business Administration for entrepreneurship/ entrepreneurial studies in 2019 from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case. In the fall, I will be an adjunct teacher in Cleveland at the Monte Ahuja School of Business to teach in the marketing department.
What do you enjoy in your spare time?
As a student, I liked to play ping-pong in the Quad’s main lobby; we went sledding and stargazing behind Coleman too.
What brought you back to reconnect with the AEB?
I am brand new to the AEB. I came back because I truly felt privileged by my opportunity at Hiram; I tried to seize every opportunity that I could. Hiram gave me not only wonderful opportunities leading to my job but to my success in the entrepreneurship field. As an alumnus and ambassador of the institution, I want to give back.
Anything else you would like to share?
I developed the Balcep ankle stability and rehab device (Stability-Assessing System). I was selected as a member of the NABC 2014 Honor’s Court, and a captain and starter on a division three national team (USAAI) that got to go to Europe. I hurt my ankle and with the balance board and the whole process, I thought that there has to be a better way to do this. During my senior year I developed this idea and asked Kay Molkentin for help to get the resources to develop my invention. I am getting ready to do my own business, but the medical device field is crazy because of the FDA clearances and necessary approvals on top of the time it takes to get the device patented. While at Hiram, I was the Regional First Place Winner at the Entrepreneurs Association event “Thrive” through the Global Student Entrepreneur Association with my Balcep invention.