OfficeMax co-founder visits YSU Sept. 18

Michael Feuer

Michael Feuer

Michael Feuer, co-founder and former chief executive of OfficeMax and current chief executive of Max-Ventures private equity and consulting firm, will speak at Youngstown State University on Thursday, Sept. 18 as part of the Williamson Symposium Series.

Feuer will speak at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the auditorium of Williamson Hall at YSU as part of the Williamson Symposium Series, the “executive on campus” program at YSU’s Williamson College of Business Administration. The sessions are open to the public.

Feuer has more than 35 years of experience as a corporate executive, entrepreneur, management consultant, venture capitalist, national awarding-winning syndicated columnist, speaker and author. Currently he is managing director and chief executive of Max-Ventures, a private equity and consulting firm focusing on advising and investing in retail, ecommerce and a variety of marketing companies including health and wellness specialty businesses.

He co-founded and for 15 years was chairman and chief executive of OfficeMax, which OfficeMax opened its first store in suburban Cleveland in the summer of 1988 with $20,000 of Feuer’s own money, combined with investments by an initial partner and a small group of other investors. During the ensuing years, OfficeMax grew to an international retail powerhouse with revenues of approximately $5 billion, almost 1,000 locations, a major internet/catalog business unit, and direct sales force throughout the United States, the Caribbean, Mexico, and in Asia and South America. He sold OfficeMax in December 2003, generating $1.5 billion for shareholders, of which he was the largest individual, non- institutional investor.

Prior to founding OfficeMax, Feuer spent 15 years at Jo-Ann Fabrics, a publicly-held, New York Stock Exchange listed company with nearly 1,000 stores. When he left Jo-Ann to create OfficeMax, he was the craft and fabric retailer’s senior vice president and a member of its executive management committee.

A frequent guest lecturer, Feuer, speaks at leading universities and organizations throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He has authored numerous articles and since 2004 has written a national monthly award-winning syndicated column titled “Tips from the Top” in Smart Business Magazine, which is published in 17 major markets across the country and posted on the Web at: http://www.sbnonline.com/.

In June 2011 Feuer’s first book, The Benevolent Dictator, was published by John Wiley & Sons. The book chronicles his step-by-step strategy on how to build a business, empower employees, outwit the competition and create wealth for investors. It is available at bookstores and online at eBook sites such as Amazon.com and directly from www.thebenevolentdictator.biz. A new book Tips from the Top is slated to be published this fall.

For more information on Feuer’s visit to YSU, call Christine Shelton, coordinator of external relations for the Williamson College of Business Administration, at 330-941-3068.

The Williamson Symposium Series was founded with funds from the Williamson Family. The Williamson College of Business Administration, accredited by AACSB International, provides a high quality professional business education and continues to meet the growing needs of its students.