Ford Motor Company executive Randy Creel wanted to convey one message above all others during his recent lecture to students at The University of Southern Mississippi College of Business Honors House – “broaden your horizons.”
Creel, a Jones County, Miss. native did just that with Ford by climbing to his current role as Director of Service Parts Purchasing, Customer Service Division in Shanghai, China. He served as a guest speaker to the Honors House residents on Oct. 28 as part of the fall semester curriculum.
“I would encourage students to take the time to learn a foreign language and seek opportunities to work and study abroad,” said Creel, who moved to China in January of 2005. “You need to develop the ability to ‘see around corners.’ Anticipate what might happen and have a plan for it.”
Creel, 49, has been with Ford for the past nine years. His team in China is responsible for regional sourcing, quality and distribution of Genuine Ford and Motorcraft repair parts. Creel earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama-Birmingham before obtaining a Master of Business Administration at Wake Forest. He also has a Master of Public Administration degree from Harvard.
Dr. Lance Nail, dean of the College of Business at Southern Miss, said having a professional of Creel’s stature visit the Honors House signifies part of a larger plan to “bring the world to Southern Miss.”
“Randy’s experience in bringing Ford’s operations to Shanghai, witnessing the phenomenal growth of the service and industrial complex in the city and his expertise in global procurement and supply chain management are real-life, real-time global business experiences are invaluable lessons for our students,” said Nail.
Other speakers during the Honors House fall lecture series have included:
• Southern Miss President Martha Saunders, who kicked off the executive forum series by discussing the role of an administrator in higher education.
• Mark Cumbest, owner of Cumbest Realty and Chairman of the Mississippi Real Estate Commission, who discussed real estate markets in the Gulf South region.
During his Honors House visit, Creel also stressed the importance of job commitment.
“Know what job you’re performing, and always do your best,” he said. “Make sure you treat that job as if it’s the most important one you’ll ever have. If, and when, you move on from that job, try to leave it in better shape than you found it.”
The economic doldrums of the past 18 months threatened to bankrupt the United States auto industry. Government intervention helped stabilize the industry as the economy slowly began to rebound, and Creel remains optimistic that the turnaround will continue.
“Though recent times have been tough, things are improving, and they will continue to improve as the economy strengthens,” he said. “All across the industry both auto manufacturers and suppliers alike have found innovative ways to do things during the tough times.”
For more information about the College of Business Honors House, call 601.266.4659.
University of Southern Mississippi junior Zach Mansell presents Ford Motor Company executive Randy Creel with a token of appreciation during Creel’s lecture at the College of Business Honors House on Oct. 28. (Submitted photo)
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.