- He said he's never played the stock market, but Bruce Rossmeyer
encouraged University of Southern Mississippi students Tuesday
to take risks to find a career that best suits their passion.
better off taking a risk to get ahead than staying in a career
that makes you unhappy," Rossmeyer said in the first
Southern Miss College of Business Administration's Executive-on-Campus
lecture for the spring 2003 semester.
something you think you would like to do, rather than what
someone else thinks you ought to do," he said during
his presentation, titled "Entrepreneurship: A Personal
Perspective." "Enroll (in a degree program) that
you like. Most of my friends from college are in careers that
they didn't study.
the best you can, give 100 percent, but be happy."
who attended Southern Miss from 1961-64, is president of Rossmeyer
Family Enterprises, which includes a Harley Davidson dealership
in Daytona, Fla., that has been the No. 1 seller of parts
and accessories in the United States. In 2000, Rossmeyer's
flagship store reached more than $30 million in sales and
more than $30 million in financing with Harley-Davidson Credit
and Insurance. In 1969, Rossmeyer then 24 years old
owned the first of several automobile businesses, a
Dodge dealership in Washington, N.J. After alternating between
successful dealerships in Florida and his home state of New
Jersey, Rossmeyer settled down at last in Daytona, where he
began a short-lived retirement.
years later, Rossmeyer was ready to return to the automobile
business but this time he traded in a couple of wheels,
downsizing from cars and trucks to the last great American
motorcycle, the Harley-Davidson. His timing impeccable, Rossmeyer
completed construction on a new 20,000-square-foot dealership
in 1994 just in time for the Annual Daytona Beach Bike
Week, which draws thousands of bikers and, for Rossmeyer,
of formal education with real life work experience is the
key component for success today, Rossmeyer said. "College
may not be for everyone, but you need a degree to get in the
door," he said. But he cautioned students they would
have to rely not only on their education but their instincts
and experience for success and survival in the
business world. Imparting some of his own wisdom, what Rossmeyer
refers to as "Bruce Logic 101," he said that though
the fundamentals of business knowledge can be learned in the
classroom, after graduation they would need to rely on their
own instincts. "College can teach you to get to the lake,
but not to swim across," he said. "You can't replace
street smarts with a business class. I'm not knocking college,
but get your street smarts or they'll eat you up. Try to get
out there (after graduation) and learn what the real world
other lecturers will participate in the series this semester.
John Galloway, president of Isle of Capri Casinos, will discuss
the "Business Side of the Gaming Industry" Feb.12.
On March 27, Perry Parker, managing director for foreign exchange
trading at Deutsche Bank in New York, will discuss "Foreign
Exchange: From Theory to Practice." On April 16, George
J. Newton, president and CEO of Burrus Investment Group Inc.
of New Orleans, will wrap up the series with a lecture called
"Important Business Lessons not Learned at Southern Miss
for all lectures is limited. For more information, call (601)