Alumni Spotlight

Eric Langevin, '99 SMCJ graduate recently honored for "Top 40 under 40"

Full Name: Eric Langevin

Graduation Year:  1999

Degree/Major: Broadcast Journalism/Political Science

Current Employer:  Hoxworth Blood Center, University of Cincinnati

Current Title: Assistant Division Director, Donor Recruitment/Community Relations

Hometown: Jonquiere, Quebec, Canada

Current Home: Cincinnati, Ohio

 

What do you do on a “typical day”?
Hoxworth Blood Center is a proud part of the University of Cincinnati. We supply 30 hospitals in a 17-county region. I manage the daily operations of DRCR division, including directly overseeing staff dedicated to budgets, staff communication, data generation/analysis, software management, collateral material generation, and project management. I have shared responsibility and authority for all aspects of recruitment, volunteer, and community relations and for all policies, processes and procedures. I develop marketing plans, grow networks, and build relationships with community and business contacts/leaders to increase donor recruitment opportunities and partnerships. But above all, I work to recruit and retain blood donors.


What led you to this job/career choice?
I met folks from the Community Blood Center in Dayton, Ohio shortly after I moved to the area in 1999. We worked together when I was working for the Dayton Bombers hockey team, scheduling player/mascot appearances and donating tickets. A few years later, when I was looking for a new position, they remembered me and offered me a marketing/telerecruitment supervisory position within their organization. After three years there, a good friend mentioned an open position with the blood center based in Cincinnati, which was a step up for me in so many ways. When I graduated from Southern Miss, I never thought I'd end up working in the blood business, but here I am and I truly enjoy it. It's nice to come to work with a purpose that helps so many people in our community. Blood donors save lives and I see the impact our work makes each and every day.


What are some of your career highlights/accomplishments/achievements?

In my role at Hoxworth Blood Center, I've led successful development efforts with Duke Energy, Toyota, Ethicon, Quest Diagnostics, Montgomery Inn, and Skyline Chili, to name a few. I've cultivated a relationship with Gold Star Chili, which resulted in cash/in-kind donations to implement annual summer recruitment campaigns. I have coordinated blood drives with the Cyclones, Reds, and Bengals, professional sports teams in the area, turning all three into our largest annual blood drives. I served as part of the steering committee for a national recruitment initiative called ABC-D, through America’s Blood Centers (ABC). I served on the Board of Directors for the Cincinnati chapter of Friends of the Children and serve on the Customer Advisory Board for Donor Dialogue, the company that produces Hoxworth’s web-based recruitment program. I won the Haemonetics Best Practice Contest, promoting one of Hoxworth’s recruitment programs, and had multiple articles published with the Association of Donor Recruitment Professionals. I was an American Marketing Association Marketer of the Year finalist (Cincinnati chapter) and submitted multiple winning nominations for ABC’s annual Awards of Excellence. I partnered with Community Services for the Deaf to create a blood donation program for deaf individuals; a first in Ohio.

I have led the marketing and media efforts for The Rusty Ball, one of the region’s largest single-day fundraisers, since 2009. Hosted by The Rusty Griswolds, a local '80s cover band, and The Spirit of Cincinnatus, this event has generated over $1.4 million in five years to support over 200 local charities.

In 2010, I ran for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man of the Year and raised over $12,500 in ten weeks, as part of that fundraising campaign. Since then, I have volunteered on the nomination committee, helping to recruit future candidates. I have participated in the cycling event Ride Cincinnati, which supports breast cancer treatments and research, for the past four years and our team has been the top fundraiser each year.

 In 2012, I was selected to be a member of Class 8 of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s C-Change program and serve as social co-chair. C-Change is the region's premier young professional development program.

In 2013, I was selected by the Cincinnati Business Courier from over 500 nominations as one of the "Forty Under 40" in Greater Cincinnati.

In 2014, I received the Cincinnati Leadership Award, presented by the local chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.


What other jobs did you hold before your current position?
My first job during high school was as a busboy at the Diamondhead Yacht Club, right on the Gulf Coast. I actually worked at a lot of restaurants throughout high school (Hancock) and college. Upon graduating from Southern Miss, I was hired by the Dayton (Ohio) Bombers hockey team and handled all media and community relations for the team. I was there for two years and learned a lot, working in a small office where people were counted on to do their job… and pitch in on many others. Then, I went to work as a copy editor for MeadWestvaco, in downtown Dayton, where I managed, developed, and executed market-driven product copy to serve the interests of licensors, retailers, consumers, and internal departments. After almost two years there, I went to work for the Community Blood Center, also in Dayton. For just over three years, I supervised a 12-member telerecruitment team that informed our donor base of inventory needs, promotions, and mobile schedules. I also assisted in the coordination of marketing promotions and events.


Why did you choose Southern Miss?
I fell in love with the campus after my first visit. The people were so friendly, it was close to home (but far enough away), and you could walk around with ease and safety. I also received scholarships and it offered classes in my desired focus of study, so it all worked out perfectly.


What was your favorite/most useful class while at USM?
I loved my core journalism classes, as I learned so much about writing and editing and what makes a good story. Those skills really work in numerous fields. Whenever I got the chance to work in the field or complete an internship... that's what I enjoyed most… getting real world experience from pros doing the work. I also enjoyed my political science classes. I've always loved politics and it was a nice way to balance the tools I was being taught in broadcast journalism with an open-minded view of the political world. I think they complimented each other quite nicely.


Did you complete an internship/practicum while at Southern Miss? If so, tell us about your experience.

I interned at WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg and WLOX-TV in Biloxi. I also spent a summer working at WBSL-AM in Bay St. Louis. All three gave me a taste of their respective mediums. I got the most hands on experience at WBSL, as I worked an afternoon shift as a disc jockey. I think my parents and a local prison inmate (who kept calling collect to request songs) were the only ones listening. Still, it gave me the chance to get real world experience and get paid for it. My time at WLOX was also informative, as I got to work with real reporters and producers and write stories that actually made it on air. There I learned that you can make just as big an impact behind the scenes as in front of the camera/mic. I liked that.


Anything you would change about your college experience? 
There really isn't much. I am so happy in my career right now and my time at USM really helped shape me as the person I am today. Even though I didn't study what I'm doing for a career now, it doesn’t matter. The time spent learning and reading and listening and asking developed so many skill sets, I could work in any number of positions because of it. In addition, I really tried to stay on campus as much as possible and enjoy the collegiate experience. I guess if I had to pick something, I would have buckled down a bit more my first year. I had a little too much fun those first few months on campus.


What advice do you have for students going into your field?
My advice would be to get to know your professors as well as your classmates. You'll be with these folks for a majority of your time at school and there are lots you can learn from them. Ask questions... constantly... and engage yourself fully. Build relationships, hit up office hours as well as happy hours, and learn as much as you can, while you can. Remember, it doesn't last forever... and most likely, you're paying for it anyway. Plus, it's your major, so you should be enjoy the learning process.


Who are your role models? 

My parents, My wife. Abraham Lincoln, George Lucas.


Tell us about your family.
My sister and I were born in Canada, as was my father. My mother is American and therefore, we have dual citizenship. My parents, Pierre and Christine, have been married for over 40 years. My Dad became an honorary member of my fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, which was a very proud moment for me. He received his bachelor's from the University of Montreal and his master's from Central Michigan University. He retired from Alcan Corp. after 35 years, primarily working in human resources and management. My Mom was born and raised in Syracuse, New York and we are very close to her side of the family, who still lives there. After working for over ten years, she stayed home to raise me and my sister. They now live in South Carolina. My sister, Daniele, who also graduated from Southern Miss in 2002, lives in Manhattan and handles client relations, event management, and special projects for IMG. I married my wife, Becky, on October 5, 2012. She grew up in Greater Cincinnati and graduated from Northern Kentucky University in 2008. She has been working for Procter & Gamble ever since and together we have a Chihuahua named Bebe.


Any memories of your time at USM you’d like to share?
I was involved in Greek Life (Sigma Phi Epsilon) and student government while on campus. Both experiences enabled me to meet folks and gain experiences I otherwise wouldn't have had. I've got friends from my years at Southern Miss that I'll keep forever and I am so grateful for that. I loved tailgating before football games, playing all the different intramural sports, and not being able to walk across campus without bumping into at least a handful of people I know. That was the best part of college life actually, the good people there and that wherever you looked, you always found a friend.


Other thoughts/comments/advice high points in your life to include?
I've really led a wonderful life and that's thanks to the people in it. It started with my parents, who took me to Disney World and the top of the Eiffel Tower and to the Matterhorn and to the Winter Olympics. But, it's more than that. It's the time and energy they spent on teaching me how to be a good person and friend, and eventually, a good husband and (someday) father. My sister and the rest of my family were instrumental in always making me feel like I'd always have someone caring about me, no matter where I was and what I was doing. My time in high school and college with my friends and fraternity brothers was amazing, in that I learned what true friendship is. And my amazing and beautiful wife taught me what unconditional love is. I work hard… and smart… for what we are creating together. Our wedding day is the highlight of my life, besides being the best party I've ever been to. I appreciate everything in my life and never take anything for granted.