Business Club Visits Geico SpA, Alumnus Ali Reza Arabnia's Company

The Business Club at Geico

The Business Club at Geico

“Money comes as a consequence. If I focus on money, I don’t know where I will be,” says JCU Trustee and alumnus Dr. Ali Reza Arabnia, CEO of Geico SpA, a global market leader and innovator in the field of automated paint plants for the vehicle industry.

Dr. Arabnia welcomed a group of 25 students from the JCU Business Club to Geico headquarters in Milan. Students were given a special tour of the state-of-the-art company, which reacted to the economic crisis that hit the auto industry in recent years by investing as much as possible in innovation and research.

Born and raised in Teheran, Dr. Arabnia graduated from John Cabot University in 1983 and has been a JCU Trustee since 1998. He has often been described as a unique example of a CEO guided by ethical principles and a courageous and creative approach to problem-solving in times of crisis.

JCU students even had the privilege of spending two hours with Dr. Arabnia in a Q&A session. Kasey Clingan, Business Club member and visiting student from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business had this to say about the experience:

“Dr. Arabnia is a perfect example of what is good in business, one of the most ethical people I have ever had the honor of spending the day with. He explained to us that to have a successful company, your employees have to be your number one priority. When his company was going downhill and his stockholders wanted him to lay off workers, he actually cut his pay and gave up his bonus so he could keep his employees. We could see that his employees felt enormous respect and loyalty toward Arabnia. Incredibly, we realized that we weren’t the only ones feeling lucky and honored. Ali Reza Arabnia made us feel like he thought he was the lucky one. The best part about the presentation was how he didn’t make it about him: he inspired us to envision how we too could become successful business people in the future. As Dr. Arabnia says, “Anything rare in business will always pay back!”

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