MOD Program Contributes to Professional’s Career Success

Ben Blanquera, Vice President of Growth Hacking for Pillar Technology, is a business and community leader in Columbus, Ohio. He has spent decades being a change agent and accelerator in roles such as: Vice President of Information Services, curator of Columbus Startup Digest, and founder of TechLife Ohio.

In 2011, he was recognized by Computer World Magazine as one of 100 Premier IT leaders in America. This proficient leadership was the product of a long journey that began when he started working at Johns Manville in 1986.

“I was working in Defiance, Ohio,” he said, “and by 1989 I was working in Toledo.”

His move to Toledo was the result of a promotion to engineering manager of Johns Manville’s automotive division. “It was a bit intimidating,” stated Blanquera, “Some of the guys were twice my age.”

When he got his promotion, he felt the need to go back for an advanced degree. He spent two years researching top MBA programs; he traveled to schools in both America and Switzerland trying to settle on a top-tier MBA program.

Then he discovered the Master of Organization Development at BGSU. “It was practical,” he said, “and it was a nationally-renowned program, in my backyard, that I could do on the weekends.”

Blanquera noticed that the primary challenges that he faced in his new role at Johns Manville were not rooted in business or technology, but rather they were people-oriented. “The MOD helped solve the challenges involved in leading people,” he said. “It answered the questions ‘how do you lead?’ and‘how do you drive successful change?’”

The MOD helped him view problems holistically. “When you’re working with people, you should use both sides of the brain,” said Blanquera. “In engineering, when we look at a problem we see frameworks for analysis and resolution. Most leaders don’t have equivalent perspectives and framework for people or for organizations.”

After being recognized in 2011 as one of America’s emerging leaders, Blanquera credits his team for his success. “More than my own award, the awards that my team has won are important to me,” he said.

The MOD was key in helping develop this team-centered attitude. It gave him the perspective and the ability to lead and manage change. “That leadership is a linchpin for leaders,” he said. “The MOD is a well-respected, recognized program which provides practical skills for leading and implementing change in an organization.”

For Blanquera, it is all about emergence and people: “There are emerging technologies and business models everywhere, everyday. Value is created when we effectively implement both of those. People and teams are critical to that success, and their effective leadership is what drives productive change.”

If you are interested in the MOD program, contact Assistant Director Tom Daniels at tdanie@bgsu.edu.