The Monte Ahuja College of Business inducted Ronald A. Auletta, Janet L. Kramer, Andrew Jackson, and Kenneth T. Misner into the college’s hall of fame on Sept. 14 in a ceremony held in the Business College’s auditorium.
Each inductee brought their own story to the audience, and each carried a different message that can be seen as words of inspiration to current students in all degrees and career pathways.
Ronald A. Auletta is the CEO and president of Xalay Inc. He graduated with a bachelor’s in 1998 and his master’s in 2001 from Cleveland State.
“I am truly honored to be considered for this award,” said Auletta. “It’s shocking that I am up here.”
After graduating from an all-boys Catholic high school, Auletta said the freedoms and students of the opposite sex that came with Cleveland State got the better of him. He said his studies suffered so much so that the university sent him a letter recommending that he “take some time off” from college.
It was during that time off, Auletta said, that he realized the importance of an education and the realities of life without it.
Auletta’s story no doubt is familiar to many students here at Cleveland State when it comes to college and college life in general. Students are familiar with those jobs that they are forced to work until they complete their degrees and begin the search for their careers.
“I had horrible jobs,” Auletta said. “I had [jobs] where, quite frankly, I didn’t get treated with a lot of respect.”
After working an assortment of jobs ranging from digging holes to loading trucks, Auletta asked Cleveland State to take him back. They told him, he said, as long as he took his education seriously, he was welcome.
“I had a great learning experience and I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Auletta said. “CSU provided a great foundation for learning.”
Sitting in a math class as a journalism major, sometimes it is hard to see where the math might become applicable and vice versa for a business major sitting in a science class, but it all does play some role eventually down the line.
“Benoy Joseph was one of the professors who made an impression on me because he always came back to saying, ‘here’s the theory on things, but here’s why it is important and at the end of the day,’” Auletta said. “In business, I don’t have a lot of time for theory … when I have customers screaming at me on the phone because I let them down.”
Auletta credits Cleveland State for teaching him how to, in a “hands on” way, solve the problems he faces in the business world.
Janet L. Kramer is the president of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Ohio Buckeye Chapter. Kramer graduated with her master’s in 1983 from Cleveland State. She also serves on the college visiting committee and the university’s planned giving committee. She is a former president of the CSU Alumni Association where she is still very active.
“I am extremely honored and humbled by this award,” Kramer said.
Before she came to Cleveland State, Kramer worked in retail. She decided, she said, that she “didn’t want to grow old in retailing.” Kramer then enrolled in classes at Cleveland State.
“Attending CSU provided me with a well rounded education, and it was a very positive experience,” Kramer said. “I have stayed active with Cleveland State by being active with the alumni association, [and] I am proud to call Cleveland my home.”
“It’s the spirit of the people here that I really find engaging the Cleveland community,” Kramer added. “It is a can do community.”
Andrew Jackson is the CEO and President of AJ Automotive Group. Jackson graduated with a bachelor’s in 1982. He is founder of Excenture Ohio Task Force on Cultural Diversity and the program manager of Northeast Ohio Minority Business Accelerator Program. He is the founder of the Jackson Family Foundation Scholarship, which has helped many Cleveland State students finance their dreams.
“I really appreciate the honor and congratulate the other inductees, Jackson said.
“I started at Cleveland State in 1978, and at the time the tuition was a whopping $320 a quarter,” Jackson said. “I thought that was a bit much, so I went home and I told my mom that I can’t go to school we can’t afford that kind of money.”
But Jackson was able to find money for school through scholarships.
“That’s why I thought it was very important to have Jackson Family Foundation Scholarship at Cleveland State,” Jackson said. “To give something back -- it is very important you remember where you came from and understand that people also need that kind of support.”
Kenneth T. Misner is the Director of strategic planning for Perspectus Architecture. Misner is executive of residence in the MBA health care program. He has 35 years of experience in very diverse health care areas.
“I am honored and humbled to receive this recognition,” Misner said.
Misner has been working with the MBA program since 2009, supervising internships and helping students get real-world experience prior to launching their own careers.
“I’m so pleased that Cleveland State has a MBA program in healthcare administration,” Misner said. “I’m thankful to be involved with the students.”
Alumni, faculty and a few current students gathered to honor these four individuals not only for their accomplishments or close ties with the college, but for what they have given back to the college and the current student population.
“The way I look at it, our most important performance measure for the college is the success and impact that our students and our alums and our faculty and staff are having,” said Steve Percy, dean of the Business College.