Imagine driving a single-seat, open cockpit, open-wheel Formula One racecar. Now imagine driving it at 150 miles per hour, whipping around tight corners and flying through tunnels with no lights. Throw it on the track of the Monaco Grand Prix, and you might be alumni John Dimmer '84, who does all of this just for fun.
John Dimmer graduated from the University of Oregon with a BS in finance from the Lundquist College of Business. He currently serves on the board of directors for Idaho Trust Bancorp, Konnects Software, and PBJ Holdings. In addition to his professional roles, he has been an Entrepreneur on Campus at the UO’s Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship (LCE) for more than ten years. This role entails speaking to UO students, sharing his life experiences and wisdom, and providing valuable advice and assistance to aspiring business professionals.
During his annual visits to LCE each fall, Dimmer provides both undergraduate and MBA students with exposure to real-world business experiences. He makes a weeklong trip to Eugene each year to guest lecture in business entrepreneurship courses. And though a majority of his trip is focused on business, Dimmer enjoys leisure time at his alma mater and seeing how far the Lundquist College has come. Spending time in Lillis and learning more about new MBA courses, such as New Venture Planning, are some of his favorite aspects of visiting LCE each year.
During his undergraduate years at UO in the 1980s, Dimmer felt that the courses he took mainly focused on academic business theory and not necessarily real-world business practices.
“The problem was, when they were teaching, they were teaching you academic theory. In some instances, the theory and the actual practice don’t sync up,“ said Dimmer.
But that is no longer the case at the Lundquist College today. Charles H. Lundquist helped change all that with his gift to create the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship in 1989 with the goal of educating, inspiring and empowering future entrepreneurs. And Dimmer’s role in achieving this goal over the years has been to provide students with exposure to real-world business experiences so that they have a more realistic understanding of the academic theories they are learning in classes.
While educating and advising entrepreneurial and business students, there are a few tips Dimmer aims to provide. He stresses the importance of integrity when serving in a leadership position, for example.
“It’s extremely important to be open and honest in regards to information given to your employees," said Dimmer. "Anything you say or do, do that on the basis that everyone will know what you have said, or what you have done in a matter of moments.”
In addition to being honest, Dimmer mentioned a few other important characteristics of being a good leader. These include the ability to paint a clear vision, recognize talent in your employees and to give them a longer leash, and to always remember the reason you wanted to become an entrepreneur. Dimmer stresses the importance of never losing your passion for entrepreneurship because it is a career that takes a lot of time, patience, and integrity, but also provides great rewards.
As the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship celebrates its 25th anniversary, Dimmer commends its achievements and expresses excitement for his future involvement in the center.
“The entrepreneurship program has moved forward leaps and bounds. I love everything that the LCE has been doing," he beamed. "It keeps getting better and better."