After helping build and lead one of Oregon’s largest privately held companies, the president and CEO of Jubitz Corporation returned to earn his degree.
There’s a place in Portland where you can fuel up, see a new movie, eat at your choice of dining spots, get your boots resoled and your hair trimmed, listen to live music, dance a Texas two-step, and then fall asleep in a clean, comfortable hotel room. No, it’s not downtown, nor is it on the hip eastside. Instead, it’s north of town, out on Interstate-5. And it’s not a resort—-it’s a truck stop. But it’s not just any truck stop. It’s the Jubitz Travel Center, hailed by the Travel Channel and others as “the world’s classiest truck stop.”
Shepherding this trucker’s paradise is Frederick D. Jubitz ’09, president and CEO of the business started by his father in 1952. Now sixty-two, Jubitz has seen the business grow from a simple fueling station--he started washing trucks there at age twelve--to one of Oregon’s largest privately held companies. Oregon Business ranked it sixty-six in its July 2009 list of the top 150 private Oregon companies.
Using its travel center as a sort of incubator for entrepreneurial efforts, Jubitz Corporation also launched related businesses, including Jubitz Fleet Services, which markets private fueling for businesses at card-lock gas stations, and DAT Services, an online load-matching marketplace. DAT Services took its inspiration from the hundreds of handwritten notes left on the Jubitz bulletin board for freight brokers and trucking companies seeking available rigs and drivers. Jubitz pioneered an electronic version of the bulletin board in 1978. By the time Jubitz sold its DAT Services business in 2001, it had turned it into the largest freight load-posting service in the United States.
Despite these industry and career achievements, Fred Jubitz was keenly aware of what he called “unfinished business” in his life. He’d never graduated from college—and his family prized academic achievement. His father, Monroe A. “Moe” Jubitz, his brother, and step-brother all had earned undergraduate degrees from Yale University, and his brother Al had an M.B.A. from the University of Oregon.
Encouraged by his wife Gail, his sons, and executives at Jubitz Corporation—and with the day-to-day operations of the business in good hands—Jubitz returned to finish his degree at UO. This past spring he took his remaining three courses, including an upper-division business seminar at the Lundquist College with Professor Emeritus Jim Reinmuth.
To the cheers of his family, and with his silver hair shining beneath his black cap and gown, the sixty-two-year-old executive received his diploma, a bachelor’s in business administration, in June 2009. His father, who died in 2001, didn’t get to see his son graduate, but he was on the younger Jubitz’s mind as he held his arms aloft in McArthur Court, one hand clutching his diploma.
“I probably did it for my dad, as much as for anybody,” he said. With the burden of unfinished academic business behind him, Jubitz is focusing on his company’s long-term financial strategy, including plans for further growth. But when the subject of his alma mater comes up in a business meeting, it’ll be hard for him to say without lighting into a grin, “Oregon, class of 2009.”