By Ryan Cahill
On March 27, 2018 in Beers Hall, East Stroudsburg University hosted the President’s Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker Series with Steve Somers as the guest.
Somers is the owner and president of Vigon International, Inc.
Vigon, located in East Stroudsburg, is an international supplier of fragrance ingredients and chemicals.
The event, which was hosted by ESU President Marcia Welsh, was a sit-down interview with Somers as he described what it was like to found and operate a multi-million-dollar international company.
Somers recounted his life and how it led him to become the owner of a major corporation. He talked about how his past experiences influenced him to pursue the impossible. From his baseball career, to his unexpected change in career from priesthood, and on to chemistry.
“My coach had said that stealing home was the easiest base to steal in the game. He showed the technique and all the signs were there. I made it, I make it again. I stole home 18 times in high school. So, the confidence I built up from that and went to St. John’s college. I looked at the education line was 50 deep and the business line was 70 deep, and there’s nobody on the chemistry line,” Somers said.
Most of all, Somers believes education is essential for success in today’s world. He brought up his education from St. Joseph’s College and St. John’s College and the valuable tools he learned from both schools.
Using those experiences, Somers was able to work his way to the corporate world where he ended up traveling to various countries. Eventually, he found an opportunity to buy Vigon International and become his own boss.
Somers prides himself that Vigon International is a unique company.
The mantra of the company is “Yipppeee”, which indicates the eccentric nature of his business practice.
“I looked at the market that we were in, and it was a stale, boring mainly European base place. I wanted to be different. Don’t be like everyone else. The world is a competitive place,” Somers said.
This presentation was beneficial for ESU students in attendance, since Vigon has hired ESU students before.
“I’m looking for smart, motivated, and aggressive people. Your (chemistry) program here is excellent. An education facility like this in close proximity, we’re going to take advantage of it,” Somers said.
The next President’s Distinguished Entrepreneur Speaker presentation has yet to be announced.
For more information, go to esu.edu/pdess or call 570-422-7920.
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