Like most people, Carl Rossi ’73 has had a variety of jobs – and even careers – since leaving Sacred Heart University with a bachelor’s degree in history. And, although he originally came to SHU to join his cousin Joe and to be at a school with a radio station, he attributes his years here to giving him a lifelong desire to learn and to give back. He earned his master’s degree in business administration 23 years after graduation from SHU and is also certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt and a Certified Supply Chain Manager from the American Production and Inventory Control Society.
His first job out of college was program director at a radio station in Waterbury. “Looking back at that, I’m amazed that a bunch of 22-year-olds were given the responsibility of running a broadcast property. That’s pretty much unheard of in today’s world,” he said.
A year later, he found himself working in what has become his chosen field – logistics and supply chain management. He began as a management trainee for a trucking company in Grand Rapids, MI. “That was a real education – managing teamsters! I eventually was promoted to terminal manager and transferred to Providence,” he said. From there, he moved to Honeywell, where he ultimately became responsible for North American aftermarket logistics.
In 1997, he was recruited by Applied Materials in Austin. “Applied makes equipment used to produce semi-conductors. There, I learned how to manage an ambiguous, matrixed environment, which really served me well as that is how business is conducted,” he said. From Applied, he made stops at Ingersoll-Rand in Fargo, ND; Schneider Electric back in Austin; and British Petroleum (BP) for a short-term assignment during the Gulf clean-up before winding up at his current role at Westinghouse Electric in Cranberry Township, PA.
While at Schneider, he had the opportunity to manage warehousing and people in the Philippines and India. He also worked with staff in Ireland, France, the Netherlands and Brazil. His team was profiled in industry magazines and received multiple customer service awards and international recognition for excellence. Despite that, he found his experience with BP to be the most rewarding. “For the first time in my working career, I felt that I was applying my skills not for profit, but for the greater good,” he said.
Rossi noted that he attended SHU during a turbulent time. “It was during the last years of the Vietnam War and Kent State. Not only did I begin my formal academic education, but I was also immersed in the cultural revolution sweeping the country,” he said. “Sacred Heart provided me with a moral compass that I have applied to my personal and business lives ever since.”
He has not remained as connected to SHU as he would have liked because of all the time he has spent moving around the country. “We have a group of close friends from Sacred Heart whom we stay in touch with, but we don’t physically see them that often as they live in Connecticut and New Jersey. Hopefully that will change now that we are back in the east.”
One thing that traveling and distance has not kept him from doing is consistently donating to SHU. “I have the means to give something back, and I believe it is my responsibility to do so,” he said. “Sacred Heart is a valuable institution that needs the support of alumni to continue to provide its academic and moral mission and to educate tomorrow’s business leaders.”