There was a time when Michael Padvaiskas Ackerman, BComm 86, EMBA 96, would not have endorsed a university degree wholeheartedly. Back in 1996, when he graduated from Concordia’s Faculty of Commerce, now the John Molson School of Business, he wasn’t sure how to apply what he had learned.
“I was like a lot of business students: I’d expected to get some sort of magic wand I could wave to make great strategy come out," Padvaiskas Ackerman says. "But in reality, business is an art. You can’t just open a textbook and find all the answers.
“What I didn’t realize until later is that my education equipped me with a basic understanding, ways of thinking and tackling problems — the building blocks I needed to evolve my skills over time.”
Fast forward 25 years. Padvaiskas Ackerman is president of Ackerman Pharma, a multi-million-dollar corporate group he founded in 2000. It helps manufacturers bring pharmaceuticals and medical devices to the Latin American market.
Many hurdles must be cleared before new products can reach the patients who need them, from regulatory approval and warehousing to packaging in Spanish and distribution.
“Whether customers require just one or two of these services or the whole package, I’ve got us set up to meet their needs,” Padvaiskas Ackerman explains.