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George Derhofer Named Serra Catholic Commencement Speaker

posted May 1, 2015, 12:33 PM by Sandra Barbieri   [ updated May 1, 2015, 12:36 PM ]

2015 Serra Catholic Commencement Speaker

George N. Derhofer, ‘71

George N. Derhofer is a 1971 graduate of Serra Catholic High School. He has over thirty years of executive general management, financial and supply chain experience in fast growing entrepreneurial and multi-billion dollar global businesses. In reading more about George’s career and accomplishments, it is pretty clear why he feels that he was “one lucky guy!” He is living proof that hard work and dedication can lead to success.

 After graduating from St. Vincent College with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, George worked for Arthur Young & Company (now known as Ernst & Young) and earned his CPA certification while there. He held a brief position as the Assistant Controller at Condec Corporation in McKeesport, PA, but decided to move his career to the south. George spent 11 years as the Senior Vice President, Treasurer and CFO at AmBrit Inc., located in Clearwater, FL. AmBrit Inc. introduced the Klondike Ice Cream Bar across the country and made it the #1 National Brand in frozen novelties.

 George’s career continued to soar as he became the Executive Vice President, Treasurer and CFO for Nutmeg Mills, a public company which was a leader in the licensed sports business (NFL, MLB, NHL, Colleges and Universities, etc.) In that position, he helped the company grow from $45 million to over $185 million with fourteen consecutive quarters of record sales and profits. After a year as the #2 performing company on the NYSE, Nutmeg Mills was acquired by VF Corporation in Greensboro, NC. VF is an $11 billion dollar global apparel and footwear company with 50 brands including The North Face, Vans, Timberland, Nautica, Wrangler and Lee. While working for VF, George was given many opportunities: President of VF Knitwear, Chairman of VF Imagewear, Senior Vice President of Global Operations and Member of the VF Operating Committee.

 In addition to his career, George has been very involved at St. Vincent College as guest lecturer for Global Marketing and Mergers & Acquisitions, speaking at many young alumni events and serving on their Business Advisory Board. He is very committed to Catholic education – he has served on numerous Catholic boards (grade school, high school, parish and finance committees). He and his wife (of 37 years!), Gail, are proud parents of two wonderful sons – Garrett and Grant. Among the four of them, they have over 60 years of Catholic education!

 Now retired, George has become Chairman and Angel Investor in a start up footwear brand called BANGS Shoes.  BANGS Shoes makes cool sneakers with a lifestyle to BE BOLD.  It has over 200 high school and college brand ambassadors and is a social enterprise contributing 20% of net profits to help entrepreneurs start businesses in the USA and around the world.  BANGS Shoes believes in the proverb, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

 George loves hanging out at the Jersey Shore with family and friends and is a “crazy, ridiculous” Pittsburgh Pirates, Pens and Steelers fan!

 When it comes to his fondest memories at Serra, George has more than a few. He played on the golf team “before golf was cool” and also played basketball. George remembers taking two PAT buses and walking a half mile to get to Serra from Dravosburg noting, “it may have taken forever, but it was worth it.” He believes that Serra laid a wonderful foundation for him and helped him both intellectually and socially. It also prepared him well for his educational experience at St. Vincent College, where he continued his commitment to family, his Catholic Faith and just “always doing the right thing.”

 We are thrilled to welcome George back to Serra to address this year’s seniors and their families.  Please join us on the evening of May 28th, at 7:00 p.m., at St. Paul Cathedral.