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Former World Kitchen CEO Offers the Secrets to Success

New York City native Peter Campanella (BS '67) journeyed to Ball State University searching for what all college students want: a good education. In addition, his Ball State experience helped him gain a different viewpoint on the world than some of his fellow East Coasters. "Attending Ball State broadened my perspective and set the stage for my personal and business success," says Peter, who also completed the Program for Management Development (PMD) from Harvard University.

Peter spent his 30-year career leading change in management and marketing. He is the former CEO of World Kitchen, formerly Corning Consumer Products Company, a billion-dollar company that designs, manufactures, and markets consumer kitchen products.

His accomplishments include participating in a number of turnarounds, acquisitions, and divestitures. He was also responsible for the mentoring of many individuals, as well as developing and realigning corporate strategy, leading the organization to increase sales and profits. Since retiring, Peter has focused his time on working with a number of nonprofit organizations.

Values to Live By

While at Corning, Peter developed a set of personal and professional values he called "Peter's Principles". He first shared these with his children and associates, then, as a Miller College of Business Executive in Residence, presented this information to Ball State students.

Peter's Principles

  • Know Yourself - Know and build on your strengths/weaknesses.
  • Be Flexible - There's often more than one approach; Be willing to compromise.
  • Know What's Going On - Be sensitive to all of those around you.
  • Seek Help - No one person can know everything.
  • Integrity is the Bottom Line - It defines who you are for life.
  • Communicate - Or nothing will happen.
  • Avoid Disaster - Don't pursue a course if it could lead to disaster.
  • Relax - Don't make everything into a crisis.
  • Don't Complain - Think about the will to lead and manage the situation; Have bias for action.
  • Focus - Decide on what's important and stay focused.

He plans to put these principles into practice when he becomes chairman of the Ball State University Foundation Board of Directors in November 2012. Working with one of the "best-run foundations in the country," according to Peter, he plans to challenge board members and staff to reach their full potential to facilitate the foundation's mission to provide maximum, sustainable support to Ball State.

"I am looking forward to working with the university and faculty and build on the already premier position it holds," says Peter, who will lead the implementation of the foundation's 2012-2017 Strategic Plan, focusing on the following five areas:

  • Investment management
  • Board and staff development
  • Philanthropy
  • Communications
  • Fiduciary stewardship

Lending a Hand to Students

In addition to his time and talent, Peter has chosen to give back to Ball State through a bequest in his will and an outright gift to the Ball State Bold capital campaign. Through these funds, he and his wife, Monica, created the Peter and Monica Campanella Scholarship, which will benefit Ball State Emens Scholars and students from the northeast region of the United States.

"A bequest was a good choice because it's a mutual relationship between me and Ball State," said Campanella. "We can give back without disruption to our current income, but, most important, provide gifts that offer promise for the future."

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