By Brian Mitchell,
The amount of entrepreneurial spirit at the Stillman School of Business has been growing every year. Part of the reason for this is the generous mentorship of David B. Gerstein. David Gerstein graduated from Seton Hall University in 1963.
While in school, he worked at his father’s rug manufacturing company. When he graduated, he started Thermwell Products, with his brother. Under David Gerstein’s leadership, Thermwell Products has grown to become the country’s largest manufacturer of packaged weather-stripping products, which are sold under the Frost King brand name.
David Gerstein is a former owner of the New Jersey Nets. When he was the owner of the Nets, Gerstein connected with Richie Regan, an NBA player and Seton Hall basketball great who returned to serve as the University’s athletic director. It was David Gerstein and Richie Regan, who were two of the founders of the Pirate Blue Athletic Fund. David Gerstein is also on the Board of Regents at Seton Hall University.
In 2009, David Gerstein created the David B. & Janellen Gerstein Scholarships. Each year, these scholarships are awarded to eight students who display academic excellence, demonstrate a strong interest in entrepreneurship, and demonstrate financial need. Mr. Gerstein introduced this scholarship a year after he was inducted into the Seton Hall Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. Mr. Gerstein wanted to create this scholarship for students because he wanted to give back and help students of his alma mater.
He always had a desire to give back to others and give them the same opportunities that he had.
David Gerstein is very passionate about giving back to students. In his Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame induction video, he says “If you don’t give back, something is wrong with you. We’re here for a limited amount of time and it’s for the youth of the country to take the next step. You have to give back, a person that doesn’t is not a good person.” His passion for giving back and his scholarship have helped many students at Seton Hall pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.
Scholarship recipient Earlene Cruz will be receiving the Emerging Entrepreneur Award at this year’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Dinner on October 7. Cruz has started her own business called Kitchen Connection, a global online community of foodies. Taseen Peterson also received a Gerstein scholarship and he was able to create a highly successful web and mobile app called Notefuly.
Seeing these scholarship recipients achieve such high honors is the reason David Gerstein gives back. Each year the scholarship is awarded, Mr. Gerstein hosts a dinner for the scholarship recipients. The students are able to spend time getting to know Mr. Gerstein and introduce themselves to him.
Mr. Gerstein enjoys mentoring students. It is clear that Mr. Gerstein takes giving back to students very seriously. The effects can be seen across the Stillman School, Seton Hall, and the business world as a whole.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 6th print edition.
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