From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
The College of Business at Bowling Green State University has selected Vermilion entrepreneur and BGSU alumnus Brian Sokol as the new associate director of the Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Sokol, a patented inventor or co-inventor on multiple high-profile consumer products and an executive whose operational cornerstone is innovation, will work closely with current director of the Center, Kirk D. Kern.
Sokol ’82, ’84 has been an active participant with the Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership for many years, serving on its advisory board and participating as a Falcon Investor on “The Hatch,” in which student entrepreneurs present their business ideas to alumni investors, since its inception. In 2011, Sokol was inducted into the distinguished Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Hall of Fame. He also has been a guest lecturer of entrepreneurship at BGSU.
“We are excited that a highly successful, distinguished entrepreneur of Brian’s caliber has joined the Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership to help us continue to launch new businesses and drive economic vitality in this region,” Kern said. “We look forward to having Brian’s innovative insight and energy.”
After receiving his marketing degree and later MBA from BGSU, Sokol embarked on a series of ascending sales and marketing roles in public and privately held corporations. He implemented marketing commercialization plans globally as vice president of marketing for Loctite Corp.
By the age of 35, Sokol was president of the automotive appearance products company Blue Coral, which was later sold to Quaker State Oil Company after achieving significant growth. As president of Quaker State Consumer Products Group, and later Pennzoil, Sokol led the acquisitions and mergers of several well-known companies and reconstructed the entire supply chain. Some of the new technologies invented under his leadership included RainX windshield wiper blades and Tire Wet tire dressing.
After Shell purchased Pennzoil, Sokol pivoted into serial entrepreneurism, raising capital, bringing new ideas to market and commercializing inventions. His continuous stream of commercialized new inventions included everything from towel warmers to patented pillows that treat “technology neck” to a patented FDA Phase II drug compound that prevents airborne infectious disease.
The Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership in the College of Business at BGSU is just one of 20 centers worldwide recognized by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).