Trustee awaits first meeting

By Lindsey Salvatelli

DeKALB | Though he won’t sit in on a Board of Trustees meeting until Tuesday, new appointee Eric Wasowicz has been trying to reach out to those he’ll be working with over the next seven years.

His appointment to that board was confirmed Jan. 20. He is one of three new trustees who were selected to fill three vacancies.

Wasowicz, who earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science from NIU in 1980, has involved himself with local business and entrepreneurship since graduating.

“I was on the board of the College of Business,” Wasowicz said. “I’ve been on that for 15 years, so this is a natural extension.”

He is also an investor for Position Tech, LLC, a specialized replacement football cleat company founded in the NIU Entrepreneurship program, according to his Impact Engine profile.

Wasowicz has been a board member for several organizations such as the Special Leisure Services Foundation, the Illinois Technology Association and the World Presidents Organization.

His achievements have been noted by NIU officials, who awarded him with a Distinguished Young Alumni award in 1999 and the College of Business’ Honorary Alumnus Award in 2012, according to the College of Business faculty and staff page. He was also inducted into the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in 2001. Those inducted are selected because of their renowned entrepreneurial leadership which has contributed to a thriving, diversified economic engine throughout the greater Chicago metropolitan area, according to University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Entrepreneurial studies webpage.

“It was a great honor for my business partners and myself,” Wasowicz said.

Wasowicz’s involvement with business development that benefits communities will now be applied while he serves on the Board of Trustees.

“It’s a chance to give back to the university,” Wasowicz said. “It’s something I believe in.”

Before returning to NIU to teach, Wasowicz was a local businessman. He was a co-founder of Greenbrier & Russel, a business and technology services firm based in Schaumburg, and served as co-CEO until it was acquired by Fujitsu Consulting, according to the College of Business faculty and staff page.

Wasowicz said he was asked to temporarily fill a vacancy in the College of Business where he planned to stay for two semesters. That was four and a half years ago.

“I was looking to see how I could help out the school,” Wasowicz said. “I offer a different perspective; I’m a business guy who gets to play teacher once a week.”

Wasowicz said being on the board is different from other positions he’s held, but he’s ambitious about the administrative role he’ll play.

“I’ve met with the trustees already and former trustees as well to get their input and thoughts,” Wasowicz said.

Though Wasowicz said he’s honored to have received the appointment, he is more excited about College of Business instructor Dennis Barsema’s appointment to the board.

“I’m a donor, you know. I have a few plaques with my name on them around the campus,” Wasowicz said. “But Dennis is a real donor. He has his name on a building.”