The business leader shared his inspirational story with Northwood's graduates.
Palm Beach resident Stephen A. Levin recently had Northwood University students, faculty, and staff sitting on the edge of their seats as he shared an inspirational recount of his entrepreneurial journey after being bestowed an honorary doctorate degree at the university's Florida commencement ceremony on Tuesday, May 7th.
Encouraging Northwood University graduates to recognize the opportunities in life that are sometimes borne out of obstacles, Levin reminded the group that tenacity, persistence and dogged determination pay-off in the long run.
"It is entrepreneurs like Dr. Levin who exemplify the Northwood Idea, and the importance of free-enterprise and capitalism," said Northwood University President Keith A. Pretty, JD. "Stephen's career success, foresight and ability to visualize and develop a variety of successful businesses serve as a motivation to us all," he said.
A Palm Beach business, civic, and community leader, Levin is chairman of the board of The Erin Corporation and Erin Investments, Inc. Among the holdings of these companies is Gold Coast Beverage Distributors, Inc. Gold Coast is the largest wholesale beer distributor in Florida, having distribution centers in Miami, Pompano Beach, Homestead and Rockland Key, and one of the largest beer distributors in the country. Dr. Levin is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and attended Temple University Graduate School of Business.
Dr. Levin is former chairman of the board of the Quantum Foundation, one of the largest private charitable foundations in Palm Beach County. Dr. Levin serves on the board of trustees of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Los Angeles, California, and was presented with their National Community Service Award in 1999. He is a former vice chairman of the Palm Beach County Anti-Defamation League, and in 2004 Dr. Levin was awarded the Haym Solomon Award, the highest honor offered by the Anti-Defamation League. Dr. Levin is former vice president of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, a former member of the Board of Directors for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Palm Beach County, and has served on the Vanderbilt University Law School Advisory Board. Dr. Levin was vice-chairman of the board of JFK Hospital, Atlantis and also served as president of Temple Emanu-El, Palm Beach. Dr. Levin is a director of the Palm Beach Police Foundation, and vice chairman of the board of the MorseLife Foundation. In 2011 Dr. Levin was honored by the Northwood University Board of Trustees with the Outstanding Business Leader award, and currently serves as a member of the Outstanding Leaders Association Executive Committee. Dr. Levin has previously owned and operated a number of other businesses, including a large chain of Pizza Hut restaurants, Reading Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Pennsylvania, Quality Roofing Supply Company, Berkshire News, various self-storage facilities and Madison Leasing Company.
Dr. Levin is married to Petra Levin and has three children, two stepchildren, and five grandchildren.
Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.
Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in eight states with many course delivery options including online. The DeVos Graduate School offers day, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas and Florida. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise provides system-wide expertise in family enterprise, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and new business development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in Switzerland, China (Changchun and Wuxi), Malaysia and Sri Lanka.