Fred Blatchford, director of sales for Johnson & Johnson in Tampa, Fla., has been highly engaged with the Harbert College of Business since earning a degree in industrial and operations management in 1985. He has established three scholarships in the college and serves as a member of the Harbert College of Business Advisory Council, the Athletics Advisory Council and the Harbert College of Business Campaign Leadership Committee. Blatchford has also served as a member of the 1856 Society and the Samford Society and has established an endowment supporting Ph.D. programs.
Why do you give back to the Harbert College of Business?
The HCOB was and continues to be a big part of my success. The business fundamentals that I learned while in school built the foundation of my management principles and style. I give back and stay involved with the HCOB because I realize the importance the business school has for the students and the university and I want both to succeed. Also I love to interact with the students.
What has been the most rewarding part of your investment in the Harbert College?
I have 3 endowed scholarships at the HCOB and I love interacting with my scholarship winners. The Fall Scholarship Event is a very exciting event for me as I get to meet the students. Throughout the school year I talk to the recipients and many of them I still have a friendship.
What was your first job?
I sold elevators for Otis Elevator in Dallas.
Why did you choose your profession?
It was a little bit of me choosing and it choosing me. I am the director of sales for Johnson & Johnson. I always had a desire to lead and develop people. Throughout my career I always looked for ways to develop myself and taking on roles and tasks that would help me achieve my career objectives.
What’s your ultimate career goal?
I have never used a job title as my career objective. I have always wanted to lead people. My biggest thrill now is to see others achieve their personal and professional goals.
What’s the bestadvice you have ever received?
Don't take the easiest path. Sometimes the hardest path though difficult and provide the most reward and development.
What are your three biggest accomplishments?
- Naming a scholarship after my parents who sacrificed so much for me to go to college. Their legacy will continue to live on with the scholarship in their name.
- A long 25-year successful career with Johnson & Johnson.
- Being awarded a Johnson & Johnson Standards of Leadership Award.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Working with and helping people discover their passions and setting a course for them to reach their personal and professional goals.
What is one piece of advice you wish you would have known in college?
Get involved with the school/college leadership opportunities while I was there. As you start your career there are a few things that can differentiate you from your peers. There are so many groups/societies or clubs that give you opportunities to develop your leadership skills that I wish I would have taken more advantage of them.
What did you learn in college that has benefited your career or helped you succeed?
Be willing to do things that others are not. Take the tough tasks. Take the jobs that others don't want to do. And finally ... be willing to move. Companies look for people that are willing to take risks and move outside their comfort zone. Doing these things will accelerate your career.