Speaking from Experience: Words of Wisdom on How to Succeed in Business

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Over the years, Barney Mizel has accumulated a wealth of practical and philosophical insights on business and leadership that he enjoys sharing with others–including students in the Barowsky School of Business.

“I’m deeply committed to education – to helping and mentoring young people,” says Barney.

As a successful and thoughtful businessman, Barney built three national insurance brokerage firms over the course of his career, including one of the largest firms in the country. Through his work, Barney developed a core philosophy: excelling in business is the result of listening and learning from others, including those outside the traditional business world.

Barnie Mizel

Today, students at Dominican University are benefitting from his support and passion for experiential learning, as Barney continues to put this theory into practice.

As a member of the Barowsky School’s Board of Advisors and a generous donor to the university, Barney is invested in the growth of this next generation of business leaders. “The Barowsky School provides a personalized business education focused on the student,” says Barney about what sets the school apart. “The school’s small size allows faculty to get to know student’s goals and aspirations, and personalize the curriculum in transformative ways.”

Seeing opportunity to connect business leaders with undergraduate students, Barney worked with the Barowsky School to launch one of the school’s signature courses – the Mizel Executive Forum. This ten-week course is designed for students to meet with top business executives in an intimate lecture series, which Barney himself takes part in planning and facilitating.

Through this unique learning experience, students integrate concepts with firsthand experience, learn from accomplished professionals, and connect with national business leaders.

“We want to stimulate thinking from students and make them more aware of their future in business after they leave Dominican,” says Barney. “We discuss the process of putting a business together, building a business, as well as the practical elements of leadership.”

This semester, the Mizel Forum features a series of nine business leaders in its weekly classes. Guests include internationally-acclaimed restaurateur Larry Mindel; Cynthia Murray, an expert in economic development and public policy; and Bob McGee of Straus Family Creamery, a nationally-renowned sustainable business.


“Dominican is creating opportunities for students to fulfill their destinies in ways they could not easily accomplish elsewhere,” Barney Mizel says.

Barney’s relationship with Dominican has developed and deepened over more than three decades. His wife Ann Mizel ’80 earned a BA in Speech/Communications from Dominican, and his late daughter Jeannie Mizel ’94 graduated from here with a BA in Art History. These personal connections to Dominican make his continued support of the university all the more significant.

In recent years, Barney’s commitment has deepened, thanks in part to the vision for Dominican’s future as outlined by University leaders, including President Mary B. Marcy and Barowsky School of Business Dean Sam Beldona. This visions focuses on rigorous academics, along with effective real-world experience, as well as a holistic model of intellectual and professional support.

“To be a leader in business, you need to have diversified life experiences,” says Barney. “I very much admire Dominican’s dedication to educating the whole person.”

Learn more about our Undergraduate Business Program, the Barowsky School of Business’s Mission and Team, or Contact Us for more.

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