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Release: May 4, 1999

(Editors note: Greenfield will be available to meet with the media May 6 at 2:30 p.m. in Kirkwood Room, 257 IMU.)

Ben & Jerry's Jerry Greenfield to give ‘finals relief’ lecture at UI May 6

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Students can escape finals stress and enjoy free ice cream at the Iowa Memorial Union Thursday, May 6, courtesy of the ice cream king Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Homemade, Inc. Greenfield will present "An Evening of Entrepreneurial Spirit, Social Responsibility, and Radical Business Philosophy," beginning at 7 p.m. in the 2nd floor ballroom of the IMU. His presentation is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the University Lecture Committee.

Greenfield and his business partner Ben Cohen have built a storefront venture into a $160-million publicly held ice cream empire by focusing on social responsibility and creative management. They have outlined their business philosophy in a best-selling book, "Ben & Jerry's Double-Dip: Lead with Your Values and Make Money, Too."

In his lectures, Greenfield delivers a rousing tribute to America's entrepreneurial spirit with humor as well as practical tips based on his radical business philosophy. He illustrates the sense of fun that is central to his company's reputation and success by serving free Ben & Jerry's ice cream to the entire audience.

Greenfield and Cohen met in junior high school in Brooklyn, N.Y. and have remained close friends ever since. After graduating from college the two shared a New York apartment while Greenfield worked as a laboratory technician.

In 1977, after tiring of the lab work, Greenfield and Cohen decided to start a food business together. They settled on ice cream and eventually opened the first Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream Parlor in Burlington, Vt. in May 1978. Their ice cream soon became known throughout Vermont for its rich, unusual flavors and the two partners were hailed for their community-oriented approach to business.

Today Greenfield and Cohen have become a model for American business success and have been recognized for fostering their company's commitment to social responsibility. In 1988 the Council on Economic Priorities awarded them the Corporate Giving Award for donating 7.5 percent of their pre-tax profits to non-profit organizations, and the U.S. Small Business Administration named them U.S. Small Business Persons of the Year. They are active in the Social Venture Network and in Businesses for Social Responsibility and serve on the boards of Oxfam America, Hampshire College, and Lead USA.

For more information about Greenfield's UI lecture, contact Doug Hoelscher, UI Lecture Committee, at 335-3255 or 341-0613.