Chairman, Winchester Electronics
When Michael Driscoll was named president of Winchester Electronics in 1999, he was faced with the challenge of competing as a David in a field of Goliaths. "I had to figure out quickly how to be relevant," said Driscoll of an electronics connector industry that totaled some $45 billion at the time.
Knowing that his company couldn’t continue to succeed on price and delivery with commodity products, the University of New Haven Executive M.B.A. graduate chose to change the playing field and specialize in high-end interconnect devices for medical, telecommunications, and alternative energy customers. He retooled the organization, including changing its labor pool and dramatically rethinking its core offerings, and ultimately saw revenue triple.
Today, Driscoll serves as chairman of Winchester Electronics and credits the experiential nature of the UNH program in helping to provide him with the strategies to lead change in his industry and company. In particular, he credits the cohort experience in enriching his learning experience. "I was sitting with the chairman and CEO of the ShopRite stores and a Ph.D. in the biomedical field, who was starting his own genetics company," recalled Driscoll of his Executive M.B.A. class. "To sit and listen to people like that and learn how they would handle certain things, I found as valuable — if not more valuable — than going through course work itself."
Driscoll is now embarking on a new business venture as Executive Director of New Tech Haven, a soon to be wholly owned subsidiary of UNH. NTH focuses on helping burgeoning entrepreneurs turn their business ideas into reality, while managing the University’s technology transfer process. Even in present day, Driscoll continues to pave a path using the tools he gained as an Executive M.B.A. student.
While Driscoll doesn’t believe the Executive M.B.A. program is for everyone, he does believe it is effective for professionals who want to advance to the C suite.
He credits the program for having honed his leadership skills, skills that originated during a 10-year tenure with TRW, Inc. and which were put to the test at Winchester Electronics and now New Tech Haven.