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12 People You Need to Know in 2017: Rachael Jarosh

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Rachael Jarosh is the new student in charge.

In fall 2016, Jarosh took the helm as president and CEO at Springfield-based Enactus  succeeding Alvin Rohrs after 34 years. Rohrs is staying on through the end of 2016 to make the transition smooth for the organization that serves to develop the entrepreneurial and service skills of some 69,000 students on 1,710 university teams across 36 countries.

While Jarosh still is navigating her freshman year at Enactus – formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise until 2012 – she is no novice to the demands of the job. She brings to Springfield 22 years of experience in branding, communications and philanthropy. Jarosh has worked as a philanthropic consultant the past three years for her Minneapolis-based venture Isles Strategies LLC, has served as president of the Pentair Foundation, the charitable arm of global water, fluid and thermal management firm Pentair PLC. At Pentair, she also led global corporate communications. In Minneapolis, she also has four years of experience as a senior counselor with marketing firm Carmichael Lynch Relate.

With Enactus teams stretching from Springfield to China, India and Russia, Jarosh manages a nonprofit that has an operating budget of roughly $20 million, with donations and grants bringing in nearly $15 million annually.

She hopes to build on the efforts of Rohrs and others who have grown Enactus to what it is today.

“Investing in students who take entrepreneurial action to improve the world for us all is no small task; our greatest opportunities are to build on this success and to ensure continual improvement and long term sustainability,” Jarosh says via email.

Her experience with the Pentair Foundation, in particular, prepared her for her new role in Springfield.

“Working with employees around the globe on the most important issues in their own communities to working on a multiplayer partnership that has since delivered safe, clean water to more than 3 million people – and is still doing so today was remarkably rewarding. Today, I am lucky to do the same each day,” Jarosh says.

In Enactus’ competitions, business leaders serve as judges, and their job is to rank teams based on how well they employed business concepts to improve the standards of living for those in need. Jarosh’s introduction to the organization came at the Enactus World Cup in 2009, when she met Rohrs for the first time, as well as Jack Shewmaker, the late Wal-Mart executive. It was Shewmaker’s passion for Enactus that drew her to the Queen City. While Jarosh says there is still a lot to learn, she knows she’s in the right place.

“Enactus’ work to nurture students with a head for business and a heart for the world is as compelling, as necessary and as relevant as ever,” she says.

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