A voice from Croatia
Nearly 5,000 miles and a six-hour time difference couldn’t keep Bob Kohorst ’75 from revisiting his college days as an accounting student at the University of Dayton and imparting some wisdom on current Flyers earlier this semester.
John Mittelstaedt, dean of the School of Business Administration, introduced students to Kohorst Nov. 8 as the U.S. ambassador to Croatia appeared to those gathered in Miriam Hall during a video conference call.
Kohorst recalled his time on West Campus, when the University had such high enrollment that students had to be housed off campus, and the 20-minute bus ride he and 200 other male students took to get to campus each day.
Kohorst attended law school at the University of Michigan and started his career working in law firms. After working for public storage companies, he began his own real estate business, Everest Properties.
“My wife and I started with $80,000 of credit card debt at 18% interest,” Kohorst said. “We were almost bankrupt several times until business got a little better.”
Kohorst described feeling a desire to give back to the country that had allowed him to be successful and accepted an appointment as ambassador to Croatia. He arrived in country Jan. 10, 2018, to begin his duties.
“It’s been an unbelievably good experience,” he said. “I have an opportunity to serve my country in a meaningful way and do it in a really interesting place. And I can’t imagine anything I’d rather be doing at this moment in my life than represent the United States in Croatia.”
While speaking to entrepreneurship students, Kohorst provided what he said are four ways to be successful in business: 1) Have a good idea, 2) Do something you’re passionate about, 3) Do business with great partners.
“And lastly, don’t be afraid to make a decision,” he said.
Chief of mission in Croatia, Kohorst said he plans to return to the States after his three-year term and spend time playing baseball with his grandson.