Kettering University alumni use engineering degrees to take unique career paths

John Glick ‘87 believes in following his passion. It’s how the former engineer took the role of Chief Executive Officer of Worthy Brewing, a microbrewery in Bend, Oregon.

That career started when Glick was a student at Kettering University. Then called GMI Engineering and Management Institute, Glick studied Industrial Engineering. For his co-op, he worked at Inland, then Delco Products of General Motors.

“I have been and am a big fan of the co-op process,” he said. “The combination of structured experiences in the workplace in addition to what I was learning in classroom I thought was outstanding.”

In his co-op, he worked in human resources, sales, marketing, design, production, quality, reliability, finance, accounting and logistics. Experiential learning also allows students to get an idea of what they want to do during their career by experiencing the work environment and culture. Glick changed his major from Electrical Engineering to Industrial Engineering because of the experiences he had at Inland.

“I like being in manufacturing. I liked the equipment, people and products,” he said. “I’m in the brewery daily working on the packaging line and tasting. It always made me feel good to see the product going out the door knowing you’re creating something of value for the customer.”

Glick earned his MBA in operations and corporate finance at Indiana University, then entered an executive development program at Anheuser-Busch Companies where he worked for the Vice President of Operations. During a 30-year career at Anheuser-Busch, he worked at breweries in St. Louis and Columbus and in the wholesale operations, selling both Anheuser-Busch beers and distributing products from smaller breweries and other countries.

After Belgian company InBev bought Anheuser-Busch in 2008, Glick was on the team responsible for the implementation of the import deal and integration. He stayed at the company for another two years and decided to do something else. He took a job with Portland, Oregon-based Craft Brew Alliance, which brews Kona, and worked on operations and acquisitions.

In early 2018, Glick made the move to Worthy Brewing. The brewery allows him to run his own company with the skills he acquired during this career and remain involved in all areas of the business, from brewing to opening a new pub in downtown Bend. Glick went from working at the largest brewing company in the world, which had more than 30,000 employees, to a private company that makes 15,000 barrels of beer a year and has 120 employees.

Worthy Brewing has a relationship with Oregon State University to create new hops for the beer.  It’s owner also owns a hop processing company called Indie Hops.

“Our company’s relationship with both the cultivator and grower of new and interesting hops allows us to be first to market with new and interesting beers. We do a lot of research and development at our brew pub, allow our guest to give us feedback, then produce larger quantities of beer and roll them out to a few larger markets like Portland and Seattle,” he said.

Bend had a special attraction for Glick, as he wants to remain there in retirement.

About 160 miles from Portland and east of the snow-covered Cascade Mountain Range, Bend is a city known for its abundant outdoor adventures. From biking and hiking to climbing and kayaking and skiing, it’s an adult outdoor playground and vacation town for many people in the Pacific Northwest, he said.

“It’s one of the prettiest places in not only the country, but in the world,” Glick said. “It’s a great place to have a brewery.”

‘A life-changing place’

Cheryl Glick '88 and John Glick '87Kettering was a life-altering place for Glick—it’s where he met his wife, Cheryl Glick ‘88.

“We’re both doing something really different with our degrees,” he said. “We both found our education to be truly valuable.”

Cheryl Glick ’88 studied Industrial Engineering at Kettering. After getting an MBA with John at Indiana University, she spent nearly two decades leading procurement groups. Her favorite role was as the Procurement Director, Asia for Nike in Beaverton, Oregon. She recalls Kettering as a place that taught her to work hard. She took 18 to 24 credit hours per semester.

“The exposure to the workplace at the tender age of 18 helps you grow up very fast,” she said. “The two-and-a-half-year tenure on your resume puts you in a great position of success. Having an engineering degree, I never wanted for a job.”

Not only did Cheryl meet John at Kettering, she met lifelong friends at the University through her sorority, Beta Sigma Phi. Greek Life was a wonderful counterbalance to her busy load of courses, she said.

“There’s something about the intensity of the program. Enduring that together creates lifelong friendships,” she said.

John Glick encourages Kettering students to choose a career they are passionate about. He recalled the saying about choosing a career, “Find something you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

“I’ve made and drank fantastic beer for 30 years, for heaven’s sake. It’s been a great ride,” he said.