MBS welcomes Jerry Lynch to the family, in the role of Strategic Accounts Executive. Lynch brings a wealth of knowledge from more than three decades of experience in the textbook distribution industry, with a career that began almost 33 years ago as a sales representative for Follett. Lynch’s long tenure there included a position as National Sales Manager, and then for the last 14 years, as Vice President of Sales.
“Over the years, I’ve seen this industry change drastically,” Lynch said. “We’ve gone from traditional textbooks to textbooks with added access codes and CDs, and now the trend is slowly moving toward digital and emerging technologies. Student buying behavior has changed — the entire landscape is different — and we have to adjust as an industry. Rental is another game changer. I think it’s a very positive one for those who utilize it fully, and as a company that’s the direction MBS is heading. "
MBS and its family of employees make a natural fit for Lynch, who sets aside time to spend with his own family whenever he can. Though typical gatherings may only be for an occasional long weekend, this year the entire family took a trip overseas. They recently returned from their trip to Italy, where they spent a week enjoying excellent food and sightseeing in famous spots in Naples, Rome, Florence and Pompeii. One of the highlights of the trip for Lynch was getting to see the cities’ rich collections of art.
“Seeing artwork like the "Pieta” and “David” in real life is incredible,” he said. “You often see copies of famous pieces, so you get sort of used to those. You don’t realize just how inferior they are until you’re standing in front of the real thing. It’s a whole new perspective. It teaches you to see in a different way.”
Refreshed after his trip abroad, Lynch is ready to jump right into his new position and said that he already feels at home at MBS: “I like to solve problems for customers and get to know people more closely. I get to still be a ‘relationship guy’ here and that’s great. That’s why I love this company: there is so much interaction with customers. You can feel it the minute you walk in the door. This business is about relationships and that’s really understood here.”
The connections with his customers over the years have kept his enthusiasm high for an industry he clearly feels passionately about. “I’ve always been a champion for the success of the independent college bookstore,” he said. “That’s an important part of the philosophy here, and why this company continues to be so successful. You can’t forget what this industry is really about.
“Early in my career, I had to take a trip to introduce one of our new reps to a customer. I drove into this horrific rainstorm, white-knuckling it the whole way and convinced that I wasn’t going to make it, but knowing that I had to be there. After five hours, I finally got to the hotel and my wife called and said ‘I think I’m going into labor.’
“I said, ‘Please don’t tell me that.’ I was absolutely exhausted. She said, ‘Well, sit tight and I’ll let you know.’ About an hour later she called again: ‘Get here.’
“So I got right back into the car and drove. I got to the University Hospital at Ohio State at six, and my son was born at eight. I missed that meeting, but I had a great story to tell my customer.
“Why did I tell you this story? You have to keep moving forward, keep making connections — things are going to change, but the connections last. That’s what this business is about. It’s about people and relationships and where you can go when you keep moving forward together. We’re headed in the right direction.”