Krisha Newport and I were talking about the upcoming Host with the Most competition. At this point, she is the only female contestant.
As we chatted, Krisha was licking a Charms Blow Pop. I found it unusual that she dipped the lollipop in a cup of water between licks, creating a liquid that looked like weak Kool-Aid. The candy inspired me to tell Krisha a story that is older than she is.
Every time I see a Charms Blow Pop, I think of Cecil Shepherd. He was a classmate of mine from seventh through twelfth grades. According to Wikipedia, Charms Blow Pops debuted the same year that Cecil and I became classmates. The pockets of his Catholic school blazer were full of the candies, which he would sell to students and faculty alike. At recess, you would hear Cecil call out, “Blow Pops! Who wants a Blow Pop?” Back in those days, there were no warehouse clubs. My classmates and I thought it was exotic and unusual that Cecil knew where to buy Blow Pops in bulk.
I typed Cecil’s name into the search bar on Google and found him instantly. I wasn’t the least bit surprised to see that he is a successful businessman. According to Facebook, Cecil is a vice president at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Before that, he was a project manager at Morgan Stanley. He got his MBA at the University of Michigan. In 2012, he was interviewed on the alumni website. In 2004, Cecil received the Bert F. Wertman Alumni Service Award. What they wrote about him in 2004 sounds just like the Cecil I knew in 1974.
As an MBA student, Cecil Shepherd was a gregarious, popular and effective leader who served on the Executive Committee of the Student Government Association. As an alumnus, Cecil continues to serve the School in his role as president of the Michigan Business School Club of New York. Under his energetic leadership, the club has become a vital and active organization that provides valuable social and professional networking services to alumni, students and other members of the Michigan Business School and University communities.
Cecil took over leadership of the club soon after he graduated from the Business School in 2000. From the beginning, he welcomed new graduates, summer interns and admitted students with events and activities designed to integrate them as quickly as possible into the wider New York alumni community. He has continued these outreach efforts throughout his tenure. Very few students headed to New York as interns or new alumni are unaware of Cecil, even before graduation. Under Cecil’s leadership, the club also has reached out to more senior alumni with presentations and panels featuring high-profile faculty and alumni. Enriching the Michigan Business School networking pool by attracting New York alumni from a wide range of classes and careers has been one of Cecil’s primary goals as club president.