Upton Forum: Student’s Reflection
Greg Nelson’25 shares his experience at the Upton Forum 2022.
The first installment of the Upton Forum was a very intriguing one for the students, faculty, staff, and community as it was a talk highlighted by entrepreneur Quint Studer. Studer, a successful business person within multiple fields including healthcare and athletics, offered ideas on how to scale the town of Beloit. Studer is notably known for his work within the healthcare industry, and also his philanthropic endeavors in the city of Pensacola, Florida, in which he is an owner of the AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos and has made numerous contributions to scale and grow the city. Studer is also a notable figure in Beloit, due to his recent acquisition of the high-A baseball team here in Beloit, the Skycarps.
Studer talked about a range of topics that can grow a community/municipality such as local business, education/schooling, private investment, downtown life, and residential installments. One particular thing I found rather intriguing is how both John List and Quint Studer described Beloit as a place with a core foundation to grow into a very vibrant and successful community. Studer mentioned that Beloit is one of the biggest exporters in the country, both of goods along with human talent. Studer continued to explain that Beloit has a distinct advantage in that it has a world-class college in Beloit, and that Beloit often has trouble retaining the workforce talent that comes out of the school. Another very interesting point brought up in Studer’s talk was his ideas on how to scale a community. Studer mentions that “4 people can’t change a room anymore” and that rather it takes a communal effort to grow a city. He also described that often, the people in power of scaling smaller locations such as Beloit are the ones who are investing the private money, and while they need to take into consideration the wants/needs of the community, they ultimately need to make the tough decisions to advance a community. Studer listed the most important factors in growing a place like Beloit are: quality of schools, availability of affordable housing, public safety/crime, natural beauty/physical setting, future plan for the city, availability of quality healthcare, and shared visions for economic development/job growth.
The ideas Studer brings up are directly linked to Doctor John List, who wrote Voltage Effect, a book that talks about how to scale smaller ideas into bigger ones and the challenges it may present. This talk by Studer was a perfect way to begin the week of the Forum and segway into Professor John List’s talks coming in the following days. I really enjoyed this talk, and it made me very interested in Beloit overall as a community and the potential it has. Through the eyes of an entrepreneur, Beloit is a place that can go through what Studer describes as a “sonic boom”, and made me very interested in potential opportunities here after school. I also found the sociological points Studer brought up very interesting, as a community can’t bloom without a concentration of everyone in it, but as Studer puts it, as long as the leaders “move through the turbulence”, Beloit is bound to become a thriving city.