When Chris Mapes in 1985 was asked what he would tell his students when visiting the Miller College of Business (MCOB), he gave simple advice: “Do the right thing.”
That approach led to Mr. Mapes’ successful appointment as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lincoln Electric, a world leader in arc welding and cutting with over 4 billion revenues and 11,000 employees. I have reached great heights in my career. With his 60 manufacturing plants servicing customers worldwide, he is known around the world as The Welding Experts®.
During a recent 24-hour bustle, Mapes spoke with students, faculty, and staff inside the Whitinger business building about his company, the business world, and his time in Muncie, Indiana.
Raised on a farm about 30 minutes from campus, Mapes returns to the area from time to time. He was impressed with how Ball State University has evolved over the years.
“When I returned to college, the progress they had made, not only in terms of the structure of the university, but how much it walked to become a communal campus, continues to resonate with me.” “There seems to be a lot more community about it than I remember when I was here,” Mapes said.
“They have grown in size, but they still have a sense of community. It’s been a really good investment.”
While taking in the views of the campus was a fun experience, Mapes’ trip was based on talking to students. This brings him great joy.
“I love being in front of students,” said Mapes. “Students are funny. Because I enjoy discussing how their educational development is going at state universities.
“The state of the ball is important. Frankly, it was the foundation of what I’m doing today. It’s important to come here and be able to give back to college today,” he added.
Students learned about Mapes’ career path, which began with an internship in the Payroll Development Program at General Motors. During that time, Mapes was exposed to manufacturing.
Mr. Mapes also gained P&L management experience while running smaller companies within larger companies. His nearly 30 years of experience managing profit and loss organizations has enabled him to gain extensive experience in a variety of industries around the world.
Mr Mapes said: It’s been a very interesting career for me. ”
Dr. Stephen Ferris, Bryan Dean of Miller College of Business, said: “He provides ethical, innovative and value-creating leadership to a global manufacturing company. He has a lot to share with us and his insights on international business are pervasive.
“Our students can learn a lot from his presence on campus and his visits to the classroom. We are honored that you would take the time to visit us in person,” added Dean Ferris.
Before returning to a key role at Lincoln Electric, Mapes left campus to challenge the students in attendance.
“I think there’s really a message out there that there’s a big opportunity in front of you,” he said. “After all, you are in the early stages of educational development and you are starting to think about your first career, so there are many options. It can be a very exciting time for you. Please prepare as much as possible for
“Success is something you define for yourself. But you can do it.Don’t lose sight of it.Don’t miss the opportunity in front of you and make the most of it.”