Lou Schmidt, BBA 1990, MSF 1997
Alumnus Lou Schmidt, president of the
HoneyBaked Ham Company of Michigan, has
endowed a scholarship that draws on his Walsh legacy
and the success of his family’s business. He specified
that applicants for the Louis C. and Mary Schmidt
Endowed Scholarship be enrolled in a degree program
with an emphasis in either finance or marketing.
Schmidt focused his studies on finance, earning a
Bachelor of Business Administration (’90) and Master of
Science in Finance (’97). But marketing has been a key
factor in growing the family business and building an iconic American brand. His grandfather, Harry
Hoenselaar, invented the spiral-slicing machine and
founded The HoneyBaked Ham Company in Detroit in
1957. Today, branches of the family operate more than
400 stores. From the divisional headquarters in Troy,
Schmidt oversees operations in seven states.
After high school, Schmidt attended Hillsdale College,
but came back home to work in the family business
instead of completing his degree. A few years later
when he was ready to resume his education, he
choose the BBA program at Walsh. “By this time I had
my career in front of me and knew what I needed and
wanted out of college. At Walsh, I actually was able to
apply what I learned on a daily basis,” said Schmidt.
His favorite instructors – Dr. Theodore Hoffman and
Harry Veryser – were both from the Finance Department.
“They made learning enjoyable and opened up a whole
new world in business and economics. I learned so
much as an undergrad that I knew I wanted to return
later for a master’s degree in finance.”
Following in his footsteps at Walsh, daughter Lauren
earned a master’s degree in management in 2007 and
Lou Jr. just graduated with a MS in finance.
Schmidt’s directive to his son was “go out and work for
someone else for five years. Learn how to take care of
yourself and develop a skill set that you can bring back
to HoneyBaked.” Having done that, his son now
represents the fourth generation in the family
business. He is director of operations, in charge of
alternative distribution – the 32 temporary stores that
open up during the holiday season.
About the time his son started work on a masters,
Schmidt accepted a post on the Walsh College
Foundation Board, the school’s fund-raising arm. “I
was at a point in my career where I could give back
and encourage other Walsh alumni to get involved.”
“Walsh has been good to me and my family. I can’t imagine
getting a better education. With the scholarship, we hope
to help along a student who aspires to be a successful
business person – someone who is hard-working and driven
to contribute at a higher level.”
Lou Schmidt, president of the HoneyBaked Ham Company
Please join Walsh College in applauding Lou Schmidt in his continued success by adding your comments below.
To nominate an alumnus to applaud, contact Duc Abrahamson, Alumni & Student Relations Manager at (248) 823-1298.