The University of New Hampshire at Manchester will celebrate its 2020 and 2021 graduates in two ceremonies Sunday, May 23, 2021. Motivational speaker and author Randy Pierce will deliver the commencement address to the 2020 graduates at 2 p.m. and Howard Brodsky, co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of CCA Global Partners, will deliver an address to the class of 2021 at 5 p.m.
Pierce ‘88 is a motivational speaker who draws upon his life experiences to inspire, entertain and teach, creating a powerful connection to his audience by sharing his adventures and challenges as a man who chose a life filled with adventure-laden experiences despite his being suddenly stricken with a neurological disease rendering him blind at age 22. He has earned his second-degree black belt; achieved hiking accomplishments in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Mount Kilimanjaro and Machu Picchu; won a national marathon championship and run three consecutive Boston marathons; and been inducted as a fan into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Today Pierce is president of 2020 Vision Quest, a nonprofit organization he founded that leads and inspires students and professionals to reach their potential and provides financial support for critical vision services like Future in Sight (formerly the NH Association for the Blind) and guide dogs for the blind.
Brodsky, co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of CCA Global Partners, will address the 2021 graduates. One of the largest privately held companies in the United States and the second-largest private company in New Hampshire, CCA Global Partners reports aggregated revenue of more than $10 billion. It is comprised of 14 cooperatives serving more than a million family businesses and 22,000 childcare centers in four countries.
Brodsky is a world thought leader on the cooperative shared ownership business model. In 2019, he became the first American to be awarded the Rochdale Award, the Nobel prize of global cooperatives which is given once every two years to one person in the world who has made the most impact in cooperatives. He was inducted into the U.S. Cooperative Hall of Fame, which recognizes individuals who make unparalleled contributions in advancement of the principles of cooperation and was inducted into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame along with Starbucks’ Howard Schultz. In 2020, Brodsky was the third individual in history to be named the Business Leader of the Decade by BusinessNH Magazine and in 2019 he received the Global Leadership Award from the World Affairs Council.