Jack Bidlack currently serves as the Assistant Director for Community and Business Initiatives for the Office of Engage@EMU at Eastern Michigan University. He has developed and implemented curriculum that educates and inspires youth, launched successful social enterprises and nonprofits and built community and business collaborations to impact the residents of Washtenaw County. Since 2008, Jack has worked with more than 1000 Washtenaw County youth, and continues to be a champion for creating career pathways to prepare youth for the workforce through entrepreneurship.
Jack was raised in Ypsilanti, Michigan and upon graduation from Ypsilanti High School enlisted in the United States Army. In 1990, Jack left active duty and pursued a Bachelor of Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University graduating in 1992. He later went back to EMU to pursue a Masters degree in Human Resources and Organizational Development graduating in 2011.
In between his educational pursuits, Jack worked in the fuel and convenience store industry as a District Manager for EMRO Marketing, overseeing 12 locations and their management staff. He then moved into the grocery industry and worked as the store manager for several years of Qwik Shop Food Marts, a business he eventually purchased and ran as the owner/operator for another 6 years. While still operating the previous business, Jack launched a digital printing and graphic design store in Ypsilanti. After two years of operating both businesses simultaneously, he decided to return to work as an employee rather than an employer. He continued his journey in the grocery industry by joining Busch’s and quickly excelled to a store director role. After almost 20 years in the convenience and grocery industries he decided it was time for a new direction and returned to school to achieve his masters degree, while taking on his first position at EMU as the Program Coordinator for The Business Side of Youth (The B. Side).
Jack’s enthusiasm and passion for entrepreneurship, coupled with his drive to create and business savvy has helped him build entrepreneurial ventures for the University. Today he manages non-credit revenue generating initiatives, social enterprises and camps where young people are encouraged, especially the underprivileged, to explore the worlds of entrepreneurship and technology. He openly shares his failures and successes to teach youth to follow their dreams, no matter how great!
Jack currently lives in Saline, Michigan with his wife Joanna and their two children Jocelyn and Tristan.