Thoughts In Memoriam from the Menlo College Community for Ron Kovas, Professor of Management

Ron Kovas, Professor of Management

The Menlo College community mourns the loss of Professor Ron Kovas, who died peacefully in his sleep on April 8, 2016. Professor Kovas taught marketing, advertising, and the senior capstone class “Launching the Venture” at Menlo College.

Dating from his time as the owner and principal of the business consulting firm Venture Management Partners, Professor Kovas was known for his time-honored quotes from the trade, such as “luck is when preparation meets opportunity,” “To be successful you need three things: persistence, persistence, persistence,” and “Don’t give up, show up!”

His stories about his professional life as an adman and as part of the marketing management in the early years of advertising were filled with real-life lessons about entrepreneurism, strategy, and business savvy. He was skilled at coaching students on embellishing the golden nugget in their business presentations for success in the world of marketing.

All the hard work was worth it when you earned his praise and respect, because he taught with passion and love,” said Zara Matevosyan ‘15. “Zara and I were in his Senior Capstone class,” Ashley Diamond ’15 recalled. “We spent months on our project with him. He gave us amazing advice on our project and coached us on our careers. He was a brilliant and genuine professor. When we graduated, we gave him a framed picture of the three of us at our Capstone Presentation on Menlo Connect Day engraved with the words The best professors teach from the heart. Thanks for everything. He kept the photo on his desk.”

“Although Professor Kovas was my teacher for only one semester, the life-changing wisdom he gave me during that time will never be matched. I will never forget his crazy marketing stories and his analysis of the Super Bowl commercials in Integrated Marketing. He was a huge inspiration to the whole Menlo Community, and touched the lives of so many in different ways. He will be greatly missed,” said Taylor Morrow ’16.

“Professor Kovas was not your “normal” professor,” said Stacy Parra ‘16. “He pushed us to our limits and genuinely wanted to see us succeed. His classes were always so much more than course material. He shared life lessons, his best tips, and numerous inspirational stories. There was still so much more to learn from him, but I will forever hold onto all that I was fortunate to gain. He will forever be remembered and missed.”

Huseyin Yildirim ‘16 recalled, “When I first met Professor Kovas, we started on the wrong foot. He was really strict, and I wasn’t giving my best effort to participating in his class. As time passed, even though I was anxious, I wanted to prove myself to him. I realized that he deserved respect and that there was truth in his teaching about “the real life.” His class was one of the hardest at Menlo College, but I learned more from him than any other class. He always found a way to push our limits, because he knew what we were capable of doing.”

Professor of Finance Soumen De said, “One of the remarkable attributes of Ron’s conversational style and output was that the audience stood convinced he was making the best effort to draw upon his rich experience and memory to answer the questions that were posed to him. The past, present and the future interchanged so seamlessly in his mind that one came to realize very quickly that he thoroughly enjoyed living. That is why he will be missed all the more.”

Professor of Management Leslie Sekerka said, “Ron was the epitome of carpe diem at Menlo. He taught every one of his students how to rise to the occasion, insisting upon a platform of professionalism and standards of excellence. Ron valued and taught his Capstone students that hard work and responsibility are at the center of entrepreneurial success. His legacy will be carried on through the lives of all of his students.”

Associate Professor of Mass Communications and Marketing Doug Carroll spoke of Ron’s dedication to his students. Assistant Professor of Marketing Frances Turner added, “Ron loved our students and alumni dearly, and he fulfilled his lifelong passion for teaching here at Menlo.”

“It was such an honor and privilege to be taught by a man with so much knowledge and experience. The lessons he taught will stay with me forever. Menlo was lucky to have him as an Oak,” said Bianca Magpayo ‘16.

Our thoughts are with Professor Kovas’ family and friends.

Menlo College will celebrate the life of Professor Kovas in a memorial service on Monday, April 18 at 5:00 pm in the Dining Hall.