Alum Shares Global Lessons at RIT College of Business' Gasser Lecture

Follow Marcia Morphy on Twitter
Follow RITNEWS on Twitter David Della Penta worked two jobs during weekends and school vacations to attend the College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology. A tenacious start for the president and chief operating officer of Fisher Scientific International Inc., headquartered in Hampton, N.H.

Della Penta will share his insights on “Going Global: Lessons Learned” as RIT's College of Business resumes the William D. Gasser Distinguished Lecture Series in Business. The event, 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 9, will be held in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science auditorium on RIT's Henrietta campus.

Since Della Penta joined Fisher Scientific in April 1998, the company has grown significantly from $2.25 billion in revenues to more than $5.2 billion (projected for 2005 based on Fisher's merger this year with Apogent Technologies).

“I went from a $250 million company, Nalge Nunc, a subsidiary of Sybron International, and walked into a 100-year-old company with staggering technologies and revenues,” says Della Penta, who served as president of the Rochester-based, Nalge Nunc from 1989 to 1998.

After spending the last 35 years in the same industry of scientific laboratory supply, Della Penta is keenly aware of the challenges of growing a business internationally.

“You always have to plan for the unexpected and being prepared is crucial to success in the business world,” Della Penta. “Competition is tough. Companies have to cultivate at team environment with people who can be creative and think outside the box, as well as communicate on advanced levels.”

The Gasser Lecture is hosted annually by RIT's College of Business to advance interaction and dialogue between business and academic communities. The lecture series is made possible by a gift from the late John Wiley Jones, former honorary member of the RIT Board of Trustees and founder of Jones Chemicals Inc., in memory of William D. Gasser. Gasser taught accounting at RIT from 1967 until his death in 1977.

A reception will immediately follow the Gasser Lecture, which is free and open to the public. To register for the event, contact Donna Slavin at 585-475-2199 or