It has been forty years since Dean Bennett ’84 first arrived on the campus of Trinity-Pawling. Since that long-ago sophomore year, however, Bennett has never forgotten the importance of the Trinity-Pawling Effort System. “It has been the common denominator in my life,” he reflected. “It was life-altering. Really, my time at Trinity-Pawling was life-enhancing because, from the classroom to the playing field, the Effort System challenged me to self-motivate, to get outside my comfort zone, and have confidence in the idea that if you put in the effort, positive outcomes – even in disappointment – will come your way.”
Indeed, a lot of positive outcomes have come the way of Bennett. A graduate of the Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University, Bennett is the founding President of J.K. Bennett and Associates, a New York-based management consulting firm. He has had a long and active role in politics. He is currently a Program Supervisor of Job Readiness Training at the Nassau County Department of Social Services. He served as Executive Director for the Empire State Development Division of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise, a program that aims to expand governmental contracts and other opportunities for minority and women entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses in New York State. Bennett also served as Director of Equal Employment Opportunity and Deputy Director for the Office of Minority Affairs for Nassau County.
Beyond his professional work, Bennett is an active member of the New York City Chapter of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. – a men’s civic organization with a mission to educate and empower African American children and teens through community service and outreach. “The purpose for me,” Bennett said, “is to teach young men how to conduct themselves in a respectful way. To essentially teach a lot of the principles I learned at Trinity-Pawling. To put forth a good effort and to comport oneself with character and grace.” Moreover, Bennett is active in his church, a trustee on numerous community boards, and a proud husband and parent of three active and growing children.
As Bennett spoke about the Effort system which he first learned about some forty years ago, he let it slip that he once received a less than stellar effort grade. “My consequence was to shovel snow from the steps of Cluett,” Bennett let out a laugh, “but I’ll never forget one classmate running through the quad and grabbing a shovel and helping me complete the task.”
The value of effort is both lasting and inspiring.
by The Reverend Daniel Lennox