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Michael H. "Mike" MESCON

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Michael H. "Mike" MESCON Obituary
MESCON, Michael H. "Mike" Michael H. "Mike" Mescon passed away peacefully Sunday, November 12, 2017. He was 86. Michael H. Mescon, who the Wall Street Journal described as the Pied Piper of Private Enterprise, was first and foremost a family man. He married his teenage sweetheart Enid 65 years ago, immediately after they both graduated from the University of Miami. They originally met at a Bnai Brith Youth Convention when they were both 12. Mike and Enid lived in the same house in Sandy Springs for almost 50 years. Mike was the son of Florence and Abe Mescon and while born in Toronto, Canada, grew up in Charleston, SC, and graduated Miami Beach High School in FL. He is predeceased by a brother Lou, a sister Helen, and his daughter Nance. Mike and Enid have two sons, Tim (Lauren) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Jed (Phyllis) in Chattanooga, TN. They have seven grandchildren living across the U.S. from California to Georgia. After graduating the University of Miami and earning a Master's Degree, Mike and Enid moved to NYC, where Mike completed his Ph.D. in Human Relations at New York University at age 23. In New York, Mike pursued his lifelong love of weightlifting under the famous Sig Klein in Manhattan and Mike became a fitness fanatic before fitness became fashionable. Over the decades of his professional career, he would recommend gyms and fitness centers globally for road-weary travelers. Following graduation for NYU, Mike immediately enlisted in the U.S. Army and spent two years as a PFC at Ft. Jackson, SC. Mike maintained a close and proud link with the U.S. military for his entire life, including very active engagement with Veterans of the Vietnam War. Mike joined what was then the Georgia State College of Business Administration in 1956 and eventually became Chair of the Department of Management, the world's first Holder of the Bernard B. and Eugenia Ramsey Chair of Private Enterprise (1963), and retired as Dean of the Robinson College of Business in 1990. Mike loved Georgia State, and as an investment partner in the group that created Technology Park over 40 years ago, gave his shares to Georgia State. Mike continued to teach a graduate course with Professor Harvey Newman in the Andrew Young School at Georgia State for many years. One of Mike's great stories involved the late Richard Rich, Chairman of Rich's Department Stores. In the late 1950s, when Mike was a young assistant professor at Georgia State, and was also working as a consultant for Rich's, Dick Rich challenged Michael by asserting he "knew nothing about business." Mike conferred with Enid and immediately took a three-year leave from Georgia State and went to work full-time for Rich's, managing what was the Stewart Avenue Center. Mike claimed it was the single best professional experience of his career. He received honorary degrees from The Citadel, where he held a Chaired Professorship, and the College of Charleston. Mike loved downtown Atlanta and for many years was active in the Y, the Commerce Club, the Atlanta Rotary, and served in key leadership roles for many non-profits, including the American Heart Association, Northside Hospital, the American Red Cross, and many, many others. Mike was a distinguished academic, book author, and champion of private enterprise. His co-authored Introduction to Business Test, "Business Today," was the world's top-selling text and was translated in many languages, including Russian. Mescon founded the Georgia Council for Economic Education and the Association for Private Enterprise Education (APEE). For 20 years, he was contributing editor and co-authored a monthly management column for Delta Air Lines SKY Magazine, as well a regular columnist for years for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Some of the most popular articles were included in a book, "Showing Up for Work & Other Keys to Business Success," for which he received the Georgia Author of the Year Award from the Council of Authors and Journalists. Mike was a global consultant and founded the Mescon Group in the late 1960s with colleagues Carl Bramlett and Don Jewell. The Mescon Group became one of the largest academically based organizational design and business process engineering firms in the U.S., specializing in plant restructuring in the pulp and paper industry, and was eventually acquired in the early 2000's by Aprio. Mike was also a proud co-owner of Carson-Schoenfeld VW/Fiat/Porsche in Marietta, part of his lifelong love for cars. Over the years, Mike served as a director of a number of publicly held corporations and served as a keynote speaker/consultant to companies across the globe. He was always in demand for corporate engagements and was an amazing speaker and thought-leader impacting many organizations around the world. To this day, so very many quote from Mike Mescon speeches including: "Show up, on time, dressed to play, you'll never have to break a sweat." He and Enid traveled to every continent and loved their time together and with family and friends. His greatest love was teaching young people at Georgia State University. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Michael Mescon Endowment Fund at Georgia State University, PO Box 2668, Atlanta, GA 30301, www.gsu.edu/giving. Sign online guestbook at www.edressler.com. Graveside services will be held 2:00 PM Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at Arlington Memorial Park in Sandy Springs, with Rabbi Peter Berg and Rabbi Alvin Sugarman officiating. Arrangements by Dressler's Jewish Funeral Care, 770-451-4999.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Nov. 14 to Nov. 15, 2017
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