Dec. 17

Inauguration of Doctor Vytautas Edvardas Gruodis Executive Hall

Today's BMI Governing Board meeting was foremost dedicated to express gratitude for Doctor Vytautas Edvardas Gruodis, the former Chairman of the BMI Board and General Director, and to entitle BMI Executive Hall to honour his name. 

"It is a great honor for me to say a few words on the occasion of the Inauguration of Doctor Vytas Gruodis Executive Hall.

I met Vytas Gruodis when I first came to Lithuania in late 1997 to implement the project of the EU Commission to create a Center of Excellence for Management Training in Lithuania. The center was incorporated in 1999 as of today's BMI - Baltic Management Institute.

Vytas was a Canadian citizen and had the majority of his family living in Montreal, and I asked him once why he had chosen to stay in Lithuania. He told me that he and his family had left Vilnius under German occupation in 1945 and that, after Lithuania regained its independence, he had decided to go back home and to contribute to the rebuilding of the society and economy.

Born in 1930 in Kaunas, Vytas had very deep Lithuanian roots, as well as a great international experience and awareness. He made a very successful career as a top executive and entrepreneur in various sectors in America and Europe. Speaking many languages including English, French, German, and Spanish, he had a vast international culture, curiosity, and in-depth knowledge about European history and society. Vytas was a man full of energy and conviction as well as a real gentleman with a great sense of human relations. He helped to initiate and lead several institutions in Lithuania, including the Open Society Fund Lithuania and the Lithuanian Development Agency founded in 1997. 

Vytas Gruodis had a key role in BMI vision, strategy and international cooperation: he was the BMI Chairman of the Board in 2002 and also the Director-General. He was granted a doctorate honoris causa in 2009 by Vytautas Magnus University to recognize his contributions to the establishment of BMI and the success of the partnership between VMU and foreign partner schools.

He was an honorary member of BMI’s governing board right until his death this year in May 2019 at the age of 88. 

BMI Board and management team are extremely grateful to Vytas Gruodis for its unique dedication to our project. 

He stays for us as a model of entrepreneurial spirit and responsibility to the society at large."

Prof. Jean-Paul Larçon, Co-Chairman of the BMI Board

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