Steven Greene Citation - Commencement 2016

May 22, 2016

Over five decades, you have built W.B. Mason into the largest, privately owned office products company in the United States while remaining a dedicated champion of your local community in Brockton. Committed to the company’s legendary door-to-door sales model, you and your team revolutionized the industry by always focusing on the customer.

In 1943, your grandfather, Samuel Kovner, purchased a small office products shop on Centre Street in Brockton. In 1963, your father took the helm, the same year you joined the company. There was never any doubt in your mind you would join the family business, but when your father passed away unexpectedly in 1973, you were thrust into a leadership role.

Your early ambitions were modest: you hoped to become the biggest office products dealer in Brockton. But by focusing on personalized customer service and responding to the changing market needs, you transformed a small-town shop into a business empire. When you became president of the company in 1979, annual sales totaled $3 million, and by 1993 you had catapulted revenue to $20 million annually. 

Today, the company boasts revenue of $1.65 billion with 3,500 employees and 700 trucks making deliveries across 60-plus locations to 230,000 customers throughout the United States —all the while based in Brockton. Among your early employees was Leo Meehan ’75, who you hired as a sales representative, and ultimately invited to be your partner. In 1993, Leo became president and CEO while you became chairman. Together, you have hired more than 100 Stonehill graduates, with more joining your ranks every year, and you have provided the College with one of the premier athletic facilities in the Northeast, the W.B. Mason Stadium.

Your commitment to supporting your local community beyond hiring, is demonstrated by your volunteer outreach. You have coached hundreds of players at Brockton’s Young Men’s Hebrew Association, which has honored you with its top award. A member of the Brockton Rotary Club for 27 years, you served as the organization’s president in 1989-1990, and have twice been named a Brockton Rotary Paul Harris Fellow.

For your commitment to community and your outstanding business success, which you humbly credit to surrounding yourself with local, hardworking people whom you trust, we are proud to bestow upon you, Steven Greene, honoris causa, the degree of Doctor of Business Administration.