Drawing on the inspiration provided by his UMass Amherst professor, J.B.’s achievements include being the driving force behind Million Dollar Arm.
By the time I was a senior I'd already been doing a lot of things in entrepreneurship with James Theroux. And what struck me the most about him was he didn't have to be there. He was never going to have to work again. And here he was in Amherst, Massachusetts, in the freezing cold, teaching entrepreneurship. And even at a young age, I understood the value of that, which is why it's so rewarding to come back and talk in his classroom. There's something about being able to say, I sat in these chairs. I've lived this life with you guys. If I can do it, you can do it. I've been very fortunate. And UMass had a big impact. It's important to show that appreciation. I went from being a corporate consultant to a sports marketing agent. I picked up Emmitt Smith. I picked up Curtis Martin. I picked up Barry Sanders. But it's once in a million that you're going to get a deal that changes you. Having Rinku and Dinesh live with me—one thing that they mentioned to me that always stuck was, "India is not like America, sir. You can't just dream that you're going to be anything you want to be, because that doesn't exist in India." There are no examples. When we went to their village, there were literally thousands of kids just nipping at their heels. I said, these kids are dreaming now. You guys are that example. It made me realize I have a chance to play a very small part in this social revolution. My name's J.B. Bernstein. I stand for chasing your dreams. And I stand for UMass.