- BS Scientific and Technical Communication 1992
- AAS Electrical Engineering Technology 1992
Born in Detroit, LaPointe moved to Allen Park, Mich., where he spent the majority of his childhood. Being the only child in his family he had a strong upbringing. "I had a very good background. Academics were always important," said LaPointe. Due to his academic and athletic success, Michigan, Michigan State and Michigan Tech accepted him. LaPointe ultimately chose Michigan Tech because he liked the campus, the area, the class sizes, and, most importantly, it allowed him to finally be more independent from his parents.
During his five years at Tech, LaPointe received two degrees-a 2-year EET degree, and a 4-year STC degree-and was active in "a little bit of everything." He was a member of the track team, the pep band, the Michigan Tech Student Foundation and Phi Kappa Tau. During his time at Phi Kappa Tau, LaPointe spent time as the skit chair (during that time, the fraternity won two first-place skit prizes), philanthropy chair and treasurer.
Following his time at Tech, LaPointe spent time working for the Ford Motor Company but realized that working for such a large company was not for him. He joined a small training company where he had the opportunity to use both of his degrees, learning more about technology and teaching classes relating to it. At 28 years old, LaPointe earned his way up to Vice President. He would eventually take over the company, moving it to its current base in Pontiac and renaming it I3Logic. "We are a business performance improvement company, working in business consultation and software development. Our clients include General Motors and Pfizer along with many smaller businesses."
LaPointe also earned his way up to President of Michigan Tech's Alumni Association Board of Directors. "Eight years ago, I had a job on campus in the Communications department. Through a co-worker there, I received a recommendation for an available alumni representative position." LaPointe ended up with the job and, similar to his entrepreneurial experience, he worked his way to the VP position for two years and then served as President.
The Board visits Michigan Tech at least twice a year and honors high-achieving alumni. "We are always looking for more nominations," said LaPointe. The Alumni Association works hand-in-hand with the MTU Fund, but all fundraising is done through external professional fundraisers.
Looking back, LaPointe can see how Tech prepared him for his degree. "It taught me independence and teamwork. It gave me a license to learn and taught me the real-world application of communication and technology." While LaPointe does not have any regrets about his time at Michigan Tech, he does have some advice for students: "If I knew then what I know now, I would have done more to prepare myself by taking business classes." Despite his two degrees, much of what LaPointe has excelled in is outside of his degree programs, particularly relating to business. "No matter what your major, it is always beneficial to learn business-related material such as finance and marketing." LaPointe recommends that students look into various Enterprise programs on campus as they provide a way to incorporate a multi-disciplinary business mindset.
Despite all of the success with his business - it doubled in size this past year - LaPointe is a family man first. His four kids and their activities keep him and his wife Kerry, also a Michigan Tech grad (STC '91), plenty busy. "Being a good husband and a father is my primary goal," said LaPointe. He still visits Michigan Tech three to four times a year, and the family owns a house in Eagle Harbor. He is still active in supporting fraternity events as well.
While his roots are in Lower Michigan, LaPointe is an avid supporter of Michigan Tech, and he hopes his kids attend school here someday. "Over the next five to seven years, I hope to invest in more businesses, becoming a multi-business entrepreneur and being able to be a larger donor and supporter of MTU." LaPointe is certainly a busy man, and while he jokes that he doesn't get much sleep in the process, it is still apparent that life is good for Rom LaPointe.
by Stephen Anderson, reprinted from the Michigan Tech Lode
Updated February 2009