- BA Liberal Arts 1978
John Petkus was born in Grosse Point, Michigan, earning his BA in Liberal Arts at Michigan Tech in 1978. He arrived just as the Scientific and Technical Communication degrees were being developed, and concentrated on this field before the degree was officially awarded. His senior independent study utilized the then-recent technological breakthrough of a portable video cassette camera to produce a university documentary shown to prospective students. As an undergraduate, John also played varsity basketball.
After graduation, John worked in Detroit, first as an electronics buyer for Ford Motor Company, and later as a manufacturer’s representative for semiconductor firms. In 1994, he moved to Las Vegas to become Western Regional Sales Manager for JCM American, a subsidiary of Osaka-based Japan Cash Machine, a leader in automated transaction handling systems, including coin and bill acceptors used in the gaming, amusement, kiosk, transportation and vending industries. In 1997 he founded his own company, Hemisphere West International, which became an innovator in this area with such products as the first “plug and play” currency reading system for use with personal computers, the HW300 Dual Input MDB/USB Interface.
In 2009 John was appointed Honorary Consul of Poland in Las Vegas. This consular position supports the preservation of Polish heritage and traditions among the Polish-American community and promotes cooperation between the USA and Poland in the areas of culture, education, science and business. Duties also include providing emergency assistance to citizens of Poland in the USA, and a range of other services. John is a member of the District Export Council for Nevada, and serves on the Curriculum Advisory Board of the International School of Business at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. In his spare time, this avid outdoorsman enjoys high-altitude hiking in the mountains near Las Vegas, including the 12,000-foot summit of Mount Charleston.
From 2010 Induction to the College of Sciences and Arts Academy