GCC grad Harrison Fox helps brew a new product

March 13, 2009

When people at the Natural Products Expo West in California next month see a bottle of Fogbuster Coffee House Ale, they’ll be looking at the work of a Greenfield Community College student. GCC Business student Harrison Fox designed the label for Fogbuster Ale that will be on display with other fair-trade certified products at the trade show.

Not many college students get the opportunity to help launch a new product, design product labels, and create magazine advertising. But for Harrison Fox, it’s all in a day’s work at his internship with Pierce Brothers Coffee Roasters in Greenfield. Fogbuster Ale is a new Pierce Brothers product – a fairtrade certified, organic ale that Paper City Brewery in Holyoke brews using Pierce Brothers’ signature Fogbuster coffee. Harrison’s work at Pierce Brothers includes designing private labels and print advertising, production, and coffee roasting. An ad he is currently creating will appear in Private Label Buyer magazine, a publication with an international distribution.

Harrison’s path from Sheffield Elementary School in Turners Falls to a Pierce Brothers internship took him many places, including four years at Saint Thomas Choir School in Manhattan, high school at Northfield Mount Hermon, and a semester at Westfield State College. But it wasn’t until he took an introductory business class from Kathy Vranos at Greenfield Community College that he found his passion for business and marketing.

Harrison is currently in his last semester at GCC and this fall he will transfer to the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. There he’ll pursue a bachelors in marketing. Harrison is excited by all that he’s learning and experiencing in his internship. He said, “I am in awe that I get to do this. I’m learning about many aspects of business and developing an incredible portfolio.”

Harrison isn’t the only one excited about his accomplishments. Kathy Vranos, Assistant Professor of Business/Marketing, said, “Harrison has demonstrated his entrepreneurial spirit, sound strategic insights, and terrific personal communication skills since he arrived at GCC. Seeing him apply these skills to developing a new product for a valuable local business is very exciting. Last semester, through his class work in Principles of Marketing, Harrison gained experience working on an actual marketing plan for a local business. Recently, he came to advertising class as our ‘client,’ and the students spent the session assisting him with print advertising development for Pierce Brothers. To say that we are immensely proud of Harrison is a ridiculous understatement.” Harrison’s personal motto came from his technical instructor in the Air National Guard who said, “Get out there and take it!” He knows you can’t just sit around, waiting for things to happen. He believes that if you want something, you have to take it. Harrison’s internship with Pierce Brothers is just one way he’s taking every opportunity he gets, and he said it’s the best thing he could have done. At Pierce Brothers, he’s doing more than launch a new product, he’s launching himself into the world of business and marketing. For more information about the Business & Information Technology Department, visit www.gcc.mass.edu/departments/bit/ or contact Thom Simmons, Department Chair, 413-775-1482 or simmonst@gcc.mass.edu.