Erie SeaWolves Owner, Fernando Aguirre, to Deliver Fortis Institute Commencement Address

It’s PACK THE PARK NIGHT on August 14 for Graduation Ceremony at Jerry Uht Park
Fernando Aguirre Fortis-Institute-Tagline
ERIE, Penn. –– Over the years, Fernando Aguirre has notched a number of credits to his name. He is the owner and CEO of the Erie SeaWolves baseball team. He is the former Chairman & CEO of Chiquita Brands International. He served as President and GM of several Procter & Gamble businesses globally. And he was the first Hispanic CEO on “Undercover Boss.”

Now we can add “commencement speaker at his home field” to the list.

When approximately 150 Fortis Institute-Erie students march into Jerry Uht Park (home of the Detroit Tigers AA affiliate Erie SeaWolves) at 6:35 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14, to commemorate their well-earned graduation, they will be joined by Aguirre, who will serve as the commencement speaker for the campus’ celebration of student success.

Fortis Institute has dubbed the evening “PACK THE PARK NIGHT” and invites everyone in Erie to join in this special Celebration of Student Success. There’ll be live music and merriment both before and after the graduation ceremony.

While tickets will be distributed to graduates for their family and friends, complimentary tickets also will be available to the public at the gate on graduation day. Prospective students, current students, alumni, employers, community leaders, and baseball fans are all encouraged to attend.

“We want to have standing room only on graduation night to support our students, show we really care about them and their new futures, and give them a rousing send-off as they embark on brand new careers,” said Fortis Institute President Peter C. Correa. “Plus, we want to show Fernando that he, his team and his ball park are integral members of the community.”

Born and raised in Mexico City, Aguirre was offered a baseball scholarship by Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, where he succeeded on the field…and in the classroom. Aguirre received a bachelor’s degree in business and later attended the prestigious Young Presidents Organization Harvard President’s seminar for 10 years, earning Harvard Business School graduate status. Along the way he spent more than 23 years with Procter & Gamble, becoming one of P&G’s youngest President level executives before moving to Chiquita Brands International as CEO.

The first Hispanic to appear on CBS’ “Undercover Boss,” Aguirre has received numerous honors, including the Hispanic Leadership Award from the NFL, Cincinnati Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Leadership Award, and election to both the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) Athletic Hall of Fame and Business School Hall of Fame, among others. In 2012, Aguirre received an honorary doctoral degree from SIUE.

However, family tops Aguirre’s priority list. He considers being happily married for nearly 30 years and helping raise two sons as his most significant achievements.

“An engaging public speaker, natural business leader and successful entrepreneur, Fernando boasts solid education credentials as a member of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Coach K Center on Leadership and Ethics,” said Correa. “I consider him a personal friend as well as a friend of the entire Fortis-Erie learning community. Fernando also is someone who knows what it takes to achieve a goal. Our graduates and the fans in the stands are in for a treat as he informs, entertains and motivates us all on a very special day.”

About Fortis Institute in Erie
Fortis Institute in Erie (formerly Tri-State Business Institute) is a post-secondary education provider that has achieved significant growth and success by addressing the critical needs of area employers. Fortis Institute’s 12-acre campus at 5757 West 26th Street, Erie, PA 16506, offers numerous career-focused diploma and degree programs that include the fields of: Medical Assisting, Health Information Technology, Nursing, Dental Hygiene, Dental Assisting, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Information Technology, Cosmetology, Barbering and Skilled Trades, including Welding, Construction Management and HVAC-R.

Designated a Pearson VUE Testing Center, Fortis Institute in Erie administers GED tests along with licensing and certification testing for its allied health, nursing and skilled trade graduates. The campus also serves as a convenient test facility for a full range of area businesses needing staff and employees to be licensed or certified/re-certified. For consumer information and details about specific campus programs, call 814-838-7673.

About Fortis
A post-secondary network of colleges and institutes that engages students in experiential learning and training programs, Fortis delivers focused individual career education experiences: Your Life. Powered by Learning. The Fortis network offers career-based certificate, diploma and degree-granting programs at more than 40 schools in 15 states. Fortis College and Institute campuses prepare students for careers in healthcare, business and technology and various trades. Fortis also offers online learning platforms for many of its programs. Each Fortis campus is accredited by a nationally recognized body. Program offerings and accreditations vary by campus.

Fortis is affiliated with the Denver School of Nursing, St. Paul’s School of Nursing and All-State Career School. For consumer disclosure information, visit to learn more about Fortis educational opportunities.