Veritas Lecture Series

Mr. Derek Bembry ’75 | The Importance of Embracing Change

Posted November 18th, 2022

As part of St. Augustine Prep’s commitment to Innovation and Experiential Learning, the Veritas Speaker Series, in the spirit of our patron saint, brings men and women of various backgrounds, experiences, and passions to “speak truth” to the Brotherhood.  Through presentations covering a wide variety of formats and topics, several speakers have already made the trip to Richland.  Each guest speaker has shared their expertise with the community and has enlightened students as to how they can take their message and integrate it into their own lives.

The most recent installment of the Veritas Speaker Series connected Richland’s Proud and Peaceful Glen halfway around the world through Derek Bembry ’75.  Based out of Johnson Controls headquarters in Burscheid, Germany, the experienced high-level tech executive currently serves as the company’s Global Channel Partner Learning Lead.

Mr. Bembry’s presentation was an intriguing one as his experience spans nearly 40 years in the tech industry with companies such as Amazon, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Raytheon and again, currently, Johnson Controls.  He was also cognizant of the road ahead for his Hermit Brothers who are currently working their way through their high school education at the Prep.  He has spent 22 years of his working life in Europe when taking into account a five-year stint in Boebligen, Germany serving as part of his 14 years of leadership at Hewlett-Packard. This time overseas saw his career truly take off as he has held regional and global roles for the aforementioned tech giants. At HP Germany he was tasked with leading a regional team responsible for the transformation of learning programs for more than 20k+ sales and technical professionals across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. At Dell, he played an integral role in leading another team that was credited with creating the channel learning program for 10k+ partners who were responsible for driving more than $2 billion dollars annually through the European channel. Now a bonafide sought-after commodity, Mr. Bembry was tabbed by Amazon and former CEO Jeff Bezos to lead an ambitious transformation project that renovated the learning programs for more than 15k Customer Service agents across Europe and Latin America. Presently, in what he promises will be his final role prior to retiring,  Johnson Controls has brought him on board to create their European learning avenue by guiding a global team responsible for developing the company’s first channel learning program.

Presenting to the Prep’s business and environmental sustainability students, his presentation touched on the constant transformations that presently consume large companies and their need to embrace change and acknowledge risk. He sought to educate his Hermit Brothers who will be joining organizations that are hungry for talented leaders who possess the ability to resolve complex problems, are unafraid of change, and have the ability to demonstrate critical thinking. In Mr. Bembry’s words, “those who exhibit these basic but critical skills are destined to have successful and rewarding careers.”

Students, faculty, staff, and administration alike were present for the riveting presentation.  In the process, students were able to network with another successful and experienced alumnus who was more than eager to pass his wisdom along to his younger Hermit Brothers.  We thank Mr. Bembry for making the Veritas Speaker Series a worldwide venture and for sharing such valuable advice with the students.  Furthermore, we cannot be more proud of a true “Son of Richland” as his journey began in his childhood home located on Cedar Ave across the street from the campus that would catapult him towards a career spanning the globe.

View Derek Bembry’s Veritas Speaker Series Presentation

We invite Alumni and Friends of the Prep to follow the lead of Derek Bembry ’75 by sharing their expertise, experiences, and/or passions with the Hermit Brotherhood as a Veritas Speaker. Visit to share your interest by completing a short questionnaire.

More Veritas Speaker Series News

Mr. John Kirwin III ’74 and Mr. Blake Lisgar ’19 | Lessons on Leadership and Perseverance

Mr. Chris Gheysens ’89 | Experiential Learning at the Prep and Beyond