Gerald J. Plappert, Jr. '71
2013 Award Recipient
Thanks to his years at St. X, Jerry Plappert is constantly reminded to “never stop learning.” This principle has served him well since graduating from Saint Xavier in 1971. After earning a degree from Bellarmine University in 1975, Jerry embarked on a successful career in the business community. He also devoted himself to his family and has served as a leader in the St. X community for 27 years. Jerry continues to learn and succeed in new business ventures, a growing family and continued support for his alma mater.
Jerry began his career as a Certified Public Accountant at Ernst & Young. He continued in public accounting for 25 years with the firms Ernst & Young, Grant Thornton, KPMG, and Mountjoy & Bressler, where he was a partner for ten years. In 1998, he left accounting and acquired an interest in Fisher-Klosterman, Inc., serving as its Chief Financial Officer. During that time, he oversaw numerous acquisitions and the opening of a subsidiary business in Shanghai, China. Following the sale of FKI in 2008, he co-founded the Andrew Elliot Group, LLC, which is a holding company of various businesses. Along with his daughter, Jill, he co-founded J Michael’s Spa & Salon, their family-owned business located in the “old Sears building” in St. Matthews. Additionally, he is the CFO of Diesel Injection Service Co., Inc. and he provides consulting services to business owners regarding succession planning. Jerry is an Accredited Business Valuation specialist (ABV) and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). In 2009, he was a finalist for the Business First Chief Financial Officer of the Year award.
Jerry served for 18 years on the Board of Directors at Saint Xavier High School, from 1994 – 2012, making him one of the longest tenured Board members in school history. While on the Board, he chaired the Advancement, Finance, and Audit Committees, co-chaired the Strategic Planning Committee, and was a member of the Project X Campaign Cabinet that raised more than $29 million. In addition, Jerry served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors from 1984 – 1992, serving as President 1989 - 1990; he was an advisor to the Board of Directors from 1991 – 1993; and in 1993, he chaired Xtravaganza. Jerry continues as an advisor today, serving as a member of the Investment Committee.
Jerry is the Past President of the Kentucky District Export Council; Past President of the Financial Executives International Louisville Chapter, and past member of the U.S. Commerce Department National Export Council. He is currently the Board Chair for A Woman’s Choice & Necole’s Place, an organization dedicated to preserving life and supporting mothers in crisis pregnancies.
What Jerry values most in life are his faith, his wife, his family, and his friendships. He credits his years at St. X as a student and then as a member of the Board of Directors as being instrumental in developing these values. He and his wife, Claudia, have been married for 37 years. For relaxation, they love to travel and spend time with their grandkids. Jerry and Claudia have two daughters, Kristi Burge and Jill Higginbotham, a son-in-law, Paul Higginbotham, and three grandchildren, Belle, Audrey and Josh.