David Werner, ’78

Following in his father’s footsteps David Werner, ’78, enrolled in McQuaid Jesuit with a passion to develop his critical reading and writing skills. Werner felt McQuaid’s’ impact that led him to do a wide array of work in the community, saying that McQuaid instilled within him a commitment to support others. To put his words into action, David’s leadership and communication led him to volunteer and give support at Church. David also made sure to find time within his busy schedule to help take care of an elderly person who did not have the resources to afford proper care. David’s leadership, extensive community service and involvement only picked up when he graduated from McQuaid and went to Niagara University, just as his father had.    

While David was at Niagara, he continued with his desire to serve the community and lead. During his freshman year, David not only showed the community, but his fellow classmates of his leadership qualities. David ran for, and was chosen as the incoming freshman class representative, as well as sitting on the Judicial Review Board and the Social Affairs committee. After his first year at Niagara, David transferred closer to home and enrolled at St John Fisher University. During his time at St John Fisher, David volunteered at Camp Good Days and Special Times teaching Scuba Diving to cancer patients and their families.

Werner also began an internship at Eastman Kodak Company and used that experience to get a job in advertising, writing copy and producing commercials for the company’s Photo Finishing and Paper divisions. David left advertising to take a position at Blue cross Blue Shield as an Account Executive and Chief Labor Relations Negotiator. During his time there David was able to formulate many connections and relationships, but the most critical was one he made with Electronic Data Systems (EDS). When EDS opened an account with Xerox, Werner jumped at the opportunity to take on a new role as a Business Services Analyst and Project Manager. He managed large teams of people and had responsibility for global customer satisfaction, end user escalation and implemented a time and materials process that was leveraged globally by EDS.

Werner was driving home at the end of a long week on a sunny Friday evening. He found himself approaching a busy intersection, one he had stopped at thousands of times before. As he planned to stop at a red light behind a van, he realized, at the last minute, there was a motorcycle between him and the van. The driver of the bike blended into the van and his low taillight was barely visible in the bright sun.  Werner finally saw the motorcyclist when he moved his helmet which had been blocking the third brake light on the van in front of him.  At this moment David thought to himself, why doesn’t he have a brake light on his helmet?  The answer was simple- the technology did not exist. Werner wanted to change this. From that sunny afternoon at the intersection, Third Eye Design (www.thirdeyedesigninc.com) was born. 

Third Eye Design, Inc. designs, manufactures, and markets a wireless helmet brake and turn signal light centered on an internationally patented, groundbreaking radio frequency (RF) communication protocol. Headquartered in Pittsford, New York, the company launched their first product, a sophisticated wireless, helmet-mounted brake, and signal light in 2019. Third Eye Design was founded on the belief that it can make the world a better, safer place, one motorcycle at a time. Third Eye Design was committed to creating jobs in the U.S, and they began manufacturing in Rochester in 2018. It was at that time Werner was made aware of Arc Works. division of Arc of Monroe. 

Arc Works is an 85000 square foot primarily-disabled-worker contract manufacturing facility and a real Rochester gem. Going on their 64th year of serving the Monroe County community, the setting at Arc fosters an inclusive, diverse, and supportive environment for all. Arc offers nine different supportive services such as employment readiness services, residential services, transition services, and much more. At The Arc of Monroe, they are proud of their history of helping others, and are equally proud of their commitment to the future, ensuring that individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities and their families will continue to be offered the highest quality, most innovative programs, and services available.  When David had the opportunity to tour the facility, he was so impressed with the people and the facility he knew right then that he wanted to be part of it. 

Werner and Third Eye Design believe in the idea of giving back, and that is why Third Eye Design chose Arc Works to operate the packaging and fulfillment for them. David noted that, “Working with Arc is a privilege, and one of the easiest and best decisions I have made.  Our relationship is a win – win – win for my customers, my investors and for the employees of Third Eye Design and Arc Works.” This perfectly exemplifies what he wants to do serving as a leader in the community.

While the business side of this arrangement was done, Werner wanted to play an even bigger role in aiding Arc Works. He became a champion for them, not only providing them work but also by promoting them to other businesses.  His efforts brought in additional clients, some who say they had the same experience he had. In 2019 he was awarded the Pillar Award, presented to a business that exhibits excellence and camaraderie, and is steadfast in their support and partnership with The Arc of Monroe.  After this, he was asked to apply for a seat on their Board of Directors and was voted in. Werner has now been serving on their Board  for a couple of years and sits on two of their committees.

Werner also spent 6 years as a mentor while at EDS working with Monroe Middle School kids and for three years worked with new entrepreneurs as a mentor with Young Entrepreneurs Academy Young Entrepreneurs Academy | (yeausa.org)) and, one of Werner’s’ students won a national competition and a $35000 scholarship to RIT. 

“At McQuaid, they taught what it means to work hard and do the right thing”, lessons that Werner has found to pay big dividends in life. Werner takes these lessons into his role as a community leader, CEO, and father, as Werner says he instilled the same within his sons, Josh Werner, ’11 who is currently practicing dentist in Colorado, and Jonathan, an Environmental Engineer working for a global Environmental Resource Management firm in Washington D.C., “McQuaid had such a positive influence in my life and in both of their lives” Werner said.

While David’s role in the community and beyond continues to grow, he still can always recall where he first felt the passion to become the leader he is today, “I am grateful for my time at McQuaid, for the values I was taught and continue to carry today.”