Jay D. Bergman started his first business as a student at Illinois State, buying and selling recreational acreage in northern Wisconsin. After graduation, he expanded the business and ended up building and marketing more than 20 condominium or vacation projects in destination resort areas in both Wisconsin and Missouri.
His entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to service never ceased. In 1987, Bergman purchased several oil wells in southern Indiana and started Petco Petroleum Corporation with one part-time employee. Under his leadership it has developed into the largest upstream oil company headquartered in Illinois.
He remains as CEO of the company that employs more than 200 people and operates more than 1,000 producing oil and gas wells with energy operations in six states. In addition, Bergman is chair of the board and majority owner of the First Secure Bank Group which consists of eight bank facilities in the Chicago suburbs.
He is civically engaged, serving as a board member of the AMITA Presence Hospital Network, a group of 10 hospitals in the Chicago area. He is also a trustee of the Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo, and a trustee of the Civic Federation of Chicago.
The 1970 business administration graduate was on the University’s Board of Trustees from 2003 to 2017, making him the longest serving member of Illinois State’s governing board in the history of the institution. He also served on ISU’s Foundation Board of Directors and was a member of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.
Bergman was inducted into the Illinois State College of Business Hall of Fame in February 2019. He can be seen in the stands on football Saturdays at Hancock Stadium and Redbird Arena supporting the basketball teams come winter time.