Commencement Distinguished Guests

John Pulichino '67

John Pulichino '67

Honorary Degree Recipient


John Pulichino ’67 is the CEO of Group III International Ltd. In recognition of their generosity, UMass Lowell’s new business building will be named for him and his wife.


John Pulichino ’67 is the CEO of Group III International Ltd., a Florida corporation that designs, manufactures and markets travel gear products under the Wenger Swiss Army Knife, and BMW trademarks as well as numerous private label brands. Group III, which began as a small boutique wholesale company, now distributes more than 60 products through Target stores alone and has generated more than $600 million in sales since 2003. The company was founded in 1984 by his wife Joy Tong, an industrial designer who is the company’s president and creative director. 

In the late 1970s, Pulichino worked for Polaroid Corp. as director of industrial engineering. He moved on to American Tourister in 1980, and two years later became president and CEO. Over his 14-year tenure, he grew company sales from $30 million to $150 million before the company was sold to Samsonite in 1993. 

He and his wife established the Pulichino/Tong Family Foundation scholarship fund for students in the Manning School of Business. In recognition of their generosity, the University is naming its new business school building in their honor. 

Pulichino and Tong have been honored as members of the Chancellor’s Circle of Distinction. Additionally, a member of the Chancellor’s External Advisory Task Force, Pulichino also serves on the Manning School of Business Advisory Board and the committee that is overseeing the building’s construction. Pulichino also received the Distinguished Alumni Award during the University’s 2012 Commencement. 

After graduating from Lowell Technological Institute with a degree in industrial management, he earned a master’s degree in engineering management from Northeastern University. 

The couple resides in Boca Raton, Fla.