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MBA Leaders of Distinction Speaker Series
The School of Business offers the MBA Leaders of Distinction Speaker Series for our MBA students each fall and spring semester. The event gives students the opportunity to meet outstanding business leaders and explore issues affecting business today.
Millie Tan, Senior Vice President Global Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer
In spring 2013, we welcome Millie Tan, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer for Quintiles. She joined Quintiles in 2008 and is responsible for brand and marketing strategy and development. She successfully repositioned Quintiles as a strategic partner to the biopharma industry to Navigate the New Health. She has been instrumental in bringing integrative and innovative marketing approaches to the biopharma industry. Millie has over 25 years in global Marketing and Sales with responsibilities ranging from strategic planning, new product development, new business development, corporate branding, and brand management. Her previous employers include Monster.com, Polaroid Corporation, the Gillette Company, Xerox Corporation.
In addition to her role at Quintiles, Millie serves on the Foundation Board of the North Carolina School of Science and Math and is a board member of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of North Carolina. Millie has an MBA from The Tuck School at Dartmouth College, an MA from Columbia University, and a BA from Skidmore College. She lives in Chapel Hill, NC with her 14 year old daughter, Ellie.
Maureen K. O'Connor, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC)
Maureen K. O'Connor, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) gave an engaging talk on “Building the Health Care Bridge.” She discussed bridging from our traditional health care system to a new system based on improving quality, reducing cost and making it more patient-focused.
O’Connor leads the development and implementation of our enterprise strategy, and is responsible for the healthcare and clinical division, network relationships and health system innovation, business development, analytics, health reform implementation and public affairs. O'Connor joined BCBSNC in 2000 as vice president and deputy general counsel and later assumed the roles of general counsel and chief administrative officer. Before joining BCBSNC, O'Connor was senior regional counsel with CIGNA, senior vice president and general counsel of Healthsource North Carolina and was in private practice with Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett & Jernigan in Raleigh, N.C.
Jenn Mann, Vice President of Human Resources
Jenn Mann, Vice President of Human Resources at SAS, shared her perspectives on how human resources plays a key role in creating a culture of trust that makes SAS one of the best places to work in the world. This culture, which empowers employees and keeps them in contact with SAS consumers, plus a business model that satisfies and retains the customer base, has helped to fuel continued success and revenue growth for the company.
Mann leads a global HR organization that not only acts as stewards of the SAS culture, but also engages a global workforce of over 12,000 employees who work in over 400 offices in 65 countries across the globe. SAS has been ranked on the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® list since the list's inception and has been ranked number one for the last two years garnering accolades across the globe for its workplace culture and commitment to innovation. Mann’s workplace culture insights have been shared in The Wall Street Journal, US World News and Report, CBS MoneyWatch.com, CBS Sunday Morning, and The GREAT Workplace by Michael Burchell and Jennifer Robin.
Jason Smith, Chef and Owner
Local entrepreneur Jason Smith, chef and owner of 18 Seaboard and Cantina 18, discussed his experiences of opening and running two restaurants, sourcing local NC foods (especially seafood), and developing an exciting new line of sangrias. Smith’s frank discussion of challenges such as employee management and pricing really brought these business topics to life. Attendees enjoyed a variety of delicious appetizers prepared by the chefs of 18 Seaboard.
Kenichi Kawashima, Executive Director
Kenichi Kawashima, Executive Director, Server Business Unit, Lenovo, gave an interesting perspective on leading global multi-cultural business environments in Raleigh and Beijing. Kawashima spoke from his extensive work history in engineering, project management, operations, and department management.
Temple Sloan, Jr., Chairman and CEO
General Parts & Carquest
Temple Sloan, Jr., Founder, Chairman and CEO of General Parts International, Inc., was a recent Distinguished Speaker. General Parts distributes automotive parts and supplies under the Carquest name, which is headquartered in Raleigh. Temple Sloan’s story of success depicts a strong-willed entrepreneur who, at the age of 21, started what has become a multi-million dollar company that boasts over 3400 locations and 17,000 employees -“teammates”- in the US, Canada, and Mexico. His son, Temple Sloan, III, now President/CEO of Carquest, joined him for the event.
Suzanne Sutter, President and CEO
Suzanne Sutter, President and CEO, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Los Angeles, spoke to MBA students and faculty on the topic, "Leadership: You Can Make a Difference." Prior to her role at Make-A-Wish, Sutter was President of Things Remembered, Inc. During her 10-year reign as President, she more than doubled earnings through merchandise and marketing innovation, as well as expanding channels of distribution beyond the 650+ store chain. Under her leadership, the company developed an outstanding reputation for compassion, giving, and commitment to charities.
Recent speakers include:
General Manager, Integrated Supply Chain, IBM
Senior Vice President of Human Resources (retired), FedEx Kinko's
Shelia B. Ahler
Partner, Cherry, Bekaert & Holland
Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer, Duke Energy
President, Rex Healthcare; COO, System Affiliations at UNC Health Care
CEO, VantageSouth Bank and Crescent Financial Bancshares, Inc.
H. Kel Landis
Co-Founder and Partner, Plexus Capital