M. Keith Weikel MBA Leadership Speaker Series

Stephanie L. Pugliese

Stephanie L. Pugliese

President & CEO Duluth Trading Co.

Ms. Pugliese’s talk will focus on her path to leadership, growing a business with an entrepreneurial spirit, and engaging a team through a strong culture.

  • Served Duluth Trading Co. in a variety of roles since 2008, including: Vice President of Product Development (2008-2010); Senior Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer (2010-2012); Chief Operating Officer (2014-2015); and President (2012-present) before taking the reins as CEO in 2015.
  • Prior roles include positions with Ann, Inc. and senior executive positions with Lands’ End, Inc.
Peter Vanham

Peter Vanham

Author, media strategist, business journalist

  • Currently serving as US Media Lead at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, managing relations with US-based media outlets
  • Author of “Before I Was CEO” (Wiley, 2017) exploring the life and career lessons of leaders before they reached the top
  • Contributor to the Financial Times, Business Insider, and World Economic Forum Agenda
  • Previous roles include: consultant for Bain & Company; US country manager for legendary cycling Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx; founder and gardener of his own company, Via Verde
  • Received his M.A. in Business & Economics Journalism from Columbia University
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Marc S. Pritchard

Marc S. Pritchard

Chief Brand Officer at Procter & Gamble

As the top brand builder at Procter and Gamble, Mr. Pritchard believes in the power of brands to serve people, while also being a force for good through ethics and corporate responsibility, community impact, diversity and inclusion, gender equality and environmental sustainability.

Highlights from Mr. Pritchard’s career include:

  • Held multiple roles in his 36 years at Procter & Gamble, including: President of Global Cosmetics & Personal Care President of Strategy, Productivity & Growth; President of Global Strategy; Global Brand Building Officer; and his current role as Chief Brand Officer
  • In 2017, received “Executive of the Year” Award from the Interactive Advertising Bureau
  • In 2017, received “Marketer of the Year” Award from Marketing Week
  • Received “#1 Power Player” Award from Advertising Age, Marketing Industry Worldwide in 2008, 2009, and 2017
Susan Chapman-Hughes

Susan Chapman-Hughes

EVP, Global Head of Digital Capabilities, Transformation and Operations, GCS at American Express

In her current role as Executive Vice President at American Express, Mrs. Chapman-Hughes drives data and insights to power the overall business strategy, while overseeing the customer digital experience and a global team of 1000+ employees.

Highlights from Mrs. Chapman-Hughes’ career include:

  • She serves on the Board of Directors at Potbelly Sandwich Works, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Better Chance, Inc., and Girls, Inc. 
  • Previously, she spent over 5 years as CAO/Global Head of Operations and Strategy at Citigroup, where she spearheaded Citi’s $50 billion Climate Change and Sustainability Initiative.
  • She has been named one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company (2013) and one of the “75 Most Powerful Women in Business” by Black Enterprise (2010).
  • Mrs. Chapman-Hughes is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison MBA Program (Real Estate) and previously served on the Dean’s Advisory Board.
Photo of Aaron Williams

Aaron S. Williams

Executive Vice President, Government Relations and Corporate Communications, RTI International

Aaron Williams served as executive vice president of RTI’s international development group from 2012 to 2015 before taking on his current role. Previously, he served as Peace Corps director from 2009 to 2012, and as vice president of international business development during his first stint at RTI from 2003 to 2009.

He has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in public service and the private sector, which began when he spent three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic. He has also served as a senior official at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where he reached the rank of career minister in the Senior Foreign Service. Williams has extensive experience in the strategic design and management of assistance programs in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is a board member of the Ron Brown Scholar Program. Previously he served on the boards of directors of CARE, the National Peace Corps Association, and the Institute for Sustainable Communities.

His awards include the USAID Distinguished Career Service Award (1998) and the Presidential Award for Distinguished Service (1988, 1992). In 2015, he was appointed by President Barack Obama as U.S. Alternative Representative to the Executive Board of the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Williams earned a B.S. in Geography/Education from Chicago State University, and an MBA in Marketing and International Business from the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Williams is one of our early Consortium students, and his visit marks the beginning of our 50-year anniversary celebration as a founding partner of the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management.

Event Date: Thursday, April 26, 2018

Roger W Ferguson

Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.

President and CEO, TIAA

Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., is president and chief executive officer of TIAA, the leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields and a Fortune 100 financial services organization.

Ferguson is the former vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System. He represented the Federal Reserve on several international policy groups and served on key Federal Reserve System committees, including Payment System Oversight, Reserve Bank Operations, and Supervision and Regulation. As the only governor in Washington, D.C. on 9/11, he led the Fed’s initial response to the terrorist attacks, taking actions that kept the U.S. financial system functioning while reassuring the global financial community that the U.S. economy would not be paralyzed.

Prior to joining TIAA in April 2008, Ferguson was head of financial services for Swiss Re, Chairman of Swiss Re America Holding Corporation, and a member of the company’s executive committee. From 1984 to 1997, he was an associate and partner at McKinsey & Company. He began his career as an attorney at the New York City office of Davis Polk & Wardwell.

Ferguson is a member of the Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents. He also is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and co-chairs its Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education. He serves on the boards of Alphabet, Inc.; General Mills, Inc.; and International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc.

Ferguson served on President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, as well as its predecessor, the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, and he co-chaired the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on the Long-Run Macro-Economic Effects of the Aging U.S. Population.

He holds a B.A., J.D., and a PhD in economics, all from Harvard University.

Event Date: Wednesday, March 21, 2018

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John Peirson

John Peirson

Deputy Chief Financial Officer, Deloitte Services LP

John Peirson was named deputy chief financial officer of Deloitte Services LP in May 2016, after holding various client service and leadership positions since he joined the firm in 2002. Previously, he worked at Arthur Andersen.

Peirson has served as the lead client service partner for a number of Fortune 100 companies in the health plan and financial services sectors. He has led Deloitte’s Internal Audit Transformation Market Offering, Technology Risk Practice and served as the chief operating officer of Deloitte’s Risk Advisory business.

Peirson’s current responsibilities include:
• Managing Deloitte’s financial risks
• Treasury and cash management
• Accounting and reporting
• Financial planning and analysis
• Real estate
• Taxes
• Digitizing finance
• Capital management including ROI analysis

He also co-leads the firm’s Operating Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee.

Peirson received his BBA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Event Date: Friday, February 23, 2018

Paul Leff, Stephen Petersen, and Signe Ostby during a Weikel Speaker Series event

A Conversation with Distinguished Alumni

In an engaging panel discussion, the following alumni shared their professional journeys, leadership experiences, and what it means to be part of the Business Badger legacy.

Signe Ostby

Signe Ostby is the former vice president of marketing at Software Publishing Corp., a Mountain View, California-based manufacturer of productivity software that she founded in 1982. She also was a co-founder of the Center for Brand and Product Management at the Wisconsin School of Business, and is a Wisconsin Naming Partner. Ostby earned a BBA and an MBA at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Stephen Petersen

Stephen Petersen is the managing director at Seaward Management, an independent investment management and counseling firm headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. Prior to joining Seaward, he was the senior vice president of investments at Fidelity Investments, where he served for 32 years. Petersen also is a board member of the University of Wisconsin Foundation. He received an M.S. in Finance and a BBA in finance at UW–Madison.

Paul Leff

Paul Leff is the founder of Warbasse67, based in New York City. Previously, he was co-founder, partner, and chief investment officer of Perry Capital LLC, an investment management firm based in New York City. Leff also is one of the co-owners of the Oakland Raiders. He is a founding member of the Wisconsin Naming Partners, and is a University of Wisconsin Foundation board member. Leff received an M.S. in Finance and a BBA in finance and economics at UW–Madison.

Event Date: Thursday, November 9, 2017

William A. Davis

William A. Davis

President and Chief Operating Officer, Universal Orlando Resort

William A. Davis is responsible for oversight of Universal Orlando Resort, including the Universal Studios theme park, the Islands of Adventure theme park, the Volcano Bay water theme park and the 30-acre CityWalk entertainment complex. He reports directly to Tom Williams, chairman and chief executive officer of Universal Parks and Resorts.

Davis has 40 years of theme park experience, including sales and general manager positions at SeaWorld theme parks in Florida and Ohio. He also served as executive vice president and general manager at SeaWorld of California. Davis then moved on to senior vice president of Guest Services at the Busch Entertainment Corp., where he was responsible for park and culinary operations, merchandise, safety/environmental and beverage promotion for nine theme parks in the United States.

Davis is a graduate of San Diego State University, as well as the Brooks Institute of Photography, and he has earned an MBA from Stetson University. He is a past president of Visit Orlando and current Executive Committee Board member. He has served on the Give Kids the World Board of Directors, the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Committee, and the American Zoological Association as a Professional Fellow.

Event Date: Thursday, October 12, 2017

Photo of Jia Jiang

Jia Jiang

Founder and CEO, Wuju Learning

Jia Jiang is the founder and CEO of Wuju Learning, a company that trains organizations to become fearless through rejection training. Also known as “the Rejection Guy,” he is an entrepreneur, blogger, author, and speaker.

His accomplishments include:

  • Author of the best-selling book, Rejection Proof: How I Beat Fear and Became Invincible Through 100 Days of Rejection (2015)
  • Rejection Therapy blog
  • TEDx speaker

After quitting his corporate career and starting his own company, Jiang started a personal quest to seek out rejection on a daily basis. His journey revealed a whole new world that was hidden in plain sight, and he discovered the power to get what you want by asking and negotiating.

Jiang holds a Bachelor of Computer Science from Brigham Young University and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University.

Event Date: Friday, September 8, 2017

Kevin Conroy

Kevin Conroy

Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, and President, Exact Sciences

Kevin T. Conroy was named chairman of the board in March 2014, and has served as president and chief executive officer of Exact Sciences since April 2009.

Conroy oversees the company’s strategy in cooperation with the board and investors. His responsibilities also include creating and fostering a culture of collaboration and innovation; building a strong leadership team; and ensuring company resources are properly allocated to create the most value.

Conroy has experience in a diverse set of roles:

  • Chief executive officer, president, Third Wave Technologies
  • Intellectual property counsel, GE Healthcare
  • Chief operating office, venture-backed technology companies
  • Intellectual property litigator, McDermott Will & Emory
  • Partner, Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard and Geraldson

He received his B.S. degree from Michigan State University and earned his JD from the University of Michigan Law School.

Event Date: Friday, April 28, 2017

Ann Mukherjee

Ann Mukherjee

Global Chief Marketing Officer, SC Johnson

Mukherjee joined SC Johnson as its first ever Global Chief Marketing Officer in 2015. She is responsible for driving growth across multiple categories in household and personal care, including Ziploc, Glade, Mrs. Meyer’s, Caldrea, Raid, Off, Windex, Scrubbing Bubbles, Pledge, and Kiwi.

Prior to SC Johnson, Mukherjee was president of PepsiCo’s Global Snacks Group and Global Insights. She also served as chief marketing officer of Frito-Lay North America, and led marketing, new product innovation, consumer insights, and strategy for all Quaker-branded snacking.

For 11 years, Mukherjee managed the marketing of several Kraft Brands, including Kraft Mac & Cheese, Kraft Singles, Taco Bell, Minute Rice, Stove Top Stuffing, Velveeta, and DiGiorno.

Mukherjee graduated with an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and received a B.A. in Economics and B.A. in Religious Theology from the University of Chicago.

Her affiliations, appointments, and awards include:

  • Ad Age Women to Watch
  • Brand Week Marketer of the Year
  • Forbes Top 50 Most Influential CMOs
  • Cannes Gold Lion for Doritos Crash the Super Bowl
  • Advertising Research Foundation’s Grand David Ogilvy Award
  • Multiple Effie and Webby Awards

Event Date: Thursday, February 23, 2017

Photo of Rebecca Ryan

Rebecca Ryan

Author, Consultant, and Owner of NEXT Generation Consulting, Inc.

According to Rebecca Ryan, the U.S. is going through a period of decline that will last through about 2020. Ryan calls this period “winter.” Between now and then lies a period of regeneration during which we will face decisions about what kind of country we are and what we want to leave for our children and theirs. Understanding the implications of the economy, world events, and globalization, and gaining the necessary tools to lead during the time of regeneration and adjusting to lead in 2020, will be topics covered during this upbeat and exciting talk.

Ryan is the author of:

  • The Next Big Things: The Future of Local Government (2015)
  • ReGENERATION: A Manifesto for America’s Future Leaders (2013)
  • Live First, Work Second: Getting Inside the Head of the Next Generation (2007)

Her TEDx talk, “Create a Better World for More People: A Futurist's Call to Action,” was featured at the prestigious TEDxBeaconStreet in 2015. Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class, calls Rebecca “one of the most reliable sources for CEOs and Mayors who want to attract and keep the next generation of creative workers.”

Other accolades include:

  • Top 100 Most Influential People, Accounting Today
  • Communicator of the Year, Women in Communication
  • Woman of Influence, Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee
  • Entrepreneur of the Year, U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Most Powerful Women in Public Accounting, CPA Practice Advisor

Ryan earned B.A.s in Economics and International Relations from Drake University and a Graduate Certificate in Strategic Foresight from the University of Houston.

Event Date: Friday, September 23, 2016

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