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Program Overview / Speaker Series

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.

Pete von Jess, Owner and Chairman of the Board of Directors
USfalcon, Inc.

Pete von Jess is owner and Chairman of the Board of Directors at USfalcon, Inc.   From 2003 to early 2015, von Jess served as the Chief Executive of USfalcon, Inc., where he led an end-to-end professional services company providing technical solutions to clients in the defense community. USfalcon has been recognized as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the United States by numerous industry groups, and in 2009 was named #1 in the Research Triangle area and received the Fast50 award.

Mr. von Jess successfully guided USfalcon through a transition from product re-seller to a services focused firm while creating over 1,300 new jobs while supporting the U.S Army, U.S. Air Force, Department of Treasury, Department of Homeland Security, and indirectly, the Intelligence Community. Prior to joining the USfalcon Inc., he was a Business Developer at Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and was a Program Manager at GTE Government Systems Corporation (now General Dynamics). 

He served in the U.S. Army for 22 years retiring in 2005 as a Colonel; during his military service he served tours of duty in the Republic of Korea, Honduras, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Afghanistan as a Green Beret and Army Ranger.

Douglas Woodard, Managing Vice President, Contact Center Channels for Card Operations
Capital One

Doug Woodard is Managing Vice President, Contact Center Channels for Card Operations.  In this role he is responsible for all Card Operations via the Phone Channel spanning customer service, fraud and disputes, collections and recoveries, and all associated horizontal support functions.  These operations support both Branded Card and Partnership Card (both private label and co-brand cards) portfolios. Specific functions include Branded Card Servicing, High Value Servicing, Small Business, and Partnership Card service, credit and merchant and commercial operations.  The contact center channel operations include internal on-shore, offshore captive, and third party supplier sites totaling more than 20 sites and 12,000 agents in more than six countries. Prior to joining Capital One, Doug held executive roles in customer service operations with Staples and Citi. 

Patrick Lozon, Vice President and Head of Product Supply North America
Bayer CropScience LP

Patrick Lozon heads Product Supply North America for Bayer CropScience LP.  After eight years in the military, where he was a logistics and transportation officer, he became materials manager for Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals.  In 2001, Patrick joined Bayer, holding various positions at the Kansas City site, including site leader. He moved in 2008 to Germany, where he implemented a new global supply chain operating model. He returned to the U.S. in 2012 as the vice president of North America Procurement organization.  He assumed his current role as the Head of Product Supply North America in 2013.  As Head of Product Supply North America, Patrick oversees regional demand and supply planning as well as formulation, filling and packaging activities in the U.S. and Canada. 

Paula J. Sims, Independent Consultant to the Energy Industry and former Chief Integration Officer, Duke Energy, and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, Progress Energy
Paula Sims, an independent consultant specializing in the energy industry, has experience in leading and managing in areas of mergers, business development, operations, supply chain, IT and change management. Sims recently held the position of Chief Integration Officer for The Duke Energy and Progress Energy Merger and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Improvement for Progress Energy. She was responsible for implementing the Balanced Solution strategy to meet the future energy needs of Progress Energy’s customers as well as serving as the executive sponsor of Progress Energy’s Continuous Business Excellence initiative, a framework for improving processes, efficiency and overall cost management across the company. Sims currently serves as the vice chairman of the Meredith College Board of Trustees.

Millie TanMillie Tan, Senior Vice President Global Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer

Millie Tan, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer for Quintiles, joined Quintiles in 2008 and is responsible for brand and marketing strategy and development. 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, Polaroid Corporation, the Gillette Company and Xerox Corporation.

Maureen O'ConnorMaureen 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 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.

Jen MannJenn 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. 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. 

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 in the US, Canada, and Mexico. His son, Temple Sloan, III, now President/CEO of Carquest, joined him for the event.

Recent speakers also include:

Jason Smith
Chef and Owner, 18 Seaboard

Kenichi Kawashima
Executive Director, Lenovo

Suzanne Sutter
Former President and CEO, Make-A-Wish Foundation

Fran O’Sullivan
General Manager, Integrated Supply Chain, IBM

David Strong
President, Rex Healthcare; COO, System Affiliations at UNC Health Care

Scott Custer
CEO, VantageSouth Bank and Crescent Financial Bancshares, Inc.

Shelia B. Ahler
Partner, Cherry, Bekaert & Holland


Thank you for your Interest!

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Allison Anthony
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The Meredith College MBA

Designed for working professionals, Meredith's MBA program prepares men and women to succeed in today's global business environment. You'll develop strong ethical leadership and communication skills as well as increased confidence and comprehensive business knowledge, allowing you to advance professionally in your field—and beyond.

Strong Story | Kacie Fore

The Meredith MBA prepares graduates to go strong. Kacie Fore, '14, is a recent graduate, but she's already been promoted - before she even finished the program - thanks to what she learned. She also studied abroad in China and made strong connections with others in the program - connections that she fully expects to last a lifetime.


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