Graduates Prove Miami More than "Cradle of Coaches" with Inaugural Event

February 2013

It all started when Alumna Jenny Rooney, a CMO Network editor at Forbes, was conducting an interview with Kevin George, Sr. VP and Global CMO for Beam, Inc. "You graduated from Miami?" "Yea. You, too?" That made Rooney wonder how many other A List marketing executives were also Miami grads. Turns out, a whole bunch.

Chief Marketing Officers, vice presidents, and other "C Level" executives at Kia Motors America, Carat, LPGA, DeVry, Taco Bell, Procter & Gamble, Reebok, Twitter, Louisville Slugger, Kellogg Co., Rockfish Interactive, Move Inc., SAP, gyro Cincinnati, Heidrick & Struggles are all Miami alumni.

On February 15th, nine of them left their corporate offices and convened in the Farmer School to talk and work one-on-one with a full house of students at the first "Miami Rocks Marketing" event.

Mary Tehrani, a sophomore accounting major, voiced an opinion held by many students. "It was an amazing experience to work with such talented professionals, to learn about their business and how they approach marketing. It was incredible to work with a recent Miami graduate, someone who used to be right where we are now."

Junior, Lauren Yates added, "I loved it! It was inspiring from the start. It was great to hear from these very, very successful CMOs."

For the executives, it was a chance to give back, to reconnect with the Farmer School, favorite professors and friends. "This really is a special place. Great to have the opportunity to give back." Noted Doug VanDeVelde, senior VP of marketing, Kellogg Co., whose son is a current student.

"Impressive talent coming out of Miami and what a great way to celebrate that fact while giving back at the same time." Remarked Adryanna Sutherland, president, gyro, Cincinnati

"Wonderful to see that the students at Miami continue to impress." added Andrew Strickman, VP brand and creative services at Move Inc.

There was a lighter side, too. The chance to take a walk through uptown was a "must do" for most of the executives. Kyle Schlegel, VP of marketing, Louisville Slugger, was impressed that "5 people can still all have a drink at CJs for less than $10." While a midnight snack at Bagel & Deli hit the spot for Kevin George, senior VP and global CMO of Beam, Inc.