Business Advisory Council
Members of the Business Advisory Council
Jim Barr, CEO, Nautilus, Inc., Vancouver, WA
Jim earned a BS in Accountancy from Miami University in 1984 and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1990.
Jim has spent his career in ecommerce and driving digital transformations. He specializes in helping large companies either create or respond to digital disruptions in diverse industries. He has completed transformations at two of the top 10 internet retailers, three Fortune 500 companies, in B2B and B2C, and in both higher technology and industrial businesses. While in these roles, he has managed several $1B+ businesses and created multiple successful digital and omni-channel growth strategies and businesses.
Nautilus, Inc. is the American worldwide marketer, developer and manufacturer of fitness equipment brands Bowflex, Modern Movement, Nautilus, Octane Fitness, Schwinn Fitness and Universal.
Previously, he was Group President, Multichannel Products & Technologies for Ritchie Brothers (NYSE: RBA), the largest industrial auctioneer in the world, where he led a transformation of the company from a single-channel brick and mortar auctioneer to a digital and multichannel leader, including several online marketplaces. Mr. Barr oversaw RB’s digital businesses and products and its marketing and technology teams.
Prior to that, Jim served as the executive vice president and chief digital officer at OfficeMax where he oversaw all aspects of the company's e-commerce business and its multi-channel digital strategy. Jim also worked as the president of Sears Holdings' online division where he held full P&L accountability for multi-channel strategy and online sites such as sears.com and kmart.com.
He spent twelve years in Microsoft’s internet Division in a variety of leadership roles, including as Partner & GM, Commerce Services & Marketplaces, where he led its B2C ecommerce businesses, such as MSN/Bing Shopping, classifieds and auctions. Jim started his career in public accounting, investment banking and management consulting.
Jim has three children, including a 2018 Farmer School graduate.
Doug Boersma, CEO, Wintrust Bank, N.A. Rosemont, Illinois
Doug is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Wintrust Bank, N.A., a Wintrust Financial Corporation charter with assets in excess of $9 billion. He was formerly the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Northbrook Bank & Trust Company, also a Wintrust Financial subsidiary with assets in excess of $4 billion. Prior to joining Wintrust Financial, Boersma was the Co-Head of the Illinois Middle Market Commercial Banking team at JPMorgan Chase Bank, where he spent the initial 20 years of his professional career. Additional responsibilities at Wintrust Financial include leading the Sponsor and Fund Finance group and part of the team that developed the Money Service Business, Funds Group and Foreign Multinational platforms at Wintrust.
Doug earned his B.S. in Business Administration, majoring in Finance, from Miami University and has an MBA from University of Illinois – Chicago. Boersma serves on the Board of Directors of Beyond Sports Foundation, a non-profit organization that focuses on under-served, talented student-athletes in the Chicago community by providing academic and athletic programming that helps secure collegiate athletic scholarships, develop necessary life skills and build successful futures beyond sports. Doug is also on the Board of Trustees for the Museum of Science and Industry, the largest science museum in the Western Hemisphere.
Brandon Cruz, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, GoHealth, Chicago, IL
Brandon Cruz graduated from Miami in 1999.
Brandon started his career as a systems developer for Lante, a publicly-traded information technology and services provider. He left after a year to co-found GoHealth with the goal of offering innovative products and solutions to improve the care industry in the United States.
Today, GoHealth is a technology-driven health insurance marketplace that is changing the health care industry through a variety of innovative applications that are used by more than 135 insurance carriers and millions of individuals each month.
Since its founding in 2001, GoHealth has twice been listed by Inc magazine as one of the 500 fastest growing companies in the country, has been named one of Chicago Tribune’s Top Workplaces, listed as part of Crain’s Fast 50, a Top 100 Digital Company by Built in Chicago, one of the 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For, and was named to Deloitte’s 2014 North America Technology Fast 500.
Brandon has been included in the Techweek 100, Crain’s 40 under 40, and was named a Midwest winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Brandon is an active member of Young Presidents Organization and regularly speaks on the topics of technology and health care in Chicago and across the country.
David D. Dauch, Chairman and CEO, American Axle and Manufacturing, Detroit, MI
David obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University with dual majors: one in production/operations and one in purchasing management. He received an MBA from Michigan State University.
He began his automotive career in 1982 as a manufacturing co-op student with the former Chrysler Corporation. He continued with Chrysler's summer co-op program until he completed his Bachelor's degree. In 1987, David joined Collins & Aikman Products Co., where he served as Sales Manager of Ford Programs, receiving that company's President's Award for leadership and innovation. David also managed the Toyota and Honda accounts for Collins & Aikman.
In 1995, David joined American Axle & Manufacturing as Manager, Sales Administration. He was appointed Director of Sales, GM Full-Size Truck Programs in May 1996 and was named Vice President Sales & Marketing in August 1998. Since 2001, he has served as Vice President-Manufacturing, Driveline Division; Senior Vice President-Sales, Marketing & Driveline Division; Senior Vice President-Commercial; and Executive Vice President-Commercial & Strategic Development. Prior to assuming his current position, David served as Executive Vice president, President, & Chief Operating Officer.
At present, he serves on the Board of Directors of American Axle & Manufacturing, Business Leaders for Michigan, the Detroit Regional Chamber, and the Great Lakes Council Boy Scouts of America, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Michigan. He served on the Collins & Aikman Board of Directors from 2002-2007.
David and his wife, Anita, reside in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, with their four children and are active members of Christ Church Cranbrook.
Jim Fowler, Executive Vice President and CIO, Nationwide, Columbus, OHJim graduated from Miami in 1994 with a dual major of Management Information Systems and Marketing. Jim later completed an MBA at Xavier University.
He currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Nationwide. In this role, he is responsible for the Nationwide technology strategy, IT capabilities and business transformation programs.
Prior to joining Nationwide in 2018, Jim was Chief Information Officer for General Electric, where he led the GE global information technology strategy, services, operations and internal digital transformation program. Prior to his 18-year career at GE, he held IT roles with NCR and Accenture. He started his career as a system analyst for NCR before moving to a management position with Accenture. In 2000, he transitioned to the first of many positions with GE, starting as the manager of Unix technology, and quickly moved up the ranks to the “C Suite.” After working as an IT leader in almost every GE business, Jim became the Chief Information Officer and Group CIO for GE.
Jim is a Miami Merger, his wife, Adrienne (Wood) Fowler, graduated a year later with a degree from Miami’s College of Education, Health, and Society. They are the proud parents of Catherine (Cat), a sophomore at Miami majoring in Speech Pathology & Audiology.
Paul Galat, Managing Partner, PDG Capital, Chicago, IL
Paul Galat is a managing partner at PDG Capital, an independently-owned, Chicago-based, investment management firm whose mission is to serve as a trusted steward for our partners.
He started his investment career at Banc of America Securities LLC in Chicago as an analyst in its Leveraged Finance unit. He attended Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business for his MBA. During this period, Paul worked for BayStar Capital Management LLC in Larkspur, California analyzing small cap healthcare companies. In March 2012, Paul joined Advisory Research, a Chicago-based investment manager, continuing the long/short equity strategy he previously managed. In January 2017, he bought out Advisory Research from its ownership interest in his strategies and joined Promus.
Paul graduated from the Farmer School with a finance degree in 2000 and is a Miami merger. His parents are also both Miami alumni.
Michelle Girard, Managing Director, Deputy Head of US, and Co-Head of Global Economics, NatWest Markets, Rye, NY
Michelle graduated magna cum laude from Miami with both a MA and a BS in economics. As Deputy Head of US, she works closely with the Head of US and leadership teams across NatWest Markets and NatWest Group to identify and advance business growth opportunities in the region that align to the bank's broader strategic goals. She also provides end-to-end supervision of the regional business, looking after the US technology, operational and business risk and control functions. Additionally, Michelle sits on the US Management Committee and the Board of Directors for NatWest Markets Securities Inc. and, along with fellow members, is responsible for setting, implementing and monitoring business strategy in the region.
As Co-Head of Global Economics, Michelle leads a team of economists, located in the US, China and India, responsible for forecasting growth, inflation, monetary and fiscal policy, and interest rates for both developed and emerging market economies. She identifies and analyzes macroeconomic trends relevant for longer-term business planning, and uses quantitative analysis, alternative data, and econometric models to develop proprietary indices and forecasts. Collaborating with market strategists across the globe, Michelle provides synergistic analysis on market-moving developments to support NatWest’s clients, senior executives, and global business lines. Michelle is also a regular speaker and commentator on the economic outlook on various print, radio, and television news media including CNBC, Fox Business Network, Bloomberg TV & Radio, and Yahoo! Finance.
Michelle is an Executive Co-Sponsor of the US Energized Employee Network, leading initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, recognition, well-being and sustainability. She is a founding member of the NWM US Women’s Network and has taken an active role in helping to create and strengthen the talent development offerings for women across the organization. In addition, she serves on the NWM Retirement Committee and the US HR Benefits Advisory Committee.
Previous Prior to joining NatWest Markets, Michelle held roles as Co-Head of the Fixed Income Strategy & Research Group at Prudential Securities, Chief Economist at Sanwa Securities (USA) and Economist with Bear Stearns. Michelle began her professional career as a Research Assistant for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, DC.
Alan Goldfarb, Founder and Managing Partner, Orangewood Partners, New York, NY
Alan is a Managing Partner of Orangewood Partners, where he co-leads the firm’s investment and operational activities. Orangewood currently manages more than $800 million of assets and was named one of the 2022 Top 50 Private Equity Firms in The Middle Market by GCI Publishing.
Prior to founding Orangewood Partners, Alan was a Managing Director and Head of Special Situations at Senator Investment Group. Prior to Senator, Alan was a founding member and former Principal of The Carlyle Group’s distressed and corporate opportunities fund (Carlyle Strategic Partners). Prior to Carlyle, Alan was an investment banking Analyst at Merrill Lynch & Co. Alan has served on several boards of directors (or equivalent) throughout his career including Pacific Bells, K2 Towers REIT, K2 Towers, Peaceable Street Capital, George Industries, ABTB, Wheels Up, Engs Commercial Finance, Diversified Machine, and Permian Holdings
Alan graduated in ’01 with a B.S. in Finance and Accountancy summa cum laude with University Honors.
Ryan Graves, Founder and CEO, Saltwater Capital, Omaha, NE
Ryan earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Miami University.
He is the Founder/CEO of Saltwater Capital, a Board Member at Uber Technologies Inc. and a Board Member at charity: water. Ryan formerly served as the Head of Global Operations for Uber. In this position, he led the company’s business operations teams. Ryan drove Uber’s expansion as the company grew to more than 300 cities and 2,500 employees. He was Uber’s first employee.
Prior to Uber, Ryan focused on growth and business development for Foursquare and SocialDreamium. He also led enterprise resource planning and corporate restructuring at General Electric and CNA Insurance.
Ryan volunteers as a consultant for internet businesses and not-for-profit ventures.
Jillian Griffiths, Partner and COO, Clayton, Dubilier, and Rice New York, NY
Jillian earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Miami University in 1992.
Since 2015, Jillian has been a Partner and the Chief Operating Officer of Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, a private equity firm in New York. In that role, she has leadership responsibilities for finance, information technology, human resources, legal, compliance, and office management.
Prior to joining CD&R, Jillian was a Deals Partner in the New York and London offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. During her 22 years with the accounting firm, she specialized in assisting clients with financial due diligence and leading cross-functional teams, participating in over 150 transactions. Besides her client responsibilities, Jillian served as the US Advisory Private Equity Sector Leader and as a member of the Advisory Leadership Group.
In 2014, Jillian was honored as one of New York City’s YWCA’s Academy of Women Leaders, and in 2013 she was awarded Consulting Magazine’s Women Leaders in Consulting–Client Service award.
Jillian also serves on the Board of Directors of Turnaround for Children, a charity focused on connecting the dots between science, adversity and school performance to catalyze health student development and academic achievement. She and her husband, Jim Cusick, reside in New York City.
George Heath, President, Global Finishes Group (retired), The Sherwin-Williams Company, Cleveland, OH
George received his MBA from Miami University in 1990 and his BFA from Bowling Green State University.
George recently retired from Sherwin-Williams where he was President of the Global Finishes Group at Sherwin-Williams, a $3 billion group responsible for the Automotive Finishes, Product Finishes and Protective & Marine Coatings Divisions in North and South America, Europe and Asia. George joined Sherwin-Williams in 2004 as Vice President of Marketing for the Product Finishes Division before becoming its President & General Manager in 2006. After becoming Group President in 2008, he helped accelerate the company's growth globally, including several acquisitions.
Before joining Sherwin-Williams, George led the marketing team of the Industrial Coatings business at PPG Industries in Pittsburgh. Prior to joining PPG, he served in several global roles for Axeda, a venture-funded startup in Boston and for Thermovation Engineering, an equipment manufacturer in Cleveland. Thermovation grew more than 1,900 percent during George's tenure and won five consecutive Weatherhead 100 Awards from the Case Weatherhead School of Management as one of Northeast Ohio's fastest-growing companies.
George is actively involved with Junior Achievement, spending time in the classroom every year. For the last few years, George has spent time in several Farmer School classrooms, too, as a guest lecturer.
George, his wife Julie, and their two young sons reside in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
Michelle Herrick, Head of Real Estate Banking, J.P. Morgan, Chicago, Illinois
Michelle leads a dedicated team that delivers customized debt and payments solutions, as well as a full range of banking products, to larger clients across the real estate industry.
She joined J.P. Morgan in 2017 to run the Real Estate Banking Central region, overseeing the Midwest, Mountain, and Southeast markets. Prior to joining the firm, she held various roles at Bank of America, and predecessor LaSalle Bank, within the Commercial Real Estate Banking business.
Michelle received bachelor’s degrees in accounting and finance from Miami University. She earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Michelle is active in her community, serving as an Urban Land Institute Global Trustee and a member of the Real Estate Roundtable. She sits on the Midwest Operating Committee for JPMorgan Chase, and on the board of the non-profit One Million Degrees.
Neil Hunn, President and CEO, Roper Technologies, Sarasota, FL
Neil graduated from Miami in 1994 with a dual major of finance and accountancy. He later earned an MBA from Harvard.
He has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Roper Technologies since August 2018. Prior to becoming President and CEO, Neil served as Executive Vice President and COO. He joined Roper in 2011 as Group Vice President with Roper Technologies’ medical segment and has helped drive the growth in the company’s medical technology and application software businesses.
Prior to joining Roper, Neil served 10 years as Executive Vice President and CFO at MedAssets, an Atlanta-based SaaS company, and as President of its revenue cycle technology businesses. He successfully led MedAssets’ initial public offering and the execution of several M&A transactions.
Neil serves on the board of directors for Deere & Company.
Tammy Izzo, Partner, Advisory Compliance Services Solution Leader (retired), EY, Columbus, OH
Tammy graduated from Miami University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy.
She began her career with Ernst & Young following graduation in 1991 in their Audit group, using her degree and CPA to kick start her profession. Tammy grew her career with Ernst & Young, gaining experience and serving clients in areas such as compliance, risk, data analytics, IT and security, controls/audit, process improvement, accounting, and auditing.
She has retired from her position as the Compliance Offering Leader overseeing all compliance projects in the United States for Ernst & Young’s Risk Transformation practice. Tammy has almost 30 years of experience serving many multi-national, Fortune 1000 companies in a variety of industries coordinating service delivery across all service lines which include Transactions, Assurance, Advisory and Tax.
Tammy also serves on the Board of Junior Achievement of Central Ohio, a nonprofit focused on providing programs for children K-12 that teach financial literacy, ignite an entrepreneurial way of thinking, and build skills for success in careers and life. Additionally, Tammy is also on the board of My Special Word, a member of United Way, and served as President of the Risk Institute at Ohio State University.
Matt Jennings, Operating Partner, Kohlberg and Company, Hudson, WI
Matt earned a Bachelor of Science in Business from Miami University and a master’s degree in strategy and business development from Michigan State University.
He is an Operating Partner for Kohlberg and Company leading their Biopharma and Medical Device Products and Service Sector. He previously served as the Chairman, CEO and President of Phillips-Medisize Corporation.
Prior to joining Phillips-Medisize, Matt served as President of Teleflex Incorporated North American Medical businesses. Before that, he was the President & CEO of Bioenterprise Corporation, a bioscience business formation, investment and acceleration company.
He currently serves as Executive Chairmen for Cadence Medical and Board director for Spinal Elements, Nelipak/Bemis Healthcare Packaging for Kohlberg. He also serves as Board director for Angus Chemical owned by the private equity firm Golden Gate Capital and on the CEO Advisory Council for AdvaMed, the Association for Advance Medical Device and Technology.
Gregory K. Jones, Founding Partner and Chief Operating Officer, The Edgewater Funds, Chicago, IL
Greg earned a B.S. in marketing from Miami in 1983 and has an MBA in marketing and finance from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Greg is the co-founder and partner in the $2.4 billion (in committed capital) Chicago based Edgewater Private Equity Funds and serves on the portfolio company boards of Brilliance Technology, Industrial Services Solutions, Premier Safety, Reflective Apparel, Flex Pack, Unitech Aerospace, and Testing Services Solutions.
Prior to joining Edgewater, Greg has held CEO and senior management positions with three companies. Greg co-founded uBid.com, a leading online auction marketplace, and became its CEO and Chairman. In four years, he built the company’s revenues to approximately $500 million and had a successful IPO. The company was subsequently sold for nearly $500 million. Prior to uBid.com, Greg was at APAC Teleservices, Inc., becoming Senior Vice President. During his tenure, APAC increased revenues from $100 million to $276 million and completed a highly successful IPO. Prior to APAC, he was President and COO of the Reliable Corporation of Chicago, a $200 million dollar revenue direct marketing business which was sold to Boise Cascade.
Philanthropically, Greg served as Past Chairman of the Board of the ($5 billion in revenue - with announced merger) NorthShore University HealthSystem. He serves on the boards of Accelerate Institute, Chicago Botanic Garden, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Co-Chair’s Miami University’s Business Advisory Council Board.
Greg is a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Chicago Commonwealth Club and the Economic Club of Chicago. He has received the State of Michigan Leadership Award, the 1999 Ernst & Young and the KPMG Entrepreneur of the Year awards. He was inducted into the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Entrepreneur Hall of Fame and is an Entrepreneurial Fellow at Miami University, Ohio. He is also a past Chicago Chapter Chairman of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) and is currently a member of YPO Gold and is Chicago City Chair for Chief Executives Organization (CEO) and serves on the International Board.
Bruce R. Knooihuizen, CFO (Retired), Rackspace, San Antonio, TX
Bruce graduated from Miami with a Bachelor of Science in Business and subsequently earned an MBA, with a finance concentration, from the University of Cincinnati.
His career in telecommunications began in 1980 with the Ohio Bell Telephone Co. After eight years he moved to Ameritech Applied Technologies in Chicago as director of accounting operations, then became Ameritech Cellular's Controller and Treasurer. In 1994, Bruce joined with other executives in a management buyout of Westlink Holdings, Inc. in San Diego, a wireless provider. He served as its CFO for two years before moving to Oklahoma City-based Dobson Communications Corporation.
Bruce spent 11 years with Dobson, as the $1.4 billion wireless company's Executive Vice President and CFO. In March 2008 he was hired by Rackspace, a leading global provider of hosted IT services. In his position as CFO, Bruce was responsible for all of the company's financial and accounting functions, including investor relations.
Nina Leigh Krueger, CEO and President, Nestle Purina PetCare Company, St. Louis, MO
Nina Leigh graduated from Miami University in 1983 with a B.S. degree in marketing and received her MBA from Washington University’s Olin School of Business in 1994.
She currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and President for Nestlé Purina PetCare Company in the U.S. Nina Leigh began her career at Purina in 1994 in the cat food marketing division. She went on to hold various positions of increasing responsibility within the company, working on key global brands and initiatives and has been instrumental in bringing innovation to market.
In 2010, Nina Leigh was named Vice President of Purina’s Golden Products litter division, moving to the position of Chief Marketing Officer in 2015. Nina Leigh was promoted to President in 2016 and named CEO in November 2020.
Nina Leigh lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband, Robert; their two sons, Dean and Brandt; and their two dogs, Guinness and Caffrey. Nina Leigh is active in her community, serving on multiple boards and executive committees of various non-profit organizations.
Mark Mitten, Founder and Managing Partner, The Mitten Group, Chicago, IL
A 1980 graduate of Miami with a Bachelor of Science in Business, Mark earned a Master of Management degree in 1983 from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Mark served as Chief Brand Officer for Chicago 2016, Chicago's committee charged with winning the bid to host the 2016 Summer Games. He has also been a producer for Mark Burnett Productions, responsible for creating episodes and structuring deals for Seasons 2 and 3 of NBC's hit television series, The Apprentice.
Prior to that, Mark was a principal in the Chicago office of McKinsey & Company, where he was one the leaders of its North American marketing practice. He developed business strategies with a focus on driving growth of Fortune 100 consumer package goods, retail, technology and media clients.
Mark joined McKinsey in 2000 when the company purchased ENVISION, a brand strategy consultancy he co-founded in 1994. ENVISION clients included Nike, Microsoft, the United States Olympic Committee, The Weather Channel, Gateway, FOX, Discovery Channel, Allstate, Gatorade and Kinko's.
Mark was also a lead contributor to Blueprint to a Billion, a 2006 bestselling John Wiley & Sons book revealing the strategic essentials for maximizing business growth.
Patty Morrison, Director, Splunk and Baxter International
Patty graduated Summa Cum Laude from Miami with a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and statistics and a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education.
Currently, Patty is a director with Splunk, Baxter International, and Trinity Life Science. She was previously Executive Vice President, Customer Care Shared Services and Chief Information Officer of Cardinal Health, a health care products and services company. In this role, she was responsible for the company's enterprise-wide information technology as well as its customer contact centers and Contracts & Pricing.
Patty has also served as Executive Vice President and CIO for Motorola, and as the CIO of Office Depot Inc. and held senior-level information technology positions at General Electric Co., PepsiCo Inc., The Procter & Gamble Co., and The Quaker Oats Co.
Morrison’s reach within the IT and business community has spanned 30 years across five different industries. She has broad expertise in managing complex, multi-business shared services. A respected and experienced IT professional, she was named 2007 CIO of the Year by the Executive's Club of Chicago and the Association of Information Technology Professionals. She was also inducted into the CIO Magazine Hall of Fame in 2008. In 2014, Patty received the Fisher-Hopper Prize for Lifetime Achievement in CIO Leadership. She has dedicated her career to using technology to solving business problems.
Brian Niccol, CEO Chipotle, Newport Beach, CA
Brian earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree from Miami University in 1996, and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Brian currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Chipotle. Prior to his move to Chipotle, Brian most recently held the post of CEO of Taco Bell, after holding the positions of President and Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer for the brand. Prior to his positions at Taco Bell, he served as General Manager for Pizza Hut, Inc., where he was responsible for managing the brand and leading an organization of nearly 16,000 people in more than 6,000 restaurants. Earlier, he was Chief Marketing Officer, where for four years he led the development of the Pizza Hut mega-brand strategy and positioning that achieved record transactions and market share. Additionally, he opened a new digital/mobile access mode that generated over a half billion dollars in sales. His Pizza Hut career began in late 2005 in the role of Vice President of Strategy.
Before joining Pizza Hut, Brian spent 10 years in various brand management positions at Procter & Gamble. Brian and his wife, Jennifer, have three children.
Mary Lynn Phillips, Senior Vice President Finance, Stop & Shop
Mary Lynn graduated from Miami University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy. She is a senior executive with broad financial and operational experience in highly competitive markets to drive growth, improve financial results and deliver operational efficiencies.
Mary Lynn serves as the Senior Vice President of finance for Stop & Shop, an innovative grocery chain with more than 400 stores throughout New York, New England and New Jersey.
Mary Lynn began her professional career at Ernst & Young and transitioned to the Fashion / Retail industry where she has held various financial leadership positions in public companies known for their financial acumen and aggressive growth strategies (LBrands Inc., Tapestry Inc., (formerly Coach, Inc.)). As the Divisional CFO of Coach, Inc. North America (2003-2013), she developed and implemented the financial strategies, performance reporting models, distribution strategy and organizational infrastructure to support revenue growth from $0.7 B to $3.5 B.
Mary Lynn successfully leveraged the large organization experience and disciplined financial approach to support smaller organizations in transition. As the CFO at Talbots, Inc. (2013-2015) she delivered growth in revenue and EBID through improved inventory productivity, focused promotional strategies, measured expense management and targeted investment strategies. Operating as the CFO of Stuart Weitzman (2016-2018), she managed the buyback and integration of the China distributor, directed extensive organizational and operational changes and the implementation of an integrated technology platform.
Mary Lynn lives in New York City and Ft. Lauderdale with her husband, Charles Phillips. She serves as an advisor and mentor to Miami students in the Business of Fashion program.
David Probst, Partner, Stonehenge Structured Finance Partners, Columbus, OH
David earned his Bachelor of Science, majoring in Accountancy, from Miami University in 1979 and his MBA from The Ohio State University in 1984.
He is a Founding Partner of Stonehenge Structured Finance Partners (SSFP), an affiliate of Stonehenge Partners. SSFP is a merchant banking firm that invests in and arranges capital for financial services companies. Transactions have included providing equity and mezzanine capital for portfolios of financial assets as well as for the companies themselves. SSFP also secures capital for energy efficiency projects for a portfolio company. Prior to joining SSFP, David was a Senior Managing Director of Red Capital Group and Banc One Capital Corporation, managing their structured finance groups.
He serves on the Board of Directors for several non-profit organizations including JDRF and the Handshake Foundation. David and his wife, Cindy, live in Dublin, Ohio. They have three children, two of whom graduated from Miami.
Ronald A. Rice, President and Chief Operating Officer (retired), RPM International, Medina, OH
Ron graduated from Miami University with both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in mathematics and statistics, and minors in operations research and statistical analysis.
Until his retirement in 2018, Ron served as president, chief operating officer and assistant secretary of RPM International Inc., a nearly $6 billion multinational holding company (NYSE: RPM), with subsidiaries that manufacture and market high-performance coatings, sealants and specialty chemicals, primarily for maintenance and improvement applications. He previously served as RPM’s executive vice president and chief operating officer since October 2006. Before joining RPM, he held various positions with Willis Towers Watson, an actuarial consulting firm.
He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for TimkenSteel Corporation (NYSE: TMST) and is also on the board of The Cleveland Clinic Foundation Children’s Hospital. Ron is a graduate of the 2005 Leadership Cleveland Class. He and his wife, Susan, and their three children reside in Hudson, Ohio.
Doug Schosser, Executive Vice President, Key Corporate Bank, Cleveland, OH
Doug earned his Bachelor of Science, majoring in Accountancy, from Miami University in 1992.
He is the Executive Vice President of Key Corporate Bank. Previously, Doug was the Chief Accounting Officer for KeyCorp. He also served as the Chief Financial Officer for Key Corporate Bank and Victory Capital Management (VCM). In this capacity, he was responsible for the financial management, planning and forecasting for Key Corporate Bank and VCM and their primary segments; KeyBank Real Estate Capital, KeyBanc Capital Markets, Key Equipment Finance and Public Sector.
He also served as Executive Vice President and Line of Business Chief Financial Officer for Associated Bank Corp in Green Bay, WI, and as Finance Director of the Northeast Region of Key Community Bank, Chief Financial Officer of McDonald Financial Group, Project Management within Victory Capital Management and a Vice President within KeyCorp’s Internal Audit department. Doug began his career in financial services in 1992 in a management training program at the former National City Corp.
Doug is a member of the Board of Directors of the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center and past board member for Ambassador Food Services and the Middleton Doll Company.
David (DJ) Shade, Partner, EY Consulting, Chicago, IL
David graduated from Miami with a BS in Accountancy in 2000 and a Master of Accountancy a year later.
He began his career at EY, quickly rising through the ranks to his current position as a partner.
His expertise is in counseling and supporting clients to strategically manage business and technology risks. David has helped many large multinational organizations transform their risk functions, increase collaboration across functions, improve processes and leverage technology to enable the function.
David also serves as EY’s Coordinating Partner for Miami University responsible for all aspects of EY’s campus recruiting activities including supporting Miami leadership and faculty as well as overseeing the investments made in the school by EY.
He is a Miami merger (Amy), with his father (David), brother (Paul), sister (Lisa) and sister in-law (Heidi) all graduating from Miami.
Justin D. Sheperd, Partner, Chief Investment Officer (retired), Aurora Investment Management L.L.C., Chicago, IL
Justin received a Bachelor of Science in Business from Miami University in 1994 and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago in 2003. He is a CFA Charterholder.
Aurora manages approximately $10 billion in hedge fund assets for onshore and offshore entities as well as customized portfolio solutions and the Aurora Horizons Fund, a registered mutual fund. The Firm's alternative asset investment business was established in January 1988 with the launch of Aurora Limited Partnership.
Mr. Sheperd's duties on behalf of the Firm include evaluating and analyzing both existing and prospective managers, their investment strategies and their risk controls. Mr. Sheperd also is responsible, as a voting member of the Firm's Investment Committee, for the investment management of all products which Aurora privately offers both domestically and offshore and for providing investment services to private account portfolios of hedge funds.
Prior to joining Aurora in 1996, Mr. Sheperd worked in the Database Services Department of Information Resources Inc., a firm that conducts research for the consumer packaged goods industry. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Cancer Wellness Center in Northbrook, IL. Justin has been a guest speaker at Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and Miami University.
Justin lives in Wilmette, Illinois with his wife and two sons.
Denis G. Simon, Senior Executive Vice President, Challenger, Gray and Christmas, Dallas, TX
Denis serves as Senior Executive Vice President of Chicago-based Challenger, Gray & Christmas. He has been with the company for more than 26 years. Denis is based in Dallas, with responsibility for offices throughout the Southern U.S.
Prior to joining Challenger in 1987, Denis served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources and was a member of the board of directors of Club Corporation of America. Previously, he was Director of Personnel and Labor Relations for Zale Corporation and Manager of Headquarters Personnel for Frito-Lay, Inc., both of Dallas.
Denis earned his M.B.A. from Miami University in 1973 and his Bachelor of Science in Labor Economics and Personnel Management from Ohio State University in 1969 with a focus in the area of Industrial Relations.
He is currently a member of the President's Advisory Council at Ohio State, representing the Fisher College of Business; a member of the Associate Board of the Cox School of Business at SMU, and a member of the Emeritus Board of Trustees at the University of Dallas.
Denis is a decorated Army veteran, having served in Southeast Asia, achieving the rank of Captain. He is a member of the Board of Camp John Marc, a Texas ranch for disabled children; and a Foundation Board member for the Family Place, a shelter for abused women and children. Denis has been an ordained Deacon in the Diocese of Dallas for 26 years and serves as a confidential advisor to the Bishop of Dallas.
Brett Stover, President and Chief Commercialization Officer, Alveo Health, Cincinnati, OH
Brett graduated from Miami in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science in Business.
Brett is a global executive leader and advisor in omni-channel shopper marketing, one of the fastest-growing, in-demand segments of marketing today. As one of the world’s acknowledged authorities in omni-channel shopper marketing and insight identification and application, Brett has helped clients in more than 175 organizations and 27 countries deliver outstanding and sustainable business results. As president and chief commercialization officer for Alveo, Brett will lead a team that specializes in aggregating claims, automating the process of getting the claims to the correct payers, and accelerating the remittance of reimbursement to billing providers/physicians.
Brett has lived in Geneva, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, New York, and Cincinnati, giving him valuable firsthand knowledge of consumers, shoppers, and retailers around the world.
Brett is serving or has served, on the boards of Opera America (New York City), Chorus America (Washington, DC); and in Cincinnati the Dean’s Advisory Committee University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s May Festival, (and sang in the chorus for 17 years), Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Ballet, Taft Museum of Art, and Contemporary Arts Center. When not consulting or volunteering Brett can be found in the kitchen cooking for family and friends, experiencing the visual and performing arts or traveling.
Vijay Talwar, CEO and Board Member, Seattle, WA
Vijay earned his Masters of Accountancy from the Farmer School and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He most recently served as the CEO of Wish and as a member of the company’s Board of Directors.
Wish is a mobile e-commerce platform that connects millions of consumers with the widest selection of products delivered directly to their doors. Their mission is ‘to provide everyone access to the most affordable and convenient shopping experience on the planet.
Prior to joining Wish, Vijay held the position of CEO, Foot Locker EMEA. In that role Vijay focused on driving productivity and capitalizing on growth opportunities, while furthering an elevated multi-channel experience across this important geography. He was also responsible for guiding strategic direction and vision for the Foot Locker EMEA, including franchise operations.
Vijay has also served as the CEO, CFO and President of International at Blue Nile, the CEO of the William J. Clinton Foundation India, and Nike, Inc., where he held the position of Chief Operating Officer for Central Europe, Middle East and Africa. Prior to Nike, Vijay was a Consultant at Bain & Company, a global management consulting firm.
Vijay serves at Dunelm Group plc as Non-Executive director. He is married with two children.
Britt Trukenbrod, Managing Director and Partner, William Blair Company, Chicago, IL
Britt earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Miami University in 1990 with a major in finance and received his MBA with honors from the University of Chicago - Booth School of Business in 1996.
He serves as a Managing Director and Partner at William Blair and Company where he works in the Investment Banking Group. He has extensive merger & acquisition advisory and capital markets (debt and equity) experience for both public and private companies. Britt joined William Blair in 2000. Britt has been active in recruiting on Miami’s campus and has lead the annual William Blair Investment Banking case competition at Farmer for the last 11 years. He has helped to recruit more than 25 Miami students to William Blair. Britt started his career as a consultant at Arthur Andersen then moved to Investment Banking with Robert W. Baird & Co.
He is active in the community as an Advisory Board member at iMentor Chicago, a member of the Chicago Commonwealth Club and as President of the New Trier Hockey Club.
Brian Wolfe, Partner, Kirkland and Ellis LLP, Chicago, IL
Brian Wolfe is a corporate partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where his practice focuses on complex private equity and public company business transactions. Brian also co-founded SearchWorks, a technology investment platform. Outside of the office, Brian serves on boards of the Chicago Legal Clinic and Teach for America-Chicago. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Washington University School of Law. Brian previously served as Deputy Superintendent and Chief Operating Officer of the St. Louis Public Schools and worked in strategy and finance, including at Amazon.
Brian graduated from the Farmer School in ’00 with a major in Decision Sciences. He received his law degree with honors from Washington University in St. Louis. Brian and his wife, Emilee, MU ’00, reside in Winnetka, Illinois, with their four children.
Brian S. Young, Chief Commercial Officer (retired), Johnson Controls
Brian earned a Bachelor of Science in Business from Miami University in 1985.
He served as the Chief Commercial Officer at Johnson Controls, and before their merger with Johnson Controls, in the same capacity at Tyco International, from 2014-2022. Johnson Controls is the world's leader in HVAC, Fire, Security and Building Management Systems. Prior to that, Brian spent 28 years at 3M, starting in field sales in the Automotive Aftermarket Division, and progressing into senior executive roles including President 3M Netherlands and President 3M Canada. He ended his time at 3M as head of 3M Global Sales Operations.
Brian and his wife, Annette have returned to the US, settling in Northeast Florida after having lived in Zurich, Switzerland for almost 7 years. They have three children, all of whom attended Miami; daughter Sharon (Young) Morrissey (2014), Stephen Young (2017), and Patrick Young (2019) and a future Redhawk, grandson, Wyatt Morrissey (2042).