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College of Business Communications


Guest Speakers & Conferences

The NIU College of Business hosts more than 100 business executives each semester. They generously give their time and energy to serve as classroom guest lecturers, sharing their insights on business and life with NIU business students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Additionally, throughout the year, the college sponsors conferences, workshops, and special college-wide events that include industry experts who serve as keynote speakers. Current and most recent events include:

2nd Annual Social Impact Summit, created by NIU students

Ted GonderApril 4, 2014, NIU Barsema Alumni & Visitor Center — NIU President Douglas Baker opens the 2nd Annual Social Impact Summit, an event featuring national leaders in the social impact space. The event intends to educate NIU students and others about social entrepreneurship, to inspire them to increase their positive impact in the world, and to create a venue where individuals passionate about changing the world can meet and talk about how to do just that. This year, the Summit includes a social business plan competition, where students will present their business ideas to a panel of experts for the chance to win a $500 grand prize. NIU's Social Impact Summit is created by the student organization NIU CAUSE (Collegiate Association of Unreasonable Social Entrepreneurs). The event is sponsored by Product Development Technologies. The 2nd Annual Social Impact Summit is open to all. Tickets are $5 for NIU students and $20 for all others, and the ticket price includes lunch. Register here: NIUCAUSE

Google: Do Cool Things That Matter

Demian CaponiMarch 27, 2014, Barsema Aud at NIU Business — Google University Outreach representative Demian Caponi gave a presentation on Google's values and company culture. He encouraged attendees to "Do Cool Things That Matter" — both in the classroom and after graduation. Caponi wrapped up his visit by meeting with NIU students to talk about career opportunities at Google.

Leading Change and Innovation -- NIU President Baker and Prominent Executives Lead Panel Discussion

February 13, 2014, NIU Naperville -- NIU President Douglas Baker leads a panel discussion on the human side of change and innovation. Joining NIU President Baker on the panel are: Tom Simon, Senior Vice President of Talent Management, U.S. Foods; Audrey Southard, Senior Vice President of Business Process Reengineering, Follett Corporation, and; Janet Viane, Vice President of Marketing Operations, Sears Holdings Corporation. This event launches the newly created NIU Center for Human Capital & Leadership, which also sponsors this panel discussion. The "Leading Change and Innovation" event is open to all NIU alumni, students, and friends. RSVPs are required due to limited space.

Datuk Noripah Kamso -- Author, Alumnus, Advisor, Former CEO
"Business and Economic Growth in Malaysia"

November 12, 2013 Barsema Hall Auditorium, 6:30 p.m. - Datuk Noripah Kamso serves as the keynote speaker for NIU's annual International Week. A NIU Management alumnus, Datuk Noripah Kamso is also an author, advisor, and former CEO of CIMB-Principal Asset Management Berhad, an asset management house with offices in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. The recipient of numerous awards, including CEO of The Year for Malaysia, Datuk Noripah Kamso received The State Award and title "Datuk" for her many contributions to society as well as achievements in the corporate space. Datuk Noripah Kamso's speaking event is open to all NIU students, alumni, faculty, staff, and the general community.

Executive in Residence Program

View Fall 2013 Roster for the Executives in Residence. Successful alumni connect with current NIU students by getting involved in the "Executive in Residence" (EIR) Program. The program encourages executives to share their professional experiences with NIU College of Business students. Each Executive in Residence is paired with NIU Business faculty in specific courses; this creates the context for the alumnus to share their professional experiences and to provide an insider's perspective of life outside college...thereby equipping NIU Business students with practical tools and mentoring for life after graduation. (Pictured here: Tom Gebhardt - President, Panasonic North America, and NIU marketing alumnus)

Leadership + Inclusion + Talent = Success
(annual MBA Colloquium Series)

October 29, 2013, NIU Naperville - 2013 MBA Colloquium Speaker: Janet Pucino, author, CEO and Founder of Deep Canyon Media, LLC. Ms. Pucino is an experienced information technology executive who held senior level CTO and VP positions throughout her technology career. In these positions, she ran every facet of IT, including enterprise-wide areas such as strategic planning and enterprise architecture. Currently the CEO and Founder of content development company Deep Canyon Media, Ms. Pucino is a featured speaker on both technology and leadership topics. Her book -- "Not in the Club" -- explores the unique challenges of women in leadership roles and has won five book awards. Ms. Pucino earned her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and received her Bachelor of Music degree from Northern Illinois University. Sponsored by the NIU MBA program, this event is open to NIU MBA students. Ms. Pucino's speaking engagement has limited seating and requires RSVP by October 25th to mba@niu.edu or by calling 1-866-NIU MBA1.

Elly Rohrer, Director of Investours Mexico, discusses social entrepreneurship and how it affects today's world.

October 15, 2013 Barsema Hall Room 300, 5:00 p.m. - Elly Rohrer, the Director of Investours, will speak on social entrepreneurship. The topic of her speech is "Tours that Fight Poverty." Elly graduated from Tufts in 2011 with a double major in International Relations and Latin American Studies. She now resides in Bucerias, Nayarit, and oversees the operations of the Puerto Vallarta program while investigating the launch of a new program in Cancun in 2013. Ms. Rohrer's speaking engagement is sponsored by the student group NIU CAUSE (Collegiate Association of Unreasonable Social Entrepreneurs).

Julie Lagacy, Caterpillar's Vice President of Finance Services Division, discusses values in the workplace during BELIEF Week 2013

October 9, 2013, Barsema Hall Auditorium, 6:00 p.m. - Julie Lagacy, Vice President of Finance Services Division for Caterpillar, will make a keynote presentation to NIU Business students, faculty, and staff on the importance of values in organizations. Ms. Lagacy's visit and presentation - "Living our values: more critical than ever" - is sponsored by the NIU College of Business and the student organization LEAD (Leaders in Ethics and Academic Discipline). Ms. Lagacy's presentation is open to all NIU students, alumni, business friends, faculty, staff, and the community. Barsema Aud doors open at 6:00 p.m. Ms. Lagacy's speech begins at 6:30 p.m.

Social Impact Summit presented by NIU CAUSE

April 5, 2013, Barsema Alumni & Visitors Center, 9:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. - More than 3 billion people live on less than $2.00 per day. About 1 billion people do not have access to clean water. An estimated 1,000 children die every day in India alone due to polluted water. An estimated 14 billion pounds of garbage is dumped into the ocean each year. It is up to the unreasonable, common citizens to develop sustainable business models that address these societal and environmental issues while driving economic value.

Educate, Inspire, Network. NIU's student organization the Collegiate Association of Unreasonable Social Entrepreneurs (NIU CAUSE) developed the Social Impact Summit with the goals to Educate, Inspire, and Network with those who are passionate about making a difference and changing the world. The Social Impact Summit is targeted to practitioners in the social space and all NIU students interested in a career in which they can make a social impact. Registration is required: $5 for students; $15 for general admission. The event will feature Social Impact Thought-Leaders & Doers:

  • Chuck Templeton, Managing Director of Impact Engine, a Chicago-based 12-week accelerator program supporting for-profit businesses working to address today's societal or environmental issues;

  • Megan Kashner, Founder and CEO of Benevolent, a digital facilitation site that offers a secure and transparent means for those with the means to donate funds and help another when it matters most;

  • NIU Alumnus Alan Hurt, Founder of Light Up Africa, a student-generated idea launched into an actual social business with a distribution strategy that encourages an entrepreneurial spirit in its customers;

  • Amanda Britt, Founder and CEO of Panzanzee, Chicago's social enterprise incubator, co-working space and continuous community that provides discovery, resources, trust and traction for entrepreneurs and professionals pursuing sustainable financial and social impact.

Luann Rickert, John Deere Vice President Internal Audit, gives presentation on Mini-Ethics Day

March 27, 2013, Barsema Hall Auditorium, 6-7:00 pm - John Deere Vice President Luann Rickert will speak with students on the topic of ethics in the C-Suite. In her role as Vice President Internal Audit, Ms. Rickert is responsible for the worldwide internal audit function for Deere & Company. Ms. Rickert joined the company in 1979 and over the years has held positions of increasing responsibility. She is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in industrial administration and accounting. She earned an MBA from the University of Iowa with a concentration in finance. Ms. Rickert has been actively involved in volunteerism throughout her career, participating on numerous boards and with various charitable organizations. She is currently on the board of the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend and is a member of the Women's Leadership Council for United Way of the Quad Cities Area. Ms. Rickert's address is entitled "Keeping your eye on the ball -- Ethical Challenges at the Executive Level." Her address is sponsored by the NIU College of Business and the student organization LEAD: Leaders in Ethics and Academic Discipline. This event is open to all NIU students, alumni, business friends, and the community.