March 11, 2016

Business students benefit from visiting executives

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale business students get the chance to explore the world of business up close and personal while they are still in school thanks to the College of Business’ recently reestablished “Executive in Residence” program. 

The program brings successful business alumni to campus to network with students, faculty and staff and share their expertise. 

“Students get inspired and motivated as they learn from these highly distinguished executives representing the various aspects of the business world, including accounting, finance, management and marketing,” according to Christie Mitchell, marketing director for the college. “They get a different perspective on various business professions by interacting with successful graduates. They learn from the experiences of those who are already successful and it shows them what their future could be like.” 

The alumni return to campus on a regular basis to present classroom lectures, conduct mock interviews organized by the college’s Business Placement Center, review student resumes, participate in networking breakfasts and luncheons and connect with the students to enhance their learning experiences in other ways.  

“The goal of our Executive in Residence program is to welcome active business executives to our campus to harvest their insights, experience and wisdom for the benefit of our students,” Jason Greene, interim dean and Henry J. Rehn Professor of Finance, said. “These executives have generously agree to give of their time and expertise to help business students develop into outstanding professionals and leaders.” 

The EIR program, similar in some ways to a program that had been inactive for many years, began during the fall 2015 semester and continues to grow. Greene personally selects the executives each semester. 

Larry Bailey, president of LDB Consulting Inc.; Ted E. Owen, CEO of Team Inc. and Ronald Smith, chief operating officer/chief financial officer of Medical Group of North County Inc. were chosen to launch the program last fall. Those sharing their time and expertise during the spring 2016 semester include:

  • Richard Barrett, managing director of investments at The Barrett Group of Wells Fargo Advisors
  • Ken Hannah, CFO of Caleres (formerly Brown Shoe Company)
  • Reina Mejia, chief commercial officer for Citbank in Honduras
  • Diane Schumacher, former senior vice president and general counsel of Cooper Industries Inc.