Robins Executive Speaker Series

The Robins Executive Speaker Series invites national and international business leaders to present keynote speeches to an audience of students, faculty, and community members. Select students are invited to a roundtable discussion with the speakers, giving them a unique opportunity to meet notable business leaders one-on-one. This series is funded in part by a grant given by the Manville Foundation for Private Enterprise.

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Vafa Akhavan, World Pediatric Project

Vafa Akhavan, CEO of World Pediatric Project, opened the 2022-23 Robins Executive Speaker Series as a guest on October 19, 2022.

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Raul Martinez-Ostos, Barclays México

Raúl Martinez-Ostos, chairman and CEO of Barclays México, shared his perspective on the new wave of investment banking from an emerging market lens, as well as his exciting journey from business school, to government, to banking.

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Scott Hartley

Scott Hartley, author, The Fuzzy and The Techie, spoke with the UR community with Dean Mickey Quiñones about his book.

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Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew Research Center

Mark Hugo Lopez, director of Global Migration and Demography Research for the Pew Research Center, shared some of the Center's latest findings on U.S. public opinion about COVID-19, views of business corporations, and the public's view of the state of the national economy.

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Vineyard Vines

Mickey Quiñones, dean of the Robins School of Business, hosted a webinar with Shep and Ian Murray to discuss the founding of their clothing company, Vineyard Vines.

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William Lewis Jr., Lazard Ltd.

William Lewis Jr., managing director and co-chairman of investment banking at Lazard Ltd. shared his experience advising corporations such as American Express, Boeing, Procter & Gamble, and others. The former Managing Director of Morgan Stanley was the firm’s first African-American Managing Director beginning in 1989. Mr. Lewis is a member of the Economic Club of New York and currently serves on the boards of a number of not-for-profit organizations. The Stanley S. Watts Lectureship, established in 1974, honors Stanley S. Watts, B’43, by bringing leaders from business and government to campus to discuss the financial services industry.

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Word on Wall Street (November 2019)

Paul Queally, R’86, led a panel for the annual Word on Wall Street, featuring Kathleen Hughes, Rob Blandford, Lou Moelchert and Herbert McDade as the final event for the 2019 Robins Executive Speaker Series.

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DeMaurice Smith, NFL Players Association

DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, discussed fighting for players’ rights with Dean Mickey Quiñones as part of the Robins Executive Speaker Series.

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Marc Holliday and Lauren Dillard, '98

Dean Nancy Bagranoff sat down with Marc Holliday, CEO & Chairman of SL Green Realty Corp., and Lauren Dillard,'98, Managing Director and Head of The Carlyle Group's Investment Solutions Group. Holliday and Dillard work together on SL Green's board of directors. They discussed their career paths, business trends, and the NYC real estate market.

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Women on Boards

Dean Nancy Bagranoff moderated a Women on Boards panel with Melanie Healey, B’83, board member at Target, Hilton, and Verizon, Candy Duncan, board member at Discover Financial Services, and Blythe McGarvie, board member at Apple Hospitality REIT, Wawa, Sonoco, and LKQ Corp. These three women gave our students fascinating insight into what it takes to be on a board, and they talked about how they are trying to move the needle on diversity in the corporate sector.

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Word on Wall Street 2018 (November 2018)

A panel of financial management experts speaks about their experience in this important and highly visible realm and the state of the U.S. financial climate. Moderated by Paul Queally, R’86.

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Rick Klau, L’96, GV (Google Ventures)

Rick Klau, L’96, partner at GV (Google Ventures), spoke of his experience on the organization’s partnerships team and how he connects the largest companies in the world to GV’s portfolio.

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Arne Duncan and John Rogers

Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education, and John Rogers, founder of Ariel Investments, discuss their 40-year-long friendship, including their time growing up playing basketball with the Obamas, and how it led them both to work closely with the family while in Washington, D.C.

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Andrew Surwilo, B’92, Atlantic Coast Brands

Andrew Surwilo, B’92, kicked off the 2018-19 Robins Executive Speaker Series with his story of how he went from being a military officer to founding his beauty and cosmetics company, Atlantic Coast Brands.

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Moses Foster, West Cary Group

Moses Foster, CEO, West Cary Group, shared his experience starting his own marketing and advertising group in RVA with Robins School students as part of the Robins Executive Speaker Series on March 8.

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Michael Walrath, ’97, Yext

Michael Walrath, ’97, joins Nancy Bagranoff, dean of the Robins School of Business, for an hour-long conversation about his experience as a serial entrepreneur and investor.

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Bill McDonald, Capital One

Bill McDonald, retired executive vice president of Capital One, spoke to students about his extensive career in marketing and strategy as part of the Robins Executive Speaker Series on November 8, 2017.

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Word on Wall Street (October 2017)

The eighth annual Word on Wall Street, hosted by Paul Queally, R’86, featured Alan Breed, president and portfolio manager at Edgewood Management, Bart McDade, founder of River Birch Capital, Lou Moelchert, chairman and founder of Private Advisors, and Karen Welch, director of investments at Spider Management Company. They discussed market trends, as well as the state of the U.S. economy.

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Lynne Doughtie, KPMG

Recently named one of the most powerful women in the U.S. by Fortune Magazine, Lynne Doughtie, CEO of KPMG, joined us to kick off the 2017-2018 Robins Executive Speaker Series.

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Loretta Mester, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Loretta Mester, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland gave the annual Watts Lecture as the final event of the 2016-2017 Robins Executive Speaker Series. She shared her insights on the Federal Reserve and how it affects the current U.S. economy.

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Marc Randolph, Netflix

Marc Randolph, co-founder and former CEO of Netflix, spoke in the Booker Hall of Music’s Camp Concert Hall for the most highly attended Robins Executive Speaker Series event ever held. He shared his insights on founding a major company, and helping young entrepreneurs succeed in Silicon Valley.

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Patrick Pichette, Google

Patrick Pichette, former Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Google, discussed the company's phenomenal growth and shared insights from his career in the technology industry.

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Josh Abramson, '03, CollegeHumor, Vimeo and TeePublic

Josh Abramson, '03, Co-founder of CollegeHumor, Vimeo and TeePublic, shared insights about his entrepreneurial journey and his personal experiences during an on-stage interview with Dean Nancy Bagranoff.

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Dave Rosenbaum, '96, Universal's Illumination Entertainment

Dave Rosenbaum, '96, Vice President of Talent at Universal's Illumination Entertainment, delivered a talk titled, "The Hollywood Blockbuster: the big business of the arts," during which he shared insights from his career in the film industry.

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Women on Wall Street

Women on Wall Street unites a group of women with ties to Wall Street to discuss career and personal issues in the face of a rapidly changing business landscape. RESS 06