Executives in Residence

Along with a nationally recognized faculty and support staff, you will find a number of “super mentors” gracing the halls of Robins. These C-suite-level individuals meet with students, get to know them, and provide advice. Participating executives have included corporate presidents, CEOs, vice presidents, and other leaders of the business world.

“Participating in the EIR program was the best decision I made coming to Richmond. After being unsure about my career path, I reached out to a couple of different executives who explained their career paths and gave me advice based on my career goals. Richard Kelly, for instance, has met with me almost weekly the past two years, despite my choice not to pursue Entrepreneurship. He’s connected me with people in finance and become a life mentor. His advice has extended beyond my short-term career goals, to personal decisions regarding my education, schedule, and life. Having a great mentor is a life changing experience that every student should have. I’ll never stop advocating for students to visit the EIRs and take advantage of the amazing resources they can be.”  -Shelby Campbell, '25

2023-24 Executives in Residence

John Adams John Adams, Executive in Residence
Office: RSB 101

John Adams has spent 41 years at The Martin Agency, an award-winning advertising agency based in Richmond, Virginia. The agency has been included on the Advertising Age "A-List" five out of the six years it has been published and most recently, The Martin Agency won an Emmy for an interactive documentary created for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

John plays a key role on the team that continues to bring national attention to Martin, representing such brands as Discover Financial Services, GEICO, Mondeléz, Walmart, Hanes, Kraft Foods, and BFGoodrich.

John is an active leader both locally and nationally. He is chairman of the board of directors at Virginia Commonwealth University's Brandcenter, and also serves on the boards of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. He is a past rector of Longwood University and has served on the boards of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Virginia Historical Society.

A member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame, John lectures frequently on marketing and business issues throughout the U.S.

Absurd Snacks Eli Bank, '22 & Grace Mittl, '22, Start-up in Residence
eli@absurdsnacks.com | grace@absurdsnacks.com
Office: RSB 101

Absurd Snacks creates unique and delicious snacks that will leave you happy and healthy. Munchy, crunchy, and ridiculously good - we hope to make you feel good about the foods you eat and the mission you support - that food allergies should not get in the way of that anytime nosh. Absurd Snacks elevates your every day with trail mixes that are free of top food allergens and consist of crunchy and roasted, wholesome ingredients. Founded by Grace Mittl (CEO, UR RSB '22) and Eli Bank (COO, UR RSB '22), Absurd Snacks can be found in numerous stores in the Mid-Atlantic as well as on their website. Click here to subscribe to the mailing list. 

Emmett Shane Emmett, Entrepreneur in Residence
(619) 823-7833
Office: RSB 101

Shane Emmett is the co-founder and CEO of Health Warrior, an innovative and explosive health food brand that in 2018 was acquired by PepsiCo, the largest food and beverage company in North America. Health Warrior was a mission-focused brand, committed to building a powerful culture. Shane was responsible for all aspects of the business throughout the adventure.

Shane likes to work on the big problems with exceptional people. His career began as an archaeologist, focused on learning the lessons of history to help us do better in the future. After finishing law school at Oxford University, he served as legal counsel for Oceana, a leading environmental organization, Obama for America (South Carolina and Virginia), and in the counselor’s office for the Governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine.

Students can meet with Shane to discuss a variety of topics, including: unorthodox career choices, law school, legal careers, new business ideas, consumer packaged goods careers, sustainability careers, finance careers, leadership, professional athletics careers, geographic career connections: NYC, LA, San Francisco, things 22 year-old Shane wished he knew, great books.

He is also open to host career lunches, an opportunity to discuss careers and life over lunch. Register here.

Failla John Failla, '15, Founder in Residence
Office: RSB 101

John graduated from the University of Richmond, where Trilogy Mentors was first started as an in-person mentorship program that matched university students with K-12 students for academic support and mentorship. Having a deep personal connection to academic mentorship, John expanded Trilogy Mentors to the online space to increase access and build support networks for students. Knowing that meaningful relationships with instructors and tutors have the power to inspire students to reach personal and academic success, John is dedicated to partnering with parents, schools, nonprofits, and other educational organizations to reach students when and where they need academic support the most. John was recently named one of Richmond’s 25 most influential innovators under 25 by Richmond Innovation.

Johnson Roben Farzad, Journalist in Residence
Office: RSB 101

Roben Farzad hosts the public radio program Full Disclosure. He is a regular on NPR, MSNBC, and C-SPAN.

He authored the book Hotel Scarface: Where Cocaine Cowboys Partied and Plotted to Control Miami (Penguin, 2017), which is being adapted into a TV series.

Formerly a senior writer for Bloomberg Businessweek, Farzad covered Wall Street, international finance, and emerging markets. He has reported everywhere from Mozambique and Botswana to the Mideast and Medellín, Colombia, to the Dominican Republic and the Niger Delta.

He started his career at Goldman Sachs, on a team that managed $1.8 billion in assets.

Roben is a graduate of Princeton University and the Harvard Business School.

Kelly Richard Kelly, Executive in Residence
Office: RSB 101

Richard Kelly’s career has spanned three decades in the Consumer Products, Healthcare, and Manufacturing sectors. An effective leader as a Fortune 50 executive, management consultant, and startup entrepreneur in the food and agricultural sector, he has led both large-scale and early-stage organizations. He currently serves as Executive in Residence at Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond, mentoring students in both leadership and entrepreneurship. Kelly is a Board Member for both private and public Food and Wellness companies and advises CEOs in the areas of finance, strategy, operations, and innovation. He has served on the Executive Board of Directors of World Pediatric Project, a nonprofit linking worldwide pediatric surgical, diagnostic, and preventive resources to heal critically ill children in developing countries. His current passion is to improve individual wellness by making healthier food choices available and affordable.

Kelly is the former CEO and Co-Founder of Nutriati, Inc, a plant-based Food Ingredient Technology company that helped leading brands and food manufacturers develop great-tasting, healthy products with its patent-protected proprietary processes that does not require water. Nutriati was acquired by Tate & Lyle PLC of London in April 2022. Prior to founding Nutriati, he served as CEO of Worldwide Sourcing Advisors LLC (WSA), an advisory firm he founded to provide procurement, supply management, and business development expertise to public, private, and not-for-profit organizations. WSA’s clients included food & beverage, packaging, and life science companies. Kelly also served as a Vice President at consumer products giant, Altria Group. Under his leadership, Fortune 50 Altria Group was ranked as a leading company by the AT Kearny’s Assessment of Excellence in Procurement and Supply Management™. Kelly co-sponsored the Altria Worldwide Strategic Sourcing Team which involved synergy activities with Kraft, General Foods, Oscar Mayer, Miller Brewing, St. Michelle Winery, and Philip Morris International. A thought leader and speaker in the area of supply management and partnerships, he was a contributing author to the acclaimed book "Next Level Supply Management Excellence: Your Straight to the Bottom Line Roadmap." He was responsible for Altria’s Supplier Diversity Program and involved in numerous ESG initiatives. He was a key architect in developing corporate support for the development of the University of Richmond Minority Business CEO Leadership Program to enhance minority businesses' success.

Kelly earned an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a BS with Honors in Health Policy and Management from Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health where he serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council.

Lethbridge Moira Lethbridge, MBA Executive in Residence
(804) 289-8553
Office: RSB 140

In her professional career, Moira is the principal and owner of Lethbridge & Associates LLC. Her services include business and executive coaching, strategic planning, and leadership and personal development. She draws on 26 years of successful organizational experience to help individuals and companies increase their productivity and improve their performance.

Previously, she was president and CEO of a professional services firm, where she was named one of SmartCEO magazine's "Smart 100" in the Washington, DC area for three years running.


John Reifsnider, Executive in Residence
Office: RSB 101

John Reifsnider has over 30 years of experience in the investment management industry, most recently serving on the Global Executive Committee (GEC) of Australian Stock Exchange listed Pendal Group (PDL). As a member of the GEC, Reifsnider developed and executed the global strategy. Pendal Group has global funds under management of more than $125 billion. 

In 2021, Thompson Siegel & Walmsley (TSW) was sold to Pendal Group. Reifsnider co-led the transaction and integration of TSW and JO Hambro US to create Pendal USA; the largest of the Pendal Group’s global businesses. He was Chair of Pendal USA’s Executive Committee, CEO of TSW and CEO of JO Hambro US. Mr. Reifsnider is a strategic leader in the global and US investment management industry with significant public company experience. He has demonstrated success in developing and executing global and regional (US) business plans, corporate M&A, and efficient P&L leadership.

Reifsnider has deep knowledge of investment management distribution, product development, client service and advisor due diligence across a diverse set of asset owners, geographies, and channels. He is known for a disciplined approach to strategic client prospecting and engagement. Proven long-term sales success across equity asset classes, products, and channels. A leader with the skills to develop, coach and mentor colleagues at all levels. 

Prior to becoming Chair of Pendal USA, Mr. Reifsnider was with Thompson, Siegel & Walmsley LLC (TSW) in Richmond, Virginia for over 17 years where he rose to President and CEO. Before joining TSW in 2005, he was a Founding Member of Atlantic Capital Management, LLC, and was responsible for fundraising, client engagement and strategy.

Mr. Reifsnider has a passion for sports which began at an early age and continued to college where he was a football student athlete at the University of Toledo, Ohio. He graduated with a BBA and resides in Richmond, Va.

Stevens Jerry Stevens, Executive in Residence
Office: RSB 101

Jerry L. Stevens retired in 2020 after 33 years as a Professor of Finance at the Robins School of Business. He remains active as an educational consultant and speaker for the Certified Risk Management (CRM) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) professional certification seminars. Jerry was a founding member of the Vantage Consulting Group in 1982 where he now serves as the group’s Chief Economist and Senior Consultant. He is the author of the Vantage Quarterly Market Summary and Outlook and leads a quarterly planning session on the firm’s top-down approach to client fund positions.

He is an active member of the advisory board for the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) at the Robins School and recently created a multidisciplinary investment group of Richmond students who trade exchange traded funds (ETFs). His work with ETFs has been published in the Journal of Trading and appears as a chapter in a book on student investment funds. Jerry regularly accompanies finance students on visits to New York City and maintains relationships with former students and alumni groups.

Jerry received his M.S. (1977) and Ph.D. in economics (1980) from the University of Illinois. During his academic career, Jerry held a number of endowed chairs, won numerous teaching and service awards, and served as an editor or associate editor for several journals. He has over 50 publications in refereed research journals including the American Economic Review; Journal of Portfolio Management; Financial Management; Journal of Accounting, Auditing, and Finance; Financial Services Review; Journal of Financial Education, Journal of Investment Consulting; and the Journal of Financial Planning.

Warren Vicki L. Warren, Executive in Residence
Office: RSB 101

Vicki spent 22 years in the software industry as a consultant and engagement manager to Fortune 500 companies and the Federal government. She has led hundreds of successful implementations while at ServiceNow, the leader in workflow optimization software. Her experience also includes 20+ years in financial services as well as working for Siebel Systems and Oracle Corporation. She made a brief detour into commodity optimization software with a startup in San Francisco. 

At ServiceNow, Vicki most recently worked in the Federal Division, supporting key homeland security and Department of Defense agencies with their digital transformations. This involved consulting with agency executives on the realization of their strategic goals in line with federal mandates as well as effective software governance.

Vicki holds a master’s of international management from the Thunderbird School of International Management as well as an MBA from the Cox Business School at Southern Methodist University. She was a recipient of a Fulbright/German Academic Exchange Service grant and completed research in cross-cultural communications.