Cohort 3: Class of 2018
Visiting Marketing Faculty, Robinson College of Business
Georgia State University
As Visiting Marketing Faculty, Deirdre enjoys preparing her Honors Business Communications students for leadership roles in industry. During Fall 2014, Deirdre was selected to design and teach a Freshmen Learning Community Perspectives course, “Mad Men to Happy: The Impact of Everything Digital on 21st Century Marketing,” that explored the evolution of marketing from the 1960’s to the 21st Century.
For nearly two decades, as a brand marketing leader, from Big Macs to Batman, Deirdre has commercialized brand stories for iconic consumer brands: McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Hasbro. At Mc-Donald’s Corporation, Deirdre led the product innovation, marketing communications and advertising management for 250 restaurants, representing over $300 million in revenue. While at McDonald’s, Deirdre led the Regional Marketing and Promotions initiatives for Southern Style Chicken, winning the U.S. Marketing Top Award for product rollouts.
Deirdre is a graduate of Leadership Atlanta. She won the Rosebud 1 Award from Junior League Atlanta for her volunteer activism. She was elected Georgia Delegate to the DNC in 2008 and 2012. Deirdre earned her M.B.A. with a concentration in marketing from Clark Atlanta University and she has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Spelman College.
Deirdre is passionate about fundraising, politics, and community service. She looks forward to becoming a Certified Parliamentarian. She has an adult daughter who lives in New York City and shares her Mom’s alma mater, Spelman College.
Dan Blood, Ph.D.
Training Director, Liberty Mutual Insurance
Dan is a Training Director at Liberty Mutual Insurance, which is the third largest property and casualty carrier in the U.S. Dan is part of the Commercial Insurance Business Unit and he works closely with senior business leaders to set training strategies that create a continuous learning culture that supports business goals and priorities. Prior to joining Liberty Mutual, Dan has held training leadership positions with OfficeMax, MetLife, Sears, and Arthur Andersen.
Dan holds an M. S. in Educational Policy and Leadership from the University of Kansas and a B. S. in Communications from Northern Michigan University.
Allison Dake is the founder Connexiones, an education program in Mexico for adults living in poverty. Allison began her career in education and transitioned into photography. After a successful career in photography, she returned to education, dedicated to untangling the relationship poverty has with the lack of education. Her greatest accomplishment is her 4 amazing children.
Allison earned her Bachelors of Art, in Education at California State University, San Marcos and holds Masters in Global Nonprofit Management, from Regis University. She is an honorary member of NuLamdaMu, an international honor society dedicated Non-Profit management.
Brad is a recent graduate of the CVDL DVDL program and is currently a consultant doing R&D, policy development, start-up support, and game development work in support of DoD agencies and private businesses in the Scott Air Force Base, IL (St Louis) area. Prior to his current work, Brad served 20 years on active duty and 4 years in civil service with the Air Force. His various assignments included pilot, staff, and command responsibilities. He was also the founder and CEO of What’s Nexus NFP, a non-profit company built to provide meaningful employment and engagement for young people.
In addition to his Ph.D. from Benedictine University, Brad also has a B.S in History from the US Air Force Academy, an M.B.A from City University of Seattle and an M.A in Operational Arts and Sciences from Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama
Consulting Services Director, SAS Institute
Patrick Farran is a Consulting Services Director for the State and Local Government and Education Practice for the SAS Institute, providing solutions to complex organizational challenges. Patrick was a teacher in his early career and went on to work as an HR outsourcing and system consultant for Hewitt Associates before joining SAS. Throughout his career, Patrick has volunteered extensively with a number of community service organizations.
Patrick earned his B.S. in chemistry/mathematics education from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana in 1994, and an MBA with concentrations in Management Information Systems and Human Resources from DePaul University, Chicago in 2001. Patrick is PMP certified with the Project Management Institute and SPHR certified with the Society for Human Resource Management.
Director of Public Affairs, The Survey Department
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Nicholas Gadri is the Director of Public Affairs of the Survery Department, a national surveying and mapping organization of Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in Ghana. Nicholas grew up in Ghana and began his career journey as a land surveyor and a journalist with occupational training in land surveying, administration and management and an associate degree in public relations and advertising.
Nicholas is a graduate of both University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, Environmental Leadership Programs. Nicholas has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a double major in Public Policy (Environment and Sustainability) and Geography of Human Activity and a Master’s Degree from Duke Environmental Leadership program, Master of Environmental Management, Nicholas School of Environment, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.
Nursing Program Coordinator and Nurse Administrator, College of DuPage
Dilyss Gallyot manages and oversees a program with approximately 300 undergraduate students at the College of DuPage. She is active in faculty leadership and serves on the faculty Senate. She has coached and mentored a many students and individuals while being an educator and has been awarded the Outstanding Advisor award in 2010. She has received the Outstanding Divisional faculty award for 2015. Dilyss began her career as an intensive care nurse and worked her way to management position. Areas that are of interest are coaching, motivation and influence as these impact an individual’s ability to fully engage.
Dilyss is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with a Masters in Nursing in 2002. She also acquired a Master in Business Administration in 2010 with a primary focus on Management and Leadership.
Product Supply Planning, Glanbia Performance Nutrition
Trevor Heller is a leader in the Product Supply Department at Glanbia Performance Nutrition (GPN), a leader in the manufacture and distribution of nutritional products. GPN specializes in the innovation of products and processes that deliver premium brands to consumer markets around the globe. Trevor has been a part of the GPN leadership team for the last six years helping to develop a global supply chain from the ground up. Trevor began his career as an artillery officer in the United States Army and was stationed primarily in Europe.
Trevor earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Bowling Green State University and an M.B.A. from Benedictine University. Trevor enjoys sports like golf, baseball, and football and is passionate about veterans affairs. Trevor is also engaged to be married in May, 2017.
Talent Development & Senior Consultant, Children’s Hospital Colorado
Prior to starting her own executive coaching and consulting practice, Ms. Kent served as the President of BizPsych, a division of Mines and Associates, a business psychology firm in Denver, Colorado.
Ms. Kent is a proven leader who brings over fifteen years of consulting experience in organizational development, leadership development and human resource management with firms ranging from annual revenues of several million to over $2 billion. She has extensive experience in creating and implementing solutions designed to enhance top talent recruitment, retention and employee engagement. Over the years Ms. Kent has worked closely with business leaders and HR practitioners in the areas of strategic HR, talent management, leadership development, change management, culture transformation, and learning strategies.
Ms. Kent is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Values-Driven Leadership at Benedictine University, Chicago, IL, and holds a Master’s degree in Science of Business Management and Leadership from Regis University.
She is a certified Senior Human Resource Professional, Master Coach in Leadership through the Institute of Excellence in Professional Coaching and a Professional Organizational Development consultant. In addition, she is an international Master Trainer and Executive Coach in “Points of You,” as well as a certified Daring Way™ Leadership and Organizational consultant and coach.
Ms. Kent is passionate about travel, adventure and global citizenship. She believes in dreaming big, living large and, of course, having a current passport!
President & Founder, Humanum Consulting
Enrique Lopez is President, Founder and Senior Consultant of Humanum®, an international consulting, training and development firm focused on creating competitive advantages through a values-driven organizational culture. Actual clients are multinational corporations of many major industries across the US, Mexico and South America.
Enrique has an active participation in UNIAPAC Mexico as member of the Board, a non-profit international association which mission is to promote amongst business leaders a Person-centered economy that truly aims common-good.
He began his career as Clinical and Organizational Psychologist and then continued as a graduate in Ethics, Anthropology and Business Administration.
Enrique and his best “life-coach” and wife Teresa enjoy their life in Naperville, IL with four wonderful young daughters and their one baby boy. Family members share many different hobbies, from horse riding to ice skating, from cooking to traveling, and from languages to classical music, but above all, learning to use those talents to serve others.
VP & Chief Strategy Officer, Ontario Systems
Melissa Norcross is the VP and Chief Strategy Officer at Ontario Systems, a provider of software and services for accounts receivables management. She has a varied background as a strategic and operational consultant across a variety of industries and international geographies, some of it as a McKinsey consultant. She has leveraged this experience in a variety of roles at Ontario Systems to provide leadership in Strategy, Finance, Business Development, Process Improvement and Partnership Development.
Melissa is also an Executive Moderator for The Councils at Collaborative Gain, where she moderates C-level peer networking and collaboration groups. These groups boast a diverse membership which includes Fortune 500 as well as innovative digital companies all looking to improve their performance while enhancing customer experience. In this role, she creates confidential environments where executives can give and receive help and where excellence tempered by humility reigns supreme.
Melissa holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Literature from M.I.T and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Director, Organizational Development
University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System
Teresa Oliszewicz is the Director of Organizational Development for the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UI Health), an academic medical center dedicated to health equity and making sure everyone has access to world-class health care. Teresa began her career in the financial services and insurance industries in various organizational development roles and switched to healthcare in 2006. Since then, Teresa has focused on her passion for developing leaders and helping people move through change effectively in pursuit of improving the healthcare environment.
A Certified Crucial Conversations and Crucial Accountability trainer, Teresa has taught interpersonal communication skills to over 1,500 leaders, physicians, nurses and clinicians across the Chicago area. Teresa is an experienced, engaging speaker and has presented on leadership and change management for organizations across the healthcare industry.
Teresa has a bachelor’s of science degree in psychology from Blackburn University (1986) and a master’s of science in management and organizational behavior from Benedictine University (2005). Teresa is an identical twin and spends her free time with friends and family.
Coordinator of Student Life, College of DuPage
Stephanie is Coordinator of Student Life at College of DuPage, the largest community college in Illinois, and third largest institution of higher education in the state. The Office of Student Life at College of DuPage serves the student population of 26,000 with co-curricular development opportunities including leadership development programs which Stephanie oversees. Stephanie began her career in student affairs ten years ago and has led the development of leadership programs at the college since 2010. Stephanie has served on the executive board of the Association of Campus Activities Administrators in Chicago and currently serves on the executive board of the Illinois Community College Student Activities Association. She is a member of International Leadership Association, the National Clearing House for Leadership Programs, and NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education).
Outside of work, Stephanie volunteers with the Junior League of Kane and DuPage Counties, Inc., an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.
Stephanie holds an A.A. in Anthropology from College of DuPage, a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology with Honours from the University of Durham in Durham, England, and a M.A. in Leadership Studies from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois.
Senior Director, Regulatory Affairs Latin America, AbbVie Inc.
Lisa Ruiz is Senior Director, Latin America Area Head for Regulatory Affairs at AbbVie Inc. AbbVie is a global, research-based biopharmaceutical company formed in 2013 following separation from Abbott Laboratories. The company’s mission is to use its expertise, dedicated people and unique approach to innovation to develop and market advanced therapies that address some of the world’s most complex and serious diseases.
Lisa has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and regulatory industries. In that time, she has had the opportunity to work in a number of different roles supporting multiple therapeutic areas and the drug development and regulatory process for submissions in the US, EU, Japan/Asia and now Latin America. In her current role she manages the development of regulatory strategies for AbbVie’s entire portfolio of products, leading a team of central and affiliate staff located in and supporting the business in 25 countries within Latin America.
Lisa hold as Bachelors of Science in Animal Science from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, class of 1983 and Masters of Business Administration from Benedictine University in Lisle, class of 2011.
Director, Samaritan Center for Congregations
Nancy Sayer is the director of Samaritan Center for Congregations (SCFC), a division of Samaritan Interfaith Counseling Center, Inc. SCFC believes that healthy, vital congregations have a positive impact on the communities in which they reside and have the transformative power to impact the lives of their members. Nancy has provided a variety of consulting, coaching, leadership development and education services to congregations and faith-based/mission-driven organizations in the United States, Canada, and Seoul, South Korea. She has also been a therapist for over 20 years.
Nancy earned a Bachelor of Music Degree, in Music Therapy from Western Michigan University and a Master of Science in Guidance and Counseling from Indiana University. She has a postgraduate certificate in Organizational Development from Benedictine University and is the co-author of the GPSS Leadership Coach Training Program.
Nancy and her husband, Mike, have three grown children, Rob, Nicole and Will, and a very spoiled dog name, “Bella”.
Manager, Deloitte Consulting
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Barbara Steel is the Manager at Deloitte Consulting. Barbara leads a team of highly experienced consultants that offer strategic partnership to Senior HR, Talent, and Learning and Development and business leaders on Human Capital strategy, development, alignment, and execution. As a part of Deloitte’s Human Capital consulting practice, Bersin by Deloitte is the leading provider of research-based information and consulting services in the areas of strategic HR, talent management, leadership development, talent acquisition, and learning and development.
Prior to joining Deloitte, Barbara was Sr. Vice President of Leadership Effectiveness for Zenger Folkman and is co-author of the leadership book, How to Be Exceptional.
Barbara is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She earned her MBA in organizational behavior and marketing.
Vice President, Sustainable Supply Chain, USG Corporation
Al Zucco is the Vice President, Sustainable Supply Chain for USG Corporation, a leading manufacturer and distributor of high-performance building systems through its United States Gypsum Company, USG Interiors, LLC. and other subsidiaries. During his 28 year career with USG Corporation, Mr. Zucco has held numerous leadership roles in the areas of manufacturing, strategic sourcing and supply chain management, as well as positions in manufacturing engineering, production management and plant management. His current role as Vice President, Sustainable Supply Chain capitalizes on his extensive background and experience. Al is responsible for all supply chain operations including logistics, transportation and strategic sourcing as well as developing and implementing the sustainability strategy for USG Corporation.
Al is a graduate of the Cleveland State University Electrical Engineering program and obtained an Executive MBA from Baldwin Wallace College in Cleveland, OH.
Al and his wife Fran have been Naperville residents since 2003 and have enjoyed raising their four children Erica, Mario, Dominic and Anthony. Al currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Gypsum Association and the Naperville Heritage Society. He is actively involved in various community activities and enjoys hiking, biking and spending time with his family.