Distinguished Visiting Business Leaders
Below is a list of past and current visiting business leaders. Click here to find a list of our distinguished visiting scholars.
Dr. Amodeo is founder and creator of Branding from the Core, the Branding from the Core Network, and president of idgroup in Pensacola, FL and Cleveland, OH. She leads a team of dedicated brand experts with a vision to move business-as-is to business-as-it-can be. She is a passionate about working with “game changers”-helping individuals and organizations transform who they are into something beyond what they thought possible. Dr. Amodeo holds a Ph.D. in organization development and change from Benedictine University, and a master’s in communication arts. She is recognized as an expert in the areas of whole systems change, branding and innovation.
Charles “Chuck” Bartels
Retired Director for Global Social Responsibility and Knowledge Sharing
Charles “Chuck” Bartels was charged with promoting and protecting the brand and culture, as well as the interests of all company stakeholders, for ManpowerGroup, a global leader in recruitment, assessment, outsourcing, and other workforce solutions. Bartels was associated with ManpowerGroup for over 40 years and was the former co-owner of several ManpowerGroup U.S. franchises. He is a member of the Alverno College Board of Trustees and a member of Phi Kappa Phi. Bartels holds a B.S. degree from John Carroll University and M.Ed. in global human resource development from the University of Illinois.
National Van Lines
Maureen Beal leads National Van Lines, a $90 million annual enterprise that began with her grandfather and one horse and wagon. Consistently highly rated in customer service, National Van Lines is also one of the nation’s largest woman-owned companies. At its helm, Beal is a hands-on leader recognized for her expertise in employee retention and sound business practices. She is a leader in the Executives Breakfast Club of Oak Brook, Illinois, and is a community advocate for women’s health and for people with developmental disabilities. Currently, Beal is a trustee for Benedictine University, an Associate at Northwestern University, and a board member for the Humanitarian Project of Carol Stream, Illinois.
Beal spoke with CVDL students and partners about the importance of caring personally for customers and employees. You can hear an excerpt of her comments at Treating People with Dignity & Respect , and read more about how she does this on our
Founder & Chairman
After a successful engineering career, Michael Birck founded Tellabs, a publically traded firm that designs, markets and services voice and data equipment in more than 90 countries. Today Tellabs systems are used by 43 of the top 50 global telecom service providers. Birck received the Outstanding Master Entrepreneur award by Inc. Magazine/Ernst & Young in 1995 and is a member of the Chicago Business Hall of Fame and a winner of the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a trustee of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry and serves as a director on the board of Molex Incorporated. He has a M.S. degree in electrical engineering from New York University and a B.S. from Purdue University.
Birck shares three leadership lessons in this short video.
Director of Ethics, Compliance and Sustainability
Baxter’s leadership in sustainability and CSR has been globally recognized. At Baxter, Brautigam has responsibility for coordinating the Executive Sustainability Steering Committee, which sets the company’s long-term sustainability vision and goals. She works across the organization with internal business partners to implement programs to achieve and track progress. Prior to joining Baxter, Brautigam worked at Indeck Energy Services as an EHS safety manager, and at International Paper on environmental management systems, sustainable forestry, and climate change policy. She has a B.S. in biology from Illinois Wesleyan University, and a master’s in environmental management and resource economics and policy from Duke University.
Senior Vice President
As a senior vice president with innovation agency Maddock Douglas, John Coyle is an expert at shaping culture to drive innovation. He believes innovation is the crucible that unlocks company growth and human potential – something he explored on a global stage during his first career as an Olympic athlete.
Now in his second career, Coyle helps clients like AOL/Time Warner, Nestle, and Bank of America invent, brand, and launch new products and services. His firm is recognized as one of the U.S.’s top innovation agencies, helping more than 25 percent of the Fortune 100 build a culture of innovation.
Coyle holds degrees from Stanford University and the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and is praised by clients and audience members as a gifted strategist and communicator.
Dr. Thomas Griffin
Independent Consultant and Adjunct Faculty
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Dr. Griffin is a consultant and speaker with more than 25 years of experience leading talent management and development strategies that enhance organizational learning and contribute to the achievement of critical corporate goals. Dr. Griffin served as vice president of organizational learning & chief teaching officer at U.S. Cellular. Prior to U.S. Cellular, he worked in the areas of organizational learning and development for SBC/Ameritech and Texas Instruments. He has master’s degrees in engineering technology and organization development and change management; and a doctorate in organization development from Benedictine University. He is an adjunct faculty member at the The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
Former CEO and author, The Leadership Challenge
Tom Peters Company
Jim Kouzes is the coauthor with Barry Posner of the award-winning and best-selling book, The Leadership Challenge, with over 1.4 million copies sold. Based on research involving over 70,000 surveys, 1,000 written case studies, and 100 in-depth interviews, Kouzes’ work describes the leadership practices that generate high performance in individuals and organizations. Kouzes served as president, then CEO and chairman of the Tom Peters Company from 1988-until 2000 and is currently the Dean’s Executive Professor of Leadership at Santa Clara University.
Hear excerpts of Kouzes’ comments on leadership and credibility from his time with the Center for Values-Driven Leadership.
Harry M. Jansen Kraemer, Jr.
Madison Dearborn Partners
Mr. Kramer is an executive partner with Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity firm based in Chicago, and a Clinical Professor of Management and Strategy at Northwestern University,s Kellogg School of Management. He is also the author of a leadership book entitled “From Values to Action: The Four Principles of Values-Based Leadership.” He is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Baxter International Inc., a $10 billion global healthcare company, a role he assumed in 1997. Before joining Baxter, Mr. Kraemer worked for Bank of America in corporate banking and for Northwest Industries in planning and business development.
He has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Lawrence University of Wisconsin and an MBA degree in finance and accounting from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He is a certified public accountant.
Co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of AVIA
The Innovator Network
Eric Langshur has been committed to health and wellbeing innovation for over 15 years. His New York Times Best Selling book, “Start Here: Master the Lifelong Habit of Wellbeing,” co-authored with Nate Klemp, Ph.D., was published by Simon and Schuster in May 2016.
Langshur is the founder of Abundant Venture Partners, a purpose-based firm focused on investing in and building companies in healthcare and media. Through Abundant Venture Partners he co-founded AVIA, the innovator network, where he serves as Chairman and CEO. He is also a co-founder and director of and Life XT and PatientWisdom, and is also currently a director of PUSH Wellness, and Healthfinch. Previously Eric founded and built CarePages (acquired by Steve Case) and Rise Health (acquired Best Doctors).
Langshur holds an MBA from Columbia University.
Erin Meezan, J.D.
Vice President of Sustainability
Ms. Meezan leads global sustainability initiatives for Interface, a global leader in carpet tile manufacturing and also in the efforts to integrate sustainaibilty with manufacturing. Interface has an aggressive goal of having zero negative emissions by 2020. Meezan leads a team that provides technical assistance and support to the company’s global business units to acchieve the company’s aggressive sustainability vision. She is a frequent lecturer on sustainable business to senior management teams, universities, and the growing green consumer sector. Meezan is a magna cum laude graduate of Vermont Law School, where she earned her master’s in environmental law and her Juris Doctor degree.
Meezan discusses the importance of your starting place, in sustainability initiatives, in a short video.
Former CEO & Chairman
Bill Pollard is the chairman of Fairwyn Investment Company, a private investment firm. For over 25 years he worked in leadership at The ServiceMaster Company, serving twice as its CEO. During his leadership, the company was recognized by Fortune magazine as the #1 service company among the Fortune 500 and also was included as one of its most admired companies. The company also achieved market leadership in each of its markets and substantial growth in shareholder value. He is the author of the bestselling book, The Soul of the Firm. Pollard is a sought after speaker and consultant on business leadership and ethics.
While speaking with the Center for Values-Driven Leadership, Pollard shared three often-overlooked responsibilities of ethical leaders. Find short video excerpts at The Softer Side of Leadership.
Vice President, Global Talent Management & Leadership Institute
Mr. Small has led McDonald’s Global Leadership Institute, since the Institute’s inception in 2005. He also oversees Global Talent Management. The Institute serves as a global center for leadership development strategies and tactics. He oversees succession management for the top 220 leadership positions. Small’s professional career includes working for US West/Quest and Ameritech/SBC/AT&T prior to joining McDonald’s in 1995. Under his guidance, McDonald’s was named by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of their 20 best companies for leadership. He holds a B.S. in psychology from Colorado State University, and a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from University of Colorado at Denver.
Chief Culture Officer, Stericycle
Paul Spiegelman is Chief Culture Officer of Stericycle, a NASDAQ listed global services organization with 13,000 employees, and is the Founder of BerylHealth and The Beryl Institute. Paul also co-founded the Small Giants Community, an organization that brings together leaders who are focused on values-based business principles.
As the former CEO of BerylHealth, Paul led a unique, people-centric culture for a company that won nine “best place to work” awards, including the #2 Best Medium Sized Company to Work for in America. Paul was honored with the Ernst & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Paul is a sought-after speaker and author on leadership, employee engagement, entrepreneurship, corporate culture, and customer relationships. He makes frequent radio and TV appearances and writes columns on culture for Inc. Magazine and the Dallas Business Journal. He’s written several books on employee engagement and is the New York Times best-selling author of Patients Come Second: Leading Change by Changing the Way You Lead.
Paul practiced law for two years prior to founding BerylHealth. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from UCLA and a law degree from Southwestern University.
CEO and Chief Culture Officer
Tom Walter started his first business—a fast food restaurant called Tasty Pup—in 1971. Over the years, Tasty Pup evolved from its origins as a fast food restaurant, through many other food-related businesses, and into the Tasty Catering of today, a Chicagoland leader among business caterers. Tasty Catering remains Tom’s primary and largest investment in partnership with his brothers, Larry and Kevin.
Tom describes himself as a “serial entrepreneur,” and has participated in the startup of 29 companies and acquired three others. Two of his businesses were large failures, which he considers to be great learning examples. He is currently a principal in nine of the successful organizations.
Today, Tasty Catering employees are shareholders in six companies in which Tom serves as a principal. Five of those companies are the result of employee-constructed business plans that were submitted to Tom and his brothers. Tom, Larry, and Kevin assisted in the start-up of those companies, and then remained on as equity investors.
As co-author of the business book “It’s My Company Too,” Tom is nationally recognized as an expert in shaping workplace cultures through investing in employees. He is a frequent speaker on college campuses, with professional groups, and at academic conferences such as the Academy of Management.
Authentic Leadership, Inc.
Mr. Webster a practitioner and pioneer in the area of leadership and life development. In 1995 he founded Authentic Leadership, Inc. He is the author of numerous books and is a sought after speaker and mentor in the areas of transformational leadership, the six phases of leader development, and increasing your personal impact.
Webster has worked with numerous senior leaders in hundreds of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations globally, including Chick-fil-A, U.S. Armed Forces, Steelcase Corporation, U.S. Cellular, and YMCA.
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Ace Hardware Corporation
Ace Hardware is a global corporation operating in over 60 countries, but for David Ziegler it is the family business: his grandfather started one of the earliest Ace franchises in 1930; Ziegler and his cousin continue to run the franchise today with eight stores in Illinois.
Ziegler was elected to the U.S. board in 2001, and was named chairman of the international board in 2011. During this time he has helped Ace successfully emerge from the global recession, a success he credits to the company’s innovative partnerships and creative responses to challenges.
Ziegler is an Eagle Scout, a graduate of Drake University in Iowa, and a CPA. Recently, Ziegler was designated a Board Leadership Fellow by the National Association of Corporate Directors.