Two Guest Speakers Slated for 'Executive Insights' at Smeal This Semester
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA (January 19, 2010) – Leadership in Focus: Executive Insights, the executive guest speaker series at Penn State's Smeal College of Business, will welcome two guests to the college this semester to discuss leadership issues, current business events, and trends affecting their respective businesses and industries.
The spring 2010 program, the series' seventh, gets under way on March 19 with Samuel Beiler, chairman and chief executive officer of Auntie Anne's, Inc.
Jon Grosso, executive vice president and director of stores for Kohl's Department Stores, will close out the spring 2010 slate on April 16.
Please note: The Feb. 12 Executive Insights session with Robert Dixon of Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., has been postponed.
Each guest will join Smeal Dean James B. Thomas for an interactive on-stage conversation at 11:15 a.m. on the day of their visit in the Business Building's Struthers Auditorium. The talks are open to the public.
While on campus, Executive Insights guests typically meet with Smeal faculty and students to discuss trends and issues in their sectors and hold small-group sessions with interested students, including those who are internship alumni and prospective employees or interns.
Leadership in Focus: Executive Insights, an initiative started in the 2006-2007 academic year, is designed to complement the Smeal educational experience by bringing high-profile business leaders to the college to connect with students, faculty, and administrators to share some of their business expertise and experiences in leadership.
Last semester, Smeal hosted Barry Salzberg, chief executive officer of Deloitte LLP, and John Surma, chairman and CEO of U.S. Steel. Other past guests include James Clifton, chairman and CEO of The Gallup Organization; Dennis Nally, chairman and senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers; and Karen Peetz, senior executive vice president of The Bank of New York Mellon.
For more information on the Executive Insights series, visit www.smeal.psu.edu/execinsights.Samuel Beiler, Chairman and CEO, Auntie Anne's, Inc.
In April 2005, Samuel Beiler launched the next generation of Auntie Anne's, Inc. when he purchased the company from its founders, Anne and Jonas Beiler. Since then, Sam has steered Auntie Anne's through a major rebranding initiative designed to update the brand, keep it relevant to its loyal customers, and reach new consumers. His vision is to be innovative in all that Auntie Anne's does, from its award-winning franchisee system and international expansion model, to its new product advances and dedicated customer service focus for franchisees.
Beiler began his relationship with Auntie Anne's in 1989, as a franchisee. He grew to play an integral role in establishing Auntie Anne's corporate regional presence, first as the company's Southeast regional director in Jacksonville, Fla., and then as Midwest regional director in Chicago. In 1997, he moved to corporate headquarters in Pennsylvania as vice president of store operations. He became president and CEO in August 2001, and oversaw the strategic growth and development of the Auntie Anne's franchisee system and internal management of the company.
A resident of Lancaster, Pa., Sam is affiliated with Leadership Roundtable: The Food Service Forum for the New Millennium, and CEO Forum. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and is active in both the National Restaurant Association and the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association.
Jon Grosso, Executive Vice President and Director of Stores, Kohl's Department Stores
As executive vice president and director of stores, Smeal alumnus Jon Grosso is responsible for all Kohl's Department Stores nationwide. He leads an executive team of four senior vice presidents/territory managers, 16 vice presidents/regional managers, and 104 district managers.
In addition, Grosso is an integral part of Kohl's Executive Committee, which drives the company's four strategic initiatives of Merchandise Content, Marketing, Inventory Management, and Store Experience.
Grosso began with Kohl's in 2002. Prior to joining Kohl's, he spent 14 years with Federated as regional vice president of operations for the East Coast.
In addition to his business responsibilities, Grosso has been involved with multiple charitable and nonprofit organizations, including Prevention of Child Abuse in Chicago and the Suffolk County Advocacy Center in New York.
Grosso holds a bachelor's degree from Smeal in Business Management.