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Executive Insights: Former Prologis CEO Walt Rakowich to speak at Penn State Smeal leadership series

January 20, 2021

Walt Rakowich on bench (cropped)
Walter C. Rakowich, the former CEO of Prologis, will discuss business, leadership, and elements of his book " Transfluence: How to Lead with Transformative Influence in Today’s Climate of Change” during Executive Insights on Feb. 5.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Walter C. Rakowich, the former CEO of Prologis, will discuss business and leadership with the Penn State Smeal College of Business on Feb. 5. His virtual discussion is part of Smeal’s Executive Insights series.
 

Rakowich will take part in a moderated Zoom discussion with Charles H. Whiteman, the dean of Smeal, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. The event is open to the public, but online registration is required. 

Prologis is a global real estate company that is a leading provider of distribution facilities and services with more than $100 billion in assets and operations in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. 

Rakowich held a series of ascending leadership roles before assuming the CEO position, including: president and chief operating officer, managing director and chief financial officer, and senior vice president/director of the company’s Mid-Atlantic region. 

Prior to joining Prologis, Rakowich spent nine years as a partner and principal with real estate provider Trammell Crow Company in Los Angeles, and as a senior audit and tax consultant for Price Waterhouse in Pittsburgh. 

Rakowich currently serves on the board of directors of Host Hotels & Resorts, Iron Mountain Inc., and Ventas Inc. He also serves on the advisory council of Gender Fair. He was previously a member of the executive committee and the board of governors for the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.

 In addition, Rakowich serves as chairman of the board of Colorado UpLift, and is a member of the board of the Alliance for School Choice in Education, and of PIVOT, three non-profits focused on educating at-risk children in the inner city. 

Rakowich was appointed to the Penn State Board of Trustees (BOT) in 2014 and serves as chairman of the BOT’s audit and risk committee. He also serves on the Smeal Institute for Real Estate Studies Advisory Board Executive Committee. 

In 2010, the Penn State Alumni Association named Rakowich a Penn State Alumni Fellow, a lifetime designation and the highest award given by the association. The award recognizes outstanding professional achievement. 

Rakowich is the author of “Transfluence: How to Lead with Transformative Influence in Today’s Climate of Change.”

He holds a degree in accounting from Penn State and an MBA from Harvard. 

Rakowich will be the second Executive Insights guest of the 2020-21 academic year. Barbara Humpton, president and CEO of Siemens USA, was a guest in late October. 

Executive Insights is designed to complement the Smeal educational experience by bringing high-profile business leaders to the college to connect with students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

Past guests include leaders from organizations such as Amazon, Archer Daniels Midland, Barclays, Bard Capital, LLC, BASF, Boeing, Credit Suisse, Dell, Deloitte, Dick’s Sporting Goods, EY, Five Below, GE, Johnson & Johnson, Kohl’s, KPMG, Macy’s, the National Retail Federation, Nestlé, Oracle, Procter & Gamble, Prudential, PwC, Samsung, Siemens USA, TE Connectivity, Trade Station, Tumi Holdings Inc., Urban Outfitters, and Verizon.

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Andy Elder
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