CBA Speaker Series

Throughout the year, the College of Business Administration (CBA) brings top-level corporate, academic, and industry leaders to campus to share insights on current business issues and corporate strategies. Designed to educate, enlighten, and inspire, these presentations not only complement our curricula and offer our students additional, meaningful experiences, but they also promote and strengthen relationships between the CBA and business leaders.

BDO Business Speaker Series

BDO, a U.S. professional services firm providing assurance, tax, financial advisory and consulting services to a wide range of publicly traded and privately held companies, sponsors yearly speakers to help enhance the academic experiences of CBA students. The series brings distinguished business leaders to the UA campus to speak on topics of current interest.

2016 Arthur Anton - President and Chief Executive Officer, Swagelok
Topic: The 2016 BDO Business Speaker Series: Communicating and Managing Change in Today’s Global Environment
2014 Stewart A. Kohl - Co-Chief Executive Officer, The Riverside Company
2013 Robert J. Shearer - Cofounder of Shearer’s Foods and Chief Executive Officer and President of Shearer’s Solutions

Economic Business Summit

Spring 2013 - The Economy 2013: Rebuilding the Economy to Last Beyond 2013


  • Richard A. Ciccarone, Managing Director & Chief Research Officer, McDonnell Investment Management, LLC
  • Barry R. James, CFA, CIC, President and Portfolio Manager, James Investment Research, President, James Advantage Funds
  • Stuart Lichter, President and Chairman of the Board Industrial Realty Group, LLC,


  • James B. Thomson, Ph.D. Chair, Professor of Finance, Department of Finance, The University of Akron College of Business Administration

Spring 2012 -The Economy 2012: Strategies in an Uncertain Global Environment

Keynote Speaker

  • James D. McCool, Executive Vice President, Institutional Services, The Charles Schwab Corporation
  • Panelists
  • Paul Christopher, CFA, Chief International Investment Strategist, Wells Fargo Advisors
  • Lynn S. Hamilton, Senior Vice President, Portfolio Manager, Key Bank
  • Moderator
  • Dr. Melinda Newman, Associate Professor, Finance Department, The University of Akron, College of Business Administration

Spring 2011 - The Economy: Expectations, Risks, and Opportunities 2011 and Beyond


  • Sandra Pianalto, President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
  • Gary Thayer, Chief Macro Strategist, Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC
  • Dennis Gartman, Editor and Publisher, The Gartman Letter


  • Mr. David Redle, J.D., Chair, Professor of Business Law

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Corporation Leadership Forum Speakers

Initiated in 1991, this forum brings a high profile CEO from a large corporation to campus. Recent speakers include:

  • 2014 - Christopher M. Connor, Chairman and CEO, The Sherwin-Williams Company
  • 2011 - Anthony J. Alexander, President and CEO, FirstEnergy Corp.
  • 2010 - Jim Clifton, Chairman and CEO, The Gallup Organization
  • 2009 - Walter W. Bettinger II, President and CEO, Schwab Corporation
  • 2008 - Carl T. Camden, Ph.D., President and CEO, Kelly Services, Inc.
  • 2007 - David A. Daberko, Chairman, National City Corporation
  • 2006 - Robert J. Keegan, Chairman, CEO, and President, The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
  • 2005 - Richard K. Smucker, President and Co-CEO, The Smucker Company
  • 2004 - David Oreck, Founder, Oreck Corporation
  • 2003 - J.D. Power III, Chairman of the Board, J.D. Power and Associates

Graduate Executive Forum Speakers

This executive speaker series was created in 2006 for the benefit of our evening MBA students. Senior executives from major organizations are invited to share career experiences and engage in a question and answer session with the students. The goal of this dialogue is to provide insights into the challenges and decisions encountered in leading successful organizations.

  • 2010 - Wayne Earley, President/CEO, Polymer Ohio
  • 2009 - Richard W. Pogue, J.D., Advisor, Jones Day
  • 2007 - Michael B. Petras, Jr., VP, Lighting and Electrical Distribution, GE
  • 2006 - Ronn Richard, President and CEO, The Cleveland Foundation

Donald L. Kaufman Business Speakers Series

  • 2009 - Ralph M. Della Ratta, Jr., Founder and Managing Director, Western Reserve Partners LLC
  • 2008 - Michael Feuer, Office Max Co-founder, CEO and Sr. Managing Director of Max- Ventures LLC
  • 2007 - John L. Mariotti, President and CEO of The Enterprise Group
  • 2006 - Frank C. Sullivan, President and CEO, RPM, Inc.
  • 2005 - Charles A. Ratner, President, CEO, and a director of Forest City Enterprises, Inc.
  • 2004 - Elizabeth A. Lange, Vice President, Worldwide Customer Services, Tiffany and Co.

Program Enrichment Lecture Series Speakers

Initiated in 2006, the series engages senior executives in discussion with undergraduate students to facilitate bringing real world practices into the classroom.

  • Fall 2010 -Michael Gibbons Senior Managing Director and Principal Brown Gibbons Lang and Company
  • Fall 2008 - Manuel G. Serapio, Faculty Director, Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) and the Institute for International Business, University of Colorado, Denver
  • Fall 2007 - M. Gibbons, Managing Director and Principal, Brown Gibbons Lange and Company
  • Spring 2007 - John Mariotti, President and CEO of The Enterprise Group
  • Fall 2006 - Jack Shewmaker, former Walmart CFO, President and Vice Chairman

Social Responsibility Lecture Series Speakers

This lecture series was initiated in 2006 and brings to campus a high profile individual who is well known as a champion for corporate and social responsibility.

  • Spring 2011 -David R. Williams, Ph.D Florence Sprague Norman and Laura Smart Norman Professor of Public Health
  • Fall 2008 - Riley Lochridge, Chairman and CEO, ComDoc
  • Spring 2008 - Kevin O'Donnell, Managing Director of O'Donnell and Associates
  • Fall 2007 - Ronn Richard, President and CEO, The Cleveland Foundation
  • Spring 2007 - Stephen J. Petras, Partner, Baker and Hostetler, LLP
  • Fall 2006 - Sr. Mary Sujita Kallupurakkathu, Superior General, Sisters of Notre Dame, Rome, Italy

China Week

  • Fall 2010 - Douglas H. Smith, Ph.D Senior Vice President – Technology The Timken Company
    The CBA also hosted a panel discussion during China Week.


  • Mark Kline, Invacare
  • Tim Knight, Sr. VP, Sherwin –Williams
  • and Mike Smith, China Business Consultant


  • Dr. Robert Figler, Associate Professor, Dept. of Management

Global Supply Chain Forum

  • Fall 2010 - Byron Canady - Dell, Inc., Nashville, TN Global Operations Manager, Supply Chain Operations
  • Fall 2010 - Timothy Graham - The Timken Company, Canton, OH Director, Process Industries Supply Chain
  • Fall 2010 - Jim Rashid - Dealer Tire, Cleveland, OH Director of Inventory Management
  • Fall 2010 -Mike Uskert - Gartner, Inc., Connecticut

Beta Gamma Sigma Initiation Ceremony and Banquet Speakers

Each year, the college recognizes its best and brightest students as they are initiated into Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honor society for AACSB-accredited business schools. An executive from a major organization in N. E. Ohio is invited to address the initiates. A history of speakers can be found on the Beta Gamma Sigma pages.