Join us the second week of each month as we feature a UM-Dearborn alumnus or faculty presentation in our Alumni Engagement Speaker Series. The series will highlight Wolverine thought leaders sharing career advice, innovative ideas, leadership lessons, and more.  

Check back each month for an exciting new video! 

Please note, the University of Michigan-Dearborn does not necessarily endorse speakers’ views.

Unlocking Business Value through Sustainability Trends, A Conversation with Alumnus David Stangis

Presentation Summary: A conversation with UM-Dearborn alumnus and Founder and CEO of 21C Impact David Stangis, '93 M.B.A., moderated by UM-Dearborn Assistant Professor of Business Policy and Strategy Justin Ames, with an introduction from College of Business Dean, Raju Balakrishnan.

Speaker Bio: David (Dave) Stangis is Founder and CEO of 21C Impact. He most recently served as Chief Sustainability Officer and VP Corporate Responsibility/ Public Affairs at Campbell Soup Company, where he reported to Campbell’s President and CEO. Dave currently advises leading companies on ESG, technology, and reputation and resiliency strategies.

Over the course of 20 years, Dave led two very different Fortune 500 corporations, Intel and Campbell, from a standing start to clear and consistent world-class leadership in ESG, Sustainability & Social Responsibility. He guided both companies to multi-year runs on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, the 100 Best Corporate Citizens List, the Most Reputable Companies in the U.S, World’s Most Sustainable Corporations, and recognition among the World's Most Ethical Companies.

At Campbell, he created and led the Company’s strategies and external engagement related to CSR Strategy, Responsible Sourcing, Sustainable Agriculture, and Operational Sustainability. He served as an infotech and biotech expert.

Dave has served on the boards of many non-profit organizations and two Public Benefit Corporations (Plum Organics and The Soulfull Project). As Chair of the Board at Net Impact, a global community of 100,000 emerging leaders, he led a successful CEO search and transition.

As the creator and leader of Intel’s Global Corporate Responsibility function, Dave established corporate governance processes, operationalized citizenship and sustainability, and managed activist campaigns.

Dave has been named to the 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics by Ethisphere Magazine in 2008 & 2013, and a Top 100 Thought Leader in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America every year from 2011 to 2014. He is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Babson College, an Executive Advisor for the Center for Corporate Citizenship at Boston College and a Mentor to the AgFunder Network. Dave serves as an Advisor to Magnomer and Stojo; and is the co-author of two books on strategic corporate citizenship. 

Dave earned a B.S. (Chemistry/Biology) from the University of Detroit, an M.S. in Occupational and Environmental Health from Wayne State University, and an M.B.A (Finance/Gen. Management) from UM-Dearborn.

View the presentation here or click on the video below.  Video Length: 56:12

Past Alumni Engagement Speaker Series Videos

January 2021: A Conversation with Facebook VP Judith Toland

Presentation Summary:  A conversation with UM-Dearborn alumna and Facebook VP Judith Toland, '01 M.B.A., moderated by UM-Dearborn Associate Professor of Marketing Crystal Scott, with an introduction from College of Business Dean, Raju Balakrishnan.

Speaker Bio: Judy Toland is a transformational marketing c-suite executive with an engineering foundation. She joined Facebook in July 2019 as Vice President, Head of Scaled Solutions, Global Business Marketing based in the Chicago office. This global role is responsible for all digital marketing, marketing analytics and attribution, marketing governance and operations, marketing technology, and business education and certifications for the Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger B2B brands.

Judy has 26 years of experience across five industries (Technology, Chemicals, Automotive, Financial Services, and Fitness) and five Fortune 500 companies (Facebook, Monsanto, Ford Motor Company, Visteon Corporation, General Electric, and Wells Fargo). The last five years, she has held VP/SVP and Chief Marketing Officer roles with GE Capital, Wells Fargo, and most recently with Life Fitness. In these prior roles, she held responsibility for all aspects of marketing from product strategy, product and customer marketing, digital marketing and lead generation, branding, CRM, events/partnerships, customer facing training and education, and an in-house creative agency.

Judy has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. She was recognized in 2017 by The Secured Lender as one of the Top 50 women in Commercial Finance. She is also a past Board Member of the Brunswick Acceptance Corporation. In addition, she is a Daniel Burnham Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago, a member of the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago Board of Managers and the CMO Club, and a founding member of the Peer 150 Chicago Chapter. Judy is passionate about Diversity and Inclusion, having been a member of Diversity Councils at both GE Capital and Wells Fargo and is a past Co-Chairperson of the GE Capital, African American Network (AAF), an employee resource group.

View the presentation here
Video Length: 57:10

February 2021: From Dearborn to Hollywood: Ten Truths I Learned While Navigating the Ever-Changing Entertainment Biz

Presentation Summary: Marketing Executive and UM-Dearborn alumna, Laura Abele,'94 B.A., discusses her journey from college student to marketer in the film industry.  Using her personal experiences as the narrative, she provides practical advice for those charting their own career path.

Speaker Bio: Laura Abele is an entertainment marketing executive with two decades of film studio experience and currently works at The Walt Disney Company.

During her time as a marketing strategy lead at both New Line Cinema and Twentieth Century Fox, she oversaw the Home Entertainment campaigns for a diverse slate of films and franchises including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Austin Powers, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Notebook, Hairspray, The Sound of Music, Avatar, Titanic, 007: James Bond, and Star Wars. 

Abele moved into Theatrical marketing and oversaw the International campaigns for the films The Fault in Our StarsThe Maze Runner trilogy, The RevenantNight at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, and many more. 

In addition, she produced industry events at Comic-Cons in San Diego and Sao Paulo, Brazil, as well as CineEurope in Barcelona, Spain, showcasing such films as Final DestinationKingsman: The Secret ServiceThe Peanuts MovieAlita: Battle AngelDark PhoenixBohemian Rhapsody, and The Greatest Showman.

Abele earned her B.A. in Sociology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.  She currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, Joe and adorable terrier mix, Sidney.

View the presentation here.
Video Length: 42:40

Special Edition Video: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Action; A Conversation with Marc Howze, '86 B.A.

Filmed during the university’s Martin Luther King Jr. week of events, alumnus Marc Howze, '86 B.A., Group President, Lifecycle Solutions and Chief Administrative Officer at Deere & Company, has a conversation with Keisha Blevins, UM-Dearborn Chief of Staff and co-chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) working group. 

Traditionally, the annual Commitment to Inclusion event has been an opportunity for alumni, students, and campus partners to gather and reflect on how they’re promoting an inclusive community. This one-on-one conversation gave us the opportunity to dive deeper into what DEI looks like beyond policies, but in action at the individual and institutional level. 

Howze shares his personal experiences growing up on the eastside of Detroit, coming to college as a first-generation student, and navigating a successful career - while asking the challenging questions; How can we be inclusive, not performative? How can organizations create ecosystems of inclusivity? 

View the presentation here
Video Length: 58:33

April 2021: Get Rich By Saying NO! What Every Professional Must Know to Achieve Great Wealth

Presentation Summary: Anyone can be rich. Do you have the temperament to become wealthy? Dr. Victor, '99 M.B.A., will give three principles that will assure wealth in addition to discussing sure ways to become poor.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Lyle Victor is a Pulmonologist in Dearborn, MI, and has over 50 years of experience in the medical field, specializing in Sleep Apnea. Dr. Victor received his M.D. degree from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 1971 and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan-Dearborn College of Business in 1999.

Dr. Victor has written six books. His most recent book, Get Rich by Saying NO!, centers around his two great passions: medicine and economics. This book was written for young professionals; including healthcare workers, graduate students, and teachers just entering their work-life and about to make many classical investment errors. Dr. Victor currently resides in Metro Detroit where he is the Medical Director at Oakwood Hospital in the Respiratory Therapy and Pulmonary Functioning Laboratory. He is also the Medical Director for the Sleep Apnea Specialty Centers of Michigan.

View the presentation here.
Video Length: 28:11

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