• Our Faculty: Best in the World

    A lot of schools say they have top-ranked faculty.

    But we’re No. 1.

    Why? Our professors are teachers first — and they take a lot of pride in that. Poets & Quants called our faculty “world-class master teachers, arguably the best collection of teaching talent at any business school in the world.”

    You’ll not only learn from them in the classroom, you’ll have a level of access that’s nearly unprecedented at other universities.

    Our faculty may be some of the greatest minds in the world, but they keep their doors open (literally — it’s a Darden tradition), host dinners for participants at their own homes and take your calls after the program.

    • Study team dynamics with Melissa Thomas-Hunt, one of the six original experts tapped for the Lean In movement.
    • Learn about ethical leadership from Bobby Parmar, named one of the Top 40 Best B-School Professors in the World.
    • Envision what's possible with Alec Horniman, who has taught thousands of executives over his career and recently received UVA's highest faculty honor, the Thomas Jefferson Award.

    Learn more about our faculty.

    Our Advisers & Program Designers

    Our strategic advisers serve as your point of contact during the entire process: from initial inquiry to final success metrics. They bring decades of experience in curriculum design, learning and development, and industry specialties, and are happy to answer your questions. Please feel free to contact them with any questions about Darden Executive Education or your business challenge.

    Nicola Barrett

    Executive Director

    Nicola’s career includes executive and senior management positions in business development, sales and marketing, strategic planning and new service development within corporate, professional services, business schools and start-up organizations in Australia and the U.S. She works with clients to ensure the investment made in developing leaders and managers is targeted to the business challenges experienced, is matched to the learning needs of participants, and drives real organizational impact.

    Nicola began her career at IBM Australia in sales and marketing and built on this with strategic planning roles at both Bankers Trust and Ernst & Young LLP in NYC. She experienced the “dot com” boom at AllAdvantage.com where she built the global account management and advertising back-office functions. She has also started several successful family-based businesses. Her experience working with Executive Education clients began ten years ago at Melbourne Business School.

    Education: MBA, Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern University; Bachelor of Rural Science with honors, University of New England, Australia

    Lou Centini

    Managing Director
    Lecturer of Business Administration

    Lou is a consultant to many organizations in the areas of business strategy, human resources, team building, leadership development and change management. He has taught extensively in Darden Executive Education programs and courses at the University of Virginia, Cornell University and Western Connecticut State University. Lou joined the Darden faculty in 1990. Previously, he had almost 20 years of professional management experience, including a position as director of human resources for a subsidiary of the Weyerhaeuser Company. He also held a variety of human resource and executive development positions with the Berol Corporation and the Miller Brewing Company.

    Education: B.S., Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University; M.S.A., Human Resource Development, Western Connecticut State University

    Jeff Pottinger

    Senior Director

    Jeff is the program manager for federal government executive education programs, working closely with clients to develop executive learning programs and strategic direction. Previously, he served seven years as the managing director at Cowan & Associates, Inc., a veteran-owned consulting firm headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. He also spent several years with Circuit City Stores, leading a 2-state district with $100 million in annual sales. During his 24-year career in the U.S. Navy Supply Corps, Jeff served in a variety of information technology, supply chain management and leadership positions, retiring as a captain in 2001.

    Education: B.S., Business Administration, The Ohio State University; MBA, University of Virginia Darden School of Business; Senior Executive Program, Columbia University; Balanced Scorecard certificate from George Washington University; PDI PROFILOR® coach

    Katie Wiesel

    Senior Director

    Katie is Darden’s director of business development for the D.C. region. In this role, she is responsible for building relationships with clients and prospective partners in the Washington, D.C., area, and designing and implementing customized programs for a portfolio of D.C.-based clients. Before joining Darden in 2011, Katie was a director of custom programs at Wharton Executive Education, responsible for designing and delivering a portfolio of tailored programs for clients in the financial services, technology and defense industries. Katie also served as director of program development for Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business, where she oversaw design and delivery of customized and open-enrollment programs, and marketing for MSB’s executive degree and non-degree programs.

    Education: B.A., English Literature and Rhetoric & Communications Studies, University of Virginia; MLA in Creative Writing, University of Pennsylvania

    Kerry Shronts

    Senior Director

    Kerry joined the Darden School of Business in early 2014 as a senior director in Executive Education. Prior to joining Darden, Kerry was a management consultant to start-ups and early-stage organizations in the areas of marketing/business development strategy, business model canvas, business assessments, communication plans, brand development and awareness, performance improvement, funding-source identification, fundraising, and revenue enhancement. He also held CMO-related responsibilities for an early stage medical device manufacturer, where he was charged with leading physician recruitment and building a national product distribution network in acute care/trauma facilities, surgical centers, and GPOs. During his career, Kerry has earned multiple awards from organizations such as Xerox and Bank of America for his leadership, marketing ingenuity, and ability to consistently exceed revenue targets. He is also recognized as an effective speaker/presenter and has trained in Lean Six Sigma.

    Additionally, Kerry has co-founded two non-profit organizations. Most recently, the William Center for Speech Therapy provides interactive, Internet-based speech therapy to children and adults who have limited access to therapy due to a lack of financial resources or geographic location. The William Center has partnered with corporate and community resources to fulfill its mission. In building this organization, Kerry's role focused on funding sources, fundraising, community outreach, volunteer recruitment and budget development.

    Education: B.A., Business Administration, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

    Steven Schwartz

    Senior Director

    In 2014, Steven joined the Executive Education team at the University of Virginia, Darden School of Business as Senior Director. He is focused on business development, customizing the exceptional executive education programs to match client business needs.

    From 2010 to 2011, Steven served as Senior Vice President at TechAmerica in Washington, D.C., and was responsible for their global sales programs. TechAmerica is a nonprofit organization representing the legislative needs and interests of technology companies worldwide.

    In his IBM Career, Steven most recently served as Vice President of Emerging Markets and Competitive Sales. He was responsible for the creation and execution of aggressive sales initiatives for selected high-growth, strategic markets. In 2007, he served as Vice President of Competitive Initiatives for IBM Systems and Technology Group.

    Steven joined the IBM Systems and Technology Group in 2006 as Vice President, Global Infrastructure Solutions Sales. He collaborated with leaders from the software and services divisions to drive a $2-billion revenue stream of key solutions offerings. From 2001 to 2006 he served in IBM’s Sales and Distribution division as a Client Services Director, focused on the industrial sector. He was personally responsible for the sales and delivery of IBM’s services portfolio in several Fortune 100 clients, including General Electric and United Technologies Corporation.

    With a strong interest and involvement in the education of future IBM leaders, Steven frequently served as guest instructor in IBM professional development classes, and as Executive Reviewer in the IBM Management Assessment Program. In 2000, Steven received IBM’s highest and most rare honor — the Chairman’s Award. Prior to 2000, he held several other leadership and management roles.

    Education: B.S. in Environmental Science from the State University of New York at Albany, Regents Scholar. During his IBM leadership career, Steven completed several executive education programs provided by outside institutions including the Wharton School of Business and Harvard Business School.