Executive Education

Who We Are

While building a Darden custom learning experience, you will partner with Darden's top-ranked faculty, as well as senior directors with decades of learning and development experience.

The World's Best Faculty


Darden’s faculty is renowned for its engaging, empowering classroom discussions and accessibility. The professors’ masterful facilitation encourages you to learn from diverse perspectives and generate fresh ideas. It’s one of the many reasons our faculty has ranked in the Top 10 globally for 10 consecutive years in the annual Financial Times survey of executive education.

The faculty team that is selected to lead your custom program is focused on creating a relevant and energizing experience for your executives — one that translates to business results. They understand that time is of the essence when dealing with complex business challenges, and they will go the extra distance to serve as resources, executive coaches, mentors and strategic partners who have a deep understanding of your organization.


Strategic Advisers

20+ Years Real-World Experience

Darden's senior directors partner with you to provide a learning experience that meets your goals. As seasoned learning and development professionals, they provide valuable strategic advice and fresh viewpoints from their work with some of the world’s most influential organizations.

Custom_SrDirectCentiniLou Centini

Managing Director, Executive Education,
Lecturer of Business Administration



Lou is a consultant to many organizations in the areas of business strategy, human resources, teambuilding, 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


Nancy Dunnells

Senior Director



Nancy works closely with major corporations on the development of their executive and high potential talent. Nancy’s career has spanned line management roles at AT&T as a National Account Manager for a major grain trader on Wall Street, a Regional Services Product Manager at Digital Equipment Corporation as well as consulting roles, first at Huthwaite, Inc, where she worked with major companies on increasing their sales organization’s effectiveness in high-ticket, complex sales, and then as Vice President at Manchester, Inc., a career transition, leadership coaching and change management consultancy. Immediately prior to joining Darden, Nancy ran a 60-member learning and development team as a Senior Director for Cable & Wireless Global. She led her team in the design and launch of the company’s first leadership assessment center in the U.S., and initiated and led a cross-functional team to implement distance learning globally. She holds an M.S.in Organization Development from American University and a Leadership Coaching Certification from Georgetown University.

Education: B.A., French Literature, State University of New York at Binghamton; M.S., Organizational Development, The American University; Leadership Coaching Certificate, Georgetown 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: BS in 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.


Nicola Barrett

Senior 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 US. 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 business.  Her experience working with Executive Education clients began ten years ago at Melbourne Business School.
Education: She has an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Business at Northwestern and a Bachelor of Rural Science with honors from University of New England, Australia.


Katie Wiesel

ExecEd 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 (2) non-profit organizations.  Most recently, the William Center for Speech Therapy provides interactive, Internet-based speech therapy (teletherapy) 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. 

Photo of Steve Schwartz

Steven Schwartz

Senior Director



In 2014, Mr. Schwartz 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, Mr. Schwartz 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.

Mr. Schwartz most recently served as vice president of emerging markets and competitive sales at IBM. He was responsible for the creation and execution of aggressive sales initiatives for selected high-growth, strategic markets. In 2007, Mr. Schwartz served as vice president of competitive initiatives for IBM Systems and Technology Group.

Mr. Schwartz 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 in the education of future IBM leaders, Mr. Schwartz frequently served as guest instructor in IBM professional-development classes, and as executive reviewer in the Management Assessment Program. In 2000, Mr. Schwartz received IBM’s highest and most rare honor — the Chairman’s Award. Prior to 2000, he held several other leadership and management roles.

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