Mike Balay became the Director of the Strategy and Business Development department October 1, 2005 and was subsequently named Vice President, Strategy & Business Development.
Mike joined Cargill in 1996 with SBD as Manager of Business Development. In this role, he helped develop Cargill’s strategy and investments in a variety of growth areas, including plant biotechnology, our Asia strategy, farm services, new ventures, and the growth strategy for Black River Asset Management. This work led to a deep involvement in corporate strategy and organization issues. Mike played a role in developing the Strategic Intent strategy and the resulting changes in organizational design and structure. Mike was a core member in developing and codifying the Customer Solutions doctrine and tactics, and a member of the team that developed the Three Pillars approach to driving organizational performance. In 2001, Mike was named Director of Business Development.
From 2002 to 2005, Mike was Marketing Team Captain for the World Trading Unit in Geneva, where he was responsible for the Services Desk that included the Select Pricing risk management program for commodity buyers. He was account manager for Saudi Arabia, selling corn, barley, soybean meal, and CRM products. He also developed and delivered account management and personal engagement training for WTU and Ocean Transportation, and led the employee engagement program for WTU Geneva. He was a core faculty member for the worldwide Grain and Oilseed Master Class program, and helped develop the GOSC platform’s marketing strategy and 2006-2010 growth strategy. He continues to be a member of the Corporate Marketing Peer Group, which advises the Cargill Brand Council.
Prior to joining Cargill, Mike worked as a consultant for seven years on a wide variety of strategy and corporate development issues in a range of industries. From 1993 to 1996, he worked in Boston for two start-up consultancies. He was a Senior Consultant with Northeast Consulting Resources, Inc. (later Nervewire) in Boston, assisting high technology companies and financial institutions on corporate strategy and scenario planning, and teaching strategy in a variety of corporate settings. He was a Manager with the LEK/Alcar Consulting Group, specializing in acquisitions and divestitures. From 1989 to 1993, he was an Associate and then Engagement Manager with McKinsey & Co. in Washington, DC, where he was also a Fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute, the firm’s think tank on international economics.
Before attending graduate school, Mike was a Systems Engineer for Systematics, Inc. (now Fidelity Financial Systems) in Little Rock and New York from 1983 to 1987, where he designed, developed and supported financial software systems in a mainframe environment. Before graduating from college, Mike spent a year on the Washington staff of US Senator David Pryor (D-AR), where he reviewed defense programs and budgets.
Mike graduated from Yale University in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature. In 1989, he received an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia.
Mike was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and grew up mainly in Arkansas. He lives in Edina, MN with his wife, Elizabeth, and has two college-age sons.
Helen Boudreau is currently Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Novartis Oncology, a global business unit with sales of $10 billion in 2010. She is responsible for Finance, IT, Sourcing and IQP (Innovation, Quality and Productivity). Prior to joining Novartis in 2008, Helen spent nearly 10 years at Pfizer Inc., where she most recently served as Vice President, Finance for the Customer Business Unit and Commercial Operations. Previously at Pfizer, Helen held a series of leadership roles in Global R&D Finance, Research Finance and Procurement, Financial Planning & Strategic Analysis, and Strategic Management. Helen also worked in Strategic Planning in the restaurant division of PepsiCo/YUM Brands and as an Engagement Manager and Consultant at McKinsey & Co. She started her career in corporate and retail banking at Bank of America. Helen holds an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia, and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Maryland.
Mark Bower is a Partner in Bain & Company’s Dallas office. Mark joined Bain in 2001 and worked in the Palo Alto office until his move to Texas in 2010. Mark is a leader in Bain’s Technology, Media, and Telecom practice.
While at Bain, Mark spends the majority of his time in the telecom sector, working mainly with carriers. He has been involved in cases spanning a wide variety of issues including growth strategies, next generation network design, M&A and corporate strategies, and performance improvement. Mark also served as the Consultant and Associate Consultant Program Manager for the San Francisco and Palo Alto offices where he was responsible for staffing, professional development, and training.
Mark graduated from MIT with a BS in Aeronautical Engineering. He then joined the Navy where he served for eight years as a Surface Warfare Officer. Mark left the Navy to pursue an MBA at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration and then joined Bain after completing his MBA.
Giff Breed, Managing Director of Strategic Initiatives, spearheads a wide variety of Octagon’s innovative and strategic development projects.
Giff began his marketing career in 1981 with Procter & Gamble and has worked for many leading corporations, such as Coca-Cola, Ralston Purina, AMF and Eskimo Pie. In 1996, Giff became a partner in the golf representation firm Pro’s Inc., which later merged with Octagon.
A native of Greenwich, CT, Giff is a graduate of the University of Richmond, where he received a B.A. while playing baseball. Giff received his M.B.A. in 1987 from the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business.
Bill Carter will assume the role of Senior Vice President, Commercial for Advance Auto Parts in early April. He will be responsible for the development, implementation and execution of the Commercial strategy and operations. Prior to joining Advance Auto Parts, Bill was a partner with Bain & Company in the Atlanta office, where he spent over 11 years leading growth strategy, performance improvement, and organizational projects in the retail, automotive aftermarket, and industrial sectors. Additionally, Bill served for four years in the United States Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer. Bill is a 1999 graduate of the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Virginia, and a 1993 graduate of Duke University where he earned a B.A. in Economics.
R. Scott Creighton is currently Global Vice President of Marketing Excellence (Mx) at Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Companies in Skillman, New Jersey overseeing the Development of Marketing Professionals across all GBU’s. He brings nearly 25 years of international Marketing and Sales experiences from a range of channels and business models to this new role. Prior to this, he held various positions in the Beauty GBU including leading New Ventures and Alternative Distribution and the Ageless Skin Platform (that developed technologies and consumer insights for Neutrogena, Aveeno and RoC). He is a two-time winner of the Grandview Award for Marketing Excellence (TruVu Digital Skin Imaging and KY Re-launch). Scott also chairs the Consumer Marketing efforts for the Gay and Lesbian Diversity Outreach efforts for J&J.
Prior to joining J&J, Scott spent 10 years with the Estee Lauder Companies where he held various Marketing roles including Vice President of Marketing, Clinique International and regional roles in Europe/UK and Asia/Pacific.
Before joining Estee Lauder, Scott held Marketing and Sale positions with Benetton Cosmetics, L’Oreal and Richardson-Vicks (Pantene and Olay).
Scott holds an MBA with an elective concentration in Marketing from the Darden School of the University of Virginia where he also received his undergraduate B.A. (Psychology and Speech Communication). He sits on the Darden Advisory Board and is an internationally ranked triathlete, swimmer and long distance cyclist. He is involved in the Buck’s County FACT Community Health Organization, New York City’s Bailey House Initiative for Homeless AIDS Patients and a member of HRC (Human Rights Campaign).
Based in Washington DC, Rick Edmunds is a Senior Vice President and leads Booz & Company’s Global Health Care Practice. He works primarily with leading pharmaceutical and medical product companies globally and in the US.. Mr. Edmunds’ primary areas of expertise are in corporate and business unit strategy, product and customer strategies, commercial performance improvement, organization, and mergers and acquisitions.
Mr. Edmunds brings business strategy and transformation skills and a solid understanding of the health care and pharmaceutical industries. In his recent corporate strategy assignments, he has addressed the implications of changing U.S. market dynamics on pharmaceutical companies and helped define different break-out alternatives for the various lines of business. He has also provided core business assessment and a diversification strategy for a leading pharmacy benefit manager. On the commercialization side, Mr. Edmunds has conducted a number of different customer strategy development efforts (including payor, physician, and consumer) and broader product strategies ranging from launch to mature/end-of-lifecycle stage. Within the context of health reform, Mr. Edmunds has worked on major cross-industry collaboration efforts that include leading pharmaceutical companies, major national health plans, and PBMs. He has written a number of published articles including Increasing the Odds of Launch Success (in InVivo, 2010), Organizing to Win (in InVivo, 2009) and Making Healthcare Work (in Strategy + Business, 2007).
Mr. Edmunds joined Booz & Company in 2005 after nearly 13 years at McKinsey & Co., where he worked as part of their Pharma/Medical Product Leadership Group. He holds an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia, where he received both the Shermet Award and the Faculty Award for Academic Excellence. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of North Carolina. He is currently on the Executive Committee of the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation where he was formerly President and sits on the Board of Mount Vernon Hospital (part of Inova). He has a wife and two children and lives in Alexandria, Virginia.
Doug Haynes is a Director in McKinsey & Company’s New York location and manager of the Northeast Office, the Firm’s large geographic complex, including locations in New York, Boston, and Stamford. Doug joined McKinsey in 1992 and had been part of its Atlanta and London offices, prior to coming to the Northeast in 1998. His client work includes serving some of the world’s largest industrial, telecommunications, and information technology companies. Recent examples of client work include:
- Counseling the leaders of a large public company on investor value proposition and communication, including financial expectation-setting, investor communications, and analyst relations.
- Advising the top management of a technology company on growth strategy as the IT industry enters maturity. The scope of this relationship includes sales effectiveness and productivity, portfolio strategy, marketing capability-building, and measurement and incentive redesign.
- Advising US-based service providers on approaches to compete with low-wage, off-shore attackers. Dimensions of this work include applying lean principles to improve service delivery productivity, assessing the long-term total cost effectiveness of global options for service delivery center locations, identifying points of strength and weakness in incumbent business systems, and aligning capabilities to match key measures of customer value.
Within McKinsey, Doug has held several leadership roles, including founding the High Tech Services Practice, chairing the North American High Tech Practice’s client counsel, and acting as the Global Leader for Knowledge Investment for the Operations Practice.
In addition to serving clients, Doug recently joined the board of the Robin Hood Foundation, New York’s premier poverty-fighting NGO. He was introduced to Robin Hood through a project to update and expand their vision, including distilling progress on poverty into measurable dimensions. He is also a member of the Corporate Advisory Board of the Darden Graduate School of Business.
Prior to joining McKinsey, Doug was an engineer and marketing manager for GE’s Advanced Materials business. Doug was a Shermet scholar at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate Business School and earned a B.S. summa cum laude in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University.
Tom Johnstone is the Senior Workout Officer/Loss Mitigation Leader for GE Capital, Americas and is based in Norwalk, CT.
Tom joined GE Capital in 1989 and is currently the Senior Workout Officer/Loss Mitigation leader for GE Capital, Americas. Prior to this position, he was the Chief Risk Officer, Corporate Lending (GECF), the Senior Work Out Officer for CF, as well as the Credit Analyst for CFS, EFS and Equity working for CF’s Chief Credit Officer. Previous GECFS experiences include Senior Risk Officer in CFS’s BD Group, Sponsor Finance Group and Bank Loan Group. Tom has worked in a variety of product areas including: asset based lending, A/R securitization, cash flow lending and healthcare finance. His experiences prior to CFS include: CFO for Philips Medical Systems North America, Chief Credit Officer of GE Capital Modular Space, VP Risk Securitization, VP Risk Healthcare Finance and VP Investment Analysts.
Tom is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a B.S. degree in Accounting. After graduation, Tom joined Price Waterhouse and earned his CPA. Tom also earned a MBA at Darden (U.Va.).
Kevin Klau is the Corporate Vice President, Human Resources for Danaher Corporation with global responsibility for leading and driving a focused human resources strategy centered on talent acquisition, leadership development and retention.
Kevin Klau joined Danaher in 2002 as Marketing Manager for Portescap, a standalone operating company in Danaher’s Motion platform. He held a variety of marketing, operations, and general management roles within the Motion platform, returning to Portescap in 2007 as President.
Kevin earned an undergraduate degree in Government and Public Policy from the University of Notre Dame and an M.B.A. from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration in 2002.
Mark is a Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Investment Banking and Capital Markets division of Wells Fargo Securities, which is part of Wells Fargo & Company.
Mark has over 20 years of experience as an investment banker serving growing companies in a variety of sub-segments within the high-technology and consumer-technology industries. During his career, Mark has successfully completed more than 200 transactions and assignments for his clients, including almost 100 IPOs and private equity investments/placements.
He joined Wachovia Corp., a Wells Fargo predecessor firm, in April 2004 as a Managing Director, and in the past seven years has served as the head of the Technology & Services industry coverage group, head of the Equity Private Placements group, and Chief Operating Officer of the Investment Banking division.
Mark began his investment banking career in 1989 at Merrill Lynch & Co. in New York in the Technology/Emerging Growth group. He spent the five years prior to joining Wachovia at Credit Suisse First Boston as a Managing Director, where he ran a global technology-industry practice and managed the firm’s Boston investment banking offices.
Mark is a 1986 graduate of Dartmouth College, and a 1990 MBA graduate of The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Administration.
Mark has served on several boards of directors, for both corporate and not-for-profit entities. He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and educational events, and is active in charitable and civic activities. Mark lives in Charlotte, NC with his two children.
Rick was appointed Vice President and CFO for the International and US Wholesale & Global Licensing Divisions of Coach, Inc. in December 2007 and Senior Vice President in March 2010. In this role, his focus is on driving profitable growth and supporting Coach’s goal to extend the brand into new international markets.
Prior to Coach, Rick spent 3 years at Godiva Chocolatier, Inc. in New York, as CFO & VP Global Finance. During this time, he was responsible for all financial and strategic planning functions of the company which included over 500 company-owned and franchised stores worldwide, a global wholesale business and the catalog and internet business. Prior to joining Godiva, Rick was Vice President & CFO at Nestlé Ice Cream Company, Inc., located in northern California. Prior to Nestlé, he held other senior level finance and general management positions, in the U.S., Europe and Asia, with The Pillsbury Company, Inc., Pepsi-Cola International and Southeast Bank, N.A.
Rick received his BS from the University of Virginia and his MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
Rick, his wife and two children live in Westport, Connecticut.
Tom Poole is the Managing Vice President for Mobile and Emerging Channels at Capital One. In this role, he is responsible for developing Capital One’s mobile banking and payments strategy, managing development and launch of mobile applications and the mobile website, and exploring potential for emerging digital channels. Early successes include the launch of a highly rated iPhone application in December, with a new mobile site and Android application launch also planned for the first quarter of 2011.
In his prior roles, Tom managed the Capital One No Hassle Rewards program. In this role since December 2007, he took steps to radically simplify the overall rewards program while revamping the web rewards redemption experience. Previously until 2006, Tom led innovation for the US Card Customer Management, developing new programs to drive engagement across Capital One’s 30MM+ cardholder portfolio. Some of his work here included development of the online “Customer Cardlab” as well as an online capability to swap products, a first across the credit card industry. Prior to joining Capital One, Tom received his MBA from the University of Virginia. Before that, Tom spent 5 years as an IT consultant with Accenture.
Eric J. Riddleberger is a Partner with IBM Global Business Services and leads the Global Business Strategy Practice and the Strategy and Tansformation Practice in the Communications Sector He has more than 25 years professional experience in strategy and technology throughout the world with IBM, Booz Allen Hamilton, UBS Capital, and AT&T Mr. Riddleberger’s focus includes corporate transformation, market analysis, strategic planning, M&A, infrastructure and technology analysis and business development.
In addition to his direct client engagements, Mr. Riddleberger is part of the team that created and drove IBM’s Global CEO Studies on Innovation and Business Models and is currently leading IBM’s Corporate Social Responsibility consulting service offerings.
In the US, he is focused on communications clients that are transforming and integrating their businesses. Recent and current engagements are focused on restructuring to create new infrastructure and capabilities to reflect the significant changes in the industry as it evolves from a product-centric business to a customer-centric business. The restructuring of the industry includes the development of new operating models and new product capabilities, including integrated products and services, customer-centric processes, and go-to-market strategies.
Mr. Riddleberger has worked on building multi-company alliances to develop and deliver new products and services and on merger and acquisition engagements from evaluating targets to post merger integration.
In Europe and Latin America, Mr. Riddleberger has worked with clients as they develop their business plans and strategies to enter the market. The engagements include building the business and infrastructure processes and capabilities that will be required to successfully compete. In addition, he has lead engagements focused on the identification of strategic alliance/acquisition partners for both service providers and equipment manufacturers.
Mr. Riddleberger received an MBA with distinction from New York University, an MS in Computer Science from Stevens Institute of Technology, and a BS in Engineering from the University of Vermont.
Bob Smith is a vice president of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.; T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.; and T. Rowe Price International, Inc., serving as an equity portfolio manager. He is an executive vice president of T. Rowe Price International Funds, Inc., and is chairman of the Investment Advisory Committee of the T. Rowe Price International Stock Fund. He is also a vice president and Investment Advisory Committee member of the Growth Stock Fund and Media & Telecommunications Fund. Bob joined the firm in 1992 as a research analyst with five years of previous investment experience as an investment analyst for Massachusetts Financial Services. Bob earned a B.S. in finance and economics from the University of Delaware and an M.B.A. from the Darden Graduate School of Business, University of Virginia.
Susan joined American Express in 1990. Since that time, she has played a leadership role in many of the milestones that have directly contributed to the Company’s growth: she has devised American Express’ corporate strategy, developed and managed strategic partnerships with many and varied corporate partners; created, launched and marketed innovative new products that attracted new customers; signed new card-accepting establishments including Costco, now one of American Express’ largest merchants; and for the past four years, she has been the general manager of the company’s second-largest business unit and the American Express advocate for small business success.
Susan is an innovator and creative marketer, having worked across a broad range of businesses and functions at American Express such as Strategic Planning, Merchant Services and the Consumer Services groups. Her most recent role is serving small businesses as President of American Express OPEN and being a member of the Business Operating Committee, a small group of senior leaders who work closely with the CEO in developing American Express' strategic direction and deciding on key policies that affect the entire company.
Under Susan’s leadership, OPEN has extended its position as the leading card issuer for small businesses across the U.S.; launched an array of innovative small business products and servicing and marketing initiatives; and expanded its advocacy efforts on behalf of entrepreneurs. As a result, OPEN has received numerous awards underscoring its leadership role.
OPEN was named among the Best Business-to-Business Brands of 2006, 2007, and 2008 by B2B Magazine. In addition, OPEN received the 2008 Gold MIXX Award from The Interactive Advertising Bureau for brand awareness and positioning of its OPENForum.com website and the 2008 Stevie Award for Communications Campaign of the Year for OPEN’s Make Mine a Million $ Business program. Also in 2008, OPEN was named "Communicator of the Year" by the Business Marketing Association for the Plum Card advertising campaign and won the PRO Award for best Business-to-Business campaign for the Plum Card launch.
Susan is a cultivator of leaders through her unwavering commitment to leadership development. She has helped develop and advance many executives and co-chairs American Express’ Women’s Interest Network, which supports future female leaders. She has also made OPEN an incubator of innovation for several company pilot programs, including developing the Project Resource Team program, which takes a unique approach to flexible staffing in an effort to retain high-performing employees.
Externally, Susan sits on the board of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Darden School of Business, Co-Chair of the White House Project Corporate Council, and Alumni Admissions group for Georgetown University.
Susan is an advocate of women entrepreneurs and has received a Women of Achievement Award from the Women’s Project: YMCA- NYC Women Achievers Award; Office Depot Corporate Visionary Award; Count Me In Leadership Award for advancing the success of women small business owners; Women’s Leadership Exchange Compass Award for shifting the paradigm of how women are perceived as leaders; and 2006 Corporate Partner of the Year Award by the National Association of Women Business Owners.
Susan Sobbott has been featured as a small business and leadership expert in a variety of national publications including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, O-The Oprah Magazine and Pink Magazine.
Susan attended Georgetown University, spent time on Wall Street and later earned an MBA at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, where she was a Shermet Scholar and Raven Society member.
The mother of two children, Susan lives in New Jersey, where she enjoys spending time with her family and restoring her antique home.
Mr. Watkins, 56, is senior vice president of MeadWestvaco Corporation with responsibility for corporate engineering, stewardship, sustainability, safety, health and environmental. Previously he served as vice president of technology for the Mead Corporation.
Mr. Watkins joined Mead in 1997 as vice president of Michigan operations for the Publishing Paper Division, where he had oversight of the Escanaba, Michigan paper mill and related woodland and sawmill operations. In 1999, he was promoted to vice president of human resources and organizational development for the newly combined Paper Division. Beyond his duties to ensure a successful reorganization of the division, he served as the lead management sponsor for the division’s ERP implementation project. Mr. Watkins was appointed vice president of technology for Mead in 2000. As a member of the corporate executive management committee, his responsibilities included the functions of central research, central engineering and the corporate safety, health and environmental group.
Mr. Watkins began his career in the paper industry in 1977 when he joined Union Camp at its Franklin, Virginia mill as a process engineer. In 1989, Mr. Watkins was named operations manager of the Eastover mill and managed the start-up of a $750 million expansion of the mill, including a new chemical recovery line, fiber line, market pulp dryer and paper machine. Mr. Watkins was promoted to resident manager of the Eastover mill in 1991 and served as the senior management representative for Union Camp in South Carolina. He served as a member of the division’s multifunction management team, participating in strategic and business planning, as well as leadership in the division’s total quality implementation and order management system redesign.
Mr. Watkins holds a Bachelor of Science in Pulp and Paper Science and Engineering from Syracuse University and holds an Executive MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration.
- ArborGen LLC - Board Member
- AF&PA Agenda 2020 CTO - Committee Chairman
- World Business Council for Sustainable Development - Liaison Delegate
- WBCSD Sustainable Forest Products Industry Working Group - Co-chair
- FMGlobal Advisory Board - Member
- Syracuse Pulp and Paper Foundation - Past Board President
- TAPPI - Past Board Member
- South Carolina Governor's Blue Ribbon Committee on Higher Education - Past Board Member
- Palmetto Conservation Foundation - Past Member
- Midlands Technical Education Foundation - Past Board Vice Chair
- University of South Carolina Engineering Partnership - Past Board Member
- Industrial Chief Executive Group, Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce - Past Chairman
Reaves is a Senior Executive in Accenture’s US Retail Strategy group. She joined Accenture in August, 1997 concentrating on retail companies. Her experience includes working with hardlines, apparel and drugstore retailers here in the US and internationally. The scope of her work generally involves broad scale transformation with emphasis on demand-side disciplines including integrated planning, assortment, pricing and multi-channel retailing.
Prior to her work at Accenture, Reaves worked in the retail industry for The May Company Hecht’s Division and Gap, Inc.’s Old Navy and International divisions. She received her BA and MBA from the University of Virginia.