Learning from proven business leaders

The Wake Forest School of Business recognizes the importance of learning from other experienced business leaders and innovators who have first-hand knowledge of what our students will face in the business world. To help better prepare our students for real-world business issues and deliver unrivaled market relevance, we host a variety of guest speakers in our Broyhill Executive Lecture Series – “Leading Out Loud” which brings to campus top business and government leaders from our community and around the world. In addition to delivering lectures, many of these distinguished visitors join students formally and informally to discuss issues of national and international importance.

Leading out Loud is a Wake Forest University School of Business lecture series created to educate and inspire business students through exposure to industry leaders shaping today’s business world. This series is made possible by the generous support of the Broyhill Family Foundation of Lenoir, NC.

For upcoming speaker events, visit our Events Calendar. Click below to link to a list of past Broyhill Series speakers, Hylton Lecture Series speakers and other distinguished speakers (with links to videos where available).

Broyhill Executive Lecture Series “Leading Out Loud”

John Lynch, SVP and Regional CIO, Wells Fargo Bank

Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Broyhill Auditorium, Farrell Hall

Focus 2015: Market Transformations and Risks

John Lynch provides clients and teammates with insight and clarity relative to the economy and financial markets, so his 2015 economic and market outlook is highly anticipated. Lynch has more than 28 years experience in the financial services industry and has been featured in Bloomberg News, Barron’s Magazine, the Wall Street Journal and on CNBC.

Daan Delen, President and CEO of Reynolds American, Inc.

Friday, February 28, 2014
Broyhill Auditorium, Farrell Hall

Successful Journeys Begin with a Single Step

What does it take to begin a successful journey? Reynolds American’s Daniel (Daan) Delen says it takes a single step – but, as he told the audience at the Broyhill Executive Lecture Series at the Wake Forest University School of Business – you’d better pack a lunch. Delen’s keynote lecture is not only a Broyhill lecture series event, but also part of the 24th Annual Marketing Summit. Delen and his team at RAI are committed to “transforming tobacco”, a theme that is prevalent at the 2014 MBA case competition. Delen spoke to competitors, judges, faculty, and students about how RAI is making this transformation a reality.

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Debra Lee, Chairman and CEO of BET Networks

Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Broyhill Auditorium, Farrell Hall

A Conversation with Debra Lee

Named one of The Hollywood Reporter’s “100 Most Powerful Women in Entertainment,” Debra Lee’s achievements in a 25-plus year career at BET Networks have earned her numerous accolades from across the cable industry, as well as recognition as one of this country’s most respected business executives. Ms. Lee has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame and the Washington Business Hall of Fame and she has been honored with the Distinguished Leadership Vanguard Award by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

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Ursula Burns, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Xerox

Monday, February 11, 2013
Worrell Professional Center Auditorium

A Conversation with Ursula Burns

Dean of Business Steve Reinemund led a fascinating conversation with Ursula Burns, to a standing room only crowd at the Wake Forest University Worrell Professional Center. In 2009, Burns was named the Chief Executive Officer of Xerox, which made her the first African-American woman CEO to head a fortune 500 company. That same year, Forbes rated her 14th most powerful woman in the world. She has been described as a transformational leader in business, as well as an articulate, proactive, and a radical thinker – quick to act on issues that deserve immediate attention. Burns has a reputation of saying exactly what is on her mind.

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David Novak, Chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands, Inc.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Worrell Professional Center Auditorium

Taking People With You

Yum! Brands is the world’s largest restaurant company with more than 38,000 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants in over 120 countries and 1.4 million employees and franchise associates. Novak has built Yum!’s global people-first culture centered around using reward and recognition to drive results. He is noted for developing and personally training his breakthrough “Taking People With You” leadership program to thousands of mangers and franchisees around the world during his 15 years at Yum! Brands. His book based on the highly successful program, TAKING PEOPLE WITH YOU: The Only Way to Make BIG Things Happen (January 2012) with all of his proceeds are donated to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in conjunction with Yum! Brands’ World Hunger Relief efforts.

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Donovan Campbell, Combat Veteran, Best-Selling Author and Management Consultant

Thursday, August 23, 2012
Benson University Center, Wake Forest University

Leadership Learned on the Front Lines

After leaving active service in 2005, Donovan attended Harvard Business School, where he graduated with high distinction and was named a Baker Scholar for performing in the top 5% of this class. During his second year of the master’s program, Donovan was recalled to active service, and in 2008 he deployed to Afghanistan as a Captain supporting Special Operations Command, Central. He was awarded a Defense Meritorious Service Medal for exceptional service overseas. In May of 2009, Random House published Joker One, Donovan’s New York Times best-selling memoir about his combat infantry leadership experiences. His second book on character-based servant-leadership will be published by Random House in March of 2013.

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Walter Robb, Co-CEO, Whole Foods Market

Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Worrell Professional Center

Capitalism with a Conscience: Reflections on the Whole Foods Market Journey

Walter Robb joined Whole Foods Market in 1991 operating the Mill Valley, California store until he became president of the Northern Pacific Region in 1993 where he grew the region from two to 17 stores. He became Executive Vice-President of Operations in 2000, Chief Operating Officer in 2001 and Co-President in 2004. Now as Co-CEO, Robb oversees six regions and is on the Whole Planet Foundation Board of Directors. An avid organic advocate, Robb is on the Advisory Board for the Organic Center for Education and Promotion. He is also on the Board of Regents for the University of the Pacific and is the Board Chair for the Whole Kids Foundation.

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Dr. Daniel Vasella, Chairman, Novartis AG

Thursday, December 1, 2011
Worrell Professional Center

Can Business be Caring?  The tensions between business, ethics and humanity.

Dr. Daniel Vasella is chairman of Novartis AG, a global pharmaceutical company that operates in 140 countries.  Vasella served as CEO and an executive member of the company for 14 years following the merger that created Novartis in 1996.  He was appointed chairman in April 1999.  Before the Novartis merger, Vasella was CEO of Sandoz Pharma Ltd.  He graduated with an M.D. from the University of Bern and completed executive training at the Harvard Business School.  Novartis AG was the “Most Admired Pharmaceutical Company” of 2011 in the yearly Fortune magazine survey, and the Financial Times named Vasella the most influential European business man of the past quarter century.

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Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO, GE

Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Worrell Professional Center

Developing Global Leaders for a Global Economy

Jeffrey R. Immelt is the ninth chairman of GE and has been named one of the “World’s Best CEOs” three times by Barron’s.  Since he began serving as CEO, GE has been named “America’s Most Admired Company” by Fortune magazine and one of “The World’s Most Respected Companies” in polls by Barron’s and The Financial Times.  In February 2011, Immelt was appointed chairman of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

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Colin Gillespie (MBA ’00), Senior Director of Marketing at LEGO Direct to Consumer

Friday, March 25, 2011
Deacon Tower, BB&T Field, Wake Forest University

From Turnaround to Transformation

Almost everyone has a hands-on personal experience with the product that Wake Forest University Schools of Business alumnus Colin Gillespie (MBA ’00) works so passionately to promote. He the Senior Director of Marketing at LEGO® Direct to Consumer. In his role, he serves as the driver for developing LEGO®’s global direct to consumer strategy and is responsible for building innovative consumer experiences and identifying the growth potential created by those experiences.  Gillespie shared his journey with the LEGO company and around the world.

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Marilyn Carlson Nelson, Chairman and former CEO of Carlson

Friday, February 4, 2011
Worrell Professional Center

How We Lead Matters, Reflections of a Life of Leadership

Marilyn Carlson Nelson was named one of “The World’s Most Powerful Women” by Forbes Magazine.  She is chairman and former CEO of Carlson, a global group of integrated travel companies including Radisson Hotels, Country Inns & Suites, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and T.G.I. Fridays.  She is also the author of the best-selling book “How We Lead Matters: Reflections of a Life of Leadership.”

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Dean Kamen, founder of DEKA Research & Development

Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Worrell Professional Center

Personal Passion Changes the World

In his talk, “Personal Passion Changes the World,” Dean talked about his various inventions and work including his new water purification system. Dean Kamen is an inventor, an entrepreneur, and a tireless advocate for science and technology. He invented the “Segway,”  “AutoSyringe,” a new type of mobile dialysis system for medical applications, the first insulin pump, and an all-terrain electric wheelchair known as the iBOT.

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Bob Holland, Corporate Director, Managing Partner & Advisory Board Member, Essex Lake Group, LLC

Thursday, November 11, 2010
Worrell Professional Center

The Quest for Success

Bob Holland currently is an active corporate director, and a Managing Partner and Advisory Board member of Essex Lake Group, LLC, a profit enhancement firm, with offices in China, India, London, Madrid and metro New York. Prior to these initiatives, he was a General Partner with the private equity firm of CSW in NYC, Chief Executive Officer and sole owner of WorkPlace Integrators (WPI), and Chief Executive Officer of Ben & Jerry’s, the Vermont based ice cream maker.

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Alan Reynolds, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, former Director of Economic Research at the Hudson Institute

Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Worrell Professional Center
Sponsored by the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism at Wake Forest

Income and Wealth Inequality

Alan Reynolds is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute and was formerly Director of Economic Research at the Hudson Institute. He served as Research Director with National Commission on Tax Reform and Economic Growth, an advisor to the National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education, and as a member of the OMB transition team in 1981. His studies have been published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Joint Economic Committee, the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and St. Louis and the Australian Stock Exchange. Author of Income and Wealth (Greenwood Press 2006), he has written for numerous publications since 1971 including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, National Review, The New Republic, Fortune and The Harvard Business Review. A former columnist with Forbes and Reason, his weekly column is now nationally syndicated.

Reynolds spoke about “income and wealth inequality” which is a major bone of contention between free market thinkers and those who would advocate greater government regulation of markets and industries.

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Susan Ivey, Chairman, President and CEO, Reynolds American Inc.

Thursday, October 21, 2010
Worrell Professional Center

Susan Ivey is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Reynolds American Inc., as well as president of RAI Services Company. She was formerly president and chief executive officer of Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation (B&W), a subsidiary of British American Tobacco that was the third-largest manufacturer and marketer of cigarettes in the United States prior to the merger of its U.S. operations with Reynolds Tobacco in July 2004.

Ivey is ranked No. 26 in Fortune magazine’s 2009 listing of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and is No. 58 in Forbes magazine’s 2009 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. She is also ranked No. 33 in the Financial Times’ 2009 Top 50 Women in World Business.

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Mike Duke, President and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Worrell Professional Center

Leading Global Growth

Mike Duke is the president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Walmart). From 2005 to February, 2009, Mike served as vice chairman of the company, with responsibility for Walmart International. Since joining Walmart in 1995, Mike has led the logistics, distribution and administration divisions as well as Walmart U.S. As vice chairman, Mike was actively involved in developing and executing corporate strategy. He focused on setting higher standards of excellence for the company’s resources and people–from the redesign of logistics and merchandise distribution systems, to the recruitment of talent, and development of strong teams. Prior to joining the company, Mike had 23 years of experience in retailing with Federated Department Stores and May Department Stores.

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Other past Broyhill speakers include:


  • Christopher Galvin, former Chairman and CEO of Motorola, current Chairman and CEO of Harrison Street Capital,LLC.
  • Duane Ackerman, Chairman & CEO, BellSouth
  • John T. Chambers, President & CEO, Cisco Systems
  • Michael Dell, Chairman & CEO, Dell Computer
  • Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation
  • David Farr, CEO, Emerson
  • Former President Gerald R. Ford
  • Alan Greenspan, Chairman, Federal Reserve Board
  • Julia Homer, Founding editor and Editor in Chief, CFO Magazine
  • Katherine M. Hudson, President & CEO, Brady Corp.
  • Robert A. Ingram, Vice Chairman of Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline
  • William R. Johnson, Chairman, President and CEO, H.J. Heinz Co.
  • Hugh L. McColl Jr., Retired Chairman & CEO, Bank of America
  • Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Former U.S. Ambassador to Finland, Chair of the American Red Cross
  • Robert Rubin, Former U.S. Treasury Secretary, Director, Citigroup
  • Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

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Hylton Lecture Series

The Hylton Lecture Series in Accountancy was established in 1980 to honor Delmar P. Hylton, who started Wake Forest’s accountancy program in 1949 and helped build it into one of the top accounting programs in the nation.

Tim Ryan, Vice Chairman & Markets, Strategy and Stakeholders Leader for PwC

Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Broyhill Auditorium, Farrell Hall

On the Horizon:  Perspectives on the Future of the Accounting Profession and Success Principles for Future Business Leaders

Tim Ryan, Vice Chairman &  Markets, Strategy and Stakeholders Leader for PwC, shared his thoughts on the future, and relevance, of the accounting profession as well as leadership in a complex and changing world.

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Tom Golden, retired PricewaterhouseCoopers Partner-In-Charge of Chicago Investigations & Forensic Science

Kelly Richmond Pope, Associate Professor of Accountancy at DePaul University

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012
Brendle Recital Hall

“Trust but Verify: Understanding Fraud in Today’s Economy”

Financial fraud was the focus of the Wake Forest University Schools of Business Hylton Lecture on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 4:00 p.m. at Brendle Recital Hall. “Trust but Verify: Understanding Fraud in Today’s Economy” was presented by Tom Golden, retired PricewaterhouseCoopers Partner-In-Charge of Chicago Investigations & Forensic Science and Kelly Richmond Pope, Associate Professor of Accountancy at DePaul University.

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PricewaterhouseCoopers Partners and Clients

March 24, 2011
Annenberg Forum, Wake Forest University

Partners & Clients: See how it works!

Wake Forest University Schools of Business presented a unique look inside the relationships between audit firms and their corporate clients as part of the Hylton Lecture Series. “Partners & Clients: See how it works!” was on March 24, 2011 in the Annenberg Forum on the Wake Forest University campus. Dean of Business Steve Reinemund served as the moderator of a lively discussion with PricewaterhouseCoopers partners and their clients from American Express and Exxon-Mobil.

Panelists included: Joan Lordi Amble, Executive Vice President and Corporate Comptroller, American Express Company; Ward Hamm, Partner in the Banking and Capital Markets practice of PricewaterhouseCoopersLLP; Patrick T. Mulva, Vice President and Controller, Exxon Mobil Corporation; Jonathan H. Mullins, PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Audit Engagement Partner for Exxon Mobil Corporation.

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Other Speaker Events at Wake Forest


Michael P. Phalen, Executive Vice President and President, Medical Surgery (MedSurg), Boston Scientific

Friday, March 21, 2014
Broyhill Auditorium, Farrell Hall

Medical Devices and the Changing Global Healthcare Market

Keynote speaker Michael Phalen of Boston Scientific addresses members of the case competition teams at the 5th annual Biotech Conference at the Wake Forest University School of Business. Phalen discusses issues that are driving the change in Medtech today as well as the changing commercial algorithm and venture models and its effects on leading medtech firms. The keynote presentation is followed by a panel discussion with industry experts and the introduction of the eight case teams competing in the 2014 Biotech Case Competition.

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Bob McDonald, retired Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Procter & Gamble

Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Broyhill Auditorium, Farrell Hall

Values-based Leadership

“Living a life driven by purpose is more meaningful and rewarding than meandering through life without direction,” said Bob McDonald to a standing-room only crowd in Farrell Hall’s Broyhill Auditorium August 21, 2013. McDonald, who recently retired as Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Procter & Gamble, offered insights rooted in his own personal history as well as lessons learned while he traveled the globe and experienced many cultures during his work with P&G.

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Ken Blanchard, Management consultant and best-selling author

Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Charlotte’s Booth Playhouse & WFU Charlotte Center

Nonprofit Symposium

Management consultant and best-selling author Ken Blanchard inspired some 300 nonprofit sector leaders who heard him kicked off the Wake Forest University Annual Nonprofit Symposium. Blanchard drew on decades of experience to deliver his message that a clear, inspiring vision, the ability to work with people, and an attitude of servant-leadership were essential not only for the success of individual organizations, but also communities and the country. After his talk at the Booth Playhouse, participants went back to Wake Forest Charlotte Center and broke up into small groups to discuss the topics Blanchard raised and the issues they face as nonprofit leaders.

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Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Wake Forest University Charlotte Center

Nonprofit Symposium: “Turning Calamity into Opportunity”

The Wake Forest University Charlotte Center welcomed Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, to launch an educational initiative to support nonprofit organizations. Reckford served as the keynote speaker for “Navigating for the Future” a free symposium for nonprofit organizations on March 28. Reckford’s presentation titled, “Turning Calamity into Opportunity” emphasized how a crisis provides opportunities for innovation and rethinking “business as usual.” He discussed how the tsunami in Asia and hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the United States forced Habitat for Humanity to become more nimble.

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