The Global Commerce Executive Speaker Series will bring key national and international business leaders to campus to reflect and share upon their professional experiences. As a result, Global Commerce majors will gain insights about how these executives think, manage and inspire. Select students will be invited to roundtable discussions with the speakers, giving them a unique opportunity to meet notable business leaders one-on-one.
Spring 2018 speakers include:
Bradley Blum '76,
Founder & Owner, BLUM Growth Fund, LLC
Board Director, Darden Restaurants
As chief executive, Blum’s leadership as President of Olive Garden, CEO of Burger King and CEO of Romano's Macaroni Grill evidences his ability to transform and turn around some of the largest brands and companies in the casual dining and quick service restaurant industry.
More recently, he is now an entrepreneur/owner; restaurant consultant; board director for several restaurant companies domestically and globally - always committed to helping improve our food supply, creating a greater sense of community and improving financial performance/returns.
Endurance sports car racing is his passion and hobby for fun and 'reducing stress.' He also enjoys mountain hiking, skiing and spending time in Europe, especially along the Mediterranean in Italy and the south of France.
Matthew Harrington '84
Global Chief Operating Officer, Edelman
Matthew Harrington leads global operations for Edelman, a leading global communications marketing firm that partners with many of the world’s largest and emerging businesses and organizations, helping them evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations.
A 25-year Edelman veteran, Harrington is a specialist in corporate positioning and reputation management. His expertise includes crisis communications, merger and acquisition activity and IPOs. Harrington counsels a range of clients including GE, Charles Schwab & Company, Samsung and Starbucks. In 1996, he managed crisis communications for Odwalla, Inc. during a product recall, which is credited with being the first use of the Internet in a crisis and for which he was awarded a Silver Anvil from the Public Relations Society of America.
Harrington’s previous roles with Edelman include president of the U.S., and president of the Eastern and Western regions. He also led Edelman’s initiative to introduce a Code of Conduct.
Harrington is a graduate of Denison University, where he serves on the Board of Trustees. He is an advisory member of the Marketing 50, Chairman of the PR Council and serves on the boards of the World Food Program USA, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), the Classic Stage Company, and the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication’s Board of Advisors.
John Faraci '72
Retired Chairman & CEO, International Paper
Faraci served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of International Paper Co. from 2003 until his retirement in 2014. He spent his career of more than 40 years at International Paper, also serving as the company's Chief Financial Officer and in various other financial, planning and management positions. Faraci serves on the board of directors for PPG Industries, Inc. and United Technologies Corporation. He is also a trustee of the American Enterprise Institute, Denison University and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Cynthia Booth '79
President & CEO, COBCO Enterprises
Booth is the President and Chief Executive Officer of COBCO Enterprises, LLC, the owner and operator of six McDonald's restaurants in the Cincinnati area. Prior to forming COBCO in 2000, she held various executive positions at Firstar Bank (now U.S. Bank) in Cincinnati, including President, Firstar Bank Foundation, Senior Vice President-Director of Community Development, Vice President of Private Wealth Group, Vice President of Residential Real Estate, Vice President of Human Resources, and Vice President, and before that was President of Diversified Solutions, Inc., a bank consulting firm.
Booth is active in several civic and community organizations, including serving as a director and the treasurer of the Greater Cincinnati Regional Chamber of Commerce, a Trustee of Denison, and as a director of the YWCA of Greater Cincinnati.