The Robins School of Business has launched two signature speaker series programs for the 2011-2012 school year—The Robins Executive Speaker Series and C-Suite Conversations.   The Robins Executive Speaker Series kicked off its first speaker installment on October 6, 2011, entitled “The World from Wall Street.”  The speaker event was hosted by Paul Queally R ’86, co-president of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe who moderated a panel of Wall Street executives and invited questions from the audience on the current status of the U.S. financial climate. 

Panelists included: Charles Johnson III, partner at Private Advisors; Sam Shapiro, chairman and director at Shapiro Capital Management; Edward Massaro, CEO at Knighthood Capital; and Srinivas Pulavarti, president of the Spider Management Company.  The panel discussion took place from 6 to 7 pm in the Ukrop Auditorium of Queally Hall and was followed by a reception in Moelchert Commons. 

According to Dean Nancy A. Bagranoff of the Robins School of Business, the Robins Executive Speaker Series was made possible by a grant from the Manville Foundation to bring executive speakers in to speak to students.  Also, Ukrop Auditorium, located within the new addition to the Robins School - Queally Hall, helped keep this signature series within the Robins School.

“The new auditorium was inspiration for us to reshape the program, so that we would bring in multiple speakers each year,” Dean Bagranoff said.

Queally moderated a similar panel of Wall Street executives during the dedication of Queally Hall this past spring.  “The Wall Street panel was a big hit at the Queally Hall dedication event,” Dean Bagranoff said.  “As a result, we thought it would be great to make it an annual event.  It worked out well that it was and will be the first event of each academic year.”

The Robins Executive Speaker Series also enables the Robins School to invite local business people into the new space to take part in the events as well.  “We felt that it would be consistent with the Richmond Promise to invite members of the Richmond community to join us.

In addition to members of the Richmond community, undergraduate students, Executive Advisory Council members and Richmond MBA students were also in attendance at the event.  A former Richmond MBA student, Alex Solomon GB ’11 who currently works as an investment banking analyst with Cary Street Partners, attended “The Word from Wall Street.”

“[The Word from Wall Street] seemed like a good opportunity to learn the market perspectives of some high-caliber market leaders,” Solomon said. 

Bagranoff pointed out that The Word from Wall Street event, as well as other events within the Robins Executive Speaker Series and C-Suite Conversations, can give graduate students more insight into other industries and companies.

“An MBA student in our program works for one organization,” Bagranoff said.  “Exposure to these speakers allows these students to see how others do it.  These students also have the opportunity to hear from highly successful leaders across industries.  That should be a privilege of this educational experience.”

The Robins Executive Speaker Series also reinforces the strategic plan tenet of experiential learning in that real business executives are presenting on real, current challenges and concepts in today’s business world. 

Dean Bagranoff said that The Robins Executive Speaker Series adds another dimension to student learning.  “We teach them concepts in the classroom, and the speakers bring those concepts to life,” she said. 

“We are also choosing speakers who have a reputation for leading with integrity, and we hope that our students will emulate these role models.”

For more information on the Robins Executive Speaker Series or C-Suite Conversations and for upcoming events please visit our website.  A video capturing “The Word from Wall Street” may also be accessed here.