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Once again, St. Bonaventure alumnus and global businessman Richard Kearns comes home to St. Bonaventure University, bringing along a panel of international business executives for the fifth annual Kearns Global Business Lecture.
With the discussion centered on “The Changing Global Business Landscape — Evolution or Revolution,” the lecture will begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 2, in the Rigas Family Theater of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on the St. Bonaventure campus.
“The global business model is facing many challenges, like Brexit and border tax proposals, trade agreement renegotiations and regulatory reforms, just to name a few,” said Kearns, a 1972 graduate of St. Bonaventure and a retired chief administrative officer for Zurich Insurance Group. “Do these developments reflect a rejection of the global model or an evolution of a more balanced global/local model that acknowledges nationalistic influences?”
Kearns, along with his wife, Maureen, launched the lecture series in 2013 to highlight diverse perspectives on global business matters. Each year, Kearns brings a panel of business leaders to engage with the St. Bonaventure community.
From 2002 to his retirement in 2011, Kearns was based in Switzerland as Zurich’s chief administrative officer and Member of the Group Management Board. He is also a retired PricewaterhouseCoopers Partner where he held senior global roles. Currently, he serves on the Boards and Audit Committees of Zurich’s U.S. subsidiaries. He served as a university trustee from 2000 to 2009.
Joining Kearns on the panel will be:
Jennifer Torneden, senior vice president for Aon, a global brokerage firm. Before joining Aon in 2016, Torneden served in global, national and regional roles for Zurich Insurance for 16 years. She holds more than 20 years’ experience in the insurance and consulting industry, with expertise in change management, creating new capabilities, and turnaround in marketing, sales and finance.
Brian Kearns, vice president and CFO of BH Aircraft Co., a leading manufacturing company serving the aerospace and defense industries. Kearns began his career with the global professional services firm Ernst & Young, serving in the firm’s Audit and Advisory practice. In his 15 years with the company, Kearns participated in multiple international tours, bringing his experience to locations throughout Europe and the Middle East.
Donard Gaynor, a retired senior executive of Beam Global Spirits & Wine. Gaynor held a crucial role in Beam’s IPO and also served as a chief executive of Beam International. Additionally, he is a former senior executive of Seagrams and a PricewaterhouseCoopers Partner. Gaynor has held global roles throughout his career, including extensive time in the Asia/Pacific region.
“Dick Kearns and his Globetrotter Team are committed to helping students develop a global mindset,” said Dr. Matrecia James, dean of the School of Business. “They bring to campus a wealth of international business expertise as well as news and views to share from the World Economic Forum in Davos.”
Following the panel discussion, Kearns and his team will open the floor to a Q&A session.
As in past years, the discussion will be live streamed at www.sbu.edu/KearnsLecture.
The event is free and open to the public. Kearns and his team welcome local businesspeople to attend.
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