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#Bona’s 2019 Kearns Business Lecture to discuss impact, future of gig economy

Mar 20, 2019 |

Kearns Lecture

The seventh annual Kearns Global Business Lecture brings back St. Bonaventure University alumnus and global businessman Richard Kearns to moderate a returning panel of international business executives.

The discussion will focus on “Preparing for the Gig Economy: What it Means to the Future of Work.” The lecture will begin at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, in the Rigas Family Theater of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on the St. Bonaventure campus.

“We’re changing the way we work,” said Kearns, a retired chief administrative officer of Zürich Insurance Group and a 1972 St. Bonaventure graduate. “Some by choice and some by design. Research suggests that as many as 60 percent of the workforce will be gig employees by 2025.

”Kearns and his panel of experts will share their views on the future of work and offer suggestions on how graduates can best adapt to these changing times. A gig economy is defined as a labor market characterized by short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to more permanent jobs.

“Traditional work and career paths are being challenged,” said Kearns. “What does this mean for college graduates entering the workforce and how can they prepare for new employment models?”

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 Zürich’s chief administrative officer and member of the Group Management Board. A retired PricewaterhouseCoopers partner, he held senior global roles. He continues to serve on the Boards and Audit Committees of Zürich’s U.S. subsidiaries.

Kearns served as a university trustee from 2000 to 2009, and in 2017 received the St. Bonaventure Alumnus of the Year Award.

Joining him 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 Zürich 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. She serves on Aon’s Diversity and Inclusion Board and is on the Board of GrowthSource Academy, a nonprofit organization supporting women entrepreneurs.

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 P. Gaynor, a retired senior executive of Beam Global Spirits & Wine. Gaynor held a crucial role in Beam’s IPO and 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.

Following the panel discussion, Kearns and his team will open the floor to a Q&A session.

“Each of our distinguished guests is committed to helping today’s students develop cultural awareness and an international mindset to lead in tomorrow’s global marketplace,” said Dr. Matrecia James, dean of the School of Business. “Their discussions are always dynamic, informative, and filled with hard-earned wisdom.”

As in past years, the discussion will be live streamed at

The event is free and open to the public. Kearns and his team welcome local businesspeople to attend.


About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things.  St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. 




Effective managers are strong organizers, planners, problem-solvers and motivators who can help a business or organization compete and succeed.

Management is an ideal major for grooming the corporate generalist. It develops decision-makers who are well equipped with a broad knowledge of all areas of business including accounting, business information systems, finance, marketing and economics. Management majors pursue a curriculum that emphasizes courses in these core areas.

They may also choose an emphasis in behavioral management (motivation, conflict, group dynamics) or quantitative management (statistics, models, computer simulations).

Four concentrations are available to management majors:
  • Family Business
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Global Business Management
  • Human Resource Management
Each concentration requires a major to take 9 credits as management electives. (See Curriculum & Courses page.)

Students may also minor in management. (See Minors in Business.)

Careers in Management

Management majors are well-equipped for career opportunities in a variety of businesses and not-for-profit organizations, such as human resources management, organizational development, production and operations management, sales and retail management; and supervisory positions in many fields including manufacturing, education, government and non-profit entities.

Other job opportunities exist in the areas of international business, purchasing, urban planning, health care administration, and plant management.

Additionally, quantitative and computer-related courses provide a solid foundation for careers in system analysis, business information systems, marketing research, and materials management and planning.

Faculty Research & Honors

    Apr 18, 2018

    School of Business
    Professor of Business Information Systems, Professor of Management
    Dr. Carl J. Case, professor of business information systems, Darwin L. King, professor of accounting, and Dr. Todd S. Palmer, associate professor of management, had their paper titled “Recreational Use of the Internet: An Examination of Undergraduate Business Students" published in the Proceedings of the 2018 International Academy of Business Disciplines 30th Annual Conference.

Management at SBU

Management majors learn a lot and are prepared for the real world.