St. Bonaventure University

Kearns Global Business Lecture Series

The annual Kearns Global Business Lecture Series brings industry leaders to campus to underscore the need for today's business students to develop a global mindset as they prepare to enter the work world.

Richard P. Kearns, retired chief administrative officer of Zurich Financial Services Group and a 1972 St. Bonaventure graduate, has four decades of experience in global markets, including 10 years in Switzerland as part of Zurich's senior management team.

He draws on that experience when he says it's not enough for today's students to leave campus with a head full of facts. Just as important as being "right" is your ability to apply your knowledge in real-world situations. The better you understand your world — how you conduct yourself, how you demonstrate to others that you are ethical and sincere and that you can be counted on — the greater your chances of succeeding and leading in the world marketplace, says Kearns.

To that end, Kearns and his wife, Maureen, fund and lead the strategy for the Kearns Global Business Lecture Series at St. Bonaventure. Their goal is to engage students with business leaders who offer diverse perspectives on global business matters. The series offers students the unique and powerful opportunity to ask questions of top people in their field.

Kearns is a distinguished alumnus who spent many years of his career living and working in Europe, and this lecture series provides vital insight into working across countries and cultures.

Kearns began his career at Price Waterhouse in 1972 and was admitted to the partnership in 1984. He was appointed leader of Global Partner Affairs following the merger that created PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1998. In September 2002, Kearns joined Zurich’s senior management team in Switzerland and continues to act as a senior advisor.

He served on St. Bonaventure's Board of Trustees from 2000 to 2009.

2023 10th Annual Kearns Global Business Lecture

Improving our Financial IQ

Dick Kearns and his 2023 business globetrotters discussed how students can improve their financial IQ.

Stream the lecture

Joining Dick Kearns on the 2023 panel:

Brian Kearns
Vice President & CFO, BH Aircraft Co.

Kearns is CFO and a board director of B.H. Aircraft, a leading manufacturing company serving the aerospace and defense industries. He began his career with EY, where he spent 15 years in various audit and consulting roles, including multiple international assignments serving global clients throughout Europe and the Middle East. He also served in financial positions at Goldman Sachs and Pall Corporation. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Providence College and is a CPA.

Donard P. Gaynor
Chairman, Glanbia, PLC

Gaynor is group chairman and non-executive director of Glanbia, an Irish-based global nutrition group with operations in 32 countries. He previously served in senior executive positions at Beam Global Spirits, Seagram’s and PwC. Gaynor serves on the boards of other internationally based companies and has held global roles throughout his career in the U.S., Europe, and Asia Pacific. He is both a CPA and chartered accountant.

Thomas McCarthy, ’10, ’13
Manager, Learning + Development, Marriott International

McCarthy serves as manager of Learning + Development at Marriott International, working with the company’s hotel and field sales teams across North America. Since 2013, he’s worked in a variety of sales roles with The Ritz-Carlton and W Hotel brands, most recently as the inaugural sales executive for W Nashville. McCarthy also chairs ONE, Marriott’s LGBT+/Ally associate talent network. A St. Bonaventure graduate, he received a BBA in marketing in 2010 and an MBA in 2013. He also worked in the SBU Admissions Office while pursuing his graduate degree.

Jennifer Torneden
Strategic Consultant

Torneden is an experienced insurance distribution executive with particular expertise in digital transformation, C-suite partnering, growth & strategy and customer experience. She has served in global and national roles at Legal & General America, Aon and Zurich Insurance. She lived and worked in Switzerland for eight years. She received the 2019 Women to Watch Award from Business Insurance Magazine and holds a B.S. in finance from George Mason University and an MBA from Columbia University.