For the sixth consecutive year, St. Bonaventure University alumnus and global businessman Richard Kearns will moderate a panel of international business executives for the Kearns Global Business Lecture.
The presentation, titled “The Changing Role of Global Leaders — What it Takes to Succeed,” will begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, in the Rigas Family Theater of the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts on the St. Bonaventure campus.
“Leading in our complex world is an increasingly challenging task,” said Kearns, a retired chief administrative officer of Zürich Insurance Group and a 1972 St. Bonaventure graduate. “New business models, regulatory and geopolitical shifts, technology and cyber risks are just a handful of dynamic issues that need to be successfully balanced within organizations.”
Kearns and his panel of experts will examine skills that leaders need to master to successfully manage in this constantly changing global landscape.
“Lively and informative — that’s what every Kearns Global Business Lecture is,” said Dr. Matrecia James, dean of the School of Business. “Dick Kearns and his Globetrotter Team know the particulars of working across countries and cultures, and they are eager to share their vast knowledge with our students and other audience members.”
Kearns, along with his wife, Maureen, launched the lecture series in 2013 to highlight diverse perspectives on global business matters. Each year, Kearns 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.
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. He is also a retired PricewaterhouseCoopers Partner where he held senior global roles. Currently, he serves on the Boards and Audit Committees of Zürich’s U.S. subsidiaries. He served as a university trustee from 2000 to 2009, and in 2017 received the St. Bonaventure Alumnus of the Year Award.
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 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 currently 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 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.
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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