Kellogg's power is the people
They attended Kellogg separately and have applied their business school lessons differently, but both Gary ‘89 and Catherine Briggs '94 agree it's the people that make the Kellogg experience
In 2006 Jeff Hoye resigned as president of Western Hemisphere operations for Corus America Inc. Corus Group PLC was one of the world's largest integrated steel producers. Attractive job opportunities in Texas lured Jeff and his wife Carrie away from the Chicago suburbs to Houston. Upon arrival, though, Hoye had a problem: his new employer was being sold, and Jeff was jobless.
It wasn't a glossy brochure that drove them to
apply. Not even a campus tour. It was Kellogg
alumni — Gary Briggs' friends and mentors —
who sparked both his and later, Catherine's,
interest in the school.
The two began dating in 1991 after Gary earned
his MBA, before Catherine earned hers. She was
on the Gatorade account at Quaker Oats. He
was at McKinsey and Company, consulting for
Gatorade. "I was checking out business schools
and was discouraged by the competitive and
unfriendly atmosphere of many," she recalls.
"In contrast, Kellogg appealed to me on the
strength of Gary's business school friendships.
There was such a close camaraderie."
Their time at Kellogg was separated by five
years — "convenient for reunions," Catherine
quips. While Gary was involved in Special K and
Catherine delved into Women in Leadership,
both focused their studies on marketing.
After earning his MBA, Gary joined McKinsey
and Company and later returned to Pepsi. He led
marketing efforts at IBM, eBay, PayPal, Google
and in his current position as Facebook CMO.
After Kellogg, Catherine joined Marakon
Consulting, moving to beverage marketing
and brand management at Guinness and Motts
Cadbury Schweppes. Today, she shares her
marketing and philanthropic leadership skills
with several civic organizations, including
Kellogg's KAC and Annual Giving initiative,
the Boys & Girls Club and at Dartmouth
(her undergraduate alma mater), where she
launched a women's philanthropy program.
In their corporate and civic leadership roles,
both Gary and Catherine find themselves drawn
to those who embrace Kellogg ideals. "Kellogg
leaders are distinct — it's a combination of
results-orientation and teamwork," explains
Gary. Catherine concurs, "Kellogg alumni are
courageous, but not bullheaded: high-impact
and low ego. They are tuned in regardless of
the other person's title."
It's these traits that make the Kellogg network
so valuable. "Alumni really do enjoy helping one
another," says Gary. "I've found that Kellogg
grads bring fellow alumni on more often than
graduates from other schools do." Catherine
adds, "This network of smart and collaborative
people is a tremendous resource no matter
what career or life stage — moving to the next
ladder rung or re-entering the workforce after
raising children. There are always opportunities
to get reinvigorated ... it's Kellogg for life."