Kellogg Magazine | Features

Network effect

Network Effect - DFW Alumni Club

The DFW alumni club leverages Kellogg thought leadership to strengthen ties in the Dallas business community

During the 14 years the Kellogg Leadership Symposium in Dallas has been held, its alumni organizers have found that the key to creating a successful program is finding the perfect blend of insights from Kellogg thought leaders with real-world stories on professional challenges and journeys.

This was underscored by the way the audience received this year’s keynote address, “Leading Transformation – Breaking the Model,” which was delivered by Rob Apatoff, former FTD Companies president and CEO, who is now executive director of the Kellogg Executive Leadership Institute and clinical professor of executive education.

“People really loved his humor and down-to-earth approach in the way he had a conversation with the audience,” said Mark Howard ’98, president and symposium logistics chair for the Kellogg Alumni Club of Dallas/Fort Worth. “I think that really brought them in, giving his take on some of the industry examples of where transformation didn’t work in the past and where transformation did work.”

This year, more than 270 people attended the annual symposium, hosted by the DFW alumni club on February 15, 2020. Notably, this club has been recognized five times as the alumni club of the year at Northwestern for excelling in programming such as the symposium.

The 2020 event drew a range of business professionals — including Kellogg alumni, as well as alumni from other top-tier business schools — to Southern Methodist University’s Collins Executive Education Center. Beyond the local Dallas/Fort Worth alumni population, alumni from as far away as Orlando and Seattle traveled to participate.

“[The event is] a testament to the Kellogg brand’s longevity and the impact of Kellogg on people’s lives.” said Jeff King ’87, vice president of executive alumni engagement and symposium sponsorship committee chair for the Kellogg DFW Alumni Club.

The event featured panels, workshops, networking and keynotes revolving around the theme of “transformation.” The workshops, “Social Impact with Intention: Kellogg Framework” and “Personal Transformation: Evolving your Brand Relevance” were sold out.

Megan Kashner ’03, clinical assistant professor within Kellogg’s Public-Private Interface Initiative and director of social impact at Kellogg, and Karin O’Connor ’89, clinical assistant professor of innovation and entrepreneurship and executive director of the Heizer Center for Private Equity and Venture Capital, hosted the social impact workshop where a highly engaged audience worked in groups to analyze and apply the social impact framework.

More than 130 people were in the audience for the personal transformation workshop hosted by Jenny Fernandez ’05, vice president of marketing at Loacker USA, executive coach and startup adviser, who discussed unique ways to add value to your network as well as ways to publish your expertise and thoughts.