Kellogg World Alumni Magazine, Summer 2003Kellogg School of Management
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San Francisco

Thanks to all who attended the first event of Kellogg's Executive Leadership Circle forum on April 8..It was a success by every measure. The most important thanks go to Gerron Vartan '67, who organized this invitation-only event along with several other executive alumni. More than 60 Kellogg graduates attended the panel discussions — all of them executive managers from a range of technology companies throughout the Bay Area.

This was an important pilot program for Kellogg, reflecting Dean Jain's primary goals for the direction of Kelloggís future. Strengthening the alumni network is central among these goals, which also include:

1. Provide interactive thought leadership programming for senior level executive alumni to serve as a source of insight and information.
2. Provide senior level executive alumni with a unique environment in which to network with their peers.
3. Position the school as a thought leader.
4. Engage senior level executive alumni in business conversations that can be examined from an academic and intellectual perspective, as well as a experiential and business world perspective.
5. Leverage Kelloggís recognized strength in functional marketing to support the broader concept of market leadership.
6. Build upon the lifelong value of the Kellogg School education and experience.
7. Facilitate and foster robust alumni relationships with the institution and among other alumni.

The theme for the night was "Leadership and Ethical Issues in High Tech." Our panel discussion was moderated by Kellogg professors David Messick and Tony Paoni, and involved a distinguished panel of executives, including: Craig Brennan, president and CEO, Brio Software; John Dohm, vice president for programs with the Center for Project Management; Richard Kramlich, co-founder and general partner, New Enterprise Associates; Gideon Sasson, executive vice president, Schwab; Bob Wayman, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Hewlett-Packard Co.

There was a balance of opposing views on every issue discussed. Business issues and ethical such as "should we introduce a software product at the previously announced time, even though the product has not been fully beta tested?" were discussed at length. Following the event, the crowd continued to network well past the scheduled conclusion, and it wasnít only because of the great appetizers and drink. A special thanks to Hewlett-Packard for donating the space.

In his letter to thank all who participated in the event, Dean Jain wrote: 'I am very pleased with the feedback I've received since the event and anticipate that the momentum will continue in San Francisco for future events like this. As you know, this collaborative effort was designed to bring Kellogg professors and distinguished alumni together for a unique opportunity to discuss issues involving leadership in the high tech industry. One of my primary initiatives as dean has been to strengthen the Kellogg alumni network — especially programming for more seasoned alumni who have asked for targeted events among their peers. The Executive Leadership Circle event was a pilot program to facilitate this goal, and we will use this event as a model for future efforts around the world. I hope that you enjoyed the topic as well the connections you made with other alumni in the Bay Area."

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University