Event Speakers

Judy Olian

Dean and John E. Anderson Chair in Management
UCLA Anderson School of Management

Judy D. Olian, Ph.D., is the eighth dean of UCLA Anderson School of Management and the John E. Anderson Chair in Management. She began her appointment in January 2006 after serving more than five years as dean and professor of management at the Smeal College of Business Administration at Pennsylvania State University, and professor and senior associate dean at the Smith School at the University of Maryland.

Under her leadership, UCLA Anderson has hired a record number of faculty, launched new global degree and certificate programs, and initiated and developed targeted partnerships in Asia and Latin America. Recently, UCLA Anderson transitioned into a new financial model for the University of California. Under her leadership, the school has raised over $325 million to support innovative programming and management thought leadership, and to advance UCLA Anderson as one of the leading schools of management in the world.

Olian leads a school that annually provides management education to almost 2,000 students in MBA, masters and doctoral programs, and to more than 2,000 professionals through executive education programs. The school has several widely recognized research centers and a global alumni network of more than 36,000 graduates.

The school’s Board of Visitors has expanded, attracting many prominent business leaders who represent diverse functional and global perspectives. Olian served as the 2008 chairman of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), the premier business accrediting and management thought leadership organization in the world.

Widely published in journals on human resource management, top management team composition and the business alignment of management systems, Olian wrote a weekly syndicated newspaper column and hosted a monthly television show on current topics in business. She is a sought-after speaker and has consulted for major corporations. She serves on the advisory boards of Catalyst, the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, Westwood Technology Transfer Inc., Ares Management and United Therapeutics Corporation.

Born and raised in Australia, Olian holds a B.S. degree in psychology from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in industrial relations from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Margaret Shih

Board of Visitors Term Chair Professor of Management and Senior Associate Dean
Full-Time MBA Program and Fully Employed MBA Program
UCLA School of Management

Margaret Shih is the Board of Visitors Term Chair Professor in Management and Organizations and Senior Associate Dean of the FEMBA and full-time MBA programs at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Her research focuses on the effects of diversity in organizations. In particular, she focuses on social identity and the psychological effects of stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination and stigma in organizations.

Prior to joining the faculty at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA, Professor Shih served on the faculty at the University of Michigan for eight years, and also worked at the RAND Corporation. She serves on the executive committee for the International Society for Self and Identity and is a consulting editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. She was also an editor for the special issue of the Journal of Social Issues. She has received fellowships and grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health, Social Sciences and Humanities of Research Council of Canada, John Templeton Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Lisa Abendroth

Faculty Director, Part-Time Flex MBA
Opus College of Business
University of St. Thomas

Lisa Abendroth, Ph.D., is the faculty director for the St. Thomas Part-time Flex MBA program and teaches primarily in the graduate and executive programs. Her expertise ranges from general marketing management to specialties that include integrated marketing communications, branding, new product innovation, pricing, global strategy and customer relationship management, all based on a deep understanding of consumer behavior.

She leads graduate-level study abroad courses to the emerging markets of South America and India. She has taught internationally in China and Japan for Boston University; in Germany, Russia and Thailand for Duke Corporate Education; and Chile and Costa Rica for Seminarium. Abenroth is also an active researcher, with current projects focused on overcoming market resource gaps in emerging markets, word-of-mouth marketing, and purchasing behavior.

Before joining St. Thomas, Abenroth was the faculty director for the Professional Evening MBA program at Boston University, where she was also a marketing professor. She received her B.S. in economics with a concentration in marketing from the Wharton School and her B.A. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her Ph.D. in marketing is from Duke University.

Michael Alexander

Director and Lecturer, Professional MBA Program
Mays Business School
Texas A&M University

Michael Alexander is the director of the Professional MBA Program and a lecturer at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. Michael also oversees operations at Mays’ CityCentre campus in Houston.

Prior to joining Mays in March of 2012, Alexander spent 20 years in the advertising industry in a variety of roles such as production, operations, operations management, sales, marketing, sales management and business development.

From 2002 to 2012, Alexander worked as a divisional manager of business development for the seventh largest cable broadband company in the U.S., Suddenlink Communications. In that role, he managed multiple revenue streams and was responsible for several multimillion-dollar development projects for the firm.

In 2015, Alexander served as the interim director of MBA recruiting and admissions for Mays. He holds a B.A. and B.S. from Abilene Christian University and an MBA from Texas A&M University. He is originally from Longview, Texas. He is married to Maggie and has a daughter, Savannah, who is an undergraduate student at Texas A&M.

Marci Armstrong

Associate Dean, Graduate Programs and Marketing Faculty
Cox School of Business
Southern Methodist University

Marci Armstrong is associate dean of graduate programs at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University. Her responsibilities include strategic leadership of eleven graduate programs: the MBA, Fast Track MBA, Professional MBA, Executive MBA, MA/MBA in Arts Management, J.D./MBA, M.S. in Management, M.S. in Accounting, M.S. in Finance, M.S. in Sport Management and M.S. in Business Analytics programs. She has oversight of admissions, student services, diversity, global programs and career management.

A six-time teaching award honoree, Armstrong teaches SMU Cox MBA, PMBA and M.S. students and is also an experienced consultant and executive education instructor. Her recent work leads companies to understand how to drive customer loyalty and how to create memorable customer experiences. Armstrong’s client list includes private and public companies of all sizes. Marci is currently serving a second term on the Executive MBA Council board.

Alexander served five years on the Graduate Management Admission Council® (GMAC®) board of directors. Prior to joining SMU, she was a member of the faculty and associate dean at the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis. Her Ph.D. in management science (focused on solving marketing problems with quantitative methods) was earned at the University of Texas at Dallas, where she studied under renowned professor Frank Bass.

Alexander and husband David are parents of two adult sons and are avid snow skiers and cyclists.

Jen Arthur

Director of Admissions, MBA Program
Jenkins Graduate School of Management, Poole College of Management
North Carolina State University

Jen Arthur is the director of admissions at North Carolina State University’s Jenkins MBA Program. Born and raised in Florida to Disney-obsessed parents, she moved to North Carolina and began working for NC State’s MBA program in 2003. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Palm Beach Atlantic University and an MBA from Rollins College.

With over 13 years of admissions and student affairs experience, Arthur loves collaboration, innovation, and finding new ways to improve the applicant and student experience. She has been with Jenkins since its inception and is proud to have been part of the team during the program’s significant growth and change over the years.

Prior to working at NC State, Arthur co-owned a retail business in Florida. An art minor in college, she has kept up her creative interests by operating a photography business for the past eight years. She loves traveling, the outdoors, good food, games and spending time with her husband and daughter.

Michael Caplan

Assistant Dean, Graduate Student Services
Cox School of Business
Southern Methodist University

Michael Caplan is the assistant dean of graduate student services at SMU’s Cox School of Business. He started his career as associate director for student affairs at UCLA Anderson before moving to the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, where he worked as the director of student affairs and international programs.

He holds a juris doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh and a B.A. from Dartmouth College. He is currently restoring a lighthouse off the coast of Cape Cod.

Laura Carfang

Associate Director, Part-Time Graduate Programs
F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business
Babson College

Laura Carfang serves as the associate director at the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where she oversees the daily administration, operations and program delivery of the part-time graduate programs portfolio. In addition to being a part of the administration team and supporting faculty and student services, she is an instructor in the undergraduate First-Year Seminar program.

Carfang has experience teaching abroad in Italy, China and Chile, and enjoys volunteer appointments with both NASPA: Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education and NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

She earned her doctorate in education from Northeastern University in Boston, where she specialized in higher education administration with research focuses on internationalization, complex decision making models and leadership.

Carfang holds an M.A. from Middlebury College and a B.A. from Loyola University in Chicago.

Courtney Chandler

Assistant Dean, Evening & Weekend MBA Program (EWMBA)
Haas School of Business
UC Berkeley

Courtney Chandler oversees all aspects of the Evening & Weekend MBA program at Berkeley-Haas. She works closely with students, staff and faculty to ensure the best curriculum and student experience are delivered.

Prior to moving to the EWMBA program office, she worked as the senior associate director of admissions for MBA programs for working professionals. Chandler has been at Berkeley-Haas since 2009. She is the recipient of the 2016 Berkeley Staff Assembly Excellence in Management Award. Chandler also has five years of experience in investment banking, working in the technology corporate finance groups for both Lehman Brothers and SG Cowen.

Chandler holds a B.A. in economics from UC Berkeley and an MBA from the Haas School of Business. While an MBA student at Haas, she received the Earl F. Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching while in service as the graduate student instructor for macroeconomics.

Michael Desiderio

Executive Director
Executive MBA Council (EMBAC)

Michael Desiderio was hired as the first full-time executive director of the EMBA Council on July 1, 2007. Just prior to joining EMBAC he served as the director of strategic partnerships for the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, where he was responsible for managing business-to-business relationships.

Before transitioning to academia, Desiderio spent 18 years in industry in various positions that range from engineering through executive management. He received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

In 2001 he earned his MBA upon completion of the Executive MBA program at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. Since assuming the leadership of EMBAC, Desiderio has helped institute a focus on EMBA industry advocacy, thought leadership and a broader research agenda.

Gonzalo Freixes

Associate Dean, Professor, Higher Education Consultant
Fully Employed MBA Program (FEMBA)
UCLA Anderson School of Management

Gonzalo Freixes is an adjunct professor in the accounting area and the associate dean of the Fully Employed MBA program at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Freixes previously served as faculty director for the Applied Management Research field study program for the full-time MBA program and as associate dean of the Executive MBA program. He has also been associate dean of global immersion programs at UCLA Anderson. He holds a doctorate of jurisprudence from Loyola Law School and a Master in Business Taxation from the University of Southern California. He has been a licensed attorney in the state of California since 1979.

Freixes teaches business law, international business law, business ethics, corporate and individual taxation, and real estate law and taxation in the MBA program and in the undergraduate accounting minor program. He has lectured in Brazil, Spain, France, Holland, Argentina, South Africa, Belgium and Chile on international business and tax subjects. He has been faculty director of international seminars for Executive MBA programs from other top business schools, including IE Business School (Madrid), Essec Business School (Paris) and Mannheim Business School. Previously, he taught international business law and business law at California State University, Northridge. He frequently lectures in the subjects of taxation, corporate governance, business ethics, international business law and trial advocacy.

In 2011 Freixes received the Neidorf “Decade” Teaching Award from the UCLA Anderson faculty, and in 2006 he received the Fully Employed MBA class Outstanding Teacher Award. He is the faculty advisor and coach for the UCLA Mock Trial Program. UCLA won the national mock trial championship in 2004, 2005, 2011 and 2014. In 2011 the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) inducted Freixes to the Coaches Hall of Fame. He also received the Congressman Neil Smith Award in 2009 for contributions to AMTA’s educational mission.

Freixes served on the board of trustees of the Executive MBA Council and was chair of the board in 2012. The Council awarded Freixes with the Bud Fackler Award for service in 2014. He was an elected official with the Newhall School board of trustees (serving two years as its president) and also served on the State Bar of California’s Judicial Nominees Commission for three years, where he evaluated the California Governor’s judicial nominees for the Supreme, Appellate, Superior and Municipal courts.

Freixes received his J.D. in 1979 from Loyola Law School, and his M.A. in business taxation from USC in 2008.

Darin Kapanjie

Academic Director
Fox School of Business
Temple University

Darin Kapanjie, who joined Fox School of Business’ statistics department in 2003, is committed to teaching beyond the physical classroom. He is known for using cutting-edge teaching technologies. He was an early adopter of Class Capture, Wireless Tablet Annotation and Pearson’s MyLabs, and he was the first to use WebEx Web conferencing tools to teach synchronous online classes.

Kapanjie serves as the Fox School’s managing director of online and digital learning and is the academic director of the Fox Online MBA, part-time MBA, and Online Bachelors in Business Administration programs. As the managing director he built and now manages a team of instructional designers, video production staff and technology support to assist faculty, students and staff integrate production value and collaborative online and digital learning strategies. He serves on numerous curriculum and technology committees and has helped infuse the use of efficient, reliable and user-friendly technologies throughout the school.

Kapanjie was the visionary leader and driver behind the Fox Online MBA program, which in 2015 and 2016 was ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report. He also led the hybridization of the part-time MBA, which in 2016 was ranked #15 by U.S. News & World Report. While at Fox, he has been honored with Philadelphia Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 Award, the Musser Award for Leadership in Teaching, the Andrisani-Frank Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, the Fox Online MBA Professor of the Year and the Innovation in Teaching Award at Temple’s Classroom Engagement Through Technology Conference, and he is a two-time winner of the Fox Business Honors Teacher of the Year and was the inaugural recipient of the John DeAngelo Innovative Leader in Technology Award.

Megan Krueger

Assistant Dean, Student Life
Kellogg School of Management
Northwestern University

Megan Krueger has been the assistant dean of student life for Kellogg’s Evening and Weekend MBA program since 2002. She works on the strategic initiatives for the Evening and Weekend MBA program and oversees all student life programming and activities for its students.

Prior to her current role, Krueger served for 8 ½ years as the assistant dean and director of alumni relations at Kellogg. In addition to her administrative responsibilities, she has been a senior lecturer and administrative advisor in the Kellogg School’s Global Initiative in Management (GIM) program since 1998.

Prior to Kellogg, she worked in the retail and fashion industries. In the community, she has served as a director for a local theater board, her Chicago neighborhood civic board and Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago.

Krueger earned her MBA from Kellogg in 1990 and her B.A. from Indiana University. She most recently served as a director at the international level of Gamma Phi Beta sorority and its foundation. She is married and has a teenage daughter.

Kimberly Mallory

Director, MBA Programs for Working Professionals
Professional Flex MBA and Executive MBA
Raymond A. Mason School of Business
William & Mary

Kimberly Mallory is the director for William & Mary’s MBA Programs for Working Professionals, the Executive MBA and Flex MBA programs. The Flex MBA program is a top-40 ranked part-time evening program designed for early- to mid-career professionals moving into managerial and leadership positions, with classes taught at William & Mary’s satellite campus in Newport News, Virginia.

The Executive MBA program is a 19-month program designed for experienced managers moving in to senior leadership roles and is taught every other Friday and Saturday on the main campus in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Prior to coming to the College of William & Mary, Mallory served in a number of posts at the University of Tennessee, where she directed non-degree executive education programs for business and industry as well as MBA programs for working professionals.

Mallory has over 25 years of experience in higher education and holds a bachelor’s degree in management from Tusculum College and an MBA from the University of Tennessee.

Macie Osborn

Coordinator, MBA Programs for Working Professionals
Raymond A. Mason School of Business
William & Mary

Macie Osborn has 19 years of professional experience working in a variety of industries including nonprofit e-commerce publishing, print periodical publishing, staffing and now higher education.

Osborn brings high-level expertise to the MBA team through her process-focused thinking, dedication to exceptional customer service and a mindset that benefits prospects, students, staff and faculty alike. She has been with the College of William & Mary MBA Programs for Working Professionals since November 2014, and manages admissions and recruitment events and the application process.  

Dan Poston

Assistant Dean, Master’s Programs
Michael G. Foster School of Business
University of Washington

Dan Poston has served as assistant dean for master’s programs at the Foster School of Business since 2001 and oversees all operations of the full-time and part-time MBA programs.

Previously, Poston served as director of admissions and marketing and then MBA program director at the Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon. He came to academia after a 15-year career in law, consulting and business.

Poston has served on the board of directors of the Graduate Management Admissions Council and served as a speaker and presenter at numerous GMAC and AACSB conferences.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University, a law degree from Loyola Marymount University and an MBA from University of Oregon.

Barbara Singer (Cheng)

Executive Core

Barbara Singer Cheng is the founder, president and CEO of Executive Core and leads a group of 150+ global professionals whose mission is to more quickly innovate professional development for corporations and business schools. In the last 15 years, Singer has worked with thousands of high-potential leaders around the globe at critical turning points in their careers.

Singer has dedicated her career to developing leaders who remain focused on business priorities, anticipate the future and remove obstacles. She is passionate about future trends in learning and has been researching predictors of executive success for nearly two decades. She was recently honored as the recipient of the Global 2013 Executive Coaching Thought Leader of Distinction award from the Association of Corporate Executive Coaches; she shares it with Dr. Marshall Goldsmith for their work raising the standards of corporate executive coaching.

Singer has conducted research on global influence and executive coaching for nearly two decades, and has worked with three of the five largest international executive search firms responsible for placing C-suite executives. Cheng and her team also collaborate with the international Executive MBA Council and many business schools around the world to help better prepare leaders for senior roles. She and her team just completed a year-long research project on future trends in talent management sponsored by business schools around the world, EMBAC, AACSB and UNICON. She still thinks it’s amazing that she gets paid for what she loves to do.

Dylan Stafford

Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions
Fully Employed MBA Program (FEMBA)
UCLA Anderson School of Management

Dylan Stafford has been accountable for UCLA Anderson FEMBA program admissions since 2003. He has overseen 70 percent program growth from a student body under 600 to now almost 1,000 part-time MBA students, making FEMBA the #2 graduate program student body in all of UCLA. Some of the programs that Stafford has created include SuperSaturday Admission Interviews (5,956 interviews to-date, conducted by 1,603 volunteers), the FEMBAssador core of student leaders and FEMBApalooza, an annual all-student, culture-building event.

Since 1996, Bloomberg BusinessWeek and US News & World Report have ranked FEMBA anywhere from #1 to #6 in the nation, never lower. FEMBA consistently earns top marks for student satisfaction, caliber of classmates and teaching quality.

Before UCLA, Stafford was a change management consultant and international human resources manager for Siemens AG, Europe’s largest engineering conglomerate and one of the world’s biggest companies. He began in Silicon Valley and was promoted to a three-year assignment at the global headquarters in Munich, Germany, where he founded InterGreat!, a social-networking platform for high-potential European managers.

Stafford earned his MBA from the Chicago Booth School of Business, with concentrations in finance and marketing. He graduated with honors from Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets and served on the Ross Volunteers, the Honor Guard of the Governor of Texas. He speaks German and Spanish.

In 2016, Stafford is releasing his second book, Building a Winning Organization: Falling in Love you’re your Own Leadership. In 2010 he released his first book, Daddy Muscles: a First-Time Father’s Diary of Marriage, Pregnancy, Parenthood and a Second Chance to Become a Real Man.