July 07, 2017, BY Samantha Wallace

Garry Thanniel '04 will be one of the speakers for the 2017 Walling Lecture Series.
Garry Thaniel '04, CEO of ONA Designs International LLC

Bucknell's new College of Management will present five leaders from diverse fields in the 2017 Walling Speaker Series, beginning Thursday, Sept. 7, with Kathy Vizas '79, founding member of the advocacy initiative Maverick Collective.

The annual speaker series brings accomplished Bucknell alumni back to campus to discuss their career experience and path to leadership through on-stage interviews and audience Q&A.

The 2017 series will be the first following the July establishment of the College of Management. Dean Raquel Alexander believes that the distinguished speakers are indicative of Bucknell's long-standing commitment to developing individuals who make an impact in society.  

"For decades, Bucknell has offered management classes and programs that produce motivated, accomplished graduates who go on to become internationally known leaders in their fields," said Alexander, the first Kenneth W. Freeman Professor & Dean of the College of Management. "Through the Walling Speaker Series, the College of Management is privileged to host these accomplished alumni and allow them to share their stories with the Bucknell community."

Alexander added that the guest speakers also represent the well-rounded, interdisciplinary experience offered by Bucknell, and noted that it's not only management majors who can benefit from their experience.

"We're thrilled to welcome a diverse group of speakers who demonstrate that Bucknell produces standout leaders across industries — from athletics to finance," she said. "All students, regardless of major, can learn how these alumni have made a difference in their communities."

Previous speakers in the series include Carolyn Miles '83, president of Save the Children; David Henry '71, CEO and vice chairman of Kimco Realty Corp.; and Sunil Gulati '81, president of the United States Soccer Federation. 

All events begin at 7 p.m. in Trout Auditorium. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. 

Thurs., Sept. 7 — Kathy Vizas '79, founding member of Maverick Collective, an advocacy group that nurtures future social investors. In early 2017, Vizas completed a three-year pilot program for cervical cancer screening with Population Services International India, working in the state of Uttar Pradesh, in which more than 120,000 women were screened. 

Thurs., Sept. 14 — Garry Thaniel '04, CEO of ONA Designs International LLC, a purveyor of fine bags and accessories for the photography, creative professional and travel marketplace. Thaniel's experiences in the retail sector and management consulting provide him with expertise in balancing strategic planning and tactical execution. 

Thurs., Sept. 21 — Jay Wright '83, head coach of the Villanova University men's basketball team for the last 15 years. Under his direction, the Wildcats have advanced to the NCAA playoffs in 11 of the last 12 seasons, highlighted by the 2015-16 season win of the NCAA Tournament. 

Thurs., Sept. 28 — Thomas Williams '80, chairman and CEO of Parker Hannifin Corp., a company that specializes in motion and control technology. Since joining the company in 2003, Williams has held various leadership positions, including executive vice president and operating officer for Parker's aerospace, engineered materials filtration, instrumentation and Asia Pacific groups, along with the strategic pricing department. 

Thurs., Nov. 2 — Kris Leslie '86, P'17, chief financial officer of DreamWorks Animation SKG from 2004 to 2007. Since joining DreamWorks in 1996, Leslie was a key participant in all significant financing and investing activities. Before joining DreamWorks, she was director of financial planning at Viacom. 

The Walling Speaker Series is made possible through funding by the Fitz Roy and Mary Jane Walling Management Endowment. The Walling Speaker Series' focus on leadership honors Fitz Walling's many years as a University leader. He served as the longtime dean of admissions; helped start the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Engineering and the former College of Business Administration; and established the Office of Planned Giving.