The Carlson School of Management's 1st Tuesday Speaker Series began in 1992 to provide an opportunity for alumni and friends of the Carlson School to continue their management education. The 1st Tuesday Speaker Series features top executives addressing hot topics in business and leadership.
Held on the first Tuesday of every month at the McNamara Alumni Center, the program attracts alumni and business leaders from throughout the corporate community, and has become an attractive spot for professionals in the metropolitan area to network.
Porch COO Asha SharmaPorch.com Chief Operating Officer Asha Sharma, ’11, BSB, is responsible for achieving the company’s mission by building a truly great company that employees and customers love. Her day-to-day responsibilities include crafting strategy and delighting customers, overseeing financial operations, and leading business services including sales, operations, support, analytics, growth, central marketing, and brand communications.
As one of Porch’s earliest employees, Sharma helped build the company from the ground up: she developed revenue streams, shaped the brand, improved the product, and acquired new talent. Additionally, she was instrumental in executing Porch’s national online, in-store, and financing partnership with Lowe’s Home Improvement.
Prior to joining Porch, Sharma worked at Microsoft, Deloitte Consulting, Cargill and SC Johnson & Son. She started her career by founding two companies, one of which was recognized by the President of the United States in 2012. Earlier this year, Sharma was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in the marketing and advertising category. She holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.
The Schwan Food Company CEO Dimitrios Smyrnios
Dimitrios P. Smyrnios was named CEO of the Schwan Food Company in 2013,
and has drawn on his extensive experience in the food business to lead the organization.
Smyrnios began his career with the Frito Lay division of PepsiCo, where he spent eight years in sales and marketing. In 1993, he joined Nestle Waters North America in southern California and took on roles of increasing responsibility throughout his tenure. He eventually was named executive vice president and general manager of the Nestle Waters Home & Office Division and the Retail Division. He also served as president of Nestle Dreyer's Ice Cream Division.
Smyrnios holds a bachelor of science degree in business management from the University of Wyoming.
EY Americas Director of Inclusiveness Recruiting Ken BouyerAs director of inclusiveness recruiting, Ken Bouyer is responsible for developing and implementing the global EY organization’s recruiting strategy to build and attract diverse and inclusive talent pools for member firms in the Americas. Diversity at EY is defined broadly and includes gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, generational differences, and more. Fostering an inclusive work culture where all individuals are valued for their differences and can achieve their full potential is a global priority and a business imperative for EY.
In addition to his duties at EY, Bouyer is chair of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) National Commission on Diversity and Inclusion. Additionally, he is a board member and the chair of the Audit Committee for the American Accounting Association. He is a lifetime member of the National Association of Black Accountants and the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting organization.
Bouyer is a recipient of the FSA's "Practitioner Service Award" for his distinguished service to the profession of accounting and accounting education. He is also a recipient of NABA’s Presidential Award for his extraordinary accomplishments and leadership in the accounting profession and his commitment to and support of NABA.
Bouyer holds a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Manhattan College in Riverdale, New York. He is a Certified Internal Auditor and AICPA member.
HealthPartners President and CEO Mary Brainerd
Mary Brainerd is president and chief executive officer of Minnesota-based HealthPartners, the largest consumer-governed, non-profit healthcare organization in the nation. Under her leadership and direction, HealthPartners has experienced record growth and is often recognized as a national leader in the health care industry. Brainerd is frequently cited for her strong business acumen and unwavering commitment to a healthy and thriving community. She was most recently named among the 100 Most Influential People in Health Care by Modern Health Care and the Top 75 Most Influential People in the Twin Cities by Minnesota Monthly.
Prior to joining HealthPartners in 1992, Brainerd held senior-level positions with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, including senior vice president and chief marketing officer. She was also senior vice president and chief executive officer of Blue Plus.
Brainerd holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of St. Thomas, and a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Minnesota. She serves on the boards of Minnesota Life/Securian, Minnesota Council of Health Plans, Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, Bremer Financial Corporation, and Minnesota Public Radio.
Waggener Edstrom Communications Agency Partner and Co-Founder Pam Edstrom
Pam Edstrom is agency partner and co-founder of one of the largest indepedent strategic communications agencies in the world. In her role at Waggener Edstrom Communications, she oversees the Insights and Analytics team and leads the evolution of WE Infinity—a proprietary data mining platform that helps clients evaluate the impact of their communications campaigns. Edstrom brings her technology and PR expertise to advise clients such as Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), MasterCard, Dell, Boeing, Intimate Brands (IBI), and Microsoft.
Edstrom's ingenuity and future-focused vision have garnered numerous industry accolades. In 2008, she was named Woman Executive of the Year by the Portland Business Journal, and she has also been recognized as one of PRWeek’s 50 Most Powerful Women in PR and one of its 100 Most Influential PR People of the 20th Century.
She holds a BA from the University of Minnesota, and a master's degree from Portland State University. Edstrom serves on the board of directors of the LAGRANT Foundation, a non-profit that provides scholarships, mentorships, professional development and support for ethnic minorities pursuing advertising, marketing and public relations careers.
1st Tuesday Corporate Tables
We value the partnerships with companies in the Twin Cities-area and want to continue to bring the business community together on a monthly basis. To continue our partnership with the business community, we invite you to purchase corporate tables for upcoming 1st Tuesday events!
Benefits of a 1st Tuesday Corporate Table:
- Priority seating up front
- Recognition of your company's table
- Ten seats for the price of nine ($315)
To register your company for one or more 1st Tuesday events please email Maggie Flaten, Events & Communications Manager, Alumni Relations, at email@example.com.