The Carlson School’s Executive Leadership Fellow Program invites highly accomplished leaders from the public, private, or nonprofit sectors to enhance the school’s academic environment. They share their expertise with students, Carlson and University of Minnesota faculty, and the business community while also generating ideas to help further the mission of the school.  Because of the Carlson School’s close proximity to and relations with the extraordinary local business community, it is privileged to be able to attract proven leaders like the following:

*Denotes Medical Industry Leadership Executive in Residence
John Alexander*
  • John Alexander
  • Mr. Alexander has 30 years experience starting & building technology-based businesses and currently serves as President of Business Development Advisors, Inc., “BDA”, (www.BusDevAdvisors.com).  – a consulting firm specializing in starting, building, and turning around early-stage & dynamic growth companies.  During a leave from BDA, Mr. Alexander was CEO of Chameleon Scientific, where he led its turnaround, then raised $11 million which took the company to 23 filed & 1 issued patent, to projects/revenues with 9 major medical device customers.  Previously, he was Vice President of Corporate Development for St. Jude Medical (StJM).  He led M&A efforts which transformed StJM from a single product line, $200 million dollar company into an $840 million multiple platform company in 3 years. 

    He has been Director of Business Development at Baxter Diagnostics, in Mergers & Acquisitions at W.R. Grace & Co., and with G.E. Venture Capital.  He holds an MBA from Darden / University of Virginia, and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering / Carnegie-Mellon University.  He is Founder and Chairman of Twin Cities Angels (now on its third Fund), led the business efforts resulting in the successful enactment of the Minnesota Angel Investor Tax Credit (and 3 subsequent revisions of that bill) and was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Science and Technology Council.

Susan Alpert, MD, PhD*
  • Susan Alpert
  • Susan Alpert, MD, PhD. recently retired from Medtronic, where she served as senior vice president and chief regulatory officer. Prior to joining the device industry, Alpert spent 13 years at the FDA where she worked in drug, medical device, and food safety regulation. She is one of the founding members of MILI’s National Industry Council and is now MILI’s executive in residence. In this new role, Alpert helps foster MILI’s close working relationships with global medical industry leaders and shares her expertise with students and affiliates. 
Jeff Ettinger
  • Jeff Ettinger
  • Jeffrey M. Ettinger is chairman of the board at Hormel Foods. He joined Hormel Foods in 1989 and served in a variety of roles, including senior attorney, product manager for Hormel® chili products and treasurer. In 1999, Mr. Ettinger was named president of Jennie-O Turkey Store.  He was named the ninth president of Hormel Foods in 2004,  and he retired as president and CEO effective October 30, 2016.

    Under Mr. Ettinger’s leadership, Hormel Foods grew through strategic acquisitions and a continued focus on new product innovation. In 2016, Mr. Ettinger was named one of the World’s Best CEOs by Barron’s and in 2012 he was named Responsible CEO of the Year by Corporate Responsibility magazine. Mr. Ettinger was the founding chair of the company’s diversity and inclusion council.

    A native of Pasadena, Calif., Mr. Ettinger holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

    Today, Mr. Ettinger serves on the boards of The Toro Company, Ecolab, The Hormel Foundation, and The Hormel Institute. He also is collaborating with Carlson School Professor, Mark Bergen, on a course titled "Tackling Contemporary Challenges in Agribusiness: A Minnesota Perspective" for MBA students.

Michael Finch, Ph.D.*
  • Michael Finch, Ph.D.
  • Michael Finch, Ph.D., received his degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota. From 1984 through 1998 he was a member of the faculty of the Division of Health Services Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota where he reached the rank of Associate Professor with tenure. From 1998 through 2004 Dr. Finch was Director of Research Programs for UnitedHealth Group. He is currently a member of the Graduate Faculty at the University of Minnesota with appointments in the Carlson School of Management and the School of Public Health. 

    He teaches the required Healthcare Marketplace course for MILI and is one of the instructors for the Medical Industry Valuation Laboratory.

    Dr. Finch is widely known for his work on the cost, quality and financing of health care in the public and private market and is nationally recognized as an expert in research methods and evaluation. Finch has been a principal on over a dozen federally sponsored grants and contracts, including HCFA’s National Post Acute Care project, the Second Generation Social HMO demonstration, the NIMH funded Youth Development Survey and the NIA funded Evaluation of the Medicaid Demonstration. 

    He has conducted major studies on the effects of surgical volume on outcomes in hospitals, guideline performance for diabetes, the cost and financing of end of life care and hospital safety.  His latest book explores the role of physician communication in health care.

Paul Gam, MBA*
  • Paul Gam
  • Paul Gam is Managing Director, Grace Associates, LLC, a strategic advisory firm that specializes in guiding medical technology companies and investors in the assessment, development, and execution of commercialization, growth and liquidity strategies. Mr. Gam is also co-founder and chairman of Zurich Medical Inc., which develops proprietary cardiac and vascular devices that are easier and more cost effective to use, and are designed specifically to serve health care environments that are resource constrained.

    Mr. Gam was Vice President, International Development for St. Jude Medical (NYSE: STJ), a Fortune 500 medical devices company, where he led mergers & acquisitions, developed strategic alliances, and drove other business development initiatives for the $3 billion International Division from 2002 to 2011. He established the company's first Wholly Owned Foreign Enterprise in China and served as its Chairman of the Board.

    From 1997 to 2002, Mr. Gam served at Medtronic (NYSE: MDT), the world's largest medical technology company, where he was Director of Finance for the Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management business, and then head of Global Internal Audit.

    Mr. Gam serves on the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Nurse Fellows Program. He was the Chairman of the Minnesota World Trade Center and advisor to Minnesota gubernatorial international trade missions. He served on the Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection and the Board on Judicial Standards. Under his leadership as Chapter President, Minnesota was twice awarded Best Chapter of the Year by the Organization of Chinese Americans, a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian-Pacific Americans in the United States. Mr. Gam served on the Professional Ethics Committee of the Minnesota Society of CPAs, and was also the Finance Chairman of the successful re-election campaign of Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson.

    Mr. Gam is a W.K. Kellogg National Fellow, a Salzburg Global Fellow, and a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow. He was the recipient of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal Minority Business Executive Award, the CityBusiness 40 Under 40 Award and the Twin Cities International Citizen Award.

    Mr. Gam is a graduate of Queen's College in Hong Kong where the Father of Modern China Dr. Sun Yat-sen was an alumnus. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.

    Mr. Gam and his wife Queenie have three children and reside in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Archelle Georgiou, MD*
  • Archelle
  • Dr. Archelle Georgiou is President of Georgiou Consulting, a firm that helps companies grow by helping them design products and services that have a meaningful impact on health and healthcare. She works with a portfolio of companies and strategic partners including TripleTree, a mergers and acquisitions firm, Fox9 news where she hosts a twice-weekly healthcare segment, the Copper Development Association and Healthgrades. Since 2009, Dr. Georgiou has served on the Board of Directors of PRGX, Inc., a recovery audit firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. Prior to founding her consulting practice, Dr. Georgiou spent 13 years as an executive with UnitedHealth Group.
Thomas Gunderson*
  • Thomas Gunderson
  • Thomas Gunderson is a managing director and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, following medical technology companies. In more than 20 years as an analyst, Gunderson has been recognized by several industry publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Institutional Investor, Thomson Reuters and First Call. Most recently he was named by StarMine as the 2014 "No. 1 Stock Picker in Health Care Equipment & Supplies." He is on the Board of Directors for the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, a member of the AHA's Science and Technology Accelerator Committee, and a member of the National Industry Council for the Medical Industry Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota, and has served on the local chapter of the American Heart Association's Executive Leadership Team and on the Board of Directors for the Children's Hospitals of Minnesota Foundation. Gunderson holds a bachelor's degree from Carleton College and graduate degrees in cell biology and business administration.
Julie Kemp, MBA*
  • Julie Kemp
  • Julie Kemp, Vice President, Marketing joined Vital in December, 2013. Ms. Kemp leads all aspects of global marketing within Vital, including product management, commercialization, medical education programs, and marketing communication. Ms. Kemp has over 15 years of cross-functional marketing experience at both Medtronic and GE Healthcare, with her most recent role leading Global Market Development for the Cardiac Rhythm and Diagnostics Division at Medtronic. During her earlier professional career, she managed global pre-market clinical trials and was a field clinical engineer. Ms. Kemp earned her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, and her Master in Business Administration from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
Bill Knutson, MBA*
  • Bill Knutson
  • Bill is a senior healthcare executive and consultant with extensive experience in strategy formulation, physician integration, campus development, service line formation and operational performance.  Bill held numerous leadership positions in the HealthEast system in Minnesota; most of his 20 years working at St John’s Hospital achieving the role of Vice President/Administrator.  His numerous consulting projects in hospital and senior services include developing/implementing: a neurologist/hospital call system, a medical tourism hospital, senior living campus, geriatric physician practice, payer contracting for a national primary clinic group, critical access hospital strategic plans and has served as an advisor to medical device startup companies.  Currently Bill is developing a virtual ACO in rural Minnesota ,CEO of a Care Choice Cooperative , owner of a wound care startup and partner in an physician practice and consulting group for post- acute services.   Bill has a Master’s in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.
KEVIN KUHN
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  • Prior to joining the Carlson School’s Executives in Residence Program, Kevin Kuhn served as Information Technology Executive at Optum where he led the delivery of enterprise-class, high-volume financial and regulatory systems. Mr. Kuhn held the position of corporate segment chief information officer for UnitedHealth Group from 2007 to 2011. He joined UnitedHealth Group in 2003 and had extensive experience in software engineering, business intelligence and regulatory compliance.

    Prior to 2003, Mr. Kuhn spent 13 years at Accenture where he was an Associate Partner and a regional practice leader for financial analytics, planning and forecasting solutions.

    Today, Mr. Kuhn is serving as an Executive Leadership Fellow at the Carlson School of Management – Information and Decision Science (IDSc) department. He is also on the Executive Board of Directors for the Northern Star Council, Boy Scouts of America.

Randall Nelson*
  • Randy Nelson
  • Randall Nelson is the founder and President of Evergreen Medical Technologies, Inc., a contract development and manufacturing company for medical devices located in St. Paul, MN.  Mr. Nelson is also President of PhysioTest, an independent test lab providing contract testing services for medical devices.

    Mr. Nelson has been responsible for the development of medical devices for over 30 years at both emerging and larger medical device companies. Mr. Nelson has held management positions at St. Jude Medical Inc., Boston Scientific Corporation, Angeion Corporation; and Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc.

    Mr. Nelson has 13 issued patents in the field of medical devices. He has a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota and an Economics degree from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. From 2009-2015, Mr. Nelson was an Adjunct Faculty member of the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota, where he taught a graduate level course in the valuation of new medical innovations.

Greg Page
  • Greg Page
  • Gregory R. Page recently retired as Chairman and CEO of Cargill following a 42-year career with the company.

    He joined Cargill in 1974 as a trainee assigned to the Feed Division. Over the years, he held a number of positions in the United States, Singapore and Thailand. He served as the Corporate Vice President and Sector President of Financial Markets and Red Meat Group at Cargill from May 1998 to June 2000, President of the Red Meat Group from August 1995 to May 1998 and Corporate Executive Vice President of Financial Markets and Red Meat Group beginning in 1999. Mr. Page also served as the Global Chief Executive Officer of Cargill Investments (China) Co., Ltd.

    Today, Mr. Page serves on a variety of boards including 3M, John Deere, Eaton, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, American Refugee Committee, and Boy Scouts—Northern Star Council. At the Carlson School of Management, he is teaching in the classroom with Professor Myles Shaver on the topic of Corporate Social Responsibility.

Jim Prokopanko
  • Jim Prokopanko
  • James T. Prokopanko is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of The Mosaic Company and served in that capacity from January 2007 to August 2015. He was a director of the company since October 2004.

    Mr. Prokopanko began his career at Mosaic in July 2006 as the executive vice president and Chief Operating Officer and continued to serve in those positions until his appointment as president and CEO. Prior to working at Mosaic, he was employed at Cargill as corporate vice president from 2004 to 2006 and leader of Cargill's Ag Producer Services Platform from 1999 to 2006. He held many leadership positions at Cargill, such as the vice president of the North American crop inputs business in 1995. All told, Mr. Prokopanko was engaged in a variety of retail agriculture businesses located Canada, the United States, Brazil, Argentina and the United Kingdom.

    Mr. Prokopanko served on the board of directors for Mosaic, Canpotex, The Fertilizer Institute, International Fertilizer Institute and the International Plant Nutrition Institute.   He is currently an active as a board member of Vulcan Materials Company, Xcel Energy and Regions Financial - all NYSE publicly traded companies.  Mr. Prokopanko also serves as member of the Carlson School of Management Board of Overseers.

Dale Wahlstrom*
  • dale Wahlstrom
  • Dale retired from Medtronic in 2006 after 24 years. Most recently he served as V.P. of CRDM Venture Programs. Prior to this he served as VP/GM of the CRDM Therapy Delivery business. Before Medtronic, he held management and sales positions at Litton Microwave and Burroughs Corporation and managed a clean technology start-up company.

    From 2006 until May of 2014 he served as the President and CEO for LifeScience Alley and The BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota.  From 2007 until 2009 Dale led efforts to develop a long-term strategy called Destination 2025 that focuses on the development and growth of high potential biology based industries in the state of MN.  From 2011 until 2013 he served as the Founding Executive Director of the Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC), a public private partnership between the FDA and the medical device industry with a mission to enhance the productivity of the medical device eco-system within the United States. 

    Today he is the President and CEO of Act 3, LLC, a consulting, engineering, and investment firm that focuses on helping companies to expand their global markets, assisting start up companies, and providing unique program management services in the development of capabilities that extend across public and private sectors.  Act 3 has established an experienced global network of professionals that can be leveraged to meet the needs of virtually any high knowledge content company ranging from an early stage start-up to fortune 500 global enterprises.     

Kevin Wilde
  • Kevin Wilde
  • As a member of the Carlson School’s Executives in Residence Program and Executive Leadership Fellow, Kevin D. Wilde currently teaches in a number of Carlson programs, including the Applied Leadership course for the Executive MBA program, the Carlson Leadership Practicum for the full-time MBA program and the Leadership Development course for the MS degree in Supply Chain Management. 

    He also serves as a Strategic Business Advisor to a number of talent and leadership development organizations, including the Institute for Corporate Productivity, Study.com and Pathgather, Inc..  His 34-year corporate career includes senior talent development roles at General Mills and General Electric.  Recognition for his work includes 2007 Chief Learning Officer of the Year, Training Magazine Hall of Fame, Fortune & CEO Magazine ranking as a top organization for leadership development.

    He is also an active writer in the profession, including serving as a columnist for Talent Management Magazine and contributions to over a dozen books in the leadership and talent management field.  In 2011, his writing received a “Regular Column Editorial Excellence” award by the American Society of Business Publication Editors.  His first book, “Dancing with the Talent Stars,” was published by Human Capital Media, Inc. in 2011.