Nii Quaye

Looking to Grow a Legacy

Saturday, September 1, 2018

For Nii Quaye, ’92 MBA, giving back to support organizations that have helped him grow feels right and thus most of his giving is to support educational advancement in general.

“Creating an opportunity for one person has the potential to be the first link in a long chain, and value created in that chain will outlive the seed donor,” he says. “In that sense, I think of it as a legacy that can grow no matter how small or large the gift is.”

Like many others, Quaye was attracted to the Carlson School because of its location near so many Fortune 500 companies headquartered nearby. “I was looking for a top business school in a vibrant metropolitan setting that could provide long-term career opportunity,” he says.

Since graduating, he has worked in finance and marketing at Guidant, strategy and business development at Cargill, and corporate development at ADC Telecommunications (now part of Tyco Electronics). Now, he’s the senior vice president of strategy, mergers, and acquisitions at Pentair.

“I have been fortunate to have worked for employers who invested significantly in my development and provided experiences that enriched and helped me grow my career,” he says.

“Creating an opportunity for one person has the potential to be the first link in a long chain, and value created in that chain will outlive the seed donor. In that sense, I think of it as a legacy that can grow no matter how small or large the gift is.”

– Nii Quaye

Now, he’s looking to give back in kind to the Carlson School with a gift to help defray some of the cost of attendance for MBA candidates. “My goal with the gift is to provide another tool the school can use to recruit and retain high-caliber students with an emphasis on diversity and inclusion,” he says. As a recipient of a Graduate Assistantship to attend the Carlson School, Quaye is aware of the difference this type of help can make.

Quaye says when he was at the Carlson School, there were perhaps six to eight students of color out of the total population of nearly 180 graduate students. “As I look around the Twin Cities, I see many companies looking to attract and retain talent,” he says. “It has been difficult for companies in the Twin Cities to attract and retain people of color. If we at the Carlson School can help solve that problem by expanding the pool of diverse talent, we become a more valued partner to the local business community.”

Quaye’s dedication to the Carlson School actually goes way back. “In the early years, I was an active recruiter for Guidant and Cargill,” he says. “Later I participated by giving talks to classes and student groups.” Now, he serves as a member of the Carlson School Board of Overseers.

The University of Minnesota is a huge growth and value creation engine for the state of Minnesota alongside the business community, Quaye says. “I am grateful for the opportunities that have come from attending the Carlson School and being a part of this vibrant business community. I think it would be great if more people like me came here because they believed it could be a catalyst for them as well,” he says. “And I would also hope that giving back inspires other alumnae to contribute in whatever way they can to the Carlson School.”

This article appeared in the Fall 2018 alumni magazine

Collaboration is key to success in nearly any setting. In this issue, we explore partnerships the Carlson School has forged with other colleges and programs that make the University of Minnesota stronger.

Fall 2018 table of contents