Donna Banks - Kellogg Company
Donna J. Banks, Ph.D., has been Kellogg Company's senior vice president, global supply chain since June 2004. She is also a member of the company's global leadership team. Dr. Banks joined the company in 1983 as an associate statistician in the chemistry and basic sciences department. She was promoted to manager, product evaluation in 1984; to director, product development in 1987; to vice president, research and development in 1991; to senior vice president, research and development in 1997; to senior vice president, global innovation in July 1999; and to senior vice president, research, quality and technology in February 2000. Dr. Banks received a bachelor's degree in animal science and a master's degree in animal breeding and genetics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She received a doctorate in animal science from Michigan State University. She is a board member of the Independent Bank Corporation and the Independent Bank of South Michigan.
From Business Week's "IN 25" for 2006 Despite her logistics-sounding title, Banks drives innovation at Kellogg and was an early believer in the movement. Her efforts have helped the company nearly double its percentage of net sales from innovation during the past five years. Banks' smart moves include recognizing that consumers would cool on protein-heavy Atkins fare and rediscover their love of low-calorie foods. Thus Kellogg's Right Bites, 100-Calorie snack packs like Keebler Fudge Shoppe Mini Fudge Stripe and Keebler Chips Deluxe, sans guilt.
Rick Snyder - Ardesta, LLC
Since 1991, Mr. Snyder's primary business activities have focused on the technology industry and the development of emerging and high growth companies. In 1997, Rick founded and led Avalon Investments, Inc., a venture capital company targeted at investments in technology-oriented ventures. From 1991 to 1997, he served as executive vice president and then president and COO of Gateway, Inc. Rick currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Gateway. From 1982 to 1991, Rick was with Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers). Rick studied at the University of Michigan, where he earned a Bachelor of General Studies degree with high distinction in 1977, a Masters of Business Administration with distinction in 1979, and a Juris Doctor in 1982.
About Ardesta - Through its creation of and investment in Small Tech companies, Ardesta, LLC has become a leader in bringing Small Technology products to the global marketplace. Ardesta's "Small Tech" market focus encompasses such fast growing and disruptive fields as nanotechnology, microelectromechanical systems ("MEMS") and microsystems. These revolutionary technologies improve existing products and enable the creation of new products by making them smaller, smarter, more energy efficient and less expensive to manufacture and operate.
Jeff Weedman - Procter & Gamble
Mr. Weedman is responsible for External Business Development (EBD) at Procter & Gamble. In 1996, what began as the entrepreneurial Global Licensing department charged with the commercialization of P&G's "treasure trove" of 28,000+ patent technology assets, 300+ global trademarks and extensive processes and know-how, has now been transformed into a robust EBD organization that is also responsible for finding external technologies, "cooked products", and business propositions that can be brought in-house.
Jeff's diverse career at P&G has included marketing and general management responsibilities across well-known brands such as Tide, Dawn, Mr. Clean, Downy, Folgers and others. His assignments have covered retail, institutional, club, and direct store delivery channels. Jeff has also had functional experience in marketing, sales, finance, and global strategic planning.
Bill MacConnel - Next24
Bill MacConnel graduated from Albion in 1983. He is the Chief Media Officer and founder of Next24, Inc. a new startup that provides media consulting for small business and non-profits. Bill is also a council member with the Gerson Lehrman Group, a firm that provides expert analysis for the investment banking community.
Mr. MacConnel began his career in New York City with Nielson Media Research as part of a team responsible for converting audience measurement to the electronic "People Meter" system. He has held leadership and management positions with Young & Rubicam Brands, Valassis, and Doner Advertising, developing, successful media strategies for a diverse group of clients including: American Express, Perrier Group of America, Pizza Hut, Amnesty International, ADT, New Museum, National Basketball Association, Blockbuster.
Bill lives in Ann Arbor with his wife Ruth and two sons, Henry 14 (possible Albion class of 2015) and Jack 11 (possible Albion class of 2018).