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Professional MBA program celebrated students and distinguished alumni advisory committee for the Professional MBA program, chaired by Jason Nedley ’14G, hosted a virtual event, Kudos and Conversations, on May 25, 2021, with more than 70 in attendance.

Highlights of the event included insights from Rich Kramer ’86, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, and President, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company; the inaugural presentation of the Grau-Breslin Outstanding Service in Alumni Leadership Award; and a chance for networking and catching up with alumni, faculty and fellow students.

Rich Kramer presented a thought-provoking look at Goodyear’s transformation into a technology-driven mobility company. He posed the question of what it means to anticipate the next inflection point and challenged all to have the curiosity to investigate, learn what’s happening in the world, and engage in actual collaboration to solve problems together.

“It’s not as effective to send emails or use social media. You need to truly collaborate with one another and have conversations that lead to discovery, innovation and solution,” said Rich. He also emphasized creativity and the courage to speak up and bring forth ideas.

“It was amazing to learn how Goodyear is preparing for the future of transportation under Rich’s leadership,” said Jason Nedley. “He exemplifies what it is to be a responsible, inspired business leader. We are so grateful for his time, talent, and continuous support of the business programs at John Carroll.”

The inaugural presentation of the Grau-Breslin Outstanding Leadership in Alumni Service Award followed. The award was named in honor of Patrick Breslin and Andy Grau, the first two chairs of the Professional MBA Advisory Committee which was founded by the cohort of 2016. The committee has three objectives:

1. To support the recruitment of diverse and talented professionals;
2. To support faculty efforts to deliver a singular student experience; and
3. To execute programming to maintain a strong network of alumni.

The continuous involvement of Grau and Breslin following their own graduations ensured that the committee remained viable to serve as a valuable resource. The award will be given to alumni who, like Grau and Breslin, have provided exceptional volunteer service to the Professional MBA Program.

For the inaugural presentation, two Grau-Breslin Outstanding Leadership in Alumni Service Awards were presented to Molly Cheraso ‘13G and Tim Bencic ‘15G.

Molly is currently Lead of Key Community Bank’s Risk and Controls Team, and Tim is currently Finance Manager for the TempRite Engineered Polymers business at Lubrizol. Their dedication and support of the Professional MBA Program epitomizes “leadership in service to others” and has enriched the MBA experience for all.

The evening of Kudos and Conversations closed with a virtual reunion of faculty and students.