EMBA Executive Forum Speaker Series: Spring-2020

The Executive Forum is designed to provide the wealth of knowledge and experience of inspirational leaders and executives from a wide variety of businesses and industries. The speakers present a brief overview of their businesses, as well as specific professional experiences, followed by a discussion of key issues facing their industries in the current business and economic climate.

The College of Business offers this program to our Executive MBA students every third Saturday afternoon. This program is for currently enrolled FAU MBA students. If you would like to attend, you must RSVP in advance.  


John Duffy

John Duffy

February 1, 2020, 3:30-4:30 pm

John Duffy is a visionary who, over his 25 years as an entrepreneur, has maintained a steadfast belief that it should be easy for brands to use technology to connect with consumers in meaningful ways. Out of that simple belief, 3Cinteractive (3C) was born. In the early days of mobile, when competitors were focusing on selling wallpapers and ringtones, John proved himself an independent thinker. He focused 3C on finding ways to help brands use mobile to drive relevant engagement at the consumer’s moment of need that delivered measurable business results.

Today, using a blend of expertise and technology, 3C empowers leading brands and retailers to develop deeper, more valuable relationships with their consumers through the implementation of highly effective mobile marketing solutions.

As an innovator and evangelist of mobile, John is a sought-after expert and speaker on topics including mobile marketing and entrepreneurship. He has been featured in publications including The New York Times and Forbes and appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box, MSNBC and various other programs.

In recognition for leading 3C to the forefront of its industry, John has been honored with numerous awards including Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of The Year” award, South Florida Business Journal’s “Ultimate CEO,” Sun Sentinel’s “Excalibur Award,” and has been named to Irish America magazine’s “Business 100” list of the best leaders of Irish descent. He also serves on the board of the Dan Marino Foundation and supports various programs that facilitate the development of young entrepreneurs.


Clara Bennett

Clara Bennett

February 1, 2020, 4:45-5:45 pm
Executive Director
Boca Raton Airport Authority

Clara Bennett is the Executive Director of the Boca Raton Airport Authority, where she leads a team of dedicated aviation professionals in the business, operations, marketing and development of the Boca Raton Airport (BCT).

Bennett has more than 26 years of experience as an airport executive. Prior to joining the Boca Raton Airport in 2014, she served as Manager of Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE), directing the operation of the Executive Airport, the 200-acre Airport Industrial Airpark, the Downtown Helistop, and Foreign Trade-Zone #241.

As Executive Director of the Boca Raton Airport, Ms. Bennett has developed a $30 million 5-year Capital Improvement Plan to enhance facilities and services available to the flying public, including the much-anticipated US Customs and Border Protection Facility slated to open in fall 2017.

Ms. Bennett is a licensed pilot and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Management from Florida Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University. She also maintains several professional affiliations including serving as past President of the Florida Airports Council and is a current member of the Board of Directors of the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), the US Contract Tower Policy Board, and the Board of Directors of the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce. 



Stan Moss

Stan C. Moss

Febrauary 22, 2020, 3:30-4:30 pm
Chief Executive Officer
Polen Capital

Stan Moss is the CEO of Polen Capital, a global asset management firm based in Boca Raton, and he is responsible for the firm’s strategic direction. He commits himself to shaping and nurturing a culture at Polen Capital where talent can thrive and continues to guide the firm through its exceptional growth and evolution.

Mr. Moss has helped to reinvigorate Polen Capital. The firm’s assets under management stood at less than $250 million in 2008. Since taking over as CEO in 2012, assets under management have grown to $37 billion to date. He led the expansion from offering just one US Equity product to what will soon be 6 different investment strategies. Under his leadership, the firm has also expanded its global footprint from its headquarters in Boca Raton to include offices in Boston and London. 

Mr. Moss believes that people are the key to achieving Polen Capital’s mission. He focuses on creating an environment where employees are empowered, can be their best selves and continuously grow. Polen Capital was recently honored as one of 2019’s “Best Places to Work in Money Management” by Pensions & Investments, marking the fourth consecutive year the firm has received this recognition. Mr. Moss believes this award is a testament to Polen Capital’s culture, which enables the firm to attract, develop and retain top talent.

Mr. Moss is passionate about giving back to the South Florida community. He has been a long-time advocate for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida and serves as chairman of the annual fundraiser Make-A-Wish Polen Capital Golf Tournament. He also serves on the Florida Atlantic University College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board and the Board of Trustees of Saint Andrew’s School. 

Mr. Moss has a deep background in the financial sector. He previously served in CFO, strategic planning, operational, and business development roles for other asset management firms, and as an auditor of financial services and technology companies at Coopers & Lybrand.

Mr. Moss received his MS in Global Finance from the NYU Stern School of Business and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Business School. He earned his MBA and BS in Accounting from the University of Alabama, where he was also a student athlete. He is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, the CFA Institute, the CFA Society of South Florida, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

About Polen Capital

Polen Capital is a global investment management firm advising more than $35 billion in assets and providing high value-added, quality growth investment strategies to a wide range of institutional and individual clients around the world. Since 1989, the firm has been committed to attracting, developing, and retaining exceptional professionals who are aligned with our goal of preserving and growing our clients’ assets to protect their present and enable their future. Polen Capital has three autonomous investment teams that oversee a global equities universe of high-quality growth companies. The Boca Raton-based Large Company Growth team manages three large company strategies: Focus Growth, Global Growth, and International Growth. The Boston-based Small Company Growth team manages two small company strategies: U.S. Small Company Growth and International Small Company Growth. The London-based Emerging Markets Growth team will manage a Global Emerging Markets Growth strategy to be launched in 2020. For more information on Polen Capital visit www.polencapital.com and connect with us on LinkedIn.



Jackie Reeves

Jacqueline Reeves

February 22, 2020, 4:45-5:45 pm
Managing Director/Investment Advisor
Bell Rock Capital, LLC.

Jacqueline Reeves is Managing Director of Bell Rock Capital, LLC. She heads the firm’s research and portfolio strategy group. At Bell Rock, our 401(K) advisory services include the role of financial advisor on the company plan which provides proactive investment selection, monitoring and employee education. Ms. Reeves is a resource for national media, including CNBC, Bloomberg television and radio, The Wall Street Journal, Business Week and various other printed media. Our mission is to deliver returns consistent with client goals.

Prior to joining Bell Rock Capital, Ms. Reeves was Managing Director at Ryan Beck & Co., leading the financial institutions research effort. Prior to 2003, Ms. Reeves was Director of Research at Putnam Lovell NBF as well as a senior publishing analyst. Jackie reviewed all financial services sector research products, encouraged the development new ideas, and promoted interaction among the sectors covered.  She managed planning, recruiting, budgeting and forecasting for the Research department and the Production area. She has also been an integral component of the highly regarded bank equity research team at Salomon Smith Barney (Citigroup), which received high rankings from Institutional Investor and Greenwich.

Jackie is a Board member of the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce, a 2013 DIAMOND Award recipient, a 2010 recipient of the Chairman’s Award, and chaired the 2011 Leadership Boca class. Ms. Reeves received the Mirror Ball trophy in 2011, co-chaired the Boca Ballroom Battle in 2012 and received the Community Service Award in 2015 from the George Snow Scholarship Fund.  Jackie was a Soroptimist Award recipient in 2013. Jackie remains very active in the community, volunteering with the Junior League, the Y, Florence Fuller Child Development Center and Leadership Palm Beach County.  Jackie chaired the Woman Volunteer of the Year luncheon in 2010 for the Junior League of Boca Raton. She is a Past President of the Junior League of Boca Raton and the Endowment Fund. 



Jeff Stoops

Jeff Stoops

March 14, 2020Watch Video

Director, President and Chief Executive Officer
SBA Communications Corporation.

Mr. Stoops joined SBA Communications in 1997 and has been the Chief Executive Officer since 2002. He was appointed chairman in 2000, and a director of the company in 1999. He previously served as Finance Director and Legal Counsel where he was responsible for finance activities, capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and legal affairs of the organization, including the supply and purchase of the first towers for the company. Before joining SBA, he was a partner in Gunster, a law firm in Florida, where he worked for thirteen years in the corporate, securities and mergers and acquisitions areas. Mr. Stoops is the current Director and past Chairman of the Board of the Wireless Industry Association (WIA), the trade organization of the wireless communications infrastructure industry. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida; the Advisory Committee of the Business School of Florida Atlantic University; and the Board of Directors of the entity responsible for the Honda Classic PGA golf tournament held annually in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Mr. Stoops is the former Chairman of the Board of St. Andrew’s School, Boca Raton, Florida. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree and “Juris Doctor” from Florida State University. 



Michael Shaw

Michael Shaw

March 14, 2020Watch Video
Vice President, Head of Customer Engagement Strategy
Miami Marlins.

Michael is currently the Vice President, Head of Customer Engagement Strategy for the Miami Marlins, where he has organizational oversight of all guest experience functions, in addition to creative and managerial responsibility for the Club’s retail business.
In the newly created role as the Head of Customer Engagement Strategy, Michael has developed an internal engagement council that includes representatives from customer-facing and supporting functions. The engagement council is tasked with developing strategies that will create a first-class experience for guests and fans at Marlins Park.

Over Michael’s professional career, he has developed direct relationships with almost every sports franchise within the “Big 5” North American pro sports leagues. Previously, as the Principal of Business Development at Amazon, he developed go-to-market strategies for Amazon’s ticketing business and led discussions with the NFL, NHL, and NASCAR. Prior to Amazon, Michael served as the Head of Sports Partnerships at Groupon, and was the leader of a portfolio of business partners across North America, including Major League Baseball Advanced Media, the National Basketball Association, Major League Soccer, and the NCAA.

Michael also secured partnerships with Fortune 50 & 100 brands and negotiated a first-of-its-kind partnership with one of the world’s most valuable sports organizations, City Football Group, while serving as the Vice President of Global Revenue at Glide Slope, LLC. In addition to his business development experience, Michael also has an extensive sports media background and previously worked for ESPN and Silver Chalice New Media. Working in the Programming and Acquisitions group at ESPN, Michael was responsible for managing pro league relationships, developing scheduling strategies, and the creation of the NBA schedule on ESPN and ABC. Michael also played a key role in growing the networks at Silver Chalice where he developed programming strategies and managed partnerships with top companies, including YouTube, Apple, and Reebok.

Michael’s approach in business is rooted in understanding his strengths, building meaningful relationships with people from all segments of life, and believing the most effective communication is in-person, honest, and fair. Michael began developing his approach at an early age, as he built a five-person sales team during his sophomore year of college that sold food & sporting event coupons door-to-door to earn extra income for the upcoming semester.

Michael is a native of Nashville, Tennessee and a proud graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration. Michael has made multiple appearances on ESPN’s, True Hoop TV to do what he loves most, talk sports. Additionally, Michael has been a featured speaker and panelist throughout the country, including SXSW, Sports Business Journal Summits, and a guest on The Wharton Sports Business Radio Show on Sirius XM.
Michael is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and has lived in many different cities around the country, spending the last six years in Manhattan before relocating to South Florida in 2017.   



Jerri DeVard

Jerri DeVard

April 4, 2020, OnlineWatch Video
Executive Vice President, Chief Customer Officer
Office Depot.

Jerri L. DeVard is Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer of Office Depot, a position she has held since January 2018. In this role, Ms. DeVard leads eCommerce and Customer Service functions as well as Marketing and Communications. Ms. DeVard has more than 30 years of extensive marketing and leadership experience at large global brands. Prior to Office Depot, she was Principal of DeVard Marketing Group, a firm specializing in advertising, branding and communications, as well as traditional, digital, and multicultural marketing. 

Jerri DeVard has more than 30 years of extensive marketing and leadership experience at large global brands. She is Principal of DeVard Marketing Group, a firm specializing in advertising, branding and communications, as well as traditional, digital, and multicultural marketing. 

She currently serves on the board of directors of ServiceMaster, a service company providing millions of commercial and residential customers in the U.S. and around the world with such services as housecleaning, termite and pest control, and landscape maintenance, the board of directors of Under Armour Inc., the global athletic performance and innovation brand that changed the way athletes dress and on the board of directors of cars.com, a leading online destination that helps car shoppers and owners navigate every turn of car ownership with one of the largest digital automotive platforms connecting consumers with local dealers across the country anytime, anywhere.

She has previously served on the boards of Belk, Gurwitch Products, Tommy Hilfiger and on the advisory board of Pepsico.

Most recently, she served as SVP, Chief Marketing Officer of The ADT Corporation, a leading provider of home and business security services.  Prior to that, Jerri served as Executive Vice President of Marketing for Nokia. Additionally, she held senior marketing roles at Verizon Communications, Citibank, Revlon, Harrah’s Entertainment, the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the Pillsbury Company.

Jerri is an Economics graduate of Spelman College, where she also recently served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2014, and received her MBA from Clark Atlanta University Graduate School of Business.



Peter Ricci

Peter Ricci

April 4, 2020, OnlineWatch Video
Clinical Associate Professor and Director of Hospitality and Tourism Management program, 
Florida Atlantic University.

Dr. Peter Ricci, CHA, CHSE, CRME, CHIA, CHRM, HIFIA is Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Hospitality and Tourism Management program at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Florida. The program is ranked among the country’s Top 30 undergraduate hospitality and tourism programs (http://www.thebestschools.org/rankings/best-hospitality-degree-programs/) and also houses one of the nation’s top MBA programs with a specialization in hospitality and tourism (see both https://www.collegechoice.net/rankings/best-masters-in-hospitality-management-degrees/    and   https://www.onlinemasters.com/best-degree-programs/hospitality-management/)

Peter has published over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles on various hospitality and tourism management topics and co-authored The Little Book of Big Cases for the Hospitality Manager. His interest areas range from hospitality job competencies to guest service to casino gaming.

Peter has earned and maintains many top certifications from different niche segments of the hospitality and tourism industry…He believes this helps a great deal to stay current for his students. These currently include the: Certified Hotel Administrator (CHA) by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Certified Hospitality Sales Executive (CHSE) from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, the Certified Revenue Management Executive (CRME) also from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, the Certified Hospitality Industry Analytics (CHIA) from the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Certified Hospitality Revenue Manager (CHRM) also from the American Hotel & Lodging Association, and the Hotel Industry Foundations and Introduction to Analytics (joint certification between American Hotel & Lodging Education Institute and the Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education).

Peter is a two-time graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in sociology (BA) and a master’s degree in recreational studies (MSRS). At the master’s degree level, his focus was tourism management and incentive travel. Peter was honored with the University of Florida’s distinguished alumnus award in the year 2000. His doctoral studies in higher education leadership and administration were completed at the University of Central Florida in 2005 (EdD).

Before entering academia, Peter was a hospitality industry professional with over 20 years of management experience. As an executive in the lodging industry with such brands as Hilton, Best Western, Holiday Inn, Quality Suites, Crowne Plaza, and Radisson, Peter has successfully served in the roles of general manager, director of sales & marketing, and area general manager. Peter’s experience also includes earlier roles in airlines, destination marketing, incentive travel/meeting planning, and restaurants.

His love for teaching started at an early age when he started as an adjunct faculty member in his young 20s. While employed in the hospitality industry, he taught as an adjunct faculty throughout the Southeast from FSU to UF to FIU and beyond. His love for teaching and interacting with students is what finally brought him to the academic community in a full time role.

As FAU’s hospitality and tourism management program director, Dr. Ricci has focused on training students to be the top leaders in the industry via a dedication to rigor and relevance throughout the curriculum. The hospitality and tourism management program at FAU is the only program in the state accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) which offers a bachelor of business administration (BBA) degree.

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association’s (HSMAI) South Florida chapter announced the “Dr. Peter Ricci Scholarship” in recognition of his lifelong efforts. This scholarship is presented annually each fall semester to deserving students at the HSMAI South Florida annual GALA. It is entering its 7th year! To date, the scholarship fund has provided over $15,000 to hospitality and tourism students. (See https://connect.hsmai.org/southflorida/scholarship11




Naren Gursahaney

April 25, 2020Watch Video
Retired President, CEO and Director of The ADT Corporation
Chairman, ServiceMaster Global Holdings
Director, NextEra Energy
Advisor, Berwind Corporation

Naren Gursahaney retired in May of 2016 as the President, Chief Executive Officer and a Director of The ADT Corporation. ADT is the leading provider of home and small business electronic security, automation and alarm monitoring services in North America, with revenues of over $3.5 billion and servicing over 6 million customers in the US and Canada. Naren and his leadership team led the spin-off of ADT from Tyco International in 2012.  This leadership team led the company to year over year improvements in revenues and operating performance until the sale of the company to Apollo Global Management in May of 2016.

Before this appointment, he was President of Tyco Security Solutions, the largest operating segment of Tyco International, which included ADT Security Services. Naren’s extensive experience in enhancing the operational efficiency of multi-billion dollar organizations brought him to Tyco in 2003 to launch and lead a companywide operational excellence initiative. He then served as President of Tyco Engineered Products and Services, a $7 billion division, and its Flow Control business.

Prior to joining Tyco, Naren spent 10 years in leadership roles at General Electric, including general management, marketing, business development and information technology. His roles included President of GE Medical Systems-Asia, Chief Information Officer of GE Medical Systems and Vice President of Service for GE Medical Systems-Asia.

Before GE he served four years with Booz Allen & Hamilton, a leading global consulting firm. He began his career as an engineer with Westinghouse Electric in the U.S. and Israel, where he worked on the company’s F-16 co-production program.

Naren is currently Chairman of the Board for ServiceMaster Global Holdings, a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services and, through its well-recognized brands, operates an extensive service network of more than 8,000 company-owned locations and franchise / license agreements. He is also a Director for NextEra Energy, a leading clean energy company with consolidated revenues of approximately $16.2 billion and approximately 15,000 employees in 30 states and Canada.  Naren is a member of the Audit and Governance & Nominating Committees at NextEra.  He is also a member of the Board of Advisors for the Berwind Corporation, a diversified family-owned global manufacturing company.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State University and an MBA in General Management from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Administration. An active Penn State alumnus, Naren serves on several advisory boards within the university.  In 2009, Penn State honored Naren with the Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award from the College of Engineering, and in 2015 he was recognized as an Alumni Fellow.



Keith Koenig

Keith Koenig

April 25, 2020Watch Video
City Furniture

Keith Koenig is president of City Furniture, a retail furniture company of 30 showrooms in South Florida and Central Florida under two brands, City Furniture and Ashley HomeStore. 

City Furniture evolved from Waterbed City, which was started in 1971 by Keith’s late brother, Kevin.  Keith and the City Furniture team have received local and national recognition, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, the UF MBA Outstanding Alumnus Award, and Furniture Retailer of the Year Award. 

Keith is a board member of the Federal Reserve Bank, Miami branch. He is Chairman of the Holy Cross Hospital board and Chairman for Broward Workshop. He is also a member of the Orange Bowl Committee and the Council of 100. He is active in many other organizations including the University of Florida Foundation and is a past board chair. 

He was made a Knight of St. Gregory by Pope John Paul II. Keith resides in Plantation, FL with his wife, Kelly. Keith has two children and five grandchildren.