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​Executives to Share Views on Leadership through MBA Course

Providence, R.I. -- The public is invited to hear senior business executives discuss their perspectives on leadership in a spring-semester course for Providence College’s MBA students.

Developed as part of a revamped MBA program in the Providence College School of Business, Leaders on Leadership features prominent, well-respected professionals from a variety of fields – traditional roles in finance and industry as well as nonprofits. This is the third time it has been offered.

Eleven speakers will offer presentations starting February 2, continuing through late April. Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. ’80, the College’s president, is the featured guest lecturer on February 23.

He is not the only alumnus scheduled to present, however. James Mahn ’86, director of Citigroup Global Markets, Nancy Wiser ’89, chief executive officer, Wells Fargo Funds Management LLC, and Kevin Phelan ’66, co-chairman, Boston, Colliers International will all speak. Others serve on the School of Business Advisory Board. 

Several of the guest lecturers are successful social entrepreneurs, such as Eileen Hayes, the president and CEO of Amos House, a social service organization that includes three social enterprise businesses as well as Rhode Island’s largest soup kitchen. Others include Katherine Lucey, founder and CEO of Solar Sister Inc., and Dean Cycon, founder and CEO of Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company.

“They bring their personal experiences as leaders – both successes and failures – into the classroom,” said Dr. MaryJane Lenon, interim dean of the School of Business and associate professor of economics. “In doing so, they provide our MBA candidates with the opportunity to reflect on the choices and decisions these individuals have made over their careers and to think deeply about what becoming a leader means.”

Course instructor Dr. Matthew Eriksen, chairman of the department of management at PC’s School of Business, said he wants the class to take an ontological direction, guiding students as they take the leadership lessons presented by the speakers and applying them in their day-to-day activities.

“An essential component of the students' leadership development is their active experimentation, based on their developing self-awareness and course concepts and ideas, of being different in their significant relationships with the intent of improving the quality and effectiveness of those relationships," he said. 

Ultimately, the course is designed to help students become more authentic and moral leaders through self-reflexivity – constantly learning from their experiences, Eriksen said.

“The speakers’ stories will hopefully provoke students to think about their leadership,” Eriksen said.

• February 2: Eileen Hayes, president and CEO, Amos House

• February 23: Rev. Brian J. Shanley O.P. ’80, president, Providence College

• March 1: James Mahn ’86, director, Citigroup Global Markets

• March 8: Nancy Wiser ’89, COO and executive vice president, Wells Fargo Funds Management LLC

• March 22: Michael Cash, portfolio manager, Mariner Silvermine

• March 29: Dean Cycon, founder and chief executive officer, Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company

• April 12: Katherine Lucey, founder and chief executive officer, Solar Sister Inc

• April 19: Mark Logan ’84, chief operating officer, Emptoris Inc

• April 26: Kevin Phelan ’66, co-chairman, Boston, Colliers International

Members of the College community as well as the public are welcome to attend the presentations, but not the instructional portion of the classes that will follow, Eriksen said.

Space is limited. To request a seat, contact Lisa Mildner at (401) 865-1821 or Each class will begin at 6:30 p.m. in Harkins Hall’s Barnini Meeting Room, LL12, which is accessible via the College’s River Avenue entrance.

--Liz F. Kay
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