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College of Business and Economics
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS3161
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3161
Phone: (208) 885-6478
Toll free: (800) 960-3033

2013 Spring Executive Speaker Series

The Jack Morris Executive Speaker Series brings top business leaders from companies throughout the region to the University of Idaho. These seasoned professionals speak about relevant business issues and provide important career inspiration and advice for our students. The executives generally donate their time, expertise and travel to and from the university.

The Chair in Business Enterprise Fund supports the Executive Speaker Series. The fund provides for the coordination of the series, provides for meals with students and executives, and provides for other support needed to deliver the series.

The students, faculty, administrators and staff of the College of Business and Economics are grateful for the Chair in Business Enterprise Fund and for the executives who share with us their valuable time and knowledge.
February 25 - Kevin Esser
CFO, Idaho Forest Group LLC
Kevin is CFO for Idaho Forest Group LLC (IFG), the largest forest products manufacturer in the state of Idaho and one of the top ten producers in the United States. Kevin joined IFG in January 2010. He graduated in 1990 from the University of Idaho majoring in accounting and finance. Kevin started his career with the accounting firm KPMG Peat Marwick in Portland, Oregon, where he specialized in the manufacturing and forest products industries. His experience includes controller for a national wholesale company, and CFO of a start-up Internet company. Most recently Kevin was Divisional Controller and then Director of Marketing for Freightliner LLC, a division of Daimler AG, and the world’s largest manufacturer of heavy duty trucks. Kevin lives in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and enjoys everything outdoors that northern Idaho has to offer.
March 4 -James F. Cleary, Jr.
President, MWI Veterinary Supply
James joined MWI in 1998 as director of national accounts before he was promoted to vice president of Demand Generation and eventually chief executive officer. Before joining MWI, he was the vice president of Agri Beef Co., MWI’s former parent company and held positions with Morrison Knudsen Corp., and its affiliate MK Rail Corp. James is on the board of directors of Treasure Valley YMCA, Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce and Banfield Charitable Trust. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1985 with a bachelor’s in economics and received his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1990.
March 4 - Mary Patricia B. Thompson
Senior VP of finance & administration & CFO, MWI Veterinary Supply
Mary Pat previously served as the vice president, secretary and chief financial officer. Mary Pat first joined Agri Beef Co., MWI’s former parent company, as the feedlot and commodity division controller before she was promoted to controller of MWI. She previously worked for Arthur Andersen LLP after graduating from University of Idaho in 1985 with a bachelor’s in accounting. Mary Pat is a member of the board of directors and past president of the American Veterinary Distributors Association in addition to being on the UI College of Business and Economics Advisory Board.
April 8 - Jim Gerson
President, Warnaco Swimwear
Jim joined Warnaco from Vanity Fair Corporation, where he most recently served as President of Reef. Previously, he spent 9 years with The North Face brand, where he held increasingly senior leadership positions in research, design, and development. In addition he spent more than a decade concentrating on swimwear, beginning his tenure with VF Corp. focused on the Jantzen brand. Gerson is a 1981 marketing graduate from the University of Idaho and he works at Warnaco’s southern California headquarters in Los Angeles.
April -22 Don Melendez
Idaho Regional President, Wells Fargo
Mr. Melendez previously was the Community Banking president for Border Banking in Arizona, Laredo and the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Melendez has more than 30 years of banking experience and joined Wells Fargo in 1997 as a district manager. In addition, his community roles have included being a member of the El Paso Community Foundation, chairman of the El Paso Collaborative, a member of the El Paso Chamber of Commerce Government Legislative Committee and the El Paso Community College Foundation Board to name a few. He has a bachelor’s of business administration in finance from the University of Texas at Austin.
April 29 - Michael McCoy
President, Esterline Control Systems – Korry Electronics
Korry Electronics is an engineering and manufacturing company specializing in human-machine interface devices in the aerospace/defense industry. He graduated from the University of Idaho in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. McCoy joined Esterline in 1998 and has since held a variety of positions including, cost accounting manager, controller and vice president of finance. He also is a member of the Professional Pricing Society, has earned the Bronze Lean Certification through the Lean Institute and serves on the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County’s board of directors.
View past Executive Speaker Series guests' biographies.
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