The Campaign for the Carlson School of Management

Campaign Steering Committee

  • Bob Kueppers
    Campaign Co-Chair

    Robert J. Kueppers, '76 BSB | Retired Vice Chairman

    Deloitte LLP – Sarasota, Florida

    Bob is a partner with Sage Partners LLC, a boutique consulting firm specializing in strategy and governance. He was formerly deputy CEO and vice chairman of Deloitte LLP. He spent the majority of his career with Deloitte before retiring in May 2015. Bob serves as chair of the Carlson School’s Board of Overseers and was recognized with the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 2012. He has hosted Global Executive MBA students at his firm and held events for Carlson School and University alumni in New York.

    When I look back over 40 years of career success, only now do I truly appreciate what the Carlson School education did to prepare me for my career. I am convinced that my success is inextricably linked with what I learned and utilized from my years at the Carlson School.
  • Wendy Nelson
    Campaign Co-Chair

    Wendy Nelson | Board Chairwoman

    Curtis L. Carlson Family Foundation – Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Wendy has more than 15 years of professional governance experience on both nonprofit and for-profit boards. She currently serves as board vice chair of the Bush Foundation and is past board chair of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. Wendy joined the global travel and hospitality company Carlson in 2003. As vice president of real estate for Carlson Restaurants, she directed the company’s U.S. real estate procurement and investment program for the flagship T.G.I. Friday’s brand. Wendy is a member of the Carlson School Board of Overseers and has given of her time to speak to undergraduate student groups and inspire them on the meaning of servant leadership.

    Our family’s legacy of commitment to and support of the University started with my grandfather, Curt Carlson, who shared with us from our earliest days the University’s role in his life and accomplishments. He often spoke of the critical role the University plays in our state and our region, sharing, ‘the University returns far more to the citizens of this state than it receives.’ I share my grandfather’s passion and belief in the power of education and the belief that all should have access to education and the opportunities it brings.
  • Andrew Cecere

    Andrew Cecere, '91 MBA | CEO

    US Bancorp – Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Andy was named chief executive officer of U.S. Bancorp in 2017 after serving as president and chief operating officer since 2015. Previously, he served as vice chairman and chief financial officer of U.S. Bancorp from 2007 to 2015. A 2015 University of Minnesota Outstanding Achievement Award recipient, Andy is a member of the Carlson School Board of Overseers and serves as vice chair. An annual spring speaker on banking and the economy to Carlson School MBA and undergraduate finance students, Andy is a champion of the Carlson School’s intern program at U.S. Bancorp and ambassador for U.S. Bank employee and alumni events. Andy has also recently led a Carlson School executive education initiative designed for CFOs.

  • Robert Duffy

    Robert Duffy, '68 BSB | Partner Emeritus

    A.T. Kearney – San Francisco, California

    Bob is a partner emeritus of A.T. Kearney, a global strategic management consulting firm. His consulting specialties included business strategy, organization strategy and transformation, corporate restructuring, and business model/executive team alignment. After starting his career with Honeywell Inc., Bob began a 40-year tenure with A.T. Kearney in Chicago. He is a member of the Carlson School Board of Overseers and executive committee. A 2013 recipient of the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award, Bob has given generously of his time to be the University’s and Carlson School’s ambassador in the Bay Area, hosting many alumni engagement and student recruitment events.

    I was fortunate to graduate from the Carlson School. I received a superb business education and an understanding of ethics, culture, and soft skills and have been blessed with a great business career. I am indebted to the Carlson School.
  • Patricia Grundhofer

    Patricia L. Grundhofer, '90 BSB | Executive Director

    John F. Grundhofer Charitable Foundation – Indian Wells, CA

    Patti is currently the Executive Director of the John F. Grundhofer Charitable Foundation. She was formerly the President and Founder of MeierGroup LLC, a boutique firm that specializes in consulting and recruitment for banks, hedgefunds, and money managers. Patricia sits on several non-profit boards. They include Livingston Healthcare in Montana, The Living Desert in Palm Desert, and the Palm Springs Art Museum, California, and the University of Minnesota Foundation in Minnesota. She serves and is committed to several committees on the Carlson School of Management board. With her husband, Jack, she is also very involved with Horatio Alger.


  • John Hartmann

    John Hartmann, '84 BSB, '87 JD | Partner

    Kirkland & Ellis LLP – Chicago, Illinois

    John is a litigation partner at Kirkland & Ellis, concentrating in shareholder, antitrust, and commercial litigation. A former federal prosecutor and an experienced trial lawyer, he also handles white-collar criminal matters and internal investigations. In addition to representing issuers, auditors, directors, and officers in a wide variety of securities fraud cases, John has litigated large antitrust and consumer fraud class actions, insurance coverage cases, and other large commercial disputes. John has served on the University of Minnesota Law School’s Board of Advisors since 2013 and has been active engaging with students and alumni by hosting Carlson School events in Chicago and through his work with the Law School.

    My career path traces back to the Carlson School, which taught me how to think about business and management and sparked my interest in law. I’m grateful for my time at the Carlson School, and I’m excited to help make a great institution even greater.
  • Eric Jing

    Eric Jing, '05 MBA | President & CEO

    Ant Financial Services – Hangzhou, China

    Eric is CEO of Ant Financial Services Group. In 2007, Eric joined Alibaba Group as senior director of finance before becoming vice president of finance. He joined Alipay as chief financial officer in 2009 and became Ant Financial’s chief operating officer in 2014. Eric was appointed president of Ant Financial in 2015 and as a board member of Alibaba Group in 2016. Prior to his positions at Alibaba and Ant Financial, Eric was the CFO of Guangzhou Pepsi Cola Beverage Co. from 2004 to 2006. He is a member of the Carlson School Board of Overseers and served as the school’s 2017 commencement speaker.

  • Beth Kieffer Leonard

    Beth Kieffer Leonard, '82 BSB | CPA, Managing Partner

    Lurie LLP – Minneapolis, Minnesota

    With an energetic approach to strategic partnerships, valuable insights, business development skills, and a vast network of advisors, Beth cares about her clients beyond the numbers, helping them achieve their personal and professional goals. Her areas of expertise are as varied as the businesses in our community. She is highly involved with women in the profession and with multiple women business organizations, including the Women’s Business Development Center and the Women Presidents’ Organization. She sits on the Carlson School Board of Overseers and is a member of the executive committee. Beth and her firm are deeply involved in the Minnesota Cup, and Beth has been involved in the school’s efforts to recruit more diverse students into its programs.

    The Carlson School provides an incredible foundation of learning and leadership for the students, our faculty, and our community. By leading the way through education, innovation, and community involvement, the breadth of its impact is felt locally, in our state, and throughout the world. For this reason, I am proud to be a part of securing that the future of the school will be poised to lead, with all the resources we need, and to ensure that the foundation continues to be solid.
  • Chris Koch

    Chris Koch, '92 MBA | CEO

    Carlisle Companies, Inc. – Scottsdale, Arizona

    Chris is president and CEO of the Carlisle Companies Inc., a $3.5 billion global diversified manufacturing company that designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of products serving a broad range of niche markets. He has held a number of positions with Carlisle, including president and chief operating officer. Chris is a board member of Carlisle Companies and Toro Inc. and serves on the Carlson School’s Board of Overseers. Chris is active in the Carlson School community through his work with the analytics faculty and program, recruitment of Carlson School graduates, and service as a MBA case competition judge.

    I am extremely proud to be an alumnus of the Carlson School and of the great relationship I have with this institution. The Carlson School engages its alumni and the global business community in a very meaningful way and demonstrates world-class leadership in its business relationships and in the broader community. This campaign and committee provides me and others a way to serve the school, give back with gratitude for the education the Carlson School provided us, and to meaningfully impact the future.
  • Jim Lawrence

    James Lawrence | Chairman

    Great North Star LLC – Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Jim is chairman of Great North Star LLC, an investment and advisory firm. Recently, among other projects, he partnered with JANA Partners in an investment in ConAgra Foods. Previously, he served as chairman of Rothschild North America (2012–2015) and as chief executive officer of RNA and as co-head of global investment banking at Rothschild (2010–2012). Prior to joining Rothschild, Jim served as chief financial officer of Unilever and as executive director on the boards of Unilever NV and Unilever PLC. Jim is a longtime member of the Carlson School Board of Overseers and member of the executive committee.

    Education is critical to Minnesota’s future. The Carlson School represents the best in business education. In Minnesota, we want business to flourish. The Carlson School is central to that goal.
  • Bennett Morgan

    Bennett Morgan, '87 MBA | Retired President & COO

    Polaris Industries – Medina, Minnesota

    Bennett is the former president and COO of Polaris Industries Inc. In 2009, he was named Powersports Business Executive of the Year. From 2001 until early 2005, he was vice president and general manager of ATVs, Polaris’ largest business, where he was responsible for all facets of the business. Bennett currently serves as a director of Generac Holdings Inc. and the Minnesota Wild Foundation. He serves on the Carlson School’s Board of Overseers.

    It is rare to find an academic institution so singularly intertwined and important to such a vibrant state and business community. As an alumnus and former business leader, the Carlson School has blessed me, my family, my business, and my community in so many positive ways. What excites me is there is so much more good the Carlson School can and will do for our students, businesses, communities, and the world as we move into the future, and this campaign is a critical catalyst to achieving our mission.
  • Marcia Page

    Marcia Page, '83 MBA | Co-Founder and Executive Chair

    Värde Partners Inc. – Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Marcia is executive chair of Värde Partners, a global alternative investment firm with $11 billion in assets under management that she helped found in 1993. As a founder, Marcia has overseen every aspect of Värde’s growth, ranging from the development of the original investment thesis, to the raising of each fund, to the crafting of the firm’s investor communications, to the development of the firm’s infrastructure. At the Carlson School, Marcia has been a member of the Board of Overseers and co-chaired the school’s C200 ReachOut, a two-day seminar with national women executives, entrepreneurs, and Carlson School students. She was named the 2017 University of Minnesota Entrepreneur of the Year.

    I am inspired by the Carlson School’s commitment to leadership in both a global and a local context. We have this gem in the heart of Minneapolis-St. Paul that educates and inspires diverse talent with premier faculty and a global viewpoint. At the same time, the Carlson School partners with local businesses and entrepreneurs to continue to expand our own economies, helping all of us become more innovative and resilient.
  • Bill Walter

    Bill Walter, '72 MBA | Founder

    Heartland Realty Investors – Minneapolis, Minnesota

    Bill is president of Heartland Realty Investors Inc., having founded the business in 1971. During his tenure with Heartland, Bill has worked in all facets of the real estate investment business. A former U.S. Navy officer, he co-founded the Carlson School Military Veterans Initiative, which has raised over $10 million for MBA fellowships for military veteran students. He is a member of the Carlson School Board of Overseers and also serves on the board of the National Parks and Conservation Association. Bill was recognized with the University of Minnesota Outstanding Achievement Award in 2016.


    The Carlson School gave me the skills I needed for a successful business career. It opened up a whole new world of knowledge and education. As a scholarship student myself, I am forever grateful to the University for the opportunities it provided me. My wife Judy and I hope to provide these same opportunities for a new generation.

In recognition of their service as former chairs of the Carlson School's Board of Overseers, the following individuals have been named Honorary Campaign Steering Committee Members:

James Campbell, Board of Overseers Chair, 2000-04

Edwin “Skip” Gage, Board of Overseers Chair, 2004-07

Pierson “Sandy” Grieve, Board of Overseers Chair, 1993-00

William Hodder, Board of Overseers Chair, 1985-91

A Message from the Campaign Co-Chairs:

Carlson School Driven Campaign

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