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Kelley alumni to address graduates

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Two businessmen with extensive experience working in international markets will address graduates of the Kelley School of Business Indianapolis at its May 15 recognition ceremony.

Graduate students will hear from Steve Akard, director of international development for the Indiana Economic Development Corp. In a separate ceremony, bachelor’s degree graduates will hear from Kelley instructor and successful entrepreneur David Steele. Both men are graduates of Kelley Indianapolis programs.

“Graduates at the Kelley School are fortunate to be able to hear from these business veterans, who will provide great insight into the international reach of modern business. A Kelley degree indicates global knowledge, and I expect these speakers to emphasize just how important that is today,” said Philip Cochran, Kelley’s associate dean of Indianapolis operations.

The graduate students’ ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. on May 15 in rooms 132-136 at the Indiana Convention Center. The baccalaureate ceremony is planned for approximately 5:30 p.m. in the Sagamore Ballroom (rooms 4-7) of the Convention Center.

The 2011 graduates at both ceremonies also will hear from Mark Barbato, president of the Kelley School of Business Alumni Association Board. Barbato is a 1982 graduate of Kelley’s Evening MBA program and a retired executive from Eli Lilly and Co.

“I want these graduates to understand that this is not an endpoint, but rather a gateway to the next step in their lives, one that will add them to the network of more than 90,000 Kelley graduates worldwide,” Barbato said.

Steele describes himself as a lifelong entrepreneur at heart and has started three successful businesses.

“I want to give these graduates whatever bit of wisdom I can provide and help them internalize it and take it with them on their jobs, primarily the ideas of being true to your values and ethics, the importance of networking and mentoring and the global market in which we live today,” Steele said.

Similarly, Akard said he hopes to help graduates understand the business climate awaiting them. He is responsible for securing international investments on behalf of the IEDC. He manages overseas offices in six different countries and is responsible for global outreach and education regarding Indiana business.

“I want to highlight and encourage these graduate students to be involved in the global marketplace and be aware of what’s happening,” said Akard, an Indianapolis native and a graduate of the part-time Evening MBA program as well as the IU School of Law-Indianapolis.


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