Tag: Leadership residency

Students in EMBA Class 47 spent their Leadership Residency week in St. Louis meeting with top execs in different fields to discuss current business issues across a wide range of topics.  Human resources was the topic of a panel discussion that included guests from leading companies. Vikki Schiff, Vice President of Human Resources for Ball Aerospace & Technologies, Carra Simmons, Vice President of Learning and Development at State Farm, Ray Kleeman, Vice President of Human Resources at Monsanto, and Wendy Livingston, Vice President of Talent & Leadership at Boeing participated in the evening dialogue, sharing their extensive knowledge of HR with the EMBA 47 cohort.

Wendy Livingston answers a student question as part of the EMBA Leadership Development Panel.

Wendy Livingston answers a student question as part of the EMBA Leadership Development Panel.

The panel was convened to bring real world solutions into the academic setting, and the student questions reflected the students’ immediate learning. One student posed the question based on an earlier classroom discussion, “How do we acquire and keep talent when the talent pool is shrinking?”

Livingston answered, “Be O.K. with people leaving, but on good enough terms that they want to come back later.”

Students also wanted to know to what these executives attribute their personal growth.

Carra Simmons

Carra Simmons

Simmons said, “throw me in a snake pit!” She believes that learning how to problem-solve has made the most impact on her personal growth.

Ray Kleeman

Ray Kleeman

Kleeman replied, “take a risk and bet on yourself, have a good network, and know your worth on the market.”

Livingston’s comments included “never saying no to a job. This makes people you work with very grateful. Know your worth. Know the business.” Then she commented on when mentoring, male mentors will talk about business and female mentors will talk about being aggressive or pursuing dreams. “I can watch TED talks for that!”

Vikki Schiff

Vikki Schiff

Some companies are using data analytics to determine potential leaders internally. Others are utilizing new self and departmental evaluations. Once a potential leader is determined, each company has its own method for developing their leaders, and these methods are continually being updated and challenged as the workforce changes.

Olin is grateful for friends like these who are willing to share their time and expertise to further our mission to create knowledge, inspire individuals, and transform business.


EMBA 46 students talking at reception

The ability to build and leverage relationships that matter is one of the most important skills for succeeding in business. The power of these relationships was the crux of Stuart Bunderson’s lecture on The Power Base Pyramid, presented to EMBA 46 on Tuesday, Feb. 9.


Robin Peppe Sterneck presents

Can leadership be learned? Robin Peppe Sterneck, who delivered a presentation on “Learning Leadership” to the EMBA 46 class Tuesday, gives “a resounding ‘yes’.” Sterneck’s presentation was part of the EMBA 46 Leadership Residency, in which students from the Kansas City and St. Louis programs converged in St. Louis for a week of networking, classes, and panels.


Robin Peppe Sterneck spent a good portion of her career at General Electric during the Jack Welch era and considerable time at Lehman Brothers. She shared her career experiences with EMBA class 44 during their recent Leadership Residency.

Sterneck opened with the age-old question: Are leaders born or are they developed? In truth, it’s a little bit of both, says Sterneck. She shared her path to leadership spanning 30 years in financial services and the importance of observing role models she found worthy of emulating.

Important lessons Sterneck discussed with the EMBA students include:

  • Leading is not about the leader but about the people he or she leads. Focusing on the team is the first step.
  • To achieve a leadership position in an organization, find leaders you respect and mimic what you like about them.
  • You must positively differentiate yourself amongst your peers.

 About Robin Peppe Sterneck

sternck headshotRobin Sterneck has spent her 30-year career in financial services and business leadership. During her time in Investment Banking at Lehman Brothers in New York she focused on the Capital Markets and Municipal Finance areas, ultimately running the Health and Education Public Finance Department.

Robin then served on several leadership teams at GE including national and global roles in pricing, actuarial, marketing and talent development in addition to leading the $1Billion Commercial Insurance business portfolio and division. In 2006 Robin joined Swiss Re’s Global Management Team as part of their acquisition of GE Insurance.

Robin is currently a member of the Sterneck Capital Management team, an individual investment advisory firm based in Kansas City. She serves on three corporate boards and is a Vice Chair on the JCC Board. Recently she has served on the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, WIN for KC/KC Sports Commission, and Pembroke Hill School Boards. She has been recognized professionally in the “Women Who Mean Business” feature of The KC Business Journal, as a “People to Watch in Insurance” by Insurance Magazine and the “Mentor of the Year” by the Central Exchange.

Robin loves spending time with family, traveling and working out.

Pictured above: Professor Hillary Sale, Robin Peppe Sterneck and Professor Stuart Bunderson