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Business Leaders Forum
Keynote speaker David Kohler, President and CEO of Kohler Co. presented:
Journey to the C-Suite and Kohler’s Evolution: A Leadership Perspective (video)
David Kohler Biography
With 26 years of experience with Kohler Co., David Kohler became President and Chief Executive Officer in June 2015, after serving as President and Chief Operating Officer since 2009. He is the fourth generation of the Kohler family to lead the company since its inception in 1873.
David Kohler started at Kohler Co. working in every manufacturing division on the front lines. He rejoined Kohler as Director – Fixtures Marketing in 1993 after working at Dayton Hudson Corporation. Since then, he has served in progressive roles including Vice President Sales, Sector President – K&B Americas, Group President – K&B Group, Executive Vice President, and, since 2009, President and COO of Kohler Co.
David currently serves on the Board of Directors of the following four organizations: Kohler Co., Interface Inc., Interceramic and the Green Bay Packers. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Duke University and his master’s degree in management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. David is also a graduate of the Voyageur Outward Bound School in Ely, Minnesota and is a past Chairman of the Young Presidents’ Organization, Intercontinental Chapter. David and his wife Nina have four children and live in Kohler, Wisconsin.
About the Business Leaders Forum
Established in 1999, the Business Leaders Forum is a speaker series sponsored by Marquette University’s College of Business Administration. The forum provides a setting for nationally recognized business leaders to engage in discussions and interact with students, faculty and local business leaders. The program enables Marquette to build practical knowledge into its rigorous business curriculum, exploring current trends, issues and practices in business.
Marquette University has attracted leaders at the top of their respective professions to speak at the Business Leaders Forum, including Herbert V. Kohler, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Kohler Co.; Richard M. Schulze, founder and chairman of Best Buy; and James J. Mulva, chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips.
The Kathleen and Frank Thometz Foundation has made the Business Leaders Forum speaker series possible through a special endowment.
- Steve Cannon Chief Executive Officer of AMB Group, LLC presented: "Leading with Vision, Kindness and Optimism" (video)
- Daniel S. Jaffee, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oil-Dri Corporation of America “The Power of Culture and Ethics” 2017 (video)
- Dr. Charles L. Evans, President & CEO - Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, "A Perspective on Monetary Policy" 2015 (video)
- Thomas J. Falk, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Kimberly-Clark, "The Sustainable Enterprise," 2014 (video)
- Thomas C. Werner, Chairman, Boston Red Sox, and Chairman, Liverpool Football Club, 2013 (video)
- John Schlifske, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Northwestern Mutual, 2012 (video)
- Jeff Joerres, chairman and chief executive officer, ManpowerGroup, 2011 (video)
- Angela F. Braly, President and CEO, WellPoint, Inc., 2009 (video)
- James J. Mulva, Chair and CEO, ConocoPhillips, 2008
Richard M. Schulze, Founder and Chair, Best Buy, 2007
Herbert V. Kohler, Jr., Chair, CEO and President, Kohler, Co., 2006
Alexander M. (Sandy) Cutler, Chair and CEO, Eaton Corp., 2005
Kathy Hudson, Chair, CNH Global NV, 2005
Jeff Immelt, CEO, General Electric, 2004
John Morgridge, Chair, Cisco Systems, 2003
Don H. Davis, Jr., CEO, Rockwell Automation, 2002
Dick Burke, Chair, Trek Bicycle Corp., 2001
Wayne Sanders, CEO, Kimberly-Clark Corp., 2000