UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School presented alumni merit, leadership and Hall of Fame Awards to business and academic leaders who exemplify the School’s core values and have contributed to its success.
“Great people are the foundation of a great organization and we celebrate these leaders for what they have achieved professionally and for their dedication to the enduring success of our business school,” said Douglas A. Shackelford (BSBA ’80), dean and Meade H. Willis Distinguished Professor of Taxation. “These awards recognize members of the UNC Kenan-Flagler community who embody our core values: excellence, leadership, integrity, community and teamwork.”
Awards were presented to:
- Adam Brown (MBA ’13) received the Dwight W. Anderson Young Alumni Award. He is a board-certified, practicing emergency physician and senior vice president of Envision Healthcare. He earned his MBA to increase his impact with patients. “As an emergency physician I typically see 20-30 patients on a shift and that impact is great,” he said. “But because of the education I received at UNC Kenan-Flagler, I quickly saw opportunities to help even more people by making broad improvements in multiple emergency departments and hospitals. Now, I’m responsible for 700,000 patients’ lives every year and lead over 250 clinicians in more than 25 hospitals.” And after treating patients in Haiti, Brown wondered if his company could leverage its operational strength and the passion of its 25,000 clinicians to support programs around the globe. “That’s where my business education kicked in. On the flight home from Haiti in January, in seat 2A, the Envision Global Health and Humanitarian Initiative was born as I began developing the business plan, SWOT analysis, communication strategy and financial plan.” His firm now supports two international NGOs with clinical expertise in emergency medicine and radiology. “You see, once I tasted the sweetness of improving the health of one or two,” said Brown, “I didn’t want to stop until I was improving the lives of thousands and even millions.”
- Lynn Lewis (MBA ’86) received the Alumni Merit Award. Her most recent role was chief commercial officer for Envigo. Her career has spanned 16 jobs within three companies, and she credits her adaptability and quick assessment of issues and opportunities from her time at UNC Kenan-Flagler. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without Kenan-Flagler, and its faculty and staff,” Lewis said. She entered the MBA program with no business experience but learned every aspect of business and how they all work together. “Kenan-Flagler supported my passion around teamwork and leadership, she said. “I was drawn to the collaborative nature of the School. This type of collaborative culture has been important to me as I have interviewed for various jobs and companies along the way. With so much to owe to this University, I must give back so that others who follow me have the same opportunities that I had. I volunteer my time and donate money to make the School better and better. I believe in its mission and the mark it’s alumni are leaving on the world.”
- Paul Gray Parker (BA ’85) received the Global Leadership Award. He is co-chairman of global mergers and acquisitions for Goldman Sachs & Co. His life was changed by his international studies. “I was stunned how my world opened up when I could visit and actively engage with people from another culture,” he said. “When my world expanded, I could help expand the world for others.” Through lifelong global experiences, “I saw that globalism can be powerful for creating good. When putting the best of the planet together, you can effectively address issues such as global security, crises in energy, food, climate change and human rights, and create positive economic flows and opportunities.” He also saw that in isolation, globalism can be as destructive as isolationism. Today the benefits of globalism and capitalism are under threat like never before, largely due to misconceptions, but also because of the rapid changes in society and business, he said. “These advances can lead to great productivity and lower costs, especially for consumers, but in many cases the leave behind is income inequality, lack of retraining and stranded infrastructure. We have to make sure – for global economic stability and prosperity – that these issues are addressed. As with many global issues, the key to addressing these issues falls to companies and universities.”
- James H. Johnson Jr. received the Leadership Award. He is William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler who was recruited almost 30 years ago by Dr. John D. “Jack” Kasarda, retired Kenan Distinguished Professor and former director of the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. They went on to collaborate on a host of groundbreaking research projects that have influenced both public policy and business practices in our state, nation and the world. Johnson credited the late Frank Hawkins Kenan and the late William Clyde Friday Jr. for their life-changing impact on his career. “Bill Friday taught me about servant leadership and the value of diverse networks that transcend the political and ideological spectrum,” he said. Kenan “taught him to focus in laser-like fashion on program outcomes,” and supported the Durham Scholars Program – a 15-year intervention that transformed the lives of 240 young people growing up in six of Durham’s most impoverished neighborhoods at the time. “While receiving this leadership award is unquestionably the lynchpin of my professional career, a very close second highlight was to witness Kyle Payne, one of the first participants in our Durham Scholars Program, walk across the stage at the Smith Center to receive his Kenan-Flagler MBA in 2017.” Today Payne is assistant vice president of global information security at Bank of America.
With the School’s celebration of its Centennial, the new Hall of Fame Awards honored people who built the foundation for the success of UNC Kenan-Flagler:
- The Kenan and Flagler families: Equal parts entrepreneurial and visionary, the impact these families made on the Business School is without measure or comparison. Their legacies – as entrepreneurs, innovators and philanthropists – are the bedrock of our drive for excellence and our success. They have used their time, treasure and expertise to support their passion for education and, in particular, the University and the Business School, and thereby ensure that their legacy endures in Chapel Hill, in North Carolina and throughout the U.S.
- Kay Massey Weatherspoon and Van Louis Weatherspoon (BA ’54): The Weatherspoons enriched the lives of the Carolina community by supporting what is most critical to our success. They established endowed professorships at UNC, and created the Weatherspoon Awards to honor excellence in teaching, research and service at UNC Kenan-Flagler. They also instituted the Weatherspoon Lecture Series to bring visiting scholars and world leaders from politics, education, business and government enrich our professional lives and provoke interesting discussion and debate.
- John P. (Jack) Evans: Jack Evans is the definition of a servant leader. His half century of teaching, research and leadership is unrivaled. He joined UNC as an operations professor in 1970, and taught generations of students and mentored countless faculty and alumni. He served as dean from 1978-87 and stepped in three more times as interim dean. He led the School in creating the Master of Accounting and Executive MBA Evening Programs, and expanded Executive Development’s reach with custom programs. He embodies our core values and all that makes UNC Kenan-Flagler special.
- Dudley DeWitt Carroll: As President Edward Kidder Graham set the stage for a business school at UNC, he asked Dudley Dewitt Carroll to serve as its first dean. “I am looking for a man who can give them a liberal education and sound business principles in a four-year course. Would you be willing to undertake it?” Carroll served for more than 30 years, nurturing business education at Carolina from infancy to adolescence and into maturity. He imbued it with a standard of ethics and broad view of business that endure today.