Pictured from left: Jennifer Crispell, Michele Houser, Chuck Whiteman, Bill Lane, Erik Foley, Ashley Stark, Ryan Hess, Wendy Jo Hartstock and Keleigh Asbury.
Thanks to the leadership of Smeal's great Development and Alumni Relations team, we had another great alumni meet-up event, this time in Washington D.C. at the JW Marriott hotel.
I had the opportunity to meet many alumni very interested in what we are doing in sustainability. I am always amazed at the variety. Some work for companies whose core technology is interwoven with sustainability. While others had never even heard the word "sustainability" associated with business. They like that we want to make it "part of the ingredients not just the icing" of a good business education. (I have Smeal Sustainability Advisory Board Member Jon Stevens of SKF to thank for this line).
The event featured Smeal alum Bill Lane, who (according to his LinkedIn profile), is a 40-year Caterpillar Veteran and President Emeritus of the US Global Leadership Coalition, Bill is one of the business community's leading advocates for free trade and global engagement. As the leader of a global team of government affairs professionals, Bill has been responsible for Caterpillar's advocacy in support of competitiveness, trade liberalization and economic growth.
Bill is an incredible advocate for Penn State and the Smeal College of Business. He is the kind of person who seems to traffic in memorable phrases like "Always position yourself to take credit for the inevitable."
And another line was "Help people when they are out." He went on to make an interesting point that, as he said, "the best lobbyists are calling the losers. Help a winner and you'll be a groupie. Help a loser and you'll be a friend for life."
It was a great event.