Executive Education presents annual awards

by Carol Elliott

Notre Dame Executive Education

An orthopedic manufacturer, an improv group and a CEO from an investment bank in Puerto Rico were among a diverse group of six award recipients during the annual Notre Dame Executive Education awards banquet held June 14 in Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center at the University of Notre Dame.

“The banquet is our opportunity to celebrate with our faculty, alumni, clients and partners who, in very real and meaningful ways, contribute to our success,” said Sharon Keane, director of Executive Education, a branch of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business. “We honor their contributions and appreciate their support.”

The award for Outstanding Leadership in Executive Education – Executive Programs, which recognizes exemplary corporate leadership as well as a commitment to executive education and the development of global leadership was awarded to Biomet, a manufacturer and marketer of orthopedic and other products. In 2007, Biomet and Executive Education began a partnership to design, develop and deliver a customized global leadership program. To date, more than 100 Biomet leaders from around the world have taken the program. The award recognizes exemplary corporate leadership, as well as a commitment to executive education and the development of global leadership, among other criteria.

Spark Creative, a Chicago-based corporate entertainment group that offers a variety of business training programs designed to facilitate creative thinking and group interaction, was awarded the Partner in Innovation Award. The Spark Creative team has collaborated with Executive Education for a decade to foster executive learning through creative sessions in the Executive Integral Leadership program. The award recognizes a strategic business partner to Executive Education who demonstrates innovation and creativity.

The Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes an alumna or alumnus for demonstrating creativity in addressing business-related issues in addition to generosity with ideas, time and other resources, was given to Jose Fernandez, president and chief executive officer of Oriental Financial Group Inc. Fernandez, a 1985 Notre Dame graduate, led the acquisition of failed competitor Eurobank from FDIC receivership in April 2010 which in turn helped stabilize the banking industry in Puerto Rico.

John Affleck-Graves, professor of finance and executive vice president of the University, was given the Arnie Ludwig Outstanding Teacher Award. The honor is bestowed upon a faculty member who is chosen by Executive MBA students in the South Bend Program and is named after the late Executive Education director who pioneered the College’s distance learning programs. This marks the fifth time that Affleck-Graves has received the outstanding teaching award.

The Leo Burke Outstanding Teacher Award, whose recipient is chosen by Executive MBA students in the Chicago Program, was awarded to Charles E. Bamford. An adjunct professor of strategy in the Department of Management at Notre Dame, Bamford also serves as a professor of entrepreneurship and strategy with the McColl School of business at Queens University in Charlotte, N.C. The award is named after the former director of Executive Education who inaugurated the Chicago Program.

Mel Dowdy was the recipient of the Inspiring Educator Award – Executive Programs. Dowdy serves as the program faculty member in Executive Education and was the executive director of the Center for Organizational Excellence at Bon Secours Richmond Health Systems. Recognized for his superior performance in the classroom with non-degree programs, Dowdy also teaches two signature programs: Executive Integral Leadership and Unleashing Your Leadership Potential.

Founded in 1980, Notre Dame Executive Education provides leaders in the executive and management ranks the opportunity to develop and strengthen their leadership abilities and business acumen skills through both degree and non-degree programs. In keeping with the Notre Dame mission, the program emphasizes values-based leadership in addition to academic rigor.

The department recently announced the construction of the Stayer Center for Executive Education, a 64,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility scheduled for completion in February 2013. The building will serve as the new home for Notre Dame’s Executive MBA Program, ranked number six in the Wall Street Journal’s “Best Executive MBA Programs.”