The Annenberg Leadership and Management Speaker Series is an integral part of Harvey Mudd College’s commitment to encouraging students to lead with integrity. Endowed through a generous gift from The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Fund for Leadership Development, this series brings to campus accomplished individuals who are recognized, world-class leaders in their fields of endeavor. The lectures provide an engaging forum for senior executives to address pertinent leadership issues and to share their insights with the Harvey Mudd community.
Tuesday, Feb. 23, “Leadership: A Journey of Experience and Opportunity”
R. Miller Adams explored the notion of leadership from the viewpoint of his experiences and opportunities. The underlying theme: Are leadership skills instilled at birth or do they evolve?
R. Miller Adams has over 30 years of senior executive experience in private equity, venture capital, aerospace and defense, technology development, industrial participation programs, wireless communications and the regulated utility industry. At Triad Capital Partners, he provides support and guidance to the management teams of its portfolio companies and leads the evaluation of new investment opportunities. Adams previously was the president and CEO of GR Nano Materials, and before that was the VP for technology planning, acquisition, and evaluation and global R&D strategies at Boeing Phantom Works, the enterprise-wide R&D business of The Boeing Company (think Lockheed’s Skunk Works). Most recently, he was GC and EVP for corporate affairs at Integral Systems Inc., the world leader in satellite command and control systems. Miller holds a B.A. from Seattle University and a J.D. from the University of Puget Sound School of Law (now Seattle University School of Law).
Tuesday, March 8, “Follow the Leader: Thoughts on Choice and Responsibility While Leading and Being Led”
A leader can inspire, organize and give direction to a group of people such that every member is reminded that they, too, are leaders. Jason Fennell explored what it means to lead and to follow, and the blurring of the line between.
Jason Fennell ’08
Director of Engineering, Yelp
Jason Fennell joined Yelp as a search and data mining engineer upon graduating from Harvey Mudd College in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics. He rose through the ranks in Yelp’s search and data mining team, becoming a technical lead, manager and now director of engineering. At Harvey Mudd, Fennell conducted research on artificial intelligence, did financial economics research for Citadel Investment Group and interned with the Cryptography, Security and Algorithms team of Microsoft Research India.
Tuesday, March 22, “Leading in Growth”
One of the primary responsibilities of a leader is to guide an organization through change, and growth can be one of an organization’s most straining transitions. Growth of a company, team or industry can be a reassuring sign of success, but this comes with challenges that leaders must help their teams address. An organization’s changing scale can affect and be affected by its values and context, often in powerful ways. As one who has led multiple technology companies, Mike Shaver offered his perspective on how to lead during times of significant change and growth.
Tuesday, March 29, “Engineer Your Future”
Karen Colonias, president and CEO of the largest connector manufacturer in the world and a professional civil engineer, examined the leadership opportunities and challenges she faced during the 20 years she helped bring a small California company to the international stage with operations in 20 countries. Celebrating cultural differences and growing the business while preserving the company’s unique culture required Colonias to adapt and transform her leadership strategies.
Karen Colonias is president and chief executive officer of Simpson Manufacturing Co. She joined one of the company’s subsidiaries, Simpson Strong-Tie Co. Inc., in 1984 as an engineer in the research and development department, where she was responsible for the design and testing of new products and code development. In her long history with the company, Colonias has held several positions, including engineering manager; vice president, engineering; and vice president and branch manager of one of the company’s largest profit centers. Prior to becoming president and CEO, Colonias was Simpson Manufacturing Co.’s chief financial officer, and she played a significant role in the development and execution of the company’s strategic business plans and its acquisition efforts. She has also worked as a civil engineer for the Bechtel Corporation. Colonias, a licensed professional engineer, has a B.S. in civil engineering from California State University, Sacramento, and an MBA from California State University, Hayward.