Brad Keywell

Brad Keywell // Guest Speaker

Brad was named EY World Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019, selected from the Entrepreneur of the Year winners of 46 countries, after being named overall Entrepreneur of the Year in the United States.

Brad is the founder and executive chairman of Uptake Technologies, an industrial artificial intelligence software company leveraging predictive analytics to enable increased productivity, reliability, and environmental responsibility for industrial operators in 21 countries. Uptake is a Technology Pioneer of the World Economic Forum, was Forbes Startup of the Year in 2015, is a three-time CNBC Disruptor, three-time Forbes Cloud 100, and was ranked third on Forbes AI 50 list.

Brad is a founding investor of Tempus Labs, a leader in the field of data-driven precision medicine. He is a co-founder of Groupon, Echo Global Logistics, MediaOcean, Drivin, Dough, and a founder of the venture capital firm Lightbank.

Brad is an investor (through Lightbank or personally) in Sprout Social, Udemy, Fiverr, Reverb, CrowdRise, GoPuff, Benzinga, and more. He is on the Board of Trustees of Equity Residential, an S&P 500 company.

Brad is the Founder and Curator of WNDR, presenting immersive art+technology, named a Best Immersive Experience by USA Today. From its original location in Chicago, WNDR is expanding to major cities nationally.

He is the Founder and Chairman of Chicago Ideas, one of the world’s largest city based ideas platforms, now in its eleventh year.

He is the host of The Upside, a podcast exploring the creative process with iconoclastic thinkers and doers.

He is the chairman of Future Founders, a non-profit providing entrepreneurship education to students in underserved communities throughout Chicagoland.

Brad signed The Giving Pledge in 2016, committing to give the majority of his wealth to charitable causes.

Brad is an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He earned a J.D. cum laude at the University of Michigan Law School and a BBA with honors from Michigan Ross.

Student Speakers

Whitney

Whitney Pollard, MBA ‘22

Whitney Pollard earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Prairie View A&M University, and her master’s in industrial and systems engineering from North Carolina A&T State University. She previously worked in the manufacturing industry as a production and continuous improvement leader. While at Michigan Ross, Whitney held leadership roles in the Black Business Student Association, Open Road, and DEI Committee, as well as served as the MBA Council president. Upon graduation, she will join the Human Resources Development Program at Danaher in Indianapolis, IN.

Keith Johnstone, BBA ‘22

Keith Johnstone, BBA ‘22

Keith Johnstone is a graduating BBA with concentrations in marketing and strategy. At Michigan Ross, he served as a peer coach for the Career Development Office and held leadership roles with the Sanger Leadership Center and Creatives of Color. After graduation, he will begin his career as a business analyst at McKinsey, where he interned last summer. Keith is deeply grateful to his mentors, specifically Dr. Mary Hinesly, Dr. Lareese Collins, Dr. Jade Burns, and Kirk Dedenbach. He thanks his family for inspiring him to do the right thing, even when it’s the hard thing.

Onyekachi Ezirike

Onyekachi Ezirike, MBA ’22

Onyekachi “Kachi” Ezirike earned his civil engineering degree from the University of Oklahoma, and went on to work as a structural engineer for a nuclear weapon testing and manufacturing facility in Amarillo, TX. During this time, he co-founded a non-profit organization aimed at helping minority students prepare for college. At Michigan Ross, he held leadership roles with Detroit Revitalization and Business, Design + Business, and the Black Business Student Association, while also serving as an Applebaum Impact Design Fellow. Kachi’s future plans include working with companies to use technology to create equity within marginalized communities.

Class of 2022 Recognition Awards

Student award recipients are selected by their graduating peers for being exemplary role models who display continuous dedication to the Ross School of Business.

Frank S. Moran Distinguished Leadership Awards

The Frank S. Moran Distinguished Leadership Awards are presented to two graduating students who have made outstanding contributions to improve the business school experience for students, staff, and faculty, and have been active in all aspects of the Michigan Ross community. One award is given to a student in a graduate program, and another award is given to a BBA student. Both are supported by a special endowment honoring Frank Sullivan Moran. Frank Moran was not just a successful business leader; he also was a philosopher and educator who cared deeply about helping people.

 

Amira Hassan, BBA '22

Undergraduate Frank S. Moran Leadership Award

Amira graduated with a concentration in sustainable strategy and environmental science. While completing her degree, she fulfilled the Erb Institute Undergraduate Business Sustainability Fellowship. Making the most of her Michigan Ross experience, she immersed herself in a number of academic and extracurricular activities, allowing her to form meaningful relationships with faculty, staff, and students. She would like to thank the Ross community.

 

Whitney Pollard, MBA '22

Graduate Frank S. Moran Leadership Award

Whitney earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Prairie View A&M University, and her master’s in industrial and systems engineering from North Carolina A&T State University. She previously worked in the manufacturing industry as a production and continuous improvement leader. While at Michigan Ross, Whitney held leadership roles in the Black Business Student Association, Open Road, and DEI Committee, and served as the MBA Council president. Upon graduation, she will join the Human Resources Development Program at Danaher in Indianapolis, IN.


The Ross Global Citizenship Community Service Awards

The Ross Global Citizenship Community Service Awards are presented annually to graduating students who have made exemplary contributions to their community – both at Michigan Ross and beyond. Each award recipient designates the charity of his or her choice to which the award stipend will be donated. Conceived in 1998 by students of the Ross Global Citizenship Club, this award is supported by an endowment created through gifts from club members, students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

 

Habib Gbolahan Bello, BBA '22

Michigan Ross Global Citizenship Community Service Award

Habib is graduating with his Bachelor of Business Administration with a minor in community action and social change. Through his deep passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion, Habib hopes to inspire and empower others to battle the social injustices that are present in our everyday communities. A donation will be made in his name to Minority Rights Group International.

 

Dimitri Esteban Alejo Giraldo, MBA '22

Michigan Ross Global Citizenship Community Service Award

Dimitri was born and raised in Colombia. He earned bachelor degrees in chemical engineering and business administration from Universidad de los Andes, Colombia. Prior to Ross, he co-founded and led a SaaS company and worked as a brand manager for Uber. Upon graduation, he will work full-time on his non-profit organization, Creating Who You Are, which supports the awakening and creation of consciousness in Latin America. A donation will be made in his name to the Arsayian Foundation.


Michigan Ross Outstanding Leadership Awards

The Michigan Ross Outstanding Leadership Awards recognize graduating students who have made impactful contributions and demonstrated outstanding achievement within the Master of Management, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Accounting, Global MBA, Evening MBA, or Weekend MBA programs. The Sanger Leadership Center is the first sponsor of this award. Sanger's mission is to build a more connected, creative, and prosperous world, one leader at a time.
 

Siddhant Behera, MSCM '22

Michigan Ross Outstanding Leadership Award 

Siddhant is a member of the Master of Supply Chain Management 2022 cohort. He admires his classmates’ uncompromised work ethic, unity, “never give up” attitude, and focus to always strive for diversity, equality, and inclusiveness. Prior to attending U-M, he was a marine engineer sailing across the three oceans, trading cargo at 88 ports in 27 countries. Siddhant is indebted to his parents and sister, the ships, officers, and crew from his sailing career, the amazing professors at Ross, and the phenomenal MSCM Class of 2022.

 

Marissa Bialecki, Online MBA '22

Michigan Ross Outstanding Leadership Award 

Marissa earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from The George Washington University and subsequently built her marketing career in Washington, DC. While at Michigan Ross, Marissa was a Ross Leaders Academy Fellow, peer coach, and served as president of the Online MBA Council. She’d like to thank her parents, friends and classmates, professors, and the PTMBA program office for all of their support over the past two and a half years. After graduation, Marissa plans to pivot to the tech industry and work in product marketing.

 

Shon Harris, MM '22

Michigan Ross Outstanding Leadership Award 

Shon is a devoted first-generation student who has been pursuing undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Michigan. He met outstanding people, formed meaningful connections, and endeavored to experience life along the way. He is a prayer warrior who constantly works at being a better family member, friend, and citizen of the world.

 

Taylor Knoop, Weekend MBA ’22

Michigan Ross Outstanding Leadership Award 

Taylor is a proud member of the Weekend MBA 2022 cohort and is awed by her classmates’ commitment to creating community with each other during the program. Currently, Taylor works with the Monitor Institute by Deloitte, which focuses on social impact strategy. Before coming to U-M, she worked in the non-profit space and earned her BA from The College of Wooster. Taylor is grateful for the support of her partner, Peter, their family and friends, and is indebted to her class co-conspirator, Mike Atchoo, and the extraordinary Weekend MBA Class of 2022.

 

Takeshi (T.K.) Kokubun, Global MBA '22

Michigan Ross Outstanding Leadership Award

Raised in Tokyo, Japan, T.K. served as the class president of the Global MBA Program. He has demonstrated leadership and has dedicated himself to deepening engagement among classmates. After graduation, T.K. will pursue a career in accounting and finance with the strategic insights he learned during his MBA tenure.

 

George Shara, MAcc '22

Michigan Ross Outstanding Leadership Award 

Prior to attending Michigan Ross and obtaining a Master of Accounting, George graduated from NC State University with a BS in Accounting with a concentration in financial analysis and a minor in economics. Upon graduation, he will be working at PwC in Detroit, Michigan as a core assurance associate. In addition to his own hard work, he credits his amazing mother, father, and sister for helping him get to where he is today.

Faculty Awards

The Neary Teaching Excellence Awards are selected by the student body in recognition of outstanding contributions to their academic learning experience at the Ross School of Business. The stipends that accompany the awards have been made possible by the generosity of the late Robert D. Neary, BBA ’55, and his wife, Janet E. Neary, AB ’54. Mr. Neary’s career spanned 38 years with Ernst & Young, and both he and Mrs. Neary remained involved with the University of Michigan after their graduations. The Nearys’ support of these awards affirmed their belief that teaching excellence is largely “the ability to make the pursuit of knowledge an exciting endeavor … the kind of excitement that is contagious and long-lasting.”

 

Anocha Aribarg

PhD Teaching Excellence Award

Aribarg is an associate professor of marketing at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Her research interests involve fusing psychology and consumer behavior theories with Bayesian statistical and econometric modeling to draw unique insights that help solve current marketing problems.

 

Ryan Ball

Online MBA Teaching Excellence Award

A past recipient of U-M’s Golden Apple Award, Ball is a clinical assistant professor of accounting. His research focuses on two areas: Understanding how high-frequency economic activities affect and are affected by low-frequency accounting information, and the contracting and valuation roles of accounting information in debt markets.

 

Damian Beil

MSCM Teaching Excellence Award

Beil is the area chair of technology and operations. He is also the Donald C. Cook Professor of Business Administration and professor of technology and operations. In his research, Beil develops mathematical models to analyze complex problems in sourcing.

 

Cheng Gao

Weekend MBA Teaching Excellence Award 

Gao is the NBD Bancorp Assistant Professor of Business Administration and an assistant professor of strategy. His research focuses on strategy in nascent industries, technology and management, entrepreneurship, and nonmarket strategy

 

Derek Harmon

MM Teaching Excellence Award

Harmon is an assistant professor of strategy. His research is broadly concerned with how organizations manage relationships with key stakeholders (e.g., investors, employees, the media); drawing on theories from linguistics, sociology, and psychology to understand why certain organizational efforts succeed or fail.

 

Mary Hinesly

BBA Teaching Excellence Award

Dr. Hinesly is the area chair of business communications, as well as a professor of executive education, and lecturer of business communications. Her research focuses on digital transformation internally in organizations with cultural influences and business communication.

 

Michael Jensen

Global MBA Teaching Excellence Award

Jensen is a professor of strategy at Ross and an international research fellow at the Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation. His research focuses on the role of social structures in markets, including how status, reputation, and identity shape important competitive outcomes for organizations and individuals.

 

Maxim Sytch

Full-Time MBA Teaching Excellence Award

Sytch is a professor of management and organizations. His research focuses on how managers can execute without formal authority. He examines how managers can effectively manage and leverage relationships within and across organizational boundaries to enhance performance.

 

Christopher Williams

MAcc Teaching Excellence Award

Williams is the faculty director of the Accounting PhD Program, a professor of accounting, a Clyne Crawford Teaching Fellow, and Michael and Joan Sakkinen Faculty Fellow. His research focuses on the role of accounting in debt contracting, banking, and risk.

 

David W. Wright

Executive MBA Teaching Excellence Award

David W. Wright (aka “Dr. Dave”) joined the Ross faculty in 1984 and retired to emeritus status on August 31, 2021. He is a certified public accountant and a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries. He received the Neary Teaching Excellence Award multiple times and was the recipient of the faculty-selected Victor L. Bernard Award for Leadership in Teaching.