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W I NTER 2020


Leadership by a New Measure




UNPARALLELED It takes all of us to help Darden deliver its mission to inspire responsible leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Join the P O W E R E D B Y P U R P O S E campaign by supporting the Darden Annual Fund. Through generosity from gifts at all levels, we will collectively seize the opportunities presented to Darden by changes in business, society and graduate business education.







t’s a new year and a new dawn for graduate business education. With 2020 off and running, Darden Professor Sean Martin challenges us to rethink the trait organizations identify as the most desired: “leadership skills.” In our cover story (Page 16), he declares that leadership is a developmental process and recommends ways to improve. One way is to pursue high-quality feedback and to study how you react in the most stressful situations. In Darden’s new Experiential Leadership Development Lab, Professors Jim Detert and Bobby Parmar are using technological advances and research from fields like neuroscience and psychology to explore the science of leadership. They gather biometric feedback to measure leaders’ physiological and behavioral reactions in high-stress, emotional situations, and use the insights to coach them toward successful leadership behaviors. The article “Turnaround Titans” (Page 30) shows Darden leadership skills in action as companies frequently seek out Darden graduates to lead tough turnarounds. Alumni are also tackling some of society’s mammoth problems, using the design-thinking mindset they learned in the classroom as a global force for social good (Page 20). The year 2020 is also catalyzing Darden to take significant steps toward our vision to fully realize the School’s mission to improve

the world by inspiring responsible leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. You will see that we are making strong progress, kicking off the decade as a Top 5 global business school with some of the strongest career outcomes in graduate business education. We should wear those honors with pride. May the year of perfect vision lead you toward all you seek to achieve.

SCOTT C. BEARDSLEY Dean and Charles C. Abbott Professor of Business Administration



The Darden Report is published with private donations to the University of Virginia Darden School Foundation. © 2020 Darden School Foundation Winter 2020, Volume 47, No. 1

The Darden Report is published twice a year by the University of Virginia Darden School of Business Office of Communication & Marketing P. O. Box 7225 Charlottesville, Virginia 22906-7225 USA communication@darden.virginia.edu Scott C. Beardsley Dean and Charles C. Abbott Professor of Business Administration Michael J. Woodfolk President, Darden School Foundation Juliet K. Daum Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

EDITOR Jay Hodgkins ART DIRECTION & DESIGN Susan Wormington FEATURES DESIGN Ross Bradley WRITERS Katherine Bowers Melissa Castro Dave Hendrick Seb Murray Sally Parker CLASS NOTES EDITORS Hillary Cocke Jenny Paurys Egidijus Paurys



PHOTOGRAPHY Tom Cogill Avi Gerver Stephanie Gross Eli Meir Kaplan Sam Levitan Michael Paras Andrew Shurtleff Susan Wormington ADDITIONAL PHOTOS Bigstock iStock COVER ILLUSTRATION Ross Bradley


/ Winter 2020



Leadership in the Lab How do you define leadership? Can you measure it, test it and teach it? Professor Sean Martin suggests there’s much more to learn about leadership and developing it as a skill.



The Innovation Cure for Societal Ills Professor Jeanne Liedtka has spawned a generation of leaders who tap into a design-thinking mindset to tackle mammoth societal challenges around the world, from New York City to Singapore.


Turnaround Titans From an ongoing effort to remake Avon to a legendary turnaround success at Citigroup to private-equity-led rebuilds, Darden alumni are hot commodities sought to lead major strategic shifts.


Preparation for the Future of Work


Work is changing rapidly, opening opportunities for Darden to deliver lifelong learning far beyond the MBA. Darden Executive Education and Lifelong Learning CEO Ashley Williams shares what’s in store.



5 School News

26 Faculty Spotlight: Luca Cian

7 Darden Grounds Master Plan Update

40 Alberto Fernandez Sabater (MBA ’03)

8 Student News

44 Marcia Mao (MBA ’15)

10 Darden Worldwide 11 Heard Around Grounds 12 Faculty News

ALUMNI NEWS 4 Letter From the Foundation President 37 Harry N. Lewis Award 47 In Memoriam 49 Corporate Partners 50 Darden Leadership Boards

52 20 Questions: Sachin Mehra (MBA ’96) CFO, Mastercard


Michael J. Woodfolk (TEP ’05)


his fall, the University of Virginia launched a multiyear oral histor y project, Reflections: Oral Histories at UVA, which seeks to chronicle a more personal and inclusive history of the University by collecting and sharing stories of our community. The project’s stated goal is to collect audio recordings from UVA alumni and community members of stories that make up our institutional and collective history before those voices or stories can no longer be captured. Tierney Fairchild (MBA ’93) invited Darden to be an early partner in this project, and so we asked alumni to share their stories during reunion weekend with Darden students who were trained to conduct the oral history interviews. Interviews included members of Darden’s first class and first Executive MBA cohort, the first international student, and the first international faculty member. Experiences were shared from women who graduated in the 1960s and 1970s and African American students from the 1980s. Student life was highlighted by the first female president of the Darden Student Association and the co-founder of Darden’s Spring Follies, and countless alumni recounted stories of their favorite faculty members.

This project prompts me to reflect on the collective experience that makes up the fabric of our community. Each of you made a significant contribution while at Darden — sometimes reflected in the perspective you brought to the classroom and sometimes in your nonacademic activities. You launched new clubs, started the tutoring program and inspired annual events, many of which continue to be valued and nurtured by the generations that came after you. If you were never thanked for the many ways your participation matters in this community: thank you. With nearly 20 years at Darden — and the inspiration of Professor Emeritus C. Ray Smith (MBA ’58) asking me “How many alumni have you talked to this week?” — I know many of the stories. But if I don’t know yours, I invite you to share it with me. If you are interested in more information about Reflections, please visit the website at reflectionsoralhistory.com.

Michael J. Woodfolk (TEP ’05) President, Darden School Foundation


To d ay ?

Darden powers your purpose for more than just two years on Grounds. Through Alumni Career Services, we support your career for life. • Career/Transition Coaching • Executive/Leadership Coaching • Darden Hiring Network • Darden Career Link • In-Person Office Hours

For more information, visit darden.virginia.edu/alumni/career-services or contact Alumni Career Services at alumnicareerservices@darden. virginia.edu or +1-434-924-4876. 4


The Armstrong Center for Alumni Career Services




Top 5

in Bloomberg Businessweek

The fall MBA rankings season was full of superlatives for Darden, headlined by a No. 5 ranking among full-time MBA programs in the United States from Bloomberg Businessweek. Other rankings highlights include several No. 1s in The Economist and The Princeton Review. Bloomberg Businessweek No. 5 — MBA Program No. 1 — U.S. MBA Program Among Public Universities No. 2 — Learning No. 4 — Networking

The Economist No. 1 — Education Experience (U.S.); No. 2 globally No. 1 — Student Rating of Faculty, for the third year in a row No. 1 — Overseas Study, for the third year in a row No. 3 — Student Rating of Program, for the second year in a row No. 4 — Personal Development and Education Experience No. 6 — Student Rating of Culture and Classmates

The Princeton Review No. 1 — Best Professors No. 1 — Best MBA for Consulting No. 3 — Best MBA for Management No. 3 — Greatest Resources for Women No. 5 — Best Campus Environment No. 6 — Best Career Prospects No. 6 — Best MBA for Entrepreneurship No. 7 — Best MBA for Finance





Pictured with his wife, Jane, David Walentas (MBA ’64) gained renown for developing the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, sparking an incredible revitalization.

We are incredibly grateful to, and proud of, David Walentas and his wife, Jane, for creating this new program to enable exceptional first-generation students to attend Darden.” — Dean Scott C. Beardsley

Funds raised for Darden’s Powered by Purpose campaign will support four priorities:  Faculty, Thought Leadership and Curricular Innovation  Scholarships, Financial Aid and Student Experience  Darden Grounds Master Plan, Technology and Innovation  Darden Annual Fund



Gift From Walentas Family Highlights UVA, Darden Campaign Launch


arden publicly launched on 12 October a fundraising campaign called Powered by Purpose to raise $400 million by June 2025. Toward that goal, the School announced that it has already raised more than $236 million in gifts and pledges as part of the campaign’s quiet phase, which began in July 2013 following the completion of Darden’s previous campaign. The Powered by Purpose campaign and fundraising goal supports the University of Virginia’s $5 billion Honor the Future campaign, which also launched 12 October. The Powered by Purpose campaign kickoff took place on the Darden Grounds with hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends participating in a daylong series of events capped by a campaign gala in which the School inducted five new members into its Principal Donors Society — Darden’s highest designation for lifetime giving. At the gala, Darden also recognized six Principal Donors who, through new philanthropy, rose to higher giving tiers within the society. David Walentas (MBA ’64) and his wife, Jane, highlighted the campaign kickoff weekend with the announcement of a $100 million gift to the Jefferson Scholars Foundation. Of that gift, $38 million will advance the Darden School in three ways: • A new $25 million Walentas fellowship program for first-generation students

• $8 million in additional funding for the existing Darden Jefferson Fellowship Program • $5 million for a new Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professorship in real estate


A 3D rendering reveals the front of the future Inn at Darden and Conference Center for Lifelong Learning.

Construction of New Inn at Darden to Begin This Spring


arden’s footprint is getting a major upgrade as the School’s Master Plan takes flight. Later this year, the current Inn at Darden is slated to be torn down. In its place, and set to be completed in 2022, will be the new UVA Inn at Darden and Conference Center for Lifelong Learning. The project was jump-started with $20 million of the record-setting $68 million gift from Frank M. Sands Sr. (MBA ’63). The new inn will advance lifelong learning in a

timeline & highlights

LANDSCAPING BEGINS IN 2020 Arboretum and Botanical Garden ◆ 6+ acres of diverse trees, global-themed gardens and outdoor classrooms; increased connectivity between Darden, the UVA School of Law and the Rivanna Trail

variety of ways, making Darden a more attractive location for Executive Education clients and Executive MBA students taking part in a leadership residency. Numerous other facilities projects will enhance the Charlottesville Grounds, thanks to the generosity of donors. A landscaped arboretum will beautify Grounds and provide spaces for learning and mindfulness, while a full renovation of C. Ray Smith Alumni Hall will provide alumni with upgraded facilities and resources and provide office space.

CONSTRUCTION BEGINS IN SUMMER 2020 UVA Inn at Darden and Conference Center for Lifelong Learning ◆ 199 hotel rooms; up to 12,000 square feet of meeting and learning space; amenities including a ballroom, restaurant, bar, library and coffee shop ◆ Multiple naming opportunities available for generous donors

RENOVATION BEGINS IN LATE 2020 C. Ray Smith Alumni Hall ◆ Staff offices, alumni lounge, enhanced resources and facilities for alumni ◆ Opportunity to unlock $7.2 million matching gift from Sands Sr.




Record Number of Women Highlight Class of 2021 Darden welcomed several new classes of students to Grounds in August: the full-time MBA Class of 2021, the Executive MBA Class of 2021 and the Master of Science in business analytics (MSBA) Class of 2020. Learn more about these record-setting classes.

FULL-TIME MBA • 335 students • 713 average GMAT • 40 percent women (a new record) • 33 percent international citizens, representing 38 countries • 21 percent of students identify as a U.S. racial or ethnic minority • 12 percent plan to pursue a dual degree while earning their MBA • 33 Consortium Fellows • 67 Forté Fellows

EXECUTIVE MBA • 139 students (a new record and the fifth consecutive year of enrollment growth) • 1st cohort based primarily at UVA Darden DC Metro at the Sands Family Grounds • 27 percent women • 24 percent of students identify as a U.S. racial or ethnic minority • 20 industries represented, as students currently work for a variety of top corporations and government sectors

M.S. IN BUSINESS ANALYTICS • 62 students (a 50 percent increase from the inaugural cohort, which graduated in August) • 37 percent women • 29 percent of students already hold at least one advanced degree • 564 total years of work experience (ranging individually from two to 40 years)




The full-time MBA Class of 2021 student body includes 40 percent women. Meet a few members of the Class of 2021, pictured from left to right: • Emily Kelly is an MBA/M.Ed. student and passionate about impact investing; she serves on the Student Admissions Committee and as a diversity representative for Section B. • Rachel Barnes is an MBA/J.D. student and section representative for First Years in Section D. • Alexa Diaz is a First Year from Costa Rica and the diversity representative for Section C. • Ann Joseph is a Resilience Initiative ambassador and MBA Program Advisory Committee member. • Zarina Khan, section representative for Section C, is originally from San Francisco and came to Darden to further her product management and strategy skills.


Class of 2019 Careers RECORD SALARIES, RECORD JOB OFFERS Graduates of the full-time MBA Class of 2019 took advantage of a strong job market to break multiple employment outcome records. The class received the highest starting salaries in school history, the highest-ever percentage of offers accepted within 90 days of graduation, and a 14-year high in full-time offers received within 90 days of graduating.


average base salary (a new record)

$33,458 average signing bonus

TOP EMPLOYERS (# of hires) Boston Consulting Group (22) McKinsey & Co. (19) Amazon (13) Bain & Co. (13) Accenture (11) JPMorgan Chase (8)

96 percent of students accepted an offer of full-time employment within 90 days of graduation (a new record)

94 percent of students without U.S.

work authorization accepted an offer of full-time employment within 90 days of graduation (up from 82 percent for the Class of 2018)




On the Heels of Record Student Participation, Darden Launches New Global Courses


hen the Class of 2019 graduated in May, a record 85 percent of full-time MBA students had participated in at least one global academic program. Thanks to the Batten Foundation Darden Worldwide Scholarship program, which covers the course fee for a global course for all fulltime MBA students, First Year participation in a global course rose to 72 percent from 66 percent the previous year. For the 2018–19 academic year, Darden announced 18 Darden Worldwide courses, including four new courses:

AUSTRALIA: “Culture and International Business Expansion,” led by Professor Shane Dikolli INDIA: “Addressing Tough Problems in Business and Society,” led by Professor Marc Modica KENYA: “Economic Growth and Opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa: The Influence of Education, Health Care and Entrepreneurship,” led by Dr. Paul Matherne (EMBA ’10), professor of pediatrics and interim chief medical officer of the UVA Health System SOUTH AFRICA: “The Business of Conservation,” led by Dean Scott Beardsley

Darden Dramatically Expands Global Options for Executive MBA Students


Project to Eliminate Malaria Wins P3 Impact Award The Office of Global Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State, Darden’s Institute for Business in Society and Concordia announced the Bioko Island Malaria Elimination Project as the winner of the P3 Impact Award at the 2019 Concordia Summit in New York City in October. The Bioko Island Malaria Elimination Project addresses malaria morbidity and mortality affecting the population living and working on Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea and informs a broader malaria control strategy for the rest of the African continent.



ultiple enhancements are on the way for the Darden Executive MBA program. Beginning with the Class of 2022, the executive formats of the Darden MBA will offer more global opportunities and increased elective choices. Over the course of the program, students will be able to complement their core MBA curriculum with global residencies offered in as many as 12 locations, including China, India, Chile, Japan, Germany, Ghana and Israel, among others. Students interested in pursuing even more global experiences may do so through Darden’s Global Consulting Projects. Students also will be able to further customize their MBA experience through a broad slate of elective offerings. Students will take a total of 12 elective courses, primarily during the Second Year of the program. These courses span a number of topic areas, including finance, marketing, leadership, ethics and more.

Heard Around Grounds


you are a woman and feeling alone, think about how you might be bringing the special ingredient by being who you are.” CASE FOUNDATION CEO JEAN CASE, speaking at the inaugural Leadership Unscripted event at UVA Darden DC Metro on the value women entrepreneurs bring as an underrepresented group through their diversity of perspectives

“It would be like blaming the temperature on the thermometer. Collectively, we have to find a solution.” UPS CHIEF STRATEGY AND TRANSFORMATION OFFICER SCOTT PRICE (MBA/MA ’90) on how consumer demand for convenience is creating a challenge for package delivery companies to operate sustainably

“It’s about changing the way people value girls. You have to really work at the community level and try to change people’s beliefs.”

“This is a long-term negotiation that will last across administrations.”


FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF RICHMOND PRESIDENT AND CEO TOM BARKIN on the prospects for resolution of the U.S.-China trade dispute

MILES (MBA ’88), who stepped down from her role in January, speaking at a Leadership Unscripted event at UVA Darden DC Metro





new feature-length documentary produced by Darden Professor Bobby Parmar and Senior Researcher Jenny Mead explores the many faces of modern capitalism, from toxic corporate cultures and rapacious greed to corporations large and small representing purpose-driven business at its best. Fishing With Dynamite, directed and co-produced by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Wagner and supported by Darden’s Institute for Business in Society, explores competing narratives at the heart of American capitalism. On one hand is the notion that the purpose of the corporation is to maximize profits and shareholder value; on the other is a stakeholder approach, in which corporate leaders run a business with a mandate to benefit customers, suppliers, employees, investors and the community. The title refers to the practice of blast fishing, a wildly irresponsible way to fish that destroys the surrounding habitat supporting marine life.

New Documentary From Darden Faculty, Academy Award-Winning Filmmaker Explodes Myths on the Purpose of a Corporation

It’s our hope that Fishing With Dynamite explodes preconceptions and helps rewrite the rules for how corporations and capitalism must work.”



Professor Bobby Parmar prepares for the premiere of Fishing With Dynamite during the Virginia Film Festival.



“The idea for a feature documentary on leading with a stakeholder mentality stemmed from a desire to take critical ideas that have strong currency in the academy and in many top companies and bring them to a wider audience,” said Parmar. Fishing With Dynamite premiered at the Virginia Film Festival on 27 October at the Violet Crown movie theater in Charlottesville, Virginia, and won the festival’s Best Virginia Feature Film Commonwealth Award. Additional opportunities to view the film and distribution agreements will be announced at a later date.


1. A customer places an online order with a local grocery store for ingredients for a birthday cake. The customer places a second order from a department store for a birthday gift.

The “last mile” has challenged businesses since ancient farmers struggled to get their product to consumers before it spoiled. Historically, the term “last mile” refers to the distance between a distribution point and someone’s home, according to Darden Technology and Operations Management area Professor Tim Laseter. In business today, e-commerce and digital technologies are at the frontier of the next great last mile challenge. Brick-and-mortar retailers, delivery

companies and even established e-commerce players are reinventing the course of the last mile in a race to deliver what consumers want, when they want it, where they want it — all with maximum convenience for the online shopper. Technology is powering new “ship from store” models, and competition between Amazon, traditional retailers and transportation companies is a critical issue. So what could the last mile look like in e-commerce? Here’s one possible path.

2. The grocery order is sent to the store, where “high-velocity items” such as sugar and flour are collected from an automated fulfillment center. 4. Delivery companies (UPS, Instacart, Shipt, Uber, etc.) bid on both orders via an online marketplace, which takes into account the two orders should be delivered together.

3. At the department store, a clerk sees the order on an iPad, pulls the item from the shelf and gift wraps it for pickup.

6. Both orders arrive at the home just as the customer arrives home to prepare the cake and take it to the birthday party.

5. The “handoff” is arranged from each retailer to the winning delivery company using smart phone apps. The same driver might pick up both orders in sequence, or two delivery people could conduct a second handoff to consolidate orders.

For more insights, commentary and thought leadership from Darden experts, visit Darden Ideas to Action at ideas.darden.virginia.edu or listen to the Darden Ideas to Action podcast at listen.darden.virginia.edu.


Meet Darden’s Newest Professors


Darden welcomed an impressive group of seven new professors to start the 2019–20 academic year. They join the School from top teaching positions and prestigious Ph.D. programs.

LAURA MORGAN ROBERTS joined the Leadership and Organizational Behavior area as a professor of practice. Roberts’ research interests focus on race, work and leadership and how to leverage minority identities at work. She has taught at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and has served on the faculty at Antioch University and Harvard Business School.

JAMES NAUGHTON joined the Accounting area as an associate professor from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. His research examines how financial, legal and regulatory institutions shape both financial disclosure and economic choices. Naughton, who received a doctorate and law degree from Harvard University, has won numerous awards for his teaching.

VIDYA MANI joined the Technology and Operations Management area as an associate professor. Mani joined Darden from Penn State’s Smeal College of Business, where she taught in the Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems. Her research focuses on supply chain management and the impact of operational decisions on performance under changing marketplace conditions.

DENNIE KIM PANOS MARKOU joined the Technology and Operations Management area as an assistant professor. Markou comes to Darden from a post-doctoral position at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School and earned his Ph.D. in operations management at IE Business School in Madrid. His research seeks to empirically understand how firms may manage disruptive organizational risks.



joined the Strategy, Ethics and Entrepreneurship area as an assistant professor. Kim recently completed his Ph.D. in business administration from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. His dissertation research examined interorganizational collaboration and performance from a macro perspective, integrating sociology theory with contemporary network perspectives.

GAURAV CHIPLUNKAR YO-JUD CHENG joined the Strategy, Ethics and Entrepreneurship area as an assistant professor. Cheng comes to Darden from Harvard Business School, where she completed her DBA in strategy. Her research examines CEO succession, top management teams and corporate governance.

joined the Global Economies and Markets area as an assistant professor. Chiplunkar recently completed his Ph.D. in economics at Yale University, where his research examined how large industrial policies affect firm behavior and how frictions in the labor market constrain job search, recruitment and hiring practices by workers and firms.

Accolades Professor Lalin Anik won the faculty diversity award, was named a faculty marshal for the Class of 2019 graduation and was named MBA Professor of the Year by Poets & Quants. Professor Bob Bruner was No. 13 on the Case Centre’s 2018–19 Top 40 Bestselling Case Authors list. Professors Bob Bruner and Pedro Matos were part of a group of faculty honored with the Collaborative Excellence in Public Service Award by the UVA Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost for their work examining the aftershocks of the 2008–09 global financial crisis.


Professor Luca Cian was named a Best 40 Under 40 professor by Poets & Quants. Professor Mary Gentile was named to the Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards shortlist for the T50 Ideas Into Practice Award. Professor Ed Freeman was awarded an honorary doctorate from Germany’s Leuphana University of Luneburg for developing the foundations of stakeholder theory. Professor Elena Loutskina won the Distinguished Professor Award from the UVA Alumni Association, recognizing her outstanding teaching, commitment to student success and significant contribution to the life of the University. Professor Saras Sarasvathy became only the sixth person to receive the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers’ Legacy Impact Award, recognizing her pioneering research on effectuation, a framework for thought and action used by expert entrepreneurs. Professor Raj Venkatesan was recognized as an outstanding area editor by the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.

Strategic Execution: Driving Breakthrough Performance in Business (Stanford University Press, 2019) Professor Scott Snell and his co-author, former SunTrust Chief Human Resources Officer Kenneth Carrig, address why execution matters, the challenges of execution and why an effective, widespread approach remains elusive.

Race, Work and Leadership: New Perspectives on the Black Experience (Harvard Business Review Press, 2019) Professor Laura Morgan Roberts brings together new research and a multitude of perspectives across 23 essays exploring the experiences of black professionals in a broad spectrum of industries. In addition to chapters co-authored by Roberts, the volume includes contributions from Darden Professor and Global Chief Diversity Officer Martin Davidson and Postdoctoral Fellow Courtney McCluney.

Conscience and Courage: How Visionary CEO Henri Termeer Built a Biotech Giant and Pioneered the Rare Disease Industry (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 2019) UVA alumnus and biotech industry veteran John T.W. Hawkins’ biography of Henri Termeer (MBA ’73) details how Termeer’s bold thinking and unconventional methods built Genzyme, gave rise to a new field and saved the lives of thousands of patients.









By Katherine Bowers



eadership skills” is top of organizations’ — and individuals’ — professional wish lists. In fact, a recent survey of recruiters at Darden revealed “leadership/management skills” as the No. 2 most desired trait in MBA job candidates, behind only “teamwork and collaboration.” But what does “leadership skills” mean? Ask a dozen people what leadership is, and you’ll get as many different answers. Business and society care about this topic, but it can easily be confused with other things, and hard to classify — is it nature or nurture, art or science? What makes an effective leader? Can you lead without a cadre of direct reports? Through his research into how the values of leaders influence their behaviors and organizational experiences, Professor Sean Martin is helping clear up myths of leadership. His Darden Business Publishing technical note “Defining Leadership and Effectiveness” lays the groundwork for organizations to better hire for, develop and reward these vital leadership skills.

Progress, Not Maintenance While there may be overlap in the skills good managers and good leaders exhibit, ultimately, they’re different roles: Managers maintain the status quo, but leaders push to achieve goals. Sometimes a leader chooses the goal — for instance, a CEO may set the direction of an organization. But sometimes leaders are executing on goals set by others and define how those goals are pursued. To make progress, they may need to articulate those goals and the action to take in their pursuit, as well as influence others in the organization to take that action.

Influence, Not Power So how does a leader influence? It’s more about high-quality relationships than control. Power and leadership often coincide, but they’re different tools; one is transactional and one is interpersonal. While power comes from someone depending on you for something and authority comes from formalized hierarchy, influence is about getting people to do something they don’t have to do but are willing to do because you asked them. 18


Command-and-control approaches have limited effectiveness because they lead to burnout and disengagement. Leaders inspire people to action. Working through influence requires more effort than exercising power, but over the long haul, it leads to more engaged, purpose-driven and productive teams. Influence relies on and is given to us by others, so it requires good social abilities that encourage other people to grant it to us. Until people willingly provide their efforts in your direction, you’re not really leading.

Behavior, Not Traits Traditionally, research examined what traits made leaders effective. For example, personality research looked at the Big 5 framework, examining the differences between personalities along the OCEAN dimensions: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism. But that was problematic to some degree. While extraversion is often the strongest personality correlate of having a leader’s performance rated well, that rating was often based on perception, not objective outcomes. These days, personality and leadership effectiveness research suggests conscientiousness as the most important correlate of effectiveness. But personality is one small factor in success and is unlikely to determine the ability to lead others. Indeed, personality relates to leadership to the degree that it affects behaviors. Much more directly, behavior is related to effectiveness. Three types of behavior are key to effective leadership: 1. Change-Oriented Behavior: Leaders steer and enable change. They put forth a vision, create a safe environment for people to debate ideas, and encourage openness and flexible thinking. 2. Task-Oriented Behavior: Leaders establish clear and consistent expectations, defining how different roles within a team are interrelated, as well as explicitly stated standards of communication.

HOW TO BUILD A LEADER: ‘WE HAVE PROVEN TOOLS AND METHODS. LET’S USE THEM.’ 3. Relationship-Oriented Behavior: Leaders show concern for others and make it enjoyable to be a member of the group. They earn others’ respect, build confidence, show genuine concern and investment in team members’ welfare, build relationships, and defuse conflicts. They do not simply say the right things, they build an environment of psychological safety and stability and lead by example — they do not take out their moods on others. These positive behaviors have a halo effect: Group members are more likely to do these things for each other when a leader is setting that standard — as well as more likely to express job satisfaction, go above and beyond, and remain committed to the group.

Hone Leadership Skills Leadership is a process. That means leadership skills can be developed and practiced; they don’t depend on charisma or having a sense of self-assurance that one is always right. In fact, developing them may require some degree of vulnerability and humility. Three important ingredients contribute to improving one’s effectiveness in leading: 1. Actively seek out developmental challenges. If your interpersonal skills are not having the desired effect or your team can’t seem to get over the hump in a project, confront those problems. After all, developmental challenges are necessary for development. 2. Approach those challenges with a learning mindset. A person who adapts has a learning orientation that prioritizes mastery over immediate performance and sees setbacks as opportunities. The goal isn’t to look smart; the goal is to improve.

3. Pursue high-quality feedback. It’s not enough to know you failed; information about why is critical to growth. Quality feedback helps you analyze your logic and where your perspective might not be sufficient. Ultimately, leadership is not about molding your personality but more about your intentions and how you consistently behave. To cultivate leadership skills in your organization, talk to team members about the change, task and relationship behaviors that form leadership’s foundation. Emphasize that leadership skills are learnable and cultivated deliberately, not dependent on personality or title.

The study of leadership has changed dramatically in recent years, as technological advancements and reams of complementary research from fields like neuroscience and psychology allow researchers and practitioners to explore the science of leadership as never before. Today, a developing leader can be hooked up to devices providing biometric feedback and dropped into a high-pressure business simulation — delivering bad news to a boss or a board, dealing with a dysfunctional team, or giving or receiving negative feedback, for instance. This is exactly what Associate Dean of Executive Degree Programs and Leadership Initiatives Jim Detert, Professor Bobby Parmar and a team of collaborators are doing to help Darden students hone their leadership capabilities through the new Experiential Leadership Development Lab. Coaches evaluate the video, biometric feedback and subjective perceptions of the experience with participants, helping them unpack why they reacted as they did and prepare for such interactions in the future. The lab has been piloted with full-time MBA students and is being introduced as part of the curriculum for the Executive MBA and in Executive Education courses.

Professor Jim Detert

“What we are trying to do in the lab is be at the cutting edge of one specific aspect of leading effectively — namely, understanding people’s physiological and behavioral reactions when in highstress, emotion-laden situations,” Detert said. “But that said, you don’t have to be hooking people up to fancy equipment to know that, on the whole, there are certain behavioral patterns that work better than others. You just have to know what the more successful behaviors look like and commit to helping people do the hard work to improve.” Detert says it’s a decidedly outdated view of leadership to think people shouldn’t know researchbased best practices and tools from what is now a decades-old science of leadership. “We, as people who educate in this area, have an obligation to set the record straight about what we know and don’t know,” Detert said. “Telling those we work with that their leadership beliefs and style, whatever they might be, are equally likely to lead to success as long as they’re ‘being authentic’ might be easier for us, but it’s simply not true.”








ears ago, when Darden Professor Jeanne Liedtka taught an iteration of a design-thinking elective involving problemsolving partnerships with major corporations, it could be difficult to get students to sign up to work with the more socially minded ventures. Maybe the problems were too complex, or perhaps lacked the cachet of working with a top finance or consumer products company. Whatever the reason, that’s no longer the case. Times have changed. Now, Liedtka said, students want to work on the United Nations Population Fund or help police departments improve their traffic stops. “I think students feel a sense of responsibility to be a part of solving big problems,” Liedtka said. And they are leaving Darden equipped to solve those problems, which means the School and its alumni are now out in the world using tools like a design-thinking mindset as a global force for social good.

Working With the UN and (Potentially) a Small Army of Design Thinkers Liedtka has seen the reach of Darden ideas around innovation and design thinking expand dramatically during her time as a professor, as alumni seed ideas into the world and global organizations reach out to Darden. Recently, Liedtka engaged with the government of Singapore, which has set explicit goals to train thousands of government workers in design thinking to help “meet the evolving demands of the future economy” through its Skills Framework for Design program. Closer to Grounds, Liedtka has facilitated a yearslong collaboration with the United Nations, 22


Longtime Darden lecturer Rachel Brozenske (MBA ’01), left, and her former teacher, Professor Jeanne Liedtka, are leading the charge teaching students and societies how to develop an innovation mindset to solve big challenges.

a relationship that began after a senior learning and development officer took one of Liedtka’s designthinking courses on Coursera (NASA got in touch after a similar introduction via online learning). The digital encounter led to Liedtka working with different leadership teams at the U.N., and in recent years the organization has been one of the sponsors of class projects in which students work with companies to solve specific real-world issues. Recently, the project’s sponsors at the U.N. asked Liedtka if they could work with additional students to help prototype and experiment with some of the solutions a previous class devised for the U.N. Population Fund, which focuses on the health of pregnant women worldwide. “It’s very exciting when you can see that impact and enthusiasm for the work of Darden students, the power of people learning design thinking and their ability to create real value for organizations dealing with these kinds of challenging, complex issues,” said Liedtka.


The expanding work with the U.N. comes against a backdrop of students with growing interest in working on major problems with societal impact, Liedtka said. Previously, students prioritized working on problems with marquee corporations. Now, the U.N. is the most requested project, Liedtka said. In the previous year, a project working with a local police department to devise more positive traffic-stop experiences was the most highly sought.

Innovation: The Common Thread in Solving Wicked Problems In March 2001, Rachel Brozenske (MBA ’01), then a Second Year student at the Darden School, stood in the still-unfinished nave of Antoni Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona, Spain. Amid the two-story stained glass windows and the soaring columns, her Darden classmates considered the connections between art and architecture and business strategy and innovation. Brozenske had come to Darden after a career in graphic design and production and enrolled in Liedtka’s “Strategy as

Design in Barcelona” course, which to this day examines the confluence between business strategy and design. The study in Barcelona convinced Brozenske, then Rachel Korkowski, that she could use her confluence of skills to help solve intractable business and public-sector problems by first focusing on the human aspects of design problems, and then translating the design challenges and proposed solutions to the stakeholders involved. Today, as vice president at Charlottesville-based Allison Partners, Brozenske helps clients, including large corporate clients and local governments, facilitate productive solutions to a host of issues. Brozenske, a longtime Darden visiting lecturer, is also putting her expertise into play in a new Executive MBA course, “Wicked Problems,” in which students work in small groups to consider seemingly intractable global problems — issues related to water, transportation and education, for instance — from an innovation mindset. No one expects that a team will solve the global water crisis in the span of a few months, but by considering such a major societal problem with new tools, students are primed for innovative thinking and action for a host of issues within their grasp. WINTER 2020


Molly Hill Patten (MBA ’01) is COO at ideas42, a nonprofit that partners across the world to tackle problems ranging from the opioid crisis to farming crop loss.



The Opioid Crisis, Incarceration Rates and More Case Studies of the Innovation Mindset in Practice Across the river from the Executive MBA home at UVA Darden DC Metro, at least two Washington, D.C., area firms with Darden connections are also tackling public-sector problems using the set of tools Liedtka has woven into the fabric of a Darden education. Natalie Foley (MBA ’11) is CEO of Peer Insight, a firm founded in 2004 by Tim Ogilvie, a UVA alumnus and Darden lecturer who co-wrote the book Designing for Growth on design thinking with Liedtka. Peer Insight helps established organizations across all sectors design, test and launch new products and services “in months, not years,” according to Foley. Foley and her team at Peer Insight have used their design thinking and entrepreneurship tools in each sector to tackle social impact challenges. They helped the National Institutes of Health better frame and tackle the obstacles to finding a cure for sickle cell anemia, for instance. Peer Insight also supports nonprofits tackling social issues, helping AARP create new services around senior fraud prevention and caregiving and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center create ways to combat burnout on their cancer care team. In the private sector, they have helped firms be a part of what Foley termed “the social solution,” helping Kimberly-Clark create services related to public health and Nike create a new service built around a sustainability principle. In 2017, Foley helped Peer Insight launch PX, a venture studio that allows firms like these to create a space for disruptive ideas inside big organizations to be tested and accelerated if the design-thinkingdriven testing shows a viable proof of concept. Similarly, Molly Hill Patten (MBA ’01), a classmate of Brozenske’s, is COO at ideas42, a nonprofit that partners with governments, NGOs and organizations across the world to tackle problems ranging from the opioid crisis in Boston to over-incarceration in New York City to crop loss in Tanzania. Among dozens of projects, ideas42, which uses behavioral science often supported by design thinking, redesigned New York City’s summons process so that low-level offenders — say, people who ran a red light — would be less likely to wind up in jail for failing to pay their fines or show up in court, Patten said.

Patten said the solution emerged through empathy for all types of people who might receive a summons. A harried, low-income New Yorker working multiple jobs may not have the time or literacy skills to understand and deal with a minor traffic ticket. A redesigned summons that highlighted the consequences for failing to appear dropped no-show rates by 13 percent. And offenders who received text message reminders were 36 percent more likely to follow through and stay out of jail. By considering the humans at the heart of the problem, the organization helped save the city money and improve the lives of countless New Yorkers.

Want to Innovate? Start With Empathy The common thread in solving any of these wicked problems, according to practitioners — whether in a corporate or civic setting — is starting with empathy and studying the context in which problematic behaviors occur. Looking at problems through an empathetic lens, Brozenske said, we need to consider what makes it hard for a person to do the right thing, and what would make it easier. In addition, “context matters,” Patten said, discussing ideas42’s partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital to alleviate opioid dependency among its patients. “These emergency rooms doctors want to help patients, but this is all about triage and throughput — the next person in line is bleeding.” That context helped explain why so few ER doctors were prescribing buprenorphine to treat opioid-addicted ER patients, Patten said. Once a problem is truly understood, actionoriented Darden graduates trained in innovative thinking are able to go beyond the problem-solving processes that are typical to most conference rooms. “In a business context, we usually identify the problem and start implementing the first practical solution. But in this design approach, we push further and look at as many really novel ideas as possible,” Brozenske said. “Most of us are not good at presenting a crazy, wonky idea and inviting others to pick it apart and make it better. But that’s largely what it takes when it comes to solving these intractable things.”




Luca Cian

Marketing Professor Brings Passionate, ‘Unfiltered’ Approach to Darden — and Students Love It


arden Professor Luca Cian said he remembers teachers from his youth who showed little interest in the material, the students and the act of instruction. If the teacher doesn’t care, Cian said he remembers thinking, why should I? Cian, an energetic instructor who often leaves his marketing classes drenched in sweat, has kept that memory close as he made his unlikely journey from the 6,000-person alpine village of Cortina, Italy, to the upper rungs of the graduate business education faculty world. “My thing is, no matter how tired I am, no matter what I think about the case, I want to give every molecule of energy I have,” said Cian, who teaches both the core “First Year Marketing” course and the “Consumer Behavior” elective. “I want to convey passion and enthusiasm, and I really want students to understand what I find beautiful in the case.”




Cian’s own professional journey was repeatedly spurred on by a love of learning and wanting to know more. He studied marketing and communications in his undergraduate and master’s programs in Trieste, Italy, where he was able to get an early taste of teaching social psychology. A Ph.D. was an obvious next step for someone who wanted to keep researching and teaching, and Cian pursued a doctorate at the University of Verona, where he began to hone his research interest at the nexus of marketing and social psychology. Mining relatively new academic territory at the time, Cian said his psychology Ph.D. committee did not quite know what to make of his dissertation, “Multisensory Sort: A New Method to Explore Organizational and Brand Image.” “My committee told me, ‘Hey, Luca, we understand the psychological side of it, but we have no idea about the marketing side of it, so you need to find

I want to give every molecule of energy I have.� WINTER 2020



Repeatedly recognized for being in the top percentile for student evaluations, Cian was voted a faculty marshal by the Class of 2017 — the class that arrived on Grounds the same time he did — and was recently named one of Poets & Quants’ Best 40 Under 40 MBA Professors.

someone who understands what you are doing,’” Cian said. What could have been a dead-end instead led Cian to Professor Richard Bagozzi at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, who invited the Italian scholar with novel ideas to Ann Arbor, where he worked to successfully finish his Ph.D. The dissertation that was initially hard to parse eventually won the Italian Association of Psychology’s Best Doctoral Dissertation Award. With a desire to pursue an academic career in marketing but a Ph.D. in psychology, his adviser — Ross Professor Aradhna Krishna — intervened, helping craft a three-year postdoctoral program in marketing in which Cian took classes with Ross Ph.D. students — likely shaving multiple years of additional study off his academic life. Cian Is a Case Study in Connecting With Students

Luca Cian with Arfi Jayanti (Class of 2020)



Teaching and an authentic connection with students is how Cian has built a strong reputation in short order. Repeatedly recognized for being in the top percentile for student evaluations, Cian was voted a faculty marshal by the Class of 2017 — the class that arrived on Grounds the same time he did — and was recently named one of Poets & Quants’ Best 40 Under 40 MBA Professors. Cian said he knows most of his students won’t have a pure marketing role in their future but tries to convey that marketing is fundamentally an exercise in strategic decision-making with applicability to a host of functions. In class, he makes that point the only way he says he knows how — with energy. “Every teacher at Darden is fantastic, and I’m not saying that giving energy is the best way to teach, but this is who I am,” said Cian. “It’s great that I can be

who I am at Darden — unfiltered.” Cian also hopes his willingness to be himself subtly encourages international students to be confident sharing their opinions in class. “Some international students worry about speaking and think their grammar may not be perfect,” said Cian. “I say look at me, I make some mistakes when I talk and I have an accent, but I’m here to teach!” It’s a style that clearly resonates with students. “If there is any word that describes Luca, it’s passion. He’s so energetic and enthusiastic every day in class,” said Emily Hecker (Class of 2020), who took Cian’s “Consumer Behavior” course. “And he’s not just really passionate about the subject matter, he’s also really passionate about students and their success.” Hecker, who recently received the G. Robert Strauss Marketing Award for exemplary contributions to the School, said Cian put “time, energy and probably some of his research budget” into helping lead a consumer behavior discussion series for students who had been waitlisted for the popular “Consumer Behavior” course. “He’s just incredibly kind and incredibly generous with his time,” said Hecker. Katie Behrman (Class of 2020) experienced Cian’s above-and-beyond commitment to students during one of the most distressing periods of her life. The Atlanta native was finishing up the fourth quarter of her First Year when she started to experience strange lower back pains and odd tingling sensations but thought little of it. Visiting her mother in the Washington, D.C., area on Easter weekend, Behrman’s health deteriorated rapidly. In the span of a day, she became paralyzed from the chest down. Eventually diagnosed with acute

disseminated encephalomyelitis, or ADEM, a rare autoimmune disorder causing inflammation in the brain and spinal cord, Behrman’s outlook went from exams and a planned summer internship at Hershey to learning how to walk and function as she had before. “Luca was incredible from the start,” Behrman said. The Darden professor sent Behrman a video of the class doing a get-well cheer and began to correspond with her mother for updates, Behrman said. When classes ended, Behrman said Cian drove to her hospital in Washington, D.C., to check on her and bring her a book — My Brilliant Friend, a novel by Italian author Elena Ferrante — he believed the former English major would like. He then turned around and drove home to Charlottesville. “I was incredibly touched that a professor would go so out of his way to check in on me and continue to check in on me,” said Behrman. Now back at Darden and rehabbing in Charlottesville, Behrman, who eventually expects to make a full recovery, said she and her mother recently hosted a dinner party with everyone who had visited her during her months of hospitalization. Cian came to celebrate, toting a nice bottle of Italian wine and a card. “I’ve just honestly been stunned,” said Behrman. “It’s meant the world to me.” Bringing Experiments and Energy to Darden

For someone who immediately earned a reputation among students as a standout teacher, Cian said it was the research capabilities that helped make an eventual offer to teach at the Darden School so compelling. Cian wanted to continue to explore the nascent field of sensory marketing

“If there is any word that describes Luca, it’s passion. He’s so energetic and enthusiastic every day in class.” — Emily Hecker (Class of 2020), winner of the G. Robert Strauss Marketing Award

— essentially how senses like vision, hearing and touch can affect the way consumers’ think and behave — and he knew that would require the time and freedom to study and conduct experiments. Cian’s hire ahead of the 2015–16 academic year came as the School was seeking to grow its ability to run experiments and studies, and Cian saw a willing group of collaborators at Darden both within the Marketing area and beyond. “I have all the resources and time to do the research as I would at any top school in the country,” Cian said. “That was really appealing.” Cian was hired the same time as his friend, Professor Lalin Anik, both of whom brought experience and interest in consumer behavioral marketing, diverging from Darden’s traditional strengths in quantitative and strategic marketing. At many schools, the areas are highly siloed within departments. At Darden, Cian said he has found a spirit of collaboration, noting the “day and night” support and mentorship he has received from Professor Tom Steenburgh and current research he is con-

ducting with Professor Raj Venkatesan, marrying Venkatesan’s interest in big data with Cian’s consumer experiments. “At other schools, it is surprisingly uncommon to work with people within your department,” Cian said. Cian is increasingly running experiments incorporating eye tracking, using a machine that measures where subjects are looking. What the eyes are drawn to can be a powerful indication of what a consumer plans to buy, Cian said. When he’s not teaching or diving deep into research, Cian said he likes time away from a screen, driving fast — “within reason” — on mountain roads, watching science fiction movies or working in his yard. “I find working in the yard very relaxing,” said Cian. “When I do research, there are months that I don’t see humans and it is just me and my computer running statistics. I miss doing something with my hands — something very corporeal.”





WHY COMPANIES SEEK DARDEN GRADS TO LEAD TOUGH TURNAROUNDS BY SEB MURRAY t was not so long ago that everyone knew an Avon lady. In 1886, 34 years before women in the U.S. earned the right to vote, Avon founder David H. McConnell empowered a fleet of those iconic sales representatives to sell their products door to door. They began by selling Little Dot perfume sets in 1886, and by 1902 sold a full range of cosmetics. Avon became a household name, and the business model worked beautifully. The army of saleswomen took orders from people’s homes, delivered the products to consumers themselves, collected payment and deposited the money to Avon. They received a cut of the sales. The women liked the flexibility to work whenever and wherever convenient. But like so many things in business and society, times changed. Avon’s door-to-door vendors fell prey to large stores like Walmart, then e-commerce players like Amazon and the rise of dual-career couples — resulting in no one around to answer the doorbell. These trends broke Avon’s business model. It continuously lowered its selling price to compete with cheap online players, which squeezed profitability. With its salesforce’s paychecks crimped, representatives quit in droves. Avon’s share price tanked from around $35 per share in 2009 to nearly $2 in August 2017. That’s when Miguel Fernandez (MBA ’01) joined the Avon leadership team to help lead the company through industry disruption. “The model that used to be very powerful, through the advancements of technology, was completely upended,” says Fernandez, global president of Avon. “Where do you go from there?” He is hoping to be the leader behind the salvation of the Avon brand. He’s leading a turnaround strategy that involves focusing on global markets like Brazil and Russia, where door-to-door selling still works because e-commerce is nascent. As part of the strategy, Avon sold off its U.S. operations and moved its headquarters to London. Fernandez is striving to digitize Avon. It introduced an online brochure that sales representatives can send to customers through WhatsApp messages and plans to create editorial features online. “Back in the day, an Avon lady could visit five or six customers in one afternoon,” he says. “Now with an Instagram post, they can reach hundreds, if not thousands, of people.” Appealing to digital-savvy millennials — a key target market — is crucial. Avon has updated its image through marketing, including a video advertisement in Brazil featuring transgender models and drag queens. The secret sauce, though, could be training its sales vendors to be beauty experts, creating tailored product recommendations for consumers in a way that is far more personal than a website algorithm. “Consumers don’t mind paying more if the rep has the expertise,” says Fernandez. “The trick is converting a product seller into a service provider. That’s how we can kill Amazon.” WINTER 2020


outlet channel, and the business had become way too large,” said McCann, who began with Coach when she graduated from Darden. “It was causing a lot of negative brand impression in the marketplace, as though we were a discount brand.” This caused the subsidiary of parent company Tapestry to stumble, leading to a turnaround effort beginning in 2014 to reclaim Coach’s once lofty premier brand status and sales.

THE ‘COUNTRY’S FOREMOST TURNAROUND BANKER’ WHO REFORMED CITIGROUP Fernandez is just one of many Darden alumni who have led or are leading major strategic shifts amid widespread, rapid disruption. In fact, one of the largest and most public turnarounds in modern corporate history is widely credited to the leadership of Mike O’Neill (MBA ’74). When O’Neill announced his retirement as chairman of Citigroup in November 2018, The Wall Street Journal hailed him a “Turnaround Titan” for his work transforming the bank following its near-death experience during the global financial crisis. O’Neill joined Citi as chairman in 2012 “with a reputation as perhaps the country’s foremost turnaround banker, having first earned that status at Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust — at the time, the biggest-ever U.S. bank failure — then at a predecessor of Bank of America Corp., and then as chief executive of Bank of Hawaii Corp.,” the Journal wrote. During his tenure, O’Neill led the replacement of Citi’s financial crisis-era CEO with current CEO Michael Corbat, eliminated the “bad bank” that housed Citi’s toxic assets, doubled the bank’s value and led it to four straight years without failing the Federal Reserve’s stress test (a test it routinely failed before his arrival). O’Neill headlined the University of Virginia Investing Conference in November 2018 and told the audience in Darden’s Abbott Auditorium that his imperatives as leader of the board were to centralize and strengthen risk management and recruit board members who were true subject matter experts in areas of the bank’s business. THE ALUMNA WHO HELPED RESTORE COACH’S LUXURY REPUTATION Venerable handbag and apparel maker Coach Inc. once seemed on the precipice of losing its hard-won cachet, a victim of changing consumer tastes, outof-step designs and retail saturation in the wrong channels. Speaking to Darden’s Retail & Luxury Goods Club in late 2018, Coach Divisional Vice President of North America Retail Finance Beth McCann (MBA ’08) discussed the ups and downs of the company’s recent history to its current position of positive sales momentum and expanding product lines. “We were doing a lot of flash sales in the online 32


Beth McCann (MBA ’08) spoke about Coach’s turnaround with the Darden Retail & Luxury Goods Club in late 2018.

While pulling back on the flash sales channel, the company simultaneously elevated the experience in its retail channel and tightened the reins on certain “silhouettes,” or product models, ensuring they were never offered in a discounted environment. Most importantly, McCann said, Coach continued to evolve into a data and analytics-centric organization. McCann said during her Darden visit that the Coach brand refresh was working, and results in 2019 back up the claim. The Motley Fool wrote in November 2019 that “Coach remains Tapestry’s core growth engine, with eight straight quarters of positive comps growth buoyed by robust growth across its international and digital channels.” THE PRIVATE EQUITY PIPELINE WHERE DARDEN GRADS TEST THEIR TURNAROUND CHOPS Robert Northrop (MBA ’06) followed a common path among Darden graduates from private equity into a turnaround leadership position. He is a former operating partner at Resilience Capital Partners, which manages more than $750 million in investor funds and currently holds about 20 companies in its

investment portfolio. He was named interim CEO of Resilience portfolio company Affinity Apparel, which produces and sells bespoke uniforms to large businesses around the U.S. An antiquated and inefficient enterprise resource planning system for managing orders meant that Affinity was failing to ship uniforms to its customers on time. This negatively affected the working capital of the business, which meant it was unable to finance its inventory. With uniforms unmade, customers began leaving. Northrop was brought in to turnaround the struggling business, and his strategy focused on reforming the inventory process. The first step was a tough one — cutting down the workforce to free funds to fix the broken inventory management system. His first night on the job was, understandably, sleepless. “I was thinking about the responsibility on my shoulders of this business that had a lot of loyal employees,” says Northrop. What helped him keep a cool head was Professor James Clawson’s leadership course, which taught him to be confident in his leadership style. A Management Communications class from his First Year, meanwhile, prepared him for a massive list of problems on his first day. “The first case we did was an inbox exercise where you come back from vacation at a company as the protagonist, and there’s seven or eight fires in the inbox that you have to deal with,” Northrop says. “Having that reference point was helpful and allowed me to keep my cool.” Ultimately, the decision to cut the workforce down freed up capital that turned the business around. Northrop says: “It turned around our working capital situation, which allowed us to make additional investment to have the right inventory and fill back orders and ship those products.” With dozens of Darden grads serving in operating roles within private equity firms, many are faced with difficult situations just like those Northrop encountered at portfolio companies across the world. Gone are the days of financial engineering to turn a quick profit. Today, private equity firms’ profit motives are aligned with enhancing the operations of portfolio companies so they can survive short-term challenges; grow in the long term; and continue providing value for their customers, employees, communities and owners.

“In a turnaround, you have people with doubts and different perspectives, sometimes very confrontational viewpoints. What Darden teaches you is to listen and hear both sides of the story. That’s the biggest thing I got out of the MBA.” — Miguel Fernandez (MBA ’01)

Miguel Fernandez

Robert Northrop

Mike O’Neill

HOW DARDEN VALUES CREATE VALUE FOR TURNAROUND LEADERS Many leaders with reputations as kings and queens of the turnaround cut their teeth at the Darden School and credit their MBAs for the skills and mindset needed to bring a business back from the brink. Darden gave Avon’s Fernandez a solid grounding in the fundamentals of business, but the real value was less tangible. Through Darden’s case study method, he learned the value of humility. “In a turnaround, you have people with doubts and different perspectives, sometimes very confrontational viewpoints,” says Fernandez. “What Darden teaches you is to listen and hear both sides of the story. That’s the biggest thing I got out of the MBA.” He relates the example of when, during the ongoing Avon turnaround, his colleagues wanted to curb sales vendors’ commissions, which rose to 40 percent if they hit certain sales targets. He resisted the pressure, having spoken to the people who originally developed the policy and seeing the rationale behind it. “When new people come into a firm, their first instinct is to believe that everything done before is wrong and stupid. This is irrational thinking,” Fernandez says. Darden alumni are well prepared to lead a turnaround, according to Professor Lynn Isabella, who has been on the School’s faculty for 30 years and teaches on leadership, change and culture. The rigorous Darden MBA curriculum makes them “really good at learning how to work under pressure, on short deadlines and with incomplete information.” In addition, they develop strong analytical skills to parse a situation and make quick decisions, as well as the teamwork skills to galvanize a team

behind a turnaround strategy. “We give our grads an edge in understanding the people dynamics that underpin organizations,” says Isabella. Back at Avon, the turnaround is still early days, but the company has turned the tide and entered a new era. After Avon leadership stabilized the company in the early days of the turnaround plan, Brazil-based cosmetics company Natura acquired the company for $4 billion in January. Fernandez says: “We were probably going to go bankrupt or even cease to exist. Now we are recovering life and relevance in the marketplace.” WINTER 2020


Ashley Williams, Darden Executive Education and Lifelong Learning CEO and chief learning officer

Preparing Leaders and Their Organizations for the Future of Work


arden Executive Education and Lifelong Learning CEO and Chief Learning Officer Ashley Williams came to Darden in early 2019 from McKinsey & Co., where the graduate of the UVA McIntire School of Commerce worked for two decades, eventually rising to the position of global chief learning officer for the consulting firm’s McKinsey Academy. At McKinsey, Williams helped organizations and leaders figure out how to harness the trends influencing the workplace to accelerate transformations. At Darden, Williams’ charge is similar: to position Darden Executive Education and Lifelong Learning as the provider of choice for organizations and individuals navigating the workplace in an age in which sophisticated digital skills are prized, yet a host of traditional managerial competencies and core skills remain critical. Williams recently spoke about the future of work, what it means to continuously upskill as a lifelong learner and the impact of the new Sands Institute for Lifelong Learning at Darden, which will fuel innovation for teaching lifelong learners in degree and non-degree programs.

How is Darden Executive Education thinking about preparing business leaders for the future? One question we have to ask is: Do we really understand what the future of work looks like? What are the skills required for it, what will be different and what will be the same? And what does that mean for our portfolio of 34


programs in support of the success of individuals and companies? We recently discussed an initial view on Darden’s strategy for Executive Education and Lifelong Learning with the School’s faculty and the Darden School Foundation Board of Trustees. Central to the strategy is ensuring that Darden brings a market-backed and facultyforward set of offerings, meaning that we are grounded in the emerging leadership skills of the future, and bring distinctive perspectives, both new and evergreen, from our faculty. During my time at McKinsey, I was immersed in the growing body of thinking on the future of work and helped to convene the Consortium for the Advancement of Adult Learning and Development, which brought together academics, practitioners, ed-tech leaders and nonprofits. We grappled with the central question of how to unlock the power of the ecosystem to support thriving in this new world. Members of the Darden faculty are also grappling with these issues, such as Professor Ed Hess, whose recent work rethinks human excellence in the smart machine age, and Professor Raj Venkatesan, whose research examines the power of big data and artificial intelligence in marketing. There are many reports that speak to what skills and capabilities are needed in the face of change relative to automation, robotics, technology, etc. There is growing agreement that one aspect of the future of work will be the increased importance — or resurgence — of what you would historically think of as core skills for leaders. Those core skills will have to extend from the C-suite to the frontline.

What sorts of core skills? Skills like problem-solving, decision-making and agile decision-making in increasingly shifting environments. We are seeing a rise in need for acutely human skills like effective communication, empathy and relationship building. With the rise of automation, robots and AI, these core human skills become even more important, at all levels. Even if robots take over some core decisions, the reality is you still have to be able to translate the ideas and make effective decisions across the organization — and those decisions will be made by humans.

Sands Institute to Power New Darden Offerings A s Darden leaders in both Executive Education and degree programs continue to grapple with the needs of the present and future of work — and an MBA strategy committee considers updates to future curricula and how to leverage the power of the new Sands Institute for Lifelong Learning — a host of courses and programs in recent years have helped keep Darden ahead of the curve. Examples of forward-thinking classes and programs include:

A specialization in management science is available to any MBA student who completes 12 credit hours in select courses with an analytical and qualitative focus and helps prepare students for a host of positions and industries. The specialization is STEM designated, which may hold special appeal for international students, increasing the opportunity to find employment in the United States. The dual MBA/Master of Science in data science combines the UVA School of Data Science’s cutting-edge curriculum with the Darden MBA. The MBA/MSDS, launched ahead of the 2017–18 academic year, has quickly become Darden’s most popular dual degree, graduating students poised for leadership in a variety of roles in existing and emerging fields. The Master of Science in business analytics (MSBA) is off to a strong start, enrolling its second full class based at UVA Darden DC Metro. While record-setting employment outcomes for the Class of 2019 show the continued strong demand for students with a Darden MBA, a variety of popular courses in the program are helping to prepare students with critical digital literacy tools. The courses include: • “Software Design” • “Software Development” • “Digital Product Management” • “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work” • “Marketing Technology Products” • “Strategy in the Digital Age” • “Data Science in Business” • “Data Analysis and Optimization”



How do you think about new digital skills to complement those core skills? Undoubtedly, there is a surge in need for digital literacy; everyone in the organization needs some level of digital fluency. What is unclear is what digital literacy really means. When one person says digital literacy to another, they can be talking about very different things, especially as it pertains to different roles. Sometimes, digital literacy is reduced to a conversation about coding, and I think that’s a shame. Coding is a necessary but insufficient part of the digital ecosystem leaders will need to manage to be effective. In executive education, when we talk about the need for digital literacy, we are not talking about teaching everyone to code or even to have deep data and analytics skills. What we need to do is help managers and leaders figure out how to infuse digital literacy across functions in organizations — marketing, strategy, HR, finance, etc. We need to ask what digital and analytical literacy mean for all the different functions. And how do you, as a leader, integrate the digital ecosystem into the decisionmaking and strategy setting for your organization? It is in this space that Darden, in particular, can shine, given our emphasis on truly integrative leadership capability building. As Darden Executive Education evolves, what is an example of an effective offering? Integration is key. An effective offering integrates this idea of digital literacy, what it means and how it can be used by business executives, who won’t be running the big data analyses themselves. There will be people who will do that, but as a leader of a function, you have to know how to work with data scientists. You have to know how to translate what they are doing. One thing that’s certain is that we 36


will double down on developing the core leadership skills of leaders and managers and will introduce how those skills integrate with data science and data translation. One example is in our recently updated Management Development Program, which is designed for experienced managers. It now centers around leading in the digital age. The shift in skills and importance of digital will be core to the curriculum rather than ancillary.

Darden Executive Education works with organizations on custom engagements. What are companies telling you they need? The market is speaking through competitive intelligence, and our clients are saying what is important to them. There are multiple examples among our new client engagements that illustrate this, including recent work launched for a major property and casualty insurance company. In that program, we are working with their high-potential leadership pipeline to support their ability to craft and execute strategies that respond to the high level of digital disruption in that industry. A recent custom engagement with a large private equity firm provides another example of the infusion of digital concepts in our portfolio. Our client convened several teams of leaders from each of the firm’s portfolio companies to sharpen their insights into how they can leverage data science and analytics in new ways, to address specific business challenges as well as to accelerate digital transformation companywide. Our faculty explored with the participants the challenges of attracting and supporting fundamentally different profiles of professionals — say, a data architect and a data engineer — and the new approaches to analysis, hypothesistesting and decision-making that those professionals bring.

In 2019, Darden announced the creation of the Sands Institute for Lifelong Learning as part of Frank M. Sands Sr.’s (MBA ’63) $68 million gift to Darden. What does the Sands Institute mean for Darden Executive Education? As the world’s expectations of work and leadership evolve, leaders must continuously renew themselves through lifelong learning. The Sands Institute will fuel innovation and best practices for teaching lifelong learners and working executives in both degree and non-degree programs — whether in the classroom, online or through novel delivery methods. The Sands Institute, along with the Sands Professorship Fund, will empower Darden faculty to redesign and innovate learning courses, curricula and programs for companies and leaders at all stages of their careers. For Darden Executive Education, this means we have the opportunity to build a worldclass learning organization for the future. I’m honored to be part of the team developing the institute’s foundation as we prepare to launch it as a worldclass resource for the advancement of lifelong learning. Frank Sands also provided additional support to jumpstart construction of a new Darden Inn and Conference Center for Lifelong Learning in Charlottesville — on top of the support the Sands family gave to build the now-thriving UVA Darden DC Metro facility. Through his generosity, we will reach even more students and organizations and continue to lead the way in global business education.


R E UNION WE E KE ND 24 –26 APRIL 2020

The Abbott Society (1957–69) 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2019

Harry N. Lewis Award Recipient

Brian Cowan won the Harry N. Lewis Award, which was accepted by his wife, Connie Hallquist (MBA ’91), and daughter, Anna Cowan.

Brian Cowan (MBA ’91) was honored posthumously by Darden and its Alumni Association Board of Directors with the 2019 Harry N. Lewis Distinguished Service Award. The high honor is bestowed on an alumni volunteer leader who has dedicated exceptional, longtime volunteer service to the School, a class or an alumni chapter, as well as demonstrated passionate and creative commitment to engaging alumni in the ongoing life of the School. Cowan’s wife, Connie Hallquist (MBA ’91), joined by their daughter, Anna Cowan, accepted the award on behalf of her late husband.

Brian Cowan (MBA ’91)

“Brian Cowan was a true friend to Darden. He was simply known as the glue that kept that class together.” — Darden School Foundation President Michael Woodfolk (TEP ’05)

Call for Abbott Award Nominations


• • • •

he Charles C. Abbott Award is named in honor of the first dean of the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. The award is presented annually to a graduate of the Darden School or The Executive Program whose contributions of time, energy and talent are outstanding. The Alumni Association Board of Directors recognizes the recipient as an individual who:

Demonstrates a strong level of interest in and concern for Darden’s mission Commits a generous amount of time, energy and funds to Darden Brings initiative and persistence to projects and responsibilities Is regarded by other stakeholders as an outstanding contributor

Please nominate a fellow alumna or alumnus at alumni.darden.edu/abbottnomination. You will be asked to provide the nominee’s name and an explanation of why you identify this person as a strong candidate for the award. The Abbott Award will be presented to the recipient during Darden Reunion Weekend on 25 April 2020. Please direct your questions to the Office of Engagement at +1-434-2438977 or alumni@darden.virginia.edu.



401 Park Street Charlottesville, VA 22902

434.977.4005 lwoodriff@loringwoodriff.com


1932 BLUE RIDGE ROAD $3,295,000 Set on over an acre of private, beautifully landscaped lawns and gardens, this c. 1931 stone residence offers 5 beds, 5 full & 2 half baths, incl’ a guest or nanny apt on the terrace level. Large new kitchen, butler’s pantry, and mudroom by Karen Turner and new, marble bathrooms galore. Tucked away in one of Cville’s most coveted neighborhoods and in the Venable School District, this home is convenient to Barracks Rd, 5-8 minutes to Downtown and points west like Boar’s Head, Farmington, and STAB. MLS# 594681


498 EDNAM CIRCLE • $995,000 Built in 1998 w/ 3 beds, 2.5 baths, open floor plan, & year-round mtn views, the home has been tastefully updated by current owners. Light drenched rooms, gourmet kitchen w/ Wolf & Sub Zero appliances, office w/ custom cabinetry, & slate patio w/ low stone walls & wisteria covered pergola. Kathy Hall (434) 987-6917. MLS# 597348




390 ROSEMONT DRIVE • $899,000 Meticulously maintained one-owner home on a spectacular 2 acre corner lot offers endless possibilities. Enjoy year-round Blue Ridge views from most rooms in the house & the expansive, level rear lawn. In the Murray school district & under 10 mins to UVA & Downtown. Kathy Hall (434) 987-6917. MLS# 596121

2346 HYLAND RIDGE DRIVE • $1,195,000 Just 3 miles from Downtown, this 5 BR classic white farmhouse is sited on a 21/2 acre preservation parcel in the top cul de sac. Enjoy Blue Ridge views from double front porches or elevated brick & bluestone patio/firepit. Welcoming center hall, exquisite kitchen, open flow, & enclosed rear yard. Rebecca White (434) 531-5097. MLS# 594963

121 BLOOMFIELD ROAD • $2,295,000 Sited on 21 acres to enjoy stunning mountain views, this distinguished brick home in the Western school district features 11 ft ceilings & natural light from French doors & floor-to-ceiling windows. Adj. acreage protected by conservation easements. 3-car garage, herringbone brick rear terrace & screened porch, 3 fireplaces. MLS# 587603



6410 INDIAN RIDGE DRIVE • $939,000 This Earth Craft, modern Cape in Indian Springs is less than 10 mins to the airport. Gorgeous Brazilian wood floors flow throughout main level incl’ gourmet kitchen w/ large eating bar which opens to a vaulted great room w/ floor-to-ceiling windows & wood burning fireplace. Lindsay Milby (434) 962-9148. MLS# 596113

9244 DIXIE DRIVE • $1,745,000 The centerpiece of this c. 1804 estate is a renovated Federal manor home sited to overlook 4 acre lake & rolling hills of the Piedmont. Features 12’ ceilings, 4 fireplaces & luxurious 1st flr master. Improvements incl’ pool, guest house, 3 bed farm mgr’s house, covered lake dock & Sears dairy barn converted to stables. 25 mins to town. MLS# 589168




270 JEFFERS DRIVE • $995,000 Sited on 8 rolling acres w/ mature trees, this Cape offers 3 beds & 2 baths upstairs, incl’ incredible master suite. 2 more beds on main level, each w/ bath. Walls of glass in living & dining rms highlight dramatic parcel & wonderful views of Carter & Brown’s Mtns. Huge, Carrera marble master bath & maple and granite kitchen w/ fireplace. MLS# 594642


ROUND HILL FARM • $5,450,000 Stately c. 1940 brick residence shaded by massive hardwoods & sited magnificently to enjoy Blue Ridge views. Pristine 120 acre country property with extensive frontage on the Rivanna Reservoir only 5 minutes to conveniences & under 10 to UVA & Downtown. Pool overlooking the views, gardens. MLS# 572196

2033 HESSIAN ROAD $1,795,000


This c. 1947 gem in centrally-located, coveted Meadowbrook Hills offers a pristine renovation & expansion of a C-ville gem: 2033 Hessian was the personal residence of Milton Grigg, one of C-ville’s most noted architects. The 5 bed, 4.5 bath residence provides dramatic entertaining spaces, open, lightfilled casual living areas, elevator, garage apt & stunning, lush gardens w/ endless specimen incl’ mature boxwood hedges, magnolias & bluestone terraces & paths. Absolutely spotless. MLS# 591825


To update your contact information, call +1-434-243-8977 or email alumni@darden.virginia.edu.

401 Park Street Charlottesville, VA 22902

434.977.4005 lwoodriff@loringwoodriff.com


632 PARK STREET $2,350,000 The interiors of this classic 1920’s home have been reinvented to perfectly suit casual, modern living, from the expansive family room, open to the stunning kitchen, to 4.5 dazzling baths & guest apt on the terrace level. Truly, no stone was left unturned in this dramatic renovation. Large bluestone terrace accessed from the kitchen & overlooks a dead-level rear yard. Family-friendly mudroom, off-street guest parking & garage are a few extras of this sparkling offering. Reidar Stiernstrand (434) 284-3005. MLS# 595968


425 WHITE GABLES LANE #102 • $779,000 Surrounded by Farmington, Birdwood, JPJ & Boar’s Head Resort, this 2 BR, 2.5 BA condo offers privacy, security, & expansive entertaining possibilities. Stunning 1-level open floor plan w/ 10’ ceilings, fine architectural details, wrap around porch, & separate home office. Kathy Hall (434) 987-6917. MLS# 595150




2430 RIVER RIDGE ROAD • $1,575,000 Light-filled custom home on 14 private acres provides 6,200 sq ft. Updates incl’ great room w/ 12’ ceilings, gourmet kitchen w/ top-of-the-line appliances, 2 master suites, fin. basement w/ full bath, sauna & screened porch, 3-car garage. Meriwether Lewis School District. Liz Raney (434) 242-3889. MLS# 591272

727 ELK MOUNTAIN ROAD • $1,199,000 This bungalow has been transformed into a light-drenched masterpiece that takes full advantage of the breathtaking views of the Rockfish Valley & beyond. True 1-level living with todie-for master suite & chef ’s kitchen, all in a private setting with expansive rear decks. Sally Neill (434) 531-9941. MLS# 589704

201 DEVON ROAD • $1,450,000 This storybook, 4 bed, 4.5 bath brick home w/ slate roof is sited beautifully on 1 of Ednam Forest’s best parcels, complete w/ circular drive. Vaulted 1st flr master, 2 fireplaces, 2-car garage, lovely & classic finishes throughout. Expansive, bluestone rear terrace, generous front & rear lawns dotted w/ mature hardwoods. Loring Woodriff (434) 466-2992




4190 MILE END RIDGE • $999,995 This contemporary sited high on a ridge in S. Albemarle offers spectacular mtn views & versatile living w/ sky-lit rooms & open floor plan designed by Jay Dalgliesh. 3 or 4 beds, attached natatorium w/ indoor pool & garden rm, 2nd outdoor pool, on 24+ private acres. Joan Jay (434) 906-1806 or Inessa Telefus (434) 989-1559. MLS# 593383

550 WATER STREET #400 • $1,750,000 This 2 bed, 2.5 bath space on the 4th floor enjoys sweeping views of the vibrant Downtown scene and the mountains beyond. Full build-out Nov. 2019, but can be viewed now. Huge windows, open floor plan, expansive and private covered 427 sq ft terrace, secure garage parking, and storage unit. MLS# 590257

3510 ROCKS MILL LANE • $1,350,000 Sited on an elevated parcel, this plantation-style home enjoys some of the best Blue Ridge views in the neighborhood. The 4 bedrm offers 1st flr master & private guest suite over the garage. Kitchen is open to large family rm & extensive built-ins throughout. Full, unfin. basement. Reidar Stiernstrand (434) 284-3005. MLS# 595606


7617 GREENWOOD STATION ROAD • $1,575,000 This 1896 Queen Anne style estate was renovated to revive its original glory & incl’ modern amenities. Constructed of stucco & stone walls w/ copper roof, large windows & plantation shutters w/ high ceilings, original heart pine floors & fireplaces, new kitchen, mudrm, pantry & baths. Genevieve Verlaak (434) 996-6683. MLS# 588896



The perfect Albemarle County setting & a stunning home. The captivating views of the Blue Ridge Mountains 365 days a year and pastoral scenes of horses grazing are unsurpassed. This peaceful setting is minutes from shopping w/easy access to UVA, Downtown Charlottesville, Martha Jefferson & UVA Hospitals. Special features incl’ 5 fireplaces, radiantheated tile floor, triple crown moldings, & great room w/ floor-to-ceiling windows. Punkie Feil (434) 9625222 or Elizabeth Feil Matthews (434) 284-2105






Betting on Better Health Care in Spain


hen Alberto Fernandez Sabater (MBA ’03) selected JPMorgan for a summer internship in 2002, the dot-com bubble had burst and banks weren’t hiring. A job in a buzzworthy group like consumer, financial institutions, or technology, media and telecom wasn’t available. “‘Sorry, you’re going to health care,’” Fernandez says the hiring manager told him. “But let me tell you something: Health care is the only industry that has been growing for the last 20 years and will continue to grow for the next 20.” Seventeen years later, the prediction is on point, and Fernandez is proof. As the sector evolved, his career in investment banking with a health care focus soared. Fernandez worked at JPMorgan, Rothschild and Blackstone/PJT, where he led the health care industry team in Europe for three years. In January, he became CEO of Healthcare Activos after helping found it and three years of board service. With €500 million in assets under management in Spain, the Madrid-based firm’s two funds invest in health care real estate. The portfolio includes nursing homes, acute-care hospitals and social health centers, with plans to add diagnostic centers and clinics for specialized medicine and mental health. “Health care is one of the few industries where, if you invest in better quality and more technology, not only do you provide better care for your patients, but



you’re more successful,” Fernandez says. “Doing the right thing is better for patients, better for the payer because it’s cheaper — the majority of health care in Europe is publicly funded — and better for the provider because it’s more profitable.” Health care even a decade from now will look dramatically different, he says, calling the industry “fascinating.” Industry observers predict more outpatient surgeries, services for seniors and use of telemedicine. Less time will be spent in doctors’ offices and hospital beds. Healthcare Activos owns more than 30 buildings — 20 acquired and 10 under construction — and is on target to acquire double that in the next year to 18 months. Fernandez says he is in full-on entrepreneur mode, following the creative impulse that emerges when learning something new. It reminds him of his time at Darden, where he found the right mix of rigorous academics and entrepreneurial, outside-the-box thinking. In one of his favorite classes, “Organizational Behavior” with Professor Jim Clawson, he learned about flow theory. “When you are in flow, which means that you sit at your desk doing what you have to do, the time flies and you realize you’re in the zone. You really feel you are succeeding at what you are doing,” he says. “The reality is when I finish work, I realize, whoa, Clawson, I’ve been in flow a long time today.” — Sally Parker



The River

Major Price Reduction

625 acres on the Rapidan River between Orange and Fredericksburg. $2,750,000

In a private valley near Somerset and James Madison’s Montpelier 231.68 acres. $1,350,000

The Tea House

Laurel Run

Designed in the Prairie style with Japanese garden elements. Privacy is absolute on 41 acres. Adjoins Laurel Run. $650,000

41+ acres of fertile pasture within walking distance of Montpelier. Adjoins The Tea House. $445,000

Dairy Road

Rock Creek Farm

Near UVA- exceptional size and renovated for the discerning buyer. 1950’s lovely all-brick home. Includes 2 master suites. $695,000

162 acres of fertile pasture & mature forest with beautiful views of the Blue Ridge & Southwest Mountains in Green County $1,300,000

Crow Mountain Retreat

Twin Ponds

Just north of Free Union on a protected westerly slope with extraordinary views over the valley below. $585,000

In the heart of Keswick Hunt. Privately situated well off Gordonsville Road with beautiful views of the Southwest Mountains. $525,000

For information on these and others contact Joe Samuels 434-981-3322


Over 100 Years Of Virginia Real Estate Service Charlottesville, VA u www.jtsamuels.com u (434) 295-8540

Greenfields Greenfields Scottsville, Scottsville, Virginia Virginia $6,295,000 $6,295,000 MLS 595967 MLS 595967

Frank Hardy Frank Hardy fhardy@frankhardy.com fhardy@frankhardy.com 434.981.0798 434.981.0798

Earlysville, Earlysville, Virginia Virginia

Greenwood, Greenwood, Virginia Virginia

AspianAspian Lawn Farm Lawn Farm

Meadow Meadow Hill Farm Hill Farm

$2,250,000 $2,250,000

$2,300,000 $2,300,000

MLS 595092 MLS 595092

MLS 595248 MLS 595248

Ann Hay Hardy Ann Hay 202.297.0228 Hardy 202.297.0228

Murdoch Murdoch MathesonMatheson 434.981.7439 434.981.7439

Crozet, Virginia Crozet, Virginia

Scottsville, Scottsville, VA VA

MountMount Air Farm Air Farm





Frank Hardy Frank 434.981.0798 Hardy 434.981.0798


Frank Hardy Frank 434.981.0798 Hardy 434.981.0798

f r ank fhardy rankhardy .com .com

To update your contact information, call +1-434-243-8977 or email alumni@darden.virginia.edu.

ForFor your your ideal ideal surroundings surroundings Bramblewood Bramblewood Keswick,Keswick, Virginia Virginia $6,700,000 $6,700,000 MLS 595091 MLS 595091

Murdoch Murdoch Matheson Matheson murdoch.matheson@sothebysrealty.com murdoch.matheson@sothebysrealty.com 434.981.7439 434.981.7439

Castleton, Castleton, Virginia Virginia

Charlottesville, Charlottesville, Virginia Virginia

CastleCastle Mountain Mountain Farm Farm

RollingRolling Cedar Cedar Farm Farm

$3,995,000 $3,995,000

$2,300,000 $2,300,000

MLS 590392 MLS 590392

MLS 595098 MLS 595098

Liza LevyLiza Payne Levy 540.270.8590 Payne 540.270.8590

Ann Hay Hardy Ann Hay 202.297.0228 Hardy 202.297.0228

Charlottesville, Charlottesville, Virginia Virginia

Ivy, Virginia Ivy, Virginia

Gallison Gallison Hall Hall

Rosemont Rosemont

Under Contract Under Contract


Ann Hay Hardy Ann Hay 202.297.0228 Hardy 202.297.0228

Frank Hardy Frank andHardy Murdoch and Murdoch MathesonMatheson 434.296.0134 434.296.0134



MMXIX Sotheby's©International MMXIX Sotheby's RealtyInternational Affiliates LLC. Realty All Rights Affiliates Reserved. LLC. All Sotheby's Rights Reserved. International Sotheby's RealtyInternational Affiliates LLCRealty fully supports Affiliatesthe LLCprinciples fully supports of thethe Fairprinciples Housing of Actthe and Fair theHousing Equal Opportunity Act and the Act. Equal Each Opportunity Office is Independently Act. Each Office Owned is Independently and Operated. Owned Sotheby's and Operated. International Sotheby's RealtyInternational and the Sotheby's RealtyInternational and the Sotheby's RealtyInternational logo are registered Realty(or logo unregistered) are registered service (or unregistered) service marks licensed to Sotheby's marks licensed International to Sotheby's RealtyInternational Affiliates LLC. Realty Affiliates LLC.





A Beacon of Change


arcia Mao (MBA ’15) has broken through in an industry that has long had a reputation for being a club for men, making it to the top brass in private equity. She became director of portfolio management at Zenity Capital in Beijing, managing its $700 million portfolio of around 15 mostly growth-stage and public companies that it backs. Her rise in the private equity industry is unique. According to a 2017 report from data provider Prequin, women held just 18 percent of investment positions in global private equity. “There are lots of super talented women in the investment world, but it’s pretty challenging for a woman to manage her work-life balance because society usually expects women to take care of the family, more so than men,” says Mao. She believes the lack of gender diversity is a problem for private equity firms because an abundance of research has proven that diverse perspectives yield benchmark-beating returns. A report from the International Finance Corporation found that investment funds with gender-balanced senior teams achieved 10–20 percent higher returns than unbalanced teams, for example. “We need more female investment leaders as they bring different value to a fund,” says Mao. Mao’s portfolio at Zenity Capital is diverse — a cadre of about 15 companies in health care, technology and broader industries.



The potential for significant impact on the fortunes of these companies, their founders and staff is what drew Mao to private equity. She is a management consultant by trade, having worked at Deloitte and Gibson Consulting before earning her Darden MBA. After graduation, she joined Bain & Co. in Shanghai, where she worked for three years before joining Zenity Capital. Her job involves conducting due diligence, valuations and supporting firms through to exit. “We send employees into our portfolio companies to be CFOs, CEOs, to make an impact,” says Mao. Her biggest challenge is finding enough talent to fill those roles. “Usually, the portfolio manager focuses on the business and finance side of things, since investors demand results,” says Mao. “The human resources part of the job is undervalued. It’s one of the most powerful tools to support the growth of the portfolio.” Her ultimate ambition is to see companies through to a successful exit for her firm. Established three years ago, her fund expects two to three exits through IPOs within the next year, Mao says. That would cap a remarkable run for one of few female portfolio managers amid a challenging investment climate in China. Mao hopes to one day be a beacon of change for private equity, making it less of an old boys’ club. — Seb Murray

weddings / parties / golf outings events@glenmorecountryclub.com GLENMORECOUNTRYCLUB.COM


Darden Alum Ownership


Non-resident membership rates available for UVA parents + alums

503 Faulconer Drive Charlottesville, VA 22903 434.295.1131 homes@mcleanfaulconer.com

MCLEAN FAULCONER INC. Farm, Estate and Residential Brokers EDGEMONT

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is this Palladian inspired masterpiece called Edgemont. Surrounded by 572 acres of rolling Virginia farmland, with the Hardware River running through the lush fields, is a home whose design is reputed to be the only remaining private residence attributed to Thomas Jefferson. Complete with tennis court, pool, pool house, guest house, and a full complement of farm improvements. MLS#576150 Steve McLean, 434.981.1863 www.HistoricEdgemont.com

GARTH ROAD ESTATE ◆ $1,975,000

Magnificent brick Georgian, over 6,500 finished square feet, superb quality details, expert craftsmanship offering gracious style on 21 private acres just 5 miles from town. Features include: 10 ft ceilings, heart pine and hardwood floors, 5 large en-suite bedrooms, main level master. Mountain views, pool, and lake. MLS#586392


Circa 1900 National Historic Register home is situated on a most visible and spectacular 42-acre knoll and offers a 360 degree view overlooking the UVA, City of Charlottesville and the Blue Ridge Mountains as far as the eye can see. Stone manor home with pool, carriage house and guest cottage. www.LewisMountainVa.com

WALNUT HILLS ◆ $3,900,000

Historic home, circa 1878, built by Virginia Gov. James Kemper, on 373 magnificent acres along Rapidan River in Orange County. 6 BR, 4.5 BA and 9 FPs. The estate offers panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in a private setting. MLS#574009 www.WalnutHillsVa.com


Brilliantly sited on the second highest point in Orange County lies one of Virginia’s most magnificent historic estates with panoramic views of the Blue Ridge and Coastal Plain. 77.49 acres with circa 1937 brick residence and worldrenowned gardens. MLS#595877 www.MountSharonVa.com


Incredible value! Stunning 522-acre private sanctuary in Southwest Mountains and heart of Keswick - a renowned estate area just east of Charlottesville. Property features: impressive grounds, exquisite manor home, built circa 2008 with the highest quality craftsmanship,unique materials, and great attention paid to every detail. Over 14,000 finished square feet of elegant living space with two other homes and a barn. Superb investment property. MLS#595091 $6,700,000 www.BramblewoodVa.com

WESTFIELDS ◆ $1,540,000

Exceptionally charming cottage-style home with wonderful open spaces nestled on 25+ acres in the heart of Free Union’s finest estate properties. This 4 BR and 3.5 BA, energy efficient home is surrounded by its acreage with a lovely view and delightful setting. MLS#596705


IN MEMORIAM The Darden School offers its condolences to the families of the following individuals whose deaths have been reported to us in the past six months. Paul R. Bjorklund Jr. (MBA ’93)

Gordon E. Compton (MBA ’70)

Richard L. D’Entremont (MBA ’62) John L. Dodge (MBA ’59)

Richard A. Eichner (MBA/JD ’78) Daniel B. Estlick (MBA ’08)

William H. Goodwin III (MBA ’95) David L. Graham (MBA ’82)

Charles R. Hermes (MBA ’97) Tyson L. Janney (MBA ’57) Mark A. Kaish (MBA ’85)

Peter B. Kibbee (MBA ’72)

Robert H. MacCallum (MBA ’59)

Bernard W. McCray Jr. (MBA ’60) Eric R. McDermott (MBA ’08)

Henry E. McLaughlin Jr. (MBA ’72) S. Hughes Melton (EMBA ’14) Lloyd W. Moore II (MBA ’71)

Richard E. Omohundro Jr. (MBA ’69) William C. Scurry Jr. (MBA ’68) Allan W. Staats (MBA ’62)

T. Dean Williams (MBA ’67)

Kurt J. Wolfgruber (MBA ’74)



Corporate Partners Program




The Darden School of Business wishes to thank all of our corporate partners for their support. Their annual, unrestricted gifts to Darden support various academic, student life and recruiting activities. BRONZE LEVEL ($25,000+)

ORANGE LEVEL ($10,000+)

NAVY LEVEL ($5,000+)

For more information about corporate partnerships, contact Christine Hollins at HollinsC@darden.virginia.edu or +1-434-924-4783. WINTER 2020


Darden Leadership Boards The five leadership boards of the Darden School of Business are composed of more than 150 distinguished leaders who collectively serve as an innovative force in the advancement of the Darden School throughout the world. (Listing as of 31 December 2019)


Rosemary B. King (MBA ’91) K&B Fund


CHAIR Robert J. Hugin (MBA ’85) Retired, Celgene Corp.

Mark J. Kington (MBA ’88) Kington Management LLC

CHAIR Warren F. Estey (MBA ’98) Deutsche Bank

VICE CHAIR Martina T. Hund-Mejean (MBA ’88) Retired, MasterCard Worldwide

Lemuel E. Lewis (MBA ’72) IVMedia LLC

PRESIDENT Patrick A. O’Shea (MBA ’86) ICmed LLC

IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIR Elizabeth K. Weymouth (MBA ’94) Grafine Partners

Jeanne M. Liedtka University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Kristina M. Alimard (MBA ’03) University of Virginia Investment Management Co.

Kirby C. Adams (MBA ’79) Retired, Tata Steel Europe

Nicole McKinney Lindsay (MBA ’99/JD ’00) MasterCard Worldwide

Yiorgos Allayannis University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Elizabeth H. Lynch (MBA ’84) Evercore

Keith F. Bachman (MBA ’89) Bank of Montreal

W. L. Lyons Brown III (MBA ’87) Altamar Brands LLC

Jonathan D. Mariner TaxDay LLC

Christine P. Barth (MBA ’94)

J. Andrew Bugas (MBA ’86) Radar Partners

Richard A. Mayo (MBA ’68) Game Creek Capital

Wesley G. Bush Retired, Northrop Grumman Corp.

Sachin J. Mehra (MBA ’96) Mastercard

H. William Coogan Jr. (MBA ’82) Retired, Firstmark Corp.

Carolyn S. Miles (MBA ’88) Save the Children

James A. Cooper (MBA ’84) Thompson Street Capital Partners

J. Byrne Murphy (MBA ’86) DigiPlex Group Cos.

Charles R. Cory (MBA/JD ’82) Retired, Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc

Michael E. O’Neill (MBA ’74) Retired, Citigroup Inc.

Robert G. Doumar Jr. (MBA/JD ’88) Park Square Capital LLP

Patrick A. O’Shea (MBA ’86) ICmed LLC

Frank S. Edmonds (MBA/JD ’95) Panning Capital Managment LP

G. Ruffner Page Jr. (MBA ’86) McWane Inc.

Richard C. Edmunds (MBA ’92) Strategy& PwC

Zhiyuan “Jerry” Peng (MBA ’03) Sands Capital Management

Karen K. Edwards (MBA ’84) Boyden Global Executive Search

Alex R. Picou (MBA ’89) JPMorgan Chase

Warren F. Estey (MBA ’98) Deutsche Bank

James E. Ryan University of Virginia

Arnold B. Evans (MBA/JD ’97) SunTrust Bank

Frank M. Sands (MBA ’94) Sands Capital Management

John D. Fowler Jr. (MBA/JD ’84) Wells Fargo Securities LLC

Frank M. Sands Sr. (MBA ’63) Sands Capital Management

Catherine J. Friedman (MBA ’86) Independent Consultant

Henry F. Skelsey (MBA ’84) 3QU Media LLC

John W. Glynn Jr. Glynn Capital Management

Erik A. Slingerland (MBA ’84) EAS International SA

Kirsti W. Goodwin (MBA ’02) Tower 3 Investments

Robert W. Smith (MBA ’87) T. Rowe Price Co.

Peter M. Grant II (MBA ’86) Anchormarck Holdings LLC

Shannon G. Smith (MBA ’90) PointGuard

Yael Grushka-Cockayne University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Mark J. Styslinger Altec Inc.

Scott C. Beardsley University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Michelle B. Horn (MBA ’95) SoftBank Group



Naresh Kumra (MBA ’99) JMATEK Ltd.

Bruce R. Thompson (MBA ’90) Bank of America

Robert L. Huffines (MBA ’92) JPMorgan Chase

Lilo Simmons Ukrop (MBA ’89) University of Virginia Darden School of Business

John C. Jeffries, Jr. University of Virginia

William P. Utt (MBA ’84) Retired, KBR Inc.

David B. Kelso (MBA ’82) Retired, Aetna

Steven C. Voorhees (MBA ’80) WestRock

Mary Buckle Searle (MBA ’86) Strategic Thought Partners Sandhya K. Chhabra (EMBA ’17) Albemarle Endocrinology PLC Jerome E. Connolly Jr. (MBA ’88) Carolina Financial Securities Andrew G. Crowley (MBA ’11) Markel Corp. Richard P. Dahling (MBA ’87) Fidelity Investments Christian Duffus (MBA ’00) Fonbnk Inc. Michael J. Ganey (MBA ’78) GaneyNPD Ira H. Green Jr. (MBA ’90) Simmons Energy Owen D. Griffin Jr. (MBA ’99) OSHAKits.com Evan A. Inra (EMBA ’08) Amazon Web Services Kendall Jennings (MBA ’12) Accenture Bruce D. Jolly (MBA ’67) Harry N. Lewis (MBA ’57) Retired, Lewis Insurance Agency Inc. Max Linden (Class of 2020) Darden Student Association Kristina F. Mangelsdorf (MBA ’94) Visa Taylor H. Meyer (MBA ’13) Goldman Sachs Douglas T. Moore (MBA ’80) Goedeker’s Betsy M. Moszeter (EMBA ’11) Green Alpha Advisors Richard J. Parsons (MBA ’80) Elvis Rodriguez (MBA ’10) Bank of America Nancy C. Schretter (MBA ’79) The Beacon Group David A. Simon (MBA ’03) SRS Capital Advisors Inc.

Jason Sinnarajah (MBA ’07) Ziff Davis

Marcien B. Jenckes (MBA ’98) Comcast Cable

Ray R. Hernandez (MBA ’08) Asurion

Henry F. Skelsey Jr. (MBA ’15) F.E. Spirits Co.

John B. Jung Jr. (MBA ’84) BB&T Capital Markets

Andrew C. Holzwarth (EMBA ’09) Stanley Martin Cos.

David L. Tayman (MBA/JD ’99) Tayman Lane Chaverri LLP

Harry A. Lawton III (MBA ’00)

Octavia G. Matthews (MBA ’89) Aramark Uniforms

Shaojian Zhang (MBA ’99) Haier IEP Business

CORPORATE ADVISORY BOARD CHAIR Richard C. Edmunds (MBA ’92) Strategy& PwC VICE CHAIR Michelle B. Horn (MBA ’95) SoftBank Group

Jason P. Lund (MBA ’06) Fortive (Global Traffic Technologies & ANGI Energy Solutions) H. Whit McGraw IV (MBA ’07) S&P Global Market Intelligence Fernando Z. Mercé (MBA ’98) Nestlé Waters North America L. Michael Meyer (MBA ’92) Middlegame Ventures Diem H. D. Nguyen (MBA ’01) PPD LLC

Indy Adenaw (MBA ’08) Marriott International

Ann H. S. Nicholson (MBA ’01) Corning

Danielle Eesley Amfahr 3M Company

Abby A. Ruiz de Gamboa (MBA ’04) Deloitte Consulting LLP

Stuart C. Bachelder (MBA ’06) DaVita Kidney Care

Joseph V. Schwan (EMBA ’13) Baxter International Inc.

Willard L. McCloud III (MBA ’04) Pfizer Michael A. Peters (MBA ’09) Comcast Corp. Reynaldo Roche (MBA ’07) Delta Air Lines Inc. William B. Sanders (MBA ’06) Rhonda M. Smith (MBA ’88) Integrative Medicine for the Underserved Deborah Thomas (MBA ’89) Somos Inc. Jeffrey W. Toromoreno (MBA ’06) Citigroup Daniele M. Wilson (MBA ’11) Google

Colin P. Smyth (MBA ’04) MetLife


Joseph P. Balog (MBA ’88) PwC

Thomas J. Steenburgh University of Virginia Darden School of Business

Mazen G. Baroudi EY

CHAIR Rosemary B. King (MBA ’91) K&B Fund

Scott A. Stemberger (MBA ’04) The Boston Consulting Group

Kelly Becker (MBA ’08) Schneider Electric

Eric M. Swanson (MBA ’08) Amazon.com

VICE CHAIR Naresh Kumra (MBA ’99) JMATEK Ltd.

Mark S. Bower (MBA ’02) Bain & Company

Edward W. Valentine (MBA ’93) Harris Williams & Co.

Adam P. Carter (MBA ’02) WestRock

Gerrud Wallaert (TEP ’18) E.ON

Kevin C. Clark (MBA ’01) Ergobaby

Meghan A. Welch (MBA ’10) Capital One

William S. Cohen (MBA ’07) Bank of America Private Bank

Steven D. Williams (MBA ’06) Delta Air Lines, Inc.

Robert E. Collier (MBA ’10) Danaher (McCrometer)

Gary R. Wolfe (MBA ’92) Wells Fargo Securities LLC

J. Michael Balay (MBA ’89) Wiswell Advisors LLC

Sean M. Corrigan (MBA ’05) The Walt Disney Company D. Lynnette Crowder (EMBA ’10) WestRock


Daniel A. Dougherty (MBA ’94) Barclays

CHAIR Alex R. Picou (MBA ’89) JPMorgan Chase

Sarita T. Finnie (MBA ’01) Bayer Consumer Health Joseph B. Folds (MBA ’91) The Campbell Soup Company Theresa O. Frankiewicz (MBA ’87) Crown Community Development Ivy L. Ghatan (MBA ’09) LinkedIn Sunil K. Ghatnekar (MBA ’92) Prescient S. Caribou Honig (MBA/JD ’96) 3rd Act Ventures

VICE CHAIR Nicole McKinney Lindsay (MBA ’99/JD ’00) Mastercard Worldwide Nicola J. Allen (MBA ’10) Danaher Corp. Tawana Murphy Burnett (MBA ’04) Facebook Paige T. Davis Jr. (MBA ’09) T. Rowe Price Co. Teresa A. Epperson (MBA ’95) A.T. Kearney Inc.

Antonio U. Periquet Jr. (MBA ’90) Pacific Main Holdings, Campden Hill Group Hagen Radowski (MBA ’91) Porsche Consulting Inc. Yudhono Rawis (GEMBA ‘16) KPMG Indonesia Mayra A. Rocha (GEMBA ’16) Project M Media Joaquin Rodriguez Torres (MBA ’01) Princeville Global Arpan R. Sheth (MBA ‘96) Bain & Co. Inc. Nishal Sodha (GEMBA ’17) Global Hardware Ltd. Ichiro Suzuki (MBA ’84) Normura Asset Management Alok Vaish (MBA ‘97) Yatra.com Jing Vivatrat Golden Gate Capital Baocheng Yang (MBA ’04) Huanghe Science and Technology College Jeffrey J. Yao (MBA ’01) Profision Shipping Capital Management Ltd. Hai Ye (MBA ’04) McKinsey & Co

Marcos P. Arruda (MBA ’02) Topico Jennifer E. Chick (MBA ‘08) Hilton Worldwide Christine H. Davies (MBA ’09) Poligage David R. Frediani Ironshore Inc. Janeth Gomez Gualdron (GEMBA ’17) Capital One Financial Management Wei Jin (MBA ’99) Prudential Financial Corporation Shawn Liu (MBA ’05) Shanghai Cura Investment & Management Co. Ltd. Richard K. Loh (MBA ’96) Ploh Group Pte. Ltd. Todd R. Marin (MBA ’89) Blue Ox Ventures Lois M. McEntyre (MBA ’95) General Motors Corp. Rajan J. Mehra (MBA ’93) Nirvana Venture Advisors Pascal Monteiro de Barros (MBA ’91) Stirling Square Capital Partners Nikhil Nath (MBA ‘00) NSQ Advisory Agustín Otero Monsegur (MBA ’06) OM Invest

Thank you to our alumni and volunteer leaders for a record year of support for Darden.



Questions With Sachin Mehra (MBA ’96) 5. What’s been on your mind lately? My son getting in to college. He is a junior in high school. 6. What are you reading these days? A lot of 10-Qs and 10-Ks (laughs). What I spend a lot of time reading is business journals. What’s going on in the technology world, best practices from a corporate social responsibility standpoint. I’m trying to get more into truly understanding the role of a corporation and what will be the expectations of society 10 years from now.


achin Mehra is the CFO of Mastercard, where he has risen through the ranks for a decade following a global career that included stints at General Motors and Hess Corp. in locations including New York, Belgium, Singapore and China. But his path to the C-suite of a Fortune 500 company certainly wasn’t destiny. In fact, he was ready to board a plane to work for his father at the family business in India following Darden graduation. That is, until (as Mehra might describe it) free will intervened to change his stars. Read more to learn about Mehra’s take on free will, destiny and life in the C-suite.

7. What technology can you not live without? My iPad. 8. What’s your motto? Output is important, but outcome is really important. 9. Do you believe in destiny? I’m a big believer in what you meet in life is destiny, how you meet it is free will. 10. How do you deal with conflict? There are some people who shy away from conflict, there are others who are conflict, then there are those who take conflict head on but have different styles of how they take it on. I put my style in the third bucket. 11. What characteristics do you look for in people? Curiosity.

1. What was your first job? Working in textile manufacturing with my family business in India.

12. How do you unwind? Quality time with my family and playing golf. And in that order of priority.

2. What’s the best advice you have ever received? Expand yourself to adjacent spaces. This was career advice I got from one of Mastercard’s board members. The point he was making is that you have a day job. What you do at your day job is table stakes. How you step out and do more is what sets you apart.

13. What is your favorite cause? There is an institution in India called Toybank. My son introduced me to them. They serve underprivileged children in India who don’t have access to things every child should have: Toys, books, etc., to educate them through the power of play.

3. What motivates you? An environment in which people come to work every day with their hearts and minds set on advancing the business with a family business mentality.

14. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Singapore. It’s near and dear to my heart. My daughter was born there, so it has a special place in my heart because we were there when she arrived in this world.

4. When and where do you do your best thinking? Early in the morning before I go to work.

15. What do you lose sleep over? I actually sleep pretty well. I have been so fortunate in my life, and life has always



been more than fair to me. I have always had the mindset that every day presents a different challenge, and as long as you’re nimble enough to tackle it, we’ll be ok. Live in the moment. 16. Which class at Darden impacted you the most? “Organizational Behavior” with Professor Lynn Isabella 17. Describe a moment when you realized the true value of your Darden education. Darden taught me that you might be the smartest person with the most brilliant IQ, but EQ and DQ matter more than IQ. What will set you apart in today’s society is your emotional intelligence quotient, how you read people and interact with your community, and DQ, which is your decency quotient and in my opinion is diminishing very rapidly in today’s society. The case study environment forces you to engage with your EQ and DQ. That, to me, is a life lesson that has played out well in the workplace. 18. What’s your favorite Darden memory? Viking parties. That will resonate with those who graduated in the early to mid-90s. 19. Why did you choose to pursue a career in the U.S.? I came to business school with the express intent to go back and work with my family business. My brother [Rajan Mehra (MBA ’93)] called me on graduation day to congratulate me. He asked, “Now what are you going to do with your life?” I told him I was going to get on a plane to go back to India. My brother said that’s what is expected of you, but what do you want to do? It woke me up. I asked my parents to give me six months to find a job, and if I can’t get a job, I will come home. It was that graduation day conversation that led me down my current path. 20. How has life changed now that you’re in the CFO seat at Mastercard? Life hasn’t really changed. I was very familiar with the company. I’ve been here for about 10 years. I’ve worked in business and finance roles. A large reason as to why I feel this way is because of the excellent training and mentorship I received from the former Mastercard CFO, Martina Hund-Mejean (MBA ’88).



Darden Executive Education offers comprehensive management development programs for your leadership advancement or succession planning for your senior business leaders. Develop strategic-thinking capabilities and enterprise perspectives Modular programs now offer to drive growth amid in‑person sessions at Darden’s constant change new location in the Washington, and disruption. D.C., area, in addition to Charlottesville, Virginia, and vir tual sessions.

darden.virginia.edu/comprehensive Darden_ExEd@darden.virginia.edu

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Profile for Darden School of Business

The Darden Report Winter 2020  

The alumni magazine of the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The Darden Report Winter 2020  

The alumni magazine of the University of Virginia Darden School of Business