News & Communications


Guest Speakers & Conferences

The NIU College of Business hosts more than 100 business executives each semester. They generously give their time and energy to serve as classroom guest lecturers, sharing their insights on business and life with NIU business students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Additionally, throughout the year, the college sponsors conferences, workshops, and special college-wide events that include industry experts who serve as keynote speakers. Current and most recent events include:

  • “Building a More Sustainable and Compassionate World”Social Impact Summit 2017
    April 7, 2017, NIU Barsema Alumni & Visitors Center, 8:30-12:30.  Get fired up!  If you want to learn directly from social entrepreneurs about their experiences in the field and how the Triple Bottom Line (people, profits, planets) makes a real difference in life, then attend the Social Impact Summit.  Gene Baur, co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, serves as the event keynoter and will speak about building a more sustainable and compassionate world.  This year’s  Summit also features three panel sessions:  Education & Poverty; Corporate Social Innovation, and; Sustainability.   Now in its fifth year, NIU’s Social Impact Summit is created from start to finish by NIU students who are members of the student organization CAUSE (Collegiate Association of Unreasonable Social Entrepreneurs).  Since its launch in 2013, the Social Impact Summit has welcomed more than 800 attendees; with each year’s event drawing 200 attendees on average.  The event is sponsored by Product Development Technologies.  Tickets are $5 for NIU students and $20 for all others, and includes lunch.  Register here:  NIU Social Impact Summit
  • Jim Skinner“From the Crew Room to the Board Room”
    May 16, 2016, NIU Naperville, 5:30 p.m. check-in. Jim Skinner currently is the executive chairman of Walgreens Boots Alliance. In 1971, he began his career with McDonald’s as a restaurant manager trainee in Carpentersville, IL and quickly rose through the ranks, holding many leadership positions during his 41 years there. He was vice chairman and CEO of McDonald’s Corporation from 2004 until 2012. Over the course of his career, Mr. Skinner has been recognized professionally by his peers, the media, and many professional and educational institutions. He has received a number of accolades ranging from inclusion in SmartMoney’s list of the world’s most influential players to receiving the Lone Sailor Award, which is presented to Sea Service Veterans who distinguish themselves in their civilian career while exemplifying the Navy core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment. Mr. Skinner’s presentation – “From the Crew Room to the Board Room” – is sponsored by the NIU College of Business MBA Colloquium Executive Lecture Series. RSVPs are required by May 11. To RSVP, email or call 1-866-NIU-MBA1 (648-6221).

  • Ned Colletti“Culture Building,” MBA Colloquium Executive Lecture Series
    April 7, 2016, NIU Hoffman Estates, 5:30 p.m. check-in.  NIU Alumnus Ned Colletti, who is Senior Advisor to the President of the L.A. Dodgers, will present on the topic of “culture building” as part of the Spring 2016 NIU MBA Colloquium Executive Lecture Series.  Colletti’s contributions to the Dodgers included an eight-year period as the organization’s General Manager.  Before his tenure with the Dodgers, Colletti was Director of Baseball Operations and Assistant General Manager of the San Francisco Giants.  He began his major league career with the Chicago Cubs as a member of the front office when the Cubs won the National League East in 1984 and 1989.  Mr. Colletti’s presentation is sponsored by the college’s MBA Colloquium Executive Lecture Series.  RSVPs are required by April 1.  To RSVP, send an email to or call 1-866-NIU-MBA1 (648-6221).

  • NIU’s 4th Annual Social Impact Summit
    Social Impact SummitApril 8, 2016, NIU Barsema Alumni & Visitors Center – Be unreasonable enough to believe you can make a difference.  Attend the 4th Annual Social Impact Summit, which was created by NIU students and features leaders in the social impact space.  This annual event has three goals:  to educate about social entrepreneurship, a growing movement in industry; to inspire attendees to become change makers, and; to facilitate networking for those who are interested in the social space.  Since the creation of the Social Impact Summit in 2013, more than 600 individuals have attended this event (with over 200 attendees in 2015; 220 in 2014, and; 170 in 2013).  This year’s Social Impact Summit continues to include a business plan competition, “Pitch with a CAUSE,” where entrants will present their ideas to a panel of experts for a chance to win startup funds.  NIU’s Social Impact Summit is created entirely by NIU students in the university-wide student organization CAUSE:  Collegiate Association of Unreasonable Social Entrepreneurs.  The event is sponsored by Product Development Technologies.  The 4th Annual Social Impact Summit is open to all.  Tickets are $5 for NIU students and $20 for all others.  Register here:  NIU CAUSE

  • Ethically-Inspired Leadership:  the Student Perspective
    Tuesday, March 22, 2016, 5:00-6:00 p.m., Barsema Hall 200 – NIU President Doug Baker presents best practices in ethically-inspired leadership and engages in conversation with participating NIU students on the student perspective of this important topic.  President Baker’s presentation launches the NIU student-created HEAT program:  Huskie Ethical Awareness Talks.  HEAT is a series of programs on ethics developed by students in NIU’s Leaders in Ethics Academic Discipline, which is part of the college’s nationally ranked BELIEF program (Building Ethical Leaders using an Integrated Ethics Framework).  NIU President Baker’s presentation is sponsored by the NIU College of Business and its BELIEF Program.  For NIU Business students, this event is Business Passport approved.
  • The IDEAL & NIU Intrapreneurship Program
    March 2, 2016 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., Barsema Hall 227.  Jim James, IDEAL CEO, and Glenn Hollister, IDEAL executive and NIU alumnus, meet with ambitious NIU students from business, engineering, design, communications, the sciences, and more.  During this guest presentation, James and Hollister will describe elements of the IDEAL & NIU Intrapreneurship Program, which will engage a cross functional student team with a faculty mentor and IDEAL executives to work on IDEAL intellectual property and patents that the company intends to commercialize.

  • Big Data and the Face of Modern Business & IT
    February 25, 2016, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Barsema Auditorium   --   The true value of harnessing big data is nearly endless.  Joe Dossantos – Senior Director, Big Data Practice, EMC Corporation – will provide a presentation entitled “How Big Data is Changing the Face of Modern Business and IT.”  Mr. Dossanto's appearance is sponsored by the NIU College of Business as part of the MIS Graduate Colloquium Lecture Series.  All NIU students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members are welcome to attend.