Executives in Residence

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The John L. Ward Center for Family Enterprises Executive In Residence ("EIR") Program provides an opportunity for individuals with leadership experience in all aspects of the family enterprise to leverage their talents in support of CFE and the family enterprise community. CFE's mission strongly prioritizes the experience of the MBA students and the engagement of our alumni and past executive education participants. The Executive in Residence program supports these priorities.

The EIR program invites Kellogg alumni and executive education past participants to engage with CFE's community of MBA students and with our executive education and alumni communities. These interactions with family leaders, non family executives, and experts in the field of family enterprises provide a rich complement to the Kellogg experience. As future alumni, students begin to engage with the community of CFE, and learn context to enhance the content that is taught in the classroom. EIR leaders find the engagement with students and continuing their engagement with Kellogg to be both meaningful and enriching.

The EIR's serve as informal advisors and thought partners to CFE and the Executive Director as a group and individually, providing input on strategic planning, course offerings and content, engagement with students and alumni and research direction. EIR participants meet quarterly as a group with the Executive Director of CFE and also participate in classroom and individual student mentoring, based on their interests and availability. EIR leaders serve a minimum of a two year term, with a new class of EIR's cycling in each year.

The EIR program includes several elements, designed to accommodate both the time constraints and interests of the executive, which may include:

  • One on one sessions held during a day in residence with students to discuss the areas of immediate interest of the student, drawing on the expertise of the executive
  • Lunch and Learn programs. These can be designed to be intimate conversations with a small group, or a larger speaking engagement
  • Speaking engagements with the Family Enterprise club members or in partnership with other clubs that relate to the executive's area of focus
  • Campus treks to the executive's business location for an immersive experience with the executive and his/her business
  • Participation in a summer internship for students interested in learning about other family enterprises including family investment companies. This opportunity can be combined with a session on campus to share the experience back to other students from both the intern's and the executive's perspectives
  • Guest speaking in an MBA course
  • Participating in a case or panel discussion in an executive education program

Executives in Residence Bios

Valeria Alberola '98

Chief Executive Officer, ZOMALAB

Valeria Alberola serves as the Chief Executive Officer of ZOMALAB, the family office of Ben and Lucy Ana Walton. As CEO, Valeria Alberola leads and oversees all the family office's initiatives, including investments and philanthropic efforts to accelerate progress in the areas of workforce, energy, water, community economic development and early childhood development in Colorado and Chile.

Valeria serves on the board of Clarivate (NYSE: CLVT), a global information services and analytics company, and on the board of Vantage Data Centers, an international hyperscale data center provider. Valeria is also a founding board member of Endeavor Colorado and a past board member of Colorado's Technology Association, Graland Country Day School, OpenWorld Learning and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver.

Valeria received a B.S. in Economics and Business Administration from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, where she was a Fulbright scholar. She is fluent in four languages, including Spanish, French and Portuguese.

Jennifer Atkinson '09

CEO, Destira Inc.

Former gymnast herself, Jennifer Atkinson is an owner and CEO of Destira, a female-owned girls sports apparel company with a mission to empower girls and those that love them. Founded by her mom and sister in 2003, Jen joined Destira as co-CEO in 2013. Jen shares CEO responsibilities with her sister, Jodi. Together they enjoy the unique challenges of co-leading a family-owned business; supporting and encouraging each other to see problems and opportunities from different perspectives.

Jen has a proven track record of building and inspiring high performing teams within large scale businesses. She is a seasoned retail and ecommerce executive focused on delivering results through creative ideation, an acute orientation to action and the competitive landscape, and a relentless focus on the customer. She gained merchandising experience as a Senior Merchandiser at Gap Inc. and led digital marketing teams at Adobe Systems before stepping into the CEO role at Destira.

Jen received her BS in Business from UC Berkeley, Haas School of Business in 2002 and her MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management in 2009. When not happily at work, Jen volunteers her time teaching entrepreneurship in the community. She sits on the board of Entrepreneurs Organization, San Francisco and spends as much time as she can outside in sunny California being active, adventuring, traveling, and exploring with her friends and family, her husband, and three girls.

Guillermo Castillo '95

Corporación Castillo Hermanos

Guillermo is fourth generation family member and now serves in the Board of Directors of Corporación Castillo Hermanos, a family-owned Guatemalan industrial conglomerate that started in 1886. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Banco G&T Continental in Guatemala, the Board of Directors of Counterpart International (an NGO based in Washington DC), and the Steering Committee of Guatemala Moving Forward Project (public-private partnership). Prior to this, he worked at the family corporation for 26 years, the last 12 as CEO.

He has expertise in the public sector, having served as Ambassador of Guatemala to the United States (2004-2008), Minister of Economy (1988-2000), and Member of the Monetary Board (1988-2000).

In the private sector, he was Vice President of the Guatemalan Chamber of Industry, Coordinator of the Economic Commission of the business sector (representing the private sector in socio-economic, macroeconomic, and tax reform dialogues with Government and NGOs), Director of the Business Council for the International Trade Negotiations, and member of the Executive Committee of the National Competitiveness Program.

Guillermo graduated with an MBA from Northwestern University in 1995 and a BA in Economics from Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala in 1984.

Gigi Cohen

Magid Glove & Safety

Gigi Cohen has worked at Magid Glove & Safety Mfg. Co LLC for over 30 years. Magid is a 76-year-old 4th generation family-owned business which is the largest combined US manufacturer, distributor and importer of personal protective equipment (also known as PPE) for the industrial market. Gigi has overseen many areas including marketing and product management, consumer products, human resources and Magid's advisory council, and family council. She is currently a "utility player" doing whatever needs to be done. She is also the unofficial go-to person for family issues.

In addition, Gigi serves on the 10-person Executive Leadership Team (ELT), which manages the company's day-to-day and strategic direction. She holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard and an MBA from Stanford. Gigi is also currently serving on the advisory council for Loyola's Family Business Center and has been a guest speaker for several Loyola Family Business Institutes.

Paul Darley '03

W.S. Darley

Paul C. Darley is Chairman, CEO & President of W.S. Darley & Co. In 1997, he became President and COO and was appointed President & CEO in 2003. He was named Chairman in 2011. Under his leadership, sales have increased over 5000% to over $625 million in 2021. He began in pump sales in 1985 and was named Vice President for the Fire Pump Division of Darley in 1990.

Founded in 1908, W.S. Darley & Co is a fourth-generation family business, led by Paul and an executive team that has transformed this 113-year-old company into a world leader in the firefighting and defense industries.

He is a Past President of the Fire Apparatus Manufacturers Association (FAMA) and he also served on the Board of Directors of Fire & Emergency Manufacturers & Services Association (FEMSA). Paul Darley currently serves on the Board of the National Defense Industry Association (NDIA) for the Great Lakes Chapter.

Paul is a graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago and he holds a BS Degree in Marketing and Finance from Marquette University. He earned his MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, where he is a guest lecturer.

Matt Nielsen '18 '21

Owner and Executive, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas Inc.

Matt Nielsen is a third-generation shareholder, director and executive for Nielsen-Massey Vanillas Inc., Managing Director of Nielsen-Massey Vanillas International BV and Managing Director of Nielsen Real Estate BV. His current operational responsibilities include overseeing the company's European activities. For 25+ years Matt also had responsibility for the company's worldwide operations, retail and foodservice sales and strategic initiatives.

In addition to serving on the Nielsen-Massey board of directors, he is currently a Director for Graziano Brothers, a family held producer of specialty sausage products and specialty retailer and distributor located in Des Moines, IA; Vice President - Treasurer and Director of the Nielsen-Massey Foundation; and advisor to start up Sunday Night Foods.

Matt is a graduate of Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and holds two Certificates of Professional Achievement in Family Business Leadership and Governance from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management, Evanston, Illinois.

Ian Rosen '16

President & COO, Harry Rosen

Ian Rosen is the President & Chief Operating Officer at Harry Rosen, where he is responsible for driving profitable growth across each of the company's three banners: Harry Rosen, FinalCut and The Outlet by Harry Rosen. Ian sits on the Harry Rosen Board of Directors.

In his role, Ian works with Executives across Sales Management, Merchandising, Marketing, Digital and IT functions to ensure operations are aligned towards delivering on the Harry Rosen brand promise to provide exceptional service to clients throughout every touchpoint. Since joining Harry Rosen in 2018, Ian has led the company's transformation to extend relationships with customers onto digital channels and enhance the shopping experience with technology (both online and in-store).

Ian marks the third generation of Rosen's to enter the company founded by his grandfather. Prior to joining Harry Rosen, Ian was a Management Consultant at Bain & Company in Chicago where he focused on Strategy, Retail and Digital projects. Ian holds both an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and an HBA from Ivey Business School.

Bryan Taruno '21

PT KBM and PT Erela

Bryan Taruno is a third-generation family member of PT KBM and PT Erela. He began his career as an engineering drafter before he moved to PT. KBM, the family woodworking business and subsequently PT. Erela, the family pharmaceutical business, where in both family companies, he worked in operations and manufacturing roles in the production facilities across Indonesia.

Currently, Bryan serves on the board of Karlo, an Indonesian logistic startup, and is a management consulting professional at Bain & Company where he joined after completing his MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management. He also holds a degree in BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he was awarded with graduating with distinction, being in the dean's list for all semesters.

Diego Urrea '15

CEO, Leonisa Family Office

Diego is a second generation family member of the Leonisa business group, and current CEO of the Family Office and Chairman of Leonisa's Board. Diego has held various management positions in the family business, the last one as corporate vice president, becoming a key promoter and manager of the group's technological transformation.

True to his entrepreneurial spirit, he promoted the creation of the Vertical Partners investment fund and the Vertical Labs Startups accelerator, among other initiatives. He has an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.