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The Johnson A. Edosomwan Leadership Lecture Offers Advice on Nourishing the Entrepreneurial Spirit; Adam E. Carlin Receives Leadership Award

March 27, 2017
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Speakers (from left to right): Manos Spanos (MBA 99), Tomislav Kuljis (BBA ‘84, MBA ‘85) and Juan Alberto Wu.

To become an effective leader, show your passion, set an example and embrace teamwork. Manos Spanos (MBA ’99), global senior director, Mountain Dew and Energy Drinks, Global Beverage Group, PepsiCo, delivered that advice to students, faculty and alumni at The Johnson A. Edosomwan Leadership Lecture, "Nourishment for Success: Challenges and Opportunities for Global Leadership," at the School on March 23.

Spanos was joined by Tomislav Kuljis (BBA ‘84, MBA ’85), president, Hypermaxi SA, Bolivia; and Juan Alberto Wu, gastronomic entrepreneur in Peru, for a wide-ranging panel discussion on developing and applying leadership skills that benefit businesses, employees and communities.

Anuj Mehrotra, dean and professor, School of Business Administration, welcomed attendees to the third annual lecture in a series, made possible by a grant from Edosomwan, a University of Miami alumnus who is chairman of JJA Consultants Inc. and a pioneer in continuous performance improvement.  “This lecture series is a great example of how we share ideas on best practices and address the pressing ideas of today, and help our students develop into high-performing leaders.”

Sheryl Alonso, academic director, The Johnson A. Edosomwan Leadership Institute, introduced Edosomwan and thanked the school’s Center of International Business, Education and Research (CIBER) for its support.

Dean Mehrotra on stage with Adam E. Carlin (MBA ‘94), Johnson A. Edosomwan, Samantha Chatkin and Sheryl Alonso.

Prior to the panel discussion, Edosomwan awarded the “Excellence in Leadership Award” to Adam E. Carlin (MBA '94), senior partner of The Bermont/Carlin Group at Morgan Stanley in Coral Gables. “It is an honor to receive this award,” said Carlin, who was accompanied by his wife Shannon and their twin sons. “I believe leadership is not based on who you are, but on what you do. Anyone who gets up every day and tries to make a difference – at home, at work or in the community – is showing that spirit of leadership.”

With partner Richard B. Bermont, Carlin is co-founder of the Bermont/Carlin Scholars Program which supports annual learning trips to Wall Street for UM students interested in the investment sector.  He also serves on the School’s Board of Overseers and is chairman of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Carlin added that the School of Business plays “an incredible role” in strengthening the South Florida community. “We can all step in and support that deep commitment to producing great leaders for the future,” he added.

Edosomwan also presented the “Student Leadership Award” to Samantha Chatkin, a senior with a double major in marketing and legal studies. “Along with her academic achievements, Samantha has been a role model for other undergraduates, who has helped reshape our school’s freshman experience,” said Alonso.

In accepting the award, Chatkin said, “What I have learned goes well beyond the classroom. I believe that leadership means knowing the people you are serving, understanding their needs and wants, and building a better future for everyone.”

Spanos, Kuljis and Wu all reflected that spirit in outlining their careers, goals and guiding principles.  

“We change the world through performance with purpose,” said Spanos, a native of Greece who is now based in New York. “PepsiCo has embraced health and fitness as a way of living. One of our long-term goals is to have two-thirds of our portfolio below 100 calories by 2025. We are also committed to reducing water use and greenhouse gas emissions, while making investments in sustainable farming, education and sectors.”

Johnson A. Edosomwan and Dean Mehrotra.

Kuljis, the son of Bolivian immigrants, said the lessons he learned at the School of Business helped him build the largest supermarket chain in his native country. “I found I had an entrepreneurial spirit, and learned the importance of marketing and creating a brand, as well as managing cash flows,” he said. “I also recognized the importance of surrounding myself with intelligent, talented people.”

Kuljis said he used Publix as a business model in opening his Hypermaxi stores in Bolivia. “We were able to differentiate ourselves from our local competitors in many ways,” he said. “We bake fresh bread every day, we introduced the refrigeration of meats and we have been using the latest software to track our sales since 1996. We also put the same stores in rich and poor neighborhoods with the same offer and branding. That spirit of service been a big part of our success.”

Drawing on his Chinese and Latin American roots, Wu became general manager of an import and sales company, and a partner in several Peruvian restaurants.  He is also committed to corporate social responsibility, launching Sinba, a startup that collects kitchen grease for biodiesel fuel, creating Lideres +1, a business leadership group, and serving as chair of Peru’s Special Olympics program.

“My purpose in life is engagement,” Wu said. “In my businesses, I look for a balance between profit, people and nature. We all need to put down our phones and see and touch the land. Nature is talking to us and we have to listen to her.”

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