Rikard Lecture Series

The Mack A. Rikard Lecture Series introduces students to current issues in business as presented by business and civic leaders who are recognized leaders in their professions. Established in 1991, it is named after the late Mack A. Rikard ’37, an Oglethorpe alumnus, honorary degree recipient, Athletic Hall of Fame member and Trustee Emeritus. Rikard was former president of Allied Products Company in Birmingham, Alabama, and a supporter of Oglethorpe athletics and student scholarships.


Spring 2021

Speaker: Shan Cooper, Executive Director for the Atlanta Committee for Progress
When: March 16, 2021 at 4 p.m.
Details for attending virtually on OU Connect

Shan Cooper is the Executive Director for the Atlanta Committee for Progress. The ACP was founded in 2003 and their mission is to provide leadership on key issues important to economic growth and inclusion for all citizens in the City of Atlanta.  The committee includes more than 40 highly engaged chief executive officers, university presidents and civic leaders who offer expertise in service to Atlanta and its future development

Shan is the former chief transformation officer of WestRock and was responsible for the Recycling and Waste Services Division, Procurement, Enterprise Logistics and Information Technology. Prior to joining WestRock, Shan served as Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company

Shan was named Georgia Trend Magazine’s 2015 Most Respected Business Leader; the 2015 Women of the Year by American Association of University Women; and as one of Georgia Trend Magazine’s Most Influential Georgians in 2012 – 2016, 2020 and 2021. She was also named one of Black Enterprise Magazine’s Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America in 2017.

Shan serves on the Board of Directors for the Atlantic Capital Bancshares, Inc., the parent company of Atlantic Capital Bank, N.A, the Georgia Power Company, Intercontinental Exchange Inc. and Veritiv Corporation; the Board of Directors for Grady Health System, The Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta and the Board of Trustees of both Emory University and the Woodruff Arts Center. Shan is also on the Board of Georgia Tech Research Institute, Georgia Historical Society, Zoo Atlanta and a member of the Atlanta Rotary Club and a Life Member of the Board of Councilors for The Carter Center.

Shan earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Religion from Emory University and a Master of Business Administration from the Roberto Goizueta Business School of Emory University. She is also a graduate of the Rutgers University Executive Masters in Global Human Resource Leadership Program.


Past Lectures

Mr. Christian Fischer, President and CEO, Georgia-Pacific
Monday, October 7, 2019
Cousins Center


Ms. Donna Hyland, CEO CHOA
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 | 4:00-5:00
Library Atrium

Since 2008, Ms. Donna W. Hyland, CPA, has served as the Chief Executive Officer and President at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc.  Prior to being named CEO, Ms. Hyland served as the Chief Financial Officer (1998-2002) and Chief Operating Officer (2003-2008).  She has 28 years of business leadership and financial experience and was heavily involved in the 1998 merger of Egleston Children’s Health Care System and Scottish Rite Children’s Medical Center that led to the formation of one of the top pediatric hospitals in the country.

Ms. Hyland attended the University of Kentucky and Western Kentucky University.


Mr. Darren Eales, President of Atlanta United
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 | 4:00-5:00
Library Atrium

After college, he played professional soccer in the US but injuries led him back to England where he earned an MA in Law at Cambridge University before beginning a long and successful career at Tottenham.

British-born Darren Eales was named the President of Atlanta United in September 2014.  Prior to coming to Atlanta, Mr. Eales served as the executive director at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (THFC), part of the English Premier League.  Mr. Eales spent his college years in the United States playing on a soccer scholarship at Brown University.  He received several impressive honors including Ivy League Player of the Year, NSCAA First-Team All-America, USA Today Student Athlete of the Year and ultimately inducted into the Brown University Athletics Hall of Fame.


William Hammack, President and CEO, C.W. Mathews (Retired)
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 | 4:30-6:00
Library Atrium, Philip Weltner Library

A 1973 graduate of Oglethorpe will share lessons learned in his 43 year career as well as the traits executives look for in new employees. Founded in 1946, C.W. Matthews started with three employees, one tractor and two dump trucks and most recently was responsible for the repair of the I-85 overpass. Throughout his career, the basis of his leadership was ethics, honor, quality, and commitment to excellence – the same guiding values of the C. W. Matthew Contracting Co.


Derrick and Danielle Case standing in store
Derrick and Danielle Case

Derrick Case, Chief Executive Office, Dress Up Corp
Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017| 4:30 – 5:30 PM
Trustee Room, Turner Lynch Campus Center

In July 2009, Derrick & Danielle Case decided to enter the speciality retailing industry. Five weeks later they opened the first Dress Up store in Dahlonega. Since then, they have expanded to 17 stores in 4 states, with 250+ employees, and a huge online and social media presence. In 2016, Dress Up was named on the INC 5000 list as one of the fastest growing companies in America.


Joseph Lawrence, Executive Vice President and COO Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 | 4:30 – 5:30 PM
Conant Performing Arts Center Lobby

The COO of Porsche Cars North America will tell “The Porsche Story” which includes the development of Porsche’s brand globally and in America, and why the company came to Atlanta. He will also provide insights on his own career and share career development strategies with students. Read more about this event or watch of video of the panel.


Jason Kelly headshot
Jason Kelly

Jason Kelly, New York Bureau Chief, Bloomberg
Tuesday, March 29, 2016 | 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Turner Lynch Campus Center Trustee Room

Award-winning journalist, author of The New Tycoons: Inside the Trillion Dollar Private Equity Industry, a regular contributor to Bloomberg Television and Bloomberg Markets magazine will answer questions about the role of private equity in the global economy. He will also discuss Sweat Equity: Inside the New Economy of Mind and Body, and his career as an Atlanta Journal Constitution reporter covering the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.


Tim Tassopoulos headshot
Tim Tassopoulos

Journey to the C-Suite: An OU Graduate’s Story with Tim Tassopoulos
Thursday, November 5, 2015 | 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Turner Lynch Campus Center Trustee Room

Explore the career of an Oglethorpe alumnus and Board of Trustee member who began as a Chick-fil-A restaurant team member in 1977, while pursuing a History major at Oglethorpe, and by 1983 was promoted to the corporate office, and eventually became vice president of operations in 1995. He will also share lessons learned from the late Truett Cathy (H) ’97, entrepreneur and founder of Chick-fil-A.


Ceree Eberly headshot
Ceree Eberly

The Road to 2025: Building a ‘Next Gen’ HR Function
With special guest Ceree Eberly, Chair of the Oglethorpe Board of Trustees and Chief People Officer for The Coca- Cola Company
Thursday, April 16, 2015 | 4:45 PM – 6:00 PM
Oglethorpe University Museum of Art

Join Ceree Eberly as she shares insights gained from her experiences as an HR practitioner around the world. Ceree will discuss how the people function has changed over the years, and look ahead to the Next Gen skillset/capabilities HR practitioners must have, or cultivate, to drive strategic alignment and organizational competencies for tomorrow’s workforce.


Other past speakers have included:

  • Annie and John Odell, founding partners of Kinko’s
  • S. Truett Cathy, Founder and Chairman of Chick-fil-A
  • Terry Chastain, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
  • Ann Cramer, Director of Corporate Community Relations and Public Affairs at IBM
  • Terrence Fisher, FBI Supervisory Special Agent
  • William Johnston, Former President and COO of the New York Stock Exchange
  • Dennis Kelly, President and CEO of Zoo Atlanta
  • James Satterfield, President and Co-Founder of Firestorm Solutions
  • Jack Van Fossen, President and CEO of Red Roof Inns