Charleston Southern recruits executives to teach business students

By Ashley Barker
Published Dec. 10, 2013

The retired president of Fisher-Price and 10 other executives will take part in a program beginning in January to teach Charleston Southern University business students how to lead from a Christian perspective, according to a university spokesman.

Charleston Southern’s School of Business is launching an Executives in Residence program to bring experienced managers into the classroom. The volunteer executives have backgrounds in entrepreneurship, banking, finance, marketing, risk management, corporate governance and international business.

Business leaders teach CSU students
The 2014 Executives in Residence at Charleston Southern University will include, among others, Earnie Deavenport (from left), Wayne Hall, Todd Tyler, Hank Taylor, Byron Davis, Garth Cook, Chris Niebuhr and Larry Finney. (Photo/Charleston Southern University)
Fisher-Price’s Byron Davis said he joined the program because of the creativity he sees in young people.

“Almost every boss I had was a mentor to me at Fisher-Price,” Davis said in a statement. “I hope to share some stories. Some of the things they (students) read about in textbooks, such as theory, aren’t so fun, but they can save your bacon when you’re out in the real world. I hope to teach them how things work practically, not just theoretically.”

John Duncan, dean of the Charleston Southern School of Business, said the executives will discuss values and ethics from a Christian perspective and will teach students how to apply their faith in business settings.

“We are asking the executives to incorporate the character qualities we already use from the Character First program as they speak to students,” Duncan said in a statement. “These character qualities add value in all areas and will build better employees as we send students out.”

In addition to addressing specific classes, some of the executives will speak to the entire campus during the university’s regularly scheduled chapel programs, according to John Strubel, marketing director for Charleston Southern.

2014 Executives in Residence:

  • Garth Cook, director of leadership development and training, Boeing Co.
  • Mary Propes, CEO and founder, MVP Group International Inc.
  • Earnie Deavenport, retired chairman and CEO, Eastman Chemical.
  • Larry Finney, founding partner, Greene, Finney & Horton CPAs.
  • Marian Noronha, CEO, Turbocam International.
  • Wayne Hall, president and CEO, First Federal and First Financial Holdings Inc.
  • Byron Davis, retired president, Fisher-Price.
  • Todd Tyler, executive vice president, Commonwealth Brown and Brown Insurance.
  • John Gross, regional manager, Havertys Furniture; chairman, The Barnabas Group, Charlotte.
  • Henry “Hank” Taylor, vice president of global business development, Charleston Regional
  • Development Alliance; retired Air Force brigadier general.
  • Chris Niebuhr, president and COO, Thompson Industrial Services.

Reach Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker on Twitter.

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