Aspiring Leaders Seminar

June 20-21, 2019 | Tampa, Florida, USA


Andrew PolicanoAndrew J. Policano, University of California, Irvine, The Paul Merage School of Business

Andrew J. Policano is former Dean and Professor Emeritus of Economics and Public Policy at The Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine.
During his nine-year tenure as Dean, the Merage School received over $60 million in pledges, created five new degree programs, broke ground on a new building, and consistently ranked among the top 5-10% of accredited business schools globally. Policano was also the founding Director of the Center for Investment and Wealth Management, whose flagship LIFEvest program has now helped over three hundred high school students from underserved families achieve financial literacy. Prior to UC Irvine, Policano was Dean of the Wisconsin School of Business, where he led a campaign resulting in an increase in the School’s endowment from $6 million to over $90 million. He also developed a financially self-reliant strategy for the School, part of which included the development and construction of a conference center with no state funding. Policano is co-author with Gary Fethke of Public No More: A New Path to Excellence for America’s Public Universities. His second book Climbing the Ivory Tower: Strategies for Academic Leaders in Turbulent Times focuses on the challenging financial environment for higher education and describes potential strategies for university leaders.  From Ivory Tower now forms the basis for leadership workshops at several universities including UC Irvine, UC San Diego and UCLA.  He is a widely sought after public speaker who has addressed hundreds of groups on topics including the current macroeconomic environment, the challenges facing higher education, financial literacy, strategy and leadership. His commentary on these subjects has appeared in numerous outlets including Business Week, the Financial Times, the Huffington Post, the Washington Post, the LA Times and the Sacramento Bee. Policano serves on the Board of Directors of Rockwell Collins and is a Trustee for the Payden&Rygel Mutual Funds. He has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of AACSB International, where he was honored with a Lifetime Service Award.  He has also played a key role in the PhD Project, one of the most successful diversity initiatives in higher education and has been inducted into the PhD Project Hall of Fame. He and his wife Pam have four children and three grandchildren.

Mark_DawkinsMark C Dawkins, University of North Florida, Coggin College of Business

Mark C. Dawkins is a Professor of Accounting in the Coggin College of Business at the University of North Florida. He holds a Ph.D. in Accounting from Florida State University (1994), MBA (1987) and Masters of Accounting (1988) degrees from the University of Florida, and a B.S. in Management (1985) from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He joined UNF and the Coggin College of Business in June 2015 after serving 21 years on the faculty in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia (UGA). From 2008-2014 he served as the Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the Terry College, and from 2004-2008 he served as the Director of Diversity Relations. He teaches undergraduate and graduate financial accounting classes, and has taught Intermediate Accounting, MBA Financial Accounting, and Intermediate Accounting for Non-Majors. He also has taught undergraduate and graduate accounting and college-level internship classes. He has published in The Journal of Finance, the Journal of Financial & Quantitative Analysis, the Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance, the Journal of Business, Finance & Accounting, the Journal of Banking and Finance, the Journal of Managerial Issues, Sociological Inquiry, the Academy of Accounting and Financial Studies Journal, Management Accounting Quarterly, and other journals or newsletters. He was a co-recipient of the 2006 and 2003 Beta Alpha Psi Outstanding Teacher of the Year award at UGA, and received the 2006 and 2003 Alpha Kappa Psi Accounting Teacher of the Year Award.  He is a member of the American Accounting Association, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the National Association of Accountants, the Florida Society of CPAs, the PhD Project (, and the Accounting Doctoral Student Association. In August 2009, he was one of five recipients of the inaugural Ernst & Young Inclusive Excellence Award for Accounting and Business School Faculty. In January of 2014, he received the 2014 UGA President’s Fulfilling the Dream Award at the MLK Freedom Breakfast at UGA.

Kevin_JamesKevin L. James, North Carolina A&T State University, College of Business and Economics

Kevin L. James is Dean of the College of Business and Economics at North Carolina A&T State University. Dr. James had been serving as Interim Dean since August 2017 and prior was the chair of the Department of Accounting and Finance at the University. Dr. James’ research interests are in Financial Accounting and Diversity Issues using behavioral research methodology. His work has been published in the Journal of Accountancy, Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, Regional Business Review, and others.  He is an actively licensed Certified Public Accountant and serves as a member of the Pre-certification Education Executive Committee of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He is also a member of the American Accounting Association and Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. He holds a Ph.D. in Business Administration from The University of Tennessee, an MBA and a BBA from Middle Tennessee State University.

Lisa_OrdonezLisa Ordoñez, The University of Arizona, Eller College of Management

Lisa Ordoñez is the vice Dean and professor in the Department of Management and Organizations in the Eller College of Management at The University of Arizona.  She also holds a joint appointment in the Marketing department. She received all of her degrees at the University of California at Berkeley: Bachelor's (1988) Master's in marketing (1992), and Ph.D. (1994) in quantitative psychology. Upon receiving her Ph.D., she joined The University of Arizona as an Assistant Professor in 1994, was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2000, and promoted to full professor in 2007. Her research interests in human decision making combine her quantitative training in psychology with applications in business.  She has examined the negative aspects of goal setting.  In addition, she investigates consumer decision making. She received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support her work on ethical decision making.  She holds the McClelland Professorship which recognizes her commitment to academic research. Lisa is a member of the core faculty in the Eller MBA program and has taught for the Full-Time, Evening, and Executive MBA programs.  Her research has been sighted in many media outlets such as Money Magazine, New York Times, The Economist, CNN, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal as well as being interviewed on NPR Marketplace.

Rowena_Ortiz-WaltersRowena Ortiz-Walters, State University of New York College at Plattsburgh, School of Business and Economics

Rowena Ortiz-Walters is Dean of the School of Business and Economics at SUNY Plattsburgh in NY becoming only the 9th Hispanic-American Dean of a US business school. As dean, Dr. Ortiz-Walters is responsible for building and sustaining a culture that supports student success academically, professionally and personally; strategic planning and creation of a shared vision for the school; maintenance of AACSB accreditation and high educational standards; innovative thinking and programming that meets market demands and student needs; and fostering partnerships with the local, national and international business community. Formerly, she was department chair and professor of management at Quinnipiac University where she co-founded and served as co-director of the Center for Women and Business.  Dr. Ortiz-Walters is also a scholar and public speaker in higher education. Through her scholarship and speaking engagements, she contributes to the national conversation on the status of women’s careers. Additional research expertise and interests include entrepreneurship, creativity, issues of diversity and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Sample outlets where her research appears includes Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship, Journal of Women’s Entrepreneurship and Education, Business Journal of Hispanic Research and Journal of College Teaching and Learning. Speaking engagements include: Catalyst®, Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, and Chambers of Commerce. Dr. Ortiz-Walters earned her doctorate from the University of Connecticut.