’73 industrial administration; MS ’77 interdisciplinary industrial administration sciences
After a successful career working in management and technology consulting within the health care industry at Accenture, Bill Kalm is enjoying retirement in ways that many people only dream about.
“Whenever I need to contact Bill, I never know if he’s in South America, Canada, Iceland, or some other exciting location – but I always know he is fishing!” laughed Raisbeck Endowed Dean David Spalding. Kalm is known for fly fishing in some of the most beautiful locations, including most countries in Central and South America. His favorite fishing spot is British Columbia. “That’s where you find the best steelhead fishing. Plus, it’s the most beautiful scenery you can imagine,” Kalm said.
A former partner at Accenture, Kalm enjoys supporting the college with his time and financial support. “I didn’t want to simply write a check,” he said. “I wanted to stay involved.”
And he does. He makes about five trips to campus each year.
In addition to serving on the MBA Executive Advisory Council, which he helped form, Kalm recently joined the Dean’s Advisory Council. He’s also the founder and sponsor of the MBA Case Competition, which launched in 2004. In this competition, students work in small teams to develop a solution for a real business problem. They also work directly with business leaders and their peers. “It’s the perfect exercise for students to network with business leaders and gain real-world experience while in college,” said Kalm, who participates in the competitions.
“I haven’t missed one yet,” he said.
Kalm and his wife, Raedene, were inspired to support the case competition in gratitude of Emeritus Professor Charles B. Handy, who served as the first dean of the College of Business from 1984–1989. As an accounting professor and leader of the business program, Handy encouraged students such as Kalm to become their best – both personally and professionally – in the classroom and beyond. The William D. Kalm Founder’s Award also is given to the top overall first-year MBA student. He is a frequent guest lecturer to MBA classes. Bill and Raedene live in Phoenix, Arizona.
Q: Why do you devote so much time to the College of Business?
A: I do it to stay involved with the students. I think that’s the rewarding experience for me, to watch them develop and grow as they go through the MBA program and participate in the case competition.
Q: When did you start fly fishing?
A: I retired in 2002, and in 2006, one of my friends said he was going fly fishing in Alaska and he wanted to know if I would like to go. And so it began. You might say I was hooked!
Q: What’s the best career advice you have received?
A: Focus. A managing partner at Accenture told me that, and it absolutely changed my career. I was always successful, but I frequently had too many client projects. So his advice to focus helped me concentrate on fewer, higher quality clients. I had some clients for more than 15 years, and in my business, that was unheard of.
Q: What advice would you give young professionals today?
A: I would include the same advice to focus but also add something to it. I would emphasize the importance of quality client relationship management. Getting to truly know your clients, staying in touch with them, and exceeding their expectations will result in beneficial long-term relationships.
Q: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
A: I am a very active participant in Pilates and have helped to create many new exercises that have been adopted by others.
At the end of his emails, Bill Kalm has the following signature: Sent from Bill’s iPhone. May contain factual or spelling errors. All fishing stories are true.
– by Michele Appelgate