About the Executive in Residence Program
The Executive in Residence program is designed to bring senior-level executives to the college to help enrich the learning environment of both undergraduate and graduate students, foster research ideas for faculty and graduate students, and provide faculty and staff involved in outreach activities with new ideas and perspectives on how to serve the business community.
Visiting executives share their insights and experiences by teaching undergraduate classes, presenting seminars to graduate students, and participating in informal interaction with students, faculty, and staff.
Past Executives In Residence
Brad Holiday (’76 Industrial Administration) is the chief financial officer at ZAGG Inc., a leading mobile device accessories company with three distinct brands: ZAGG, InvisibleShield® and iFrogz. The company offers solutions such as keyboards, cases, screen protection, audio, power management and gaming products. He joined ZAGG Inc. in June 2015 and has been on the company’s board since 2012.
An accomplished global financial executive with leading consumer product companies, Brad has a proven track record among successful companies including Nike, Pizza Hut and General Mills. Most recently, Brad was senior executive vice president and chief financial officer for Callaway Golf Company from 2000 until 2015, where he was instrumental in helping Callaway rebrand and lead a strategic transformation. While at Nike, Brad was chief financial officer of the Nike Golf Division from 1998 to 2000, and Nike’s retail division from 1995 to 1998 where he grew the division from $500 million to almost $1 billion in revenue.
During his visit, Brad will spend time in numerous classrooms and with faculty and students in several areas, including finance, accounting, marketing and management. He will also share his experience with students in extra-curricular programs in the college including the ISU Investment Group and Gerdin Citizenship Program, a voluntary, self-paced certificate program aimed at increasing the involvement of students in the College of Business.
Students and faculty are sure to draw a great deal from his wealth of experiences which span across each of our disciplines.
Brenda Cushing recently retired from Athene Holding where she served as Executive Finance President and Chief Financial Officer. Ms. Cushing was a leader of financial and performance management for the organization and responsible for communication of financial results to Athene’s stakeholders. She also ensured the financial functions of Athene were conducted within the legal and statutory framework and provided leadership in the execution of the strategic directive of the organization.
Ms. Cushing began her Athene career in 1993 as general accounting manager at AmerUs Life Insurance Company, and joined AmerUs Bank in 1994 as finance vice president, and later, as the bank’s CFO until its sale in 1998. After the bank’s sale, Ms. Cushing became CFO of AmerUs Home Equity, and later senior vice president and controller for the AmerUs Group. In 2008 after the acquisition of AmerUs by Aviva, she moved into the role of CFO for Aviva USA and remained in that role following Athene’s acquisition of Aviva USA in 2013. Prior to joining AmerUs, she was with public accounting firm McGladrey and Pullen where she worked with clients in the financial services industry.
Ms. Cushing has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Iowa State University and serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the ISU College of Business. She also serves on the boards of the United Way of Central Iowa, Mercy Medical Center and a community board member for Bankers Trust (Des Moines). She is a member of the Iowa Society of CPAs and Financial Executives International.
Mark Walker is the recently retired senior vice president of transportation for C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc., one of North America’s largest third party logistics companies with operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, and Asia. C.H. Robinson provides truck, rail, ocean, and air transportation throughout the world, as well as sourcing and information services.
Walker had been a vice president with C.H. Robinson since 1999. He was responsible for the strategic direction of the company’s transportation and logistics service business. He joined C.H. Robinson in 1980, working with the company’s truck transportation and banking operations before moving on to lead its subsidiary, T-Chek Systems. Under his leadership, T-Chek’s revenues grew to become one of the leading carrier services companies in North America. During his career, he played a pivotal role in C.H. Robinson’s systems capabilities, including two years as chief information officer from 1999 to 2001. In 2001, he became vice president of transportation.
In addition to his degree from Iowa State, Walker earned an MBA from the University of St. Thomas in 1989. He is a native of Ames, Iowa and a graduate of Ames High School.
Greg Churchill recently retired from Rockwell Collins, Inc. after a 33-year career. Rockwell Collins provides aviation electronics and communications solutions to both the commercial aerospace and defense marketplaces. Its 2013 revenues (for fiscal year ending Sept. 30) were more than $4.6 billion. In Churchill’s last assignment before retirement, he served as Executive Vice President of Rockwell Collins’ International Business. He had 3,300 employees in more than 60 countries reporting to him, and the unit delivered $1.6 billion of the company’s revenues. His primary focus was to transform Rockwell Collins from a U.S. business doing business internationally into a global company headquartered in the U.S.
Prior to his international role, Churchill served as Chief Operating Officer of the Government Systems business unit. During his 10 years there, the unit’s sales rose from $1 billion to $2.3 billion. The company acquired and integrated six companies to help broaden the Government Systems portfolio and served both domestic and international government markets.
Churchill also held the title of Vice President and General Manager of Rockwell Collins’s Business and Regional Systems business unit. In this role he was responsible for serving the company’s business jet and regional airlines customer base with integrated avionics solutions. Their primary customers were domestic and international Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). They also provided direct service to the aircraft operators.
Prior to his senior management roles, Churchill held positions in a variety of functional roles, including finance, contracts, business development, and program management, each of which helped build a strong foundational understanding of the business and how it operates.
Churchill also had over 12 years of experience as an active participant in the board room. This experience positioned Churchill to serve as a board member to two public companies, Ducommun Inc. and UnityPoint Hospitals. He is a 1980 graduate of the College of Business at Iowa State University, with a degree in industrial administration.