Day On Campus

2019 Speaker Biographies

Speaker Biographies

Charles Hoslet | Vice Chancellor University Relations | UW–Madison

Charles Hoslet serves as Vice Chancellor for University Relations at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He is responsible for leading university efforts related to communications, marketing and brand strategy as well as interactions with key stakeholders including federal, state and local government leaders, community organizations, business and industry, and visitors to campus. Hoslet currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau, and has served previously on Advisory Boards for University Research Park, the Center for International Business, Education and Research, and the Wisconsin Technology Council among other organizations.

From 2013 – 2016, Hoslet served as Associate Vice Chancellor for Government and Corporate Affairs, overseeing the development of the university’s federal relations presence in Washington, D.C., the creation of the South Madison Partnership Office, and Chancellor Blank’s outreach trips around the state, among other initiatives.

From 2003–13, Hoslet founded and served as Managing Director of the UW–Madison Office of Corporate Relations, (now the Office of Business Engagement) which is responsible for promoting company growth and economic development by facilitating relationships between companies, organizations and entrepreneurs and university faculty, staff and units in areas such as student recruitment, research expertise and technology transfer.

From 1997–2003, Hoslet was responsible for directing all state governmental relations efforts for the university, including representing the university before the governor’s office, state legislature and other state agencies. Prior to his appointment at the UW–Madison, Hoslet served as the Executive Assistant at the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, and began his career in state government in the Office of the Governor, including serving as both Deputy Legal Counsel and Chief Legal Counsel to the Governor of Wisconsin.

Hoslet, a native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin and his undergraduate degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee.

Amy Achter | Managing Director | Office of Business Engagement

Amy Achter joined UW-Madison as the Managing Director of the Office of Business Engagement on August 1, 2018.

Amy has spent the majority of her career leading partnerships from the industry side; most recently at The Nature’s Bounty Company as Sr. Director of Partner Development and previously with two Wisconsin-based companies – the Oscar Mayer division of Kraft Foods and Kimberly-Clark Corporation. In both those roles, Amy and her team had the opportunity to partner with UW-Madison to create several successful collaborations.

Amy has both a B.S. and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering. The former from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the latter from Northwestern University.

Laura Albert | Industrial & Systems Engineering | College of Engineering

Laura Albert, Ph.D., is a Professor of Industrial & Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her research interests are in the field of operations research and analytics with application to homeland security, emergency response, and public sector problems. She has authored or co-authored more than 50 publications in archival journals and refereed proceedings. Her research has been awarded several honors, including four best paper awards, a National Science Foundation CAREER award, and a Department of the Army Young Investigator Award. Dr. Albert is the INFORMS Vice President for Marketing, Communication, and Outreach. She is the author of the blogs “Punk Rock Operations Research” and “Badger Bracketology.” You can find her on twitter at @lauraalbertphd.

Shimon Kolkowitz | Physics | College of Letters & Science

Shimon Kolkowitz is an assistant professor of physics at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, where his research is focused on experimental atomic physics and quantum science. Shimon received his B.S. from Stanford University in 2008 and his PhD in physics from Harvard University in 2015, where his thesis focused on developing new techniques for nanoscale sensing using quantum defects in diamond. He did his postdoctoral research on ultra-precise optical atomic clocks at the National Institute of Standard and Technology in Boulder, CO, where he was a recipient of the National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship.
Shimon moved to Madison and started his position at the UW in January of 2018.

Lesley Hayman Sager | Design Studies | School of Human Ecology

Lesley Sager is a professional interior designer who has practiced in Wisconsin for over 15 years and teaches interior design at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She has degrees in both social work and design and is the Director of the Design Thinking Initiative at the School of Human Ecology.
Lesley teaches a verity of courses with topics that range from design fundamentals to design thinking. She is passionate about design and how powerful the design process can be to help change how we live. Lesley loves watching and guiding students on their path to becoming inspired, innovative designers with an eye towards making the world a better place to live. She is honored to be able to provide students with design opportunities both large and small. They get to design everything from products, to spaces, to services, to processes. Currently, students are designing a maker space for women in Kenya!

Chris Johnson | Industrial & Systems Engineering | College of Engineering

Chris Johnson is an Air Force Veteran, commercial pilot for both manned and unmanned aircraft, and a certified flight instructor with a PhD in Engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison (UW) where he directs the UW Flight Laboratory, which is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Center of Excellence for Aviation Research.

Dr. Johnson is co-Founder and President of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Advocacy Network, which is a public-private consortium of UAS experts in support of safe and ethical drone operations. He serves as Chief Pilot and Director of Wisconsin Aviation’s Drone Services Division, and he is Founder of, which is an online educational resource for both manned and unmanned aircraft pilots and UAS operations and data portal that has been used to build drone programs for various industry clients, including Global-100 and Fortune-500 companies, Big 10 Universities and small to mid-sized businesses.

Johnson is an expert in system safety, regulatory compliance and data-management and analytics for the drone industry, and he routinely consults with large enterprise clients seeking to build internal UAS programs. Johnson is also an FAA Safety Team Lead Representative as well as a member of the FAA’s Unmanned Aircraft System Safety Team (UAST) Data Science Working Group.

Binnu Palta Hill | Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion | Wisconsin School of Business

Binnu Palta Hill serves as the Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at the Wisconsin School of Business (WSB). Prior to joining WSB in 2006, she spent over ten years in the UW System teaching, consulting, and designing programming that enhances inclusion by leveraging strategic leadership and organizational cultural dexterity. Her expertise includes developing open communication skills within organizations by developing a shared vocabulary on conflict resolution. A distinguishing factor in her approach is the combination of academic research and lived experience to dissect core issues related to diversity. Ms. Hill also teaches inclusive leadership in the Wisconsin Evening and Executive MBA Programs.

In May 2015, Ms. Hill represented WSB at the White House as Wisconsin became one of the first business schools to commit to best practices for increasing opportunities in business for women and preparing a culturally competent 21st century workforce. She has also served on advisory boards for WI Governor’s Youth Summit and Information Technology Academy Pre-College Program.

Ms. Hill has been a guest speaker at conferences throughout the United States and in Europe, including the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE), Women and Leadership Symposium, UW–Madison Diversity Forum, Changing Demographics, and All-State’s The Power of Diversity Conference. She has presented to over a dozen corporations including American Family Insurance, Grant Thornton, All State, Forward Service Corporation and the QTI Group. Ms. Hill holds a Master of Business Administration degree and Certification in The Foundations of NeuroLeadership – Driving Change with Real Science. Her work has been featured in The Capital Times.

Chris Kozina | Senior Advisor| University Relations

Chris Kozina currently serves as Senior Advisor in the office of the Vice Chancellor for University Relations. Mr. Kozina has served as a senior executive and executive committee member of MillerCoors and Miller Brewing Company, as well as a Partner with global consultancy Accenture.

He is an active Director with boards in both the public and private sector. He has served on the University of Wisconsin–Madison Foundation Board as well as the Alumni Association Board, in addition to advisory board roles with Marquette University in Milwaukee and Metro State University in Denver. He earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from UW–Madison, Master’s in Educational Policy from the University of Illinois, and an Advanced Business Management certificate from Northwestern University. Mr. Kozina, his wife, and three girls, live in the Chicago area.

Adrienne Bestul | Senior Manager, Talent Development | Lands’ End

Adrienne has spent her entire career at Lands’ End in a number of roles. Growing up in the organization she has had held positions including Inventory Planning and Merchandising with the majority of her time spend in Employee Services as a generalist and business partner. Today, Adrienne leads the 2-day corporate on-boarding, orientation experience for all new employees and the Internship program in addition to supporting leadership and career development. Most recently, she added digital learning to her responsibilities focused on ensuring that employees have access to online and mobile learning resources.

Adrienne is also a proud Badger parent. Her son is a senior in the Wisconsin School of Business and a member of the University of Wisconsin Marching Band. On Wisconsin!

Glenn Fung | Director of Research | Machine Learning Research and Innovation Group | American Family Insurance

Glenn Fung received a B.S. in mathematics from Universidad Lisandro Alvarado in Venezuela. He then earned an M.S. in applied mathematics from Universidad Simon Bolivar, Venezuela, where later he worked as an assistant professor. He also earned an M.S. degree and a Ph. D. degree in computer sciences and statistics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2003. His main interests are optimization approaches to machine learning and AI, with emphasis in kernel methods.

For twelve years he has worked in industry (Siemens, Amazon, American Family Insurance) developing and applying novel machine learning techniques to solve challenging industry-related problems. Outside of work, he attempts to make fun music while playing the bass and enjoys collecting trading card games and losing frequently to his son while playing them.

Leslie Mullins | Talent & Culture Business Partner | Morningstar, Inc.

Leslie Mullins is talent & culture business partner for Morningstar Credit Ratings, LLC, in addition to our Canada and Latin American offices. In this role, she advises and consults with internal clients taking a thoughtful and creative approach to identifying solutions that align with Morningstar’s people philosophies and work environment.

Before assuming her role in 2018, Mullins was director of talent management and served as university relations and Morningstar Development Program (MDP) leader. The Morningstar Development Program is a two-year opportunity that provides recent college graduates the ability to explore different career paths through full-time placement in one of our offices. Prior to her work in human resources, she was a financial analyst for several years in the international and information technology groups. Mullins joined Morningstar in 2008 as a product consultant in the Morningstar Development Program.

Mullins holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Richard Vincent | Chief Business Officer | Foxconn Industrial Internet’s (Fii) Technology Solutions Group

Richard Vincent is the Chief Business Officer for Foxconn Industrial Internet’s (Fii) Technology Solutions Group and oversees the strategic direction, implementation, and delivery of Fii’s Industrial AI Solutions including Industry 4.0, Fii Ai Cloud, and all “Connected” solutions. Richard joined Foxconn in October of 2018 to take on this new role and to support the strategic direction for Fii to become a Global Solutions Provider.

Previously he worked for Foxconn for 17 years. Foxconn Industrial Internet is a public company on the Shanghai Stock exchange that delivers manufacturing, design, and solutions platforms for “connected everywhere”. Richard has held executive level positions in Business Development for 30+ years.

Jerry O’Brien | Director of the Kohl’s Center for Retailing | School of Human Ecology

Jerry O’Brien is the Director of the Kohl’s Center for Retailing in the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Prior to his position at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Jerry spent 27 years in various leadership positions with the Target Corporation.

In addition to his on-campus work Jerry has created and delivered impactful presentations to retailers, consumer products companies and industry groups. Jerry has a passion for the retailing business and in particular helping his students see the tremendous opportunities awaiting them.

Jerry sits on the Board of Directors for the National Retail Federation Foundation.

Joan Schmit | American Family Insurance Distinguished Chair in Risk Management | Wisconsin School of Business

Joan T. Schmit holds the American Family Insurance Distinguished Chair in Risk Management and Insurance at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She also serves as an affiliate faculty member in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the Peking University China Center for Insurance and Social Security Research, and in the risk management and insurance institute at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. Prior to joining the faculty at UW, Professor Schmit spent four years on the faculty at the University of South Carolina. She also has been a visiting scholar at the University of Virginia, George Washington University, University of Bath, Peking University, and University of Cologne.

From 2008 to 2012, she held positions as Senior Associate Dean, Vice Dean, and Interim Dean. She has been chair of the Risk and Insurance Department for the past five years, and is the Director of the MBA in Risk Management and Insurance.

Dr. Schmit has published extensively in insurance and legal journals. Among her areas of expertise include insurance regulation, microinsurance, reputation risk, enterprise risk management, and the interaction of law and economics in an insurance and risk management context. She currently serves as the editor of the Journal of Risk and Insurance.

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