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Not Just a Talking Head
By David E. Moore

Where can business executives go to hear Leslie Otten talk about his rise from assistant general manager of a Maine ski resort to partner and vice chairman of the Red Sox? Or Bauer Nike Hockey CEO Chris Zimmerman tell how Nike went from selling track shoes out of station wagons to becoming the world's largest sports brand? All while enjoying an intimate breakfast with old friends and new business contacts?

The answer: the CEO Forum, sponsored by the Whittemore School of Business and Economics and the Graduate School, and held at UNH.

"We bring in top CEOs from northern New England companies to talk about some of the things they've done and are doing to become successful," says Jack Sanders '59, a partner in the Pierce Atwood law firm, a co-sponsor of the program along with Ocean National Bank.

Past speakers have included Paul Montrone, CEO of Fisher Scientific International, who talked about how changes in health care affect businesses; John Morison III '76, president and CEO of New Hampshire-based Hitchiner Manufacturing, North America's largest commercial investment casting producer, who talked about upgrading business practices; and The Balsams' departing president Steve Barba, who spoke of going from golf caddy to CEO at the resort hotel.

UNH also benefits from this relationship, says WSBE dean Steve Bolander. By building a bridge to the business community, the university becomes a management resource for regional corporations, and students gain increased recruitment and internship opportunities, he adds.

The CEO Forum provides a relaxed atmosphere "where I can make business contacts over breakfast and have a chance to talk with the speakers afterwards," says Shawn Joyce '98, president and CEO of the restaurant chain Margaritas. "I've been to national conventions where there are thousands of people and it's impossible to get close to the speakers."

Annual membership includes breakfast for two at each of the five seminars. For more information, visit http://www.unh-ceoforum.org/ or call director Barbara Draper '68, '90G at (603) 862-1107.

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