Upcoming Executives in Residence

Fall 2023


September 13-20, 2023

BS Chemical Engineering (Purdue University), MBA (Stanford University Graduate School of Business)

The son of Yugoslavian immigrants, Brajer brings over 20 years of president and CEO-level leadership experience operating within venture, private equity, public (IPO) and public service (cabinet level government) environments.

Brajer began his career at Procter & Gamble and at McKinsey & Company, environments deeply ingrained with proud teams, proud cultures and fact-based decision making. From 1990 to 2002, he held various leadership roles at Becton Dickinson, ultimately serving as an operating president and executive officer of the corporation. Following Becton Dickinson, Brajer led LipoScience, Inc., a venture-backed company, as the company’s CEO from turn-around stage through its successful initial public offering (IPO) in January 2013.

Recently, Brajer led system-wide reform efforts through public service as North Carolina's Secretary of Health and Human Services. This was a cabinet-level position for a $20 billion agency with approximately 15,000 employees.

His leadership efforts are now focused at the intersection of private equity and health care services for the vulnerable (intellectual and developmental disabilities, behavioral health needs, substance use challenges, the elderly, at-risk youth), both in community and long-term care settings.

Brajer earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

TOPIC AREAS: Faith and Leadership, From Engineering to Business, Healthcare, Public Service, Organizational Leadership, Change Leadership, Taking Ownership of Your Unique Career


September 20-27, 2023

BS Physics and Math (Purdue University), MS Computer Science (Stanford University)

Bruce Schechter is an active advisor, consultant or investor in a variety of technology startups, including Life360, BigML, Carbon Lighthouse, Illumeo and more. He is a member of the Band of Angels, Silicon Valley’s oldest organized angel investor organization. Schechter began his career at Intel Corporation in 1980 and there he served a 17 year tenure in a variety of roles including fab process engineering, microprocessor product management, the corporate strategy group, and director of online marketing in the Corporate Marketing Group. Bruce was on the founding team of Pandesic LLC, a pioneering eCommerce cloud service provider, where he served as director of operations management and later director of strategic alliances.  

Schechter is active in mentoring student entrepreneurs at both Stanford University and Purdue University and is active in non-profit work, including his role as founder and President Emeritus of the Intel Alumni Network, a worldwide network of former Intel employees with focus on thought leadership, and as co-founder/co-chairman of Purdue SVBIG (Silicon Valley Boilermaker Innovation Group), a group of esteemed Purdue alums offering mentoring to startups arising out of Purdue.  

Bruce received a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Math from Purdue University, where he graduated with highest honors and Phi Beta Kappa, and much later (at age 49) received an master's in computer science from Stanford University.

TOPIC AREAS: Technology Startups, Innovation, Investing, Technology, Marketing, Silicon Valley, Semiconductors, Microprocessors, Mentoring

hemmieschechterthumb.jpgHEMMIE SCHECHTER, PHARMACIST

September 20-27, 2023

RPh Pharmacy (Purdue University)

Schechter's 40+ year career in pharmacy began at age 20 when she graduated from the Purdue College of Pharmacy, received her license and commenced work as a staff pharmacist at the IUPUI Hospital in Indianapolis. Over the span of her career, she served as pharmacist, manager, leader, preceptor and mentor. Her roles spanned positions in both hospital and retail pharmacy in the states of Indiana, Nevada and California. 

By the third decade of Hemmie's career, she began a sequence of roles as a pharmacy manager in several CVS Healthcare pharmacies in the San Francisco Bay Area. In each of these roles she oversaw staff and operations for a team of about 10-15 pharmacists and technicians. Later, she took on a role as a district supervisor for CVS, overseeing 20 pharmacies around the Bay Area. She was responsible for goal setting, performance management, providing education and motivating pharmacy staff district-wide.

Today, Schechter serves as a part-time pharmacist at Santa Clara County Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California, where she works in custody pharmacy, serving the healthcare needs of inmates in the county jail system.

TOPIC AREAS: Pharmacy, Retail, Management, Leadership, Mentoring


September 21-26, 2023

BA Industrial Design (Purdue University), MA Industrial Design (Purdue University)

Jason has more than 20 years of experience in entrepreneurial coaching throughout the US and Europe, with an emphasis on strategy and design. A six-time founder and creator of two business accelerators, he has helped over 300 ventures start, grow and achieve success. He has hired hundreds of employees and raised tens of millions of dollars in seed capital. He is also founder of Greyhouse Coffee & Supply co., founder of GreyMob Idea Accelerator, co-founder of MatchBOX Coworking Studio, was vice president of Spensa Technologies and executive director for Campus House. Tennenhouse considers himself a designer and business strategist, and strives to apply those skills to make our community and the world a little bit better place. 

Earning his academic degrees from Purdue University, Tennenhouse studied industrial design, psychology, business and philosophy, and helped pioneer the school’s Entrepreneurial Industrial Design Graduate program. He went on to work for The Indianapolis Children’s Museum, the largest children’s museum in the world, as an exhibit designer where he created several permanent pieces. While moonlighting, Tennenhouse went on to start two different product design firms of his own. He also worked for a time at a creative think tank in Chicago contributing to concepts for hundreds of new toys. Jason then joined the research and development team of a large St. Louis toy company as head of concept design. 

He developed licensed and original products for both boys and girls in multiple play-patterns across all appreciable sectors in the industry, some selling units in the millions globally through such stores as Target, Walmart and Sears. His work has been part of several design and engineering patents and has been published internationally. 

Tennenhouse lectures in the undergraduate and graduate business programs at Purdue University, is a guest instructor in the School of Technology and is a guest instructor and participant in multiple NSF grants in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue. He has also been recruited to be a Fulbright Specialist to India and was the lead-off speaker at TEDx and the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp for Veterans. Jason also served as a director of the Greater Lafayette Chamber, has consulted for the Public Art Team for the City of West Lafayette and has commissioned and designed two 12-foot steel sculptures for Greater Lafayette. He also helped create the Community Commitment to Education Read to Succeed initiative, advises multiple student organizations and is chairman of the LafayetTECH startup collective. 

Most recently, Tennenhouse co-founded Lafayette’s first coworking space, MatchBOX, a 10,000 sq.ft. startup facility for dozens of local entrepreneurs. He currently serves as chief visioneer coaching nascent businesses. Tennenhouse has also been a strategic partner of Purdue Marketing & Media, advisor to the Purdue Research Foundation and is co-founder of the Purdue FoundryX commercialization initiative. He helped build the Wabash Heartland Innovation Network and currently serves as vice president, where he oversees strategy and design. He has recently been a strategic consultant for Google with their most senior engineering team and has worked with The White House under the Obama administration writing policy for the Office of Science and Technology. 

Tennenhouse has helped start dozens of nonprofit initiatives supporting things like local arts and music, literacy, hunger relief locally and abroad, international fair trade, access to clean drinking water and medical work in the developing world. He has served as a relief worker in Mexico and Rwanda. Tennenhouse has written a book on philosophy and is working on a second. 

Tennenhouse played collegiate lacrosse, holds his Advanced SCUBA diving certification, has been an NCAA EMT, a volunteer firefighter with WTFD, a HAZMAT technician, and is a Department of Homeland Security Incident Commander. He also renovated their 130 year-old house, which then earned recognition as a Historic Wabash Valley Trust Home, but then left it to spend three years visiting every country in the EU. 

TOPIC AREAS: Entrepreneurship, Social Impact, Public Art, Ideation, Design-thinking


September 27 - October 3, 2023

BS Design Engineering (Purdue University), MBA Strategy & Innovation (Michigan State University)

Since graduating from Purdue University in 1994, Mattison has had vast experiences across multiple industries designing, building and activating strategy, innovation, practices and transformation initiatives. As an executive leader in business development, he has worked with UPS, Nike, Whirlpool, Procter & Gamble, Ford, JP Morgan Chase, Coca-Cola, Kohl’s, Home Depot, General Electric and Target. Always with a systems-thinking lens, Mattison focuses and delivers the broader activation of consulting and business development, delivering strategies for organization effectiveness, shaping culture and lending expertise.

TOPIC AREAS: Business Development, Business Strategy, Design Engineering, Consulting, Fortune 100, Music/Bands and Orchestras  


October 11-17, 2023

BS Environmental Design (Purdue University)

Mark Ferrara is the executive coaching practice leader for The Walt Disney Company. His work is primarily focused on the systemic management of coaching tools and relationships with external and internal coaches globally. Additionally, he personally coaches senior executives and high potential leaders and is involved in global strategic human resources projects for Disney.

After 28 years of service, he retired from Eli Lilly and Company in 2017, the last eight years of which he was vice president of talent management. He was accountable for global employee recruiting, assessment, learning and development, staffing (including succession management), performance management, diversity & inclusion and HR research. Additionally, he coached senior leaders, facilitated multiple CEO succession transitions and regularly interacted with the board of directors. His previous human resources roles at Lilly included senior director of compensation and benefits, senior director of human resources supporting Lilly Research Laboratories, director of global staffing and manager of succession management.

He currently serves on the board of trustees and executive committee of the Indiana Historical Society. He has served as the board leader for Young Life in Indiana and Kentucky and was previously chairman of Lilly’s United Way Board of Directors. He also served on the Boards of Conner Prairie Interactive Park and KIDS Inc., a youth mission in Indianapolis.

TOPIC AREAS: Leadership, Executive Coaching, Human Resources, Recruiting, Assessment, Performance Management, Succession Management


October 21-25, 2023

BS Economics (Purdue University)

As an All-Academic Big Ten student athlete for Purdue’s baseball team, Dave Omholt graduated from the Krannert School of Management in 1992. Since then, Omholt has been on almost every side of the career fence. From a licensee to a licensor, employee to an employer, as well as a consultant and academic, Omholt brings with him a real-world, balanced view of entrepreneurship. After spending 10 years as an executive with Accenture, a global management consulting and professional services firm, Omholt launched The Entrepreneur Authority (eAuth.com), now one of the top franchise consulting firms in the US.

In his role as CEO, Omholt has been recognized as a thought leader in his marketspace and has earned the designation of Certified Franchise Executive (CFE), the highest accreditation in his industry. He has also been quoted on franchising trends in many national publications, including the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times. He has also been a guest lecturer at many schools including Duke, Notre Dame and Southern Methodist University. In 2010, Omholt was recognized in Purdue’s inaugural list of 40 under 40 and was an Old Master in 2015 and Executive in Residence in 2018. Dave and his wife, Laura, are proud parents of three daughters – all Boilermakers! Their daughter, Lauren, is a member of Purdue’s soccer team, making her a third-generation Boilermaker athlete.

TOPIC AREAS: Career Management, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Franchising, International Philanthropy, Management Consulting, Servant Leadership, Being a Student-Athlete


November 8-14, 2023

BS Biology (Purdue University), MS Industrial Administration (Purdue University)

Roger Stewart spent a 30-year career at Procter & Gamble where he provided financial analysis on brands such as Pampers, Luvs, Charmin, Bounty and Always. He spent the last 18 years of his career in treasury and retired as the Vice President of Global Treasury in 2005. He and his staff managed a $15 billion debt portfolio, investments of $6 billion, and the company’s insurance risk, pension assets, foreign exchange risk and offshore financing.

Upon retirement from P&G, he returned to Purdue where he taught international finance and capital markets in the MBA program from 2005 until 2009. From 2009 to 2014, he was the executive director of Krannert School of Management's graduate and undergraduate career center (The Krannert Leadership and Professional Development Center). As an Executive in Residence, until 2019, he advised a number of Purdue’s top honorary and leadership organizations (Mortar Board, Old Masters, and Rising Professionals).

Stewart's passion is the Roger C. Stewart Leadership and Professional Development Program. While no longer on staff, Stewart still spends time on campus expanding the program, advising students on their careers, teaching networking, and advising student organizations.

TOPIC AREAS: Financial Analysis, Management, Leadership, Finance, Career Planning, Networking, Student Organizations, Purdue Sports, Setting Goals

Spring 2024


January 24-31, 2024

BS Education & Community (Purdue University), MS Counseling & Personnel Services (Purdue University), PhD Educational Technology (Purdue University)

Roche is a three-time Purdue alumna (’79, ’81 an ’00) with a background in co-creating with others compelling and meaningful strategies that transform the organization to work towards shared goals that sustainably benefit all stakeholders. She has led cultural transitions in private and public sector environments and her experience working with Agilent Technologies and other organizations has motivated her to seek best practices for how individuals and organizations develop the capability to interpret an evolving and complex environment in order to make effective action.

TOPIC AREAS: Human Resources, Private & Public Sector, Strategy, Culture and Leadership


January 26-31, 2024

Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) Chemical Engineering (Purdue University)

Riddle is a Purdue alumna (’86) with experience directing the world’s largest consumer goods company, Procter & Gamble. She has been the vice president engineering leader in several business units like Fabric Care and most recently Global Supply Chain Innovation. The fabric care business includes billion dollar brands like Tide, Gain and Downy. The supply chain innovation role included automation and digitization of the supply networks across the globe. She is the past CEO/president of non-profit Southwest Ohio Water Company and today serves on various non-profit boards. She recently retired from P&G and is driven to prepare the next generation of engineers to be leaders in the industry.

TOPIC AREAS: Supply Chain Innovation, Fabric Care Engineering, Consumer Goods, Manufacturing, Process Engineering, Business Process Improvement, Capital Investment, Women’s Empowerment


February 7-14, 2024

BS Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering (Purdue University), MS Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering (Purdue University), PhD Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering (Purdue University)

Matthew P. Szolwinski was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he graduated as valedictorian from Marquette University High School. Inspired by the first space shuttle launch in 1981, Szolwinski enrolled in 1989 at Purdue University to pursue an undergraduate degree from the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. While at Purdue, he was an active student leader, serving as president of the Purdue Engineering Student Council, a member of Iron Key and Mortar Board honor societies, and a member of search committees for Dean of Engineering and the Athletic Director.  He is a recipient of the Mercury 7 scholarship. Matt also served as a residence hall counselor and staff resident.

After graduating with highest honors in 1993, Szolwinski began his graduate program in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics – working with Dr. Thomas N. Farris on understanding the mechanics of fretting fatigue in aging aircraft for the U.S. Air Force as a Department of Defense Fellow. This work, which culminated in Szolwinski being awarded a doctorate in 1998, earned him the ASME International Marshall B. Peterson award for early career contributions in tribology.

Szolwinski served on the faculty of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from 1998 to 2000. He left RPI to join Pratt & Whitney, where he worked to support Pratt’s entire operational commercial engine fleet as a structures integration manager. In late 2004, Szolwinski returned to the Midwest to join the systems engineering team designing the GEnx engine for the 787 Dreamliner at GE Aviation in Evendale, Ohio. He was a key contributor to the initial FAA certification of the GEnx in March of 2008. Shortly after this certification, Szolwinski was named chief engineer for GE Aviation’s large military engines, including the F110, which powers over two-thirds of the combat-ready fleet of F-16s in the U.S. Air Force fleet, along with the fleet of engines that power the B-1, B-2 and U-2 aircraft.

Szolwinski then returned to the commercial side of GE’s engine business, leading the team to field the GEnx engine on the 787 and then the technology development effort for the GE9X, the world’s most powerful engine that is the sole-source powerplant for Boeing’s latest aircraft, the 777X. Szolwinski led GE’s large-combat engineering team that was responsible for all aspects of the design, system integration and product support for a global fleet of nearly 10,000 military engines. He now serves as general manager of a global engineering team that supports GE Aerospace’s aeroderivative products, an installed base of nearly 4000 engines across a variety of highly specialized power generation; oil and gas; and marine applications.

Matt is married to Jenni Birch Szolwinski (Purdue B.S. ’94, M.S. ’96) with two children, Anna (Purdue CLA ‘22) and Adam (Purdue Polytechnic – Cybersecurity ’26).  He enjoys traveling, stationary cycling and cheering for all Boilermaker sports teams. He also has been an active industry alumni advisor of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which awarded him the Purdue Outstanding Aerospace Engineer award in 2010.

TOPIC AREAS: Leadership in Technology, Lean Principles, Career Paths - Academia vs. Industry, Systems-level Thinking, Balancing Career and Family/Personal Life


February 21-28, 2024

BS Electrical Technology (Purdue University), MBA (Ball State)

Chris Jones began his career in 1984 at Delco Electronics (GM) where he held various leadership roles which included project and program leadership focusing on the develop of custom automotive electronics for major automotive manufacturers.  During this phase he also led the deployment of Six Sigma and other innovation methods where he earned his Six Sigma Master Blackbelt certification. In 2013 he joined Stryker leading the development of orthopedic robotic power tools. During his career, Jones has excelled in team development and strategic development and implementation to navigate the significant challenges of complex product development

TOPIC AREAS: Leadership, Team Building, Complex Product Development, Structured Problem Solving, Mentoring, Boy Scouts of America, General Aviation


March 20-27, 2024

BA Business & Communication (Purdue University), MBA (University of Colorado)

Launching into the wine industry in 1984 as a 24-year-old newly minted MBA meant entering a male dominated environment and breaking down barriers. By the time Epp was 31, it also meant finding a work life balance juggling husband, children and career pressures. Epp's extensive background in the wine industry includes sales and brand management roles with The Robert Mondavi Winery, Terlato Family Distributors, Breakthru Beverage Distributors and E&J Gallo Winery, where her career began 38 years ago. In January 2005, Epp joined Wente Family Estates, California’s oldest continuously operated family-owned winery. For 14 years, she served as vice president of sales, overseeing half the country. Her primary role, and one of her passions, was leading teams to success and articulating next steps. On the business side of the equation, she focused on sales goal achievement, analysis of sales data, accessing opportunities, forming in-depth financial strategies and creating pricing and programming. Fortunately, another great passion (and the most fun) was found in sharing her knowledge of wine with friends and consumers from around the country. In March 2023, Epp chose to move on from a full-time career to focus on other pursuits, the most important being conservation (she is co-chair and founder of Save Our Rox, in Roxborough Park Colorado). While earning her communications and business degrees at Purdue University, she credits her time as an RA at Windsor’s Warren Hall as her first opportunity to be a leader.

Epp will be joined by her two nieces who recently graduated from Purdue – Sheila Swibes, Bachelor of Science Marketing ('18), and Julia Swibes, Bachellor of Arts Public Relations & Advertising ('21).

TOPIC AREAS: Leadership, Women in Business, Finding Your Passion, Work Life Balance, Being Respectful Fearless and Open, Sales Marketing & Communication, Fitness to Survive and Thrive, Conservation