Alumni Success Profile

Dennis Braun

Senior Vice President, Corporate Controller
Cardinal Health in Dublin, OH

What was the year of your graduation from the SBA?

I was graduated from the University of Dayton way back in 1986 with a major in Accounting and minor in Computer Science. In 1997, I earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

What is your success story?

I started with Price Waterhouse as a staff accountant upon graduation from Dayton and worked my way up to audit partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers with a focus on high technology (NCR in Dayton was a major client), healthcare and telecommunications industries.  I am convinced that I would not have been admitted to Harvard Business School without the outstanding recommendation from my mentor, Dr. Ron Burrows, UD Accounting Department Chairman during my time at UD.  I subsequently became the CFO of both private and public companies, including Mettler Toledo, a Fortune 1000 global weighing and lab instruments company based in Zurich, Switzerland (where we lived for three years).  I have spent the past 10 years at Cardinal Health in a variety of Finance leadership roles.

What did you learn as a UD business student that helped you succeed?

A business background at Dayton becomes the foundation to build a rewarding career regardless of the path your profession takes.  Specifically, I would highlight:

  • Accounting is the “Language of Business” – Understanding accounting for complex items and having the ability to simplify and explain this to business leaders is a truly unique skill.
  • Business foundation provides a plethora of professional options – Whether you want to be a general manager, sales leader, operations leader, legal leader or CFO, you have to understand the numbers.
  • Business foundation is strategic – Being a finance leader gives you a seat at the table for defining and implementing strategy.  Mergers, due diligence, negotiating deal points, and talent selection and development often have roots in business learnings.
  • Take calculated risks and don’t be afraid to fail – You never want to look back and say “what if.”   Be resilient and learn from each failure.

Why do you love UD?

I have now come full circle as my daughter, Rachel Braun, is a senior biology major at UD and loves it as much as I did.  Watching her journey has made me appreciate just how special mine was. I would highlight three enduring traits of UD.

  1. Faith – Everything starts with our Marianist heritage and a foundation of faith.
  2. Family – The UD community is truly a family who looks after each other and the broader community.
  3. Loyalty – UD alumni are extremely supportive and loyal to our great school, as witnessed first-hand during the NCAA basketball games the last two years.