Thursday October 27, 2011

Better Leaders, Better World

Business as a Calling symposium features the head of a global company helping corporations improve the strength and quality of executive leadership.

The head of a global leadership solutions company that helps corporations strategize, select and develop leaders who drive change and elevate performance will speak on "Better Leaders, Better World" during the University of Dayton's eighth annual Business as a Calling symposium.

R.J. Heckman, president and CEO of PDI Ninth House, has been named executive-in residence for the event and will speak at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, in the Kennedy Union Ballroom. It's free and open to the public.

PDI Ninth House works with corporations across the globe to maximize their success by improving the quality and strength of their leaders. The consulting company works with about 80 of the Fortune 100 firms in the U.S. and about 75 of the Forbes Global 100 companies.

In addition to leading the company, Heckman, who earned a Ph.D. in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Tulsa, specializes in selection, development, performance management and succession planning.

Heckman is the son of Cay Shea Hellervik, a 1964 University of Dayton graduate, who serves on the University's College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Board. Cay Shea Hellervik is married to Lowell Hellervik, co-founder of PDI Ninth House.

Brother Victor Forlani, S.M., director of the University's Center for the Integration of Faith and Work, said Heckman was selected because he has demonstrated integrity throughout his career.

"In the businesses he has led and in the consulting work he has done for major corporations, Dr. Heckman has emphasized that you can do well financially by serving your customers and the needs of society," Forlani said.

The two-day symposium is sponsored by the center to bring the spirit of the University's Catholic, Marianist heritage to business education. The center's goal is to help students connect the pursuit of career success with values and spirituality to find deeper meaning in their work.  

Forlani said the center emphasizes interactive opportunities so students can learn about real-world situations from business people who have faced those challenges.

"The Business as a Calling symposia and our Walk the Talk luncheons, as well as executives who share their experiences with our business students, provide invaluable opportunities for our students to engage with working business people on issues of business ethics and civic responsibility," he said.

Forlani, who also serves as Marianist-in-residence for the School of Business Administration, teaches the "Principled Organizations: Integrating Faith, Ethics and Work" course required for all MBA students. He also organizes six "Walk the Talk" sessions each semester for students and local business leaders around the issues of faith and ethics.  

The symposium is co-sponsored by the center and the Jacobs Seminar on Professional Ethics in the University’s College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to the Thursday lecture, University students will have several opportunities to interact with the guest speaker.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, executive director of news and communications, at 937-229-3257 or