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Professional Development Speakers
2016-2017 Guest Speakers
Rod Whitson currently serves as Chairman and CEO of Bankers Mortgage Corporation in Overland Park ,Kansas. Bankers Mortgage is a wholly-owned subsidiary the Bankers Bank in Oklahoma City where Rod also serves as an Executive Vice President. The mission of Bankers Mortgage is to help community banks be successful again in the mortgage business, especially with Millennials. Bankers Mortgage’s innovative programs give community banks the capability to offer their customers a full range of mortgage products while shifting most of the compliance burden and buy back risk to Bankers Mortgage. The company offers mortgage technology solutions on par with industry leaders like Quicken Loans and Guaranteed Lending. Bankers Mortgage currently serves banks in eight states and closes loans in 38 states.
Prior to that Rod served as President of Bank2 in Oklahoma City. Rod led all strategic growth initiatives of the bank. He formulated a financial performance improvement plan and executed a successful growth strategy leading to a seven-fold increase in profitability. Bank2 was recognized by ABA as #1 in 2010 and #3 in 2011 for ROE among peers. The bank became the nation’s leading Native American home lender. The bank doubled its customer base and expanded to 48 states in six years.
Earlier bank related positions include AVP – Financial Accounting at Bank of Oklahoma, VP/CFO at Oklahoma National Bank and VP of Strategic Planning at First Interstate Bank.
2015-2016 Guest Speakers
Michael Tapley is currently a member of the United States Foreign Service. During his tenure he
has held positions in Mumbai, India; Manila, Philippines; and is most recently serving
as a special assistant to the Secretary of State, John Kerry in Washington, D.C.
At OSU, Michael earned a BS in International Business, a BA in French, and an MBA. During his undergraduate studies he spent a year in Strasbourg, France as an exchange student.
After two years of language training, Michael’s next assignment will be the management officer for the U.S. Consulate in Osaka, Japan.
Thomas Miller is a Bloomberg Government diplomatic and international business lead. Miller received
a bachelor’s in history from Yale University and a master’s in economic history from
London School of Economics and Political Science.
Lessons Learned from Personal Career
Charles Gordon is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Aegion Corporation and has held this position
since 2014. Before being appointed his current position, Gordon served on the Aegion
Board of Directors and was the CEO of Natural Systems Utilities, LLC.
Making Things Happen
Ann Dyer is an alumna of Oklahoma State University. Dyer received both a Bachelor of Science
in Business Administration and an MBA in Finance from OSU. Dyer currently works as
a managing director for Accenture and has worked for the company for 28 years.
Driving Change Within a Company
Ambassador Tanranjit Singh Sandhu is the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of India in Washington, D.C. Before
his current title, Ambassador Sandhu served as the Counsel General of India in Frankfurt
for two years.
Matt O’Brien is an Oklahoma State University MBA graduate for the class of 1983. O’Brien was recognized
in 2014 as one of the Spear’s School Tribute: 100 for 100 honorees. After a 30 career,
O’Brien retired in 2012.
Topic: Managing Careers
Lynne Felix and Nancy Muller are both employees of Sandia National Laboratories. Felix works as a project lead
for the company while Muller is a recruiter for Sandia. As a part of their careers,
the two utilize opportunities to speak to young professionals.
Topic: The Compound Effect
Ravi Chandra is a quality assurance analyst for Power Cost Incorporated. In 2011, Chandra graduated
from Oklahoma State University with a master’s degree in industrial engineering and
Topic: Job Search Process
Jennifer James is the vice president of GfK Roper Consumer Trends, the fourth largest market research
company in the world. As an alumna from OSU, James received a bachelor’s degree in
international business from the Spears School of Business. She also has an MBA from
Thunderbird Global School of Management.
Topic: Marketing Research
Venkat Tadanki is the cofounder of Daksh, one of the largest independent IteS companies in India,
and CEO and board member of Service is our Core Value (SECOVA). Tadanki received a
bachelor’s degree in economics from St. Stephen’s College and an MBA from the Indian
Institute of Management, Calcutta.
Topic: International Business
Jay Rao is the senior program manager for Communications Test Design, Inc. and currently
serves as a strategic advisory board member for Turnsmith, Inc. Rao received his bachelor’s
degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from
Wake Forest University School of Business.
Topic: Balancing School and Life