CSU’s 2013 Business Day Features Speakers ‘Defying All Odds’ April 3

Note to Reporters: Photos of the Business Day speakers are available with this release at www.news.colostate.edu

Colorado State University’s College of Business 2013 Business Day, Wednesday, April 3, will celebrate the fortitude and resolve of entrepreneurs and others who have succeeded in the face of tremendous obstacles. A half-dozen speakers will inspire the entire community with discussions revolving around this year’s theme: “Defying All Odds.”

This year’s event marks the 35th year that Colorado State University has hosted Business Day, a student-organized day dedicated to offering the community valuable insight and access to some of the nation’s leading business minds.

The day opens at 9 a.m. with Chris Hutchins, sourcing partner with Google Ventures and a CSU alum, and closes at 2 p.m. with Colorado outdoorsman and motivational speaker Aron Ralston – the subject of the Oscar-nominated film “127 Hours,” based on his book “Between a Rock and a Hard Place.” Throughout the day, participants will also hear from Luis Benitez, world-renowned high-altitude mountaineer and leadership development consultant; Dave and Gail Liniger, founders of RE/MAX Real Estate; and Hikmet Ersek, president and CEO of Western Union. All have overcome obstacles and will share their inspiring stories with students, faculty and staff as well as the Fort Collins community.

All presentations will be held in the Lory Student Center Theater on the CSU campus, at the times listed.

Business Day 2013 speakers
Prior to joining Google Ventures, Chris Hutchins ran business development at Milk, a mobile application development company, and was part of the business development team at SimpleGeo. He is the founder of LaidOffCamp, a movement to help the unemployed learn new skills for the evolving job market. Hutchins began his career as an investment banker in New York City for Allen & Company and later served as a management consultant at Monitor Group. Chris graduated cum laude from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in business administration. (9 a.m.)

Hikmet Ersek, president and CEO of The Western Union Co., has executive management responsibility for a global financial services network and powerful brand spread over 200 countries and territories. During Ersek’s tenure as CEO, which began Sept. 1, 2010, Western Union increased its retail money transfer business to more than 510,000 worldwide agent locations, expanded into electronic and mobile channels, added a global cross-border business, and broadened its financial services product line to include stored value cards/e-wallets and is working with global and regional partners to develop a suite of insurance services for underserved customers around the world. Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Ersek as 2012 Responsible CEO of the Year. (10 a.m.)

In January 2012, Dave Liniger developed the most septic case of staph infection his doctors had ever seen. Doctors lacked confidence in his ability to recover. Dave eventually slipped into a coma, and doctors advised the family to move him to a hospice. His wife Gail’s belief in Dave’s ability to recover and her unstoppable commitment to the company helped both Dave and RE/MAX prosper. Dave was released from a rehabilitative hospital on July 19, and he and Gail will share how they were able to overcome such adversity during their Business Day presentation. (11 a.m.)

Luiz Benitez has summited Mount Everest six times, including a 2001 expedition with blind athlete Erik Weihenmayer. Benitez conducts an annual “Leadership and Change Management through Mountaineering” seminar in Ecuador and Chile for the University of Pennsylvania‘s Wharton School of Business. Currently working with Learning and Development at Vail Resorts in Colorado, he looks forward to continuing to infuse his community with innovative leadership and human development programs. “Never be afraid to go out and find, engage, and summit your own Everest,” Benitez says. (noon)

Aron Ralston famously amputated his own arm in order to escape death in the Blue John Canyon of Utah after an 800-pound boulder pinned his arm against a canyon wall. Since the accident, Ralston has made television appearances with Tom Brokaw, David Letterman, and Jay Leno. He also continues to pursue his outdoor passions – he finished climbing all 53 “Fourteener” mountains of Colorado, skied from the summit of Denali, and led rafting expeditions in the Grand Canyon. (2 p.m.)

“Aron will tell his iconic story and give us insight on how his true values became evident during the incident and how he continues to live by these values,” said Ben Hilzer, Business Day chair for the Dean’s Student Leadership Council.
There is no charge to attend any of the Business Day events.

For more information about Business Day at the Colorado State University College of Business, go to http://biz.colostate.edu/newsEvents/Pages/eventDetails/businessDay13.aspx .