BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Six alumni of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business will be honored for professional achievement and volunteer leadership during the 2023 Kelley Alumni Awards Ceremony on Oct. 7 at IU Bloomington.
The Kelley Academy of Alumni Fellows recognizes alumni who have earned the stature of exceptional leaders by their demonstrated successes in organizations and their contributions to management philosophies and practices. This year’s class of fellows includes:
- Tom Cole, BS’82, retired co-head of U.S. Leveraged Finance at Citigroup Global Markets
- Yousuf Mahomed, MD, MBA’15, professor emeritus of surgery at the IU School of Medicine and co-founder, owner, and CEO of Mahomed Sales & Warehousing, LLC
- Deidra (Dee) Merriwether, MBA’97, chief financial officer at Grainger
- Michelle Wu, BS’01, senior vice president Core IT at Brenntag
The Distinguished Entrepreneur Award recognizes alumni who have demonstrated the ability to establish a new business or turn around or significantly grow an established business. This year’s award will be presented to Greg Oslan, BS’82, CEO of Arturo.
Derek Hicks, MBA’02, executive vice president & chief business officer at Intellia Therapeutics, will receive the Volunteer Leadership Award. He is recognized for extraordinary involvement with and investment in the Kelley School and for inspiring and impacting future generations of alumni leaders.
“It is an immense honor to celebrate the achievements of these exceptional alumni, who have positively impacted the global business landscape while promoting Kelley’s culture of collaboration and support,” said Ash Soni, dean of the Kelley School and The Sungkyunkwan Professor. “They embody the very essence of what it means to be a Kelley, and their journey from our classrooms demonstrates the transformative power of a Kelley education.”
The Kelley School of Business Alumni Association selects and confers members of the Academy of Alumni Fellows, which now includes 257 individuals. Read more about this year’s award recipients.
Cole retired from a 37-year career on Wall Street in 2021. He currently serves as managing partner and founder of Narrowgate Partners, a consulting and advisory firm. He is an author and will publish his book, “The Narrow Gate,” this fall.
He spent the last 11 years of his career in investment banking at Citibank, where he was co-head of the leveraged finance business for the U.S. and Canada. In this role, he was responsible for managing the origination, approval, and distribution of leveraged loan and high yield bond financings for large corporate issuers, including LBOs for the world’s largest private equity firms. His responsibilities also included leading the recruiting of analysts for all businesses within Citi Capital Markets; liaising with U.S. regulators from the Fed, FDIC, and OCC; serving on the Capital Commitments Committee and the Investment Banking U.S. Operating Committee.
Prior to Citi, Cole spent two-and-a-half years at HSBC, where he was hired to grow its leveraged finance business and was promoted to co-head of its commercial and investment banking business for the Americas. In this capacity, he oversaw the firm’s origination and product groups, including M&A and public and private equity and debt.
Prior to HSBC, Cole had a 20-year career with Deutsche Bank in investment banking, primarily in client service and origination, initially focusing on the Midwest region and then as head of the Chemical Industry group. He also spent two years in London in a risk management role, approving all transactions in the UK and Europe for corporate clients as well as distressed debt trading. He started the U.S. Leveraged Finance group in 2001, which he led until his departure at the end of 2007. Deutsche Bank was awarded the U.S. Leveraged Finance House of the Year by IFR Magazine in 2006.
Prior to Deutsche Bank, Cole spent three years at Continental Bank as an associate, and prior to that, he spent two years at General Electric in its Financial Management Program.
He is a board member and former chair of the New Canaan Society (a ministry serving men), president of Faith in Financial Services, a member of the Center for Being Known (psychiatrist Curt Thompson’s organization that facilitates connected communities), a member of the New York City Salvation Army, and an advisor for the DRM Foundation (promoting mental health among college students and young professionals).
While a student in the Kelley School, Cole was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity and captain of the Men’s Swimming team, through which he was an NCAA All-American and Big 10 champion. He received the Balfour Award given to one member of each sport for “outstanding performance and conduct.”
In 2012, the I Association awarded Cole with the ZG Clevenger Award, which is given to alumni who have made outstanding contributions through service to IU’s athletic program. In 2020, he received IU’s Bicentennial Award for his personal and professional efforts to broaden the reach of IU. He has served on the Kelley School Dean’s Council for more than 15 years, and the Cole family has funded scholarships for Kelley and IU Men’s Swimming.
Cole received an MBA in accounting and finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 1992. He is married to Kim, and they have three children and four grandchildren.
Mahomed is a cardiothoracic surgeon who owes his success to IU. He began his journey of exemplary medical leadership and entrepreneurial pursuit as a young cardiothoracic surgical resident at IU in 1979. His innate ability to develop a vision for achievement began with educational experiences on three continents.
Leaving his home in South Africa to pursue his passion for medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland, Mahomed received his Doctor of Medicine degree in 1970. His journey then took him to Canada, where he completed an internship at the University of Western Ontario. He completed a surgical residency at the University of Michigan St. Joseph. He continued his training with a residency in plastic surgery and a fellowship in surgical oncology at Case Western Reserve University. He later recognized that cardiothoracic surgery provided the best platform for innovation, scientific advancement, and patient care that are the hallmarks of a world-class surgeon.
He was invited to join the Indiana University School of Medicine faculty in 1981 and has been an active faculty member, researcher, and industry consultant for more than four decades. In 2014, he was honored with the title of professor emeritus of surgery.
Mahomed is a leading change agent in cardiothoracic surgery, always searching for ways to improve patient care. His contributions include authoring peer reviewed journal articles, bringing a physician MBA’s perspective to numerous hospital initiatives, innumerable industry consultations, and deep and meaningful participation in the leading cardiac surgery societies.
During his tenure, he has educated more than 100 cardiothoracic surgeons, who are now serving patients across the United States and abroad. In Indiana alone, his dedication to surgical excellence has improved and extended the lives of thousands of Hoosiers. For this, he was awarded in 2016 Indiana’s highest civilian honor, the Sagamore of the Wabash, by then Governor Mike Pence.
Mahomed graduated in the inaugural class of Kelley Physician MBA Program and has contributed extensively to the Kelley Indianapolis Dean’s Council for which he is a member of the Executive Committee and chair of the Business of Healthcare Committee. His contributions facilitated the introduction of the Business Scholarly Concentration Program, a partnership with the IU School of Medicine, and he reinvigorated the MD/MBA dual degree program. He also orchestrated a partnership between the Kelley School and the American Association of Physician Leadership, the premier organization dedicated to physician leadership.
He also is a business executive. He founded in 1997 and today serves as CEO of MSW, LLC, a successful supply chain integration company. This $100 million company serves iconic customers, such as Cummins, Eaton, and Harley Davidson. MSW has received accolades and awards for its advancement, contributions, and efficiency management in the supply chain industry.
Merriwether is the senior vice president and chief financial officer of W.W. Grainger, Inc., a $15.2 billion leading broad line distributor with operations primarily in North America, Japan, and the United Kingdom. She oversees the company’s financial activities, including controllership, treasury, financial analysis, investor relations, internal audit, tax, and financial operations. She also is responsible for Grainger’s corporate strategy, analytics, real estate, and operations in the UK under the Cromwell brand.
Before becoming CFO in 2021, Merriwether served as senior vice president and president, North American sales and services. She was responsible for sales, inventory management solutions, and customer engagement strategies in Canada, Latin America, and the United States. She also served as senior vice president, direct sales and strategic initiatives and led the U.S. sales team, pricing strategy, and gross margin optimization.
In 2017, Merriwether developed and launched Grainger’s new pricing strategy, reinvigorating the company’s relationships with large and medium customers. She joined Grainger in 2013 as vice president, finance, Americas, leading financial planning and analysis for Canada, Latin America, and the United States.
She is an accomplished leader with more than two decades of management, operations, and financial experience. She started her career as an engineer and production leader at Eli Lilly and gained valuable finance and M&A experience at Isiah Investments and PricewaterhouseCoopers. She held both general management and financial roles of increasing responsibility at Sears Holdings, departing as chief operating officer in 2013.
Merriwether earned an MBA in finance and operations management from the Kelley School and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from North Carolina A&T State University. While at IU, she was a member of the Kelley Dean’s Council and the Women’s MBA Advisory Board. She is also a graduate of the Executive Accounting Program at the University of Texas, a fellow of the CEO Perspectives at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and a participant of the CFO Leadership program at Harvard Business School.
She previously served as chair of the Finance and Investment Committee for the March of Dimes. Currently, she is a member of the Weyerhaeuser Board of Directors, the world’s largest timberland operator. She supports her passion for children’s health and leadership development as a member of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital Board, Women Corporate Directors, and The Chicago Network. She shares her experience and knowledge as a speaker for both student and alumni events at IU, North Carolina A&T State and across numerous other industrial, financial, and supply chain-related organizations.
Wu is chief digital data technology officer at Brenntag SE, based in Germany. She leads global technical functions and is responsible for deploying Brenntag’s digital business enterprise architecture and strengthening core foundation, while positioning Brenntag as a frontrunner in digital and data to connect supply partners and customers.
Prior to joining Brenntag, Wu was the executive director and chief information officer at Ingram Micro Inc for APAC, based in Singapore, where she made an impact driving customer experience through B2B/2C and Go-To-Market capabilities. She also held various leadership roles in her 19 years at General Electric Company, where she supported businesses to achieve growth objectives, productivity, performance improvements, and operational efficiency.
Wu is a sought-after speaker, contributor, and expert in the fields of technology, innovation, and advancing women. She is frequently included in industry lists and honors for women in IT. She was named one of the 2012 CIO.com ASEAN’s top 75 CIOs and was named CIO of the Year in 2012 for Asia in the Women in IT Awards Series.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer information systems and business process management from the Kelley School and an MBA in finance and marketing from Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business. She is a certified professional coach with International Coach Federation ACC credentials and is a certified 200-hour yoga instructor.
As an alumna, Wu has been very supportive of the Kelley School. She funded an endowed scholarship for women in tech, and she’s a volunteer. She has also served on the Board of Advisors for IU Ventures.
Oslan has a proven track record of leading high-growth businesses from inception through exit in the artificial intelligence/machine learning, cybersecurity, and information technology markets. He’s raised hundreds of millions in capital from a variety of venture, private equity, and debt sources, and he has been instrumental in various government initiatives.
Prior to joining Arturo as CEO, Olsan served as chairman and CEO of multiple companies, including Narus, Fixmo, Risksense and Wireless Online. In addition, he led the commercial efforts in standing up the Defense Innovation Unit in Silicon Valley and the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center at the Pentagon.
He is an advisor to RazorsEdge and ForgePoint Capital venture funds as well as ManTech International, where he provides advisory and business transformation consulting. He serves on the board of directors for BlackLynx Technologies and is an advisory board member at Raytheon Corporation, Anomali, Acalvio, RiskSense, and Klattworks. He has also advised the chief information officers of the U.S. departments of Defense and Homeland Security. Additionally, he is the founding and managing partner at OSG Consulting.
In addition to a bachelor’s degree from the Kelley School, Olsan received an MBA from the Northwestern Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He is a Kelley School donor, speaker, and board member of the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship.
Derek Hicks is the chief business officer for Intellia, a leading clinical-stage genome editing company, developing novel, potentially curative therapeutics leveraging CRISPR-based technologies.
Hicks brings more than 25 years of combined business leadership and biotechnology experience to Intellia. As chief business officer at Intellia, he is responsible for overall corporate strategy, portfolio planning, and developing new business and strategic partnerships.
Prior to Intellia, Hicks served as head of business development at Spark Therapeutics. While at Spark, he was responsible for business development strategy, search and evaluation, licensing, and key partnership activities. Prior to this role, Hicks spent 18 years at Pfizer in a variety of business and corporate development roles culminating with his position as vice president, corporate development and world-wide business development.
He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Connecticut and an MBA from the Kelley School.