2023 Cabot Executive in Residence:
Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer
Kraus-Anderson Construction Company
March 28, 2023
Memorial Student Center Great Hall
"Leading By Example"
Rich will discuss his journey and Kraus-Anderson's approach to being leaders not only in the industry, but in the community.
Rich, Stout Class of ’89, is responsible for leading the day-to-day operations of Kraus-Anderson Construction Company as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer, fostering a workplace environment that embodies our core purpose of Building Enduring Relationships and Strong Communities. Based in Minnesota, Kraus-Anderson is a general contractor/developer completing over $1 billion in construction projects each year throughout the country. He started his career in the engineering department of Hyatt Hotels and joined Kraus-Anderson as a project manager in 1992. In his tenure at Kraus-Anderson, he has managed major construction projects, including schools, healthcare, retail, hospitality, recreational, industrial, and residential projects. He is a skilled consensus builder, guiding forward momentum among clients, architects, engineers, subcontractors and financial entities. He works seamlessly with all stakeholders in order to ensure a successful experience for everyone in the company and the projects Kraus-Anderson constructs.
Developing a strong team and empowering others around him as leaders has been a passion of his during his career. As the company has grown, the team at Kraus-Anderson has focused on the future of their people by keeping relevant in technology, industry trends and training in order to be prepared for the never ending changes in construction.
Rich is currently a member of the National Builders Alliance, co-chair of the legislative committee of Associated General Contractors of MN, and serves on the Board of Cornerhouse, a child advocacy organization. He has served on the Woodbury Public Safety Board, Minnesota Construction Association, UW-Stout Industry Advisory Board, and UW-Stout Alumni Board. Rich is a past member of Allied Executives, the International Council of Educational Facility Planners, the International Council of Shopping Centers, and the Center for Educational Performance and Information (CEPI), a nationally active organization of educational professionals.
Rich resides in Woodbury MN and has 2 adult children. Michael, a US Naval Academy graduate currently deployed and Anna, a graduate of Tulane’s Freeman School of Business, currently working in the tech industry in New York City. In his free time he enjoys the outdoors, travel, boating and fitness activities.
Cabot Executive in Residence is a robust series of interactive events. If you know of someone who should be considered for a Cabot Executive residency, please contact the Stout University Foundation.
Past Cabot Executive in Residence Speakers
Dr. Ashok Rai
President and CEO
Leadership Resiliency and Plasticity During a Pandemic
DR. ASHOK RAI is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Prevea Health – a physician-led, multispecialty health care provider working in partnership with Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) hospital across Wisconsin. Dr. Rai’s passion to redesign health care in the U.S. embraces the movement from fee-for-service methods of payment to value-based care, which rewards health care organizations for their work in preventative health care and encouraging patients to live healthy lifestyles and not for the number of procedures they perform. Dr. Rai has also taken proactive steps to enhance diversity and inclusion efforts within the Prevea Health system, and equitable access to health care for all in our communities.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Rai has helped Prevea Health lead the way and set standards for high-quality, accessible, and innovative COVID-19 education, prevention, testing, treatment, and vaccination efforts across Wisconsin – all of which have garnered attention from local, state and national health care leaders and journalists. Dr. Rai is actively involved in his community and committed to make a difference on local, state, and national levels. He is a regent for the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, appointed by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers in April 2021. Dr. Rai also joined the American Medical Group Association Board of Directors in 2012 and served as Chairman in 2018.
Other roles held by Dr. Rai include Chairman of the Board of Weidner Center Presents in Green Bay; Chairman of the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon; member of the Board of Directors for the Automotive Gallery in Green Bay and Progress Lakeshore.; member of the Board of Downtown Green Bay, Inc.; and a member of the Chancellor’s Council of Trustees at UW-Green Bay.
Co-Founder and CEO
Sue Fuller has always had an eye for style and spent her entire career devoted to the business of fashion. It’s no surprise that after over two decades in the industry, she followed her dream and created her very own line called Oliver Thomas in 2018. In just four short months, she built a team and launched a collection of wearable, versatile, attainable, and incredibly fun bags and accessories that speak to the modern consumer.
Prior to launching Oliver Thomas, Fuller spent 20+ years as an executive for recognizable brands including Vera Bradley, Carhartt, Kohl’s, L.L. Bean, Lands’ End and Ralph Lauren. Over the course of her career, Fuller’s proven track record and leadership skills have contributed to record profitability, increased market share and global expansion. Sue’s ability to relate to consumer needs, identify growth opportunities, create focus around brand direction and deliver solutions has given her the tools and know-how for creating her own successful brand.
Since creating Oliver Thomas, Fuller and her bags have been featured in many top publications including Forbes, Time Magazine’s Motto website, US Weekly, Byrdie.com, WhoWhatWear.com, Elite Daily, Real Simple, Shape, Better Homes & Gardens, Travel & Leisure, JW Marriot Magazine, Access Hollywood, The Today Show and many more. Fuller resides in a suburb of Detroit with her two boys and her beloved shih tzu Oliver Thomas.
Watch Ms. Fullers's Keynote Presentation: Building a Better Bag Company
Cabot executive program to feature founder of handbag companyContinue Reading
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Denise Coogan, REM, CHMM
Manager of Environmental Partnerships
Subaru of America, Inc.
Denise Coogan (MA in Sustainable Development/Policy) is Environmental Partnership Manager at Subaru of America and is recognized as a leading zero landfill expert. She leads the company’s external environmental and sustainability programs, which include Subaru’s initiative to bring zero landfill to the national parks.
During her tenure at Subaru Indiana Automotive as Safety and Environmental Compliance Manager, Denise headed the plant’s zero landfill effort, which was achieved with the last waste shipment going to the landfill in May 2004. Because of her efforts, SIA is one of the most environmentally friendly auto manufacturing facilities in the world. Throughout her time at SIA, Denise advised more than 800 corporations on how to implement zero landfill best practices in their respective facilities.
Denise holds professional certifications as a Registered Environmental Manager (REM) and a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM). Her master’s thesis laid out the path a company needs to take to achieve zero-landfill.
Cabot executive on sustainability: You can make a difference
The seeds of Todd Wanek’s passion for furniture were planted in the mid-1980s. During high school and college, Todd worked in all aspects of the business including shipping, production line, machine maintenance, product design and engineering, finance, and global sourcing.
Shortly after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Technologies, he moved to Asia to serve as the general manager of Ashley Furniture Industries Taiwan. He continued to live and work in Asia from 1989- 1993, establishing and managing Ashley Furniture Industries business development in China, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, and Indonesia.
Todd returned to the U.S. in 1994, spearheading the purchase of an upholstered furniture manufacturing operation in Ecru, MS. At that time he assumed responsibility for Ashley Furniture Industries upholstery production as well as the company’s growing international operations. Two years later, Todd Wanek was promoted to Ashley Furniture Industries President and Chief Operations Officer, assuming responsibility for all of Ashley Furniture Industries worldwide operations.
By 1999, Ashley Furniture Industries was a major player in almost every product category and one of the best marketers in the furniture industry. Just three years later, Todd succeeded his father to become Ashley Furniture Industries Chief Executive Officer, a position he holds today. Todd is widely considered the industry’s foremost authority on international trade, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution.
Todd, through his leadership and vision, has been responsible for Ashley Furniture Industries sustained growth since he became CEO in 2002. Staying true to Ashley Furniture Industries vision, “We want to be the best furniture company, ” Todd continues to cultivate the company’s continuous improvement culture. Todd’s passion for improving Ashley Furniture Industries operations, products, and services is unrelenting to this day, positioning the company for continued growth into the future.
Dale Evans, President of EVCO Plastics since 1991, earned his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology from the University of Wisconsin Stout in 1973. His studies concentrated on Product Development, which was of particular interest to Dale. Since Dale took over running the day-to-day operations from his father, Don Evans, in 1981 EVCO has increased from 2 plants to 9 plants. He started a joint venture in China in 1987 and formed a joint venture in Mexico in 2001. Over the years, Dale has served on a number of different boards and committees in the community. They include the Advisory Board for the DeForest High School, Head of the Referendum Committee for the new DeForest Middle School, DeForest Area Chamber of Commerce Board Member, Member of the Optimist Club, Member of the Society of Plastic Engineers, Gold Metal Wrestling Club, Wrestling Coach for over 40 years, member of The Executive Committee (TEC) and board member for WMC (Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce).
EVCO Plastics was founded in 1964 by Don and Joan Evans, and operations began in the basement of the family home in Windsor, Wisconsin. Today, EVCO Plastics has 9 facilities in 3 different countries. EVCO Plastics provides a diverse array of products and services around the world. We’re involved in custom injection molding, product design and engineering and mold construction. EVCO Plastics has become a leader in the plastics industry and was awarded the 2015 Plastic Processor of the Year Award from Plastics News. Today, EVCO has over 1,000 employees. Over the years, EVCO has produced over 4,000 different products and has gained recognition for many product creations. We have earned a reputation for product quality, engineering excellence and timely product delivery. Our success is attributed to our employee’s commitment to continuous improvement and our willingness to undertake difficult molding projects that others consider impossible to produce.
2015 - Shelly Ibach, President and CEO of Select Comfort
Major General Marcia M. Anderson, U.S. Army
Brian Colianni, Director, Global Business Strategy, Ford Motor Company
Mark T. Hubler, President, U.S. Wine & Spirits, Open States & National Accounts, Diageo
Richard A. Pollock, President & CEO, Comprehensive Loss Management, Inc.
2013 – Kelly Matter, President, Resource, Inc.
2012 – William Hendricksen – CEO, Lineage Logistics, LLC
2011 – Stephen Marcus – CEO, Marcus Corporation
2011 – Joe Pregont, CEO Prent Corporation
2010 – William Flesch, Executive Vice-President, Gordon Flesch Company, Inc.
2009 – 25th Anniversary Celebration
Jake Leinenkugel – Leinenkugel Brewing Co.
John Leinenkugel – Leinenkugel Brewing Co.
Dick Leinenkugel, Secretary of Commerce, State of Wisconsin
Gail Prock - CEO, Pine Harbor Holding Co.
2008 – Robyn Waters, Trendmaster, President, RW Trend, LLC
2007 – World Presidents’ Organization:
Christopher (Kit) Dahl
Brian Colianni, Senior Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, Ford Motor Company
2006 – Claudia Knowlton-Chike, Director of Strategy & Business Operations, Motorola
2005 – Kevin Wilde, Chief Learning Officer, General Mills, Inc.
Dan Ariens, President & CEO, Ariens Company
2004 – Mary Jurmain, President, Realityworks
20th Anniversary of the Cabot Executive in Residence
Those returning were:
David Konkol, Konkol Homes – Cabot Executive, 1993
Mr. Erv Kamm, Pacal, LLC – Cabot Executive, 2002
Steve Hoisington, Johnson Controls, Inc. – Cabot Executive, 2003
Roy Bauer, PEMSTAR, Inc – Cabot Executive, 1991
Mark Burwell, Urban Hope Entrepreneur Center – Cabot Executive, 1993
2003 – Steve Hoisington, Vice-President of Quality, Johnson Controls, Inc
2002 – Ervin Kamm, President & CEO, Paper, Calmenson & Co.
2002 - Dwight Davis, CEO, Greenheck Fan Co.
2000 – Robert Kierlin, CEO, Fastenal Company
1999 – Margery Hughes, President & COO, LifeUSA – Holding, Inc.
1998 – Paul Baszucki, Norstan, Inc.
1995 – Mary Carter, Honeywell, Inc.
1995 – Sue M. Cox, McDonald’s Corp.
1993 – Mark Burwell, Putzers Menswear
1993 – David Konkol, President, David Konkol Homes, Inc.
1991 – Roy Bauer, IBM Corp.
1990 – Benjamin A. Miller, President, RTP Company
1989 – Richard Knowlton, President, George A. Hormel & Co.
1988 – Onthon Ruiz, Visa Group
1987 – C.R. Whitney, Allen Bradley
1985 – John D. Debbink, General Motors Corp.
1985 – Burnell Roberts, Mead Corp.
1984 – William Norris, President, Control Data Corp.