Nicholas Center Alumni Event Banner

Event Overview

Friday, October 19 | Madison, WI

We would like to invite all Nicholas Center alums to join the Nicholas Center Board of Advisors for an exciting day on Friday the 19th of October!

Key events for the day will include:

  • Welcome address by interim Albert O. Nicholas Dean of the Wisconsin School of Business Dean Barry Gerhart 
  • Keynote speaker: Peter Gunder, Chief Business Development Officer at American Family Insurance presenting “Tools to Drive Innovation: Lessons Learned from M&A and Venture Capital at American Family Mutual Insurance.” Peter provided a consulting project with the Nicholas Center recently and will comment on that experience.
  • State of the Nicholas Center by Director Brad Chandler and Academic Advisor Antonio Mello
  • 2nd year Nicholas Center students will present their fall consulting projects
  • Networking lunch with Nicholas Center students
  • Learn about the new Nicholas Center Analyst Development Program (for undergraduate finance students)
  • Networking cocktail reception for alumni, board members, and students

Who Is Invited?

  • Nicholas Center alumni – 249 alumni strong and growing each year!
  • Nicholas Center Board of Advisors –a diverse group of 30 advisors who are senior executives from a variety of businesses (e.g., financial services, banking, corporations, etc.)
  • Current Nicholas Center MBA students
  • New Nicholas Center Analyst Development students

Why Should I Attend?

This is a great opportunity to:

  • Reconnect with the Nicholas Center and learn about our exciting new initiatives that impact alumni.
  • Hear from a senior executive and innovation leader from American Family.
  • Meet the current Nicholas Center students, staff, and Board of Advisors.
  • Reunite with Nicholas Center alumni.
  • Understand the Nicholas Center strategy and goals.
  • See Nicholas Center students in action – both MBA students and undergrads!

Keynote Speaker: Peter Gunder

Peter Gunder 

Peter Gunder is the Chief Business Development Officer of American Family Mutual Insurance, a Fortune 350 company and a top ten US personal lines automobile and homeowners’ insurer.

Peter is a member of American Family’s senior executive team. He leads the company’s innovation programs; data science and analytics laboratory; acquisition and divestiture; and corporate venture capital efforts. He has served previously in a variety of executive officer roles overseeing corporate strategy, product management, and investments.

Before joining American Family, Peter was co-founder, chief investment officer and managing director of Cardinal Investment Advisors in Chicago. Previously, Peter helped build MMI Companies and led MMI’s initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Early in his career he held financial analyst roles at Procter & Gamble and Atlantic Richfield (BP plc).

Peter is a member of the Board of Directors of StartingBlock Madison, a collaborative environment of learning, mentorship and resources for entrepreneurs. He serves on the Board of Directors of start-ups in San Francisco, Chicago and Hong Kong.

Peter earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business (Booth). He is a Chartered Financial Analyst.


Friday, October 19 | Madison, WI

Time Event
8:30–9:00 a.m. Networking Breakfast
9:00–10:45 a.m.
  • Opening Remarks from interim Albert O. Nicholas Dean Barry Gerhart
  • Keynote Speaker Peter Gunder, Chief Business Development Officer at American Family Insurance: Tools to Drive Innovation: Lessons Learned from M&A and Venture Capital at American Family Mutual Insurance
  • State of the Nicholas Center
10:45–11:00 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m.–Noon MBA Student Project Presentation with Q&A
Noon–1:00 p.m. Networking Lunch
1:00–2:00 p.m. MBA Student Project Presentation & Analyst Development Projects with Q&A
2:00–2:15 p.m. Break
2:15–3:15 p.m. Board Meeting
4:00–6:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception


Friday, October 19 | Madison, WI

Gordon Commons
770 W. Dayton Street
Madison, WI 53706
Symphony Room/Second Floor

Parking Options
Lake & Johnson Ramp
University Square Parking
State Street Campus Garage

Hotel Accommodations

Guest can arrange for hotel accommodations for the night of Oct 19. Hotels DO NOT HAVE ROOMS Available for Homecoming Weekend.

The Graduate
601 Langdon St, Madison, WI 53703
608-257-4391 |

Double Tree
525 W Johnson St, Madison, WI 53703
608-251-5511 |


Please register NOW to attend the 2018 Alumni Event.


Lisa M. White
Center Coordinator