The Wisconsin School of Business will recognize notable alumni for their accomplishments during its annual gala and awards ceremony on October 11 at Grainger Hall.
Award winners include the founder of Sconnie Nation Troy Vosseller; founders of the school’s Accenture Leadership Center (ALC) Jim Wierzba and John Leffin; and retired manager partner of EY (formerly Ernst & Young) Howard Carver.
Vosseller will receive the Young Business Alumnus Award, which recognizes recent graduates who have achieved early notable success in their careers.
Jim Wierzba and John Leffin, along with Todd Watchmaker, Jay Luttrell, and Brad Olsen, will receive the Shape the Future Volunteer Awards, which recognize alumni and friends who have given time and expertise to help create transformational experiences for Wisconsin School of Business students.
Carver is the recipient of the Distinguished Business Alumnus Award, which recognizes graduates of the Wisconsin School of Business who achieve outstanding success in their careers and have given back in meaningful ways to the community and University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.
More information about the award recipients is included below:
Troy Vosseller (BA ’06, MBA ’09, JD ’10) is the founder of the apparel company Sconnie Nation. Troy recently extended the Sconnie brand into beer by releasing Sconnie Beer.
Most recently, Troy founded gener8tor, a Wisconsin-based angel investment fund and startup business accelerator that incubates seed companies and accelerates them into successful businesses. To date, gener8tor has invested into 18 technology-enabled startups.
John W. Leffin is a retired partner with the global consulting firm Accenture. During his career, he held a number of global and national leadership positions in the change management and human performance practices. He was also the lead partner on a number of large multi-billion dollar global accounts, with a focus in the consumer products industry.
In 2006, John and Jim Wierzba, along with former Accenture partners, launched the Accenture Leadership Center (ALC) at the Wisconsin School of Business. He currently serves as a member of the board of trustees of Halftime and chairman of the board of Mission of Hope, Haiti.
Jim Wierzba (BA ‘75, MBA ’79) is a retired Accenture partner who earned his BA and MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jim, along with John Leffin and several former Accenture partners, founded the Accenture Leadership Center (ALC).
Todd Watchmaker (BBA ’82) is a partner with KPMG LLP, where he has been working for the past 28 years. Throughout his career, his practice areas have centered on financial services organizations, focusing on serving the tax needs of hedge funds, mutual funds, and private equity funds across the country.
Todd is currently completing a 12-year term as a board member of the Minnesota Zoological Society, where he held numerous roles including chair of finance, chair of strategic planning, and chairman of the board.
Jay Luttrell (MBA ’80) has had an extensive career in the consumer packaged goods and financial sectors. He started his career in marketing research at Clorox before moving to SC Johnson, where he spent 15 years, ultimately serving as director of the marketing research department. Jay moved to the Mead Johnson Division of Bristol-Myers to lead global insights, working extensively on business development in Asia and Latin America.
From there, he went on to a senior global insights role at Citigroup before joining an e-commerce startup that was incubated by Citigroup. For the past 10 years, Jay has managed his own research firm, GrowthSpeed Partners.
Brad Olsen has been active in the area of international real estate investment for more than 30 years. He serves as president of Atlantic Partners, Ltd., a company he founded in 1995. Prior to forming Atlantic Partners, Brad was a principal of Richard Ellis, Inc., where he served as the director of the firm’s investment advisory group, which advised domestic and international investors.
Brad is a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School. He is the author of numerous articles and is a frequent lecturer at leading professional conferences around the world. In 1983, Brad was invited to speak to the Real Estate Club at the Wisconsin School of Business, and he has been a regular visitor to Madison ever since.
Howard Carver is a retired managing partner of EY (formerly Ernst & Young), where he served for 35 years. Throughout his career, he was the co-chair of the firm’s International Insurance Industry Committee (1996-1999), director of Insurance Industry Operations for the eastern half of the United States (1989-1999), and managing partner of Audit Services for New England (1992-1994). He served as the chair of the Audit Committee from 2002-2013 and is currently the chair of the Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee for Assurant, Inc. He has also served on boards and committees for StoneMore Partners LP, Pinnacol Assurance, Phoenix National Trust, and Open Solutions, Inc.
Howard is passionate about giving back to the community and is involved with many non-profit and local organizations, including the United Way, Junior Achievement, Easter Seals, the Saint Francis Foundation, the Wadsworth Atheneum, and Boy Scouts of America.