Soderquist Center Hosts Leadership Week

Siloam Springs, Ark. (February 17, 2005) — The Soderquist Center for Leadership and Ethics will host the fifth annual “Leadership Week” on the campus of John Brown University, Feb. 21-25. The week is highlighted by two speakers, Don Valencia, former vice president of research and development for Starbucks Co., and John Aden, president of Mac Tools. Valencia and Aden will be on campus Tuesday and Thursday, respectively. Each man will speak in the Cathedral of the Ozarks at 10:30 a.m. as part of the chapel program and at separate luncheon events. The luncheons are for area businesspeople, students and special guests by invitation only. Aden will also speak in two business classes and meet with construction management students at a special breakfast. “This week is an opportunity for the community and JBU students to consider today’s industry leaders and the impact faith has on their lives and work,” Wendy Soderquist, director of leadership development said. In 1992, Don Valencia sold his biomedical business and joined Starbucks as vice-president of research and development. During his seven-year tenure at Starbucks, Valencia developed a multi-million dollar Coffee Biotechnology Center at the corporate headquarters. Valencia left Starbucks in 1999 and became co-chairman of the Agros Foundation which works to break the cycle of poverty in rural areas of Central America. His efforts are now directed toward urban renewal projects, including mentorship and development of community living in the university district of Seattle. John Aden began his business career with Frito-Lay in 1990. He rose quickly to the executive level and was asked to be the president of then-flagging Mac Tools, a division of The Stanley Works. Under his hand, Mac Tools has experienced a dramatic turnaround. Aden considers "servant leadership" the key to his success. In addition to being a devoted family man to his wife and children, Aden has a keen interest in nurturing next-generation leaders. Located in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, the Soderquist Center for Leadership and Ethics was founded in 1998 in affiliation with JBU’s division of business and graduate business studies. The center exists to be a global resource that equips people in the corporate and non-profit world with the transforming power of ethical leadership. For more information on this event or others like it, contact Michael Smith at 479.524.7338 or smithmi@jbu.edu. John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked eighth by U.S. News & World Report in the Southern Region. JBU enrolls more than 1,900 students from 43 states and 39 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.