Spring 2017

Lorna Utley


BS Industrial Management, MS Industrial Relations (Purdue University)

Lorna Utley is a highly accomplished chief executive officer, thought leader, and seasoned board member with almost 30 years of experience growing both for-profit enterprises and non-profit organizations.

Currently, Lorna serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer for Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit which is the largest in the state and generates annual gross revenues of $37 million. Previously she spent the bulk of her career at General Motors in executive leadership positions including human resources, marketing, and president of the GM Foundation. Lorna is a sought after speaker and author having been featured as a Purdue Old Master, having spoken at the Krannert Executive Forum, and having spoken at numerous engagements in the Detroit area as well as having been featured in Hour Magazine, Corp. Magazine, and Krannert Executive Forum publications.

TOPIC AREAS: Leadership Skills, Organizational Development, Nonprofit Management, Industrial Management, Automotive Industry, Governance of Nonprofit Board, Building Teams


Emily Liggett

Emily Liggett, CEO, NOVATORQUE

BS Chemical Engineering (Purdue University), MBA and MS Manufacturing Systems Engineering (Stanford University)

Emily Liggett has an entrepreneurial spirit and is passionate about growing businesses through developing and launching new classes of technology-based products (self-limiting heaters, resettable fuses, touchscreens, and clean gas turbines, to name a few). Currently Emily is the CEO of NovaTorque, a high efficiency electric motor company. In addition, she loves applying creativity and problem-solving skills on both for-profit and non-profit organizations, in her community, and at home.

TOPIC AREAS: Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Career Planning, Networking, Interviewing from a Manager Perspective, Leadership Challenges

Dr. Dave Liggett

BS of Agriculture in Animal Science, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (Purdue University) and MBA (Stanford University)

Dr. Liggett has served in a variety of capacities in numerous locations across the United States and the world. He first practiced as a veterinarian before shifting his focus to veterinary pharmaceuticals and educating farmers around the world on proper techniques and applications for veterinary pharmaceuticals. Dr. Liggett then shifted careers yet again and currently teaches STEM education in schools located in underserved communities. Dr. Liggett is a prime example of being a lifelong learner and allowing his passions to guide his career choices.

TOPIC AREAS: Veterinary Medicine, Running a Small Business, Changing Careers, Transition from Technical to Business, Education and the Teaching Profession, STEM Fields


Gary Hobbs


BS and MS Electrical Engineering (Purdue University) and MBA Finance (University of London)

Gary Hobbs is an entrepreneur and former corporate executive with extensive experience in real estate, technology, and healthcare. Currently he is the CEO of Black and White Investments (BWI), a company he founded in 2005 to develop property for multi-family use in urban areas within Indiana. Currently BWI has eight tax credit projects with one project receiving the Indianapolis Sustainability Award from the Mayor in 2014. Gary is also a business consultant and previously worked at AT&T, Eli Lilly, and Roche Diagnostics. In addition, Gary is a sought after speaker, public leader, and is passionate about serving the community through many venues including the Boy Scouts of America, Indiana Black Expo, and Indiana Career Council.

TOPIC AREAS: Construction Management, Finance, Engineering, Social Responsibility while being Profitable, Business for the Social Good