Kentucky Wesleyan College’s annual Spring Commencement will take place on Saturday, April 29, at 10 a.m. at the Owensboro Convention Center. This year’s event will allow graduates and their guests to celebrate the beauty of the downtown riverfront and the College’s collaborative relationship with the City of Owensboro and Daviess County. Brian Kelley, a highly-respected consumer products executive and former chief executive officer, president and director of Keurig Green Mountain will address the Class of 2017. Mr. Kelley recently joined Lindsay Goldberg, a private investment firm in New York City, as a partner in January 2017. He is responsible for leading the firm’s global consumer products and services investment efforts.
“It was quite an honor to be invited to address the Kentucky Wesleyan College Class of 2017,” said Mr. Kelley. “Kentucky Wesleyan has a tremendous academic reputation, and President Bart Darrell is well-known for the creative and high-energy leadership he and his team have brought to the campus. I look forward to joining the Wesleyan community on this day of celebration, when we will send distinguished Wesleyan graduates into the world.”
Under Mr. Kelley’s leadership from 2012-2016, Keurig Green Mountain revolutionized coffee delivery systems and the company’s market share nearly tripled to reach more than 25 million homes while significantly improving financial performance, culminating with the sale of the company to JAB Holding Co. for $14 billion. He also spent six years with the Coca-Cola Company, most recently as president of Coca-Cola Refreshments, the company’s North American operations, with over $20 billion in annual revenue and more than 70,000 employees.
Mr. Kelley’s prior experience includes his appointment as president and chief executive officer of SIRVA, Inc.; president of Ford Motor Company’s $13 billion Lincoln/Mercury division; and a number of executive roles over his six years in the major appliance business of The General Electric Company, where he was a corporate officer. Mr. Kelley spent the first ten years of his career at Procter & Gamble in sales and brand management.
In addition to serving on the Keurig Green Mountain Board of Directors, Mr. Kelley serves on the board of AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the College of the Holy Cross Board of Trustees, and the board of Save the Children. He is a graduate of College of the Holy Cross with a B.A. in economics.
“Brian Kelley is one of the truly remarkable leaders in American business today,” said Wesleyan President Barton D. Darrell. “He is also a great example for our graduates of “The Wesleyan Way” principles of performing with honor and competing with integrity. Kentucky Wesleyan College is very grateful to Mr. Kelley for serving as our 2017 Commencement speaker.”