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School of Business & Technology Advisory Board

Collaboration for Success: Business and Technology Leaders + Capella University

The Advisory Board serves as a brain trust for leaders and key decision makers within the School of Business and Technology. Composed of leaders and influencers within a wide expanse of industries and functional areas, the board provides insights into the skills, competencies and hands-on learning experiences employees must have to successfully meet the ongoing challenges of a dynamic employment market.

Our purpose

The purpose of the Business Advisory Board is to allow members to provide insights, input, and feedback on the skills that employers demand of business management and information technology learners.

The Advisory Board will help ensure that Capella University provides:

  • Academic offerings that are designed with relevant and meaningful curricular and non-curricular learning opportunities
  • High quality, relevant educational programing that is challenging, engaging, supportive, transformative, and diverse
  • Learners with the skills and experiences necessary to lead and contribute to their organizations and communities

Capella faculty working with the advisory board

The advisory board provides industry and practice-relevant insight to Capella University leaders and faculty to enact on the mission of the school to meet the needs found within business and technology. Capella leaders and faculty collaborate with board members to ensure curricula effectively build the competencies needed in today’s complex business environment.

In addition, the interactions between the board and Capella leadership and faculty ensure Capella’s programs are professionally relevant and provide the flexibility needed for learners to succeed in their educational programs, and have a positive impact on business outcomes.

Board Members

Elisa Bannon-Jones, MS

Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer
Frontier Communications

Elisa Bannon-Jones is Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer for Frontier Communications. She is responsible for developing and executing the human resource strategy in support of the overall business plan and strategic direction of the organization. The human resource group includes compensation and benefits, talent acquisition, performance and development, labor relations, and general human resources.

Prior to joining Frontier Communications in 2016, Bannon-Jones served in human resources, sales and operations leadership roles at The Budget Group, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Brightstar Corp.

Bannon-Jones earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Leadership and a Master of Science in Higher Education, specializing in Adult Education, from Capella University. She has certifications from the Kellogg Strategic Human Resources program, Cornell Women in Executive Leadership, and a Master of Human Capital Strategist Designation in Organizational Effectiveness from the Human Capital Institute.

She is a member of the Consero Talent Management Advisory Board and the Capella University School of Business and Technology Advisory Board.

Sarah Mignona Cote

Former CTO Identity Access Management and Security
AIG

Experienced chief information security officer with a demonstrated history of performance across insurance, health care and large financial institutions. Currently a chief technology officer leading security services and identity and access management. Skilled in cybersecurity, enterprise risk management, vulnerability management, internal audit, IT strategy, and leadership. 

Offering over 25 years of securing and improving technical operations for companies such as AIG, Aetna, Bank of America, PepsiCo, and Verizon Communications. Mignona Cote has led the development and execution of security solutions that improve international and global networks. Cote’s background encompasses payments within health savings and bank card services, securing transactions, and preventing fraud.

Strong technology professional with an MBA in Business and Accounting from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and undergraduate degrees in both computer information systems and Spanish.

Carolyn Jacobson

Chief Human Resources Officer
Fairview Health Services

Carolyn Jacobson currently serves as Chief Human Resources Officer for Fairview Health Services. In this role, Jacobson is responsible for all aspects of human resources, including talent recruitment and performance management, compensation and benefits, employee and labor relations, training and development, and human resources administration. She also serves as vice president of Human Resources Shared Services.

Prior to joining Fairview, Jacobson worked as a Global Organizational Effectiveness Leader at Honeywell. She has worked in organizational development and leadership development for more than 20 years, in a variety of industries and organizations.

Jacobson earned a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications from the University of Minnesota.

Roderick Jefferson

CEO
Roderick Jefferson & Associates, LLC

Roderick Jefferson currently serves as CEO of Roderick Jefferson & Associates, a community of sales enablement experts focused on helping clients navigate through complexity and define clear paths to success. The firm employs trusted solutions to decrease time to revenue and increase sales productivity. 

Before launching his own firm, Jefferson served as vice president of Global Enablement at Marketo, Inc., one of the largest marketing automation software companies in the United States, where he was responsible for setting the readiness framework and strategy to support the enablement plan across all corporate learning & development, professional services, customer support, and partner sales roles across all skills/knowledge disciplines.

Prior to joining Marketo, Jefferson spent 20 years building leadership experience within enablement organizations such as Oracle Marketing Cloud, Salesforce.com, 3PAR/HP, Business Objects, NetApp, PayPal, Siebel Systems and AT&T. This background includes experience in creating specialist sales productivity organizations responsible for the successful delivery of integrated cross-sell/up-sell methodologies, enablement, and sales execution programs.

Jefferson earned an associate’s degree from Merced College and a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications from Menlo College (Atherton, CA).

Beth Karlsson

Head of Business Human Resources
Pinterest

Beth Karlsson currently serves as the head of business human resources for Pinterest. In this role, Karlsson is responsible for the HR, recruiting and OD teams focused on the revenue management divisions for Pinterest, including sales, marketing, advertising, ad product and ad engineering, PR, finance, legal and the G&A functions. Accountable for the design and build of a growth-oriented talent strategy within a fast-paced, rapidly scaling, privately held organization.

Prior to joining Pinterest, Karlsson served in leadership roles for more than 13 years at Apple Inc., leading HR teams for Apple Retail representing more than 4,000 employees as well as building Apple Retail’s first performance management system enabling Retail’s tremendous growth.

In her last three years with Apple, she held a seat on the HR executive team with the responsibility of leading talent management supporting efforts to 150,000 employees globally.

Karlsson earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University of Dayton and holds a professional in human resources certification in human resources from the HR Certification Institute.

Dan McDermott, MBA

Director, Information Technology
Starkey Hearing Technologies

Dan McDermott is a director in the Information Technology group at Starkey Hearing Technologies. A business and information systems leader with over 25 years of experience in information technology, he has extensive experience with strategy development and execution.

Prior to joining Starkey Hearing Technologies, McDermott was with Regis Corporation where he was responsible for retail technology for over 6,500 locations in the US and UK and provided direction to approximately 3,000 additional franchise locations. Prior to Regis, McDermott was with US Bank where he developed and ran the bank’s business architecture practice. He has held senior roles in both the IT and business organizations of several leading financial services, consulting and retail organizations including work for Microsoft corporate, Allianz Life, Best Buy and Accenture.

McDermott earned a bachelor of science in business management & computer science from Saint John’s University (Minnesota) and master’s of business administration with a specialization in finance from the University of Oklahoma Price School of Business.

Kim Miller, MBA, FACHE

Kim Miller most recently served as the president and CEO of Beaver Dam Community Hospitals, Inc. (BDCH). Miller began her health care career as a registered nurse and completed a dual bachelor’s degree in health care administration and business at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, and a Master of Business Administration at St. Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. She has more than 20 years of experience as a hospital CEO, working for two of the largest faith-based national health care companies, as well as two independent systems, and served as CEO of BDCH for 12 years. Miller is certified in health care administration as a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and has been recognized with numerous awards including 50 Rural Hospital CEO’s to Know by Becker’s Hospital Review.

Miller believes in giving back to the local community through donation of time, talent and treasure, and serves on the Beaver Dam Economic Development Corporation Board, Beaver Dam Community Hospitals Foundation Board, and the Moraine Park Technical College Foundation Board. Miller also recently served as chair of the Vizient-Upper Midwest Region Board, and currently serves as vice chair of the Captis Business Development Committee of Vizient Upper Midwest. She is also a member of the Hospitals 100 advisory board, as well the American College of Healthcare Executives Journal of Healthcare Management editorial board.

William C. Prate, MBA

Director of Financial Planning and Analysis
Tennant Company

Prate leads Tennant Company’s Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis teams, providing leadership and financial support to the Tennant organization.

With experience in small and large organizations, Prate has a passion for the role finance plays as a strategic thought partner and investing in talent to drive business results.

Prior to his time at Tennant, Prate was at Summit Orthopedics standing up their FP&A functionality at the local Twin Cities Orthopedic group. Prate was also at Target Corporation for nearly a decade where he held various finance roles including direct support for IT, Healthcare and Treasury. During his time at Target Corporation, he also co-founded Target’s Finance and Accounting Development Program, designed to recruit and develop top talent in order to invest in Target’s long-term success.

Prate earned a bachelor of science in finance and economics from Winona State University and master’s of business administration from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management.

Brendon Schrader, MBA, MEd

Founder/CEO
Antenna

Brendon Schrader is the founder and CEO of Antenna, a Minneapolis-based marketing consulting company. Schrader’s insights on independent consulting and the changing nature of work, as well as Antenna’s unique business model have been highlighted in publications such as Inc. Magazine, Forbes, Fast Company and the Huffington Post.

Prior to founding Antenna, Schrader served in various roles with 3M, the University of Minnesota, Chicago Bulls and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Schrader earned an MBA from the Carlson School of Management, an MEd from the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development, and a degree in business administration from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He has also studied leadership, strategy, and innovation at Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.

Roy Skillicorn, MBA

Senior Director, HR
Cisco

Roy Skillicorn currently serves as Senior Director of HR for Cisco.  In this role, Skillicorn is responsible for ensuring Cisco’s services professionals have the skills and context needed to deliver extraordinary outcomes for their customers. Skillicorn focuses on helping individuals perform at their best, and studies and speaks on how individual strengths, great teams, and team-leader rituals impact performance.

Previously, Skillicorn spent 15 years as a Services General Manager, where he built, launched, and led global businesses for Cisco.

Skillicorn earned a bachelor's degree in electronics engineering from DeVry University and master’s of business administration from the University of Phoenix.

Julie Smolich, MBA

Senior Vice President
NMDP/Be the Match

Julie Smolich is the senior vice president of provider services at NMDP/Be the Match. She provides leadership and strategic direction to the teams focused on product and service delivery to transplant center customers and partners, as well as commercial entities leveraging NMDP’s vast capabilities.

Smolich is responsible for identifying and understanding market and customer needs and translating that into the development and implementation of new and/or improved services and solutions that will ultimately help more patients who may benefit from transplantation or other emerging cell and gene therapies.

She has extensive and varied experience in leadership roles, product/portfolio management, new product development, strategic planning, and process development and improvement.

Prior to joining Be the Match in 2017, Smolich spent 16 years at Capella Education Company where she held several leadership positions. Most recently, she was the vice president and general manager of a multimillion dollar business unit, where she led the innovation of a ground-breaking academic delivery model called FlexPath. Earlier in her career, she worked in the financial services industry at Piper Jaffray and EY.

Smolich earned her MBA from Capella University and holds a BS in Accounting from St. Cloud State University. She also earned her CPA early in her career (currently inactive).

Adrian Stevens

Vice President, Learning & Professional Development
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)

As Vice President of Learning & Professional Development at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Stevens is responsible for the enterprise-wide learning and development strategy, including leadership development, assessment, coaching, onboarding, professional skills, emerging technologies, functions, and compliance portfolios for HPE's people and people leaders.

Since the launch of HPE in 2015, Stevens has led the development of HPE’s leadership model, future skills, digital learning, culture activation, and people strategy.

Prior to the launch of HPE, Stevens led HP's Learning & Development separation management office, contributing to one of the largest and fastest corporate separations to-date and the successful stand up of learning ecosystems for both HPE and HP Inc.

Before pursuing a passion for people and a move to join Learning & Development, Stevens led business and go-to-market teams covering sales, marketing, and business operations within HP’s Enterprise, SMB & Consumer organizations.

Beyond HPE, Stevens is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Systems initiative focused on the Future of Education, Gender and Work as well as the WEF IT Consortium.

While residing in San Francisco’s bay area, Stevens has lived and worked in Europe, Asia, and the South Pacific, contributing to his belief in the strength of cultural diversity across global organizations like HPE.

John F. Thompson, MBA

Chairman, President and CEO
ShoptoCook, LLC

John Thompson currently serves as President, CEO and Chairman of ShoptoCook, LLC, the grocery industry's only digital marketing platform connecting in-store, web, and mobile into a seamless interactive experience. In this role, Thompson oversees all aspects of the company’s vision and strategic development.

Prior to ShoptoCook, Thompson was Vice President of Strategy and Retail Network Development for Insignia Systems, an in-store media and advertising company, where he managed the access to and growth of more than 20,000 retail locations. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Strategy of Inmar, Inc. where he led the strategy, development and acquisition to support Inmar’s entry into the retail digital marketing industry. Other experience includes leadership roles with Unicous Marketing, Valassis Communications where he was President and General Manager of Valassis of Canada.

Thompson earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from West Virginia Institute of Technology and a master’s of business administration from West Virginia University.

Linda Vytlacil, PhD

Dr. Linda Vytlacil is the President of Indicia Insight Science. Most recently, Dr. Vytlacil served as Vice President, Retail Data Science at Walmart Labs for Walmart Stores, Inc. In this role, Dr. Vytlacil led teams engineering intelligent systems that automate retail decisions across customer, pricing, marketing, store operations, and supply chain functions. Prior to joining Walmart, Dr. Vytlacil held leadership roles in marketing science, customer strategy consulting, and public policy economics.

Dr. Vytlacil earned a bachelor of arts degree from Anderson University, a master of arts in financial economics from Marquette University and a PhD in organization and management from Capella University.

Dr. Vytlacil serves on the Board of Directors for the INTEGRIS Health System in Oklahoma and the Marketing Science Institute in Cambridge. She services on the Marketing Science Advisory Board for the McCombs School, University of Texas at Austin MSBA, and actively mentors Women in STEM globally.

Capella School of Business and Technology Leadership

Julie Diekman, MBA

Vice President, Portfolio Strategy
Capella University

Julie Diekman is a vice president of portfolio strategy for Capella University. In this role, Diekman oversees portfolio product management and development. She also leads the Centers of Excellence for Capella’s undergraduate nursing and healthcare programs; Capella’s doctoral programs; and Capella University and Strayer University’s masters programs.

Since joining Capella in 2011, Diekman has held multiple roles in product management and leadership within a number of degree programs including nursing, health care, public health, human services, public administration non-profit management and public safety.

Her previous experience includes more than 10 years of marketing and sales with Ecolab, Inc.

Diekman holds a Master of Business Administration, Marketing from Capella University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management from Concordia University, St. Paul.

Jennifer Dixson Hoff, MS

Senior Vice President, Portfolio Strategy
Strategic Education, Inc.

Jennifer currently serves as Senior Vice President of Portfolio Strategy at Strategic Education, Inc., leading a team focused on growing new markets, developing collaborative partnerships, optimizing portfolio offerings, and streamlining productivity effectiveness to support SEI’s goal of building a world-class student-centric experience that provides economic mobility for graduates. Prior to this position, she was the General Manager of Capella's College of Nursing, Health, and Behavioral Sciences, providing executive direction over numerous professional disciplines which contributed to over 50% of the revenue for the University. Jennifer’s prior work experience includes executive positions at Target.com, Coach Leatherware and Dayton Hudson Corporation. She holds a BA in Business Administration/Financial Management and a MS in Leadership.

Jennifer currently serves on the board of Bloom Early Learning and previously served as vice chair and chair. In 2017, Jennifer was named as one of 50 honorees for the Women in Business award by the Mpls/St. Paul Business Journal, and in 2019 was invited by the publisher to be a member of the MSPBJ "100 Women to Know", an exclusive group of leaders in executive roles.

In 2019 Jennifer joined the NLN Foundation Advisory Council, the preeminent foundation for Nursing Education Initiatives, and will also begin her term as the chair of the scholarship committee for the Boyd/Midwest Family Foundation. She is a member of the Women’s Health Leadership Trust which recognized Jennifer in April of 2019 with an award for her work in the Twin Cities healthcare community.

Jennifer has been invited to speak nationally regarding her insights and research in the area of workforce development and education.

Constance St. Germain, EdD, JD

Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs
Capella University

Constance St. Germain, Ed.D., J.D. joined Capella University in 2017 as its Chief Academic Officer and Vice President of Academic Affairs. In 2019 she was appointed as Provost where she is responsible for leading the University in achieving superior outcomes and impact. In her position, St. Germain provides leadership, in collaboration with other university stakeholders, on all aspects related to accreditation, faculty affairs, institutional policy, curriculum & programs, academic success and assessment.

Prior to joining Capella, she was the Executive Dean for the College of Humanities & Sciences at University of Phoenix, where she had strategic, operational and P&L responsibility for faculty, students and ground campuses across the country and online. While there, St. Germain positioned the college as an incubator for continued growth and development to transform students into socially aware, critically thinking global citizens.

In addition to her academic career, St. Germain is a U.S. Army veteran, where she served as a major in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. While on active duty, she held assignments as an attorney at military posts including the 82D Airborne Division and XVIII Airborne Corps Fort Bragg, NC.

St. Germain has authored numerous articles, presented at national conferences and served as an expert in the media on a wide range of issues facing both the workforce and higher education related to leadership, gender equality, mental health, food security, student outcomes, humanities study, and the law.

She received her Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in higher education and organizational change from Benedictine University; her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Baltimore School of Law; and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from George Mason University. She is admitted to practice as an attorney in Vermont, Virginia and Maryland, as well as several federal courts. St. Germain’s research focus is on women and leadership.

Todd C. Wilson, PhD

Dean, School of Business and Technology
Capella University

Dr. Wilson recently joined Capella University as the new dean of the School of Business and Technology. In that role, Dr. Wilson is responsible for ensuring that the school delivers education to adult learners that engages them and helps them achieve their career goals.

Dr. Wilson has vast leadership experience in medical technology/medical device organizations, where his focus was on driving results and creating and developing high performing teams.  In addition to his business acumen, Dr. Wilson has experience in teaching and developing curriculum within higher education institutions. He earned a PhD in Global Leadership from Indiana Institute of Technology, holds an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University, and bachelors’ degrees in human biology and exercise science. 

Dr. Wilson is happily married to his wife of 17 years, Rae Anne. They have an 8-year-old son, Luke. In his spare time, he enjoys being with his son and coaching his basketball and baseball teams. He also enjoys spending time with his two dogs any chance he gets. His hobbies include traveling, reading, exercising, playing guitar, and golf.

Learn More About Capella's Business and Technology Programs

The School of Business and Technology at Capella University offers online doctoral, master’s, and bachelor’s degrees, in addition to graduate and undergraduate certificates, all designed to help advance professionals seeking to advance their careers in the fields of business and information technology.

Our mission is to educate adult learners using highly relevant curriculum and exceptional instruction to deliver competency-based learning, offering the potential for immediate impact on learners’ jobs while laying the foundation for addressing challenges throughout their professional careers.

The School of Business and Technology is committed to the continual integration of relevant theory with effective practice. Through the development of business, research, and information technology knowledge, our learners are uniquely equipped to be exceptional problem-solvers who make a positive impact in their organizations and society.

Take the next step

Picture yourself in a cap and gown, ready to take on what’s ahead. Get started on your journey now by connecting with an enrollment counselor. See how Capella may be a good fit for you, and start the application process.