Four outstanding Mountaineers were inducted into the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics’ (B&E) prestigious Roll of Distinguished Alumni in October.
This year’s inductees were James R. Lynch, Senior Vice President, Supply Chain, PepsiCo Americas Beverages, Geneva, Il.; William M. Sheedy, Executive Vice President, Visa, San Mateo, Calif.; D. Stephen Walker, retired President and Chief Operating Officer of Walker Machinery, Belle, W.Va.; and Samuel Weese, retired President and CEO of The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pa., and former West Virginia Insurance Commissioner, Wayne, Pa.
“These four inductees are outstanding individuals in our alumni community,” said Jose “Zito” Sartarelli, B&E Milan Puskar Dean. “They have made amazing contributions in their professional and personal lives, and they exemplify the kind of world-changing graduates we tell our students they can be.”
James “Jim” Lynch, a 1984 marketing graduate of B&E, is a 30-year veteran of PepsiCo. He is accountable for all manufacturing, logistics, engineering, planning and integration for PepsiCo Americas Beverages, including Pepsi Beverages Company, Gatorade, Tropicana and Naked Juice. He is also responsible for the company’s hot-fill strategy in Latin America and franchise operations in Central and South America. He is currently a member of Accenture’s Chief Supply Chain Officer Network and Chairman of the B&E Supply Chain Advisory Board.
William “Bill” Sheedy is a 1988 finance graduate who leads Visa’s corporate strategy and mergers and acquisitions efforts, global policy and government relations, and oversees strategic initiatives for the company, including Visa’s relationships and interests in Europe. He has been with Visa since 1993 and previously served as Group President, Americas and oversaw Visa’s business in North, Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean. Before that, he served as President of the company’s North America region, where he was a dominant player in Visa’s successful initial public offering in 2008.
D. Stephen Walker is a two-time WVU graduate, earning his marketing degree from B&E in 1967 and also a law degree in 1971. A Charleston, W.Va., native, he joined the family business of Walker Machinery in 1971. Walker Machinery is the Caterpillar, Inc., dealer for western West Virginia and southeast Ohio. He held positions in sales, marketing and corporate administration before becoming President and Chief Operating Officer in 1983, a position he held until the sale of the business and his retirement in 2010. Walker was also a member of the West Virginia Army National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve. He was a member and a former chairman of the WVU B&E Visiting Committee.
Samuel H. Weese is a Morgantown native and two-time B&E graduate, having earned a general business degree in 1957 and an MBA in 1962. Between degrees, Weese served in the United States Air Force as an officer and flew as an aircraft navigator in the Air Defense Command. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in business and applied economics with a specialization in insurance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. His 37-year career included academia, government and business. In 1969 Weese was named West Virginia Insurance Commissioner, a position he held for six years. He taught at several universities and in 1988 became the president and CEO of The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, a distance education institution for those in the financial services industry. He retired from this position in 2003.This is the fourth class to be inducted into the B&E Roll of Distinguished Alumni. The award was initiated in 2011 to commemorate B&E’s 60th Anniversary Celebration. Nominees must meet specific criteria: in addition to being an alumni of the College, they must be at least 10 years post-degree, and have distinguished themselves by success in business or life at the regional, national or international level. Inductees are representative of the tremendous successes of B&E’s graduates.