Cargill VP serves as COBE's executive in residence
Radford University's College of Business and Economics (COBE) continued its new Executive in Residence program last week, hosting Sreeram Reddy for meetings and classroom discussions with students and faculty.
Reddy, a vice president at Cargill, Inc., leads the company's global oils and liquid products division through directing and developing relationships with the McDonald's Farm to Fork campaign, which spans 70 countries.
While on campus, Reddy spoke at a COBE luncheon on Oct. 3 about "Innovating to Help Customers Thrive." Over the next two days, Reddy met with students enrolled in courses in global business strategies and innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as economics and finance classes.
Following a class presentation, Reddy said he found RU students eager to learn. "The classes are engaged, and I was impressed with them, very impressed that they ask very insightful questions. I was encouraged by them," he said.
Reddy said his mission through the Executive in Residence program was to "give the students a message on how to improve their overall skills, how they can increase their leadership skills and encourage them to continually work on their communication skills and creativity."
Management Associate Professor Steve Childers invited Reddy to speak with two of his classes in hopes of providing his students "an opportunity to see the application of entrepreneurship and innovation principles in action," Childers said. "Further, they were able to interact with an innovator at one of the world's largest, high-performing firms. Definitely an opportunity to learn about industry best practices."
Prior to his current position at Cargill, Reddy served as director of technical service and product development at Tate and Lyle in Decatur, Illinois. There, he led the technical services function for the company's $1 billion food ingredients business. Previously, Reddy served as a senior research scientist and manager in analytical services at ConAgra Foods, supporting such brands as Tropicana and Butterball.
Reddy holds a Ph.D. in food chemistry from Michigan State University and an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
The Executive in Residence program is designed to bring to campus CEOs and senior executives who best represent COBE's strategic initiatives of innovation and analytics. Participating executives will engage with students, faculty and the campus community through such opportunities as classroom sessions and lectures, one-on-one meetings and campus-wide forums.
"Beyond reinforcing curriculum, the COBE Executive in Residence program has provided our students and faculty an opportunity to interact with world-class business leaders. These experiences will be beneficial to students as they leave RU and begin their careers," Childers said. "No longer will their first interaction with the real world be at that all-important first interview with the firm of their dreams. They will be more comfortable and at ease, more apt to demonstrate their true capabilities."