A Sweet Partnership: A Major Gift from Nestlé Gives Students Recipe for Marketing Success
Brad Alford MBA’80
Former Chairman and CEO of Nestlé Brands USA
IU’s Kelley School of Business is one of the best places to find the people we need to move our company forward.
As chairman and CEO of Nestlé Brands USA, Brad Alford, Kelley MBA’80, was responsible for a $750,000 gift that will establish the Nestlé Faculty Fellowship in Marketing. The gift will endow a faculty chair and professorship and provide funding for the Kelley’s School’s Center for Brand Leadership, as well as for the Consumer Marketing Academy that is part of the MBA program.
Legacy of Learning
One of Alford’s most influential professors at Kelley was Professor of Marketing Tom Hustad, a preeminent scholar in the field of new product development. In tribute to the professor’s importance in Alford’s career, the faculty chair will be named after Hustad. Alford says that the caliber of teaching and the ethics of the Kelley School, both when he was a student and today are unparalleled: “What the university stood for then is what the university stands for now.”
Alford’s own career has been impressive. After receiving his Kelley MBA degree, he went to work as a sales trainee at Carnation Company, moving up quickly to associate product manager in the pet foods division of the company. In 1989 he transferred to Nestlé Australia to head sales and marketing for the Friskies PetCare Division. From there, he advanced to the executive level of Nestlé USA, taking the vice president and then president positions in several divisions. In 2006, Alford was promoted to chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA, which includes Nestlé Beverage, Nestlé Confections & Snacks, Nestlé Emerging Markets Division, Nestlé FoodServices North America, and Nestlé Prepared Foods.
And now he’ll pass that legacy on to current and future MBA students who have the opportunity to study in the Consumer Marketing Academy. The academy works closely with management at top companies to help students develop strategic and tactical marketing skills. In the most recent Wall Street Journal “Guide to Top Business Schools,” companies in the consumer products industry ranked the Kelley MBA program at No. 1, a testament to the school’s primacy in the field.
The Nestlé gift is a recipe for future success for both the corporation and for the Kelley School. Alford says that Nestlé knows that the benefit of investing in the school is, ultimately, creating graduates who will be promising recruits. “IU’s Kelley School of Business is one of the best places to find the people we need to move our company forward,” he says.