Oakland University
Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Meeting the Demands of the 21st Century Workplace: Exploring New Approaches to Leadership and Career Development for Undergraduate Students

Friday, Oct. 9, 3-4:30 p.m.

This session will discuss the need for student enrichment programs that focus on leadership and career development.    It will also explore enrichment programs within the School of Business that prepare students to successfully transition into the workplace and support leadership and professional development.    

Panel speakers include

Donna Free, special instructor, Accounting, Oakland University

Bill Macfarlane, SBA MIS ’85, vice president and CIO, North American Continental Automotive Systems

David Rooney, executive-in-residence, School of Business Administration, Oakland University

Panel moderated by Cynthia Miree-Coppin

Speaker Biographies

Donna Free, CPA, is a Special Instructor of Accounting and the Faculty Coordinator of the Masters of Accounting Program and Executive MBA Program at Oakland University. Free joined OU in 1999 and has been very involved with students by serving as one of the original members of the ACHIEVE task force. She is also the faculty adviser for Oakland Accounting Students Information Society, a very active student organization. In 2008 she received the Paul F. Lorenz Award for Teaching Excellence in Accounting & Finance. Prior to moving to Michigan, Donna spent ten years at the University of Missouri–St. Louis as an Accounting Instructor.



Her teaching and research interests include auditing, accounting information systems and financial accounting. Free started her career in public accounting with Ernst & Young.

Bill Macfarlane (SBA MIS ’85) is the Regional Information Officer for North America at Continental Corporation located in Auburn Hills, Mich., where he is responsible for leading the IT organization in North America. Since joining the company, Macfarlane has successfully led projects to create common processes and systems by consolidating the data centers, ERP systems, product development systems and restructuring the staffs required to support them.

Prior to this, Macfarlane held positions in data center operations, applications development, outsourcing and information technology consulting.


Macfarlane graduated from Oakland University with a BS in Management Information Systems

David Rooney retired as the Director of Marketing at Chrysler LLC in 2008. Rooney has more than 26 years of experience in brand management, marketing strategy and communication. His background includes responsibility for brand profitability, future product planning, pricing, media planning and buying, wholesale, retail and fleet sales. Over the course of his career, he has directed marketing operations for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Corporate brands. Industry recognition includes being named an “Automotive News All Star”, Adweek’s “Client of the Year,” and an Advertising Age national “Media Maven.”

He has expertise in market research, brand positioning, product planning, advertising, national and local media planning and buying, overall marketing and advertising budget development and allocation, agency relationships and contracts,  ROI analysis, marketing scorecards, public relations, direct marketing, product placement, licensing and merchandising, owner loyalty, trade shows, sponsorships, customer events, retail advertising associations, CRM (Customer Relationship Management) strategy and execution.

For more information or to register, see the 2009 International Business Conference Web page.


For more information or to register, see the Web page.


Created by Claudette Zolkowski-Brown (zolkowsk@oakland.edu) on Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Modified by Claudette Zolkowski-Brown (zolkowsk@oakland.edu) on Sunday, September 27, 2009
Article Start Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2009