CBT Announces Ritchey as Spring Convocation Speaker

Sharon Ritchey

EKU's College of Business and Technology is pleased to announce Ms. Sharon A. Ritchey will be the featured speaker at Spring 2017 Convocation. Ritchey will bring remarks to the evening ceremony on Friday, May 12, at 6:30 p.m., in EKU's Alumni Coliseum.

Ritchey holds a BBA in Marketing and an MBA from Eastern Kentucky University and went on to earn a second MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Ritchey has 20 years in executive management, focusing on P&L growth, operations, data and analytics, digital, technology and customer experience. Her background includes leadership positions at Citibank, GE Capital, The Hartford and AXA US. Additionally, she serves on the board of directors for private and not-for-profit organizations.

Ritchey is a results-oriented, inspirational leader with substantial experience guiding complex organizations through significant change. She has an exceptional track record of implementing a culture that is customer focused, process improvement oriented, sustains high levels of employee engagement, and encourages innovation. Ritchey has been recognized for building and retaining outstanding leadership teams to meet and exceed aggressive targets, and has accomplished great turnarounds where necessary.  

In 2013, Ritchey became the Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Operating Committee at AXA US.  Responsibilities included the company’s operations, technology, digital, data and analytics, and operations centers, representing an organization of over 1,400 employees, with a budget of over $360 million. In mid-2016, she assumed the Chief Customer role, inclusive of marketing, operations and digital. She also served on the Global Operations Executive Committee, an international team of the leaders from AXA Group’s largest entities.

Prior to joining AXA, Ritchey was with The Hartford Financial Services Group for 15 years. Her outstanding leadership resulted in the retention of employees, customers and clients through this challenging time. She held various leadership roles across the property and casualty and the life company in operations and technology managing up to 5,000 employees across multiple locations.

Ritchey started her career with Citibank spending 13 years in various leadership roles and also spent five years with GE Capital as a six sigma quality leader, finishing her time there as a marketing director.

In recent years, Ritchey has been a frequent public speaker, voicing her passions for business, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and championing the role of athletics toward instilling confidence and leadership skills in young women. Her philanthropic involvement reflects those passions as well as her love of higher education.

As a board member, she is widely respected for her ability to develop innovative solutions to complex issues. Her directorships have included: AXA Business Services, a captive outsource company located in India that exclusively serves AXA entities around the globe; AXA Advisors, a financial services leader that helps consumers plan for and safeguard their financial futures and has local branch offices throughout the nation with nearly 5,000 Financial Professionals; and currently, the LPGA Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization that creates and supports programs, provides scholarships, research, education and leadership development for women and girls.

Speaking on behalf of the graduating class will be Ted Herr. Earning two degrees in Agriculture - Animal Science and Agronomy, Soils and Natural Resources - Herr comes highly recommended by faculty. Words like 'conscientious' and 'involved' hardly describe his level of engagement in the EKU community. In addition to working part time and serving on the Student Government Association, Herr has solid academic research to his credit. He developed and designed an extension bulletin for fitting and showing sheep and collaborated with University officials to build a targeted grazing program - garnering regional publicity with the Katahdin sheep project.

College of Business and Technology Distinguished Senior for the academic year, Julia Niemann Barney, will be recognized at the ceremony. Barney graduated in December 2016 in Agriculture Pre-Veterinary Medicine with a minor in Chemistry summa cum laude and is a resident of Lexington.

Banner bearers have also been named: Susan Brooke Darnell (Agriculture Education from Cynthiana) for the College; Joshua C. Dunn (Network Security and Electronics from Alexandria) for the School of Applied Sciences and Technology; and Karlee A. Tanel (Management, Spanish Minor from Cedarburg, Wis.) for the School of Business.

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Published on March 28, 2017