Cabot Executive in Residence

2017 Cabot Executive in Residence

Todd Wanek, President & CEO, Ashley Furniture

Todd Wanek


Leadership & Innovation in Changing Times
9:30 - 11:15 a.m.
UW-Stout Memorial Student Center, Ballrooms A & B

Wanek's presentation will include discussion of Ashley’s growth internationally, how it has kept pace with technology, aspects of leadership and the future of manufacturing, as well as company history. Ashley is based in Arcadia, in west-central Wisconsin.  The keynote address will be followed by a question-and-answer session. The event is free and open to the public.

Wanek Presentation Graphic


Wanek is the featured guest for the annual Cabot Executive in Residence program sponsored by the Provost’s Office. As part of the daylong program, Wanek will meet with students, faculty and staff and tour several campus design, industry and technology labs. Discussions and presentations at the labs will be coordinated by faculty and administrators, including Chancellor Bob Meyer.
Wanek graduated from UW-Stout in 1988 with a degree in industrial technology; the program has since been renamed engineering technology. He worked for five years in Asia as head of the company’s Taiwan manufacturing and distribution center, developing Ashley’s supply and manufacturing base throughout Asia.  In 1994 Wanek oversaw Ashley’s purchase and expansion of an upholstery facility in Ecru, Miss., that has become the largest in the world, more than 2 million square feet covering 100 acres.  He was named president and chief operations officer in 1996. He became CEO in 2002.  Wanek is on the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Board of Directors. 

Learn more about our featured Executive in Residence, Todd Wanek here.


About the Cabot Executive in Residence Program

The Arthur R. Cabot Executive Residency Program is named in honor of Arthur R. Cabot, a very successful pet products manufacturer. Cabot’s son, Scott is a 1978 graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Stout. Scott and his wife Janet live in Cross Plains, WI.
This generous program allows UW-Stout to invite major corporate leaders to spend one or several days on campus during which time they are involved in faculty development, interaction with students, seminars and open presentations.
Cabot Executives are the leaders of organizations with high ethical standards and an excellent track record as a successful business. In their role as President or CEO, the Cabot Executive serves as an inspiration to all students.


Parking for Off-Campus Guests

Parking permits are required in campus lots.  Parking permits for Lot 29 are available for this event upon request by emailing Please remember to print the permit prior to arriving onsite and place on the dashboard of your vehicle.  Parking will be available on a first-come, first serve basis.
Any parking tickets or fines incurred for parking in spaces or lots other than those indicated are the sole responsibility of the participant.  Both metered and non-metered parking ar also available on the streets around campus.  A campus map can be found at and click on "Download Maps".


Cabot Executives: 1984 - Present

1984 – William Norris, President, Control Data Corp.

1985 – Burnell Roberts, Mead Corp.

1985 – John D. Debbink, General Motors Corp.

1987 – C.R. Whitney, Allen Bradley

1988 – Onthon Ruiz, Visa Group

1989 – Richard Knowlton, President, George A. Hormel & Co.

1990 – Benjamin A. Miller, President, RTP Company

1991 – Roy Bauer, IBM Corp.

1993 – David Konkol, President, David Konkol Homes, Inc.

1993 – Mark Burwell, Putzers Menswear

1995 – Sue M. Cox, McDonald’s Corp.

1995 – Mary Carter, Honeywell, Inc.

1998 – Paul Baszucki, Norstan, Inc.

1999 – Margery Hughes,President & COO, LifeUSA – Holding, Inc.

2000 – Robert Kierlin, CEO, Fastenal Company

2002 - Dwight Davis, CEO, Greenheck Fan Co.

2002 – Ervin Kamm, President & CEO, Paper, Calmenson & Co.

2003 – Steve Hoisington, Vice-President of Quality, Johnson Controls, Inc

2004 – Mary Jurmain, President, Realityworks

      20th Anniversary of the Cabot Executive in ResidenceThose returning were:David Konkol, Konkol Homes – Cabot Executive, 1993Mr. Erv Kamm, Pacal, LLC – Cabot Executive, 2002Steve Hoisington, Johnson Controls, Inc. – Cabot Executive, 2003Roy Bauer, PEMSTAR, Inc – Cabot Executive, 1991Mark Burwell, Urban Hope Entrepreneur Center – Cabot Executive, 1993

2005 – Kevin Wilde, Chief Learning Officer, General Mills, Inc.Dan Ariens, President & CEO, Ariens Company

2006 – Claudia Knowlton-Chike, Director of Strategy & Business Operations, Motorola

2007 – World Presidents’ OrganizationJohn Thysell Erv KammSteve Erickson Nick Linsmayer Hal WilsonJay TownsendChristopher (Kit) DahlBrian Colianni, Senior Vice-President, Sales & Marketing, Ford Motor Company

2008 – Robyn Waters, Trendmaster, President, RW Trend, LLC

2009 – 25th Anniversary Celebration Jake Leinenkugel – Leinenkugel Brewing CoJohn Leinenkugel – Leinenkugel Brewing Co..Dick Leinenkugel, Secretary of Commerce, State of Wisconsin Gail Prock - CEO, Pine Harbor Holding Co.

2010 – William Flesch, Executive Vice-President, Gordon Flesch Company, Inc.

2011 – Joe Pregont, CEO Prent Corporation

2011 – Stephen Marcus – CEO, Marcus Corporation

2012 – William Hendricksen – CEO, Lineage Logistics, LLC

2013 – Kelly Matter, President, Resource, Inc.

2014 – 30th Anniversary CelebrationMajor General Marcia M. Anderson,U.S. ArmyBrian Colianni, Director, Global Business Strategy, Ford Motor CompanyMark T. Hubler, President, U.S. Wine & Spirits, Open States & National Accounts, Diageo, plcRichard A. Pollock, President & CEO, Comprehensive Loss Management, Inc.

2015 - Shelly Ibach, President and CEO, Select Comfort

2016 – Dale Evans, President, EVCO Plastics