Marilyn Southwick Fregly International Speaker Series
Global business executives presenting seminars and interacting with graduate business students on campus is integral to understanding international business policy and practices. That’s why the International Business Center is proud to be associated with the newly-formed International Speaker Series at the Hough Graduate School of Business.
The International Speaker Series was made possible by the continued support of the Fregly Foundation, which established the Marilyn Southwick Fregly International Business Endowment in 2010. The goal of the speaker series is to expand our students’ global awareness, create interest in working abroad, give students a firsthand look at foreign business practices and provide funding for visiting faculty to teach specialized international business courses.
Vice President of Sales and Marketing, STIHL Incorporated
Nick Jiannas is the vice president of sales and marketing for STIHL Incorporated and has been a dedicated STIHL employee for the past 17 years. In his role at STIHL, Jiannas is responsible for the domestic and export markets, sales planning, new product development, all marketing programs, and branch operations throughout the U.S.
Jiannas began his career as an operations assistant at Pacific STIHL in 1995. He moved to Germany the following year for three months to work in the research, development and product management departments at Andreas Stihl AG & Co. KG. Jiannas then returned to the states to become a territory manager for Mid-Atlantic STIHL, the North Carolina-based branch, where he actively represented STIHL among independent servicing dealers, providing product and sales expertise as well as customer relations.
Upon promotion to a product manager position at STIHL, he moved back to Virginia Beach to work at the STIHL headquarters for U.S. operations. In this role, he developed overall marketing programs for power tools and coordinated the development of sales objectives and strategies, while working with the marketing communications team on advertising and promotional programs.
By 2002, Jiannas took over as manager of export and sales planning, where he prepared and monitored monthly sales forecasts, and evaluated annual purchase projections for domestic and export markets. In 2006, he was promoted to branch manager at North east STIHL, managing all aspects of branch operations. Under his leadership, Northeast STIHL experienced an overall sales growth of 35 percent over a six-year period. Despite the recession, Jiannas maintained profitability, controlling expenses and leading two record sales years as the economy rebounded.
Jiannas graduated from the College of William and Mary, where he majored in economics and German. He earned his master’s in business administration from the University of Florida.
Originally born in Naples, Italy, to a Navy officer, Jiannas is happy to be back in Virginia Beach and enjoys spending time with his son.
Dr. Carmelo Mesa Lago
co-sponsor of UF CIBER event
Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of Economics and Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh
“Cuba Under Raul Castro: Assessing the Reforms”
Marketing Vice President, Frozen Foods for General Mills
Ricardo Fernandez is Marketing Vice President, Frozen Foods for General Mills at the company’s Minneapolis headquarters. In this role, he is responsible for the company’s Green Giant Frozen Vegetables, Pillsbury Toaster Strudel, and Totino’s Hot Snacks businesses. In his previous thirteen years with the company, he enjoyed a wide breadth of experiences across several divisions, brands and countries. He has been the Associate Marketing Manager on the Yoplait’s kid brands, Betty Crocker brownies & frosting, and Hamburger Helper. As a Marketing Manager, he led Pillsbury frozen waffles & pancakes, Meals Strategic Growth Channels and Yellow Box Cheerios. In 2008, he was promoted to Marketing Director for the company’s Latin America/South Africa region. In 2010, he became Managing Director for General Mills Brazil, where he was responsible for leading the company’s Brazil operation and building the organization for a future of accelerated growth, including playing an important role in evaluating and planning the integration of Yoki.
He received his MBA in 2000 from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Prior to business school, Ricardo started his career at AT&T Universal Card Services after earning his BS in Finance and Economics from the University of Florida.