TABA announces speakers for 2016 Tulane Business Forum

The president and CEO of the Sazerac Co., the largest producer of distilled spirits in the United States, and the head of the GE Foundation highlight an impressive list of speakers lined up for the 37th annual Tulane Business Forum.

Mark Brown
Mark Brown
Deborah Elam
Deborah Elam

The forum, an annual presentation of the Tulane Association of Business Alumni (TABA), will take place on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. This year’s theme is "Purpose-Driven Business — How to Profit and Make a Difference."

Mark Brown (MBA ’90), who will deliver this year’s luncheon keynote address, has served as president and CEO of the Sazerac Co. since 1997. Owned by the Goldring family of New Orleans, the company produces and markets top-selling brands including Buffalo Trace, Ancient Age, Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve, Southern Comfort, Fireball and Taaka. Prior to rejoining Sazerac, Brown spent five years with Brown-Forman as senior vice president and COO of the Select Brands Group and president of the Advancing Markets Group. Before that, he spent 11 years with Sazerac, serving as director of new products, national sales manager and ultimately vice president of sales and marketing.

Morning keynote speaker Deborah Elam has served as president of the GE Foundation since 2013 and as chief diversity officer of General Electric Co. since 2002. Before her appointment as chief diversity officer, she was managing director of human resources at GE Capital Commercial Finance. For the GE brand, she has held human resources positions in several areas, including GE Consulting Services, GE Capital Insurance Services and GE Capital Mortgage Corp.

In addition to Brown and Elam, this year’s program will include presentations from:

  • David E. Altig, executive vice president and director of research with the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta (Atlanta)
  • Calvin Clifford "Trey" Fayard, founder and CEO of GLO (New Orleans)
  • Alan M. Leventhal, chairman and CEO of Beacon Capital Partners (Boston)
  • Shannon L. Schuyler, principal, chief purpose officer and corporate responsibility leader of PwC US and president of PwC Charitable Foundation (Chicago)

The Tulane Business Forum is a presentation of the Tulane Association of Business Alumni (TABA), which represents over 19,000 alumni of the A. B. Freeman School of Business. Each year, the forum features speakers of national and international renown who address topics of interest to the business community.

Forum registration, which includes continental breakfast and lunch, is $200 for the general public and $150 for Tulane alumni. Once again this year, attorneys can get three hours of Continuing Legal Education for attending the forum, Certified Public Accountants can get five hours of Continuing Professional Education credits, and Professional Engineers can get five hours of Professional Development Hours. For more information or to register, visit or call 504-861-7921.

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