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Announcing IIT Stuart’s Commencement Speakers: Jim Holden, Founder and CEO of Holden International; Harshita Iyer (B.S.B.A. ‘14), and Yue “Blania” Guo (M.S. MAC ‘14)

IIT Stuart CommencementJim Holden, Founder and CEO of Holden International and author of several business books, will deliver the keynote address at the IIT Stuart School of Business Commencement Ceremony. Harshita Iyer (B.S.B.A. ‘14) will deliver the undergraduate student address, and Yue “Blania” Guo (M.S. MAC ‘14) will deliver the graduate student address.

The ceremony will be held at 1 pm on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at De La Salle Institute, 3434 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago.

About Jim Holden

Jim Holden founded Holden International in 1979, and throughout its almost 30-year history, the company has grown to be a world-renowned leader in the sales process improvement field. In 1990, Holden’s company became the first to model sales effectiveness, an achievement that garnered the Ernst & Young Regional Entrepreneur of the Year award for the Service Industry.

Holden is also a globally recognized business author, with titles including Power Base® Selling, World Class Selling, The Selling Fox, and The New Power Base Selling, co-authored with Ryan Kubacki.

Holden also applies his expertise in the parallel area of counterterrorism, and is active with the U.S. Department of Energy as a SPECOPS (Special Operations) instructor focusing on the protection of nuclear weapons and special nuclear material.

He earned a B.S.E.E. with high honors from Northeastern University in Boston, and is a member of the National Engineering Honor Society Tau Beta Pi, and the National Interdisciplinary Honor Society Phi Kappa Phi. He began his sales career in 1974 with Teradyne, a Boston-based high-technology company. Prior to founding Holden International, Holden was Vice President of Sales for Aegis, a third-party distribution company selling computer-based test systems into the manufacturing environment. He was also a founder/director of the First National Bank of Roselle and has served as a director of two other area banks and several early development-stage companies.

Holden and his wife Chris reside in the greater Chicago area. He is active in the community, having founded the Partnership to End Homelessness in Chicago, and is a supporter of many other charities, including cancer research.

About Harshita Iyer (B.S.B.A. ‘14)

Originally from Chennai, India, Harshita Iyer came to IIT Stuart in 2010. While pursuing her undergraduate degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance, Iyer has regularly made the Dean’s List and was recognized as an IIT Leadership Academy Scholar.

She has been involved with several student organizations on campus, having served as Senator and then Vice President of Student Life for the Student Government Association, as Vice President of TEDxIIT and the student Union Board, as a volunteer with Alternative Spring Break, and as a sister of the Kappa Phi Delta Sorority. Last spring, Iyer was a finalist in the Chicago Innovation Chase – a grueling weekend long challenge in leadership and innovation.

She has spent her summers as an intern at Ernst & Young, India, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, and Fidessa Corp. in Chicago. Following graduation, Iyer is hoping to work in the U.S. in the finance or consulting industry.

About Yue “Blania” Guo (M.S. MAC ‘14)

Originally from the People’s Republic of China, Yue “Blania” Guo came to IIT to pursue her Master of Science degree in Marketing Analytics and Communication. She earned her undergraduate degree from Renmin University of China.

At IIT Stuart, she worked as a student assistant for Professor Sandy Bredine, research assistant for Professor Jennifer Cutler, and held membership in the American Marketing Association.

This spring, she was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, the academic honor society for business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, or AACSB. Less than 5% of the world’s business schools earn AACSB accreditation, and only the top 20% of graduate students are invited to membership in eligible programs.

Following graduation, Guo plans to return to China to grow her online business and looks forward to continuing to apply the skills she learned at Stuart as an entrepreneur.