Look who's talking

Lunch and Learn: Congressman John Dingell

John Dingell

Congressman John Dingell shared insights from his 58 years of service as a guest speaker at the Executive MBA program’s Lunch and Learn event this spring.

Dingell, one of two World War II veterans still serving in Congress, represents Michigan’s 12th congressional district. He is the longest-serving member of Congress and the longest ever to serve exclusively in the House of Representatives. The dean of the Michigan congressional delegation, Dingell is a long-time member and former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

He was introduced by his daughter Jennifer Dingell, an executive MBA student at Virginia Tech who works at General Dynamics as senior manager, information systems.

Her father has helped shape policy in almost every aspect of American life, Jennifer Dingell said, citing cited civil rights, health care, defense, clean air and water, and conservation as a few of areas where his voice and contributions to legislation have been influential.

Michael Kender, professor of practice in the finance department, moderated the discussion, which included the financial meltdown and TARP, healthcare and the Affordable Care Act, the auto industry bailout, and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Dingell stressed the importance of patience and time to avoid mistakes of the past; of working together in a bipartisan way to move ahead; and of not giving up on U.S. industry because, despite problems, “we are still doing better than anywhere else in the world.” He also offered a major reason why the auto industry is worth saving: there is only one state that is not in some way connected to it.

“We were honored to host Congressman Dingell and are so pleased that Jennifer invited him to participate in our Lunch and Learn Series,” said Maureen Hall, executive director of the Executive MBA program, located in the Virginia Tech Research Center in Arlington, Va.

“He willingly shared his views on a number of issues that impact both the work and vision of our students. This kind of opportunity outside of the classroom is invaluable for them and exactly what we were trying to provide when we inaugurated the series last year.”

The audience included Executive MBA students, Virginia Tech faculty and staff, alumni, and corporate friends.

— By Barbara Micale

BB&T Distinguished Lecture: Christopher A. Halmy

Christopher Halmy

Ally Financial corporate treasurer Christopher A. Halmy gave an insider’s view of the collapse of Lehman Brothers and Bank of America’s forced takeover of Merrill Lynch’s brokerage business in the BB&T Distinguished Lecture last fall.

Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in September 2008, triggering a major escalation in the global financial crisis. It remains the single largest bankruptcy in American history.

Halmy oversees Ally Financial’s global treasury activities, including funding and balance sheet management. Before joining Ally Financial in 2009, Halmy worked at Bank of America for a dozen years, most recently as its global funding executive, with responsibility for funding and liquidity activities and mortgage and auto securitization.

He has held treasury, finance, and accounting positions at MBNA America, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, and Deloitte & Touche.

The BB&T Distinguished Lecture Series on Capitalism is part of a Pamplin College teaching program to explore the foundations of capitalism and freedom. The program’s courses, undergraduate and graduate, examine alternative economic systems, including socialism and communism, and compare them with the economic solutions offered by free markets.

The program was established in 2007 in the college’s finance department with a $1 million gift from BB&T Charitable Foundation.

Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Virginia Tech Pamplin College of Business Magazine Spring 2014

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