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Indiana University Bloomington

Center for Brand Leadership

Kelley Advantage

The Center for Brand Leadership is a close-knit group of top MBA students, faculty, alumni, and corporate partners who share a wealth of industry knowledge and contacts.

Alford Makes Nestlé Brands and Kelley a Lot Sweeter

Brad Alford MBA'80

Former Chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA

Brad Alford

“The kind of people who go to the Kelley School of Business are typically the kind of people we’re looking for.”

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Nearly 40 years after heeding the career advice of Kelley Professor of Marketing Tom Hustad, Brad Alford endowed a professorship and fellowship named in honor of his mentor and former professor.

Professor Hustad told Alford he would need a strong finance background to become an executive. Alford took that advice, graduating from Kelley in 1980 with a double major in marketing and finance.

In 2007, Alford, as CEO of Nestlé USA, presented a $750,000 check to Kelley to support faculty and the Consumer Marketing Academy (CMA).

“The professors at the business school really cared. I was very impressed with the school and with Tom Hustad,” Alford says. “He stayed in touch with me from the day I left until today.”

Alford is also generous to the Kelley MBA Marketing program in many ways. He is an active mentor to our MBA students and is integral to the functions of the CMA.

While Alford’s responsibilities at Nestlé were far-reaching, he also kept a connection to the day-to-day business of the company. “I like the nuts and bolts of running a company,” Alford says. “I loved being a brand manager and I love being a CEO. I like all parts of the business, whether it’s sales, advertising, talking about a new product, going to manufacturing facilities … I even like to see the trucks leaving the distribution center.”

Alford remains impressed with the quality of students who come from Kelley. “Every school has its own reputation and culture. I’m very familiar with the one at IU,” Alford says. “The kind of people who go to the Kelley School of Business are typically the kind of people we’re looking for.”

Published April 11, 2011