Former GE and IBM Exec Michael Markovits to visit DU March 6-10, 2017 

Through a program of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), Davenport University will welcome Michael Markovits, its second Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow in the past year, with a number of events to be held the week of March 6 for students, faculty and staff, alumni, and members of the community.

Markovits’ visit is an integral part of activities marking the first semester in Davenport’s new Donald W. Maine College of Business building. Throughout the week, students will engage with Markovits through a series of talks and interactive sessions, including a Student Leadership Symposium that will help students explore their leadership traits and enhance leadership skills. Having served in leadership roles for both General Electric and IBM, Markovits currently works at AchieveMission helping nonprofit organizations significantly improve their leadership and talent management as well as social change work focused primarily on issues of peace, reconciliation and ending racism.

“Hosting a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow is an honor for Davenport University,” stated Dr. Pamela Imperato, Dean for the Donald W. Maine College of Business at Davenport.  “Mr. Markovits’ expertise in Employee engagement and leadership development have made him a highly respected expert in these areas. We are excited for our students to have this rare opportunity and look forward to a dialog that will further enhance their studies.”

The Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows (WWVF) program, operating for more than 40 years, brings prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders and other nonacademic professionals to campuses across the U.S. for substantive dialog with students and faculty members. The WWVF visit has been made possible through a grant from the M.E. Davenport Legacy Endowment.

Monday, March 6, 2017                        2:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

What does it mean to be a Leader?

Explore the nuances of leadership as valued and evaluated by organizations. Mike Markovits shares his insights from both ends of the spectrum – large multi-national organizations and entrepreneurial organizations engaged in social change initiatives.  Format will include time for questions. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017                        6:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Traits of Extraordinary Leaders

There are good leaders, better leaders and those who are extraordinary. After years of experience developing a global pool of leaders at such companies as IBM and General Electric, Mike Markovits has identified traits that set leaders apart. This interactive session is designed to challenge current thoughts about leadership and stimulate meaningful dialogue about the future. 

Both events will take place in the Wilbur & Sharon Lettinga Auditorium, W.A. Lettinga Campus, 6191 Kraft Ave. Grand Rapids, MI 49512.

About Michael Markovits

​ Mr. Markovits served in leadership roles for both General Electric and IBM, specifically in the areas of human capital and leadership development. During his 19 years at GE, he held a successive series of posts in human resources, organizational change, and leadership development, including being responsible for all of GE’s leadership and executive development activities globally.

He joined IBM in 2004 as Vice President of Global Executive and Organization Capability responsible for overseeing executive staffing, succession planning, executive development and coaching, and leadership and organizational effectiveness for IBM internationally.  In his later role with IBM as Vice President of Business and Technical Leadership, he was globally responsible for identifying and developing the leadership pipeline and placement of business and technical leaders at all levels to support IBM’s growth, transformation, and performance.

Markovits has written and spoken on topics related to leadership, training, and other organizational development issues. His expertise in succession planning, employee engagement and leadership development have made him a sought-after consultant within many industries.

Currently, he is a leadership consultant and partner at AchieveMission, working to help non-profit organizations significantly improve their leadership and talent management and social change work focused primarily on issues of peace, reconciliation, and ending racism.