Marshall CEO Panel Features 'Pursuit of Happyness' Author and Pioneering CEO

Huntington - – Marshall University’s Lewis College of Business and Brad D. Smith Schools of Business will host their third CEO Panel of the Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 3. 

Amidst a pandemic and season of adversity for many Americans, the featured speakers have a depth of perspective and experience to share. They include:

  • Marshall alum Brad D. Smith, executive chairman and former CEO of Intuit, who will serve as the panel’s moderator.


  • Shellye Archambeau, the first Black female CEO in California’s Silicon Valley, who serves as a board member for Verizon, Nordstrom, Roper Technologies and Okta Inc. and is the author of Unapologetically Ambitious.


  • Chris Gardner, an entrepreneur, philanthropist and the author of the critically acclaimed book Pursuit of Happyness, the basis for the award-winning movie starring Will Smith.


Marshall President Dr. Jerome Gilbert and Dr. Avi Mukherjee, dean of the Lewis College of Business, will provide welcoming remarks.

The conversation will explore the skills and mindsets needed to lead and succeed in today’s landscape, where talent is dispersed equally, but opportunity is not, as rapid technological, environmental and societal shifts create a lack of economic opportunity in communities across the globe. The current health and economic crises are speeding up these shifts even more. In this fireside chat, Marshall students and community members will gain insights and inspiration to apply their talent and energy, pursue their passion and create opportunities for themselves and their communities.

Participants can register at


Any members of the media who would like to participate in the virtual media roundtable Q&A, scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., can contact Jean Hardiman at Marshall University at for an invitation.


“We are once again delighted about hosting this event to elevate the voices of thought leaders who can enlighten and provide dynamic discussions on a broad range of topics that influence the business world,” Mukherjee said. “The goal of the Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series and CEO Panel is to bring executives’ lessons from the boardroom into our business students’ classrooms.”


This series was created to offer Marshall and the surrounding community an opportunity to hear from “C-suite” (top-level) executives and industry leaders on a variety of topics, in which they can offer tangible and applicable knowledge. The series provides insightful perspectives on effective leadership and taking advantage of opportunities.