Newswise — CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia — Leaders from consulting, financial services and the food and grocery retail industries will speak during the spring 2014 session of the Darden Leadership Speaker Series. The theme for the series is "Leaders Who Inspire Innovation, Collaboration and Growth."

Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods, will be the first to address students, faculty, staff and visitors to Darden's Grounds on Wednesday, 22 January, at 1:30 p.m. Robb joined Whole Foods in 1991, beginning in the Mill Valley, California, store. He rose through the ranks to be named co-CEO with Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey.

Darden Professor Ed Freeman will moderate a fireside chat following Robb's opening presentation.

Additional speakers for the season include:

Roger Ferguson, president of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF), will speak 3 February at 1:30 p.m.

Stephen J. Rohleder, group chief executive, Health & Public Service for Accenture, will speak 1 March at 1:30 p.m.

Lorna Donatone, COO of Sodexo, will speak 14 March at 1:30 p.m.

Darden's Leadership Speaker Series started in 2008. The program connects Darden and the community beyond School Grounds with business industry leaders who share their philosophies, lessons learned and success stories.

Last fall's speakers included Darden alumnae Carolyn Miles (MBA '88), president and CEO of Save the Children, and Martina Hund-Mejean (MBA '88), CFO of MasterCard. Rich Hilleman, chief creative officer and executive producer of Electronic Arts, also spoke and engaged with students interested in learning more about the gaming industry.

Watch videos of past Darden Leadership Speakers on Darden's YouTube Channel.

For questions or information, contact Abena Foreman-Trice or a member of the Communication team.

About the Darden School of BusinessThe University of Virginia Darden School of Business is one of the world's leading business schools, offering MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. The unique Darden experience combines the case study method, top-ranked faculty whose research advances global managerial practice and business education, and a tight-knit learning environment to develop responsible and complete leaders who are ready to make an impact.

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