The following individuals have volunteered to support and advise the school as members of the Alumni Council for the 2015-2016 year. Led by Cari Coats MBA '03, Chair, and Mary Sawyer MBA '05, Co Chair, the council meets twice each year.
Jim Karrh is a consultant, writer and speaker specializing in marketing and sales effectiveness, improving customer conversations for better acquisition, retention and loyalty. He serves clients directly through Karrh & Associates and is also a consulting principal with DSG, a sales-enablement firm. For more than a decade Jim has been a regular columnist for Arkansas Business and a guest columnist for many other publications; he published his first book, a collection of his most popular columns, in 2011.
Jim began full-time consulting work in 2009. His prior experience includes work as a small-business owner, consumer researcher and tenured university professor, agency executive and corporate chief marketing officer. As a CMO Jim transformed the marketing efforts of a 133-year-old company and built an integrated program judged best in the global bottled-water industry.
In addition to the Duke MBA Jim earned a BS in finance and Ph.D. in mass communication, both from the University of Florida. He resides in Little Rock, Arkansas with his wife Alison and their three sons.
As the Executive Vice president of International, Mr. Kollias spearheads the global expansion and international operations for Church's/Texas Chicken in 23 countries and +475 restaurants. He manages a team of over 20 professionals located around the world. His worldwide responsibilities encompass franchisee marketing, venue development, restaurant operations, business support, training, product research and development and cooperative purchasing programs.
Mr. Kollias has more than 20 years of varied and progressive growth in financial management positions and extensive experience in the restaurant industry. Most recently he served as Vice President of Finance for Planet Hollywood International, Inc. Planet Hollywood operates approximately 25 company and franchise restaurants worldwide. Mr. Kollias was responsible for business planning, financial reporting, general accounting, human resources, risk management and information technology.
Prior to joining Planet Hollywood, Mr. Kollias was Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration for Hops Restaurant Bar & Brewery. At the time, Hops had 72 restaurants throughout the United States with sales in excess of $200 million. In addition, Mr. Kollias has worked with the Applebee's, Hard Rock Café and Dairy Queen brands in the areas of Operations, M&A, Planning and Purchasing.
Mr. Kollias received his bachelor's degree from Cornell University and his master's degree in business administration from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. Currently residing in Marietta, GA, he is President of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association #519, a finance committee member of Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church and actively participates in multiple tennis leagues in Atlanta. He has been married to Margaret for twenty years and has two high school aged boys, Tommy and Kris.