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Department of Management

Voices of Experience 2024

Voices of Experience, hosted by the Department of Management, brings to campus seasoned executives, mid-career managers and young professionals to share successes (and failures) with business students.

Voices of Experience 2024 was held on Friday, April 19, from 1-4:30 p.m. in the Phyfer Auditorium of the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business. Multiple high-level talks and engagement in student-driven, Q&A panel-style sessions were held to dive deeper into the presented material.

Six different speakers at Voices of Experience 2024.

Meet Our Speakers

  • Tom Dillard
    Tom Dillard

    Tom Dillard is a first-generation Entrepreneur who founded his first company, Dillard-Jones Builders, in 2003. Before opening Dillard-Jones, he graduated from Clemson in 1992 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He gained experience by working for several corporate companies in international sales and manufacturing, which led him to open his own business. Dillard-Jones Builders has built over 600 homes and counting. They have also won numerous national and state awards, including most recently, Best Custom Home over 6,000 ft2 from the North Carolina Home Builders Association.

    Driven by a desire to streamline the construction process for clients in a Design-Build-Dwell-Maintain approach, Dillard opened the remaining sister companies known today:

    • Four Square Studios
    • West 84 Architecture
    • Tribus Interior Design
    • Village Millworks
    • Dillard Jones Renovations and Service
    • Cottage Group
    • Anvil Marketing Co
    • Circa 70
  • Lawrence “Larry” Gilliard, Jr.
    Larry Gilliard, Jr.

    Lawrence "Larry" Gilliard, Jr. is an American character actor who has appeared in films, television series, and theatre. He is perhaps best known for his portrayal of D'Angelo Barksdale on the HBO drama series The Wire, a role which earned him much critical acclaim. He is also recently known for his role as Bob Stookey in the AMC horror drama The Walking Dead.

    Gilliard was born in New York City. He and his family moved to Baltimore, Maryland, when he was 7. Gilliard studied classical clarinet at the Baltimore School for the Arts and Juilliard School but pursued acting instead. He debuted as the lead in the independent film Straight Out of Brooklyn (1991). He studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, The Acting Studio-New York and the Stella Adler Conservatory.

    Gilliard has appeared on numerous television crime dramas such as Law & Order, Homicide: Life on the Street, New York Undercover and CSI: NY. His notable film roles include a love-struck ghetto teen in LottoLand (1995), an earnest college football player in The Waterboy (1998), and a member of the Dead Rabbits in Gangs of New York (2002). Gilliard recently appeared on the television series The Beast (2009).

    Gilliard is also a stage actor. He received positive reviews for his role as Booth in a production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Topdog/Underdog, and he won the "Best Ensemble" award from the NAACP with co-star Harold Perrineau.

    He joined The Walking Dead television series cast as a regular, playing Bob Stookey, as of season 4, appearing in thirteen episodes. Most recently, he has appeared in shows such as Law and Order in 2024, Power: Raising Kanan (2022-2024), and The Deuce (2017-2019) and movies such as Big George Forman (2023), One Night in Miami (2022), and soon to be released The Featherweight (2024).

  • Diane Hardy
    Diane Hardy

    Diane Hardy is a former nurse anesthetist turned entrepreneur. In 2016, she opened a Nothing Bundt Cakes franchise in Greenville, SC. She is grateful to have had the same manager and assistant manager managing her 44 employees since the day she opened. She is also the Executive Director of the Mom and Pop Alliance of SC, which she founded during COVID-19 upon discovering that South Carolina's more than 400,000 small businesses had little representation in our State House. The Alliance provides education, communication and advocacy for SC small businesses. Hardy's passion for SC's small business is strong, and as such she donates her time to the organization, accepting no salary or government funding. She has a bachelor's in nursing and psychology from Michigan State as well as a master's from the Medical University of SC.

  • Shay Houser
    Shay Houser

    Shay Houser is an award-winning 6x founder. With over $1 billion in transactions generated through his startups, he has secured hundreds of millions of private debt and equity and filed for an IPO. He's sourced, financed and closed dozens of acquisitions. He created the fastest-growing company in South Carolina, achieved Number 73 on the Inc. 500, and has since been a 3x Inc. 500/5000 winner. With 2 Public (NASDAQ) exits and 2 PE-backed exits, he also knows the drill when selling a company. Houser is a graduate of the Citadel and a veteran of the telecommunications and technology industries. He has served as a senior executive with various organizations and is experienced on the foundational side of the industry as an entrepreneur and investor. Based on his deep experience in capital formation, venture capital, private equity and M&A, Houser can speed up go-to-market and run strategic processes efficiently.

  • David Peyton
    David Peyton

    David Peyton has over 20 years of experience in a wide variety of analytical platforms (including SAS, SAP, SPSS, Excel, Business Objects, and Access) that have engaged managers and executives in high-profile business decisions. Portions of his analysis have been the foundation for $14M-$3 billion acquisitions, state legislation and numerous executive strategy decisions. As an IT implementation consultant, Peyton has engaged in the implementation of CRMs, HIMs, and supply chain software in the United States, Canada and Europe.

Department of Management
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