WMU News

Kellogg's North American chief to describe globalization impact

January 29, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- The head of the Kellogg Co.'s North American operations will discuss the importance of preparing students for life in a global business economy Thursday, Feb. 12, on the Western Michigan University campus.

"Globalization: Implications for Educators and Students" will be the title of an address by Thomas A. Knowlton, executive vice president of the Kellogg Co. and president of Kellogg North America. The free public event is set for 3 to 5 p.m. in the Lee Honors College lounge.

Knowlton's visit to the campus is sponsored by the WMU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, a national honor society. His speech is part of the organization's series of annual presentations on critical issues in higher education.

Knowlton will give an overview of global business and, using his own firm as a case study, he will discuss the transition process that takes an organization from being an international company to a global enterprise. He will discuss organizational and philosophical changes necessary for success as well as such topics as global strategic planning, creation of global demand and adoption of global business processes.

His talk will include information on global human resources and global movement of people and will focus on the importance of international education to prepare students for success in a global enterprise.

Knowlton, who has been employed by such firms as Colgate-Palmolive Canada and General Foods Inc., joined Kellogg Canada Inc. in 1980 as senior vice president for sales and marketing. His posts since then have included president and chief executive officer of Kellogg Canada Inc.; chairman of Kellogg Company of Great Britain Ltd.; and president of Kellogg Europe. He was named executive vice president of the Kellogg Co. in 1992 and added his current post as president of Kellogg North America in 1994.

A native of Canada, Knowlton earned both bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Windsor. He is a member of the Kalamazoo College board of trustees and serves on the board of directors of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. of Chicago.

Knowlton's talk will last about 40 minutes and will be followed by a question and answer period and a reception. For more information about the event, persons should contact Dr. Alan J. Hovestadt, professor of counselor education and counseling psychology, at (616) 387-5117.

WMU's chapter of Phi Kappa Phi was chartered in 1989 and now has more than 2,000 members. The organization recognizes and encourages superior scholarship in all academic disciplines and is dedicated to the purpose of promoting high scholastic standards at the University.


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