Skip Navigation

Florida Tech community: Please view the Florida Tech Safe website for important COVID-19 information and "Return to Learn" plan details.

F. Alan SmithDistinguished Lecture Series

Past Lectures


Tom Folliard, Chairman of the Board, CarMax

Title of the talk: "How a Florida Tech graduate in Melbourne helped CarMax transform an industry"

Description: "Tom Folliard graduated from Florida Tech and began working at a local used car wholesaler. After a visit from the founders of what would later be CarMax, he became employee #1.  Since then the company has grown to change and disrupt the field, becoming the largest used-car retailer and #174 in the Fortune 500. In this talk, Tom will explain how CarMax grew so quickly and it’s journey to the top of its industry."

Photo Gallery

Video Replay


Tory Bruno, President and CEO of United Launch Alliance

Title of the talk: "ULA's Transformation and Vision for the Future of Space Launch"

United Launch Alliance is solely focused its customers' mission and is the nation’s most experienced space launch company with more than 130 consecutive launches and a 100% mission success rate. ULA is transforming the future of space launch, making it more affordable and accessible for customers and the new Vulcan Centaur rocket will make the impossible possible with capabilities that will allow a thriving lunar economy and extend the reaches of space exploration for generations to come. We are standing on the threshold of a post scarcity human future. Recent discoveries by NASA and others have revealed the presence of natural resources on the moon and other near earth asteroids. An expansion of space transportation systems and the supporting industrial base is occurring which, together with the discovery of ubiquitous water that can be converted to high energy rocket fuel, could make recovery of space resources practical and promise a new era for humanity.

Photo Gallery

Video Replay


Greg Smith, Executive VP, Supply Chain, Walmart U.S.

Headshot of Greg Smith, Executive VP Supply Chain, Walmart

Greg Smith is the executive vice president, supply chain for Walmart U.S. He has responsibility for all product flow and distribution centers, as well as responsibility for all domestic and global ocean transportation functions.

Prior to his current role, Greg served as a senior vice president of global operations at The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. With more than 30 years of supply chain and operations experience, Greg has transformed manufacturing, procurement and logistics programs at companies like Goodyear, ConAgra Foods, United Signature Foods, VDK Frozen Foods and Quaker Oats.

Greg earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville. He currently serves on the Global Supply Chain and College of Business advisory boards at the University of Tennessee.

Photo Gallery

Video Replay

Jarrett Walker, International Consultant

Jarrett Walker

Jarrett Walker is an international consultant in public transit network design and policy, based in Portland, Oregon.  He has been a full-time consultant since 1991 and has led numerous major planning projects in cities and towns of all sizes, across North America, Australia, and New Zealand.  He is also the author of Human Transit: How clearer thinking about public transit can enrich our communites and our lives (Island Press, 2011).

He is President of Jarrett Walker + Associates, a consulting firm that provides advice and planning services North America.

Born in 1962, he grew up in Portland in during the revolutionary 1970s, the era when Portland first made its decisive commitment to be a city for people rather than cars.  He went on to complete a BA at Pomona College (Claremont, California) and a Ph.D. in theatre arts and humanities at Stanford University.  Passionately interested in an impractical number of fields, he is probably the only person with peer-reviewed publications in both the Journal of Transport Geography and Shakespeare Quarterly.

Photo Gallery

Video Replay

John Fleming, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ford of Europe

Alan Smith Lecturer John FlemingGroup Vice President, Ford Motor Company

Prior to his current position Mr. Fleming was President, Ford of Europe and prior to that he was Vice President Manufacturing, Ford of Europe with responsibility for all manufacturing facilities and operations.

Before taking over as Vice President Manufacturing, Mr. Fleming was Executive Director of the Ford Stamping Business Unit in the United States, an operation he was responsible for establishing. Prior to that assignment he served as Director of Global Manufacturing Engineering and New Model Programs.

Mr. Fleming joined Ford in 1967 at the company's Halewood facility on Merseyside, where he was involved in manufacturing processes for the then new Ford Escort. John Fleming was appointed Production Manager of the plant's Paint facility in 1984 and continued with responsibility for this and other areas in a number of management roles until 1988, when he left to assume European responsibility for Paint, Trim and Chassis Engineering. He returned to Halewood in 1991 as General Manufacturing Manager of Halewood Operations.

John Fleming was subsequently appointed Operations Manager of Halewood Operations in 1993. In 1995 he was assigned to the U.S. as Program Operations Manager for Vehicle Operations, responsible for managing four automotive assembly plants and three stamping and component plants.

Born in Liverpool, England, in 1951 Mr. Fleming holds an Honorary Degree from the John Moores University in Liverpool and production engineering qualifications from North East London Polytechnic.

Susan Smyth, Ph.D.

Susan Smyth

The Nathan Bisk College of Business welcomed Susan Smyth to campus in March for the F. Alan Smith Visiting Executive Talk Series. 

Smyth, chief scientist for global manufacturing and director of the R&D Manufacturing Systems Research Lab at General Motors, offered, “The Future of Manufacturing in the 21st Century.”

In her role at GM, Smyth directs the creation of GM’s global advanced manufacturing strategies and oversees innovation and implementation of its advanced manufacturing portfolio.


Susan Smyth, PhD, is the chief scientist for global manufacturing at General Motors and director of the GM R&D Manufacturing Systems Research Lab. In this capacity, Smyth directs the creation of GM’s global advanced manufacturing strategies and oversees innovation and implementation of its advanced manufacturing portfolio. She has aggressively grown GM’s global collaboration footprint in the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, Korea and China. These collaborations have yielded internal and external recognitions.

Smyth began her career with General Motors as a senior project engineer with the Advanced Engineering staff. Since then, she has held a variety of leadership positions in manufacturing, quality, strategic business planning and R&D. In addition to being an SME International Director since 2012, Smyth is chair of the Technology Leadership Council for Manufacturing at the United States Council for Automotive Research; the GM executive representative for environmental technology at USCAR; a member of North-western’s MMM Executive Governance Council; executive advisor to Tennenbaum Institute and Georgia Tech’s Manufacturing Institute; and director of Collaborative Research Laboratories at the University of Michigan, MIT and Shanghai Jiao-Tong University, China. She has a bachelor’s in physics, a master’s in optoelectronics and information technology, and a doctorate in physics from the Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland.