College of Business
Butler Business Consulting Group

Leadership & Staff

Right Arrow Show Profile: Lawrence A. O'Connor, Jr. ~ Executive Director

Larry OConner Larry O'Connor comes to Butler University with more than 40 years of financial and managerial experience. He spent 37 of those years with Bank One Indiana, becoming president following the bank's merger with First Chicago NBD in 1998 and chief executive officer in 2002. His depth of experience with Bank One speaks to his ability to bring an organization through numerous changes to a place of stability and continuing growth.

Although he officially retired in September 2003, he has continued to be an active business and nonprofit leader in the Central Indiana community, offering his extensive financial and managerial knowledge to various organizations.

In November 2004, O'Connor was appointed interim director and chief executive officer for the Indianapolis Museum of Art, and continued in that role through June 2006. During his tenure, O'Connor oversaw the completion and the opening of the museum's $100 million expansion. O'Connor along with Brian Landis founded the client services sector of the Butler Business Accelerator in 2006, which began serving clients in 2007.

O'Connor received a bachelor's degree in economics and finance from the University of Notre Dame, and he earned a masters of business administration from the University of Michigan.

Right Arrow Show Profile: Brian P. Landis ~ Managing Director

Brian Landis Brian Landis brings more than 31 years of industry and consulting experience to Butler University. Landis is currently leading client service delivery for the Butler Business Accelerator. From its inception in August, 2006, the Accelerator has engaged its five professional project managers in 117 projects with 45 companies in 19 industries. Over 26 faculty members and 107 student analysts have participated on project teams to deliver more than 20 consulting offerings in this, the only management consulting firm in the United States run out of a College of Business.

Prior to helping to found the Accelerator, Landis worked at the global consulting firm Accenture, where he became a partner during his nine years with the firm. Landis specialized in manufacturing and supply-chain improvement, technology implementation and large-scale program management. A strong advocate for the benefits of lifelong learning, he coordinated capability development for Accenture's Chicago-based analysts and participated in several joint programs with universities in Indiana, including his alma mater, Purdue University in West Lafayette, as well as Indiana University in Bloomington.

Landis graduated first in class with a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University and received the Krannert Scholar award during an M.S.I.A. in management from the Krannert School at Purdue University. Landis' diverse business background also includes 19 years working for three Fortune 500 companies - Alcoa, Detroit Diesel and IBM - in positions such as production manager, production control manager and project manager of both manufacturing improvement and computer systems initiatives.

Brian is also a small group leader and coach at College Park Church and is the Operations/Finance Lead on the Board of the International Center of Indiana. 

Right Arrow Show Profile: Chuck Williams ~ Dean, College of Business

Chuck Williams Chuck Williams, dean of the College of Business, joined Butler in August 2008. Williams, a native of Indianapolis, came to Butler from the University of the Pacific's Eberhardt School of Business, where he served as Dean since August 2006. Prior to joining the Eberhardt School, Williams spent 15 years with Texas Christian University's Neeley School of Business as a faculty member and chair of the Department of Management and later associate dean for undergraduate studies.

Williams received teaching awards at both Texas Christian and Oklahoma State universities, has taught executive education courses for two decades, was named a co-recipient of the Society of Human Resource Yoder-Heneman Research Award, and was nominated by Texas Christian University for U.S. Professor of the Year, a national competition sponsored by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

He has written three widely-used management textbooks: Management, now in its fifth edition, Effective Management: A Multimedia Approach (3rd edition) and MGMT (1st edition). He has also published numerous articles on organizational behavior, human resources and research methods in such respected journals as the "Academy of Management Journal" and the "Journal of Applied Psychology."

Williams earned a doctorate and masters of business administration from Michigan State University and a bachelor's degree from Valparaiso University.

Dr. Williams is enthusiastic about the COB's 'real life, real business' educational approach, which provides undergraduate and graduate students with real world learning opportunities through a distinctive curriculum, the Butler Business Accelerator and strong partnerships with the Indianapolis business community.

Right Arrow Show Profile: Katie J. Abernathy ~ Business Development Manager

KatieKatie Abernathy brings more than 10 years of business development and marketing experience to the Butler Business Accelerator. Katie's focus at the Accelerator is to identify new business opportunities and to help create and implement plans and initiatives that lead to business growth.

A creative professional that builds collaborative relationships, Katie's diverse background includes experience with a variety of organizations including non-profit, privately held businesses and global corporations. Her functional expertise includes brand strategy and development, campaign and enterprise project management, sales process improvement and CRM research and implementation.

Katie received her MBA from the University of Illinois and her bachelor of science in business and communications from the University of Idaho.

Right Arrow Show Profile: Melissa B. Beckwith ~ Project Manager

Melissa Bechwith Alumna Melissa Beckwith '00 comes to Butler University with more than ten years of marketing experience. Since joining the Accelerator, she has assisted 13 clients in accelerating their top line growth through marketing strategy & implementation, sales process design, and CRM implementation. Beckwith has helped companies see tangible results. One client yielded a 35% year-over-year sales increase after partnering with the Accelerator. Through execution of targeted campaigns affecting awareness, knowledge, and point of sale intent/trial, Beckwith helped another client see a sales increase of 16% over a 9 month period and 25% over 12 months.

Beckwith began her professional career at MarketVision Communications, Inc. as the director of business development and client services. In this role, she developed and executed marketing communication plans for clients ranging from $600 million national manufacturers to small regional equipment distributors.

Working in higher education is not new to Beckwith. Before joining Butler, Beckwith served as the associate director of communications for university marketing at Valparaiso University. In this role, Beckwith developed annual communication and advertising plans for the university.

Beckwith earned her MBA from Valparaiso in 2005.

Right Arrow Show Profile: Trent Ritzenthaler ~ Operating Director

Trent Trent Ritzenthaler has 20 years of consulting experience in the insurance, financial services, life sciences and healthcare markets with a background in strategic planning, information technology, process optimization and change leadership.

Prior to joining the Accelerator, he worked for a number of companies, including Accenture, Navigant, Roche Diagnostics and divine, Inc. He was also the president and co-owner of Ascendium, Inc., a healthcare-centric consulting services firm. In each of these settings, Ritzenthaler helped clients to enhance revenue, manage costs, improve quality and implement change.

Trent graduated from DePauw University with a bachelor of science degree in computer science and is a trained Lean Six Sigma professional.

Right Arrow Show Profile: J. Christopher Stump ~ Project Manager, CFO Services

Chris Stump Alumnus Chris Stump '89 brings 22 years of accounting and finance experience to Butler University. Stump began his professional career with Ernst & Young. His diverse background provides experience with a variety of organizations ranging from Fortune 500 Companies, Cummins Engine and Corning, Inc., to middle market companies including responsibilities in operations and human resources along with his primary accounting and finance functions.

Stump completed his master's degree in business administration in '96. This education coupled with the knowledge of best practices learned at Cummins and Corning allowed him to implement comparable methodologies at smaller companies to measurably increase efficiency and effectiveness in both the finance functions and operations.

The focus for Stump within the Accelerator has been to utilize these capabilities to develop the "CFO Services" offering. These services have been provided to several middle market companies over the past four years. In each case the CFO Services team was able to develop efficient and meaningful reporting to help the companies effectively project and manage their profitability and cash flow.

Right Arrow Show Profile: Diana K. Todd ~ Administrative Assistant

Diana Todd Diana Todd brings 13 years of administrative assistant experience and 35 years of customer service experience to the Accelerator. Diana began her career with the Health and Human Services as a claims representative initiating, developing and adjudicating retirement, survivors, disability and SSI benefits. She has also worked as an independent sales representative and owned two franchises.