ADA — The role passion plays in leadership and success will be explored Monday at East Central University by W. Lane Pennington, president and chief executive officer of Whiterock Affiliates LLC, a Tulsa-based company that identifies, acquires and develops business opportunities in the manufacturing, distribution and service industries.

Pennington will discuss “Leadership and Passion – the formula for success” as the speaker invited to deliver the annual Boswell Lecture at 6:30 p.m. in the Estep Multimedia Center on the first floor of the University Center. His lecture is open to the public at no charge.

“He will talk about what comprises leadership, but more importantly, what are the triggers for passion and how passion is a trigger for leadership,” said Dr. Tom Lanis, chair of the department of business administration. Lanis is the 2005-06 recipient of the S.C. Boswell Award which recognizes an outstanding faculty member in ECU’s School of Business.

“He wants to focus on how students can apply passion to be successful,” Lanis added, “whether they have aspirations to succeed in the international business arena or simply pursue opportunities in their own back yard. He will use people and stories from his own life and experiences.”

Pennington’s Whiterock Affiliates LLC partners with management teams, private equity firms and other investors to develop business opportunities. Over the past 15 years, he has had primary responsibility for identifying, negotiating, closing and subsequently operating more than 30 companies on five continents. Targeted investment opportunities currently range from $20 million to more than $500 million.

Pennington also is vice chairman of the board of directors of International Wire Group Inc., a $500 million manufacturer and marketer of copper wire products with facilities in the United States, Mexico, the Philippines, France and Italy. He is a management partner for Hicks, Muse, Tate and Furst, a private investment firm, and advises the firm and others on potential transactions and on the management and operations of certain of their portfolio companies.

He previously was an executive vice president of Lennox International Inc. where he was president of both Lennox Worldwide Heat Transfer and Lennox Asia Pacific. At Lennox, he had strategic and profit and loss accountability for operations exceeding $450 million in revenues with eight manufacturing plants and 3,500 employees in the United States, Asia, Australia, Latin America and Europe.

Based in Hong Kong and Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Pennington held several senior executive positions with Hilti International Corporation, a $2 billion manufacturer and direct sales company of specialty products and services for the construction industry. He also was vice president, legal and general counsel of Hilti Western Hemisphere in Tulsa.

Pennington began his career in 1980 as an associate attorney with a Tulsa law firm, later becoming a partner and shareholder in the firm and a member of its board of directors.

He is a member of the Executive Board of Circle Ten Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Dallas Chapter and Tulsa Chapter of Young Presidents Organization. He is a past member of the Boards of Directors of the Tulsa Philharmonic Society Inc. and the Tulsa Boys Home.

The S.C. Boswell award is awarded annually to a faculty member in ECU’s School of Business and is based on effective classroom teaching, professional development, involvement in student activities and contributions to the department, school and university.

The recipient, who carries the title of S.C. Boswell professor during his/her term, receives a stipend based on income from the S.C. Boswell Memorial Charitable Trust and sponsors a free public lecture or forum on topics of interest related to business. All full-time faculty of the School of Business are eligible to apply for the award.

The Boswell Trust was established through the ECU Foundation Inc. in 1975 by Boswell’s daughters, Sara Boswell and Jane Boswell Maher, in order to help attract and hold outstanding faculty members in business.

Boswell was a respected Ada businessman who served on the Board of Regents for Oklahoma Colleges for 18 years. He donated funds for the construction of ECU’s Boswell Chapel in memory of his wife Kathryn. He helped organize the Ada Industrial Development Corporation and establish Valley View Regional Hospital in 1935. Boswell was president of the hospital’s board of directors for 12 years.

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