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But you may be wondering, “How will this work?” Well, the key lies in bringing together the essential players in this virtuous cycle of value creation: the startups, the investors, and the advisors. 

In this article, we will focus on the role and motivations for PGAN ‘angel ‘investor participation in this new program.

In the past, angel investors were typically high-net-worth individuals who provided initial seed money to early-stage startups in exchange for equity and the expectation of future capital appreciation. However, with the advent of the SEC’s crowdfunding regulations and the availability of online investment platforms, it is now possible for anyone to invest in unlisted companies that align with their investment goals. And the investment may be as little as $100. 

Although ‘angel’ investing is higher risk than investing in stocks and bonds, and angel investors must carefully evaluate potential investments, there are many benefits to ‘angel’ investing. 

Let’s look at some of the rewards of ‘angel’ investing :

  • Getting in on the ground floor of a potentially high-growth company.
  • Diversifying an investment portfolio by including a higher-risk, higher-potential asset class.
  • Supporting startups that have a product/service that aligns with investor’s values and beliefs.
  • The personal satisfaction that comes from helping to grow a small business.

For me, ‘angel’ investing is an opportunity to learn about new technologies and business models that may radically change our future. And what could be more exciting than that?

Over the next 2-3 months, the PGAN Catapult program, in collaboration with our investment platform provider, will launch several online capital-raise campaigns for the startups that participated in the ‘2023 Entrepreneur Stars’ program. Interested PGAN ‘angel’ investors will have the opportunity to discover, evaluate, and easily invest in PGAN-led startups via our investment partner’s online platform. 

If you are interested  in investing in Catapult Program startups, or just interested in what opportunities are available, then please follow this link and answer a few brief questions.

‘Angel investors’, get ready, get set, and let’s go!

Going beyond her own career journey, Carol shares relevant advice on the mindset shift needed to ascend into senior executive roles. This is the first in a series with P&G Alumni Coaching where leading Alumni will dive deep into relevant topics. Just as professional athletes have a coach to help them perform at their best, coaching can help you thrive in your career and life through powerful questioning, exploration, and action planning. P&G Alums can learn more and sign up for their free first coaching session at coaching.pgalums.com 

You’ll enjoy this candid coaching conversation with Carol on not just the big mindset shift needed for executive growth, but also how to get clear on what we want, take ownership of your career, build self-awareness, and go beyond the buzzwords of building an authentic personal brand.


The “Leaders Under 40 to Watch” Committee, the P&G Alumni Network Conference Committee, and the P&G Alumni Network Board extend their sincere congratulations!   

Procter & Gamble is renowned for hiring high-caliber talent. So, it is not surprising that a subset of P&G alumni go on to create exciting new startups. 

However, building a winning startup is hard and more than half of startups fail. What are the primary causes of these failures? Two recurring reasons are access to funding and the lack of industry and/or operational experience. The new Catapult program aims to address both challenges.

Through the new program, an annual cohort of twenty-five alumni-led startups will be selected for participation in pre-funding clinics geared towards mastering the prerequisites for fundraising success. At the end of the clinic, each startup will have an in-depth understanding of what is required to attract and engage potential investors.

Moreover, the top three startups in the yearly cohort will receive additional hands-on support with pitch deck preparation, business plan assessment, financial modeling, risk evaluation, and other topics that potential investors focus on. At the end of the process, the startups will launch their first fundraising campaign. 

However, successfully raising capital is by no means the end of the startup’s journey. In our next two articles, we will reveal how the PGAN experts and PGAN investors fit into this shared value-creation journey. 

Stay tuned.

Ben Chapman – Cooperative for Education Grant Champion

Cooperative for Education grant champion, Ben Chapman, explains why he championed a grant: “CoEd has had tremendous success over the past 25 years in accomplishing its mission by focusing on breaking the cycle of poverty in Guatemala through education. These are children who often are the only ones in the history of their families who have graduated from high school or even the 6th grade, changing the trajectory for their entire family.”

The $20,000 grant from the P&G Alumni Foundation has helped people like Diego. Rarely do you see someone get the opportunity to return home and give back to the community that raised them, but Diego, at age 28, is doing just that! During his studies at Hacienda María, Diego took advantage of the textbooks and computers provided by Cooperative for Education (CoEd). Today, Diego teaches technology classes in the same Computer Center where he once studied!

Steve Baggott – Breakthrough Cincinnati Grant Champion

Steve Baggott utilizes his 32 years of P&G expertise to support Breakthrough Cincinnati, an agency that energizes underrepresented aspirational students to enter college with confidence. BTC is dedicated to addressing the academic gap experienced by underrepresented local students that, when coupled with the system’s educational inequities, can limit their opportunities for college and prosperity. BTC is transforming the community to advance education, equity, and economic mobility.

The $15,000 Alumni Foundation grant has helped people like Bijin: “Breakthrough is such a positive bubble. It’s such a positive environment where everyone has a growth mindset and the belief that we can be better. I still feel the impact of Breakthrough every day when I’m here at college.” 

Bijin Basu

Jim Louwsma – Partners Worldwide Grant Champion
Jim Louwsma leverages his 2+ decades of time in P&G Sales at Partners Worldwide. He is grateful for the opportunity to work with PW as it works to link small-scale, marginalized farmers to viable markets that can lift them and their families out of poverty: “It is one of the few partner organizations in the country equipping these farmers with the skills, resources, and access to local and regional markets—including major regional supermarket chains—for lasting generational emergence out of poverty.”

The $20,000 Alumni Foundation grant to Partners WW has helped people like Grace.  “I am grateful to Partners Worldwide and Africa Works for introducing me to beekeeping, as this has resulted in my orchard fruit trees increasing yield, quality, income, and pollination”.  Grace has been able to use the additional proceeds from the honey to buy food and clothes and pay school fees. 

Visit our website to learn more about how these grants are changing lives!

But Tim is not exactly a P&G Alumni, so what’s the deal? Alongside our partners at P&G, we’re thrilled to share another episode of P&G’s “More Than Soap” podcast – available exclusively each week to P&G Employees at GetMoreThanSoap.com. On “More Than Soap,” P&G shares weekly conversations with Inspiring guests, unique perspectives, and unconventional ideas. “More Than Soap” is P&G’s official internal podcast – available  to all 100,000 P&G employees worldwide, and hosted by Dorion Positano, P&G’s Director of New Business and Content Innovation. Interested in learning more about P&G’s “More Than Soap” podcast, or P&G Studios, can reach out directly to Dorion on LinkedIn. GetMoreThanSoap.com


Mary, a Social Media Ambassador from the US, expressed how working with an amazing team and reconnecting with fellow P&G Alumni has brought the Foundation’s mission to life for her.

Akihiro, living in Australia, joined as an Ambassador to support the Foundation’s work on children’s education.

Ayman, who lives in Qatar, had a desire to be part of a worthy cause and make a positive difference in the world. Becoming an Ambassador feels like a great fit!

Through the active involvement of Ambassadors, the Foundation has grown significantly in awareness, reach, and partnerships. Dedicated Ambassadors generated above-industry benchmarks for follower growth and engagement on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

As the P&G Alumni Foundation continues to grow, we extend profound GRATITUDE to each Ambassador for their unwavering dedication and commitment. Their collective efforts not only empower dreams but also leave a lasting legacy of positive change across the globe. P&G Alumni Foundation Ambassadors stand together, making a tremendous difference in the lives they touch.


The next evening, Alumni joined together with a focus on helping those in need. The event featured special remarks by Paulo Romeiro, President of P&G Alumni Portugal, Hugo Figueiredo, past P&G Alum Portugal President, Deb Kielty, Chair of the P&G Alumni Foundation. Facilitating the evening’s activities from Alum Pedro Pina.

One of the highlights of the event was a discussion by retired P&G Alum Mohan C. Mohan. He’s a key driver in the establishment of the Foundation and a beloved leader in the development of P&G Portugal’s business. Over 120 P&G Portugal Alums raised money for both a local Portugal charity, Coracoes com Coroa, and for the Foundation’s work to support the work of organizations sponsored by P&G alum grant champions throughout the world.

Mohan shared his philosophy of “Love All, Hate None” his belief and inspiration from his new book Reflections at 80. As Alum Samir Hawwa noted in Reflections,” Mohan’s deep sense of being an enormously privileged person leads to his burning commitment to giving back to society and to serving humanity.” Proceeds from the sale of his book will be donated to help fund grants and futures.

With the Fourth of July right around the corner for Americans, we celebrate our independence and freedom but also take an honest reflection on who we are (and want to be) as a nation and as a people. With today’s level of division and discord, the importance of talking and listening to others who might not look and think like us cannot be overstated. There is a better way than simply passively standing by and retreating to our echo chambers. It’s about seeking to understand, which was one of the values many of us were taught during our time at P&G. We hope you’ll enjoy this candid conversation about comedy and curiosity.


Fama is a respected leader with a track record of turning around businesses, including during her time in North America Baby Care, while at the helm of Global Feminine Care, and as the Baby & Feminine Care Sector CEO. An inspiring leader, Fama is a role model known for championing gender and intersectional equality. She is also an advocate for mental health and leads her business with empathy and openness building resilient teams who she empowers to rise up to their full potential. She has four children and currently lives with her family in Cincinnati. You’ll enjoy this candid conversation about resiliency, and being a trailblazer in an organization.


GHE brings solar energy and sustainable development to half a million people across five remote regions in India. Jaideep and his team are the winners of the 2020 UN Climate Action Award. GHE’s work has been documented by National Geographic, BBC, and NDTV, and awarded by the WTTC and the World Tourism Awards. Jaideep has been featured repeatedly at Davos among the top leaders inspiring change in the world. He is also an Asia Foundation Fellow and has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. You’ll enjoy this candid conversation about social entrepreneurship and living a purpose-driven life.


About the P&G Business Catapult Program:

Business Catapult is the P&G Alumni Network’s virtual accelerator program for Alumni founders seeking investment, connections, and marketing for an existing venture.

By connecting P&G Alumni Entrepreneurs with P&G Alumni Investors and Advisors in order – we help your business to accelerate growth and make connections for potential funding.

This is an ongoing program providing mentorship and advisory to the top ventures. We guarantee at least one advisory session.

Selected semi-finalists present at an annual global pitch event – with finalists presenting at the P&G Alumni Global Conference, and the final winner recognized as the P&G Alumni Star Entrepreneur.

Born in Saigon, Beth is the author of books like Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, Short Girls, Pioneer Girl, and Owner of a Lonely Heart – her memoir in essays about post refugee life coming out later this year.

Beth 2021 New Yorker article – “America Ruined My Name For Me” unpacks a necessary conversation about identity, adaption and assimilation – especially for those whose name is not hard to pronounce or understand. A refugee and a mother, Beth’s moving work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The New York Times, and Literary Hub. Beth’s awards and honors include an American Book Award, a PEN/Jerard Award from the PEN American Center, a Bread Loaf fellowship, and best book of the year honors from the Chicago Tribune and Library Journal. Beth has taught at Purdue University and the University of San Francisco – she is and is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of Wisconsin. You’ll enjoy this candid conversation about growing between the cultures of two worlds


From 2016 to 2021, Shailesh served as executive sponsor for global sustainability, enabling P&G’s “force for growth and a force for good” vision and ensuring the company’s sustainability goals are fully integrated into the day-to-day business to enable—and to inspire—positive impact on the environment and society while creating value for the company, consumers and shareholders. Shailesh’s extensive P&G career has spanned 30+ years – across multiple businesses (Health & Beauty Care, Home Care, Fabric Care and P&G Professional) in both developed and developing regions – including North America, Europe, Asia and Africa) – getting his start in his home country in India. Shailesh is known for his unique ability to identify growth possibilities, having consistently delivered strong business results in every market and on every business. You’ll enjoy this candid conversation on curiosity, seeing around corners, and learning to learn.


Since retiring in 2008, Franz has remained an active consultant in Business Intelligence and Marketing, Retail Innovation, AI, and Business Process Improvement. Franz has also consulted with groups like GE Aviation and as an adjunct professor at Columbia University. Franz has a degree in astrophysics from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master’s in Industrial Mathematics from the University of Florida. With the rapid advancements in AI changing every day, things discussed in this March 2023 conversation may already have moved – but there are a lot of fundamentals in this candid conversation that make sense.


Ed also served on the boards of American Express, Delta Airlines, GTE, and Teradyne. He was active in foreign affairs and an influential advocate of world trade and on President Clinton’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations. 

With Ed’s recent passing in April 2023, we wanted to honor his memory, by replaying our 2020 conversation where Ed shared his perspectives on the importance of storytelling and the competitive advantage of integrity. His stories illuminate concrete lessons from both P&G’s successes and failures which speak directly to the challenges business leaders continue to face today.

READ THE BOOK — For more on Ed’s life and learnings – be sure to purchase his memoir / oral history: “P&G the Globalization Years: Lessons Learned during Procter & Gamble’s Transformation from an American Exporter to a Global Marketer”


Daniela has also served as a member of the board of WPP, the world’s largest agency holding company, and the French Luxury goods company, and graduated Magna cum Laude from the University of Rome—La Sapienza (Italy) and holds degrees in Political Science and International Studies. Prior to that, she completed professional studies in classic and modern dance at the National Dance Academy in Rome. She speaks fluent French, English, Spanish, and Italian. You’ll enjoy this candid talk on leadership, heritage & modernity from the 2019 P&G Alumni Global Conference in Madrid.


About the P&G Alumni Foundation:
The P&G Alumni Foundation, the charitable arm of the P&G Alumni Network, has a mission of creating opportunities for those less fortunate—a mission grounded in the shared values that unite us as Alumni. Through strategic grant-making, the Foundation improves the quality of life around the world by economically empowering individuals in need to achieve greater financial independence and economic well-being for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Bringing its mission to life, the Foundation invests in programs and projects that contribute toward real and sustainable employment. What makes us unique is that a P&G Alumni sponsor must be actively and meaningfully involved with the charitable organization making a grant request. Learn more or donate by visiting: pgalumnifoundation.org.

As early as 1975, while leading P&G’s European operations, Ed made growing the international businesses of the Company a top priority. This would culminate during Ed’s tenure as our CEO, as he made the globalization of P&G his priority, expanding into the world’s fastest-growing markets and creating scale by globalizing the planning, internal structure, communications and execution of new business activities.

Ed spent considerable time throughout his career developing employees. One of his most enduring contributions is the creation of P&G College, the predecessor of our current training programs, which became the cornerstone of our worldwide training efforts. He was also a courageous advocate for diversity, measuring and rewarding management for leveraging the unique backgrounds and experiences of employees to create new advantages as we became a global company.

Current Chief Executive Officer, Jon Moeller, reflected on the influence Ed Artzt had on the Company, “Ed had the foresight and competitive spirit to position P&G for success, and he led with conviction and courage.”

Procter & Gamble

In the conference center at P&G headquarters that bears his name, there is a quote from Ed Artzt.

“This is not a company of ordinary individuals.  It’s an organization of high energy, creative, articulate people who like to set higher standards for themselves than anyone else can set for them.”

When I meet younger alumni and even employees who did get to know the man, I remind them of these words. I think it says a great deal about a company when its leaders credit success to their people. I think it also says a great deal about such a leader.

Ed Tazzia, Chairman
P&G Alumni Network

Bracken’s a longtime “Friend of the Pod,” so we wanted to feature another chat he had with our favorite Humor Engineer and Co-host Andrew Tarvin, in one of Drew’s ”Humor Talks.” You’ll enjoy hearing Bracken share his recognition of the power of humor for creating a fun workplace. Now more than ever, it’s important to be able to be your authentic self at work, and for so many people, that includes humor. But Bracken knows that humor at work doesn’t have to mean telling jokes (he doesn’t think he’s a particularly funny person). He’s more in the moment, improvising or reacting quickly to what is said—a great mindset for building humor. This conversation may also feature stories about Jack Welch, and the naming of a cat in this candid conversation that, no surprise, is a fun one.


Misha got her Master’s in Journalism at Northwestern University and has taught as an adjunct professor at USC Annenberg and the Transom Radio Workshop. Misha started work in podcasting in 2017, at the dawn of the podcasting era, and has quickly become an important voice for today’s times, speaking on storytelling, identity, and ethical entrepreneurship. In a word, Misha is a podcast.

This insightful and entertaining conversation on identity and belonging comes from P&G Alumni Co-host Rajiv Satyal’s talk show “What Do You Bring To The Table” — where Rajiv spotlights prominent South Asian voices. Rajiv has spoken with Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Comedian Hasan Minhaj, author Deepak Chopra, influencer Lilly Singh, journalist Manu Raju, TV personality Tan France, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, and many more. You can SEE lots more of Rajiv’s video conversations at WatchRajiv.com.


Grant requests undergo a strategic and thorough review against their ability to deliver measurable results and strong impact. Uniquely, grants are also evaluated against the involvement and significant contributions of the P&G Alum(s) championing the grant. Our Grants Committee will review all applications and notify you of our decisions. Average individual grant awards are expected in the $10,000 – $25,000 range.

About the P&G Alumni Foundation:
The P&G Alumni Foundation, the charitable arm of the P&G Alumni Network, has a mission of creating opportunities for those less fortunate—a mission grounded in the shared values that unite us as Alumni. Through strategic grant-making, the Foundation improves the quality of life around the world by economically empowering individuals in need to achieve greater financial independence and economic well-being for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Bringing its mission to life, the Foundation invests in programs and projects that contribute toward real and sustainable employment. What makes us unique is that a P&G Alumni sponsor must be actively and meaningfully involved with the charitable organization making a grant request. Learn more or donate by visiting: pgalumnifoundation.org.

During Charlotte’s 33-year career at P&G, she rose through the ranks of Brand Management and Corporate Comms and was the trusted counselor to five P&G CEOs. In fact, Charlotte was P&G’s first female corporate officer. Charlotte has received numerous industry accolades—including being named Woman of the Year AND Corporate Woman of the Year by the Cincinnati Enquirer, as well as receiving the Matrix Award for Public Relations, and the prestigious Paladin award. Charlotte’s a proud Purdue Alum, where she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees—and she even studied at the Culinary Institute of America.

In a great conversation about intention and serendipity, you’ll learn about the power of embracing a path never imagined, and removing our own blinders to be truly intellectually honest and objective about whatever situations we may face.

This episode originally aired in April 2021


As much as they fete the company’s success, what pleasantly surprised me is a refreshing and candid critique of its leadership mistakes and organizational failures. In my opinion, herein lies the greatest value of this book to aspiring leaders as most organizations and leader bios tend to skim the “unpleasant” and paint a glorified picture that is hard to learn and emulate.

I would summarize Ed’s legacy at P&G and his gift to corporate America, as two-fold.

First is the gift of a global mindset, and that being global is more than a large global footprint and brand, but investing in a best-in-class global talent pool that is capable of operating with equal competence in any country and environment, transcending cultural and geographic barriers. Case in point, most of P&G’s top leaders today, including my own former boss (Bala), were not born in America.

Second is the gift of a growth mindset, making an investment in people the number one job of managers. Case in point, P&G, was my first employer and where I first learned how to be a manager of people but was the only company where 50% of my performance rating was determined by my employees’ performance ratings.
Ranu Gupta, PGAN Global Member Engagement Chair and North America Regional Ambassador

Editor’s Note: This is a fascinating book. While the leadership messages in the latter sections are instructive, the “gold” is in the first section, comprising 60% of the book, which provides an inside, behind-the-scenes oral history of decisions made, lessons learned, course corrections, and triumph—available no place else.
Jack McFadden, Co-chair, PGAN Communications

The Ed Artzt book tour, led by John Pepper is currently scheduled for:

  • An Americas panel in April 2023
  • An Asia, EU, and MEA panel in May 2023

Important Message regarding Ed Artzt Book Offer:
First, the great news. The response to the generous complimentary book offer in the 3/22 PGAN Newsletter to those willing to review Ed Artzt book P&G: The Globalization Years has been overwhelming.

The regrettable news. The amazing response has exhausted the allotted supplies of free books. Those requests that came in after capacity had already been reached will be notified by Ranu Gupta.

However, we suggest an attractive option. The Kindle version of the book from Amazon is readily and quickly available for just $4.99.

Whatever you decide, we hope you will read this deserving book and write a review.

Thanks for your understanding and support!

She rose through the ranks, becoming a serial “first female” including first brand manager and first direct report to then CEO John Smale as head of strategic planning and acquisitions. After leaving P&G to become an almost full-time mom, Peg sought other challenges — consulting for Fortune 500 CEOs, and founding a venture capital fund focused on women-led companies. Peg soon launched Grandin Properties, a real estate development and management company focusing on walkable urban neighborhoods in Cincinnati. Beyond her career, Peg helped found the P&G Alumni Network and the Women’s Capital Club. Peg’s new book is called One Red Shoe: The Story of Corporate America’s First Woman. Alongside her husband Jack, Peg has four children and nine grandchildren. You’ll enjoy this insightful conversation about what it takes to persevere when the odds may be against you and to challenge the status quo, outperform, and break through boundaries.

This episode originally aired in November 2021


Previously Susan served as a Communications Director at Nike for three years. She also served in senior comms roles at Sleep Number Corporation, Home Chef, and Abbott. Susan got her start over eleven years at P&G in Communications working on brands like Gillette and Braun, as well as across Skincare and Homecare brands. Susan is driven by creative curiosity and a journalist’s heart for the story beneath the surface, helping companies identify and connect with their missions, navigate moments of crisis, and inspire the world with their unique story. Hailing from Nigeria as a child, Susan moved across major cities with her university professor’s parents and got her start at P&G through a youth organization called INRoads.org . Susan now returns to Ohio with her husband and two daughters. You’ll enjoy this candid conversation about speaking authentically, where your words have to follow your actions.


At Procter & Gamble, Ed was P&G’s second-ever Black Vice President, spanning a 36-year career at the company in 1965 – during which he was the R&D Technical Brand Manager who helped create Pringles. Ed was later the first Black co-owner + lead investor of the Cincinnati Reds, as well as CEO of EnovaPremier, and CEO of Legacy Acquisition. Ed has served on numerous company boards and has received appointments from the Governor of Ohio and a sitting US President. He’s a husband, father, grandfather, accomplished artist, and guitar player.

In this candid conversation on race, work, and life—Ed shares his thoughts as a black man growing up in Louisiana, rising through the ranks of corporate America, and the current climate. Ed believes that his number one mission is to help those who have been consistently under-represented to achieve higher levels of freedom…especially in the areas of education, economic empowerment, and inclusion.
This episode originally aired in August 2020


Prior to CURiO Brands, Anne served as CEO at Thymes from 2012 to 2016 when it merged with DPM Fragrance to become CURiO Brands. Anne was previously CEO and Co-founder of consulting firm The FORWARD Group, focused on growth strategies for mid-sized companies and key executives. Anne was also President and COO of Ebony, Jet & Fashion Fair Cosmetics, Johnson Publishing Company. Ann also served as Assistant Vice President of African-American Marketing for the Coca-Cola Company, and she got her start at P&G, where she rose through the ranks from plant engineer in FemCare to Associate Marketing Director in P&G Beauty integrating Clairol, helping reinvigorate brands like Herbal Essences and scaling multicultural marketing.

An active member of civic and business communities, Anne has been recognized as a YMCA Black Achiever, YWCA Rising Star, Top Black Executive in a Major Corporation as well as a Woman at the Top by EBONY magazine. She was also the youngest and first African-American trustee on the P&G Fund. Anne is a Detroit native and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science from Duke University. She also earned a Global MBA degree from Duke University’s School of Business.

You’ll enjoy this candid conversation about finding your voice, evolving one’s communication style for effective leadership, and taking people on a journey with you.


Kirk Perry is CEO of IRI Worldwide, a company that deals in big data analytics and insights that power, action, and growth. Previously Kirk served at Google for eight years as the Global President of Brand Solutions. Prior to joining Google Kirk was at P&G for 23 years – in various roles across marketing and general management – including President of Global Family Care and six years in Asia with assignments in South Korea and Japan. Kirk serves on the boards of The J.M. Smucker Company and Chick-fil-A, having previously served on the board of e.l.f. Cosmetics. Growing up from humble beginnings, Kirk and his family are also very active in giving back. Kirk is a member of the Cincinnati Innovation District Advisory Council and has been active with many nonprofit organizations, including board affiliations with The Ronald McDonald House, The CityLink Foundation, City Team, The United Way Campaign Cabinet, March of Dimes (national and regional), the University of Cincinnati Foundation, and the University of Cincinnati’s Bicentennial Commission. Kirk has also coached youth sports for more than 20 years. He and his wife, Jacki, have been married for more than 30 years and have four beautiful children.

In this ranging conversation between Kirk and co-host Rajiv Satyal, you’ll appreciate the value of how two people from different faiths and backgrounds can find common ground in their similarities and differences.


While we can’t do special articles about all the alumni that we lose, Norman, along with his colleague Gibby Carey, were recipients of our highest alumni honor in 2007, the McElroy Award. That award is given in recognition of significant contributions to the art and science of satisfying the consumer whether that is the result of a single event or concept or the compilation of a lifetime of achievements. In Norm’s case, it was a lifetime achievement award.

Together with Gibby, Norm created what was called the Copy Services Department.  It grew out of a belief that advertising could be studied and that P&G could increase its competitive advantage by understanding what made “Advertising That Works.” Through Copy College, Norm helped to train generations of P&G marketers.  He taught us not only how to get better advertising, but also how to treat our advertising agency partners to get their best work.  

Years later, fellow alum Kip Knight and I sought out Norm to be a part of a “faculty” that utilized the format of Copy College to develop a marketing and communication workshop for the US State Department.  Norm was a critical part of that group that worked to help the people charged with communicating US foreign policy understand the key elements of effective communication.

As good a marketer as Norm was, he was an even better man.  Whether you were a senior executive or a wet-behind-the-ears Brand Assistant, Norm had time for you and made you feel special.

I knew Norman for nearly fifty years and, like many of you who benefited from his wisdom, I will miss him.
Ed Tazzia, Chairman, PGAN

Norm was a remarkable person on so many levels.  He always made time to help whenever called upon, and whenever he saw that someone needed help.  I remember when he spent time with me as a young Brand Manager, teaching me about effective advertising.  I still carry those lessons and now, teach them to others.
Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble 

I had the pleasure of attending many of Norm’s advertising/copy seminars while climbing the brand management ranks in P&G Mexico and P&G Italy. Norm’s many anecdotes and uniquely witty presentation style helped bring his valuable content and learning to live. Norm’s spirit certainly lives on in generations of P&G Advertising personnel, including many alums around the world.
Deb Kielty, Board Chairman, P&G Alumni Foundation

One of the greatest advertising–and brand building–minds in P&G’s rich legacy of great leaders.  And always with a wink and a smile. I loved how excited he got about a new idea or insight.  He could not hold it in.
Jim Stengel, former GMO, Procter & Gamble

Norm was a force of nature.  He taught so many Benton & Bowles kids about what advertising was all about and strengthened the bonds between P&G and the agency. Frankly, he could also be an occasional pain in the ass, but always for the right reasons.
Arty Selkowitz, Advertising Agency Executive

Norm made a contribution to my recognition of how I needed to lead that was indelible.  

It happened over 35 years ago, passing in the hall.  It was a tough time in our U.S. business and evidently, I was showing it.  What he said to me was simple: “John, you ought to smile more!”  That brought me up straight.   That got my attention.   I had not realized that my appearance was conveying that I was discouraged but apparently it had been.  That was ironic because, while the business situation was serious, I had the utmost confidence we would succeed.  

What Norm told me that day in no more than 30 seconds affected how I tried to present myself; not pretending to be different than I was, but putting a genuine, positive face on it that I felt internally.
John Pepper, former CEO, Procter & Gamble

Photo from Tim Love, Friend of P&G

From business training, micro-loans, access to higher education, computer skills, beekeeping, and improved farming methods, our grants provide funding to train and provide employment opportunities to thousands. Through the efforts of the grantees, our funds will provide jobs and employment for over 1,700, job-related skills training for almost 2,000 people, and create more than 800 new business ventures impacting some 12,000 family and community members.

To learn about the grant recipients and their projects please click on the pictures below. The links will take you to the P&G Alumni Foundation website with individual profiles for each grant recipient.

Our impact continues to expand and the stories of those who have benefited are inspiring. Thanks to you, the P&G Alumni Foundation has given 112 grants totaling $1.78 million, spanning 40+ countries on five continents. More importantly, we have helped hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world create a better life for themselves, their families, and their communities.

With a committed global board of 15 talented leaders, 185+ Ambassadors, 120 grant champions, close to 400 donors, and thousands of talented alums around the world, we are able to do even more! Thank you for your continued support.

As an accomplished entrepreneur, James’ work embodies the very purpose, values, and principle-driven approach to work so many of us P&G’ers hold true. Mental and social health is especially a challenge for the younger millennial and Gen Z workforce today—which has a potentially massive impact on performance, productivity, and overall engagement and retention.  If you’re a manager of people, an exec or HR stakeholder, you can learn more and sign up for a free 30-day trial for you and some of your colleagues—just visit Loop.co/work.

James began this recent chapter while serving as an Entrepreneur-In-Residence at GGV Capital.  Prior to that, he led product strategy at TikTok, which he joined in early 2017 prior to its 2018 acquisition and rebranding from ByteDance. Prior to TikTok, James led content strategy at Snapchat, which followed his work as a founding team member at one of Youtube’s earliest partners Fullscreen, which was acquired by Otter Media in 2014. James worked extensively with P&G, Danone, and many other top brands when he co-led a small digital content agency called The ZiZo Group, leading his team to the earliest forefront of branded content marketing. James also had early career experiences at Target, Viacom, and Accenture. He spends a lot of his time in the climate & conservation spaces, where he has done a number of angel investments in climate tech, and founded a popular platform and podcast called Animalia where he leads discussions on a number of climate and conservation solutions. James is a dog lover, beekeeper, and even rehabilitates the occasional squirrel or crow.  You’ll enjoy this candid conversation about a career journey that led to a greater good—building meaningful solutions for the world of social and mental health—and you will hopefully be inspired on how you can make a difference.


Marlon actually got his start in Venezuela at 3M as an Operations Manager and made the jump to marketing at P&G in Fabric & Home Care Latin America. Marlon received his MBA from the IESA—School of Management in Caracas, Venezuela. And studied Production Engineering at University Simón Bolívar in Production Engineering, where he also received his master’s degree in Statistics. Marlon lives in Chicago with his wife and their twins. You’ll enjoy this conversation on the evolution from brand management to product management—and hearing Marlon’s fundamental belief that the launch of a product is not the finish line, it’s just the beginning.

This is hopefully the first of many conversations with leaders on the topic of Innovation. We wanted to dive deeper into how innovation is evolving in today’s rapidly changing world—by taking a “look under the hood” of some innovative companies. Joining our conversation is P&G Alumni Wayne Fisher, President of Rockdale Innovation—a consulting group that helps companies build their internal innovation capability that has hosted more than a few Innovation events for both P&G and P&G Alumni. Got a reco for an innovation story we should share on the pod (we know there are more than a few of you out there)? Reach out at pgalumpod@gmail.com


Carol Yang spent 13 years at P&G, with 23 years of senior corporate experience across Asia Pacific and North America. As a coach, Carol has multiple certifications with a special focus on leadership mindset, behavior shifts, and positive intelligence. Carol is a firm believer that you are most successful when you lead from the core of who you are.

Heidi Piper spent 30 years at P&G, across the US, Belgium, and Germany. Currently, as a coach, she holds several certifications. Heidi believes we have our own innate wisdom and when we’re deeply listened to and really seen, heard, and accepted, we can achieve our full potential in work and in life.

Carol Fusek spent 26 years at P&G—starting in Cincinnati and then across Asia-Pacific in leadership roles, primarily in supply chain. As a coach, she is certified in the neuroscience of leadership and is a certified dementia practitioner. Carol believes that what makes leaders exceptional is their sense of people and ability to connect to the hearts and minds of the organization they lead.

Ilhiana Rojas started her career at P&G Mexico, after which she continued her career across different Fortune 500 companies in Mexico and in the US. As a coach, Ilhiana is focused on leadership development.

Over the new year, we’ll share more powerful coaching discussions with P&G Alumni Coaching—a recently launched program by the P&G Alumni Women’s Leadership Forum. Just as professional athletes have a coach to help them perform at their best, coaching can help you thrive in life. Coaching is for anyone willing to challenge themselves to go after their professional or personal aspirations through powerful questioning, exploration, and action planning. P&G Alumni can sign up for their first FREE coaching session on their website. Because unlocking your full potential is a great way to start the new year.