Jay Shelton (’07) is the MBA Program’s 2015 Dr. Tom Cate Distinguished Alumnus of the Year

Jay Shelton

“My NKU MBA has made a significant impact on my career. The degree itself has opened new doors and generated career opportunities ...”

By Becky Weatherford
Marketing + Communications

Jay Shelton lives the NKU promise by leading with excellence. He is a 2007 graduate of Northern Kentucky University’s Master of Business Administration and the 2015 winner of the Dr. Tom Cate Distinguished Alumni of the Year award for the MBA program in the Haile|US Bank College of Business

Shelton, a resident of Walton, KY and Northern Kentucky native, was presented with the award on the first night of the MBA Boot Camp on August 7.

“Receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award is beyond humbling, especially when you consider the amazing impact that Dr. Tom Cate has made throughout his career at NKU, as well as understanding the incredibly successful alumni who have been past award winners,” Shelton said. “It truly is an honor to be recognized given all the accomplished alumni that have been part of NKU’s MBA program over the years.”

Given Shelton’s strong and continued connection to the MBA program, he was an obvious choice.

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“We selected Jay for many reasons,” MBA program director Ned Jackson said. “Among them are his successful academic career, his service to NKU with the MBA program and College of Business Alumni Association, his successful business career as chief financial officer at Heritage Bank. Jay has been a selfless volunteer at our MBA Bootcamps for several years to coach and mentor our newest students. Jay created and coordinated MBA class projects which dealt with Heritage Bank, spending a great deal of his own time, and arranged for the Heritage senior management attend the class presentations on the NKU campus –– a wonderful experience for our students. He personifies the standard to which we hold our award winners. His ongoing commitment to his alma mater, his family and his community paints a clear portrait of a man and an MBA graduate whom our students can admire and emulate.”

Jay’s commitment to community is evident in the causes he supports in numerous ways. He is the co-founder of Boone County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) –– an organization of local businesses and nonprofits that respond to emergency disaster situations. In the past 12 months, VOAD has been deployed in two different disaster situations, providing shelter and resources for more than 70 individuals.

Shelton is the fourth winner of the Dr. Tom Cate Distinguished Alumni of the Year award, joining Eric Teegarden (2012), CFO of Hillenbrand Inc.; Jeeva Kumar (2013) business unit manager at Robert Bosch Automotive Steering, LLC in Florence, KY; and Senator Chris McDaniel (2014) president of McD Concrete and representative of Kentucky’s 23rd District.

“We created this award to recognize and honor our MBA alums who have distinguished themselves in their careers and lives, who are involved and highly regarded in their respective industries and in our community, and who serve as inspirations to our students,” Jackson said. “In my view, the award is growing in prestige every year and is encouraging a reconnection with our MBA alums.”

The award is named for Dr. Tom Cate, a retired economics professor who was at NKU since its beginning. Cate is a past winner of the Frank Sinton Milburn Outstanding Professor Award and served as the first interim director of the MBA program. Cate also served as an assistant basketball coach and tennis coach during the early days of the university.

NKU’s MBA program is a two-year program, distinctive in content and delivery, precisely calibrated for high-potential individuals looking to meet the demands of leading organizations in the 21st century.

For more information about the MBA program, contact Ned Jackson at jacksoned@nku.edu or 859-572-6357.

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"My NKU MBA has made a significant impact on my career. The degree itself has opened new doors and generated career opportunities; but even more importantly, the coursework, personal instruction, and teamwork among my fellow classmates has increased my understanding and professional skills across the business environment.

In today’s competitive environment, the ability to execute strategies, bring new ideas to the table, and work collaboratively as a team are critical to business success.

Thankfully those are the very same skills that are at the core of NKU’s MBA program."

–– Jay Shelton