W.R. Grace CEO Fred Festa kicks off 2007-2008 Mellon Speaker Series
As just the seventh person to lead chemical giant W.R. Grace & Co. since its inception in 1854, Fred Festa is in elite company.
Tepper School students will get a chance to hear from and talk with Festa, who joined the company as president and chief operating officer in 2003 and assumed CEO responsibilities in 2005, part of a diverse career that includes private equity, procurement, manufacturing and finance.
Festa is the first speaker of the 2007-2008 academic year in the Tepper School’s W.L. Mellon Speaker Series. He will deliver his talk at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 11 in Room 152, Posner Hall.
The W.L. Mellon Speakers Series gives Tepper School students the opportunity to engage in high-level exchanges about strategy, world affairs, and other key issues with C-level business executives. Sponsored by the Graduate Business Club and other student organizations, the series includes a presentation open to the entire school, as well as student-only breakout sessions that encourage lively discussions with the speakers in small-group settings.
Prior to joining Grace, Festa was a partner at Morgenthaler Private Equity Partners, an $850 million venture/buyout firm focusing on mid-market industrial buildups. Earlier , Festa was president and CEO of ICG Commerce, a privately held company offering online procurement services. Under his stewardship, revenues grew from $5 million to $45 million and the company acquired Accenture’s EP Value groups in the United Kingdom and Germany, building out the company’s offering in Europe.
Festa began his career at General Electric after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in finance from the State University of New York at Oswego. He spent 12 years in financial management positions at GE, and completed the company’s Financial Management Training Program as well as its benchmark General Management Course. In 1993, he joined Allied Signal (now Honeywell), progressing through a series of increasingly responsible positions before serving as vice president and general manager of the company’s performance fibers business from 1998 to 2000.