Business leaders will speak at 2017 Porter Forum


NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State University’s School of Business, will host the 51st J. Walter Porter Forum beginning at 9:40 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 19 in the Russell Hall Room 107.  This year’s event will feature NSU alumni Rob Robertson and Nikki Ceasar Small and Tommy Wright, who will share insights into their success in business and management.


The Porter Forum was established by the family and friends of J. Walter Porter (1900-1965) in recognition of his interest in improving the image of business as a career field for college students and his concern for moral and ethical standards as expressed in his philosophy of business.  The forum is an effort to translate the textbook into practice by bringing capable, successful business executives to the campus to speak on selected topics in their area of expertise. The event is open to the public.


Robertson will speak at 9:50 a.m.  He has more than 17 years of mortgage experience with the last seven at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. He is currently the regional manager (senior vice president) of Region 12, leading a sales team that encompasses the District of Columbia, Maryland, northern Virginia and Delaware.  Prior to joining Wells-Fargo, Robertson spent 10 years as vice president for GMFS Lending in Atlanta and Baton Rouge.  He is also a former NFL football player. Robertson uses leadership skills to foster a culture of teamwork and caring internally to translate to success with customer experience.


Small will speak at 11:05 a.m. She is the associate director of graduate admissions for the Richard DeVos Graduate School at Northwood University where she manages training and development for the graduate admissions team.  She is also responsible for developing corporate partnerships across the Dallas-Fort Worth region, which include General Motors of Arlington, Amazon and UPS of Dallas.  She is also an adjunct professor of management at Cedar Valley Community College in Lancaster, Texas.


Wright will speak at 11:40 a.m.  He is a partner in the Houston office of RSM US, LLP, a leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market. RSM has 9,000 professionals and associates in 90 cities nationwide and access to more than 41,000 people in 120 countries through RSM International.  Wright is a member of the National Tax Leadership Team Committee for RSM’s private services group and leads the RSM U.S. Family Office practice.  His primary expertise is in tax matters related to tax planning for family wealth preservation, wealth transfers, charitable transfers, closely held business enterprises and tax compliance for multigenerational families.  He works extensively with high-net-worth individuals and families, service organizations and closely held businesses.


For more information on the 2017 J. Walter Porter Forum, contact Carmella Parker, assistant professor and coordinator of outreach and special projects for NSU’s School of Business and Technology, at (318) 357-5723 or email

Events will take place in Russell Hall Room 107.