Franz Speaker Series | University of Portland

Franz Speaker Series

The Franz Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation is here to provide students, faculty, and staff with educational experiences, opportunities for professional development, and everyday life resources.

Our mission is to become a resource for guiding the UP community on education, discourse, and implementation of the boundary crossing mindsets, knowledge, and skills of leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation. We do this through the Franz Speaker Series.

The Franz Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation Speaker Series invites distinguished and celebrated voices to engage the UP community to inspire, provoke, educate, and transform our hands, hearts, and minds for the greater good of the human family.



2023 Featured Speakers


Nathan Perez 20 minute networking

Nathan A. Perez

September 28, 2023
6 – 8 p.m. 
Franz Hall 120 

Winner of 10 major national and international independent book awards, The 20-Minute Networking Meeting is a carefully constructed job-search networking model that was developed by Nathan A. Perez and Marcia Ballinger, PhD in Spring of 2012.

Using a combined 50 years of networking experience in executive search (the folks who are hired by companies to find new executive leaders for their companies) and the world of entertainment (where it's all about who you know), Marcia and Nathan have taken the five most important parts of a networking meeting and built a model that shrinks an hour long appointment into an efficient, structured, highly productive 20-minute meeting.

Chock full of real-world scenarios, short stories, meeting examples, and dozens of tips and observations from hiring authorities and recruiting experts, the Professional Edition is an end-to-end lesson on job- search networking, founded on the premises of gratitude, positivity, and reciprocity. Specifically constructed to clarify and simplify networking for job-search, the 20MNM was written for even the most introverted networker and is rounded out with a complete set of readiness worksheets that guide the reader through actual networking preparation, with fully written stories that show the entire The 20- Minute Networking Meeting model in action.



A portrait of Kevin BethuneKevin Bethune

Founder & Chief Creative Officer of dreams • design + life, author of Reimagining Design

March 23, 2023
Brian Doyle Auditorium 

Kevin Bethune is the Founder & Chief Creative Officer of dreams • design + life, a "think tank" that delivers design & innovation services using a human-centered approach. Kevin's background spans engineering, business and design in equal proportion over his 20+ year career, positioning him to help brands deliver meaningful innovations to enrich people's lives.

His work represents creative problem-solving that brings multidisciplinary teams together to see the future through an open aperture, and a deep industrial design approach to inform and influence desirable, feasible and business-viable design outcomes.

Kevin began his career as a mechanical engineer in the nuclear power industry. This chapter gave him deep product experience working with high performing teams across 14 nuclear reactor upgrade campaigns. After his MBA, Kevin joined Nike, Inc. in a business capacity, but quickly navigated to the Global Footwear product engine to drive advanced digital product creation capabilities, discovering the world of design in the process. After solidifying his creative foundation through further studies at ArtCenter College of Design, Kevin co-founded distinct design & innovation capabilities at two Tier 1 management consulting firms in Booz & Co. and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). As Vice President of Strategic Design at BCG Digital Ventures, he led a large cohort of designers that would influence and shape every corporate venture spun out from the incubator. Kevin left BCG Digital Ventures to carve his own path under the banner of dreams • design + life, focusing on unlocking human potential through strategic design, industrial design and the building of new ecologies. Kevin also serves as a Board Trustee for ArtCenter College of Design and the Board Chair for the Design Management Institute (DMI).