Pittsburgh Pirates president to launch spring Smeal speaker series

University Park, Pa. — Frank Coonelly, president of the Pittsburgh Pirates, is scheduled to speak at Penn State's Smeal College of Business on Jan. 30 to kickoff the spring edition of the college's guest speaker series, Leadership in Focus: Executive Insights.

Coonelly will join Smeal Dean James Thomas for an interactive on-stage conversation at 12:15 p.m. in the Business Building's Struthers Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Executive Insights will continue on Feb. 20 with Ed Stack, chairman and chief executive officer of Dick's Sporting Goods. Karen Peetz, senior executive vice president of The Bank of New York Mellon, will close out the spring slate of speakers on April 17.

Coonelly, a 1983 graduate of Penn State with a bachelor's degree in public service, became president of the Pittsburgh Pirates in September 2007. In this role, he is responsible for leading the organization's senior management group and is accountable for the organization's success both on and off the field.

He previously served in the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball as senior vice president and general counsel of labor, negotiating and administering collective bargaining agreements with the Major League Baseball Players Association and the World Umpires Association. In this role, Coonelly, led a staff of attorneys who represented the commissioner and the 30 clubs in the litigation and arbitration of labor disputes. He also provided contract and economic advice and counsel to the 30 clubs, working closely with general managers and baseball operations personnel on contract and player relations matters.

Prior to joining Major League Baseball, Coonelly practiced law in Washington, D.C., where he represented Major League Baseball and several clubs as outside counsel.

In addition to his bachelor's degree from Penn State, Coonelly, a Philadelphia native, holds a J.D. from Catholic University Law School.

Leadership in Focus: Executive Insights, an initiative started in the 2006-2007 academic year, is designed to complement the Smeal educational experience by bringing high-profile business leaders to the college to connect with students, faculty, and administrators to share some of their business expertise and experiences in leadership.

Guests meet with Smeal faculty and students to discuss the latest trends affecting their organizations and industries, and they hold small-group sessions with interested students, including those who are alumni of their internship programs or are prospective employees or interns.

Past guests include James Clifton, chairman and CEO of The Gallup Organization; Dennis Nally, chairman and senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers; and James Stengel, global marketing officer for Procter & Gamble. A complete list of past speakers and further information on the Executive Insights series can be found at http://www.smeal.psu.edu/execinsights online.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009