Charlotte Networking Week Annual Banquet

More than 100 OHIO students and alumni attended the 10th annual Charlotte Networking Week Annual Banquet.

Photographer: Kayt Szulwach

Tim Reynolds

Tim Reynolds, founding director of OHIO’s Robert D. Walter Center for Strategic Leadership, talks with alumni prior to delivering the Charlotte Networking Week keynote address.

Photographer: Kayt Szulwach

TJ Simonik, Jackie Volkmann and Dean Hugh Sherman

Outgoing Chapter President TJ Simonik and current Chapter President Jackie Volkmann with Dean of the College of Business Hugh Sherman at the Annual Banquet. 

Photographer: Kayt Szulwach

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10th annual Charlotte alumni event links students with alumni for professional development and career networking

The Ohio University Alumni Association’s (OUAA) Greater Charlotte, N.C., Chapter Network hosted its 10th annual Charlotte Networking Week Feb. 21-23, 2013. The three-day event connected 43 current OHIO students with 80 OHIO alumni who provided professional shadowing opportunities, employer site visits, panel discussions, networking sessions and a “Living in Charlotte” tour.

The Chapter’s annual Alumni Banquet capped off the week and included a keynote address by Tim Reynolds, founding director of the Robert D. Walter Center for Strategic Leadership in the College of Business (COB). Reynolds earned his bachelor’s from OHIO’s COB in 1987 and has 25 years of corporate experience leading Fortune 500 companies.

“It was an incredible networking opportunity that allowed me to connect with a number of OU alumni,” Carole Ivan, a senior in the COB, said. “It just proves that whether you graduated in 1970 or 2012, you’ll always be a Bobcat and willing to help any fellow Bobcat.”

Charlotte Networking Week was established to bring current students together with alumni living and working in Charlotte and is an opportunity for students to learn about an area that is home to more than 1,700 OHIO alumni.

“I’ve been to Charlotte Networking Week a few times and this year takes the cake. The alumni panels were engaging and helpful, and the banquet allowed me additional time to interact with Bobcat alumni,” said Nykki Chihil, a senior in the COB. “With my best friends at my side, we realized Charlotte is the best place Bobcats go when they have to leave Athens and ‘grow-up’."

Planning for this year’s event was led by outgoing Chapter President TJ Simonik, a 2007 COB graduate, and current Chapter President Jackie Volkmann, a 2008 COB graduate.

“I couldn’t be more proud to work with such dedicated and talented alumni who tirelessly volunteer their time, talent and treasure in such a meaningful way to help future alumni on their path to career success,” Dawn Werry, OUAA interim senior director, said. “It’s an honor to meet such focused and engaged students who take their future so seriously.”

The week featured teacher shadowing as well as company visits to and/or shadowing opportunities at American City Business Journals, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Carolina Panthers Stadium, Container Graphics Corp, Duke Energy, Electrolux, Exopack Advanced Coatings, Premier Healthcare Alliance and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Alumni panel discussions covered media, public relations and journalism; finance and accounting; information technology and project management; and industry sales.

“This past week was an eye opening opportunity to view my future in my career after talking to alumni during the career panels,” said Cameron Clinger, a junior in the COB. “Shadowing and viewing companies was extremely helpful for creating the necessary objectives to achieve a position in Charlotte N.C. The welcoming hospitality from Alumni was very pleasant for me, and I cannot thank you enough.”

To participate in next year’s Charlotte Networking Week or for more information about opportunities to connect with OHIO alumni, contact the OUAA at 740-593-4300 or