Author: David Dodson

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Technology and marketing veteran Ron Swift named an Executive-in-Residence at UGA's Terry College of Business

Athens, Ga. — Ronald S. Swift has been appointed an Executive-in-Residence at the University of Georgia Terry College of Business, Dean Robert T. Sumichrast announced.

A New York native now living near Fort Pierce, Fla., Swift joins a select group of senior business executives invited to share their professional experiences with students and faculty of the Terry College.

“As lecturers in the classroom and as mentors outside of class, our Executives-in-Residence help to round out the career preparation of our students,” Sumichrast said. “We are pleased to have Ron Swift accept this appointment and look forward to him working closely with the Department of Management Information Systems and the MIS student organization.”

Swift retired earlier this year from Teradata Corp., where he was vice president for cross-industry business solutions. Teradata is a technology company that specializes in data warehousing and analytic applications. It counts more than 1,000 companies among its clients, including the Coca-Cola Co., AT&T, Delta Air Lines, eBay, Home Depot, Macy’s, PayPal and Verizon.

“One of the roles they’ve asked me to do is to be a guest lecturer for multiple departments at Terry,” Swift said. “At the same time, I’ll work with faculty to help with curriculum and courses as appropriate, and be available to students when I am on campus to talk about anything they want to talk about – from careers to job opportunities to courses they should take, as well as skills they will need to succeed.”

After four years in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, Swift’s management career began in 1970 at IBM, where he then spent 22 years before retiring at the age of 47. He subsequently served three years as the senior partner in an international consulting firm before joining AT&T GIS in 1996. AT&T spun off NCR Corp. and its Teradata division in 1997. Teradata then became its own company again in 2007.

“In my last position with Teradata, my focus was on business intelligence and the application software that helped run businesses using massive databases and integrated data from dozens or hundreds of sources,” said Swift, author of the book, Accelerating Customer Relationships: Using CRM and Relationship Techniques. “Among the different industries I’ve been involved in for the last 40 years are communications, transportation, travel, retail, finance, e-commerce and government.”

In addition to providing scholarships to Terry College students, Teradata is involved with the college through the Teradata University Network, a free web portal and educational resource that Swift helped found 11 years ago and has been utilized by more than 1,500 colleges and universities worldwide.

Swift is no stranger to Terry, contributing his expertise for more than two decades. While at IBM in the late 1990s, he began working with MIS professor Hugh Watson on executive information systems and decision support systems. He has also taught coursework in marketing and customer relationship management with Charlotte Mason, professor and head of the Marketing Department at Terry.

“People like Hugh Watson and others have been very involved with us, and we’ve utilized their skills and knowledge doing case studies with our customers,” Swift said.

“Accepting this appointment is the kind of thing an executive will do in thinking about those who will follow us, taking the knowledge and experience and widening it when they get out of school into real-life experiences in business, industry and government.”