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2023 Olafson Ethics Symposium

2023 Olafson Ethics Symposium 

The upcoming 2023 Olafson Ethics Symposium will take place on Thursday, November 16 at 7 p.m. in the Barry Auditorium at Nistler Hall. The event will feature a keynote presentation “The Harmony of Ethics, Values, and Happiness” by Kelly Caruso, former CEO of Shipt.

The purpose of the Olafson Ethics Symposium is to provide a platform for students and the business community to explore the importance of both personal and professional ethics. This annual event is funded through the support of UND Alumnus Robert Olafson and his dedication to ethical business practices and the University of North Dakota. Additional funding support has also been provided by SEI Investments Company.

“The Harmony of Ethics, Values, and Happiness”

About Kelly Caruso

Kelly is a seasoned CEO and board director with 25 years of experience in omni-channel retail, eCommerce, supply chain, technology, and design. She excels at providing vision, and strategic direction, and optimizing operations for revenue and profit growth. Kelly’s unique approach involves establishing a clear and compelling purpose for the organization, one that extends beyond profits, and aligning values with this purpose to create a cohesive culture. Her emphasis on culture fosters a sense of shared identity and belonging, making her known for creating highly engaged teams. Kelly held senior leadership positions at Target Corporation, including CEO of Shipt, where she emphasized the importance of purpose and values in shaping the company’s culture. In 2022, she founded Regarding Design, an interior design firm, and currently serves as an independent board director for private equity-backed Fintech companies and on the University of North Dakota Alumni Association and Foundation Board of Directors. Her career demonstrates how instilling purpose and values in the heart of an organization creates a thriving and inspired culture that drives success.

About Bob Olafson

Bob Olafson is a native of Gardar, North Dakota and graduated from Edinburg High School in 1967. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from the UND College of Arts and Sciences in 1971 with a major in mathematics, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the College of Business and Public Administration in 1972.  

Bob spent his entire career at Securian Financial in Saint Paul, Minnesota, working in the group life insurance business. He became a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries in 1977 and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries in 1978. During his career, he provided leadership for a broad range of functions including financial, sales, marketing, customer service, medical underwriting and claims administration. He was Senior Vice President of Group Insurance at the time of his retirement in 2012. 

Bob has remained involved with UND over the years, including service as a member of the Nistler CoBPA Advisory Council from 2008 to 2016. He has supported the annual Olafson Ethics Symposium since its inception in 2005 and has established the Robert M. Olafson Endowment within the UND Foundation to continue this support. He also has provided support to the Nonprofit Leadership Program of the Nistler CoBPA. 

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