Lake Forest Graduate School of Management (LFGSM) has honored John C. Landgraf, Executive Vice President–Nutritional Products for Abbott Laboratories, with its Distinguished Executive Award for 2012. A highly respected business executive and LFGSM Class of 1992 Valedictorian, Landgraf accepted the Award and delivered the Commencement Address to the LFGSM Class of 2012 at graduation ceremonies held in the Navy Pier Grand Ballroom on June 24, 2012.
Each year since 1978, Lake Forest Graduate School has presented its Distinguished Executive Award to an exceptional business leader who unmistakably demonstrates managerial excellence and who is an exemplar of the highest performance standards and business ethics, demonstrating exceptional business leadership ability as well as a connection with their community.
“We are pleased to honor John Landgraf with our Distinguished Executive Award for 2012,” said John Popoli, LFGSM President & CEO. “He is an example of great leadership, great contribution, and great dedication. His career reflects the School's mission to support our graduates' passion for continuing to stretch their minds, tackling new challenges and making meaningful contributions in their professions and communities.”
Landgraf joined Abbott Laboratories in 1977 and rose to his current position in 2011, where he oversees annual sales totaling more than $6.5 billion. Accepting the Award, Landgraf offered sage advice to the Class of 2012. “I am a firm believer that, with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible,” he said. Encouraging the graduates to not view their MBA degree simply as a credential earned, Landgraf urged the MBA class to keep learning and to embrace new opportunities that bring with them new challenges and opportunities to interact with people who share new ways of thinking. “So, when you get that piece of paper in a few minutes, celebrate with your families, and relax a little,” he said. “But then after that, keep your mind open to new opportunities and keep on learning.”
When asked to comment on being chosen for this honor, Landgraf remarked: “I was surprised, honored and humbled when I learned of all the great executives that received this award before me.”
Mr. Landgraf joins an elite group of business leaders who have received this award, including the current and two former Chairmen of Abbott Laboratories: Edward Ledder (1978), Robert Schoellhorn (1989) and Miles White (2004). Most recently, LFGSM has honored Andy Mills, President, Medline Industries, Inc. (2011); Michael Englehart, President, Advocate South Suburban Hospital (2010); and David B. Speer, Chairman & CEO of Illinois Tool Works (2009) with its Distinguished Executive Award.
Active in the community and a strong advocate of education, Landgraf serves on the boards for the Northern Illinois University, North East Illinois Council - Boy Scouts of America, and Mailisita Foundation and Education Center. He also was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement from LFGSM in 2007.
Landgraf holds a BA in biology and a master’s degree in microbiology from Northern Illinois University and received his MBA from the LFGSM in 1992, where he was the valedictorian and graduated among the top 5% of his class earning him the distinction of Hotchkiss Scholar.
Watch a video of Mr. Landgraf’s commencement speech.
- The Lake Forest Graduate School of Management provided this press release.