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Mary and Ted Nixon to share global business lessons during WKU lecture

Mary and Ted Nixon, executives of global companies headquartered in Louisville, will share the lessons they’ve learned on the risks and rewards of doing business around the globe as part of WKU’s Hays Watkins Visiting CEO Lecture Series March 28-29.

A reception for the Nixons will be held from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. March 28 at the Sloan Convention Center in Bowling Green. They will present “Going Global: Lessons from the Road” at 3 p.m. March 29 at the Grise Hall Auditorium on WKU’s campus.

Mary Nixon, a 1977 WKU graduate, has been with Yum! Brands since 1996 and is Vice President of Tax and Internal Audit. Her husband, Ted, is a 1974 graduate of Princeton University and has been with D.D. Williamson, Inc., since 1974 and became CEO in 1992.

Their companies do business in more than 100 countries. Between the two of them, the Nixons have visited more than 40 countries.

Yum! Brands has more than 37,000 restaurants (KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell) in more than 110 countries. D.D. Williamson is the world’s largest manufacturer of caramel color used in the food and beverage industries and operates nine plants in the United States, Brazil, Ireland, United Kingdom, Swaziland and China.

After graduating from WKU with an accounting degree, Mary Nixon went to work for Ernst & Young in Louisville then joined PNC Bank in 1986 as Corporate Tax Manager and eventually was named CFO for the Kentucky/Indiana market. She has served in multiple finance roles for Yum! She served as co-chair of WKU’s “Investing in the Spirit” campaign, is a member of the leadership team for the “A New Century of Spirit” campaign and her gift created the Mary R. Nixon Professorship of Accounting in the Gordon Ford College of Business.

Theodore H. “Ted” Nixon graduated from Princeton University with a degree in systems engineering and applied statistics and received his master’s in business administration from the University of Louisville in 1983. He joined D.D. Williamson in 1974 in manufacturing, became director of operations in 1976, added sales and marketing responsibilities in 1980, and was promoted to president and COO in 1982 and CEO in 1992.

He serves on several boards and was inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame in 2009. The Nixons have two daughters and three grandchildren.

About the Hays Watkins Visiting CEO Lecture Series: Hays Watkins is a former CEO and chairman of CSX Corp. and is a graduate of Bowling Green Business University, predecessor of WKU’s Gordon Ford College of Business. The visiting professorship series was created in 1999.

Contact: Kristina Harvey, (270) 745-2279.

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