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Bob Sherrer, Lindsey Patterson Smith and Shane Wharton will be the featured speakers at CEO Day on April 2.

Successful business leaders will share their stories with OSU students at CEO Day

Monday, March 11, 2024

Media Contact: Terry Tush | Director, Marketing and Communications | 405-744-2703 |

Three successful business executives will be sharing their stories with Oklahoma State University students during the Spears School of Business’s CEO Day from 3-4:30 p.m., April 2, at the Student Union Theater. OSU students are encouraged to attend free of charge.

This year’s forum will feature Bob Sherrer, retired president and chairman of the board for Tom James clothier; Lindsey Patterson Smith, philanthropist and investor who serves as chair of the Patterson Family Foundation, and Shane Wharton, president of Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores.

CEO Day is presented by the Business Student Council, the MBA Association and Spears Business to bring successful businesspeople to the Stillwater campus. Students can discover challenges and issues that business leaders face, understand how CEOs chart their career paths, discover characteristics they seek in managers, interact with successful executives and learn about their decision-making processes and leadership styles.

Sherrer, who graduated from OSU in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in agronomy (soils option), joined the Tom James Company in 1970 after serving three years in the U.S. Army. Tom James Company is a direct-selling company and the world’s largest retailer of custom clothing. He served 43 years at Tom James until his retirement in 2011. He formed “Sherrer Success” in 2012, a philanthropic organization to help new and younger sales professionals and organizations build careers in direct sales and direct sales leadership.

Patterson Smith, a 2005 graduate of Saint Louis University (bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and business management), is the daughter of the late Neal Patterson, who graduated from OSU with a degree in finance and was co-founder, chairman and CEO of Cerner Corporation. She serves as chair of the Patterson Family Foundation, a family-led foundation dedicated to extending the legacy of her parents, Neal and Jeanne Patterson, through programs that help rural communities thrive.

Wharton earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from OSU in 1990. He began his career at Love’s in 1997, and he served the company as executive vice president of accounting and administration before being named president. As president, Wharton provides leadership to support the company’s rapid growth. He oversees operations, human resources, finance, legal and sales and marketing. Prior to Love’s, Wharton was a senior auditor at KPMG and controller for Data Times.

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