||© Nathan Mandell
Dr. Jeffery Vender '98
passion drive anesthesiologist's service to Kellogg
after Dr. Jeffery Vender finished his two years in the Kellogg
School's Executive MBA Program in 1998, the triple-degree
Northwestern University alum (WCAS '71, Med '75) received
an invitation from then-Dean Donald P. Jacobs that he considered
an honor: to join the Kellogg Alumni Advisory Board (KAAB).
who chairs the Department of Anesthesiology and directs Medical
Surgical ICU at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare, felt more
than a little enthusiasm at the prospect of giving back to
Kellogg. "My classmates, professors and the Kellogg environment
created a fantastic educational experience and fostered a
desire to deepen my involvement with the school," he says.
service has led to roles such as speaking to prospective Kellogg
students and helping launch a student mentoring program. He's
met a "uniquely diverse and accomplished" group of alumni
with one common bond: "an interest in supporting an institution
that has grown in stature and earned its reputation through
that Kellogg alumni like talking about their Kellogg experience
much more than about the school's lofty global status. "It's
about the total experience provided to the students associated
with this great institution," he says. "I understand this
personally because I share this passion. So when the dean's
office calls, I have a sense of obligation to them for what
I got out of Kellogg and what the school gives others."
Vender has watched as the KAAB has grown in numbers and, in
a broader sense, contributed value. "We each look at that
little, added difference we can make to perpetuate the success
that preceded us," he says. "You want to make a difference
in your own family, you want to make a difference in your
community and your job, but philanthropically you also want
to make a difference in the institutions that you value."
physician at Evanston since 1979, Vender says the hospital
faces the same business issues as any corporation, but with
twists unique to the healthcare marketplace, such as competitive
pricing, "volatile" expenses related to malpractice and the
need to stress quality not just efficiency.
we are dealing with human health and lives, we're faced with
increased pressures on quality performance, which limits classic
operational efficiencies of the kind often seen in corporations
like Wal-Mart," he says. "With patient care, we don't have
return policies for defective items."
School's Executive MBA Program provided a wealth of insights
to handle these issues and more, Vender says. "The courses
and the professors I had were outstanding in articulating
problem-solving techniques that are essential when you deal
with a dynamically changing environment and industry," he
says. "Kellogg provided an appreciation for the various elements
related to business, about which physicians have an inadequate
exposure or understanding."
that, the school offered a foundation in team-building and
ethical leadership. "Kellogg provides an unbelievable cultural
environment to support these efforts," says Vender. "Success
comes most often from our ability to interact with others
and to optimize the output of a group. This was emphasized
and exampled regularly through our class work. My classmates
taught me more through cooperative efforts than one could
imagine (and tolerated my lack of computer acumen). You learn
very quickly that each person brings his own talents to the
game, and what you must do is make sure you contribute and
perform when you're called upon, with the skills you have
of us are not track stars or professional golf players, where
individual performance dictates everything, but we all benefit
from team success."
do naturally emerge, Vender adds, but those who endure base
their longevity on trust, integrity and communications abilities.
"If you don't have the appropriate values, you can't lead,"
to Janet Froetscher '83
to Why alumni give back