QUT has further cemented its links with alumni across North America with the establishment of the Friends of QUT in America Foundation.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Coaldrake officially launched the foundation last month in Washington, D.C. at the opening of the William Robinson: Genesis exhibition at the Australian Embassy.
Three of the university’s outstanding business alumni have joined the inaugural board: foundation chair and president Greg Creed, who is based in Dallas, Texas, and directors Peter Taylor (Washington, D.C.) and Carolyn Dawkins (New York).
Mr Creed, CEO of Yum! Brands, said he and his fellow alumni were honoured to be part of the foundation.
“QUT has a strong network of about 2000 alumni across North America, and this foundation will give us the chance to further connect with each other, across professions and cities, and to keep us all up to date with what’s happening at the university,” he said.
“I’m proud to fly the flag for QUT and have very fond memories of my time as a student. It is where I found out what I loved and what I wanted to do as my career.”
As well as forging connections among QUT’s American-based alumni, the foundation will promote the university’s culture of philanthropy and fundraising initiatives to support quality research and teaching programs. The foundation is an approved (501)(c)(3) organisation, which allows US donors to make tax-deductible gifts.
“The university has to date received strong philanthropic support from organisations and individuals in the US, and the foundation aims to further that,” Mr Creed said.
“The tax status makes the giving process simpler and more streamlined, and puts QUT on the same footing as other global institutions. It’s a natural next step in the university’s international growth and reach.”
Guests at the November launch of the foundation.
Nicknamed the ‘Aussie fast food king’, Mr Creed took the reins of global restaurant powerhouse and Fortune 500 corporation Yum! Brands at the beginning of 2015. Prior to that he was CEO of Taco Bell, the Mexican-inspired quick service brand within the Yum! stable. He graduated with a Bachelor of Business majoring in Management in 1978 and was QUT Alumnus of the Year and Business School Outstanding Alumni Award Winner in 2014. While he has spent the majority of his career working overseas, he remains “a classic Brissie boy and a very proud Queenslander”.
Ms Dawkins has been with Google since 2014, first as Head of BrandLab NYC + Global Curriculum and now as Global Head of BrandLab/Google Creative Academy. After graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Communication, she has worked with iconic global brands including L’Oréal, Maybelline, Procter and Gamble, and Kellogg’s, helping them transition from traditional marketing to digital-focused strategies with impressive results. In 2015 she was named QUT Business School Outstanding Alumni Award Winner.
Mr Taylor is co-head of the Carlyle Group Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund. A Bachelor of Business (Accountancy) graduate in 1994, he has previously served as the fund’s managing director. Prior to joining Carlyle he was at Hastings Infrastructure for 15 years, focusing on sourcing new investment, divestment opportunities and portfolio company outcomes. Based in the US for just over a decade, he still has strong ties to Queensland and the university—particularly with son Dan choosing to study for his degree in information technology this year at QUT.