Donald W. McCarthy Heartland Leadership Forum

Lead From the Front: Ethical Leadership and Public Service

We're proud to present 

Vice Admiral 
James D. Syring (Ret.)

Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, USAA

Vice Admiral Syring is a 1985 graduate of the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering, In 1992, Syring earned his Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Naval Post Graduate School. He was the Director for the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), Office of the Secretary of Defense, Pentagon, Washington, DC. In this capacity, he oversaw MDA’s worldwide mission to develop a capability to defend deployed forces, the United States, allies, and friends against ballistic missile attacks.

Syring’s personal awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (2 awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (4 awards), Navy Commendation Medal, and Navy Achievement Medal.

Closed Event, Media Passes are not available.


Wednesday, May 8, 2019 | 5:30 p.m.


McNamara Alumni Center 
University of Minnesota

200 Oak Street SE

Minneapolis, MN 55455


Regular: $90 

Active Duty: $45

Student: $65


Open to the public and business leaders, key decision makers, Naval Academy graduates, government, students and our future leaders.

Registration is closed for this event.

Moderator:   Erik Therwanger

Erik is the founder of Think GREAT and the author of The Think GREAT Collection. As the vice president of a media company, Erik developed a team of leaders and designed the systems necessary to achieve over 300% annual sales growth. He now teaches business leaders how to reach new levels of success based on his unique experiences as a United States Marine, executive business leader, sales professional, and entrepreneur. Find out more at


5:30-6:15 pm | Registration and Networking
6:15-8:30 pm | Dinner and Program

The evening includes a networking hour with a cash bar and three course dinner. There will be a Q&A session after the Keynote speaker's address followed by an opportunity to take your photo with him. 

Dress:  Business Casual.  Veterans are welcome to come in uniform if they choose.

Parking: Parking is available in the adjacent University Avenue Ramp, connected by tunnel to the
McNamara Alumni Center. For more information on directions, parking and rates, click HERE.

Our Heartland Leadership Forum is named in honor of Minnesota’s own Donald W. McCarthy, a graduate with the Naval Academy’s Class of 1944. Don served in both World War II and the Korean War.  He then climbed the corporate leadership ladder with Northern States Power (now Xcel Energy) to become Chairman and CEO. During his illustrious career, Don also led many community organizations that helped to shape the Twin Cities metro area to become the vibrant business and social community it is today.

Sponsorship Opportunities...

Please contact Michael Lester if you or your organization would like to learn more about event sponsorship opportunities. More information click here.

Thank You to our Event Sponsors

Gold Sponsors

             Mrs. Carroll Brooks

Silver Sponsors

Corporate Table Sponsors


Event Partners

This event is managed by The Event Group, Incorporated

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422 Ashland Ave, St Paul, MN 55102

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