Ashland University Sets 11th Annual Ford Lecture

Ashland University Sets 11th Annual Ford Lecture

9/10/13 ASHLAND, Ohio – John A. Luke Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of MWV (MeadWestvaco), a global packaging company in Richmond, Va., will be the featured speaker for the 11th annual Dr. Lucille F. and L.W. Ford Distinguished Business Lecture Series at Ashland University.

The luncheon talk will be held at 12 noon on Thursday, Oct. 3, in Ashland University’s Myers Convocation Center. For further information, contact Dr. Khushwant Pittenger, professor of business administration, at or call 419-289-5219.

The event is sponsored by Ashland University alumni Dr. Peter ’73 and Kathleen ’73 Linneman and is hosted by Ashland University’s Richard E. and Sandra J. Dauch College of Business and Economics.

Luke’s career with the company spans more than 30 years and a variety of leadership roles, including serving as chairman of Westvaco prior to a merger with Mead in 2002.

Luke helped lead MWV through a transformation from a traditional paper and forest products supplier to an innovative packaging partner for global consumer products companies. MWV provides packaging solutions to many of the world’s most admired brands in a wide range of markets and industries – with employees and operations around the globe.

He has successfully aligned commercial focus on key growth markets, expanded business in fast-growing emerging markets, added new products to the portfolio of packaging and other solutions, and further strengthened the company’s longstanding presence in Brazil. His steady leadership helped ensure that MWV emerged from the economic downturn with one of the strongest financial positions in the industry.

Luke is a respected voice in the packaging industry, having served as chairman of the American Forest & Paper Association, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the National Association of Manufacturers. He is a relentless advocate for public policies that promote economic growth, and he speaks passionately about the need to strengthen the competitiveness of America’s manufacturing economy.

Luke is currently a director of The Bank of New York Mellon, The Timken Company and FM Global. He also serves as a trustee of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University, The Community Foundation of Greater Richmond and the American Enterprise Institute.

He began his career with the Procter & Gamble Co., following service as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. He graduated from Lawrence University and earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Luke lives in Richmond, Va., with his wife, Kathleen, and their three children.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###