About our President/CEO

Dr. Hamid Akbari has served in many executive positions including Dean of College of Business at Winona State University and School of Business at Carroll University. He has also served on many community boards, including as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Winona Community Foundation

Dr. Akbari received his Ph.D. in Business Administration from the Ohio State University in 1988, and MBA and MA in Political Science from the University of Toledo, Ohio. Dr. Akbari started his career as an Assistant Professor of Management at Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago in 1986. Over a span of 28 years at Northeastern, Dr. Akbari served as the Chair of Department of Management and Marketing, Chair of the University Faculty Senate and Executive Director of Development of Development and Community Affairs for the College of Business and Management. He received the ultimate teaching excellence recognition at Northeastern by being named the Audrey Reynolds Distinguished Teaching Professor at Northeastern Illinois University.

For more than four decades, Dr. Akbari has been involved in cultural and community organizations and foundations via assuming executive or advisory roles. In earlier years, he was the director of Nima Cultural Institute and a co-founder of Dehkhoda Library. From 2005-2007, he was the Executive Director of Association of Iranian Studies which is the largest academic association of scholars of Iran in the world with more than a thousand members. Dr. Akbari has served on the board of directors of many organizatons, including Visit Winona, Project Fine, Great River Shakespeare Festival, and Winona County Economic Development Authority Board

Dr. Akbari has initiated and executed many projects, including founding endowed funds, naming university halls and rooms, and establishing societies and academies. At Winona State, with the help of his colleagues, he initiated a campaign for a first ever endowed fund for the College of Business which succeeded to raise one million dollars. At Northeastern Illinois University, with the help of his wife and his colleagues and the community, he led a national campaign to establish the first ever Servant Leaders Hall at any university in the name of Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh. At Winona State University, he established John Latsch Leadership Academy for training students via servant leadership principles and practices. At Carroll University, he started a Circle of Humanity Leadership Academy to train students via the principles of servant leadership.