TOMS Shoes’ CEO Jim Alling to Deliver Aram Lecture on Business Ethics Sept. 14

September 02, 2015
‘TOMS: Improving Lives through Business’

SPOKANE, Wash. – Jim Alling, CEO of TOMS Shoes, will present Gonzaga University’s 7th annual Aram Lecture on Business Ethics at 6 p.m., Monday, Sept. 14 in the Jepson Center’s Wolff Auditorium. The free lecture, titled “TOMS: Improving Lives through Business,” follows a 5:30 p.m. reception.

Embedded in TOMS’ business model is the ethos to make a positive difference in the world. To that end, TOMS helps address need and advance health, education and economic opportunity for people worldwide.

Alling has more than 30 years general management and marketing experience in consumer packaged goods and consumer retailing, having served as an executive at four top global companies: Starbucks, T-Mobile, Nestle and most recently TOMS, for which he was named CEO in April.

Before TOMS, he served for five and one-half years as chief operating officer of T-Mobile USA, a multibillion-dollar wireless carrier. In this role, Alling was responsible for all customer-facing activities for a subscription base of more than 44 million users and the 34,000 employees who directly served them.

Before T-Mobile, Alling joined Starbucks in 1997 to lead the launch of its coffee into grocery stores. He earned multiple promotions to become president of Starbucks Coffee USA with more than 10,000 retail locations, sales of more than $7 billion, and more than 125,000 employees. He also served as president of Starbucks International, overseeing more than 5,000 stores in 45 different countries with sales topping $4 billion.

Alling began his career in 1985 at Nestle, where he earned a series of promotions to become a vice president and general manager for Nestle USA.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, with a double major in economics and Spanish, and a master’s degree in international management from the Thunderbird School of International Management in Glendale, Arizona (now a part of Arizona State University).

The endowed lecture serves as a tribute to John Aram, a former Gonzaga Trustee and benefactor whose long and dedicated service to the forest industry spurred Weyerhaeuser Company, Boise Cascade Corp., Potlatch Corp., the George F. Jewett Foundation, and many industry associates and friends to establish John L. Aram Chair of Business Ethics at Gonzaga. Aram’s life exemplified a commitment to ethical values in both his business and personal endeavors. Professor Brian Steverson has held this chair with great distinction since fall 2008. The lecture is designed to provide students with a better understanding of business and government ethical issues.

For more information, please visit the Aram Lecture website or contact AJ Hawk at (509) 313-7036 or via email [].