Citizen of the World
BSBA Entrepreneurship and MIS ’01
Global Strategist, Samsung Electronics
By Liz Warren-Pederson
Brannon Lacey grew up outside of Prescott, Arizona, where his family’s subscription to National Geographic provided a window into other cultures and far-away places he would eventually come to know first-hand.
“We didn’t have the means to do much traveling when I was a boy, but I would always read National Geographic cover to cover, fascinated by what I found on the pages,” he said. “The seed was planted then and there, and from that point forward I decided that I wasn’t going to be one of the many people in my town who ended up spending their entire lives there.”
He came to the UA for his undergraduate education, and said, “From there, I made it a priority to live and work around the world.”
After earning his degrees in entrepreneurship and MIS, he joined Accenture. “In my seven years of consulting, I was able to live and work all over the U.S., Europe, and South America,” he said. “I tell anyone who has the wanderlust gene like I do that there is no better way to see the world in your twenties, on someone else’s dime, than working as a consultant!”
His work with Accenture included management of a business development team in creation of a market entry strategy for the $1.5 billion Motor Vehicle Department sector, as well as experience in health care and government sectors. Lacey also cofounded an internet company that attracted $100,000 of angel investment and grew to 30 employees.
While at Eller, Lacey completed the McGuire Entrepreneurship Program and founded theEntrepreneurship Student Association, where he served as president. During his senior year at the UA, Lacey had a formative experience.
“An alumnus came in to speak to a club I was part of,” he explained. “This guy was young and successful, he left an indelible mark on me. After seeing him speak, I wanted to be like him: smart, polished, and entrepreneurial.”
The alum attributed his success to his undergraduate experience, but also to his MBA.
“It was simple math for me,” Lacey said. “I already had the Eller experience, so I needed the MBA from a top business school if I wanted to be someone like him. From that point forward, everything I did professionally and personally moved me towards that goal of getting an MBA.”
Lacey was accepted at Columbia Business School and graduated in May. “An MBA is an expensive proposition, one that isn’t right for everyone, but for me it was,” he said.
In April, he began work for Samsung’s consumer electronics division. He’s based in Seoul, South Korea.
“I’m living in a country where I never would have expected live, working for a company I never would have gotten a chance to work fo,r and doing interesting, impactful work,” he said. “For instance, right now I’m preparing to present my recommendation to the CEO of Samsung regarding which clean technologies Samsung should pursue over the coming ten years.”
“I developed a love for travel because I have an insatiable level of curiosity, particularly when it comes to other locales and cultures,” he said. “I consider myself a citizen of the world and want to have a positive impact on it using business as the tool.”