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Author: Sarah Murphy

VCU Business proudly welcomes a new Executive in Residence this Fall 2023, continuing a decades-long program aimed at strengthening VCU ties with real-world business partners.

Brian Wellinghoff, senior director of leadership and outreach at Barry-Wehmiller and co-founder of the Humanistic Leadership Academy, will join VCU Business through the Spring 2024 semester as Executive in Residence. During his time in the role, he will visit campus as a class speaker, workshop leader, panelist, strategic advisor in school initiatives, and key collaborator and partner for ongoing training and content development work by The Institute for Transformative Leadership.

“Becoming Executive in Residence at VCU Business is an incredible honor and acknowledgement of the deep partnership forming between VCU and Barry-Wehmiller,” said Wellinghoff. “Personally, I feel this is an opportunity to align deeply with the Institute for Transformative Leadership to provide resources to faculty, staff and students to promote their own leadership development and the myriad ways that VCU encourages leadership in others.”

Wellinghoff began his career developing recognition and incentive programs at Barry-Wehmiller, having now spent more than 20 years with the company. Over the years, CEO Bob Chapman has routinely tapped Brian to lead foundational cultural initiatives, including launching Barry-Wehmiller University, co-founding the Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute and leading BW outreach. Many of the cultural programs Wellinghoff created for BW are detailed in the book Everybody Matters

In recent years, Wellinghoff and the executive team at Barry-Wehmiller have grown familiar with VCU through Chris Reina, Ph.D., founding and executive director of the VCU Institute for Transformative Leadership and associate professor in the VCU Department of Management and Entrepreneurship. Reina is committed to forming the first cohorts of professors and staff members aligned to bringing transformative leadership to life.

“Brian brings a wealth of passion, knowledge and care as he seeks to create transformative impact beyond Barry-Wehmiller,” said Reina. “With Brian’s partnership and with him as our Executive in Residence, VCU Business can reach more students, faculty, and staff with our message and goal of creating tomorrow’s leaders with the courage and capacity to care deeply for themselves and others in their span of care for transformative impact.” 

Wellinghoff and Reina have grown to be colleagues and friends as Reina has worked on  various collaborative partnerships with Barry-Wehmiller to introduce the ideas of people-centered and transformative leadership to diverse audiences.

“Together we envisioned the opportunity to make VCU a unique place to scale these leadership ideas,” said Wellinghoff. “Since then, it has been a pleasure to work on strategy, content, facilitation and teaching as partners.”

“Executives in residence help translate the learning and teaching that our students learn and faculty impart in ways that make the learning relevant, practical and real-world in nature,” said Reina. “Leadership often feels like a topic that is an ‘add-on’ to complement the more technical skills like finance and accounting. But Brian and our shared messages around transformative leadership seeks to reframe the narrative, showing that a people-centered approach rather than a technical approach to business and business education is key to helping others feel cared which then helps them accomplish their best work.”

In his role, Wellinghoff hopes to inspire the entire VCU community to see themselves as leaders and to accept the responsibility to make an impact on the lives of those around them. “Richmond is a vibrant community, and VCU is filled with people committed to making the world a better place,” he said.

Stay tuned for more collaboration with Wellinghoff throughout the academic year: 

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