OAKLAND, Calif., May 2, 2017—Holy Names University (HNU) announces the commencement speakers for its 2017 graduation ceremonies. George Zimmer, founder of Generation Tux and zTailors will speak to graduate students on Friday, May 12, at 6:30 p.m., and Bernard J. Tyson, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, will address undergraduate students on Saturday, May 13, at 4:30 p.m. Zimmer, born in New York City, graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Upon graduation, he worked as a substitute teacher before joining his father in the clothing manufacturing business. He is the chairman, CEO, and founder of Generation Tux, an online tuxedo and suit rental platform, and zTailors, a national network of on-demand tailors for both men and women. This business model is a complete reinvention of the tuxedo rental experience—the ultimate high-tech, high-touch clothing rental experience for the next generation. He is also the founder and former CEO and chairman of the Men’s Wearhouse—the largest retailer of men's tailored suits and dress casual clothing in the U.S. and Canada. A lifelong advocate of servant leadership as the most effective business management model, he is also an advocate for "conscious capitalism" to address income inequality and excessive CEO pay. In addition to serving on several non-profit boards, Zimmer is actively involved, through the Zimmer Family Foundation, in promoting causes related to education, science, the development of a truly humane and global civilization, the dangers of nuclear weapons, and reductions in national defense spending. He is on the boards of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and the Oakland Zoo. In 2003, Zimmer received an Honorary Degree of Humane Letters from Holy Names University.
Tyson is the chairman and CEO of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Hospitals—known as Kaiser Permanente, one of America’s leading integrated health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. With annual operating revenue of nearly $65 billion, Kaiser Permanente serves 11.7 million members in eight states and Washington, D.C. Tyson assumed the role of chairman in January 2014 and has served as CEO since 2013. His career at Kaiser Permanente has spanned more than 30 years. During that time, he has successfully managed all major aspects of the organization, serving in roles from hospital administrator to division president to president and chief operating officer of the Oakland, California-based health care organization. A San Francisco Bay Area native, Tyson earned a master’s of business in health service administration and a bachelor’s degree in health service management from Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He also earned a leadership certificate from Harvard University. Tyson serves on the board of directors of the American Heart Association (AHA) and is a member of AHA’s CEO Roundtable, which is focused on workforce wellness. He is a deputy chairman of the International Federation of Health Plans and is on the board of America’s Health Insurance Plans. Tyson is also a steward of the World Economic Forum’s Global Challenge on the Future of Health. He was awarded the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s 2014 National Equal Justice Award. In 2016, Modern Healthcare named him the second most influential leader in health care—marking the third consecutive year he has been the top-ranked executive on the list.
“We are very pleased to welcome George Zimmer and Bernard Tyson to campus to deliver our commencement addresses,” Interim President Jeanie Watson, PhD, said. “Both are extraordinary leaders and important members of the Oakland community. It is truly an honor to have them join us as we celebrate such a special occasion.”