Gatton Alumni Hall of Fame Inducts Three Industry Leaders

Surrounded by family, friends and fellow alumni, three exceptional University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics alumni — Samuel N. Hazen (Nashville, Tennessee), J. Michael Schlotman (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Charles M. Sonsteby (Dallas, Texas) — were inducted into the Gatton College Alumni Hall of Fame last evening (April 20).

The Gatton College Alumni Hall of Fame recognizes Gatton alumni who have earned exceptional success in their careers and in their communities.

"As a member of the Hall of Fame, these three inductees join a group of highly accomplished individuals, including Fortune 50 CEOs, top business college deans and professors, entrepreneurs, judges and policymakers, internationally known researchers, and philanthropists, who have met the challenge to adapt and succeed in a quickly changing world market," said David W. Blackwell, dean of the Gatton College.

Samuel N. Hazen has served as president and chief operating officer for HCA, based in Nashville, Tennessee, since January 2015. He is a 33-year veteran of HCA, the nation’s largest investor-owned health care provider, with 170 hospitals, 118 ambulatory surgery centers, and numerous outpatient facilities and physician practices across 42 domestic markets and the United Kingdom. Prior to his COO role, he was HCA’s president of operations, and from 2001-2011 was president of HCA’s Western Group, which represented approximately one-half of the company’s revenue.

Hazen earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky and his MBA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He began his career in Humana’s Financial Management Specialist Program and has held chief financial officer positions at hospitals in Georgia and Las Vegas.

Northern Kentucky native J. Michael Schlotman is the executive vice president and chief financial officer of the Kroger Company in Cincinnati, Ohio. He works closely with Kroger CEO and fellow Gatton College alumnus Rodney McMullen to run this Fortune 20 company, one of the world's largest grocery retailers, with fiscal 2015 sales of $109.8 billion.

Schlotman earned his bachelor's degree in accounting at the University of Kentucky, and serves as a member of the Gatton College Accounting Advisory Board. He started his career at Coopers & Lybrand accounting firm in Louisville, transferring to Cincinnati before joining Kroger in 1985. He has been at Kroger headquarters for his entire 31-year career at the company, and held a variety of leadership positions in accounting, including vice president and corporate controller.

Charles M. Sonsteby, a native of Ashtabula, Ohio, is vice chairman of The Michaels Companies Inc. Founded in 1983, Michaels Stores, based in Irving, Texas, is the largest arts and crafts retailer in North America. Sonsteby joined Michaels as chief administrative officer and chief financial officer of The Michaels Companies Inc. and Michaels Stores Inc. in October 2010.

Sonsteby earned his bachelor's degree in accounting at the University of Kentucky, and serves as a member of the Gatton College Dean’s Advisory Council. Prior to joining Michaels, he served as the chief financial officer and executive vice president at Brinker International Inc., owner of Chili’s and Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurants. He joined Brinker in March 1990 as director of Tax, Treasury and Risk Management departments and held roles in accounting, tax, treasury and investor relations.