You are here

John Mackey, Chairman and CEO of Whole Foods Market®, to Speak at 89th Annual Bentley College Commencement

April 30, 2008

John Mackey, Chairman and CEO of Whole Foods Market, will deliver the commencement address to approximately 1,000 Bentley undergraduate students on Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. on the Bentley campus, with an expected 7,500 in attendance. Mackey, who will also receive an honorary doctor of commercial science degree at the ceremony, will share the experiences and challenges he has encountered on his road to success.

Ellen M. Zane, President and CEO of Tufts Medical Center and the Floating Hospital for Children, will deliver the keynote address to approximately 550 graduate students when the McCallum Graduate School of Business degrees are conferred at 3:00 p.m. Zane will be presented with an honorary doctor of commercial science degree.


John Mackey is one of the most successful CEOs in the fast-growing natural foods industry and has built Whole Foods Market into a $5.6 billion Fortune 500 company that is now one of the top 12 supermarket companies in America.

In 1978, at the age of 25, Mackey was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. Borrowing $10,000 from his father and raising the first few thousand of what would eventually become hundreds of millions of dollars in equity investments, he co-founded Safer Way Natural Foods with his girlfriend Renee Lawson. Two years later, in 1980, they teamed up with two other young entrepreneurs to create Whole Foods Market, a 10,000 square foot store on Lamar Boulevard in Austin, Texas.

By the end of 2006, the global organic foods industry was more than $40 billion in size, a development Mackey sees as good for all concerned, especially Planet Earth. Whole Foods Market now has over 270 stores in the U.S. Canada, and the UK. The company’s goal is to become a $12 billion company by 2010.

Ellen Zane is the first woman to run Tufts Medical Center and the Floating Hospital for Children in its 210-year history. The 450 bed hospital employs over 5,000 doctors, nurses, researchers, and other healthcare workers in both facilities. Zane is also an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Care Research at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Prior to her current position, Zane was Network President for Partners HealthCare System, Inc. where she was responsible for the development of a provider network featuring the Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women's Hospital, along with community-based physician groups and community hospitals within eastern Massachusetts. The network encompassed 5,600 physicians and represented $800+ million of managed care revenue. Today, this entity represents one of the largest physician networks in America.

Zane has also served as the Chief Executive Officer at Quincy Hospital in Quincy, Massachusetts, a 290-bed acute care community and public hospital. Prior to her tenure at Quincy Hospital, Zane was the Vice President for Professional Services at the Morton Hospital & Medical Center in Taunton, Massachusetts.

For all her work, Zane has received numerous awards including the Arthritis Foundation Dr. John I. Sandson Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

Details on Commencement 2008 are available on Bentley's official commencement website:

BENTLEY UNIVERSITY is one of the nation’s leading business schools, dedicated to preparing a new kind of business leader – one with the deep technical skills, broad global perspective, and high ethical standards required to make a difference in an ever-changing world. Our rich, diverse arts and sciences program, combined with an advanced business curriculum, prepares informed professionals who make an impact in their chosen fields. Located on a classic New England campus minutes from Boston, Bentley is a dynamic community of leaders, scholars and creative thinkers. The Graduate School emphasizes the impact of technology on business practice, in offerings that include MBA and Master of Science programs, PhD programs in accountancy and in business, and customized executive education programs. The university enrolls approximately 4,100 full-time undergraduate, 140 adult part-time undergraduate, 1,430 graduate, and 43 doctoral students. Bentley is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges; AACSB International – The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; and the European Quality Improvement System, which benchmarks quality in management and business education. For more information, please visit

Type: Latest Headlines