August 2016 Industry Speakers

Industry Speakers

Robert DiCianni
Manager, Marketing
ArcelorMittal USA
Robert DiCianni is a Manager in the Marketing Office of ArcelorMittal USA, located in Chicago, Illinois. In this capacity he is involved in economic analysis and forecasting for key steel markets, market research for future steel needs, and strategy development. He is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank’s Industrial Roundtable and is a regular contributor to the Fed’s Beige Book report. He has 30 years of experience in the steel industry and has worked in the US and Europe. He is a frequent speaker at conferences discussing steel industry issues and forecasts. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees from Loyola University of Chicago.

Vikas Agarwal
J. Mack Robinson College of Business
Dr. Agarwal’s current research focuses on various issues related to alternative investments including characterization of hedge fund risks, performance evaluation, determinants of money flows, impact of flows on performance, and managerial risk-taking behavior in the hedge fund industry. His research has been published both in academic and practitioner journals including Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Journal of Investment Management, Journal of Alternative Investments, and Journal of Asset Management. He has presented his research in various top academic conferences and his research has been cited and discussed in the financial press and magazines including Euromoney, Financial Times, International Herald Tribune, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal Europe.

Dr. Agarwal holds a research associate position at EDHEC Risk and Asset Management Center, France. He is also a research fellow at the Centre for Financial Research, University of Cologne, Germany.

William Pate
President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau


As president of Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB), William Pate is in charge of maintaining tourism as one of the city’s top economic drivers. The industry brought more than 48 million visitors to metro Atlanta in 2014, generating more than $14 billion in visitor spending and sustaining more than 230,000 jobs.

Prior to joining ACVB, Pate served as president of Career Sports & Entertainment, a national sports marketing and representation firm. He is the former chief marketing officer of BellSouth, one of the world’s largest communications companies, where he spearheaded the development and marketing of the BellSouth brand both nationally and internationally.Pate also held positions at MCI, where he supervised domestic and international advertising and public relations, and at Knapp Inc., an Atlanta-based marketing services firm specializing in solutions for large corporations. In addition, he spent six years at the Southeast Dairy Association, producing advertising and marketing programs. He began his career in non-profit, working in public relations positions with Goodwill Industries and the American Red Cross.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle has honored Pate as one of Atlanta’s 50 Most Admired CEOs for the past two years. He was selected corporate marketer of the year by the Atlanta Chapter of the American Marketing Association and has been named to the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 100 Most Influential Atlantans every year since 2009. Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International recognized Pate as one of the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales & Marketing. Pate has also been received awards from Advertising Age and the American Marketing Association for his advertising work. Pate is a past chairman of the board of the Atlanta Sports Council, the Chick-fil-A Bowl and ACVB. He serves on the board of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, College Football Hall of Fame, Commerce Club, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Chick-fil-A Bowl, as well as on the Board of Councilors of the Carter Presidential Center and the Industry Advisory Board for Georgia State University’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration. Most recently, he was named to the Woodruff Art Center’s Board of Trustees.

A native of Atlanta, Pate grew up in Decatur and attended Georgia State University where he received his undergraduate degree in journalism and his graduate degree in communications.