Joseph (Jody) D. Giles is the founder and CEO of Exhort Advisors, a consulting company that provides services in leadership, technology, IT strategy, and career coaching. Giles calls it “a different kind of consulting company.” On Monday, Oct. 17, Giles will present Why Artists Are Essential for Business Success as part of the McKinnon Distinguished CEO Lecture Series.

A reception will be held at WisePies Arena aka “The Pit” begins at 5 p.m. at the US Bank Suite/Club Level followed by the lecture at 6 p.m. 

Giles will share what he has learned about leadership and entrepreneurship while working with some of the most notable and fastest growing brands in the world. Most recently he worked at Under Armour as the company’s first CIO. In his role he was instrumental in growing the company from private to public and from $200 million to $3 billion in 10 years. Giles also worked at Paramount Pictures, Virgin Interactive Entertainment, Vans, and began his IT career at Southern California Gas Company. 

Giles has a diverse and successful background in culture and technology leadership and believes in leading with compassion and inspiration. He says that philosophy helps him be a good mentor, coach, and teacher, both one-on-one and in public forums. 

Giles graduated with honors from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Business Computer Systems and earned his MBA, with distinction, from Pepperdine University. He is a popular keynote speaker at industry conferences and a guest lecturer at universities.

The presentation is open and free to the public but reservations are required. RSVPs can be made online or by contacting Felicia Rodriquez at (505) 277.1504 or by email at

The McKinnon Distinguished CEO Lecture Series was created in 2010 by Anderson alum Sonnet McKinnon and her husband D. Ian McKinnon as an expression of their commitment to UNM and the Anderson School. The endowed lecture series is held annually to provide a glimpse into the minds of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders.

The Sonnet and Ian McKinnon are also the lead donors for the new Anderson building, which once completed in May 2018, will be known as the McKinnon Center for Management.