2023 Executive of the Year | Kent McClelland

May 5, 2023

After four years, on April 2023, the Eller College of Management brought back the Executive of the Year Luncheon honoring Kent McClelland, Chairman and CEO of Shamrock Foods Company.

McClelland is the third-generation leader behind the 100-year old family owned and operated company and is the 37th Executive of the Year to be honored since 1983. He joins the likes of former honorees such as Janet Napolitano, Sam Fox and Howard Schultz (of Starbucks).

“Kent, his family and their legacy represent so much of what we value and seek purpose in each day including integrity, compassion, determination, adaptation and inclusion,” says Karthik Kannan, dean and Halle Chair in Leadership of the Eller College of Management. “We are extremely pleased to welcome him as our 2023 Executive of the Year.” 


Karthik Kannan and Kent McClelland

McClelland was joined by his wife Celia and his son Devon as well as more than a dozen of Shamrock’s top leaders at the celebration. Members of the Eller community including faculty, staff, students and members of the Eller National Board of Advisors were also in attendance to hear from McClelland about his career, guiding principles and the Shamrock legacy.

Through Shamrock, McClelland supports several Eller and University of Arizona initiatives including the Dhaliwal-Reidy School of Accountancy, the Karl Eller Scholarship Endowment, Eller undergraduate career initiatives and others. These commitments build upon the family legacy behind some of the University’s most iconic institutions such as McClelland Hall (Eller College of Management) and McClelland Park (Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences and the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families).

“For Shamrock, growth is about taking better care of our customers, associates and suppliers,” says McClelland. “By being nimble, focused, transparent and willing to take appropriate risks, we’ve proven we’re more innovative and effective for all of our partners than the competition.”

McClelland also dedicates his time to various community organizations including the Boy Scouts of America, World President’s Organization and Barrow Neurological Foundation. In 2022, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by the Eller College of Management.