A Message from the Dean

A fantastic month of events and activities highlighted the excellence of educational and entrepreneurial opportunities we provide our students as well as the recognition of our outstanding alumni. Over the past month, more than 3,000 people attended spring events hosted by the College of Business, listening to exciting presentations from leaders of notable businesses and start-ups.

Our week-long celebration of entrepreneurship (E-Week) was April 7-11.  We hosted entrepreneurs and panel discussions at our kick-off breakfast and lunch and learn sessions. Krysten Jablonowski, Founder and President of “Cribs on Campus” and a 2013 Hatch participant, who launched her business as a student at BGSU, encouraged student entrepreneurship at our breakfast. Lunch that first day featured a panel discussion on start-up equity financing that included Bob Venzel, Business Owner, Venzel Communications, Inc.; Dr. Gene Poor, BGSU Hamilton Professor of Entrepreneurship; and Ben Vollmar, Business Owner, Flatlands Coffee. I also served on that panel discussion and Dr. Dave Stott, chair of the accounting and MIS department, was the moderator. (Read more.)

Tuesday’s Lunch and Learn included a panel discussion on financial considerations when starting a business. Dr. Dan Klein, associate professor of finance, moderated a panel of experts - Bob Savage, President and Fund Manager, Rocket Ventures; Kevin Rahe, President, Bank of Maumee; and Tari Christoff, Vice President, First Federal Bank. (Read more.)

The third lunch and learn panel focused on the legal considerations when starting up a business and included three attorneys at law - Jim Rogers, Eastman & Smith Ltd.; Doug Miller, Fraser Clemens Martin & Miller LLC; and Tim Ault, Malone, Ault & Farell. BGSU finance instructor Michael Slates moderated this panel. (Read more.)

It was an exciting night on Wednesday, April 9, for the second annual Hatch program. More than 1,300 people attended “The Hatch” in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union, and thousands more watched the live stream of this unique and innovative program. I am pleased that 10 of the students received investor support to launch their businesses. Congratulations to Loren Branch, Alan Eschweiler, Caitlin Flack, Taylor Frazer, Stefan Grdic, Angela Lucarelli, Sara Scacchi, Morgan Smith, Robert Striblen, and Jerrod Witt.

For those who couldn’t attend on campus, we had nearly 70 "Hatch Watch" parties across the country, including international ones in Germany, Turkey, and Afghanistan, watching the live stream. These alumni and high school students cheered on our student entrepreneurs. Through Twitter, we “trended” nationally that night with a large number of tweets.

“The Hatch” is hosted by the College and the Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.  A special thank-you goes to our dedicated alumni mentors who helped our twelve students prepare their business presentations and to the six investors who saw the value of our students’ business ideas and invested their money. (Read a recap of The Hatch.)

Thursday evening we inducted four highly successful alumni into the Dallas-Hamilton Hall of Fame during a formal recognition dinner. These inductees included Valerie Newell ’75 (Chairman of RiverPoint Capital Management; Director of Private Client and High Net Worth Group); Lori Steele-Contorer ’86 (Founder of Everyone Counts); Earle Malm‘71 (President and CEO of HighMark Capital Management, Inc., retired); and Kermit Stroh ‘02 (Hon.) (Founder, Moulton Gas Service Inc., retired). Also joining us was BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey and 2008 inductee Bill Dallas. (Read more.)

Our special celebration of entrepreneurship ended with our largest Sebo Series in Entrepreneurship ever.  More than 1,400 BGSU students, faculty, business leaders, alumni, and high school students attended this year’s event in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. "Shark Tank" investor and FUBU founder Daymond John was the keynote during lunch and we heard exciting success stories from three very accomplished BGSU alumni - Paul Hooker ‘75 (Founder and former CEO of SFERRA Fine Linens); Lori Steele-Contorer ‘86 (Founder of Everyone Counts); and Tom Embrescia ‘68 (Chairman of Second Generation Ltd.).  (Read more.)  J. Robert Sebo ’58 ’13 (Hon.) was the Entrepreneur in Residence for the week of events and has been the primary supporter of the Sebo Series for the past 11 years. A big thank-you goes to Bob for his dedication and commitment to the College of Business and our students.

Besides celebrating entrepreneurship, we also held our second annual Women in Leadership conference. The keynote speaker was Sherron Watkins, the former VP of Corporate Development at Enron, who blew the whistle on the accounting irregularities at her company.  Her keynote presentation was entitled “The Courage of Your Convictions.” Also part of the Women in Leadership event was an expert panel consisting of Marianne Ballas (Owner, Ballas Buick-GMC); Stephanie Imhoff ’82 (CPA and Independent Finance and Accounting Consultant); Andrea Price (President and CEO at Mercy Health Partners North) and Sandra Rich, (Senior VP, Chief Compliance Officer at Nationwide Insurance). Moderating the panel was Amy Shore ’80 (Senior VP, Field Operations at Nationwide Insurance). (Read more.)

We also welcomed back dozens of marketing department alumni over two days.  These alumni had the opportunity to present their career advice and experiences to students in the classrooms as well as network with students in the David J. Joseph Student Hub. President Mazey stopped by the dinner on Thursday and spoke to alumni.

In conjunction with Marketing Alumni Days, the student chapter of the American Marketing Association hosted the 1984 Championship Alumni Panel. These marketing alums celebrated the 30-year anniversary of the BGSU AMA chapter receiving the top overall chapter in the world award from the AMA International Collegiate Conference.

Speaking of AMA student success, our marketing students just returned from the international conference and received a Bronze Chapter Award which places the BGSU chapter among the top 16 out of 351 chapters in the world. They were rated “outstanding” in all six areas. Congratulations to our students and faculty advisor Mearl Sutton on their hard work this year! (Read more.)

In other student success stories, two BGSU supply chain management students, Katie Post and Alex Shock, were selected for the prestigious R. Gene Richter Scholarship. Only seven of these scholarships are awarded annually to the best supply chain talent in the country. This is the first time BGSU has had multiple winners of this scholarship, however, historically, a BGSU student has been selected five out of the past eight years. (Read more.)

Twenty-two student teams participated in the second annual Business Olympics.  Congratulations go to the team of Four Amigos consisting of Julie Rogozinski, Dylan Atibagos, Michael Boes, and Aaron Russo.  This event, organized by the Student Ambassadors, gave students the chance to form teams and compete against each other for the coveted Golden Tie Award.  What a fun event! (Read more.)

We are pleased that one of our management professors, Dr. Sherry Sullivan, has been chosen as one of two “Outstanding Reviewers” for the Journal of Management History in the Emerald Literati Network for 2014. (Read more.)

We are getting close to the end of the 2013-14 academic year and my second year as dean.  I want to wish the best of luck to the nearly 200 graduating students as they take their BGSU diplomas in May and launch their successful business careers.

As we close out the spring semester, the College will be hosting the Board of Advocates and the Young Alumni Board on May 15 and 16.  The members on these important boards are highly dedicated and committed to their alma mater. I look forward to continuing our work that will keep the College moving forward.

Raymond W. Braun ‘80