Welcome to The Eller Times, sharing highlights of news, events, people, and partners of the Eller College of Management.
The Eller student chapter of the American Marketing Association placed among the top eight teams in the nation in the American Marketing Association (AMA) 2005 - 2006 Case Competition.
Working under the guidance of marketing faculty member Sue Umashankar, the team built cases for two challenges presented by this year's sponsor, Kwik Trip, Inc., a company that primarily operates convenience stores throughout the Midwest. The tasks: 1) Propose a way to make Kwik Trip a food destination for the 18 – 24-year-old market; and 2) Create an ad campaign and roll-out plan for a new food product for the same market.
Eight Eller undergraduates teamed up for the event, doing extensive secondary data research, surveying representatives of the target market, and organizing focus groups. The group will travel to Orlando, Fla. in March for the competition finals, presenting to Kwik Trip executives and other judges.
The Eller College has long held leading national positions in management information systems and entrepreneurship, ranked #4 and #13 nationally at the graduate level by U.S. News & World Report. Entrepreneur magazine ranks Eller second in the nation, first among public institutions.
In the fall, Eller will launch a new degree program uniting these two strengths with the goal of integrating business and science education.
The program brings an information technology focus to the experiential learning field projects of the Eller MBA, incorporates a related internship, and adds studies in information technology strategy and valuation, knowledge management, and enterprise resource planning, as well as other MIS topics, to the core body of MBA knowledge. Both disciplines dovetail in the entrepreneurship certification program, which uses the new venture development model to teach participants how to move concepts from idea to reality.
A team of Eller master's in finance and MBA students beat out five other teams to win the Venture Capital Investment Competition (VCIC) Wild Card tournament at the University of California at Irvine in January.
The Wild Card tournament demands agility and efficiency as much as expertise. As a starting point, two entrepreneurs present business plans for consideration. Student teams are given 15 minutes to question the entrepreneurs. Each team then develops a complete venture capital investment analysis of one of the businesses, including an executive summary, a term sheet, a presentation, and supporting materials — all in less than three hours.
The Eller team spent last semester learning the techniques of venture capital investment analysis under the direction of finance faculty member Chip Ruscher. During winter break, while three of the five traveled to their home countries, the team developed a template executive summary, PowerPoint presentation, supporting material, and term sheet that could be tailored for the companies to be analyzed at the competition.
Adam Smith (MBA-MMF), Sunnie Kwong (MBA), Vimal Bhakta (MMF), Donghwa Lee (MBA), and Johannes Sarx (MBA) represented Eller in the competition. The team will compete against seven other teams — including two prior national champion teams — at the regional VCIC competition at the University of Southern California in March.
Robert Tindall, management and policy associate professor emeritus, guided MBA students through the dynamic world of Hong Kong commerce in December, the latest in a string international excursions that he's led for the College for the past 15 years.
The annual trip is one of the hallmarks of the part-time Eller MBA, adding first-hand experience to complement the International Management course. The students' packed schedule of meetings and tours for the nine-day event included a discussion of global supply chain logistics with the CEO of TAL, the island's only remaining garment assembly operation; an exploration of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange with one of its vice presidents; a look at the operations of Li & Fung, the world's largest trading company; and Q&A with the general manager of a leading container terminal operation in Hong Kong's busy port, as well as several other connections with industry leaders.
The Eller chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs (NAWMBA) has created a picturesque approach to raising funds for chapter activities. Forget the bake sales, bring on the MBA Men of Eller calendar!
"We wanted to start something new that would be continued, something light-hearted and fun that people would look forward to each year," explained Eller's NAWMBA president Annie Durazo. To that end, Durazo and others had MBA students submit nominations describing what makes their male classmates exceptional. The final result was 12 pages of Eller MBA men captured in the context of some of their favorite activities: golfing, cooking, and (occasionally!) clowning around.
The first two printings of the MBA Men of Eller 2006 calendar sold out quickly, but NAWMBA may yet print a third run. For information about the 2006 or 2007 calendars, contact Annie Durazo.
The Eller College will honor James E. Press, president and COO of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., The University of the Arizona Executive of the Year on March 10, marking the 23rd anniversary of the award.
With overall responsibility for sales, marketing, and distribution for Toyota and Lexus in the United Sates, James E. Press plays a critical role in moving Toyota — and the automotive industry at large — forward.
Given the history of success Press has earned since joining the company in 1970 and the host of industry awards to his name, it's not surprising that Press became the first American president of Toyota Motor Sales, the man whom Fortune magazine has called Toyota’s “secret weapon,” someone with “as much influence over the course of the American auto industry as anyone else alive.”
As president and CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Carl J. Schramm leads one of the most influential organizations in entrepreneurship. He brought that expertise to Eller in January as the 2006 Anheuser-Busch Entrepreneur-in-Residence for the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship, meeting with each new venture team to review business concepts and plan development.
As part of his engagement at Eller, Schramm gave a public talk on "Stimulating Entrepreneurial Growth and Opportunity in U.S. Universities." Entrepreneurship director Sherry Hoskinson said the talk "challenged us to a bold new design for business education. In his portrait of entrepreneurial capitalism vs. industrial or bureaucratic capitalism, he created a powerful backdrop for a new direction that business colleges must embrace if they're going to adequately prepare leaders."
Before his current role at Kauffman, Schramm founded the Center for Hospital Finance and Management at Johns Hopkins University, as well as a number of companies in the healthcare and information technology sectors. His accomplishments have made him a Batten Fellow at the University of Virginia, a past Robert Wood Johnson Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences, and two-time recipient of the National Institutes of Health Career Science Award.
Feb. 23: Fathauer Lecture in Political Economy
Economist and author Robert Frank of Cornell University will speak at 5 p.m. in McClelland Hall with a reception to follow. Frank has written a number of books linking economic principles and human behavior, including one of The New York Times 1995 Notable Books of the Year, The Winner-Take-All Society, co-authored with Philip J. Cook. Reservations are requested for this free event: www.eller.arizona.edu/lecture.
The Eller College honors James E. Press, president and COO of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., at 12 p.m. at The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson. Tickets may be purchased for $60 each or $600 for a table of ten. For information or to reserve seats, visit the Executive of the Year website, call 520.621.9954, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please join us to meet Dean Paul Portney, visit with fellow alumni, and learn about our new Executive MBA Program and other Eller College updates.
For more information and to RSVP, visit the Meet the Dean website.
In January, the Eller College and The University of Arizona began a nationwide search to appoint the Jim and Pamela Muzzy Chair in Entrepreneurship. As a tenured faculty member, the Muzzy Chair professor will lead the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship as Executive Director and spearhead the College’s entrepreneurship research.
Targeted research areas for the College include knowledge transfer, venture capital financing and small business lending, entrepreneurial law, and intellectual property, to name just a few. Directing a combination of world-class instruction and research, the Muzzy Chair will help the Eller College become an even greater leader in the teaching and application of entrepreneurship.
Jim Muzzy and his wife Pamela were both business majors at The University of Arizona. Jim Muzzy is a founder and managing director of PIMCO, operating out of the company's Newport Beach, Calif. offices. With more than $500 billion in assets under management and 800+ employees globally, PIMCO has grown to be one of the world's largest fixed income managers.
Arizona governor Janet Napolitano appointed Roger E. Hartley, assistant professor in the Eller College's School of Public Administration and Policy, to the Pima County Commission on Trial Court Appointments, the body that screens, interviews, and nominates to the governor candidates for Superior Court judgeships.
Hartley holds a joint appointment in the Rogers College of Law. He co-directs the Law, Criminal Justice and Security Program (LCJSP), which he founded with law professor Jack Chin in 2004.
Marketing senior Hang Tran was named the fall semester's Arizona Foundation Outstanding Senior for the Eller College.
Born in Hanoi, Vietnam, Hang came to the United States in 2000 as a high school exchange student in Michigan.
An Honors student, she has an outstanding academic record and stays active in extracurricular activities, interning with Moret Advertising and working with the International Student Association and Mortar Board, chairing committees and coordinating events. She's also contributed to the Eller College as a preceptor for the core MIS class.
Hang Tran has twice won the Improving Eller College Management Case Competition. She was also designated the Eller College Outstanding Cohort Student in Fall 2004 and was a finalist in the Marketing Department’s Thinking Forward Student Competition in 2005. She plans to return to Vietnam upon graduation, then later pursue graduate studies in the United States.
The University of Arizona Foundation’s Outstanding Senior Awards Program was established in 1971 to recognize the University's best seniors.
The publisher of Intelligence and Security Informatics for International Security: Information Sharing and Data Mining, the new book by Hsinchun Chen, McClelland Professor of MIS and director of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab and Hoffman E-Commerce Lab, sets the stage for the book explaining that, "On September 11, 2001 the world became completely cognizant of the security challenges it faces on an international scale. With this awareness a commitment has come from the scientific, engineering, and health communities to help the world meet an array of security challenges. From these activities the science of Intelligence and Security Informatics, has emerged and will influence a new generation of policy makers, practitioners, researchers, and students."
The book features several case studies drawn from Chen's work in the AI Lab and collaborations with local and regional law enforcement in presenting "a systematic national security research framework . . . focusing on information integration and data mining in particular."
Building a Better Shamrock
The next time you see a semi truck emblazoned with a happy chef running with a shamrock on a platter, the new identity food distributor giant Shamrock Foods, think of the Eller College. Specifically, think Kirk Vidinghoff.
Kirk was interning at Shamrock Foods — a division of the McClelland family's Shamrock Foods Co. — when the company launched its fresh, new "Delivering Satisfaction" identity in 2003. Working with the company's advertising agency, he coordinated getting all those chefs onto all those trucks, as well as all the other elements of an identity roll-out, from new uniforms to letterhead.
The attention to detail required was nothing new to Kirk, who had gone to work for Arthur Andersen after graduating from the Eller College in 1998 with a degree in marketing and entrepreneurship, working in the business outsourcing division for clients like General Motors.
In 2002, when Andersen was investigated, Kirk went back to school, starting the Eller MBA program in 2002. His MBA summer internship set him on the path that's brought him to his current role as a senior analyst for the seventh largest food distributor in the country with $1.5 billion in annual sales.
Today, Kirk plays a key role in the recently created corporate headquarters, looking for ways to possibly leave seventh place behind for something higher. During his second year as an MBA, Kirk led a team commissioned to develop a feasibility analysis for expanding operations into New Mexico — continued as his focus when hired on at the company after graduating, and last January, Kirk finally saw the payoff to many months of research. Based on the data his analyses had helped provide, Shamrock Foods Co. (the parent company of both Shamrock Foods and Shamrock Farms) purchased 45 acres on Albuquerque's West Side to build a warehouse and distribution center expected to be operating early next year.
With that project having come to fruition, Kirk has now turned his attention to aiding in the implementation of Six Sigma at Shamrock Foods Co., as well as ways to increase profits at both the buying and selling ends of the business. He's also looking at opportunities for still more expansions, having helped to create with the New Mexico move the template for how the company will grow in the future.
But these changes — as big changes should — will occur in good time, one of the factors that Kirk most appreciates about the privately held, family-owned Shamrock companies. "We have a long-term vision," he explains. "We're not rushing to meet quarterly goals for the sake of investors and analysts," he explains. "It gives us more time to think strategically."
Comments or ideas for stories or alumni profiles? Email the editor.