Monday, January 31, 2011

Wake Places in Latest Financial Times MBA Rankings

The full-time MBA program at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business placed among the top 50 in the United States, according to the Financial Times. Overall, Wake Forest was ranked #41 this year, up six spots from a year earlier. The Wake Forest worldwide ranking climbed to #78.

In the category of employment at three months post-graduation, the Wake Forest MBA ranked #7 in the nation, tied with Stanford and above Harvard.

“We are pleased by the positive momentum underway at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business,” said Sherry Moss, director of the full-time MBA Program and associate professor of organizational studies. “Most importantly, we are proud of the success of our alumni in securing desirable positions in this highly competitive environment and earning salaries that justify the expense of the MBA program.”

Wake Forest alumni experienced a 110% average salary increase from their pre-MBA salary, ranking Wake Forest #13 in the nation on that metric.

The school was also ranked #24 among U.S. schools for the return on investment, taking into account salaries earned by alumni three years after graduation, while subtracting tuition costs and the opportunity cost of not being in the workforce while attending the MBA program.

Click here to see the full rankings.

Wake Professor Earns Award

Michelle Steward, an associate professor of marketing at the Wake Forest University Schools of Business (right), along with her co-authors of “Exploring Cross-National Differences in Organizational Buyers’ Normative Expectations and Supplier Performance,” have earned the S. Tamer Cavusgil Award for their paper published March 1, 2010, in the Journal of International Marketing. 

WFU Business School Headshots 8-20-09The co-authors of the award-winning paper are Felicia N. Morgan, Lawrence A. Crosby and Ajith Kumar.

Each year since 1988, the editorial board of the Journal of International Marketing has honored the author(s) of one of the articles published in the journal with the S. Tamer Cavusgil Award for making the most-significant contribution to the advancement of the practice of international marketing management. The award is named in honor of Professor S. Tamer Cavusgil, Fuller E. Callaway Professorial Chair and Director of the Institute of International Business at Georgia State University. Winners receive a cash award and plaque during the American Marketing Association’s Winter Educators’ Conference.

“My co-authors and I are delighted to receive the S. Tamer Cavusgil award. Our article was the outcome of the recognition of a real business problem—that differences in what customers expect, at a fundamental level, may mean that different standards of evaluation for what is believed appropriate may result,” Steward said. “This has significant impact for multinational suppliers who assess their performance across nations. Winning the S. Tamer Cavusgil Award underscores the importance of this topic in our field.”

The article was the first to establish empirically that, despite forces of globalization, there are actual differences in the normative expectations of supplier performance across countries. These normative expectations involve what buyers believe should be standards, regardless of the industry, the supplier, or the particular salesperson.

“This honor confirms the high impact of the research being done by our outstanding teacher-scholars,” said Charles Iacovou, senior associate dean of faculty for the Wake Forest Schools of Business. “Congratulations to Michelle and her co-authors on receiving this prestigious award.”

Steward and her co-authors introduced a diagnostic tool that managers in an international context can use to determine if normative expectations do differ in the countries in which they operate. The implications highlight the trade-off between providing standardized service across nations and customizing service based on normative expectations. Given the conflict over this issue of standardization, they suggest when in doubt, measure normative expectations and determine whether differences to exist.

In the course of their research, Steward and her co-authors analyzed data collected across four countries (the United States, Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom) from senior purchasing managers. They found that there are indeed significant differences in what the senior purchasing managers across countries expect in general from suppliers. In a second study reported in the article, they demonstrated that if these differences are  not accounted for, then satisfaction scores (which are based on expectations) could be misinterpreted.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wake Forest Panel Planned in NYC

After the July 2010 NYSE Panel event, Wake on Wall Street, Wake Forest University and Mike Farrell, the chairman and CEO of Annaly Capital Management are teaming up once more to plan a Special Wake Forest Panel Event.

In addition to Farrell, participants will include Todd Gibbons, the vice chairman and CFO at Bank of New York Mellon; Al Hunt, the executive editor of Bloomberg's 'Political Capital', Dagen McDowell, a business correspondent at FOX News; and Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody's.

The event is tentatively scheduled for Wed., Feb. 23, from 7-10 pm at the New York Athletic Club at 180 Central Park South at 59th St.

14 teams, 2 competitions, $103,000 in Prizes

Wake Forest University Schools of Business will kick off the 21st Annual Marketing Summit on Feb. 3, featuring a case study competition sponsored by VF Corporation, , a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel.

Eight MBA teams and six undergraduate teams were chosen from a record 126 applicants, including 13 from international universities. The MBA teams will have 36 hours to prepare a solution to a marketing case developed by Wake Forest students in conjunction with executives at The North Face, one of VF Corp.’s Outdoor & Action Sports coalition brands. The undergraduate competitors will develop case solutions for Nautica, one of VF’s Sportswear coalition brands.

You can follow the 21st Annual Marketing Summit Feb. 3–Feb. 5 at, which will feature live updates throughout the event on the teams, guest speakers and competition results.

The case competition provides students with the opportunity to apply the business skills they have learned in the classroom to a real-life business issue.

The Marketing Summit competitors will receive valuable exposure to a global apparel brand. Additionally, the winning MBA team will receive a cash prize of $75,000. Awards also include a $10,000 second prize and a $5,000 third prize for the MBA competition and a $10,000 first prize, $2,000 second prize, and $1,000 third prize for the undergraduate competition. Total awards of $103,000 make this year the largest prize purse in Marketing Summit history.

The three-day Marketing Summit will also feature networking opportunities for participating students and executives representing 30 national and international corporations. The public is also invited to attend the Leading out Loud Broyhill Executive Lecture Series keynote address on Friday evening by one of Forbes magazine’s “World’s Most Powerful Women.” Marilyn Carlson Nelson, chairman and former CEO of Carlson will present “How We Lead Matters: Reflections on a Life of Leadership.”

More than 100 Wake Forest student volunteers are working together to produce this student-run event lead by the 2011 Marketing Summit co-chairs Joy Fuller (MBA ’11), Ryan McBreen (MBA ’11) and Jen Stoner (MBA ’11).

“The Marketing Summit is a valuable resource for both corporate sponsors and students. Event sponsors enjoy opportunities to both recruit top student talent from around the globe as well as build their brand with a new generation of consumers,” Stoner said. “This year we are pleased to host a record number of sponsoring companies at this year’s Summit.”

In addition to the Wake Forest University School of Business, other participating MBA programs include: University of Notre Dame, The Ohio State University, London Business School, The University of California-Berkeley, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, University of Pennsylvania, and Boston College. The following schools will join Wake Forest for the undergraduate competition: University of Maryland, Northeastern University, Brigham Young University, and University of Pennsylvania.

Corporate sponsors for the event include: VF Corp., Broyhill Family Foundation, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Altria Group, BB&T Corp., Carolina Beverage Corp., Fleishman-Hillard, Chick-fil-A, Primo Water and Prima Water Co.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Marketing Summit Preview: Keynote Speaker

marilyn-inside One of Forbes magazine’s “World’s Most Powerful Women” will be the keynote speaker for the 21st Annual Marketing Summit.

Marilyn Carlson Nelson is the chairman and former CEO of Carlson, a global group of integrated travel companies including the Radisson Hotels, Country Inns & Suites, Carlson Wagonlit Travel and T.G.I. Fridays.

She will present “How We Lead Matters: Reflections of a Life of Leadership” on Friday, Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m. in the Worrell Professional Center auditorium (Room 1312) on the Wake Forest University campus.

Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of Carlson Nelson’s bestselling book by the same title. As part of her talk, Carlson Nelson will offer attendees wisdom, advice and inspiration while reflecting on her extraordinary career.

A Quick Note on the Marketing Summit

The Marketing Summit has tremendous opportunities for all Wake Forest Students!

· Take advantage of the networking opportunities with visiting executives

· Meet visiting student teams;

· Hear from visiting CEOs including Eric Wiseman (chairman, president and CEO of VF Corp.), Marilyn Carlson Nelson (chairman and former CEO of Carlson) and Bob Liodice (president and CEO of Association of National Advertisers);

· A kickoff event sponsored by Sam’s Club, with raffle prizes including a Keurig Coffee Maker, an iPad, and 30 other prizes worth over $4500!* You must RSVP to be eligible.

· Lots of food, drink and fun!!

Please RSVP to the following link:

The Survey closes at 11 pm on Sun., Jan. 30.  Don’t waste any time! Please click HERE for a schedule of the weekend events.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wake Launches Women’s Leadership Program

On behalf of the Wake Forest Graduate Schools of Business, we am happy to announce the launch of the Women’s Leadership Program (WLP). The WLP is a series of skill-building workshops, roundtable discussions, speakers, and experiential learning opportunities that prepare all students for the gender and family issues they will face as leaders in a changing workforce.

We encourage you to participate in the following upcoming activities:

Date of Event Speaker/Facilitator Topic Audience
Feb. 7, 5 pm Dean Reinemund Diversity at Pepsi Open to all students, faculty, and staff
March 16, 5 pm Melenie and Charles Lankau Managing Career Goals and Moves in a Dual Career Household Open to all students, partners, faculty, and staff

This program was student-initiated and will be overseen and administrated by the Associate Dean of Diversity Melenie Lankau. There will be leadership opportunities for students, both men and women, to assist with continuing to improve and develop the program next year.

If you have questions about the program, please feel free to contact one of the faculty members or co-chairs from the leadership committee or see our Web site and FAQ section.


Faculty Leaders: Sherry Moss and Melenie Lankau
Co-chairs: Sandie Taylor and Akshata Udiavar
Committee members:  Rashmi Agrawal, Stephanie Artavia Solis, Jazmine Coleman, Natasha Gaggar, Abby Rudd, and Minh Tran

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Marketing Summit 2011: Behind the Case

WFU Business School Headshots 8-20-09 We are proud to feature a Q&A with Roy Hykal (right), a second-year full-time MBA candidate in the Wake Forest University's Schools of Business and co-writer of this year's case studies for the Marketing Summit. We hope this interview provides a solid sneak peak of the process behind what are sure to be engaging and challenging cases for the graduate and undergraduate teams.


Paul Davis: How did you get selected to write the case?

Roy Hykal:  Last year I wrote the press releases for the Marketing Summit, and this year I was approached by Co-Chair Ryan McBreen with the opportunity to write the cases. After reading so many of these cases in business school, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to write my own.

PD: Who did you work with in writing the case?

WFU Business School Headshots 8-20-09I worked with my fellow classmate, Jeff Hughes (left). Jeff and I have been good friends since the beginning of the  MBA program, and I knew working with him on these cases would not only be fun, but also efficient.

PD: What was the general process (meetings, research, etc.), and how long did it take?

RH: We started writing the first drafts in early December (after finals ended), and it took us the next seven weeks to deliver the final drafts. Both The North Face and Nautica were really good about getting us the information we needed, and walking us through their goals during numerous conference calls. In addition, Derrick Boone, Roger Beahm, and Ryan McBreen (aka the Killer B’s) were also instrumental in guiding Jeff and I along the right path.

PD: What general advice would you offer to the teams?

RH: We can’t give away too much here, but read the case thoroughly, get intimate with the exhibits, and be creative without being wild when brainstorming.

PD: Did you collaborate on the graduate or undergraduate case?

RH: Jeff and I worked collectively to write both of the cases.  However, if you think one is better than the other, let me know so that I can take credit for it.

PD: What are you hoping to get out of the Marketing Summit? Which event are you most excited about?

RH: Ideally, I’d like to become famous after writing this case, but realistically, I hope that the teams can deliver solutions and ideas to TNF and Nautica that will really will make a difference. This whole experience has been great, and I’m sure the undergrad and MBA teams are going to really impress VF Corp. – the case sponsor – along with the panel of judges. 

PD: Which event are you most excited about?

RH: As for the event that I’m most looking forward to, I understand that Jeff and I will be getting honored at the Gala (that’s what Ryan McBreen promised me) for writing such great cases. Also, I’m interested in hearing the presentations from all the teams. It’s going to be neat to see how they interpreted the cases.

Learn About the Biotech Conference

Biotech logo FULL The Wake Forest University Schools of Business is hosting a launch party to help students become more familiar with the 2nd Annual Biotechnology Conference and Case Competition. The pre-event will provide more information on the Wake Forest case team, keynote speakers, panelists and judges, and other participating schools. The launch will be held on Wed., Jan. 26, from 4-6 pm at the Innovation Lab (Worrell 3209).

The conference is set for Feb. 18-19 at the Wake Forest Campus, bringing together some of the brightest and most creative minds from outstanding MBA and graduate programs in the country, as well as guests and judges from various companies related to the industry.

Targacept is this year's case competition sponsor. Targacept  is a biopharmaceutical company with a therapeutic focus on central nervous system diseases and disorders. It was named one of The Scientist magazine's "Best Places to Work in Industry.” The company has established strategic alliances with AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline for the results of research with neuronal nicotinic receptors. Competing teams will have the opportunity to offer real world solutions to a current business problem Targacept is facing.       

In addition to the case competition, the conference includes panel discussions with some of the industry's leaders, a look into the future of biotechnology through a panel discussion with industry leaders and a tour of Targacept's advanced facilities.

If you have questions or would like additional information, contact

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Marketing Summit Preview

With the 2011 Marketing Summit just weeks away, we uncovered applicant videos to build interest heading into the event. Here are some videos from schools that are participating the first weekend in February.

First, a clip from Boston College:

How about this video from Notre Dame:

And a compelling video from last year's winner, Ohio State:

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wake Forest Students Meet With Warren Buffett

As promised, here are some pics we obtained from the Wake Forest University Schools of Business field trip to Berkshire Hathaway, where students were able to learn about the company and meet Warren Buffett. We are in the process of collecting perspectives but hopefully these pictures will hold you over until those accounts appear.

Buffett 2

Buffett 1 

You have to love the matching gold and black neckties. Photos courtesy of Brad Ross from the Working Professional program.

Be a Student for a Day!

Are you interested in earning your MBA while maintaining full-time employment?

If so, spend a few hours at Wake Forest University on Sat., Jan. 29, and learn more about our Evening MBA program. Participants will have the opportunity to participate in a mock class led by Ron Thompson, attend an admissions and financial aid workshop, and interact with current MBA students during breakfast.

The program will run from 8:30 am to 1 pm at Worrell Professional Center, Room 1117. The event is open to prospective students interested in our Winston-Salem Evening MBA program. Registration is required by contacting Allison Neal at (336) 758-5025. Click here to verify program eligibility.

Wake Students Advance in Case Competition

A team of Wake Forest University students will advance to the national level of KPMG’s International Case Study Competition. 

The team includes accountancy major Megan Petitt (’11), finance majors Tim Rodgers (’11) and Swayze Smartt (’11), and business and enterprise management major Afton Vechery (’11). The group won the regional competition on Jan. 21 in Atlanta and will travel to New York to compete nationally against six other teams on Feb. 4.

C48F0958 “The Wake Forest team consists of four highly motivated, extremely bright and positively spirited students,” said Anna Cianci (left), assistant professor of accounting and faculty advisor for the KPMG competition team.

“They have the intellectual horsepower and energetic enthusiasm to go all the way in this competition,” Cianci added. “I know the entire Wake Forest community is wishing them the best!”

The winner of the national competition will travel to Istanbul, Turkey, to compete in a three day competition against the winning teams from more than a dozen other countries.

Innovation At Work

A number of our students, particularly in the Working Professionals program, have a keen interest in healthcare. This is a fascinating article on using new technology in innovative ways.


By Cheryl Walker ('88) Office of Communications and External Relations/ Photo by Ken Bennett

Marsh (left) and Rejeski (center) teach research subject Reggie Moore how to use an iPad to assess his mobility. (Photo illustration by Ken Bennett)

For the one in eight Americans now over the age of 65, mobility is a “vital sign” that should be regularly checked, according to two health and exercise science professors at Wake Forest.

Mobility is closely linked to overall health and quality of life, but health care professionals have not had an easy and effective way to assess it.

To solve the problem, Tony Marsh and Jack Rejeski developed the Mobility Assessment Tool (MAT) with the help of colleagues in the computer science department (Yue-Ling Wong) and Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (Eddie Ip).

The MAT is a unique way to assess mobility in older adults using video animation rather than written questions. Created for the iPad and the PC, the MAT takes about four minutes to complete. The score provides information that helps older adults better understand their current mobility and can provide a yardstick to monitor changes in how well they get around.

Using an iPad or PC, older adults watch short videos of animated figures performing everyday tasks such as climbing stairs or walking while carrying a bag of groceries. The videos help senior citizens picture themselves doing these tasks. They then use the touch screen to indicate what they can and cannot do.

Marsh and Rejeski say the MAT is a quick, simple and cost-effective way to accurately measure mobility and may help practitioners plan appropriate interventions to remediate limitations. They envision the elderly getting “activity prescriptions” to improve their physical function based on the results of the Mobility Assessment Test. The MAT could easily be administered in the waiting room before a patient talks to the physician.

The MAT offers some advantages over written questionnaires and can be used when actually having the older adult perform each task is not possible or practical.

“In pilot testing, we found that the animation technology allowed older adults to project themselves into the tasks,” Marsh says. “This removed potential biases that would have occurred if actual people had been filmed doing the tasks.”

Using animation instead of actors also made the tool more adaptable and less expensive. In addition, the touch screen technology dramatically decreases the time of test taking.

The authors said that the animation technology allows for great flexibility in altering the form, speed and environmental parameters of mobility-related tasks, opening up a wide range of possibilities for future research questions.

“This is a tool that could be used quickly in a physician’s office or out in the field,” says Rejeski, who has found the MAT to be useful in his research on older adults and mobility.

Marsh and Rejeski have recently published two studies supporting the video animation tool’s effectiveness in measuring mobility and they have presented their findings at a recent Gerontological Society of America conference. The MAT will be used by researchers involved in the LIFE study, a major multi-year project funded by the National Institutes of Health that is designed to determine the effects of physical activity and successful aging interventions on major mobility disability. Recently Marsh and Rejeski have been asked to collaborate in a cross-cultural study of mobility in older adults with researchers from Canada, Brazil and Columbia that will use the MAT.

Elevator Competition Deadlines Looming

Hello Entrepreneurs,

First and foremost, thank you very much for expressing your interest in the 12th annual Wake Forest Elevator Competition. The next deadline - for the Executive Summary submission – will be on Feb. 15.  We will announce the 25 selected teams on Mon., Feb. 21. 

In the meantime, we encourage you to finalize and submit your Executive Summaries.  Also, please stay connected for announcements, postings, and other news at:




Elevator Live:

Feel free to ask us any questions , or visit our FAQ site at

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Discovering Meaningful Innovation

Wake Forest University Schools of Business and The CFO Alliance will hold a breakfast and roundtable discussion titled, “Game Changers: How to Make Innovations that Matter,” on Wed., Jan. 26 at 7:30 am, at the Carmel Country Club in Charlotte.

The discussion will be led by Ram Baliga, the John B. McKinnon Professor of Management at Wake Forest University Schools of Business. Baliga is frequently recognized by news media and the academic and business communities for his teachings on strategic frameworks and innovation.

“Our CFOs are eager to share their experiences concerning innovation, and the opportunity to have Dr. Baliga as part of our community and challenge us to think differently will undoubtedly bring forth new insights from our members on this critical subject,” said Nick Araco, the alliance’s co-founder and CEO. “Too often in business, we think of innovation as being created in a laboratory. However, the act of turning innovation into competitive advantage really belongs to the finance discipline.”

Baliga will lead CFO participants through a discussion on:
• Strategy vs. model: Why it matters for purposes of innovation
• Why most conventional business models fail
• What the difference has meant to specific industries
• How to generate and implement new models for competitive advantage

Wake Forest became an academic partner of The CFO Alliance in 2009. The CFO Alliance was founded by finance and accounting executives to provide themselves with a networking platform to discuss critical opportunities and challenges. Alliance members serve either in management or executive-level positions in publicly-traded or privately-held companies around the globe.

The price to attend is $30 for non-members and basic CFO Alliance members. There is no charge for CFO Alliance all-inclusive members and first-time attendees. To register, visit

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Was the Fed a Bad Idea?

Wake Forest University will host a two-day conference that considers the relevance and necessity of the Federal Reserve. The program, organized by the Economics Department at Wake Forest University and sponsored by the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism, will be held on Feb. 11-12.

The Fed's centennial is approaching and we anticipate much oratory, books, conferences, and papers singing its praises. Perhaps this praise is warranted; perhaps it is not. The purpose of this conference is to examine whether or not such praise is truly warranted. Scholars have been invited to present papers that support and/or contradict the conference title’s assertion by carefully examining the historical record. This conference is being organized by the Economics Department at Wake Forest University and is sponsored by the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism.

Click here to register for the conference. Students do not need to register.

Tentative Agenda:

Friday February 11, 2010

11:00 a.m.
J. Daniel Hammond, Wake Forest University
“Milton Friedman and the Federal Reserve: Then and Now”

2:00 p.m.
John A. Allison, Wake Forest University, BB&T Chairman and CEO (retired)
“The Practical Impact of the Federal Reserve on Decision Making in Large Financial Institutions”

4:00 p.m.
John A. James, University of Virginia
David F. Weiman, Barnard College
“Panics and the Disruption of Private Payments Networks: The United States in 1893 and 1907”

7:00 p.m.
Thomas Sargent, New York University
Keynote Address:  “Drawing Lines in U.S. Monetary and Fiscal History”

Saturday, February 12, 2010

8:30 a.m.
Jeffry Miron, Harvard University 
“Has Economic Performance Improved Since the Founding of the Fed?”

10:30 a.m.
George Selgin, University of Georgia
Lawrence H. White, George Mason University 
“Has the Fed Been a Failure?”

1:30 p.m.
Richard Sylla, New York University 
“Bank Failures and Output”

3:30 p.m.
John H. Wood, Wake Forest University
“A Comparison of the Independent Treasury and the Federal Reserve System as Congress’s Agents for ‘The Regulation of the Currency’”

Marketing Summit Pep Rally

50259_166251413404215_7814929_nAre you looking for an opportunity to be involved with the largest student run event at Wake Forest University?  Stop by to find out about the possibilities. During Marketing Summit weekend (Feb. 3-5), volunteers will have the opportunity to interact with fellow Wake Forest students, faculty and staff, as well as students visiting from other universities, and visiting executives.

Stop by Worrell 3209 on Thurs., Jan. 20, from 4-5 pm to learn about ways to volunteer and get in on the action! Also visit the official website ( for more details. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lunch and Learn at Targacept

You are invited to join the Healthcare Club on its next company visit. This is a great opportunity to visit Targacept, a firm that works on the forefront of drug discovery and resides within Winston-Salem. The club will visit Targacept on Wed., Jan. 19, for a “Lunch and Learn” tour of their facilities. 

Attendees will meet at 12:30 pm in the Worrell business lounge and return around 2:30pm. There will be a carpool from the school but it is not an issue if you would need to meet us there. 

Boxed lunches will be provided prior to the facility tour as we receive an overview of the company from Debra Perret, the company’s communications coordinator. The tour and science-focused aspects of our visit will be led by Melissa Joseph, Ph.D. of Targacept's analytical R&D group. Additionally, Targacept is the case sponsor for this year’s Biotechnology Case Competition, which makes this an excellent opportunity to get involved and learn about our sponsor. Also, this is a unique chance to see firsthand, the operations of a firm that is discussed during class.

Please reply to Justin Kistler at by Sun., Jan. 16 at 6 pm if you plan to attend. There are limited spots, so the earlier you respond, the better chance you have of reserving a spot. Feel free to visit Targacept's website for more information and an overview of the products that it is developing to target nervous system diseases and disorders (

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lankau Tapped For Diversity Role

I am very pleased to announce that professor Melenie Lankau will assume the role of associate dean of diversity for the Wake Forest University Schools of Business, effective immediately. In her new role, Melenie will work with the leadership of the Schools to further develop our strategy focused on diversity enrichment and inclusiveness, providing direction and support to enhance our faculty and staff recruiting, retention, and development efforts.

LankauMMelenie will also work with other areas in the Schools of Business, including student services and admissions, to coordinate and support our diversity efforts in student recruiting and retention, and will serve as the primary liaison with University-wide diversity initiatives. Given the importance of diversity and inclusion as a key pillar in our future success and our ability to provide a rich, multi-cultural learning experience for students, finding the right person to spearhead our efforts was critical.

Melenie brings 14 years experience in teaching and conducting research on diversity-related topics. Over half of her research publications have focused on conceptual and empirical studies relating to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. In addition, she has served as a consultant and trainer to corporations on their multicultural efforts, and her role at the University of Georgia included diversity recruiting and retention of students.

Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Melenie to her new role. We look forward to the vision that she will drive for our Schools.

Best regards,


Steve Reinemund
Dean of Business
Wake Forest University
Schools of Business

Let’s Be Reasonable

Marshall Schminke, a professor of business ethics at the University of Central Florida, will visit campus on Wed., Feb. 9, to deliver a lecture: The Role of Reason and Emotion in an Ethical Climate. The lecture will take place from 4-6 pm at a location to be determined.

Combining management theory with ethical theory sheds light on today's organizational dynamics, revealing much about contemporary themes such as leadership, corporate character, and corporate social responsibility. Both reason and emotion play an important role in establishing and maintaining an ethical climate.

Welcoming the Brightest Prospects

The Wake Forest University Schools of Business welcomed 29 of the nation’s brightest undergraduate students to campus Jan. 7-9 for the 4th Annual Accounting Diversity Consortium.

Participants were juniors and seniors from 27 different universities throughout the U.S., selected from over 120 applicants. This year’s group has an average GPA of 3.76.

The event, which is produced by the Schools of Business and funded by Ernst & Young, is designed to help students from underrepresented groups find out more about the Wake Forest Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) program. Students learned about the curriculum, extracurricular activities and internships available through the highly respected Wake Forest MSA program.

The program has one of the highest first-time CPA exam passing rates in the nation, is ranked in the top 5% in the nation by the U.S. News and World Report, and holds the separate AACSB accounting accreditation.

HinsonY “We have rigorous current curriculum, faculty committed to excellence in education, small class sizes, and an intense review course in preparation of the CPA exam," said Yvonne Hinson, Schools of Business professor and director of the MSA program (right). "Our students also have the opportunity to choose from three tracks and electives in line with their personal passions to create a truly unique experience."

Students who attended the Accounting Diversity Consortium hail from schools such as: Florida State University, Morehouse College, The Ohio State University, and Syracuse University.

"I am very impressed with the Wake Forest MSA program, the campus, and the faculty," said Christopher Johnson, a junior from Fort Valley State University. "I like the ethical approach and the value of student quality versus quantity."

The intimate learning environment that Wake Forest offers prompted Whitney Carter, a Consortium attendee and senior accounting major from the Ohio State University, to apply to the MSA program. "My undergraduate education has been phenomenal, but now I want something that is different and on a smaller scale. I feel I can benefit more from one-on-one learning experiences in graduate school," she said.

Student ambassadors Saida Khan (MSA '11) and Jerome Conley (MSA '11) led the group on a campus tour, followed by a panel discussion with Wake Forest alumni. Joy Clark (MSA '09), Karrah Clay (MSA '08), Brendan Enick (MSA '07), Megan Jones (MSA '09) and Nicole Yembra (MSA '10), who work in various positions at Ernst & Young locations, answered questions about the learning environment at Wake Forest, the difficulty of coursework, and what makes the program stand out from others.

"The case studies, real-world experiences and teamwork will prepare you for what we do now on a daily basis," Enick said.

"I was overwhelmed during my first few months of the program, but my professors were so willing to sit down and work with me and help me understand," Clay said.

"When you earn your MSA from Wake Forest, firms will assume you are a quality professional," Jones added.

Ernst & Young has partnered with the University on the Consortium since its inception and provides the funding for all students to attend the event. "When you think about the focus on diversity of thought and perspective and how valuable that is to Wake Forest and our firm, it only makes sense that we invest in these incredibly bright and diverse students who can enhance the program and ultimately become leaders in the profession," said Ken Bouyer, the Americas Director of Inclusiveness Recruiting for Ernst & Young.

In his closing remarks, Bouyer encouraged the students to seek out mentors, stay focused and ask for help along the way. "Don't be happy just to be here. Push forward, strive farther, and pursue excellence," he said.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Meeting Warren Buffett

imgresA group of students from the Wake Forest University Schools of Business are set to board a plane Thursday, Jan.  13, to travel to Omaha, Neb., where they will spend two days meeting executives from Berkshire Hathaway, including Warren Buffett.

This year, roughly 20 students from the classes of 2010 and 2011 were selected to attend. Matt Clewis (Charlotte MBA 2010) was largely responsible for putting this year’s trip together.

The group will have a busy schedule, and we are going to provide online updates, pictures, etc., as participants share their experiences. More information will be available on the Schools of Business website as well.

Tentatively, our students have the following items lined up for Friday, Jan. 14.

  • A Q&A and tour at Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary Nebraska Furniture Mart

  • A Q&A session with Warren Buffett in The Kiewit Building. Attendees were required to read The Snowball prior to traveling. They will dine with Buffett after the session.

  • A Q&A and tour of Borsheims, another Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary

Congratulations to the students who were selected and safe travel over the next few days!

Alumni Update: Jermain Joins Plexus Corp.

Pat Jermain recently joined Plexus Corp. as corporate controller. He will lead the global finance organization, working with Plexus' finance teams in engineering solutions and manufacturing solutions.

Jermain most recently worked as the corporate controller at Appleton Papers. Before that, he spent eight years at Banta Corp.

Pat earned a bachelor's of science degree in accounting at Wake Forest University and a master's in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a certified public accountant.

Reposted from Post Crescent (Appleton, Wis.)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Talking About Integrity

Professor Michael Jensen will visit campus later this month to deliver a lecture: Integrety: A Positive Model of Morality, Ethics, and Legality.

A positive model of integrity provides powerful access to increased performance for individuals, groups, organizations, and societies. The model reveals the causal link between integrity and increased performance, quality of life, and value-creation for all entities. Integrity is thus a factor of production as important as knowledge and technology, yet its role has been largely hidden, unnoticed or even ignored by economists and others.

More details will be released soon, but he is tentatively scheduled to appear from 4-6 pm on Monday, Jan. 31.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Survey: Wake Forest Scores High Among Job Recruiters

Recruiters are taking notice of the skills and preparedness of Wake Forest University Schools of Business MBA graduates. On Jan. 6, Bloomberg BusinessWeek released a new ranking, "The Best US MBA Programs by Specialty." Bloomberg BusinessWeek in July 2010 surveyed hundreds of corporate recruiters nationally and asked them to rank the graduates of full-time MBA programs in 11 specialty areas and management attributes.

Wake Forest's Full-time MBA program ranked among the Top 25 in the nation in 10 of 11 specialty areas.  One point to note – Wake Forest ranked No. 5 nationally in the “Most Improved” program category.


Specialty Area / Attribute Rank
Most Improved 5
Operations 8
General Management 12
Finance 15
Teamwork 15
Analytical Skills 15
Marketing Skills 15
Global Competition 16
Accounting 20
Most Innovative 23
Communication Skills 27

Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek Best US MBA Programs by Specialty

“Our focus on providing exceptional talent to the business community is being recognized by corporate recruiters across the nation, as exemplified in this latest ranking,” said Dean of Business Steve Reinemund.  “We are proud of our students, faculty and staff for their tremendous efforts in achieving these results.”

Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s 2010 ranking of U.S. MBA programs report showed that 92% of Wake Forest’s Full-time MBA students secured jobs within three months after graduation, placing the School in a tie with Yale at No. 12 nationally.

A complete list of the Best US MBA Programs by Specialty can be found online at (

Dean Reinemund to Speak at E&Y Event

Ernst & Young LLP will host more than 100 minority students from 58 U.S. colleges and universities at the firm’s 5th annual all-expense-paid Discover Tax event in New York from Jan. 5-7. The firm will also host its 3rd annual Campus Diversity & Inclusiveness Roundtable for key faculty and administrators from top undergraduate business programs.

The roundtable, set for Jan. 5-6, will feature a dialogue with Steve Reinemund, Dean of Business at Wake Forest University and a former CEO of PepsiCo. He is also a director at American Express Company, Exxon Mobil Corp., Marriott International Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Reinemund will share how he leverages his past experience as CEO of PepsiCo to enhance diversity and inclusiveness at Wake Forest.

The roundtable will also feature more than 30 faculty, deans, accounting chairs and administrators, who will discuss and share leading practices regarding diversity issues facing today’s undergraduate business programs. Topics discussed during the roundtable will include the business imperative for increased diversity, creating an inclusive culture, and strategies on leading and encouraging diversity and inclusiveness in the business school.

“There’s no question that diversity is an advantage in today’s global business environment,” said Ken Bouyer, Ernst & Young’s Americas Director of Inclusiveness Recruiting. “Given this reality, we are determined to continue a dialogue with business faculty to help them prepare students for the global workplace.”

During a panel discussion at the roundtable, three past winners of Ernst & Young LLP’s Inclusive Excellence Award for Accounting and Business School Faculty will share their successes and challenges around advancing diversity and inclusiveness on their campuses.

The three-day Discover Tax event consists of panels, hands-on learning activities, networking events and opportunities to speak one-on-one with Ernst & Young leaders. After the conference, attendees are eligible to interview for internships with the firm. To date, more than 70 percent of Discover Tax participants have been given internship offers, with a 90% acceptance rate. For more information, visit (

“Introducing diverse students to the tax profession early in their college careers is critical to attracting more minorities to the profession,” said Chris Yamamoto, Ernst & Young’s Tax People Leader. “Our people and their diverse perspectives are key to meeting our clients’ needs and this has only grown in importance as businesses have increased their geographic reach. The Discover Tax event has helped us recruit and strengthened our diverse talent pipeline.”

Since its launch in January 2007, Discover Tax has helped Ernst & Young increase the number of minority campus hires for its tax practice: underrepresented minority campus hires have increased from 11% to 16%. Minority partners and staff now represent 30% of Ernst & Young LLP’s total US employee population—more than double the representation a decade ago.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Family Business Center Unveils Charlotte Events

Succession planning in the family business and generational differences in the workplace are topics to be highlighted in upcoming Wake Forest University Schools of Business Family Business Center forums.

Robert Norris, founding partner of Wishart, Norris Henninger & Pittman PA, will present “The Business Owner’s Pathway to Maximizing and Preserving Business and Personal Wealth” at the first of the quarterly forums on Jan. 27. “Most business owners fail to maximize or preserve wealth during the sale or transfer of their business to the next generation of owners. It doesn’t have to be that way,” Norris said.

Participants will be introduced to a six-step exit planning process which greatly simplifies the business owner’s task of addressing business and personal issues in an integrated fashion. Application of this process along with the tools and techniques discussed will help ensure the maximization and preservation of the owner’s business and personal wealth.

For more than 34 years, Norris has represented family and privately-owned businesses in mergers and acquisitions, sales of businesses, business owner exit planning, and business succession planning. His passion is for acting as an exit planning and succession planning facilitator for business owners and their companies. He has handled succession planning matters for several of the largest businesses in the Carolinas.

“The Business Owner’s Pathway to Maximizing and Preserving Business and Personal Wealth” is from noon to 4 pm at the Whitehead Manor Conference Center located at 5901 Sardis Road, Charlotte.

Stacey Randall, founder and chief consultant of SBR Consulting, will present “Generational Differences: Reality or Hype” at the second of the quarterly forums March 2. Randall will discuss the key workforce attributes for each generation, and the implications for attracting, retaining, and rewarding different generations in the workplace. Forum participants will also receive copies of SBR’s proprietary research findings on how the recession is affecting the millennial generation and attraction and retention strategies.

In the second part of the program, Stephen Shuford, executive vice president of Shurtape Technologies LLC, will share the joys and challenges of growing a longtime maker of yarns and twine into leading global manufacturer and marketer of adhesive tapes, weatherization products and stationery products under the Shurtape, Duck, Painter’s Mate Green, FrogTape and Easy Liner brands. Shurtape has manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Canada and China and has sales and distribution facilities around the world. Customers include Sherwin-Williams, Walmart, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Staples, Michaels and an array of industrial distributors. Shuford is a fifth generation owner/manager of the family business.

“Generational Differences: Reality or Hype” is from noon to 4 pm at Whitehead Manor.

Family Business Center forums are only open to Family Business Center members, sponsors and their guests. For information on FBC membership and guest policies, please contact Rhonda Stokes at (704) 366-0540. Member dues and corporate sponsors Wishart, Norris Henninger & Pittman Attorneys At Law and RSM McGladrey fund the Family Business Center in Charlotte.

The Family Business Center, established in 1999 under the Angell Center for Entrepreneurship in the Wake Forest University Schools of Business, addresses issues faced by closely held and family firms. The member-based organization uses the capabilities and educational resources at Wake Forest, in the community and beyond to provide closely held and family firms the assistance they need to grow and succeed from generation to generation.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Family Business Center Announces 2011 Programs

Generational differences in the workplace and succession planning in the family business are two of the topics to be highlighted in upcoming Wake Forest University Schools of Business Family Business Center forums.

Stacey Randall, the founder and chief consultant of SBR Consulting, will present “Generational Differences:  Reality or Hype” at the first of the quarterly forums, on Feb. 22.  Randall will discuss the key workforce attributes for each generation, and the implications for attracting, retaining, and rewarding different generations in the workplace.  Forum participants will also receive copies of SBR’s proprietary research findings on how the recession is affecting the millennial generation and attraction and retention strategies.

In the second part of the program, local business leader David Congdon will share the story of his family business, Old Dominion Freight Line Inc.  Earl and Lillian Congdon founded the company is 1934. Today, the Thomasville company employs more than 10,000 people and is led by 3rd generation family member David Congdon. He was named the 2010 Triad Area Business Leader of the Year.

“Generational Differences:  Reality or Hype” will run from 8 am to 1 pm at the Graylyn Conference Center, 1900 Reynolda Road, in Winston-Salem.

In the second quarterly forum, on April 7, Kathy Bowman Atkins of The Latitude Group will present “Succession Planning:  A Broader Perspective.” Just as the title suggests, her approach to succession planning extends beyond simply choosing a successor. The program will address such issues as strategic planning for both the departing and incoming leaders, and ensuring the most transparent transition possible.

The forum will also feature David Murphy, the chief executive of Greensboro’s Mother Murphy’s, a market leader in the flavorings and extracts industry. Over the years, Mother Murphy's customer base has expanded beyond commercial bakeries to include major food and beverage producers, the tobacco industry, and pharmaceutical companies. To stay at the forefront of flavor technology, Mother Murphy’s completely updated their laboratory facilities in 2003 with an expansion of its labs to more than 3,300 square feet.

"Throughout our development and expansion, Mother Murphy’s is at heart a family business that spans three generations," says Murphy, the son of founder Kermit Murphy. "We have seen an orderly succession of leadership throughout six decades.”

“Succession Planning: A Broader Perspective,” will run from 8 am to 1 pm at Graylyn.

Family Business Center forums are only open to Family Business Center members, sponsors and their guests.  For information on FBC membership and guest policies, please contact Kathy Baker at (336) 758-3568. Member dues and corporate sponsors BB&T Wealth Management and Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice fund the Family Business Center in the Triad.

The Family Business Center, established in 1999 under the Angell Center for Entrepreneurship in the Wake Forest University Schools of Business, addresses issues faced by closely held and family firms. The member-based organization uses the capabilities and educational resources at Wake Forest, in the community and beyond to provide closely held and family firms the assistance they need to grow and succeed from generation to generation.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Adjusting to the Market

John Eder, the founder and CEO of AutismSphere, was a guest blogger at, giving his insight into this year’s competition. AutismSphere won last year’s social track competition. Here is what Eder offered as advice to aspiring competitors.


2L4E_2_mpdude Nine months after our participation in the Elevator competition finds the AutismSphere team making some dramatic shifts to adjust with the market.  The education market is starting to accelerate as schools shift toward mobile solutions like ours that cater to the individual learning styles of children.

This broader market shift mirrors the tenants we drive in our AutismSphere solution and reflects our philosophical basis driven by UNC’s TEACCH program and Social Thinking.  With this added support of our technology we now look to ensure that we can share our capabilities with the broader educational community, while providing more opportunity within the autism community at the same time.

The ensuing journey since participating in the competition brings to light a few key lessons (pretty much old adages that ring particularly true after taking this journey, the path to entrepreneurship):

  • Build a strong team and wait, if necessary, to find healthy people. (You can rebuild and rework a great many things, but the team is different, and the foundation stone for everything else.)
  • Stay true to the mission when things get tough and the next steps hard to discern.  (This sometimes feels like a light in the darkness.)
  • Keep believing in your vision, your team, and yourselves.  (Easy to say…)

We have the attitude that everyone in the competition wins by going through the experience, and a few of us were lucky enough to receive some extra recognition through the awards.

We wish this year’s ventures great success in the competition and even more momentum in the market, launching your visions for the future.

- AutismSphere Team (photo courtesy of