Monday, March 20, 2017

COBI Alumni Affiliate President accomplishes goal of providing clean water to thousands in Haiti


Peter Davis, President of the UT College of Business and Innovation Alumni Affiliate, is a remarkably busy man. When he is not raising money for scholarships for COBI students, or successfully operating his business, the Dundee Manufacturing Company, he devotes his time and energy to direct another organization, Hope2Water. He started Hope2Water to save lives by delivering safe and healthy drinking water to children, families, and communities through philanthropy, advocacy, outreach, and custom water solutions to the people in Haiti.

In January of this year, his organization achieved the milestone of drilling their first two water wells in Dessalines, Haiti.


“Dr. Clint Longenecker planted the seed about this project when I was working on my Executive MBA in COBI, and it resonated with me,” Davis said. “I was given the opportunity to go to Dessalines, Haiti, on my first mission there to help at an eyecare clinic.  It was shortly after the earthquake and when we arrived for our mission there were a million people living in tents right near the airport. Most of the nine million people in Haiti don’t have opportunity, and there are no jobs”.

“On the three-hour bus ride to the clinic, we were going over a bridge and I saw people pulling pails of water from the creek, the same creek in which other people were washing their clothes. I saw the pollution, and learned there are an enormous amount of deaths due to water-borne disease. I became friends with the chaplin at the hospital in Dessalines and asked him about the water conditions, and he said that five to ten people die each year in his village alone due to the bad water. These were not only people in his village but also his family members”.

“That touched me.”

Davis said his next step was to set up a non-profit organization to be able to raise money to carry out his vision of getting safe and clean drinking water to the people of Haiti. He contacted an organization that was already familiar with drilling wells in Haiti and flew to Texas to meet with Healing Hands International to drill the wells needed in Dessalines.

“They told me it cost $6,000 to drill a well. I didn’t know if I could raise that much money, but I did know that I had to drill two wells in Dessalines, community wells for everyone to get water,” he recalled. “So I said, let’s move forward and do it. I planned to pay for it myself if I could not raise the money, but in six weeks we pulled together a golf outing in Michigan which raised $12,000.”

This past January Davis returned to Haiti to again help at the eyecare clinic.  “While we were there we drilled our first well; we hit water at 45 feet down, and it produced 35 gallons of water a minute. We then drilled the second well, hitting water at 90 feet.   We capped them, poured the foundation and installed the pumps. We were now able to give water via a hand pump to 1,500 to 2,000 people a day per well!”

With this achievement in place, Davis considered expanding his well-drilling venture in Haiti, but he discovered that many existing wells that still have water are not functional because the pumps have broken. However, the repairs to the pump can often be made for less than $100.

“So now Hope2Water is focused on raising money to repair wells and troubleshoot and upgrade the pumps to make them last longer,” Davis explained. “Our goal is to raise $150,000, through donations, events and fundraising, to repair 1,500 identified non-working wells. The need is now, and I see us accomplishing our goal over a two-to-three year period.”

"I also hope to hire a custodian to take care of each well, and also raise money to drill new wells.”

 “We have purpose and leadership…I can almost feel it happening,” Davis said. “That’s why I fly to Texas and meet with people there, that’s why I go to Haiti and see people standing in anticipation to use a pump and drink clean water. It’s just such a basic need, a common thread for everyone on this planet.”

“In the United States we have a tendency to get inpatient, that things don’t happen when they should,” Davis reflected. “But I kept giving it to God knowing he would make it happen; it does test your belief system.”

“I’m good with goals. I want to be able to look someone in the eye and know I did it for them.”

There will be a fundraising golf outing on June 23rd to support this cause. To register for the event, or to learn more about this important clean water project, go to www.Hope2Water.org.


COBI team wins national invitational sales competition it hosted

Professional sales students from 30 universities across the United States came to the University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation on February 24 & 25 to compete in the second annual University of Toledo Invitational Sales Competition (UTISC).

When the competition was over and all scoring sheets tallied, the team from the COBI Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales (ESSPS) - - which presented the event - - won the competition! 





 “Last year at the UTISC, our University of Toledo team did really great job; we were in the top ten, both of our students made it to the semifinals, and that was really exciting,” explained Deirdre Jones, ESSPS Director.  “Our team this year did a great job helping each other to prepare. It was truly a team-based effort.  We had great faculty coaches, and this year we won! It was fantastic, a great moment. The results between first, second and third we all very tight, but not only did our team of Taylor Busse and Jovan Sanson win, but Busse took first place in tjunior division, and Sanson finished 4th in the sophomore/freshman division.  Really proud of their efforts and how they represented the University of Toledo.”

“It’s really rewarding to win the UTISC,” said team coach Dr. Ellen Pullins, Schmidt Research Professor of Sales & Sales Management and COBI Professor of Marketing. “We’ve got a long history of wins and top 10 finishes at other national competitions over a decade, so we really wanted to bring everything we have to our own venue, and we did! It is even more exciting to win when the team is surrounded by colleagues and friends! I really think they were the 12th man.”

“We started preparing for the competition about a month ahead of time. We’ve seen in our success at other competitions that the real key is to coach students in an adaptive sales process that will work regardless of what situations they encounter. This is really the heart of the ESSPS curriculum that makes us so successful with recruiters as well as at a variety of different national competitions,” Pullins added.

Jones explained that ““We are the nation’s first and only national sales competition to focus exclusively on the non-senior. All of our competitors are freshmen, sophomores and juniors.” 

“I kept getting phone calls from organizations asking me about who our top seniors were and if they could talk to them, and I had to keep telling them that they were already placed. I want to make sure that we can continue to be in a position to help the business community and also help universities across the country grow sales program enrollments, because we all need to grow to keep up with corporate demand.” 

Jones added, “These younger students go back and have a year or more before graduation, they tell their peers about how much fun it was, what they learned and the great companies they met. It’s great for the companies because one hundred percent of all the students they meet at the national sales competition are hirable. If they are spending their time, talent and treasure to come out, we want to make sure they get a return on that.”

Sponsors included 3M, Owens Corning, Quicken Loans, Schindler Elevator Corporation, Goodyear Tire and Rubber, Hilti and Proctor and Gamble.

Jones said, “The best part of the UTISCF for universities is just knowing how absolutely bright the future is for sales talent.   It’s really rewarding to see the students perform well. I and my colleagues love what we do, we’re really passionate about it, knowing that we are impacting things now and decades from now, because these are the sales professionals of the future. Our vision is developing the world’s future sales leaders, one student at a time, and I can’t think of a better way that we can accomplish this than with the UTISC.” 
Participating universities included Baylor, Florida State University, Ball State, Oregon State, Temple and Indiana.

“I think what encourages the undergraduate sales students is that they are finally getting a taste of the real world,” Jones said. “For them to see buyers who are real world professionals to come in and role play with the students. They are able to build competence and confidence in what they are doing, and I think that is very addicting and reassuring for a lot of them that this is something that they enjoy doing and something they are going to be good at doing.”

Growth is on the horizon for this invitational event.  “We’ve had a wait list every single year we have done the competition, and next year we are going to expand to 36 universities,” Jones said. 





Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Several COBI faculty members have research published in major journals


COBI faculty’s articles continue to be featured in major publications, including:

Dr. Alan Zhang’s publication "Dynamically Managing a Profitable Email Marketing Program" was unconditionally accepted by the Journal of Marketing Research. The paper is co-authored by V. Kumar and Koray Cosguner.

Melanie Lorenz with co-authors, Clampit, J. A. & Ramsey, J. R., recently had their article “Distance is a Janus: An Exploratory Study of Offshored Innovation,” accepted for publication in International Marketing Review.

Bashar Gammoh with co-authors Mohan, Mayoor, Kevin Voss and Fernando Jimenez-Arevalo recently had their article “Corporate Brands as Brand Allies,” accepted for publication in the Journal of Product and Brand Management.

Dr. Clint Longenecker authored a feature article for the Toledo Blade concerning “Building a good relationship with your boss.”


COBI freshman wins International Franchising Association scholarship


If a student was looking for a good omen that studying business is the right course for them, then Maria Bohrer may have found it.

The freshman student received a $3,000 scholarship at the International Franchising Association’s annual convention in Las Vegas at the end of January, an event attended by thousands of franchisors and franchisees.

Bohrer, a 2016 Western Brown High School (Mount Orab, Ohio) graduate, was one of ten students from the United States to attend the event. Bohrer won the Doc Cohen Franchising Scholarship, which was presented to her by Cohen, former President of IFA.  

Maria Bohrer

Bohrer and Doc Cohen

"Today's students are tomorrow's leaders, and we believe that investing in the next generation is a crucial step in ensuring the franchising industry continues to thrive for decades to come," said Lawrence "Doc" Cohen, CFE, Chairman of the Foundation. "We are thrilled to recognize this year's scholarship recipients, each of whom displayed a remarkable passion for business and entrepreneurship. We enjoyed welcoming all of these ambitious, hard-working students to this year's convention and introducing them to the infinite opportunities the franchising community offers."

“The IFA Conference was a really great experience,” Bohrer said.  “The scholarship winners were invited to listen to speakers and attend workshops. I had the opportunity to network with some of the top people in franchising, which was my favorite part. I also was able to meet Doc Cohen, who is the person who funds the scholarship I received.”

The scholarship competition required submission of a business plan.

“I'm planning to use the $3,000 scholarship to help cover the costs of my study abroad trip to Torino, Italy in the fall,” she explained.

“As a member of the Honors College, I've been able to attend a lot of events and outings that have contributed to a great college experience,” Bohrer said. “As far as goals for my future, all I know right now is I want to do something business related. I haven't officially declared a major yet, so I'm still trying to decide what to do after college.”

While the freshman’s post college career is still a long way off, Bohrer said she feels that she is in the right place to help her career.

“It's hard to pick one reason why I selected The University of Toledo. I knew I wanted to major in business, and COBI is a really great business college,” she said.  “COBI has a lot to offer besides top notch business classes, such as the job fairs, resume critiques, and mock interviews. I've been very impressed with The University of Toledo and COBI so far. I've enjoyed my classes and feel like I'm receiving a quality education that will help me in my future job search.”


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Real Leadership is theme of 2017 KeyBank Global Leaders Forum


Real Leadership 2017 is the theme of this year’s KeyBank Global Leaders Forum, presented by The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation (COBI). It will be held on March 23 in Savage Arena on the main campus of The University of Toledo. 

The morning-long program provides an environment for regional business leaders to talk about contemporary issues, discuss cutting-edge leadership practices and explore trends. The event is free, but seating is limited and registration is required.

The keynote speaker will be Gary Pinkel, former head football coach at The University of Toledo and the University of Missouri, and currently special consultant to the University of Missouri and its Athletic Department.

Also presenting at the event will be Charles Packard, President, Pacific International Capital; Cynthia Thompson, Chair, Toledo Museum of Art Board of Directors, and former co-owner of Midwest Stamping;     Michael Anderson, Chairman, The Andersons; and Dr. Clint Longenecker, UT Distinguished University Professor and Director of the Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence within the UT College of Business and Innovation.  

“The KeyBank Global Leaders Forum provides a wonderful opportunity for area business professionals  and leaders to hear from difference-making leaders such as Gary Pinkel, Cynthia Thompson, Michael Anderson and Charles Packard” Jim Hoffman, President of KeyBank, said.  “It is part of our vision at KeyBank to help our community, and our businesses, thrive.”

“The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation is extremely pleased to again partner with KeyBank to present another Global Leaders Forum,” noted UT COBI Dean Gary Insch.  “Last year’s event was remarkable, and we are excited to stage another one this year so that hundreds of area professionals, as well as many UT students, will have an outstanding opportunity to learn, network and benefit from the presentations and discussions at this unique event. “

Longenecker said, “As leaders are attempting to deal with the challenges of this turbulent economic environment, this event is a great way to discover new ideas for becoming a better leader and creating competitive advantage with people. We invite them to come, be ready to learn and be in a better position to make 2017 a great year.”

KeyBank and COBI presented the first Global Leaders Forum in 2008, which featured former Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department John Snow, and the second event in 2013. More than 600 people attended the 2016 Global Leadership Forum. Convenient parking is available, and a continental breakfast will be served. To register for this free forum, go to utoledo.edu/business/keybankforum.

UT students helping to feed families in hurricane-ravaged Haiti

Three months after Hurricane Matthew unleashed a path of destruction through the southern peninsula of Haiti, devastation lingers for families who lost their homes, crops and livestock.

“It’s horrible,” said Ashley Jemerson, who studied criminal justice, forensic science and Spanish at UT before graduating last month. “Seeing the ongoing effects of the natural disaster makes me grateful for everything we have here in the United States.”

Jemerson and dozens of UT students selected by their colleges to participate in the Klar Leadership Academy in UT’s College of Business and Innovation need 800 volunteers Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27-28 in the Health Education Building on Main Campus to help produce 140,000 meals that will be sent to Haiti for hurricane relief.

The public is invited to participate in the two-day community service event called Feed My Starving Children, which is the culmination of a global service project organized by the 75 students in the Klar Leadership Academy to feed families in the country where food is scarce.

The 2016-17 Klar Leadership Academy students are 75 percent of the way to raising their goal of $31,000 to make the event called a “Mobile Pack” a success. You can support the cause with a donation here.

“One of the biggest things we’ve learned in the academy is the importance of giving back,” said Anthony Dimodica, a senior studying human resource management. “Leadership also is about helping others. We’re hoping our University students, faculty and staff give up a little bit of their time to make a huge difference for people who don’t have a lot.”

The Klar Leadership Academy was founded in 2015 with the support of Stephen Klar, a 1971 alumnus of the College of Business and Innovation and a New York City builder and real estate developer.

“The Klar Leadership Academy is all about creating the next generation of exceptional leaders who will carry on the COBI and UT legacy of leaders who are changing the world,” said Dr. Clint Longenecker, Distinguished University Professor and director of the Center for Leadership and Organization Excellence in the College of Business and Innovation. “This learning experience takes our best students across all undergraduate colleges on campus and leads them through a seven-month, transformational leadership development experience to increase their career trajectory and their ability to improve the human condition through high performance servant leadership.”

Marketing department professor tries to infuse her love of international travel in her students


Recognizing that business functions in a global economy, it clearly benefits UT COBI students that Melanie Lorenz, one of the newest Assistant Professors of International Business in the Department of Marketing, has both lived international business and loves international travel.  

“Since I was an undergraduate student obtaining my Diplom Betriebswirt in European Business Management, University of Applied Sciences, Worms, Germany, I’ve been interested in international business. During my studies I also worked on internationally-oriented consulting projects with SMEs and studied abroad in the U.S. and Mexico, and that gave me a solid foundation for my career.”

Dr. Melanie Lorenz
Beyond the appeal of international business, Dr. Lorenz also just loves to travel and interact with people from different cultures.

“One major foreign experience I had was living with a Mexican family for six weeks,” she recalled.  “I was not a tourist; I was part of a family, and was forced to adjust.”

Also she has been to many different countries, one of her favorite places to travel being Switzerland.  “I love Switzerland because of the cultural differences you can encounter in four hours going across one country.”
Prior to joining UT, she worked in consulting, banking, and as a subject matter expert for McGraw-Hill, both in the United States and Germany.

“This is a perfect field for me, the combination of researching and teaching,” Dr. Lorenz said. Her research is focused on micro- and macro-level issues in the international, primarily in the emerging market context. Her interests include global marketing, innovation, and global work in MNEs, in general, and the concept of Cultural Intelligence, specifically.

Dr. Lorenz’s research has been published in peer reviewed journals such as the Journal of World Business, International Journal of Research in Marketing, and Academy of Management Learning & Education. She has had papers accepted at multiple national and international conferences.

She also has a great fondness for the University of Toledo. “I love the campus, it’s a really beautiful campus. Love the architecture, the mall area and the fa├žade of the buildings. Also, everybody is really nice and helpful!”

Dr. Lorenz endeavors to share her enthusiasm for the world of international business with her students.

“I’m direct with the students that my major goal is to understand the global environment, the challenges and opportunities, and to inspire them to go abroad. You have to be open to different cultures. Just try to explore how people are, what the locals do. Many students have not left this country, and I know it will change their lives.”

“If I could do anything, I would travel and educate people to be more culturally sensitive. The more people understand they need to understand others, the more you can see people in other cultures do things, the better we all will be.”

“I like to research cultural intelligence and teach it to students,” Dr. Lorenz said. “I think it is really important to teach cultural intelligence and learn how it affects us. I believe I can change things if I teach students to explore, to pay attention to what is going on around them to recognize opportunities, and see things differently.”