Thursday, December 19, 2013

COBI professor brings international, engineering experiences to business classroom

December marks the end of Dr. Marcelo Alvarado-Vargas’ first semester teaching at The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation department of management, but if he has his way, it was only the start of what he hopes will be a career at COBI. That’s the focused goal of a man who knows universities, having obtained four degrees from three universities on three continents.

“I was born in Bolivia, a lower-middle income country. I was strongly influenced by my father who sees education as an investment for personal development. Education has expanded my view of the world,” he said.

Dr. Marcelo Alvarado-Vargas
Alvarado-Vargas obtained his bachelor’s degree at Bolivian Private University (Universidad PrivadaBoliviana), where he studied production engineering.

“The university exposed me to various companies and business people. I am still in contact with them, and with authorities of the university.”
Later, he obtained a master’[s degree in international business at Florida International University in Miami.  “I returned to Bolivia in 2004, a young engineer with a master’s degree, but it was very difficult to find jobs…I was overqualified,” Alvarado-Vargas said.  “I was hired by Bata, a shoe manufacturer, and worked there for five months. I was happy there, but they did not use my full potential, and I didn’t see any challenges there.”

“I saw an opportunity to study abroad, in Belgium, so I obtained a scholarship from the Belgian government and went to Ghent University (Universiteit Gent) for a master degree in operations and technology management. They speak Dutch there; I already spoke English, Spanish and French, but I don’t like to feel lost, so I learned Dutch in the evenings.  I think to be functional in society you have to be motivated to be part of that society.”
“While in Belgium I was a graduate assistant to a professor who exposed me to different kinds of research, and pushed me to keep going,” Alvarado-Vargas said, reflecting on his own passionate interest in research.

“Then I received a stipend from Florida International University, arriving in Miami in 2007 to pursue my Ph.D. in industrial and systems engineering, but I transferred to business administration….which was the best decision of my life. This is what I really like, and with my engineering background, I was unique. Strategic management, innovation, and technology management are my areas of research, and I was able to bring different angles and viewpoints to it. Some look only at business, and some look at engineering, but I was able to bridge the gap, which I think also enhances the classroom experience for my students. I graduated in the summer of 2013 with a Ph.D. in business administration.”
Alvarado-Vargas said he loves teaching, and recalled that his first instructional experience was as a private tutor as a senior in high school, charging a minimal fee to earn extra money. His first formal teaching on the university level was in 2008 at FIU, teaching Engineering Economic Analysis, a textbook which still maintains a prominent position on the shelf above his office desk in Stranahan Hall South. Later, he taught strategic management, international business, managing innovation, operations management, and organizational management at FIU.

In his search for a full-time teaching position, he accepted an invitation to visit The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation.
“I was very happy and surprised the first time I came to The University of Toledo; I knew I belonged here. When something is right for you, you feel that energy. Comparing it to other institutions I had the chance to know from inside, I think UT is equally competitive in resources for research, and, since it was founded in 1872, this school has a history.”

Alvarado-Vargas’ commitment to research even extended to his process for selecting a football team to cheer for, using strategy “to pick my NFL team forever.” He spent a year analyzing the 32 teams, their strengths and weaknesses, and finally determined that his winning team would be the Pittsburgh Steelers.  “Having an engineering background, I could relate to steel…besides, who has a dolphin for a mascot?”
Since settling in Toledo this past summer, he’s been to the museum, the zoo and some area restaurants, but admits he is still exploring the city. He added that he does not miss the traffic or weather of Miami, and that, “I think winter clothing is more elegant.” In addition to helping his students succeed, he enjoys a variety of live music, playing the guitar, travel, movies (Braveheart, A Beautiful Mind and Amadeus are his favorites), and admits to being into motocross sports, especially when he was younger.

“As a teenager, I was really determined about my future. If I wanted something, I found a way to get it,” he said.
Currently, his focus and determination remain intense and intact. “Everything is possible if you really put in the effort.”


Friday, December 13, 2013

COBI again receives international recognition as Excellent Business School

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation is again internationally ranked by Eduniversal in their recently released 6th edition of their annual worldwide business school ranking, The Best 1,000 Business Schools in 154 Countries, 2013.

This year Eduniversal recognizes only 145 schools in North America in rankings of Excellent, Top and Universal.
UT COBI, rated Excellent, is the only ranked business school in Northwest Ohio.  Headquartered in Paris, the international higher education ranking agency Eduniversal endeavors to provide information for students that enables them to make the right decision regarding the choice of their future studies anywhere in the world.

Eduniversal defines a business school’s international reputation “as its capacity to enhance the prestige of a student – and therefore improve his employment prospects – in his country of study and abroad.”
“By providing a serious and reliable reference that reflects the international dimension of the 1,000 Best Business Schools in the world, Eduniversal serves as an essential tool for students, human resource professionals and deans and directors from all corners of the world,” noted Martial Guiette, CEO and founder of Eduniversal.

Classification by Eduniversal as an Excellent school is based on two essential elements: the internationalization criteria - - which includes accreditations, such as by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB); rankings by publications such as Business Week and the Wall Street Journal; membership in international academic associations; and university studies - - and the vote by 1,000 business school deans around the world. Every dean’s vote was transformed into a recommendation rate that students and others in the academic field can use to evaluate and compare the academic institutions.

“We are very excited by this prestigious ranking, which validates the high quality of our faculty and students, as well as the significance of our curriculum at all levels,” noted COBI Interim Dean Thomas Sharkey. “Not only has UT COBI again been recognized by this international organization, but we are honored to again be recognized as an Excellent school.”

“Furthermore we completely agree with Eduniversal’s emphasis on the importance of a business school improving a student’s employment prospects. This is a primary focus at COBI, and an area in which we perform extremely well, with an 85+% job placement rate for our graduating students, even during recent challenging economic conditions.”

“The fact that many well-known companies come to UT COBI to find the talent they need reflects very positively on our outstanding quality, and demonstrates the extremely dynamic and mutually beneficial relationship enjoyed by COBI and the business community,” Sharkey said.
COBI is also a member of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a recognition earned by only 5% of all business schools in the world, and is consistently acknowledged as one of America’s Best Business Schools by The Princeton Review.

COBI sponsors fourth annual business innovation competition for UT community

If you have a great business idea, you may be part of a team that wins up to $10,000 to help make your idea a reality in the fourth annual business innovation competition sponsored by The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation (COBI).

The competition is open to all UT students, faculty and staff, while alumni can participate as a member of a team involving current students, faculty or staff.

“The first three years of the business competition were a remarkable success as we received dozens of entries from across the UT campuses,” said Dr. Sonny Ariss, Chair of the COBI management department.  “We are expecting another tremendous array of entries this year and trust the contest will continue to advance a creative culture of growth in all areas of the University” 

“The spirit of entrepreneurship is critically important to the ongoing success of every university and every community,” noted interim COBI Dean Thomas Sharkey. “That is why the College of Business and Innovation has stepped forward to be the sole sponsor of this event, providing all of the prize money.”
“We strive to live up to our name, which incorporates both business and innovation,” Dr. Sharkey added. “COBI is increasingly recognized on both national and international levels for providing a premier business education and for helping our students obtain internships while here and jobs upon graduation. This business competition truly reflects our emphasis on supporting innovation, fostering creative thinking and nurturing the entrepreneurial environment which is so essential for the life and growth of this region.”

Dr. Ariss added that “Entrepreneurship within the corporate business structure, known as intrapreneurship, is also important today because corporate America is looking for innovative thinking from their employees.”
Dr. Ariss explained that competition entries must be submitted using Lean Launch Pad concepts which enables people to develop their business model upon nine basic building blocks: customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships and cost structure.

“COBI is ready to offer guidance to help these teams effectively implement their plans, emerge beyond the University, create jobs and enhance area economic growth,” Dr. Ariss added.
There is no cost to enter the competition. Registration must be completed online. Winners must prove that they have formed an LLC or S Corp in order to receive the financial award.

The College of Business and Innovation at The University of Toledo is providing the following prize money:
• First place: $10,000
• Second place: $5,000
• Third place: $2,000
• Honorable Mention: $500

The timeline for the 2014 competition is:
         Those planning to enter the competition need to attend a mandatory workshop sessions which will be offered on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the PNC Entrepreneurship Lab, Room 3100, Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement
         Entries must be submitted by February 21, 2014
         Finalists will be announced on March 21, 2014
         Finalists will make an oral presentation about their business using the business model canvas       on April 8, 2014 between noon and 5:30 p.m. in the PNC Entrepreneurship Lab, Room 3100,
Savage & Associates Business Complex
         Winners will be announced April 15, 2014

To register or for more information, go to



COBI’s Beta Alpha Psi Chapter again recognized as Superior

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation Gamma Epsilon Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi achieved Superior status for their successful efforts during the 2012-2013 academic year.

“Recognition as Superior Chapter is a significant accomplishment,” noted Jan Taylor Morris, President, Beta Alpha Psi, the international honor organization for financial information professionals. “Under the leadership of Dr. Diana Franz, the Gamma Epsilon Chapter has far exceeded the baseline requirements of Beta Alpha Psi and has excelled in the areas of academics, professionalism and leadership. As faculty advisor for the chapter, Dr. Franz has provided an invaluable service to your academic institution.”
“This validates a lot of work, effort and attention to detail,” noted Dr. Franz, Accounting Professor in the UT College of Business and Innovation.  “There is a lot of record keeping and recording of service hours between the Chapter and the national office. The students had the vision that they would go for the Superior status, so they identified what had to be done and all pitched in to make it happen.”

“Because Beta Alpha Psi is a service organization, we did a lot of events on weekends assisting a number of charitable organizations,” she explained, “participating in a wide array of events which mirrored the students’ interests and availability.
“The link between the College of Business and Innovation and the business professionals in our community is very strong,” Dr. Franz added. “It is amazing to observe benefits that arise from this connection. COBI alumni often come back to the college to speak at Gamma Epsilon meetings, even though they are held late on weekday evenings. There is tremendous networking, which is certainly beneficial for our students. And the message to the business community is, ‘If you are in Beta, you are a leader.’”

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

COBI ESSPS students continue winning ways, claim 4th place team finish in National Sales Challenge

Greg Fockler and Shane Mytro, professional sales majors in the Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales (ESSPS) within The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation, claimed a fourth place finish in the 7th Annual Russ Berrie Institute (RBI) National Sales Challenge at William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey.
The November 13-15 competition had more than 70 students participating from across the country.
“This fourth place finish at the National Sales Challenge is the latest validation of the success of the Schmidt School of Professional Sales as one of the top professional selling programs in the world,” noted Dr. Ellen Pullins, ESSPS Director.  “It is especially evident when combined with the recent achievements by ESSPS students at other major competitions, such students’ tremendous showing earlier in November at the Pi Sigma Epsilon (PSE) North Central Regional Conference, which UT hosted, and our second place team finish in October at the National Team Sales Competition.”

At the RBI National Sales Challenge, sales students utilized classroom knowledge and application of selling skills in relevant, realistic business role plays, selling ADP products, and in a speed sell, selling themselves for a job. Business judges awarded individual honors for each event and overall performance, and team awards for performance across competitions. Students were also exposed to sales job opportunities.

UT hosted the PSE North Central Regional Conference, attended by about 150 students. The conference included networking with business professionals, a full day of seminars, and the PSE Pro-Am Sell-a-Thon. At that event, UT students claimed the top six place finishes in the individual competition: Manuel Vazquez claimed first place in the Pro-Am Sell-a-Thon, with Melissa Velasquez in second place, Dominique Jones and Joshua White were tied for third place, and Anthony Maulorico and Matthew Wells taking fourth place. Furthermore, Melanie Munoz won second place in the speaker competition during the conference.

At the National Team Selling Competition held at Indiana University in October, UT’s ESSPS team of John Doncaster, Allie Gligor, Brad Mossing and Matt Wells won second place, finishing ahead of teams from schools such as Indiana University, Michigan State University, University of Cincinnati, Purdue University, University of Missouri, University of Kansas, University of Washington and the University of Florida.

“In addition to congratulating our students on these prestigious honors, I want to thank the ESSPS faculty for their commitment of time and talent in coaching these students,” Pullins said. 

For more information about the Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales, visit


Friday, October 25, 2013

College of Business and Innovation featured in The Princeton Review’s Best 295 Business Schools: 2014 Edition

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation (COBI) is one of the nation's most outstanding business schools, according to the education services company, The Princeton Review (, which features the school in the new 2014 edition of its book, The Best 295 Business Schools.

According to Robert Franek, Princeton Review Senior VP-Publisher, "We recommend The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation as one of the best institutions a student could attend to earn a business school degree. We chose the schools we profile in this book based on our high regard for their academic programs and our reviews of institutional data we collect from the schools. We also solicit and greatly respect the opinions of students attending these schools who rate and report on their experiences at them on our 80-question student survey for the book."

“All of us in the College of Business and Innovation are very excited at this continuing recognition by The Princeton Review of the quality and relevance of our programs,” noted Dr. Thomas Sharkey, COBI Interim Dean. “We like to point out that COBI is increasingly ranked and recognized by national and international organizations, and this recognition by The Princeton Review further validates the quality of our faculty, the significance of our curriculum and the excellence of our students.”

Dr. Terribeth Gordon-Moore, COBI Senior Associate Dean, observed, “Our inclusion in this select group is a seal of quality for our degree programs. It elevates the value of degrees received, leads to increased enrollment of high quality students, and enhances the qualifications of alumni. Furthermore, it benefits businesses nationwide by providing them with highly qualified graduates who become superb employees.”

The Best 295 Business Schools: 2014 Edition has two-page profiles of the schools with write-ups on their academics, student life and admissions. In the COBI profile, the Princeton Review editors describe the school as "offering a good education at a very competitive price with convenient scheduling.” Among the topics about which students surveyed had the highest consensus are smart classrooms, solid preparation in general management and doing business in a global economy. 

The school profiles in The Best 295 Business Schools have rating scores in five categories: academic experience, admissions selectivity, career, professors interesting, and professors accessible.  The Princeton Review does not rank the business schools in the book on a single hierarchical list from 1 to 295, or name one business school best overall.


COBI teams finish first in two supply chain management case competitions

UT business students finish first in national supply chain management case competition
Supply chain management students in The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation claimed first place in the 2013 Supply Chain Case Competition in Detroit, sponsored by General Motors and Wayne State University.

In so doing, they bested teams from 19 other universities, including BGSU, Ohio State, Michigan State, Pennsylvania State, Rutgers and the University of Maryland.
“All credit goes to the team,” observed Dr. P. S. Sundararaghavan of COBI Information Operations & Technology Management department and faculty advisor to the team. “The case analysis is entirely the responsibility of students with zero input from faculty. Faculty responsibility ends with team selection”.  The students performed magnificently, and our UT team won big…very big, beating out teams from 19 other high caliber business schools from around the country.  I want to thank COBI for their generous support and Senior Associate Dean Terribeth Gordon-Moore for all the encouragement.”

Team members were (pictured above, left to right) Justin Michael Blake, Emily Burghardt,  Dr. P.S. Sundararaghavan, Sasha VonSacken and Athreya Rajan.
“Congratulations to the team for their outstanding performance in this national competition and thanks to Dr. Sundararaghavan for motivating the team,” Dr. Gordon-Moore said. “This success shines a wonderful light on our college and is additional evidence as to why UT COBI is increasingly nationally ranked and recognized.”

During the September 19-21 competition, students also had the opportunity to participate in two employment-oriented panel discussions, several sessions on the state of automotive industry supply chain by leading experts in the field, a factory visit to the DHAM plant of GM which makes the Volt, several interviews for full-time employment and internships, and attend a Detroit Tigers game.  
International judges award UT business students first place at Global Supply Chain Management Conference case competition
Operations/supply chain management students in the University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation (COBI) won the undergraduate student case competition in front of a panel of international judges at the Sixth Global Supply Chain Management Conference in Detroit, held September 26-28.
Teams from six universities, including The University of Toledo, The University of Evansville, Western Michigan University and Rowan University, registered for the competition, with four teams selected to present their case analyses at the conference. The case analysis was entirely the responsibility of the students, with zero input from faculty.
The contest was judged by an international panel of faculty members representing The University of Tokyo (Japan), IE Business School (Spain), Old Dominion University (USA), and Western Carolina University (USA). The panel considered multiple criteria in their evaluation including the written case analysis, presentation, and questions and answers.
Pictured above is the UT COBI team: left to right, are Essa Almazni, Jingwen Zhang, Riheng Cao, and Austin Petroff. Judges praised the team’s work spirit and presentation.
During the competition, students also had the opportunity to participate in panel discussions on automotive and healthcare industry issues, sessions on up-to-date research in supply chain management, workshops, and a healthcare facility tour.  
The Sixth Global Supply Chain Management Conference was co-organized by The University of Toledo and Michigan State University. The affiliation of the teams was not released to the judges until the final decision was made.

Sales students claim second place in National Team Selling competition

Four professional sales majors in The University of Toledo (UT) College of Business and Innovation (COBI) Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales (ESSPS) claimed a second place finish in the 2013 annual National Team Selling competition on October 11.

Twenty-one teams from across the nation participated in the competition, which was held at the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University.

UT’s ESSPS team consisted of John Doncaster, Allie Gligor, Brad Mossing and Matt Wells. They finished ahead of teams from schools such as Indiana University, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Michigan State University, University of Cincinnati, Purdue University, University of Missouri, University of Kansas, University of Washington, University of Florida and Syracuse University.  The first place award went to the team from University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

By competing in this event, selling teams from universities across the United States got the chance to take their classroom knowledge and experience and apply those skills in a selling situation that is realistic and relevant in today’s market.
The ESSPS team was coached by ESSPS Director Dr. Ellen Pullins and Professor Lora Cramer, with assistance from many other COBI sales and marketing faculty members. Students received a cash award for their efforts.

“This was the second year in a row our team placed second, which validates our continued success as one of the top professional selling programs in the world,” Pullins said.
The mission of the Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales is to provide high quality educational programs in sales and related areas, to enhance the world of business practice related to professional sales and to become a recognized global leader in sales learning, discovery and engagement. ESSPS provides a learning environment for students, faculty and business professionals that promotes shared learning, networking opportunities and the exchange of ideas about sales issues in an open and professional manner.

The National Team Selling competition is made possible through the financial and volunteer support of Altria Group Distribution Company and 3M Corporation.

College of Business and Innovation Alumni receive awards during UT Homecoming

Dr. Clinton O. Longenecker
UT Alumni Association Gold T Award  

Dr. Clinton O. Longenecker, Stranahan Professor of Leadership and Organizational Excellence in The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation (COBI) is the 2013 recipient of The University of Toledo Alumni Association Gold T award, which is awarded to a UT/MUO alum in recognition of outstanding achievement in his/her field of endeavor while providing leadership and noteworthy service to the community. Longenecker received bachelor and master of business administration degrees from UT in 1977 and 1978, respectively.

Last year Longenecker was selected as one of the top 10 business educators in the world by The Economist magazine. He has been the recipient of more than 20 outstanding teaching awards and has published more than 150 articles and papers in leading academic and professional journals.  His research has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily and on MSNBC and NPR.
His best-selling book, Getting Results: Five Absolutes for High Performance - - which has been translated into nine languages - - describes the best practices of more than 2,000 high-performance managers and how they achieve outstanding success.

An active management consultant, Longenecker’s clients include a variety of Fortune 500 firms and entrepreneurial organizations, including Harley-Davidson, Owens-Illinois, Cooper Tire, Marathon, ConAgra Foods, SSOE, ProMedica Health System and Eaton.
Longenecker has also spent extensive time in Haiti working as a missionary, building schools, hospitals and homes.

Heidi Burkhart
Edward H. Schmidt Outstanding Young Alum Award

The Edward H. Schmidt Outstanding Young Alum Award is presented to a UT  graduate who is 35 years old (or younger) in recognition of outstanding achievement in her or her field of endeavor, while providing leadership and noteworthy service to the Alumni Association, University or community. This award is named in memory of the 1942 alumnus and a longtime supporter of the University and its Alumni Association.
The 2013 recipient is Heidi Burkhart of New York, NY, who received her bachelor’s degree from the UT College of Business in business administration in 2002.
Burkhart is chair and founder of Dane Professional Consulting Group, which specializes in affordable housing, brokerage and consulting. She has facilitated the closing in excess of $500 million of affordable housing in the past four years.
In November she will receive the Young Leader Award from Affordable Housing Finance, which honors men and women under the age of 40 who are building organizations and ushering in new ways of delivering affordable housing.
Burkhart is also involved in philanthropic efforts associated with children and education.
Michael Hanf
UT College of Business and Innovation Outstanding Young Alumnus Award

Michael Hanf is recipient of the UT College of Business and Innovation Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.  Hanf is owner of  Owner, Davenport, Hanf & Company (DHC).

Hanf has more than 18 years of diversified accounting and audit experience. His experience includes working with domestic and international multi-location organizations in both the public and private sectors. Hanf has significant experience with construction related matters and is a member of the BDO Construction Accounting Network. He also has extensive experience with employee benefit plan audits.
Hanf also has spent 18 years bringing professional services to entrepreneurial companies in Northwest Ohio, exercising his own entrepreneurial spirit in 2005 as the founding member of DHC.  He spent 10 years at Ernst & Young, LLP (E&Y), where he coordinated audit, tax and advisory services to a wide range of clients. Hanf was also actively involved in the E&Y construction group, serving most of E&Y’s local construction clients. He was also the local Construction Financial Managers Association (CFMA) representative, and has maintained his involvement in the CFMA and currently sits on their Steering Committee.

Gary Smith
COBI Outstanding Alumnus Award

College of Business and Innovation Outstanding Alumnus Award given to Gary Smith, a 1972 business graduate who majored in accounting and finance.

Smith has recently served as Vice President Finance & Treasurer (Principal Financial Officer) of The Andersons, Inc.  In 1995, Gary provided the leadership to transition the company from a private entity into a publicly traded corporation. Gary has over 38 years of experience in the agribusiness, commodity and financial industries.
Previously, Gary served as Vice President and Controller of Toledo Pickling and Steel Service, Inc., one of the largest importers and steel service centers in the Great Lakes. In 1971 Gary joined Arthur Young & Co, auditing/consulting many regional companies. Gary is a U.S. Army veteran, spent two years self-employed in the beverage industry, and grew up on the family farm.

For 21 years, Smith was a trustee of The University of Toledo Foundation, chairing the Investment Committee and serving as its President for several years. Currently Gary is on the Board of Directors of The Toledo Zoological Society.
Gary is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lansing Trade Group LLC and AAA Northwest Ohio. In addition, he is on the Northwest Ohio Advisory Board of FirstMerit Corporation.).

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Dr. Longenecker addresses Army War College on ethics

Dr. Clinton O. Longenecker, Stranahan Professor of Leadership and Organizational Excellence in The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation, delivered the keynote “Sonny Moore Ethics Lecture”  at the US Army War College (AWC) in Carlisle, Pennsylvania on September 5, 2013. Dr. Longenecker is a frequent speaker for US military leaders on the subject of the ethical temptations associated with success and power and avoiding ethical failure. The US Army War College was established 1757 as the US Army’s center for advanced leadership development and graduate education and is the second oldest military post in the country.

Pictured (left to right) are Major General Tony Cucolo, Army War College Commandant; Dr. Longenecker;  Brigadier General Lance Betros, AWC Provost; and Colonel Joe Diminick, AWC Instructor.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement receives LEED silver certification

The University of Toledo’s Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement, an expansion of the College of Business and Innovation which was dedicated in November, 2009, has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
“LEED certification identifies Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement as a pioneering example of sustainable design and demonstrates your leadership in transforming the building industry,” noted S. Richard Fedrizzi, President and CEO of the U.S. Green Building Council.”  In honor of this impressive achievement and in appreciation of your participation in LEED, we are pleased to present you the certificates recognizing your accomplishment.Your project’s final LEED rating reflects 33 documented and approved points which corresponds to the silver certification level under the LEED for New Construction rating system.

A plaque recognizing the achievement was placed in the second floor atrium of the Complex during a ceremony on August 22.
“Our goal is to acquire at least a LEED silver certification on all UT construction projects, and ultimately to have our environmental impact be zero; to achieve carbon neutrality,” noted Charles Lehnert, UT’s Vice President of Administration.  “I subscribe to the notion that if you are doing good planning, good engineering and good architecture, you will be implementing green principles anyway.”
Lehnert explained that some of the criteria contributing to the Savage & Associates Complex LEED certification included recycling all construction material, the types of insulation, air handlers and energy efficient glass used, and even changing the original orientation of the building, because south-facing buildings face the sun longer throughout the day, absorb more heat and require more cooling.
“From the beginning of developing a new facility for the college, we focused on what it takes to have something that was aesthetically appealing, effective and efficient. These were inseparable concepts,” said Dr. Thomas Gutteridge, Dean of the College of Business and Innovation during the project’s development and construction and currently UT’s Senior Vice Provost and Interim Dean for the College of Social Justice and Human Service.

“The keys to the new facility were that it would be very functional; dedicated to experiential learning through learning laboratories; would be technologically sophisticated; and that it also would be open to serve the business community,” he added. ”The Complex is clearly delivering on all cylinders, as promised. It is a facility that meets the needs of students, faculty and the business community.”
Robert Savage, co-founder and former president of Savage & Associates, said, “From my viewpoint, the outside of the building blends with the Lannon stone appearance of other UT buildings, but today this building is ‘green.’ The University has responded to the community to be a leader in green projects, and this building symbolizes the kind of technology students today need to succeed.”

Hal Munger, architect with Munger, Munger and Associates, said, “It’s great as an architect to have a project become real. Symbolically, this building is a bridge from Stranahan Hall to Bancroft Street, and from the past to the future. A project such as this takes a team and a lot of effort, and we are glad to be a part of it.”
College of Business and Innovation Interim Dean Thomas Sharkey added, “The Savage & Associates Complex is a sophisticated and environmentally friendly building that facilitates the learning and discovery of the students who come here. It contributes, with our faculty and staff, to our growing reputation as the premier business college in this region.”

The $15.4 million, 54,000 sq. ft. Savage & Associates Complex for Business Learning and Engagement includes 10 classrooms; 5 action-learning labs, including the John B. and Lillian E. Neff Trading Room with 15 Bloomberg terminals, and the Huntington Professional Sales Lab; outreach and engagement suites; and the LaValley Family Rooftop Garden.


Friday, August 16, 2013

COBI's Fifth Annual Internet Marketing Conference set for October 1

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation’s Department of Marketing & International Business’s Fifth Annual Internet Marketing Conference will be held on October 1, 2013, from 8 a.m. until noon in the University of Toledo's Student Union.

The conference will provide Toledo-area business professionals with critical insights into the successful use of today’s powerful Internet marketing tools and techniques.
Keynote speakers will be Forrest Walden, founder and CEO, and Jim Cavale, COO, of Iron Tribe Fitness. They will address their success in using marketing strategies to grow their business through online platforms.
Other speakers will address the topics of Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing, Social Media planning and implementation, and marketing automation.
Conference attendees will also have an opportunity to connect and partner with several Internet marketing service providers and vendors who will be sharing their expertise in the exhibition hall during the conference. Continental breakfast and networking breaks will provide great networking opportunities among conference attendees and exhibitors. Group discounts are available.
For registration information, go to

Sixth Global Supply Chain Management Conference to foster Building Bridges Between Theory and Practice

The Sixth Annual Global Supply Chain Management Conference, to be held at The Henry in Dearborn, Michigan from September 26-28, 2013.

This year’s conference, with the theme Building Bridges Between Theory and Practice, is being co-hosted by The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation and the Michigan State University Broad College of Business, along with our international education partners from around the world, including Japan, China, India, Spain and the United Kingdom.
This is the only conference of its kind in the United States, and the first time the conference is being held in the Midwest in this expanded format. The event:
·         Focuses on forging private/public and industry/university partnerships in global supply chain management
·         Promotes awareness of the importance of the global supply chain in today’s rapidly changing economy
·         Provides a venue for the exchange of ideas and
·         Develops a network of problem solvers
This groundbreaking conference places a special emphasis on the automotive, healthcare, green business and sustainability fields, and focuses on forging private-public and industry-university partnerships in global supply chain management and related areas.

Achieving Supply Chain Success through Physician Involvement is the title of the health care session at the conference.  The panel will feature health care leaders who will provide brief presentations on current strategies employed by their organizations, as well as an interactive question and answer session with the audience. (The American College of Healthcare Executives has awarded 1.5 ACHE Face-to-Face Education credit hours to this program.)
For more information on the conference, visit

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

UT COBI offers third GlobalTarget series

The Global Business Development Institute at The University of Toledo’s College of Business and Innovation (COBI) is again partnering with United Parcel Service (UPS) and the U.S. Commercial Service to provide area small and medium sized businesses access to experts who will help their company enter new global markets quickly and with greater knowledge and confidence through the GlobalTarget program. This is the third year UT COBI is offering this program.

Beginning in October, GlobalTarget participants meet monthly for nine months in specialized sessions covering relevant topics based on an understanding of current members’ needs. The program then helps companies develop plans to improve their business’ supply chain, identify talent, understand export financing, and develop market entry strategies.

“It’s a global world. Facilitating existing or new exporters to enter foreign markets benefits all of Northwest Ohio,” noted Dr. Thomas Sharkey, COBI’s Interim Dean. “Companies often recognize that expanding to global markets is something they should do. We make it easier for them because we have the experts who will show them how to do this and will provide them with all the criteria for success, whether they have a manufactured product or intellectual property.”

“Global Target not only assists companies that are planning to conduct international business, but it also works with businesses already doing business globally who are looking for ways to expand their international presence, ” noted Debbe Skutch, Director of UT’s Center for Family & Privately-Held Business and GlobalTarget Program Coordinator. “Furthermore, GlobalTarget is the first organized, focused attempt in this region to not only provide information, but to actually match local manufacturing companies with foreign markets."

Ben McGilvery, Cauffiel Corporation, who participated in the second offering of Global Target at UT, said, "The format and resources provided are excellent to expose participants to international sales/logistics. Although we've been conducting international business for many years, the program helped us to better understand the process and utilize resources available to us."  

Other features and benefits of GlobalTarget include access to ancillary educational programs offered by UT COBI - - such as the Schmidt School of Professional Sales and the Center for Family and Privately-Held Business - - and site visits to area companies that have already achieved a level of success in global entrepreneurship.

UT COBI’s third GlobalTarget series of programs begins in October and participants are still being accepted.  To apply, download an application form at:, or call the UT COBI Global Business Development Institute at 419.530.2068.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Agreement enables students to obtain bachelors of business administration degree from UT COBI in Egypt

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation (COBI) and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT), Alexandria, Egypt, signed an agreement in June through which students in Egypt will be able to obtain a bachelor of business administration degree from UT COBI.

The agreement enables students to take lower level classes as students of AASTMT in Cairo for two years, after which they can enroll in UT COBI to complete their bachelor degree. Students will be able to complete their degree by taking classes in Toledo for two years or by taking classes in Cairo from COBI faculty.

Students are expected to enroll in classes beginning fall, 2013 and may be coming to UT for their final two years by fall, 2015.

Friday, June 14, 2013

COBI golf outing set for August 24

The 15th Annual University of Toledo Business vs. Engineering Alumni Golf Outing, presented by Hylant Group, will take place on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at Stone Oak Country Club.

More than 100 area golfers are expected to participate in this fun philanthropic event, with all proceeds going to student scholarships. Last year this outing broke records for attendance, number of sponsors, and revenue from games/contests! Make sure you are a part of setting new records this year!

Cost for the scrambles event is $90 per golfer or $360 for a foursome. Cost includes free use of driving range, a catered lunch, 1 p.m. shotgun start, cart, post-golf appetizers and a swag bag. There will also be a silent auction featuring UT items, contests and more.
For questions regarding the golf outing or sponsorship opportunities for this event, call the UT Office of Alumni Relations at 419.530.2586, 800.235.6766 or visit us at to register.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Hundreds learn how to soar to new heights at COBI's Third Women's Leadership forum

More than 260 area businesswomen attended the College of Business and Innovation's (COBI) Third Women's Leadership Forum on May 1 to hear Captain Shoshana Chatfield, United States Navy, former Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet, present Soaring Your Way to New Leadership Heights.  

"This event is about you developing yourself as a leader in the 21st century," noted Dr. Clint Longenecker, COBI Professor of Management, author, and emcee of the event, which was presented by COBI's Executive Center for Global Competitiveness and the Center for Family & Privately-Held Business.
In addition to the UT College of Business and Innovation - - which presented its first Women's Leadership Forum in 2009 - - the forum was also sponsored by Ballas Buick GMC, 2-Scale, Black & White Transportation, IET, HCR ManorCare, First Solar, Buckeye CableSystem, O-I, The Blade, Tenneco, SSOE, ProMedica and Huntington.

Dr. Thomas Sharkey, interim dean of the College of Business and Innovation, while recognizing the  sponsors said, "We do not exist independently of area businesses. The College has a long history of partnering with regional and global companies, and we provide bright people to these companies."
Captain Chatfield told the audience, "The rules that you came in under are changing, and may have already changed.  It is phenomenal to see where we can go when we know we will not be held back forever."

"There are very powerful ideas that we use in aviation that can be relevant in your career as well," Chatfield said. She then delivered principles for what she called Performing at Altitude, adapting essential concepts she learned from being a Navy pilot to success in a woman's personal and professional life.   
They included:
File a flight plan - "We file a flight plan every time we fly; we tell someone where we are going.  When you are flying and something unforeseen happens, you can't just pull over. My flight plan, with my destination of being an author and motivational speaker,  included improving time management skills, publishing an article, developing a speaker request form,  speaking engagements and finding a mentor.  You may find a mentor who knows a route to get you to your destination faster."
Communicate for trust - "It is absolutely essential to mission accomplishment to send and receive information. I challenge you to think about your own business; how do you communicate, politely and concisely? What information do you need, and in what timeframe?"

Role Study - "In the military, everyone gets into roles and rehearses. Find out what success looks like and find a way to practice that goal. We need to be in the role and play to the right audience."
Develop a new competency - "What are you still doing that used to work for you but isn't working for you now?"

Stretch into new skills - Chatfield explained how pilots schedule time in a simulator to practice critical skills and try new ones. "Where do you have a leadership laboratory in your life to practice skills, develop good habits and get feedback? Also, network, network, network; talk to people who know people. Networking is like going to the simulator, like going to the batting cages."
Develop a Smart Goal - "Smart goals move you up to achieving your dream.  Smart goals are specific, obtainable, relevant and can be measured. You have to know if you will move along in that direction, otherwise your goals could just be dreams. "

Chatfield then took the audience through a goal setting exercise.  "Think about your life - - your family, your fitness and health, your job - - one year from today. Think about what you would like to have accomplished by then, and make that a smart goal. Ask yourself how you will get there, and think of three people you know who can help you. Identify competencies and skills, and identify your flight simulator and practice."
Captain Chatfield, holds a B.A. in International Relations and French Language and Literature from Boston University, a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Education from the University of San Diego. After earning her wings in 1989, she was assigned to west coast helicopter Combat Support Squadrons and subsequently served with HC-1, HC-3, HC-11 and finally with HC-25’s Island Knights. She also served as an H-46 flight instructor and an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the United States Air Force Academy. Her personal awards include the Bronze Star Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), and Joint Service Achievement Medal, among others.




Professional development certificate courses sharpen employees' skills, produce direct results for UT

From fall, 2012 through spring, 2013, 90 UT employees participated in professional development certificate courses presented by the College of Business and Innovation through its Executive Center for Global Competitiveness in partnership with the UT Human Resources and Talent Development office.

“Congratulations on behalf of the College of Business and Innovation,” noted COBI Interim Dean Thomas Sharkey at the April 23 certificate awards  ceremony at the completion of the classes. “We are pleased that we are, in part, responsible for these programs, along with other leaders of this University, for the development of UT’s staff.”

Julia Rippke, who completed the leadership course, said, “We learned a lot from the instructors in the College of Business and Innovation, which is a jewel in the crown of our university.”
"These courses reflect a commitment to learning, professionalism and leadership, not only to improving yourself, but also our University of Toledo," noted Daniel Johnson, UT President Emeritus and keynote speaker at the certificate presentations.  

"Your secret is out: you are a learner," Johnson said.  "You are the building blocks of the knowledge economy.  Our ability to contribute is based on what we know. It is a building process which takes many forms, and there are no shortcuts.  Courses such as these provide a framework for adding to your knowledge.  The power of application extracts the value of what you learn and applies it in the workplace, the home and everyday life.  The return on your investment is what you do with that knowledge."
He pointed out, however, that "Learning doesn’t always make your life easier.  It may result in more responsibility and harder decisions, decisions that may impact the lives of others."

Johnson told the participants, “Whether or not you recognize it, you have inspired us as much as others have inspired you.  There is no way to improve in this rapidly changing world without learning.  You are using every opportunity you have, and your actions speak for themselves."
Certificate recipients in the various professional development  program categories are:

Leadership Certificate: Sherry Blosser, John Cavins, Lori Deshetler, Elissa Falcone, Michael Firsdon, Lisa Hasselschwert, Tracy Jahns, Sherri Jiannuzzi, Alan Lasu, Monica Leppelmeier, Joseph Manner, Brenda McKinley, Erik Meiner, Marc Miller, David Nietrzeba, Patricia Pulcini, Julia Rippke, Lorie Sarnes, Douglas Sinnott, David Walczak, Alyson Walker
Blosser said the course taught her to “take the first 15 minutes of each day to figure out what you have to do. “ Hasselschwert observed, “It’s not just one thing, but taking everything and putting it together.”

Exceptional Customer Service Certificate: Sara Clark, Maxine Cross, Robert Frye, Reynaldo Guerra, Deborah Houck, Michael Klug, Ashley Lavalette, Georgina Molina, Antra Pump, Seane Ronfeldt, Melodie Rufener, Victoria Stamm, Kevin Thoman, Cheryl Thomas, Peter Thomas, Carl Warner, Doreen Wisniewski
Clark said the course taught her to "ask ourselves, 'How do we interact with our students, and how are we serving them? Are we doing a good job… or a great job?'"

Ronfeldt said, “I realized the importance of teamwork and how much of an investment UT made in us; it is a wonderful institution.”
And Stamm discovered not to treat people by the Golden Rule, but rather “by the Platinum Rule, which is how they want to be treated.”

Managerial Finance and Budgeting Certificate: Donna Braswell, Jennifer Freeman, Brenda Humberston, Patricia Pertz, Marianne Pohlman, Meghan Rayfield, Mary Ann Schuster, Janet Sumner, Jason Toth, Denise Turk, Hesham Youssef
Braswell said, “In the course of the classes I learned the big picture about the budget,” while Toth echoed the sentiment by saying, “Thanks for the opportunity to get to know a lot of great individuals and what they go through, and for making me look at the University as a whole.”

Youssef observed, “UT has an amazing impact on my life.  Through the course I learned how to think outside the box, to analyze a problem and come up with a solution.”
Professional Human Resource Management Certificate: Joe Klep, Denise Shordt, Linda Torbet

Klep said, “No matter how many years you have in your profession, these courses keep you up to date for the 21st century.”
Project Management Certificate: Melinda Adler, Gail Burgin, Scott Case, John Cavins, Dominic D’Emilio, Michael Haar, Alan Lasu, Carol Lawrence, Leslie Rhegness, John White

Case said,"Project management is an art form, to define processes and how long they take,” while Lawrence observed, “The information I gained was value-added, and we walked away with an actual project that can be carried forward at UT.”
Six Sigma Certificate: Scott Case, John Cavins, Dominic D’Emilio, Diane Eisel, Rick Gerasimiak, Mary Kurtz, Michael Lowry, Joseph Manner, Marc Miller, Jim Nowaczyk, Robert Rahman

Participants in the Six Sigma certificate program not only learned the Six Sigma principles, but applied them throughout the course to specific projects and issues at the University. 
For example, one team worked on the issue of charge capture reconciliation for the UTMC radiology department and laboratory.  Delays in billing and reconciling charges for supplies resulted in lost revenue, increased processing labor charges, and a decline in patient satisfaction due to confusion about billing statements they received.

Steps in the Six Sigma process on this project included listening to the voice of the customer, including internal customers, such as staff in radiology, laboratory and patient financial services, as well as listening to external customers, including patients and insurance companies.
Applying Six Sigma tools, such as documenting current processes, measurements, analyses, and implementing improved operating procedures, led to the hospital receiving more rapid payment for services provided, adding to an improved financial bottom line.

Diane Eisel said, however, that "the impact on the customer is priceless."
She added, “We had a great team; I learned from them and all the people we worked with. Everyone has a passion for their work, and strives to make UT a better place.  It is really important to see the Six Sigma Process is meaningful.”

Mary Kurtz, who worked with a team on a project to reduce the volume of calls to UT's Information Technology Help Desk, said her experience with the Six Sigma Process showed her “that even the smallest problem can impact everything.  I see every day as a new opportunity.”
On the same team as Kurtz, Mike Lowry, manager of Information Security, said “Anytime you can add to your knowledge is a good thing, and this was all about going through a process that works and that you can improve over time.”

Chuck Lehnert, UT's Vice President of Administration, observed, "Most of my career I have been involved with physical assets; buildings, land and equipment, which we keep in good, functioning shape.  But our most valuable assets are people and these courses are an investment in those assets."