Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sales school director named Fulbright Scholar, will teach, conduct research in Finland

Ellen Pullins, Ph.D., Schmidt Research Professor of Professional Sales at The University of Toledo, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to lecture and research at Hagaa Helia University in Finland during the 2014-2015 academic year.

The United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board recently made the announcement. Pullins is one of approximately 1,100 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program in 2014-2015.
Pullins will be teaching professional sales and conducting research on professional business-to-business sales in international markets, specifically Customer Affective Response to Professional Sales.

"Obviously I was thrilled on being notified that I had received the grant. I believe that business can’t be separated from international business in today’s world, and that international experiences for faculty are critically important," said Pullins, who is director of the Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales (ESSPS) in the UT College of Business and Innovation.
"I am excited about the ability to immerse myself in a culture outside the United States for an extended period of time, while at the same time building productive new relationships in another part of the world. In the past, the ESSPS has done international video-conferenced sales role plays between students in Finland and UT. I can’t even begin to imagine what other types of collaborative projects might be possible," she said. 

"Buyer-seller relationships are critical in creating value through social interaction," she said. "My research work will look at business customer emotions, needs and motives and how they impact sales results across multi-person B2B service seller interactions. The research will be part of a team project, supported by a grant from the Finnish Tekes’ “Fiiliksestä fyrkkaa” program, in conjunction with colleagues from Hagaa Helia, University of Helsinki and Aalto University in Finland, as well as a number of Finnish firms."
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and those of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support.

Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 300,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, scientists and other professionals the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs and university presidents. They have been awarded 43 Nobel prizes, and 78 alumni have received Pulitzer prizes.

"I am confident that this will have a real impact on the effectiveness of my own teaching in the future as I will be able to speak firsthand about many of the international aspects of business, and also incorporate a more global set of real world examples," Pullins said.
“We congratulate Dr. Pullins on her outstanding personal and professional achievement of being selected a Fulbright Scholar,” said College of Business and Innovation Interim Dean Thomas Sharkey. “In addition to her outstanding work as director of our nationally recognized Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales, this is a testimony to her commitment to the teaching/research profession and her dedication to personal lifelong learning which benefits both her students and her academic colleagues.”

Annual Business vs. Engineering Golf Outing set for August 23

The 16th Annual University of Toledo Business vs. Engineering Scholarship Golf Outing, presented by Hylant, will take place on Saturday August 23, 2014 at the Belmont Country Club. All proceeds from this fun, philanthropic event go toward student scholarships.

There is room for only 120 golfers, so register now at  or call the Office of Alumni Relations at 419.530.2586
As in past years, community to support for this outing through sponsorships and participation is critical to the event's continued success, and this event is important to future University of Toledo students who will benefit from your contribution. 

Highlights for this year’s event include:
-          18-Hole Shotgun Start
-          Silent Auction, 50/50 Raffle
-          Meals provided before and after the outing, with refreshments on the course
-          Swag bag of gifts for each attendee, as well as door and raffle prizes after the outing
-          Team prizes
-          Longest drive holes, closest to the pin, longest putt, and a gambling hole
-          Mulligans and Team Skins available

Please visit our website at or call the Office of Alumni Relations at 419.530.2586 to register for the outing. 

Innovative business ideas win cash for UT students

The winners of The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation's fourth annual Business Innovation Competition were announced on Tuesday, April 15, with $17,500 in prize money being distributed to the winners.

“We congratulate all the participants from the entire University for the extremely high quality proposals they submitted,” said Dr. Sonny Ariss, UT College of Business and Innovation (COBI).  “These technologically innovative ideas clearly demonstrate creative thinking within the UT campus, which is exactly what this competition strives to foster. We are pleased to see this competition, now in its fourth year, continue to become a critical step in developing an innovation ecosystem that fosters the creation of legitimate new products and services for our society.”

“The College of Business and Innovation again clearly demonstrates our support for advancing entrepreneurship by being the sole sponsor of this University-wide competition this year, and we stand ready to offer guidance to help these teams emerge beyond the University into the community. We want to see these ideas and business plans effectively implemented, creating jobs and enhancing the economic growth of the region.”
The winning proposals, the entrant’s name and a brief description of the winning entries are:

(Left to right) Dr. Thomas Sharkey, Interim Dean, College of Business and Innovation,
first place winner Kyle Wasserman, and Dr. Sonny Ariss, Chair,
Department of Management and coordinator of the competition.

First Place winner ($10,000) is Day-to-Day Independent Prosthetic (Kyle Wasserman) -  A device designed specifically to help double amputee victims with limited use of their hands to gain their independence back to perform normal day-to-day tasks. 

Second Place winner ($5,000) is Minimally Invasive Thrombectomy Device (Ted Otieno, An Nguyen and Dr. Mohammad Elahinia) - A universal minimally invasive blood clot removal device.

Third Place winner ($2,000) is Grypshon (Tom Burden and Bryan Heiser) – a rubberized material used to keep mechanics tools from sliding off the aircraft.

Honorable Mention winner ($500) is Whitetail Mowing LLC (Kyle Wasserman, Shawn Kluck and Kyle Keiser). - An independent attachable string trimming device that is mounted on a zero turn mower.
Dr. Ariss told the finalists, "In my eyes, you are all first place winners for taking the time to develop your creative ideas. I congratulate you on earning this prize money, and encourage you to move forward. This money is a seed to continue to develop your idea."

"Product development is a long process," he added, "so put serious time and effort into your idea. You need to be willing to sacrifice for the sake of making it succeed."

“The spirit of entrepreneurship is critically important to the ongoing success of every university and every community,” noted COBI Interim Dean Thomas Sharkey. “This business competition truly reflects the college's emphasis on supporting innovation, fostering creative thinking and nurturing the entrepreneurial environment which is so essential for the life and growth of this region.”

Wasserman, who will graduate from the College of Engineering this May, said his first place winning product was his senior design project. He worked on the product with other UT engineering students Derek Weickert, who graduates this May, and Daniel Romanko and Robert Castilleja, who graduated in December. Since Wasserman also claimed the top prize in COBI's third annual competition, he took the responsibility for the entry in this year's contest.

"It was a good opportunity to try again," Wasserman said. "This win means a lot; the money will help, and the guidance we receive from faculty and other resources on campus is invaluable."

Yet Wasserman recognizes another level to the competition.

"It is more than just the money," he said. "It's about helping people."

The first Day-to-Day Independent Prosthetic Device was developed for and is used by Sr. Pat Taube, a local nun who lost both hands. "She is using the device, which she is able to put on and take off independently. She can now do day-to-day activities that we take for granted, such as feed herself, write or use her cellphone."

Wasserman, along with Kyle Keiser, won the business plan competition last year for their Slide Off Hangers, a unique hanger design that minimizes damage or stretching when removing shirts.  He said he now has production capabilities and packaging for that item, is working on distribution channels and expects it to be available in stores shortly.

Entries for the fourth COBI business plan competition were due in February. Finalists made an oral presentation about their businesses to a panel of judges in April. Prize money is awarded to the newly formed business entity, not to the individuals.




Pacemaker Awards honor Sharon Speyer, outstanding UT business students

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation (COBI) and the Business Engagement and Leadership Council recognized both business and academic excellence during their 51stth annual Pacemaker Awards on March 28 at the Inverness Country Club.

The 2014 recipient of the Business Pacemaker Award is Sharon Speyer, President, Northwest Ohio Region, Huntington National Bank.

Speyer has been with Huntington Bank and its predecessor banks since 1992. Huntington National Bank, a subsidiary of Huntington Bancshares, is a $59 billion regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.  In addition to her role as President, Speyer previously served as general counsel for Sky Bank.
Speyer received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Toledo, College of Law after earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from The Ohio State University.
Speyer serves on numerous boards and committees including: ASPIRE; Marathon Classic Executive Board; Regional Growth Partnership Board; Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Board; and the Toledo Symphony Board of Trustees. She is also Vice Chair of The University of Toledo Board of Trustees. 

“Sharon Speyer's highly successful career, community involvement and outstanding leadership  make her the ideal business professional  to receive this year’s Pacemaker Award,” observed Dr. Thomas Sharkey, Interim Dean, UT College of Business and Innovation.  “Furthermore, her commitment to The University of Toledo, both as an alumna and as a concerned officer of the Board of Trustees, is to be applauded."
“From Stephen Stranahan to Robert Savage, Harold McMaster to Marianne Ballas, recipients of the Pacemaker Award over the past five decades read as a Who’s Who of current and legendary business leaders in the Toledo region,” Sharkey added.  “As the College’s highest honor, the Pacemaker Award recognizes an individual for outstanding achievement in business as well as contributions to the community and the University.” 

Student Pacemaker Awards were presented to UT College of Business and Innovation graduate and undergraduate students for their outstanding academic achievement, University and community service, and leadership.
The 2014 student Pacemakers are:  Accounting - Todd Fry and Megan Massi;  Finance - Ethan Barteck and Justin Blake; Information Operations Technology Management - Robert Cagle and Cody Mohler; Management - Taylor Juza and Amy Cress; Marketing/International Business - Nicholas Dorner and Nicole Diegel; MBA - Leandra Hutchinson; Ph.D. - Nehemiah Scott.