Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Message from Interim Dean HassabElnaby

COBI Interim Dean Hassan HassabElnaby

It is my distinct honor to be named Interim Dean of the University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation. I accept this position humbly and with great enthusiasm, following Dean Gary Insch’s resignation in October. Dean Insch will be on sabbatical until Fall, 2018, when he is planning to teach in COBI within the Management Department. I would like to thank Dr. Insch for his great leadership and genuine dedication to our students, as well as for his many contributions to the college, the university, and the community.

I have completely enjoyed the wonderful experience of teaching in COBI since 2003. Every year I become more impressed with the high caliber of our students, and the talent and dedication of our amazing faculty and staff. COBI’s reputation for high quality education also continues to expand on a global level through our programs in China, India, Egypt and elsewhere. We truly are committed to our Mission of Developing Lifelong Leaders for the World of Business, and our platform truly is the world!  How exciting it is to come to work each day and realize that we literally are making life better for people around the globe!

Through my years here I recognize how privileged we are to have many thoughtful, generous alumni who continue their relationship with COBI by speaking with our students, participating in campus activities, and supporting us in many ways, including financially. Their friendship and involvement certainly contributes to the enrichment of our students and to the joy of being part of COBI. 

I have been fortunate enough to teach in our classrooms; to help our accounting department obtain important recognition, such as the separate, distinctive Accounting accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; to work with our very generous donors, such as Alan and Karen Barry; and to continually see the good that is accomplished within our walls. I look forward to serving our students, the college, the university and this community through my new position as Interim Dean.

I hope you enjoy reading about some of the recent activities and accomplishments in COBI detailed in this newsletter, and I encourage you to keep us informed about significant professional achievements in your life. Thank you for all you do for COBI.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Alan & Karen Barry are COBI's newest Million Dollar Partners

Alan H. and Karen A. Barry unveiled their plaque in the Stranahan Hall lobby on October 20 as Dr. Gary Insch, Dean of the College of Business and Innovation, and UT President Sharon L. Gaber watched. The Barrys were recognized as Million Dollar Partners for their $1 million gift establishing an endowed professorship in accounting. Mr. Barry, a 1966 graduate of the UT College of Business, is a certified public accountant , the retired president and chief operating officer of the Fortune 200 company Masco Corp., and a member of the UT Foundation Board of Trustees.

Monday, October 23, 2017

ESSPS Internal Sales Competition and Fall Fete attract recruiters, benefits students

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales (ESSPS) hosted their annual Internal Sales Competition and Fall Fete on October 6 for their students.

The two round competition format incorporated recruiters as judges, coaches and buyers.  “This was strictly an internal competition, and totally different than our annual UT Invitational Sales Competition where we bring in 36 universities from coast to coast,” explained Deirdre Jones, ESSPS Director.

Left to right are Morgan Tansel, Alex Edinger, and Octavio Vazquez

At the end of the competition, sales students and judges traveled to Hensville in downtown Toledo for the annual Fall Fete, also an important event as it was a time for business-casual social interaction among students, alumni, and businesses.

“ESSPS provides special recruitment and professional development events throughout the year to assist our students in developing their sales networking skills, refining their sales and personal career plans, and providing them with valuable network connections. All of these are critical components to the students’ professional preparation and overall career success, which is why our students are required to attend and participate.”

Jones explained that students have a complete checklist of things to do before, during and even after the internal competition and fete, such as reviewing and selecting conversation starters; practicing their personal introduction; researching participating companies; obtaining their personal business cards; socializing and networking during the event; and following up with certain individuals after the event.

“We are incredibly proud that our job placement rate for our students is consistently over 90%, “ Jones said.

“The activities of this entire Internal Competition day - - and everything we do for our students throughout their entire UT ESSPS experience - - contributes to their ultimate educational and career success.”  

Congratulations to the Internal Sales Competition (ISC) Winners Alex Edinger (Senior Division) and Haley Orr (Junior Division) and all the other finalists: Senior Division Octavio Vazquez-Ederra, Morgan Tansel, Shaelyn O'Hara, Andrew Brownlee, Jordan Dolph.  Junior Division Parker Tredwell, Matt Schaffer, Kaeleigh Wilkins, Hanna Capell, and Liam Rogers.

“Your talent, coachability, and grit were on display,” Jones said.  Well done Rockets!”


Cody Thompson continues to pursue his goals in business and football

If you follow the UT Rockets football team you are familiar with the stats of senior Cody Thompson, who, along with quarterback Logan Woodside, have helped the Rockets to major victories and recognition. Cody ranks seventh on UT’s career receiving list with 2,519 yards (as of October 1) and 8th with 20 TD receptions.

But there is also Cody Thompson, the UT College of Business and Innovation student.

“What first attracted me to The University of Toledo was that UT has one of the best business schools in the world,”  the marketing major said. “Getting the opportunity to continue my football career as well as get a top-notch education from a great school made it an easy choice to come here.”

“I have always been interested in sports marketing; either with sports franchise or business and that attracted me into the marketing world,” Thompson said. “My UT COBI experience has been amazing, I have learned more than I could have ever thought in my years here. I’ve also met many amazing people in the faculty and alumni that graduated from UT COBI.”

Thompson said the best part about being a student in UT COBI are the resources and opportunities available, from a faculty member helping you pursue a possible career path  to the COBI alumni around the world with whom you can network and establish relationships that could produce internships or job offers.

As for football, Thompson said the best part - - beyond “playing the game I love and having 105 guys on the team that are and always will be brothers to me” - -  is the opportunities it provides.

“Meeting so many amazing people and having a platform to get involved and help out in the community is something I am passionate about,” he explained, “and playing football has provided me with so many
opportunities to do that in a multitude of different ways.”

Thompson explained that the football records he holds shows people how hard work can pay off.

“I am not always the fastest, strongest, or athletically gifted person on the field,” he observed, “but I will always outwork my opponent, whether in the offseason or in the week of preparation up to the game.”

Speaking of “combining” with recent COBI grad Logan Woodside, Thompson said their amazing connection on the field “starts with a strong bond and friendship off the field and understanding how each other thinks. We approach the sport with the same mindset and want - - and accept - -  nothing less than our best. We’re always striving to be better, always pushing and motivating one another in every aspect of our lives.”

“I would like to pursue the NFL and that is what I will do after this last season. In 5-to-10 years I would like to still be playing football, but also start my own business in sports and athletic training. Logan (Woodside) and I have talked about wanting to do this in the future and it would be something I would love to do…Our combined backgrounds would be great for that.”

But sometimes life has a way of throwing unforeseen obstacles in our paths. One such hurdle was presented to Cody on October 7 when his leg was broken in the early minutes of the UT Homecoming game against Eastern Michigan, leaving him out for the rest of the season.

“It’s not exactly how I expected my senior year to go,” he said, “but everything happens for a reason. This injury will not define me or be the end of my career. I’m going to bounce back from this and still pursue my goal of playing in the NFL, which is still very much in sight.”

“I am taking on more of a coaching role now while I’m out,” Thompson explained. “I’ll be helping this team in any way that I can, on and off the field, using my experience and knowledge to help out the other guys on the team. I know I will grow from this and not use this as a crutch, but as motivation to only come back stronger and better than I ever have.”

So a possible career in the NFL still seems a natural direction for Thompson. Asked what people would be surprised to know about him, he answers,  “I am a good cook, and enjoy making big meals in the kitchen.”

Whether it’s big plays, big comebacks or big meals, something is always cooking with Cody Thompson.

Dr. Longenecker delivers national teaching award presentation at Baylor

Dr. Clinton Longenecker, Director of the University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence and one of three finalists for the prestigious Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching from Baylor University, presented his award lecture on Monday, October 23.

The other Cherry Award finalists are Dr. Heidi Elmendorf, associate professor of biology at Georgetown University, and Dr. Neil Garg, professor of chemistry at UCLA.

The Cherry Award winner, which will be announced by Baylor in 2018, will receive $250,000 and an additional $25,000 for his or her home department and will teach in residence at Baylor during fall 2018 or spring 2019.

Dr. Longenecker, a UT Distinguished University Professor, has received more than 60 teaching, service and research awards and numerous industry awards. He was recognized by The Economist as one of the “Top 15 Business Professors in the World.”

The Cherry Award is the only national teaching award — with the single largest monetary reward — presented by a college or university to an individual for exceptional teaching.

“To be selected as one of three finalists for this prestigious award is an absolute honor, and I’m very proud to represent The University of Toledo on this national stage,” Longenecker said. “I’ve considered my entire career to be a privilege, an opportunity to make a difference, and a blessing to be able to teach adult learners how to improve their skills and career trajectory.”

Longenecker’s teaching, research and consulting interests are in high-performance leadership and creating great organizations. He has published more than 190 articles and papers in academic and professional journals, as well as several best-selling books. His latest book, The Successful Career Survival Guide, was published in March.

UT/BGSU Women in Leadership Conference huge success with 600 attendees

UT President Sharon Gaber, left, and BGSU President Mary Ellen Mazey, right.

BGSU College of Business Dean Raymond Braun, left, and UT College of Business and Innovation Dean Gary Insch, right.

Enrollment Manager for UT COBI graduate programs office Kelly Barger

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A Message from the Dean

The Fall 2017 semester has launched, our newest freshmen Rockets have arrived, and our wonderful faculty, staff and continuing students have returned. You can’t deny the energy throughout campus!  Amazing students working with our fabulous faculty to prepare to lead the world of business…how could it be any more exciting!?

Dean Gary Insch
At the start of this new academic year, I want to express my best wishes and admiration to our students, who study, work and progress with such determination, focus and talent. Many of you further enhance your education and personal growth through your involvement - - often in leadership positions - - with some of COBI’s 13 outstanding student organizations. I commend you for all you do, and be assured that all of us at COBI are committed to your personal and professional success.

UT’s Homecoming celebrations will soon be upon us, beginning with the annual Dean’s breakfast on Friday, October 6 at the Toledo Club. Joining us will be Gary Thieman, this year’s recipient of our outstanding alumnus award (read more about Gary here) as well as UT President Sharon Gaber.   Seating is limited, so make your reservations ASAP by clicking here.  The always popular homecoming parade will be Saturday morning, October 7. Later there will be free hot dogs, chips, and non-alcoholic beverages available at the pregame party, then we can cheer on the Rocket football team to victory over Eastern Michigan.  Good times!   Hope to see you there!

The next annual Women in Leadership conference will take place on October 20 in the Hilton Garden Inn in Perrysburg. This event is co-presented by the UT College of Business and Innovation and the Bowling Green State University College of Business.  This seminar has become so popular that it is already sold out, but I know those attending will learn a lot and enjoy the morning. I am pleased that the collaboration between the two major business schools in Northwest Ohio results in such a great benefit for the community.

Students and the community are also invited to attend the third annual be-WISE-er event on October 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the UT Student Union Auditorium. This event is open to the community but focuses on high school and college-age individuals who are at a particularly high risk of becoming addicted to alcohol and other drugs. It was started three years ago as an idea by COBI student Natalie Zerucha and supported by UT’s Alpha Kappa Psi chapter, which recently received the AKP Chapter of the Year Award, which you can also read about in this issue.

Finally the next cohort of our Executive MBA program will begin in October, so you need to act now if you want to apply. COBI offers one of the most efficient and effective blended models of on-site and distance learning found in an Executive MBA program while providing a program with unmatched value and flexibility that help you expand your skills and enhance your career trajectory. Learn more here.

If you are heading to campus for Homecoming, or any time, I would enjoy showing you our high-tech facilities and have you meet some of the highly talented people who comprise the UT College of Business and Innovation!
Go Rockets!
Dean Gary Insch

Gary Thieman to receive COBI’s Outstanding Alumnus Award for 2017

Gary Thieman, who received his bachelor's degree in Business Administration, finance, from The University of Toledo College of Business Administration in 1971, will be the recipient of the College of Business and Innovation Outstanding Alumnus Award for 2017.

Gary Thieman
Mr. Thieman is the former Sr. Vice President of Sales and Customer Relations for Commercial Business at Medical Mutual of Ohio and the Senior Executive for the Company's northwestern Ohio region, headquartered in Toledo. He joined Medical Mutual in August 2010 after a 20-year consulting career with Findley Davies, Inc., a privately-held human resources consulting, actuarial and administrative services firm.

While at Findley Davies, he served on its Management Committee and Board of Directors.  In addition, he led the firm's National Health and Group Benefits Consulting practice and its business development and marketing efforts.

“Among my many consulting engagements, I am especially proud of the work performed for a local Fortune 500 company in the early 1990’s and beyond assisting in the design and implementation of its healthy lifestyle program, one of the first of its kind in the area and in the country,” he said.

Prior to joining Findley Davies, Thieman was an Executive Vice President with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kentucky responsible for sales, marketing, customer service and managed healthcare programs, including HMO Kentucky.  Before joining the Kentucky plan, he had a successful 13-year career with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Northwest Ohio.

Thieman has more than 40 years experience in the employee benefits field with a strong emphasis in health and group benefit programs.  His areas of special interest include strategic benefit planning, healthcare benefit plan design, work site wellness and health promotion programs, incentive structures to encourage employee engagement and outcomes measurement.

“I had some excellent and inspiring instructors and professors,” Mr. Thieman recalled. “If I had to choose one who made a difference for me, it would be Doug Austin, Chair of the Finance Department. His combination of  private and public sector banking experience and teaching style made a big difference for me while in school and also during my working career.”

 “My favorite UT memory was meeting Cheryl Meier, my future wife, in April, 1969 in the Carlson Library,” he said. “I had been dating one of Cheryl’s girlfriends whom I met during spring break 1969 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Cheryl joined us one day at our table in the library and I was immediately attracted to her. After that I saw her multiple times sitting on the hill between the Memorial Field House and Libbey Hall; I assumed she was waiting for me to walk by between classes. I finally asked her out on Saturday, May 24, 1969. In fact, we still celebrate our ‘first date anniversary’ on May 24 every year. It was on our second date on May 31, 1969 at the SAE Paddy Murphy party that I knew she was the one and we’ve been together ever since. We celebrated our 46th wedding anniversary on March 27, 2017.”

Among Mr. Thieman’s current and recent community/volunteer activities are serving on the University of Toledo Board of Trustees (2011 – 2017), including being Chair of the Clinical Affairs Committee; being interim executive director of the Toledo Public Schools Foundation (2016 – present); on the board of advisors of 417Grow, in Indianapolis; a member of the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors (2007 – 2015) and Board Chair in 2009; Board of Directors of Compass Corporation for Recovery Services (2004 – 2010) and Board Chair in 2007 and 2008; YMCA/JCC Board of Directors (2009 – 2011); a past member of the 2013/2014 Toledo Public Schools Levy Committee and Finance Chair, and working as a volunteer on several United Way campaigns in Toledo.

He also enjoys playing golf, reading, boating at the family home in Michigan, driving his 1966 Corvette Stingray, and “most of all just hanging out with Cheryl. After a working career spanning 46 years with long hours and travel commitments, it’s great to just spend time hanging out with Cheryl and our family and friends.”

“Mr. Thieman’s highly successful career, extensive volunteer and community involvement, and leadership in the regional business arena make him the ideal business professional to receive this year’s Outstanding Alumnus Award,” noted Dr. Gary Insch, Dean of the UT College of Business and Innovation.  “We look forward to the official presentation of the award during UT’s Homecoming weekend celebration.”

Dr. Longenecker’s new book shows how to think bigger and achieve your professional potential

As Director of the University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation’s Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence and as a UT Distinguished University Professor, Dr. Clinton Longenecker consistently strives to encourage people to establish and achieve significant goals in their lives.  He has bolstered these efforts to help people on the UT campus and around the world by publishing his most recent book, The Successful Career Survival Guide (Amazon).

Dr. Longenecker

“This book is all about helping people realize their full potential as a professional and as a person” Dr. Longenecker said.   “My goal is to provide the tools and resources to help people think bigger! This book is a collection of over 700 best practices, key research findings, leadership tools, power quotes and game-changing career advice to inspire and dramatically improve your workplace performance and career trajectory.” 

“I was inspired by H. Jackson Brown’s 1991 best-selling Life’s Little Instruction Book which was a collection of practical wisdom to help people live better lives, so I used the same format and approach in writing this book to help people improve their work lives and career trajectory.”

He explained that the book discusses 12 career success and survival imperatives based on decades of research with high performance professionals across key sectors of the world economy, including “the number one factor for career success and survival in the 21st century: getting desired results for your enterprise. Readers will have the opportunity to explore how to take better control of their time resource, how to implement fundamental practices for improving their personal effectiveness, and specific practices for improving workplace productivity and effectiveness.”

Dr. Longenecker is an award-winning business educator, author, researcher, consultant, and speaker.  He has been the recipient of over fifty outstanding teaching, service and research awards and numerous industry awards including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Toastmasters International Leadership Award, and the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service, as well as numerous “Best Professor” recognitions. In addition, he has also been recently recognized by The Economist as one of the Top Fifteen Business Professors in the World.

Dr. Longenecker also said The Successful Career Survival Guide:
•             Explores the importance of creating focus and ongoing alignment with the constantly changing demands of your job.
•             Discusses how to improve your working relationship with your boss.
•             Provides specific practices to help you better understand the power associated with creating great workplace relationships, networks, and building and demonstrating great emotional intelligence.
•             Explains the importance of ongoing learning and personal development and the necessity of ongoing problem solving, process improvement, and effective workplace change and improvement, and
•             Provides a treasure trove of ideas, concepts, and key practices for developing your work place professionalism and character.

“This book is designed to challenge your thinking about your approach to work and provide you with ideas and practices to help you improve both your career mindset and your workplace performance while having fun,” Dr. Longenecker said. “It also presents some important research findings on how to implement the key practices that will help you get better results for your employer and improve your long-term career trajectory.”

“Ultimately,” he explained, “we provide people with an opportunity to learn how to best develop their talents, as well as how to develop a personal performance improvement plan using tried and true practices that translate into better performance! In the end, it is critically important to realize that each one of us must take control of the factors that impact our career and our lives and that we are all capable of doing great things.“

COBI Alpha Kappa Psi named Chapter of the Year!

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation Gamma Eta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi is an amazing chapter…and now it is official.

The UT COBI Chapter received the Chapter of the Year Award at the AKP national convention in Law Vegas this summer after obtaining the requisite 100,000 points to achieve this status.

“This award is given to select Chapters who have reached a national goal of 100,000 points in our Annual Chapter Report by holding high impact events, recruiting new members, and engaging in Fraternity developmental planning. This is the second year in a row that we have received this award and it is truly an honor,” noted Chapter President Angelena Arnaout. 

Alpha Kappa Psi, a professional co-ed business fraternity, is the oldest and largest business fraternity in the world, founded in 1904. Today AKP has more than 240,000 members at 265 universities in three countries. 

“This past year we focused on making sure we were successful organizationally,” Arnaout said, “developing a great relationship with our national officers. We also had several wonderful events that helped us make an impact in the community and engaged in philanthropic efforts to help the world around us. One such event, Be-WISE-er, combats substance abuse and raises awareness for the drug epidemic throughout Ohio. Additionally, we raised over $2,000 for the MS Society at our Fuel The Fight 5K last Spring. The MS Society is our recognized philanthropy and we are always working to raise awareness and advocate for a cure for this life-altering medical condition.”

“This award is a great honor to our Chapter. We are so excited to continue moving forward and setting higher expectations for our Brothers. At the end of the year, I would love to see my Brothers grow as well-rounded premier business leaders who are looking to serve their organizations and the community. To our membership and alumni, this award truly represents all of the hard work we have put in and it signifies the direction we will keep moving towards.” 

“Furthermore, this award shows everyone at COBI that our work is far from over,” Arnaout said.  “We love connecting with our professors and faculty advisers throughout the school year and serving them as a resource for anything they may need. Through this award and further recognitions, we hope to continue representing COBI well and developing strong relationships within the college.” 

“As the newly elected President of UT COBI’s Gamma Eta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi, I say with great pride that our Chapter is stronger and more excited than ever before.  Through developmental leadership programming and professional experience, our Executive Board and Chairs have been working diligently to ensure that this year is filled with success, brotherhood, and community engagement. We are very excited about this accomplishment, but we must keep moving forward and working towards setting new goals and greater success for our members.”

Attend the third be-WISE-er event on October 25 to be wiser throughout the year

The University of Toledo Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi (AKPsi), the nation’s largest and oldest co-educational professional business fraternity, is hosting its third be–WISE–er event on substance abuse on October 25 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the UT Student Union auditorium.

Several community organizations will provide information about what people can do if they or someone they know is addicted to harmful substances. Staff from the UT Health Science Campus will be present with some simulators and will teach those how to administer intranasal naloxone.

“We are proud to present this free community event to continue the fight against the crippling issue of substance abuse,” said Natalie Zerucha, organizer of this event and a senior human resource management and marketing major in the College of Business and Innovation.

“Alpha Kappa Psi is truly humbled by the community’s support of our first two be-WISE-ers event and we are doing our best to make our third event even better so we can have as big an impact on the city as possible. We truly believe we can help build a better college community, as well as a better Toledo.”

Be-WISE-er is open to the community but will focus on college-age individuals who are at a particularly high risk of becoming addicted to alcohol and other drugs. More than 600 people participated in the first two be-WISE-er events.

“Participants will also get to experience a 3D multi-sensory interactive presentation that will show the devastating effects of driving and drinking,” Zerucha said.  “The first 200 participants will get to experience the 3D part of the presentation, so come early to get your glasses!”

There will be food, free T-shirts, raffle prizes and more.

For more information, go to

UT COBI and TPS partner to enhance student leadership skills

The University of Toledo College of Business & Innovation (COBI) is partnering with the Toledo Public Schools Jones Leadership Academy to enhance student leadership skills through a new program called Young Executive Scholars (Y.E.S.).

“This new partnership will expose a select group of high school students to leadership skills, business etiquette aptitude, communication taboos and protocol, professional dress and dining etiquette while allowing them the opportunity to network with UT COBI faculty and staff,” explained COBI Professor Selina Griswold.

“This new Y.E.S. collaboration will help cultivate the academic potential of underrepresented high school juniors through powerful mentorship and the development of real life business leadership skills,” Professor Griswold said.

“The mission of both the UT College of Business & Innovation and the Jones Leadership Academy includes equipping students with leadership skills that prepares students for success in higher education, the job market and world challenges in the 21st century,” she added.  “Through this partnership, Y.E.S. will deliver monthly business etiquette workshops to 10 to 15 student leaders providing them a standard framework within which business people operate as they communicate and collaborate both domestically and internationally.”

“Since business etiquette is a sign of professionalism and respect for others, it will help these young leaders make positive first impressions while building trust in the workplace and other professional settings,” TPS Principal Dr. Ward Barnett said.  “To prepare these young leaders for the world, they must learn to adhere to a well-understood code of etiquette.”

While Professor Griswold presented this program opportunity to Dr. Barnett, this is not the first time the two are working together. When Dr. Barnett was an undergraduate at UT he was a mentee in Professor Griswold’s UT Mentorship Program that connected him with Toledo professionals who assisted him with achieving his academic goals. Both Dr. Barnett and Professor Griswold know firsthand that these types of partnerships between professionals and students can produce significant results.

Throughout the academic year students will meet once a month through workshops presented by UT and community professionals on various business/leadership topics. The program will conclude with students receiving a leadership certificate presented by Dr. Gary Insch, Dean of UT’s College of Business & Innovation.

The program sessions begin October 4 at the Jones Leadership Academy. For more information, contact Professor Selina Griswold at 419-530-3310.

University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation and Bowling Green State University College of Business again partner to present Women in Leadership Conference

The 2017 Women in Leadership Conference is sold out.  Thank you for your interest.

UT College of Business and Innovation arranges for special price Cedar Point tickets

The University of Toledo community can enjoy one of this region’s unique fall attractions at a special price thanks to a partnership between the UT College of Business and Innovation and Cedar Point.

“UT COBI Graduate Programs has wonderful relationships with many corporations, businesses and organizations in this region,” explained Kelly Barger, director of the COBI graduate programs office, “and because of our many friends and contacts, we were able to negotiate a special ticket price for Cedar Point admission during one of their very popular Halloweekends , September 23 and 24.”  

This offer enables people to purchase a ticket for $35, plus tax, through the Cedar Point website,, using the username UTCOBI and the password utcobi.

Explaining that this is not a paid sponsorship or subsidized ticket program, Barger added, “Working with Cedar Point through this promotion enables us to tell even more people about the amazing educational opportunities for graduate studies at the University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation, while arranging for the UT community, and others who learn of this promotion through us, to enjoy the Halloweenish activities at one of Northwest Ohio’s most recognized attractions.” 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Dr. Hong teaches and observes during his Fulbright Scholar experience in India

Dr. Paul Hong, professor in the Information Operations and Technology Management Department in the UT College of Business and Innovation, has a lot of teaching, research, service and outreach activities through his five-month stay in India as a Fulbright-Nehru scholar.

“UT well trained me to have a professional work habit--five or six days a week,” Dr. Hong said.  “We have the American sense of productivity and innovation.  Two or three days a week I spoke at Christ University and other universities including the India Institute of Sciences and Indus Business Academy.”

Dr. Hong, right, with Thomas C. Mathew, Vice Chancellor of Christ University

“I had multiple project teams of various professors from business, international relations and economics, and for the first three months I conducted a weekly leadership cohort where we addressed such issues as Economic Growth Opportunities and Challenges for India, Digital India Issues, and Planning for Life for Integrity, Meaning and Contribution,” Dr. Hong said. Other lectures he made while in India included ones on economic growth and development; he conducted a productivity and innovation workshop; presented a lecture at a research workshop and spoke to MBA students about Building Skills for Tomorrow’s Work.

Dr. Hong also conducted research that resulted in three book chapters that he authored/co-authored; “Asian Innovators”--a book proposal with Springer; the publication/acceptance/submission of material for four journals; the submission of papers for two conferences; and worked on several research projects with faculty of Christ University Christ University at Bangalore, his base during his trip. He also spoke or gave the keynote lecture at a number of international conferences, spoke to the Rotary Clubs of Bangalore, and met with senior executives at major companies and professional organizations.

Following these very important endeavors during his Fulbright experience, he has several observations to benefit current and future students in UT COBI.

“Fulbright is about service engagement, and most people teach and engage in very small, very focused groups. The Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Award, supported by both US and Indian resources, is one of the largest. Besides senior level faculty, many American students—with diverse backgrounds from sociology, business, engineering and medicine-- also receive this prestigious award. I would like to encourage UT students to go with Fulbright scholarship for research and engagement. From the beginning, I made a presentation about management, then to economics, international relations and different schools invited me…and that’s what I wanted. My growing interest is in entrepreneurial innovation, which is a hot topic in India.”

“Our UT COBI students are in a very good position in the growing global market.  My experiences in India has assured me of the increasing contribution potential with emerging markets such as India.  Students and business leaders in India are interested in pursuing opportunities with a US-based global network, because a lot of innovation comes from us.  Our potential to serve the world is very huge.  Academic and business leaders in India are very keen in creating and delivering value through global network efforts.  Fortunately, the US is still in the center of such diverse global network.   In this sense, I see increasing importance of linkage role to bring diverse stakeholders to interact, inspire and innovate,” Dr. Hong said.  

“One of the most rewarding experiences is to see that numerous American young business leaders stay in India with long-term vision. I met with a company that brings capital resources from US to support socially minded organizations.  One company I visited hires thousands of people who are blind, deaf and physically challenged.  There are no government grants but they are a self-supporting organization!  An American businessman was sponsoring such a company while providing sound financial services for growing middle class people in India and provide professional services for achieving market growth. It is not easy to practice integrity in every sense.  Yet, such firms maintain high level of ethical standards and integrity practices despite occasional losses. It takes time, but after a while, these firms are respected now. They make an impact in bringing constructive business environment in India.”

“One thing really amazing is the middle class there is growing; the projection is that by 2050, 60% or more of the global middle class will be outside of North America. Global companies will not be able to afford to lose sight of this global market reality.”

“My message to UT alumni is when they go to another country, see if they can find opportunities to engage and interact,” Dr. Hong said. “I was looking for UT alumni. I did contact the Rotary Clubs in India. ”

“The key is a global perspective,” Dr. Hong explained. “What I emphasize to students here is to go beyond a tri-state perspective; our students can work with companies from around the world because their technical and communication and relationship skills are very good. They are prepared to go anywhere. Once a Fulbright-Nehru Scholar, then I represent the United States and am connected to India and the emerging world hereafter. I strive to help our students engage with those students and companies, and this provides a great opportunity to further understand their growing market potential. Growth through global engagement; this increasing strategic initiative will continue to provide a lot of opportunity and will benefit students who work in the US.”

Two COBI students on UT's men's basketball team named to national honors court

UT men’s basketball players Zach Garber and Jordan Lauf have been named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court for a second consecutive season.

Zach Garber

Jordan Lauf
Garber and Lauf each graduated from UT following the 2016-17 academic year.

To be eligible, a student-athlete has to be a member of the varsity squad with junior or senior status and hold a cumulative 3.2 GPA or higher at the conclusion of the academic year.

A business management major, Garber started 10 of 16 contests last year while missing much of the second half of the season due to a broken foot. He averaged 3.6 points per game and 4.4 rebounds per game in 15.4 minutes per game and was able to return to play his final contest as a Rocket in the 2017 College Basketball Invitational.

Lauf will be entering his first season as a graduate assistant on the Rockets’ coaching staff after earning his degree in business management. He paced UT with a 59 field-goal percentage and ranked second on the team with a career-best 6.2 rebounds per game and 75 offensive boards. The Rockets’ two-time captain started 33 of 34 contests and averaged a career-high 8.3 points per game in a career-best 33.6 minutes per game en route to playing in a school-record 133 contests in his collegiate career.

COBI Faculty members assume new leadership roles

This summer COBI Dean Gary Insch named three faculty members to new positions within the college.

Dr. Hassan HassabElnaby, Chair of the COBI Accounting Department, was named Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research, following the retirement of Executive Associate Dean Dr. Anand Kunnathur. Dr. Diana Franz was named Chair of the Accounting Department, and Dr. Marc Simpson was named Chair of the Finance Department.

All appointments were effective in July.

“I want to express my most sincere thanks for the remarkable leadership and an amazing commitment to the UT College of Business and Innovation to Dr. HassanElnaby for his service as Chair of the Accounting Department and to Dr. Ozcan Sezer for chairing the Finance Department in recent years,” Dean Insch said.

“I also want to publicly thank Dr. Anand Kunnathur who served the college, our faculty and thousands of students with great devotion and integrity for the many years during his term as Executive Associate Dean, and we are appreciative that he will continue to serve in the dean’s office working on special projects and teaching classes.”

“Dr. HassabElnaby has done an amazing job Chairing the Accounting Department in recent years, including leading our successful efforts to obtain a separate Accounting accreditation from the AACSB, an achievement obtained by less than 2% of business colleges around the world, Dean Insch added. “His academic and administrative skills will enhance our delivery of our graduate programs as well as other key areas throughout COBI.”

Dr. HassanElnaby has served as Director of the Ph.D.  program in Manufacturing and Technology Management;  was the UT faculty representative of the University Board of Trustees’ Audit Committee; coordinated the UT Master of Business Administration (MBA) program American Chamber of Commerce-Egypt; the Bachelor of Business Administration with the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime, Egypt; UT programs with King Saud University and the COBI-UT MBA program with the American Chamber of Commerce Egypt. He has published his research in several journals and presented his research at numerous international, national and regional conferences.

Dr. Franz has taught at the University of Toledo since 1992, and has previously served as Department Chair of the Accounting Department. She has obtained three distinctive certifications: Data Visualization with Advanced Excel; Problem Solving with Excel; and Data-driven Decision Making. She is active with Beta Alpha Psi, an honor organization for financial information students and professionals.

Dr. Marc W. Simpson, CFA, obtained his Master of Arts and his Doctor of Philosophy at Fordham University; taught at Marshall University and the University of Texas – Pan American; and was chairman of the Department of Finance at Northern Illinois University. Prior to being named Finance Department Chair at UT COBI, Dr. Simpson was the John B. and Lillian E. Neff Endowed Chair in Finance at UT for four years.

Dean Insch said, “I know that Drs. HassabElnaby, Franz and Simpson are dedicated and well-respected members of our COBI faculty. I am confident that their service to our university, college and our students through their latest expanded responsibilities in these critically important positions will have a positive, meaningful impact on many lives and careers.”

Accounting major receives prestigious scholarship

Frank Rolando, an accounting major in the UT College of Business and Innovation, received the $10,000 Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) scholarship for the 2017/2018 academic year. Rolando received notification of the award in June.

Frank Rolando
“This scholarship is a very prestigious award and first time to be received by one of our students,” noted Dr. Hassan HassabElnaby, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research.

PCAOB scholarships are merit-based, one-time awards which must be used to cover eligible expenses such as tuition, books, supplies and equipment.

The PCAOB is a nonprofit corporation established by Congress to oversee the audits of public companies and broker-dealers to promote investor protection. The Board established the  PCAOB Scholarship Program to provide a source of funding to encourage outstanding undergraduate and graduate students to pursue a career in auditing.

“I would like to thank you for entering me into the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Scholarship. I am very pleased and honored to have received this prestigious and honorable award. This will definitely assist me in my educational endeavors,” Rolando said.

“I cannot express how thankful I am. You have allowed me to develop and foster professional growth. I am extremely appreciative of all the opportunities that the University of Toledo's Accounting Department has offered. I hope to help others as Dr. HassabElnaby has helped me in my development.”

COBI earns SHRM Outstanding Student Chapter Award

The UT COBI Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) received the highest recognition possible from SHRM when it was named an Outstanding Chapter for 2016-2017 in July.

“All praise goes to our awesome student leadership,” proclaimed Dr. Jenell Wittmer, faculty advisor to the Chapter. “We have received the Outstanding Chapter twice in the past three years, having received the Superior Chapter Award the other. This is great news and a wonderful recognition of the hard work and efforts our HR students apply within our professional organization.” Our University of Toledo student team also took second place at the East Region SHRM Student Case Competition in Philadelphia, PA this year. This has been a great year for UT SHRM!"

The Outstanding Student Chapter award is given to SHRM student chapters whose programs and activities were at a level that distinguished them from other chapters. This award represents significant achievement in one of five categories: recruitment, programming/education, innovation/technology, campus/community service or promotion of assurance of learning assessment.

The Society for Human Resource Management's Student Program was created in 1965 to promote mutually beneficial interaction between HRM students and practitioners. The program now includes over 250 affiliated student chapters and more than 19,000 student members.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, the Society has been the leading provider of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the practice of human resource management.

UT College of Business and Innovation and BGSU College of Business jointly present Women in Leadership Conference

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation and Bowling Green State University College of Business are again presenting a Women in Leadership conference. Entitled Step Out to Step Up, it will be held on Friday, October 20, 2017,  at the Hilton Garden Inn, Levis Commons, Perrysburg.

Additional details may be found here.

COBI vs. Engineering Golf outing raises funds for scholarships

COBI Dean Gary Insch and Russ Ely, recently named COBI's Outstanding Alum from the Department of Marketing and International Business, ready to hit the links.

UT's beloved mascots Rocky and Roxsie join Dean Gary Insch and  Russ Ely  as  the golfers  enter their carts.

Rocky and Roxsie launch the golfers on the way to their starting tees.

Refreshments in the Bedford Hills clubhouse!

COBI Alumni Affiliate Board Member Dan Miller poses with  Roxsie before the  competition begins!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

COBI professor participates in panel discussion about US/Canada trade

Andrew Solocha, Ph.D., Professor of Finance in The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation, was a panelist in a Northwest Ohio May panel discussion about trade between the United States and Canada.

“They wanted me to provide a big picture view about NAFTA, the US and Canada,” Dr. Solocha said. 

“Canada is our major trading partner and has created a lot of jobs in our area   Since NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) passed, we have taken Canada for granted.  We need to revisit our relationship and make it stronger.”               

“Each country has an unique identity, but when they work together they can build something even better.”
Dr. Solocha’s primary field of instruction and research is international finance,

“It’s all about Supply Chain management,” Dr. Solocha added, noting that supply chain is an area in which “UT College of Business and Innovation does a great job teaching.”

Bardish Chagger, Canada’s minister of small business and tourism, was also a featured panelist.

The event was presented by the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Regional Growth Partnership. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Teresa Keefe named Distinguished University Lecturer

The University of Toledo honored three Distinguished University Lecturers in April during a ceremony in Doermann Theater, including Teresa Keefe, senior lecturer in the Department of Information Operations and Technology Management in the College of Business and Innovation.

Teresa Keefe
“Appointment to the rank of Distinguished University Lecturer is the highest permanent honor The University of Toledo can bestow on a lecturer,” said Dr. Andrew Hsu, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

“Those named Distinguished University Lecturer have earned recognition and distinction as educators, advancing student learning, facilitating and supporting student success, and demonstrating a commitment to the University’s educational mission.”

Keefe is the faculty adviser to the Association for Information Technology Professionals, and has been teaching at UT for 13 years.

“This recognition means a lot because it brings a clear message that the University leadership team values the work and contributions of lecturers across the campus,” Keefe said. “We are, in many cases, teaching workhorses -- and it validates our role in helping UT achieve its mission. I still feel a sense of disbelief, even a month later.  I know I work hard and I know I make a difference in many students' lives - but to put a title of ‘Distinguished’ on what I do is very humbling.”  

“She continuously develops new and innovative courses, incorporating new technologies, and providing active learning experiences for her students, including flipped classes and service learning, all contributing to student retention and graduation rates,” one nominator wrote. “Over my 37 years at the University, I have never seen the likes of Teresa in terms of teaching, service and dedication to the betterment of students.”

A former student wrote, “If I was asked who outside my immediate family had the largest impact on my education and professional growth, without hesitation, ‘Teresa Keefe’ would be blurted out.”

Another graduate noted, “I owe my success to Teresa Keefe. She is an exceedingly wonderful professor, mentor and friend. The amount of dedication that she pours into her passion daily is inspiring.”

The duration of the appointment as a Distinguished University Lecturer is unlimited, and the title may be retained after a lecturer has retired from the University.

“The best part of teaching is the privilege of working with students and watching their transformation as future business leaders,” Keefe said.  “The most joyful moment for me is at graduation.  Watching our students proudly walk across the stage and hear that they have found employment makes all my efforts worthwhile. And, I love the fact that every one of my colleagues in COBI all share that perspective of being student centered and are equally invested in and committed to mentoring and providing opportunities for our students' success.”

“It is well deserved and great for COBI that our faculty continue to be recognized for excellence,” noted Gary S. Insch, Ph.D. Dean, COBI.

COBI students display talents at major competitions

COBI’s HR students place 2nd in East Regional case competition
The UT College of Business and Innovation Human Resource Management team of three HR students— Amber Mulholland, Dina Teeti, and Morgan Siegler— won second place in the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) East Region’s HR Case Competition in Philadelphia in April!  Dr. Jenell Wittmer, Associate Professor of Management, accompanied the team to the competition.

This year’s East region’s competition included twenty-two undergraduate teams from twelve states.  After preliminary presentations, the University of Toledo’s team competed against a team from Olivet Nazarene University (Illinois) in the final round.

The competition is an event that offers the opportunity to bring professional chapter volunteers, students and student chapter advisors together in a meaningful way. The students receive an opportunity to network with other students and showcase their competency to HR practitioners.

Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales wins 10 trophies at national PSE competition
“We had a very solid performance by our chapter at PSE National Convention in St. Louis,”  said Jacob Pawelczyk, Pi Sigma Epsilon President.  “We took 26 members for a week of competitions, workshops, keynote speakers, and chapter bonding, and here is a breakdown of our performance in the three areas of competition:

National Awards Program
• 1st - Top Management Team: Jacob Whitman, Jacob Pawelczyk, Steph Elkins, Alex Edinger, Jovan Sanson
• 1st - Top Professional Development Program: Steph Elkins, Haley Orr, Octavio Vazquez-Ederra, Jacob Pawelczyk
• 1st - Top Marketing/Sales Project (Chapter): Jessie Lindemeyer, Dorian Vance, Taylor Busse, Jamil Stoutamire
• 2nd - Top Gold Chapter (2nd Best Chapter in the Nation): Jacob Pawelczyk, Jacob Whitman, Steph Elkins, Daniel Braker, Patrick Ryan, Jovan Sanson, Alex Edinger
• 2nd - Top Recruitment Program: Dayna Fackler, Max Augsburger, Elena Justice, Miranda Moscinski, Alex Edinger
• Whan Challenger (Highest Individual Award): Jacob Pawelczyk
• Chapter Sustained Excellence Award
National Scholarship Program
• Haley Orr: Geico Scholarship and the Future Leaders Scholarship • Alex Edinger:UPS Scholarship
• Steph Elkins - Whan Memorial Scholarship
National Pro-Am Sell-a-Thon
• 1st Place: Jacob Pawelczyk   • 4th Place - Steph Elkins
National Speakers Competition
• Top 5 Finalists: Alex Edinger, Dorian Vance
National Finalists
• Top Marketing Research Project: Ben Grieser, Brianna Rodriguez, Jordan Dolph, Liam Rogers, Austin Morrin
• Scholarship Program: Daniel Braker, Jacob Whitman
• President's Award for Special Merit: Stephanie Elkins
• Case Study Competition: Christina Miles, Dominic Marino, Rachel Boulton, Liam Rogers

“Needless to say, I am extremely proud of the work our chapter has put in during the 2016 year to result in this very strong performance; the strongest for us to date,” Pawelczyk said. “Thank you for all of the education, programming, and opportunities that ESSPS and COBI offer our students to help us be one of the best chapters in the nation. We could not do this without our great instructors! We are truly thankful for all that you do!”

“We need a trophy case! Pi Sigma Epsilon (PSE) brought home 10 trophies from Nationals,” said Deirdre Jones, director, Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales. “A key contributing factor to the 1st place Professional Development Program is due to PSE, ESSPS, and COBI programming.  Golf outing, speakers, UTISC, ISC, Fall Fete, Networking Night, corporate coaching, job fair, mock interviews, and resume critiques are encouraged and leveraged by the chapter.  The results all the way around for PSE, other students, ESSPS, COBI, and UT speak for themselves.”

Sales teams also do great at National Collegiate Sales Competition
Additionally, at the 2017, the National Collegiate Sales Competition in early April, the world's oldest and largest sales role-play competition, UT sales students also made a tremendous showing. The UT COBI ESSPS team claimed the 7th place overall team award in the Undergraduate Division, while the ESSPS team won the 5th overall team award in the Graduate Division.

Congratulations to the team: Jamil Stoutamire, Andrew Brownlee, Gabriella LeMaster, Dorian Vance, Zach Menden, & Raelyn Mejias Santoro

Individual finishes include:
Dorian Vance, 9th place Overall Individual
Andrew Brownlee, 47th Overall Individual
Raelyn Mejias Santoro, 3rd First Round Graduate Division
Zach Menden, 4th Third Round, Graduate Division
Raelyn & Zach, 4th Second Round Graduate Division

The NCSC takes place each Spring at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia with over 50 Fortune 500 & 100 companies serving as sponsors, and more than 70 universities from across the globe sending their top sales students to compete.

Honors accounting major claims second place prize in statewide manuscript competition
Amal Said, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Accounting proudly spoke of the success of one of her students in the Honors section of her Accounting for Business Decisions course.

“This is the first time we offered this new Honors section, and as part of the Honors experience, I required my students to write a research paper.  I sponsored and submitted four papers to the 2017 Undergraduate Student Manuscript Competition of the American Accounting Association - Ohio Region.”

“Kami Kolnitys' paper titled "Implications of the Border Adjustment Tax on American Companies" received 2nd place among all papers submitted from across Ohio. Kami will receive a plaque and check in addition to being recognized at a conference banquet and dinner award ceremony.”

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

UT professor selected as one of three finalists for $250,000 national teaching award

A leadership scholar at The University of Toledo is a finalist for a prestigious national teaching award.

Dr. Clinton Longenecker, Distinguished University Professor and director of the Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence in the UT College of Business and Innovation, is one of three finalists selected for Baylor University’s 2018 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching.

The other finalists are Dr. Heidi Elmendorf, associate professor of biology at Georgetown University, and Dr. Neil Garg, professor of chemistry at UCLA.

The Cherry Award is the only national teaching award — with the single largest monetary reward of $250,000 — presented by a college or university to an individual for exceptional teaching.

“To be selected as one of three finalists for this prestigious award is an absolute honor, and I’m very proud to represent The University of Toledo on this national stage,” Longenecker said. “I’ve considered my entire career to be a privilege, an opportunity to make a difference, and a blessing to be able to teach adult learners how to improve their skills and career trajectory.”

As Cherry Award finalists, each professor will receive $15,000, as well as $10,000 for their home departments to foster the development of teaching skills. Each finalist will present a series of lectures at Baylor during fall 2017 and also a Cherry Award lecture on their home campuses during the upcoming academic year.

The Cherry Award winner, which will be announced by Baylor in 2018, will receive $250,000 and an additional $25,000 for his or her home department and will teach in residence at Baylor during fall 2018 or spring 2019.

COBI recognizes outstanding alumni from each department within the college

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation held its first Departmental Alumni Recognition event on April 13 to honor an outstanding alum from each department within the college.

Recognized during the ceremony were: Accounting – Adele Jasion; Finance – Darren Munn; IOTM – Otto Steele; Management – Christine Menard; and Marketing and International Business – Russell Ely.

“Each of these individuals is a tremendous representative of our college,” noted COBI Dean Gary Insch, “We established this new award to thank them for their commitment to the UT College of Business and to congratulate each of them on their professional success…all built upon what they learned here at COBI.”

The department chair from each represented area introduced the recipient, who spoke about their favorite memories of their time at UT and about their business success.

“This recognition is an incredible honor for me," Adele Jasion said. "I am truly humbled and appreciative of the acknowledgement of my professional, community and personal achievements. I remain connected to the UT College of Business because I know the students there today will succeed with the same type of support, encouragement and motivation that I received during my days as a UT College of Business student.”

The ceremony was held in the atrium of the Savage & Associates Business Complex.

Learn about the recipients here:

Adele Jasion
Adele Jasion 
Adele Jasion is a proud graduate of the University of Toledo with a BBA in accounting and systems. While at UT, Jasion was active in Beta Alpha Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma and Delta Delta Delta sorority. She was also a student Pacemaker award recipient.

Jasion is a founding partner of Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD (GJM). With over 100 professionals, GJM is one of the area’s largest public accounting firms. Jasion specializes in auditing and risk advisory consulting services. Prior to the establishment of GJM in 1996, she started her public accounting career at EY. Jasion works with clients in the public and private sectors in a variety of industries, including manufacturing and distribution, construction, health care, not-for-profit and service industries. She is also in charge of overseeing the firm’s system of quality control and is a quality reviewer in the AICPA’s practice monitoring program.

Jasion is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA), the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), and the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA). She is a Past-President of the Toledo Chapters of the OSCPA and IMA. In addition to holding a CPA certificate, she also has a Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) and is a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).

Jasion is committed to supporting the local community. She has been active on many local Boards, and is a past 20 Under 40 recipient. Currently, she is involved on the Boards of the Toledo-Lucas County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Library Legacy Foundation, the Stranahan Theatre and the Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union, along with the Metroparks Audit Committee. Jasion is also a survivor of a rare cancer known as PMP and is actively involved in a patient support group (PMP Pals) for patients with this cancer. She travels around the country on behalf of the organization to help raise awareness and educate those affected.

Darren Munn
Darren Munn
Darren Munn is Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Camelot Portfolios, LLC and its’ sister companies: Munn Wealth Management, Camelot Funds, & Camelot Advisors. Munn founded what would become Munn Wealth Management when he started his practice in 1998 and created Camelot Portfolios in 2008 as fellow advisors sought out his investment management expertise. He is the Lead Portfolio Manager for two mutual funds started and advised by Camelot Funds: Camelot Premium Return Fund and Excalibur Small Cap Income Fund.

Munn graduated Summa Cum Laude from the UT College of Business in 1999 with a major in finance and a minor in business law. He earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2002.
Munn’s passion is to make an impact in the lives of others, especially in the areas of financial stewardship, developing young people, and helping those in need. He serves dozens of ministries and organizations with gifts of time, talent, and treasure.

Munn’s greatest area of impact is his family. He and his wife Erin have 9 children and 1 grandchild, and he is happy playing with, teaching, training, and mentoring them. Darren and Erin love to travel together and hope to visit one new country plus one new state each year.
Munn enjoys competitive volleyball and softball; loves to listen to music and wishes he could dance. He also enjoys watching Ohio State football, watching movies, and relaxing by a fire.

Otto Steele
Otto Steele
Otto Steele is a Global Components Supply Chain Optimization Leader who works at Owens Corning, where he helps to enable its supply chain to provide exceptional customer experiences while utilizing their world class capabilities.

Steele has a passion for inspiring the careers of students at the University of Toledo. Over the past ten years, he has mentored past and current COBI students through speaking engagements, offering career services and recruiting for Owens Corning. Through his recruiting efforts, he has helped start the careers of many University of Toledo COBI supply chain students.

Steele has worked at Owens Corning for the past thirteen years in all areas of supply chain. Through the years, he has been involved in sales and operations planning, material planning, warehousing, sourcing, production scheduling, customer operations, inventory management and multiple ERP deployments.
Steele is a strong advocate for education and personal development. He has been an active member of Toledo APICS chapter for over 20 years; has led APICS CPIM certification review courses and instructed part-time at the University of Toledo.

Steele holds a bachelor’s degree in business in operations management and information systems from the University of Toledo. He is CPIM certified through APICS and is CPM certified through ISM, and he is the professional chair of the University of Toledo’s Supply Chain Advisory Board.

Christine Menard
Christine Menard
Christine Menard has almost 15 years of HR experience including over a decade in the financial industry (primarily global asset management, institutional and real estate investment). Prior to joining Oppenheimer Funds in 2013, Menard spent most of her career at UBS Global Asset Management starting as a HR Manager in New York and Connecticut serving the global real estate investment business and then as Director of HR Performance, Reward & Analytics in London, England, where she led a global team of HR officers to deliver the division’s performance management, talent, compensation and promotion cycle. She has also worked in recruitment and HR management at GE Commercial Finance in California, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and Danaher.

At OppenheimerFunds, Menard began in Colorado as a HR Relationship Manager for the Transfer Agent and Global Operations, where she drove and aligned business initiatives with HR strategy among various HR functions (Learning & Development, Talent Acquisition, Compensation, HR Operations, etc.). She now serves Technology and Global Operations through Organizational Development & Learning. In this role she advises and serves in areas such as leadership, transformation, talent, and performance management.

As Vice President on the TIED (Talent, Inclusion, Engagement, Diversity) board of directors, Menard focuses on diversity and inclusion business challenges and solutions to positively impact employees, markets, customers and shareholders. TIED is a global diversity leadership roundtable that engages organizations with a Colorado presence in collaborative dialogue about diversity, inclusion, employee engagement, business resource groups, recruitment, retention, and career/leadership development initiatives. She is also an active volunteer with the Blind Institute of Technology (BIT), which prepares the visually impaired and the employers who hire them for success in the workplace.

Menard was recognized by ICC in 2015 as a HR Disrupter and was given the opportunity to challenge a room full of 300+ HR professionals to put the “human” back in HR. She has received her Senior Professional in HR certification (SPHR) and holds a Bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of Toledo in human resource management and organizational development with a minor in marketing.
Russell Ely
Russell Ely
Russell Ely is currently Director of Business Development for Palmer Conservation Consulting, an energy conservation consultancy, where he has been for five years. Prior to that he was an analyst, OEM at Libbey Owens Ford (now NSG/Pilkington); K-12 marketing manager at Siemens; and branch manager, Toledo, at Johnson Controls.

Ely obtained a certification in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Accredited Professional (LEED AP); from the US Green Building Council (USGBC); is a Certified Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP) from the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE).

While at UT he was a VP of Student Government; freshman camp director at the University YMCA; VP of Inter Fraternal Council; active with Sigma Phi Epsilon; a faculty advisor (as MBA Intern to Sonny Ariss & Bill Ruud) to Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs (ACE).

Ely served as the College of Business Alumni Affiliate President in the late 1980’s; served on the UT Alumni Association Board in the 1990’s, including as president in 1996-97; and hosted the UT Alumni Association’s first international alumni event celebrating the UT Sailing Club’s successful competition in the International Collegiate Sailing Regatta, La Rochelle, France, 2015.

His volunteer work includes: at UT: being a mentor with the UT Chapter of National Science Foundation’s I-Core Program; the UT Foundation Development Committee. In his profession he has volunteered with US Green Building Council (USGBC) Toledo Chapter, Founding Member; Energy Services Coalition (national board); the Society of Automotive Engineers, Detroit Section Vice-Chair; Automotive Marketing Research Council (national board member); and Sales and Marketing Executives, Detroit. In the community he has volunteered with the Toledo Area Chamber of Commerce, FOCUS (Family Outreach Community United Services) and the Boy Scouts of America.