Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Klar Leadership Academy students participate in event to feed the poor during the holidays

Natalie Zerucha, left, COBI student and participant in the COBI Klar Leadership Academy, is seen here with Max Lambdin, Senior VP of Mission Advancement, Cherry Street Mission. Klar Academy students helped assemble and distribute meals this fall at four locations, including The University of Toledo. 

Message from the Dean

We are proud to congratulate the approximately 300 COBI students who participated in the fall commencement ceremonies on December 17. All best wishes to all of you, and may your futures shine bright. Special applause for the 20 members of our Executive MBA program’s 21st cohort, who had their own graduation ceremony on December 14.   These brave souls earned their MBA in our 12-month, accelerated program, which is an amazing accomplishment and will prove extremely valuable throughout their careers.

Speaking of amazing, ever since I started teaching here in 2003, I have known that The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation is a remarkable place. We teach. We learn. We inspire. We are inspired. We change lives. As we approach the end of 2017, join us in again celebrating some of the tremendous achievements of the College, our faculty and our students:

- Bloomberg has ranked UT COBI in the top 100 Best Undergraduate Business Schools in the nation.

- Eduniversal, headquartered in Paris, a global academic ranking and rating agency specializing in higher education, issued their latest rankings, with UT COBI’s programs ranked (in North America) as:
- #30 Human Resources Management
- #37 Marketing and Professional Sales
- # 35 Masters of Business Administration
- # 47 Executive MBA

- Additionally, COBI’s Master in Supply Chain Management ranked number 93 in Eduniversal’s worldwide Supply Chain and Logistics standings.

- For the third year in a row, COBI’s current job placement rate for undergraduates is 93%.

- We continue to emphasize leadership, both while in college and beyond, through our Center for Leadership and Organizational Excellence, the Klar Leadership Academy and the Advanced Leadership Academy. Furthermore, hundreds of business and community leaders attended the KeyBank Global Leaders Forum where they learned from CEO’s of major companies from across the country.

- We are still celebrating the fact that Alan and Karen Barry donated $1 million to establish an endowed professorship in accounting, and we again thank them for their tremendous generosity.

- We again applaud Gary Thieman, who received his bachelor's degree in Business Administration, finance  from COBI in 1971, who was the recipient of the College of Business and Innovation Outstanding Alumnus Award for 2017.

- We were excited and honored to again work with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Toledo Assembly Complex to provide training for many of their workers, in this case those who are building the new Jeep Wrangler.

- Professional sales students from 30 universities across the United States came to the University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation to compete in the second annual University of Toledo Invitational Sales Competition (UTISC), which was won by the team from the team from the COBI Edward H. Schmidt School of Professional Sales (ESSPS).

- 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.

- Graduates of UT COBI’s Ph.D. in Manufacturing and Technology Management are obtaining key positions at major universities, including David Dobrykowski, who is now Director of the Supply Chain Management Institute at Bowling Green State University;  Nehemiah Scott, who is now on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Nitya Singh, now on the faculty of Salisbury University in  Maryland.

- COBI is one of the major sponsors of “Business 360,” which premiered in May on WGTE-TV30, helping to educate the community about the dynamic business activities taking place in this region.

- UT COBI was again a sponsor, with the Bowling Green State University College of Business, of the Women in Leadership Conference, which was attended by more than 600 people.

- The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation Gamma Eta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi received the Chapter of the Year Award at the AKP national convention in Law Vegas this summer.
Of course, there is more…much more. (You can read about many of them at our website (link) or on our blog (link). The above list of achievements from this past year are just a sampling of the amazing things that happen in COBI every day, every week, every semester, every year.

I also want to extend my best wishes to you for a wonderful, happy holiday season and an incredible new year.

Go Rockets!!
Interim Dean Hassan HassabElnaby 

COBI alumni receive industry recognitions

Congratulations to two UT COBI alumni recently received professional recognitions in their fields.

Heidi Joy Harnegie

Tyler Robert McKean
Heidi Joy Harnegie, Director of Sales Operations at Buckeye Broadband, was recognized by Cablefax as one of the best and brightest Overachievers Under 30. These awards honor the people working hard to do big things, enhance the industry and make their dreams come true.

Harnegie was honored at Cablefax’s fourth annual event in New York in December  Cablefax’s Overachievers Under 30 honors today’s rising stars working in the fast-paced worlds of cable, broadcast, tech and digital, including brands like Global Mediacom, Cisco, Viacom, TURNER, CNBC, Comcast and MTV.  Heidi graduated Summa Cum Laude with a sales degree from University of Toledo.

"During my time at UT (2006-2011), my passion for business & change management was ignited," Harnegie said. 

"In addition to Deirdre Jones, (Director, Edward Schmidt School of Professional Sales), I’m grateful for the mentorship and guidance I received from:
Professor Isenhath- your class environment was stellar, I loved hearing about your experience. It made the topics come to life.
Dr. Mallin- I remember your ability to simplify and explain sales processes with an endless amount of patience.
Dr. Pullins- you were the toughest in role plays but you taught me resilience and tenacity which has been a game changer in my career.

Thank you for your commitment and leadership, you have made a lasting impact on my career."

Tyler Robert McKean, a financial advisor, was recognized as one of Forbes America's Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors, 2017.

McKean, who graduated with a finance degree from UT, is an Accredited Wealth Management Advisor (AWMA). Forbes America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors criteria is based on age, quality of practice, industry experience, compliance record, assets under management, revenue and interviews by SHOOK Research.

COBI Fall 2017 grad prepared for position at Constellium Automotive

Cornelius Crawford was excited to graduate at the end of fall semester, 2017. As of January, he will begin his full-time position as a purchasing manager for Constellium Automotive in Michigan, a supplier for companies such as Chrysler, GM and Tesla.

“This is exactly what I wanted to do,” he said.

Cornelius Crawford
“In high school at Central Catholic, I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” Crawford said. “One minute I wanted to go to college, but didn’t know what I wanted to major in; one minute I wanted to go into the military, because my father was in the navy for four years. When I figured out that I wanted to go to college, I didn’t know what I wanted to study, but I knew I wanted to be successful, and I knew I wanted to do something within business. I love money, and I am  extremely competitive. What attracted me to the University of Toledo and business is because I knew I wanted to go into the automotive industry. It is competitive, aggressive, and there is a lot going on. After I did my research, I knew I wanted to go into supply chain.”  

“My favorite class was Principles of Manufacturing because I interned at the Jeep plant, so a lot of what I learned I actually used. I do enjoy cars, the excitement of the automotive industry; it’s a lot of problem solving. That was an all day, every day thing, constantly solving problems, and that’s what interests me. I started at Jeep in the summer of 2016, and they asked me to come back for the summer of 2017.”

“I worked with the COBI Business Career Programs office beginning in my sophomore year, attended every career fair,” Crawford said.  “Constellium was at the job fair, and I spoke to the recruiters, who saw that I had experience in the automotive field.”

“I want to pursue a masters because a bachelors degree is just not enough. A mentor often told me, ‘Don’t get comfortable.’ I didn’t understand it at first, but the more I progressed, I understood why, because I fell in love with achieving goals and going to the next level. The sky’s the limit, and I try to be the best I can be.”

“My success coaches here at UT were a huge support system. They saw that I wanted to do it, and they showed me the structure to do it. You could go to their office any time, I received emails and text messages of support. Here in COBI Craig Turner in the Business Careers Program office really helped me with the career fairs, helped me with my resume, how to conduct myself in a business way. I have had nothing but good experiences here. “

“I see why time is precious, because whatever it is you want, if you can put in the time, block out other things, the reward is much bigger and you feel ten times better.  It’s all about putting in the time, and setting your mind to it: I will understand it, I will get it, I will pass it, he said."

“If someone was looking at the UT College of Business, I would recommend it 100%. The College of Business here gives you so many opportunities to figure out what you want to do. COBI has all the different clubs and organizations, the business fraternities, the career fair, the business luncheon; you can come here and talk to an advisor to find your niche.  Take advantage of the opportunities. I promise you will grow. You can’t fail. All of the resources are right here in front of you, it’s just a matter of you doing it!”

Center for Family Business celebrates 25th anniversary

The University of Toledo Center for Family & Privately-Held Business celebrated its 25th Anniversary of service to area companies on Tuesday, November 14 at the Toledo Club.

Established in 1992, the UT Center for Family & Privately-Held Business is dedicated to serving the specific needs of family businesses, primarily in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. It received its start due to a generous endowment by The Stranahan Foundation and the continual support of family businesses.
“The fun-filled evening included stories about the past and reflections on the future,” explained Debbie Skutch, Center Director. “We honored Center leadership past, present and future; and had some other fun activities planned. The Center has thrived for 25 years because of our members, sponsors and community partners, and we wanted

to spend the evening celebrating them.”
“We have always strived to be attentive and responsive to the changing needs of our members,” noted Angie Jones, the Center’s Assistant Director. “Their businesses are not static, but always evolving. They change as the economy changes, as world markets shift, and as dynamics change in their own businesses.  We truly believe it is our responsibility to be there with pertinent answers to as many of these issues as we can. We have done that, which is why our members stay with us and new members join us all the time.”
Today, with nearly 200 family businesses as members, the Center membership benefits that include:
•           Attendance at events and forums sponsored by The UT Center for Family & Privately-Held Business
•           Monthly mini-forums available to current member companies only 
•           Interaction with family business peers through affinity group participation
•           Access to local, regional and nationally recognized business experts
Thirteen companies have been members since the Center was established, including The Andersons, The Appliance Center, Gross Electric, Hart, Kuhlman Corporation, Shrader Tire & Oil and Walt Churchill's Market.
Skutch observed, “Over our first 25 years of service, we estimate that the information, resources, programs, networking and more has resulted in a positive impact worth millions of dollars to these regional businesses. The viability of our members is the reward we seek, and together we will continue to make a meaningful difference in their future success.”
At the event, Skutch also announced the new name for the program, the UT Family Business Center.

UT partners with Fiat Chrysler to train Toledo Assembly Complex workers for Jeep Wrangler launch

The University of Toledo College of Business and Innovation has teamed up with the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Toledo Assembly Complex to prepare more than 2,200 workers to build the next generation Jeep Wrangler, launching later this year.

This fall, employees from the Toledo North plant, where the new Wrangler is being built, have been participating in a comprehensive training and launch readiness program known as the “Toledo Way.” The weeklong program included three eight-hour days of hands-on technical training on UT’s Scott Park Campus, a day of community service, and a day devoted to learning about the Jeep brand and time behind the wheel of a Wrangler to experience its off-road capability.

“The University of Toledo is proud of this excellent partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles that enhances our collective efforts to strengthen our community,” UT President Sharon L. Gaber said. “Working together, two of Toledo’s anchor institutions continue to contribute as major forces to the region’s growth and development. People make the difference, and we are providing these hard-working men and women high-level training to succeed for their families and for our region.”

The hands-on activities, developed collaboratively with UT, focused on expanding the employees’ knowledge of and competence in “World-Class Manufacturing,” the company’s manufacturing methodology that aims to eliminate waste while improving quality and safety in a systematic and organized way. The classes were tailored to meet the specific needs of workers in various departments and taught by instructors from UT and Northwest State Community College.

“This training was unprecedented in size and scope,” said Chuck Padden, Toledo Assembly Complex plant manager. “It would have been impossible for us to execute this training while also preparing for an important vehicle launch without the cooperation of the UT and Northwest State Community College staff.

“They not only provided us with a location large enough to hold these classes, but enhanced our curriculum by developing unique hands-on activities that would engage our employees,” Padden said. “We believe this experience has given our Toledo workforce the necessary tools to ensure a successful launch of the Wrangler.”

Production, salaried and skilled trades employees cycled through the training in shifts of 180 people six days a week. The course curriculum included classes on quality, safety, problem solving and workplace organization, and the way in which parts are delivered to an operator on the line. In one class on logistics, the Toledo employees used Legos to build a car, simulating the importance of on-time parts delivery to the line.

“The UT College of Business and Innovation is pleased and excited to deliver this important training program for more than 2,200 employees at Toledo’s Jeep manufacturing facilities,” said Dr. Hassan HassabElnaby, interim dean of the UT College of Business and Innovation. “Jeep is one of America’s most iconic brands, and the College of Business and Innovation, as one of Bloomberg’s top 100 business schools in the nation, is proud to be their educational partner. We are committed to their continued success.”

The Toledo Assembly Complex training sessions were led by Dr. Anand Kunnathur, professor in the Department of Information, Operations and Technology Management, and associate dean for special projects in the UT College of Business and Innovation.

This is the second time the Toledo plant has turned to UT for training support. In 2013, the plant worked with the University to prepare the workforce for the launch of the Jeep Cherokee. Since then, UT has delivered training classes directly to skilled trades on the plant floor.

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.”