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.

UT College of Business and Innovation presents the 2017 Student Pacemakers

Abdul Faiz Ahmed
Abul Faiz Ahmed
Abul Faiz Ahmed is the recipient of this year’s EMBA Student Pacemaker Award.  He graduated with a perfect 4.0 grade point average and considers himself to be an entrepreneurial physician.  He is involved with patient care, teaching, research and was a television program producer at one point.  He is the CEO of a start-up, Tranzamon, and was a participant in this year’s College of Business and Innovation’s Advanced Leadership Academy.  He is by profession a physician, but admits that by heart, he is a musician, a composer and a songwriter. He writes original poetry in three languages - Bengali, English and Japanese and has to date published 8 books in Bengali.  Manuscripts of two English novels and one English short story book are in process.  Dr. Ahmed’s future goal is to become a social engineer, bringing change in society through entrepreneurial  activities and innovations. He has a strong interest in leadership development to serve our community.

Abdulmonem Alfadhel
Abdulmonem Alfadhel
Monem is a senior with a double major in Information Systems and Supply Chain Operations Management.  He currently has a 3.93 grade point average, has been actively involved in APICS and AITP.  He is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi and has consistently appeared on the Dean’s List and President’s List.  He will be interning with Fiat Chrysler this summer, for the third time, showing that has demonstrated the right leadership and business skills to apply what he has learned at UT.  Prior to enrolling at UT, Monem directed and monitored projects and activities for major banking, telecom, and manufacturing corporations in Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Elizabeth Bates
Elizabeth Bates
Elizabeth, a first generation student, is a senior majoring in both Finance and Accounting and has a cumulative grade point average of 3.656.  She has been active in the social sorority, Alpha Chi Omega, where she has served as Vice President of Finance and Fundraising Chair. She is a member of Beta Alpha Psi and has been inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma.   Elizabeth is a peer mentor for the College’s career courses and has been an attendant for UT’s Online Blackboard Help Desk.  She is a recipient of the Rocket Scholar Award, a Gruenberg Scholarship, a Tillotson Award, a Molter Scholarship and the Sullivan Scholarship.   In addition, she was a shift leader at Hardee’s and the Statistician/State Advisor for the Genoa Wrestling Club. This summer she will be an Audit Intern at Rehmann.  

Malachi Benesh
Malachi Benesh 
Malachi has been awarded the Masters of Science Accounting’s Student Pacemaker Award.  He has a perfect 4.0 grade point average and has served as a graduate assistant this year.  He was a co-valedictorian at Belmont College and graduated summa cum laude from Ohio University Eastern.  While at OU Eastern he organized the first OUE Shark Team and was a student assistant to the Bachelor of Science in Applied Management Coordinator.  He was twice an accounting/tax intern at William Knox, CPA.  He is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Tau Sigma Honor Society and was named the Outstanding Applied Management Student Award Recipient at OUE.  Malachi is a member of the College of Business and Innovation’s Advanced Leadership Academy.  He was born in a small town along the Ohio River in the Appalachian foothills and someday plans to open his own firm, explore other entrepreneurial ventures and eventually return home and become a leader in the community.  

Dana Breese
Dana Breese
The Accounting Department has chosen Dana Breese as a Senior Student Pacemaker.  She has a current grade point average of 3.670 and is involved with Alpha Kappa Psi, where she has been Vice President of Membership and is the current President of Beta Alpha Psi.  She was a member of the inaugural Klar Leadership Academy, has been a student planner for a “Meet the Accountants” event and is involved with the Accounting Mentor Program.   Dana has been an intern at Gilmore Jasion Mahler and Pricewaterhouse Coopers and has volunteered with the Toledo Food Bank, the VITA Tax Preparation Program and Food for Thought.  She is a recipient of the Rockets Scholar Award, a UT Legacy Award, a CFMA Scholarship and has consistently appeared on the College’s Dean’s List.

Hala Abou-Dahech
Hala Abou-Dahech
Hala was selected by the Management Department as one of its student Pacemakers.  She is majoring in Human Resources and has a double minor in Marketing and International Business with a grade point average of 3.99.  She is actively involved in SHRM and is currently the president of that organization.  In addition she is a Searles Ambassador, and a member of this year’s Klar Leadership Academy, a member of UT’s Muslim Student Association, and UT’s FAA.  She has been involved in Drives for Syrian Refugees, is the Founder of Young Women for Change, a volunteer professional development facilitator and has done refugee tutoring.     She is a recipient of the Top Junior Student in HR, the Jefferson Award for Public Service and the Roger Elrod HR Scholarship.  In addition she is a recipient of the Valerie Napieralski Leadership Award, a Huntington Bank Scholarship, a Fifth Third Bank Scholarship, a UT Honors Award and the Shousher Arab American Scholarship and has consistently appeared on the President’s and Dean’s Lists.  Hala has been employed by ProMedica since 2014 and has been promoted from intern to HR Assistant.  In 2015, she received ProMedica’s Give Them a Hand Award, in recognition of excellence in HR.

Grant Horlamus
Grant Horlamus
Grant is a Junior with a major in International Business and Marketing and a minor in Information Systems Technology.  He currently holds a 3.82 grade point average, is a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, Pi Kappa Alpha, the American Marketing Association, the International Business Association, Lift-off UT, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.  His service activities include being a basketball coach for the Special Olympics program, participated in a church service trip, the Y.E.S. Project and was a marketing director for the German American Festival.  Grant has appeared on the President’s List and consistently shown up on the Dean’s List, is a recipient of the Regents Scholar Award and the Patricia Ann Sullivan Award.  He was a National & Global Partnerships Intern in Washington, D.C., a customer service rep at Dana and currently can be seen distributing samples at Costco in Perrysburg.

Jessica Knepper
Jessica Knepper
Jessica Knepper is a senior major in Accounting with a minor in Information Systems and has a grade point average of 3.988.  She has been the Secretary and Social Chair of the Institute of Management Accountants, a Tutor for Student Athlete Academic Services and the Treasurer of 1girl.  Jessica is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, has consistently appeared on the President’s List and will be inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma this Sunday.  She has been a volunteer tax preparer and is a current Tax Intern at Gilmore Jasion Mahler.  She is also employed by Harshman Home Services in a position which allows her to put the skills she has learned at the College of Business and Innovation into practice.

Gabriella LeMaster
Gabriella LeMaster
Gabrielle LeMaster is a senior with a dual major in Professional Sales and Marketing.  She boasts a 3.857 cumulative grade point average, has appeared consistently on the Dean’s List and has been heavily involved with volunteer activities such as Job Fair Volunteer, Volunteer Note Taker, Judges Room Volunteer for the National Sales Competition, Feed my Starving Children, Elderly Care, and Volleyball Coach and Athlete.  Gabriella was a Junior Sales Competitor, a semi-finalist in the UT International Sales Competition in 2016 and plans to participate in the 2017 National Sales Competition.  She has served internships as a 3M Frontline Sales Intern and also as a Frontline Marketing Intern. Interestingly, as a 10 year old, Gabriella was on a dance team that was selected to go to Washington, DC and perform in front of George W. Bush, his staff and the ambassadors of other countries.

Jesseca Perkins
Jesseca Perkins
Jesseca, is an Honors Student, is a junior in Human Resources, minoring in Marketing with a 3.8 grade point average.  She has been an officer in the International Business Association, and is the founder and president of High Impact.  She participated in a Clearwater Beach Summer Mission and is a two-time NRHH Nominee.  At UT, she was a peer mentor and a Resident Advisor.  Currently, she is interning at the Toledo Zoo as an HR Recruiting Coordinator.

Teresa Rodriguez
Teresa Rodriguez
Teresa was chosen by the Department of Applied Organizational Technology as their Student Pacemaker.  She carries a grade point average of 3.81 and is specializing in the field of business management technology.  Teresa was a member of the Latino Youth Summit Committee, the Ballet Folkolorico Imagenes Mexicanas, was a cheerloading coach at Whiteford High School and is a board member of the Northington Condominium Association.  Following many years of working in the University’s Counseling Center, she now works in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at The University of Toledo, where she is a member of the Leadership Team.
Patrick Ryan
Patrick Ryan
This year the recipient of the Dean’s Student Pacemaker Award is Patrick Ryan.   Patrick holds a 3.96 grade point average and is pursuing a double major – professional sales and supply chain management.  He is the current president President of Sigma Phi Epsilon, is heavily involved in Pi Sigma Epsilon, the Bridge, the Student Wellness Awareness Team, is a presidential ambassador, a Sales School Ambassador and a member of the Order of Omega.  He has participated in the PSE National Convention, the Undergraduate Interfraternity Institute, Future’s Quest, the Quicken Loans Sales Competition and Tent City.  He has been awarded the Traqos Quest to Greece, second place at internal Sales Competition, the Dean Parks Outstanding Commitment to Service and was the Mortar Board Underclassman of the Year.  Patrick has internshipped with Owens-Corning, 3M and Seelio.  His list of volunteer activities is extensive and includes the Cherry Street Mission, RockeTHON, the BIG event, Champions are Readers, Boys and Girls Club of Toledo, Relay for Life, Food for Thought and Wrap-up Toledo, to name a few.
Jordan Spellis
Jordan Spellis
The Finance Department has chosen Jordan Spellis as its Junior Student Pacemaker of the Year.  Jordan is double majoring in Finance and Accounting and has a grade point average of 3.679.  He is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, a recipient of the Charles Sullivan Scholarship, the Rodger Skilliter Scholarship and an Honors Award.  He has internship experience with Max Dorfmeister & Co. and Northwestern Mutual.  He is a Springfield Youth Baseball Coach, has been involved with Ohio DECA and is a member of the College’s Student Managed Portfolio team.  He is employed at Art Van Furniture where he received the honor of the Art Van X-Factor Award by demonstrating great work ethic and customer service.

Brad Spelman
Brad Spelman
Brad is a senior double majoring in Information Systems and Accounting.  His grade point average is 3.73 and he is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the current president of the Association of IT Professionals, a member of the Ball State IS Competition Team, and the UT Football Team where he serves on the Leadership Council.  He was a member of the inaugural Klar Leadership Academy last year.   He is also involved with College Christian Creed, Campus Bible Fellowship and the Church Volleyball League.  Brad was a nominee for the Wuerfell Trophy given by the NCAA, was a member of the All State AFCA Good Works Team, is an Academic All MAC, on the Commissioner’s List for the MAC and received the James Findlay Community Service Award in 2016.  He has served an internship at Owens-Corning, was a site coordinator for United Way’s free tax preparation program and is an active participant in many community service outreach events in Toledo.  This summer he will be an IS intern with Owens-Illinois.
Alejandro Vera
Alejandro Vera
Alejandro is this year’s MBA Student Pacemaker.  He holds a perfect 4.0 grade point average and is double majoring in Marketing Salesforce Leadership and Information Systems.  He received his BBA from UT also and was very active on campus, being involved in numerous honor societies and greek organizations.   He received many awards, including the  Multicultural Leader of the Year, the Big Man on Campus Award and the Brother of the Year Award.  In 2016, Alejandro served as the Assistant Team Coach for the Sales School’s National Collegiate Sales Competition where he coached both the individual and the team that were awarded First Place.  He is a graduate of the College’s Advanced Leadership Academy.  In 2016, he participated in the National Collegiate Sales Competition where he was awarded First Place in the Individual category at the Grad level and also was a member of the Grad Team that placed first in this same competition.  He recently was an Assistant Team Coach for the team that won the UT Invitational Sales Competition.  During the summer of 2016, he participated in an AFLAC Summer Internship on Wall Street in New York.  Prior to that he was a B2C Sales Intern with the Sherwin-Williams Company.  In the summer of 2014, Alejandro rode a bicycle for 850 miles, across the entire State of Florida, to raise awareness for people with disabilities.

Monday, March 20, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

“That touched me.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COBI team wins national invitational sales competition it hosted

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Several COBI faculty members have research published in major journals

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

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

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

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

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

COBI freshman wins International Franchising Association scholarship

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

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

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

Maria Bohrer

Bohrer and Doc Cohen

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

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

The scholarship competition required submission of a business plan.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Real Leadership is theme of 2017 KeyBank Global Leaders Forum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UT students helping to feed families in hurricane-ravaged Haiti

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recent COBI professional sales grad receives prestigious award quickly on new job

Recognition for doing a great job is something most employees greatly appreciate.

For John White, who majored in professional sales and marketing at COBI, one significant employer award did not take long for him to achieve.

White graduated from UT COBI in December, 2015, was hired at Federated Insurance and entered their 8-month training program in Minnesota in February, 2016. Upon completion, he took his first field position in Northeast Ohio last September.  

John White
Within his first 90 days, he won the company’s sought-after Monthly Leadership Council award.

“I am so proud of John and his early efforts,” noted Tim Frecker, Federated’s District Marketing Manager, Northern Ohio. “This is a big deal as only two marketing representatives out of almost 60 win this award.  For John to do it in his first 60-90 days in the field is simply remarkable, particularly in a business-to-business, outside sales role.” 

“It was awesome to see all the work I have been putting in come to fruition,” White said.  “The award was given to me in December, but it was earned in the three months prior when I was out making calls and working 65 hour weeks. Monthly Leadership Council is an award given out once a month to the top two performing marketing representatives in each region across the country, so it is a huge honor to be recognized.  All the reward did for me was make me even more hungry.  Now not only do I know I am capable of being at the top, but I have set a standard for myself in the eyes of my peers and my management team to do great things.”

White said the best part about his career is the culture at Federated. 

“Federated is hands down the most competitive environment I have ever been a part of.  As soon as I roll out of bed in the morning I can’t wait to get out the door and go make an impact,” he said.  “I believe so much in the product we sell, and I know my counterparts across the country feel the same way, no matter the territory.  Federated has so many different ways of rewarding their marketing representatives that you sometimes lose track.  Our leadership team does an outstanding job of keeping us motivated to grow our book of business and reach our company incentives, and once you reach those goals you are rewarded in the biggest of ways.  Once you get in here, you simply don’t want to leave.”

“Along with the financial rewards, this position allows the employee the most flexibility and freedom,” he explained. “I absolutely love the position I am in. My focus is on hitting my annual goals and earning recognition within the company, so that is what is next for me.”

“I came to UT as a journalism major in August, 2011,” White recalled.  “I sat down with my parents one evening over winter break during my sophomore year and we talked about the job outlook for a journalism major from UT, and I immediately changed my major to sales and marketing.  When I enrolled in the College of Business, I was unaware of how prestigious our sales program was.  I was fortunate enough to have a good group of friends around me and they turned me on to Pi Sigma Epsilon, the school’s sales and marketing fraternity.  PSE had an immediate impact on me, and had it not been for that organization I would not be where I am today.  Being able to see the amount of success that flowed out of that program made me realize that I was in the right spot, and sales was going to be the right fit for me.”

“The best thing COBI did for me was give me exposure to hundreds of companies and recruiters through career fairs, mock interviews, sales competitions, class speakers and more,” White said.  “Deirdre Jones and her team do a phenomenal job of networking to market their ‘product,’ which is you as the student.  The amount of opportunities that are available to you at COBI are astronomical, and you would be foolish to not go out and make them work.  Being able to travel the country and compete in competitions for UT and Pi Sigma Epsilon gave me a confidence about my craft that is extremely necessary in order to be effective out here in the real world.”

“John’s outstanding work ethic and his quick response to coaching have him off to a blazing start,” Frecker said. “Myself and Federated are so thankful to Deirde Jones and all other faculty of the COBI marketing and professional sales program for developing winners like John.” 

UT College of Business and Innovation again offers Export Success program to area businesses to help them enter new markets

The University of Toledo’s College of Business and Innovation (COBI) is again partnering with United Parcel Service (UPS) and the U.S. Commercial Service to provide area small and medium-sized businesses access to experts who will help their company enter new markets through the Export Success program.

 Beginning in April, 2017, Export Success participants meet monthly for nine months in specialized sessions covering relevant topics based on an understanding of current members’ needs. The program then helps companies develop plans to improve their business’ supply chain, identify talent, understand export financing, and develop market entry strategies.

“Businesses today function on an international platform,” noted COBI Dean Gary Insch. “Facilitating existing or new exporters to enter foreign markets benefits all of Northwest Ohio.”

 “Companies often recognize that expanding to international markets is something they should do. We make it easier for them to do this, because we have the experts who will show them how to proceed. Furthermore, we provide them with all the criteria for success, whether they have a manufactured product or intellectual property.”

 “Export Success not only assists companies that are planning to conduct international business, but it also works with businesses already doing business globally who are looking for ways to expand their international presence, ” noted Debbe Skutch, Director of UT’s Center for Family & Privately-Held Business and Export Success Program Coordinator. “Furthermore, Export Success not only provides information, but actually matches local manufacturing companies with foreign markets."

 Chad Gottschalk, Bionix Development Corporation, said “Export Success provided a great learning experience and fantastic networking opportunities for myself and other members within our organization. It is always great to be a part of something where different members of a community bring collective thinking to the table. Every session provided a wealth of knowledge that helped me bring new ideas back to the office and apply them to my day-to-day activities.”

Export Success participants also have access to the SBDC Export Assistance Network, which provides free export assistance services to small- and medium-sized businesses. Services include market research; an examination of their culture, finances and resources to make sure they are ready to export; locating sources of funding, such as a loan or grant; export compliance education; cultural and language assistance; export documentation; and logistics.

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

 A limited number of grant and funding opportunities are available. For more information, you can download a registration form at, or call the UT COBI Center for Family and Privately-Held Business at 419.530.2068.

COBI sponsors seventh annual business innovation competition for UT community

University of Toledo students, faculty and staff who have a great business idea may win up to $10,000 to help make their idea a reality in the seventh annual business innovation competition sponsored by the UT College of Business and Innovation (COBI). Entries are due February 27, 2017.
“The first six years of the business competition were a remarkable success as COBI received dozens of entries from across UT campuses,” said Dr. Sonny Ariss, Chair of the COBI management department.  “We are expecting another tremendous array of entries this year and trust the contest will continue to advance a creative culture of growth in all areas of the University” 

“Evidence of the extensive appeal of this annual competition is found in the fact that the first place winner of last year’s competition was a UT music major, Mackenzie Miller, who claimed the $10,000 prize for her custom trumpet business, Miller Handcraft,” Dr. Ariss noted.

COBI Dean Gary Insch said, “This annual business plan competition truly reflects our emphasis on supporting innovation, fostering creative thinking and nurturing the entrepreneurial environment which is so essential for the economic growth of this region.”

Dr. Ariss explained, “Entrepreneurship is not only for people who want to start a business. Corporate America also looks for innovative thinking from their employees, so intrapreneurship within the corporate business structure remains important. This is demonstrated by the fact that the college continues to have corporate partners - - Owens-Illinois, PNC Bank and Chuck & Ann Hodge - - who contribute prize money for the winners of this competition.”

Dr. Ariss said competition entries must be submitted using Lean Launch Pad concepts which enables people to develop their business model upon nine basic building blocks: customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key activities, key partnerships and cost structure.

“As we have every year, COBI is again ready to offer guidance to help these teams effectively implement their plans, emerge beyond the University, create jobs and enhance area economic growth,” Dr. Ariss added.

There is no cost to enter the competition. Registration must be completed online. Winners must prove that they have formed an LLC or S Corp in order to receive a financial award.

The College of Business and Innovation at The University of Toledo is providing the following prize money:
• First place: $10,000 (sponsored by O-I)
• Second place: $5,000 (sponsored by Chuck and Ann Hodge Business Plan Competition Fund)
• Third place: $2,000 (sponsored by PNC Bank)
• Honorable Mention: $500 (sponsored by PNC Bank)

The timeline for the 2017 competition is:
         Those planning to enter the competition are invited to attend a workshop session which will be offered on Monday, February 6, 2017 from noon to 1 p.m. in the PNC Entrepreneurship Lab, Room 3100, Savage & Associates Business Complex
         Entries must be submitted by Monday, February 27, 2017
         Finalists will be announced on Friday, March 24, 2017
         Finalists will make an oral presentation about their business using the business model canvas on April 13, 2017 between noon and 5:30 p.m. in the PNC Entrepreneurship Lab, Room 3100, Savage & Associates Business Complex
         Winners will be announced April 20, 2017

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