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.”