Category: EMBA Uncategorized

UA Welcomes 10th Huntsville EMBA Class

The University of Alabama and Culverhouse College of Commerce welcomed the 10th Huntsville Executive MBA Class on August 3-5, for orientation and the start of classes. Twenty students make up the HEMBA Class of 2019 representing industries from government, engineering, energy, defense, automotive, retail/services, media, finance and manufacturing.
With an average age of 40 and 14 years average work experience, the class is comprised of 85% managers and 15% vice president, C-level or owners of companies.  Twenty-five percent are military, defense or veterans.

During orientation students are involved in team building activities to help them get to know their new team members and others in their class.
In addition to sessions to help students “get back into school,” they also met with Gary Ward, director of career services for the Manderson Graduate School.  Ward addressed those looking to make a career change or are involved in the hiring process in their current job.  He also covered CareerLeader, a business career self-assessment survey that shows how your interests, skills and motivators match career paths or company cultures.

The night before classes began on August 4, the students took part in the EMBA tradition of the University of Alabama campus Scavenger Hunt.  Students spread out all over campus to take selfies at UA landmarks.

The orientation dinner was hosted by the EMBA Alumni Network Board with President Russell Shamburger (EMBA 2004) welcoming the new HEMBA class. Students had the opportunity to also meet and talk with faculty and class representatives from current classes.

The next day the students began their first semester courses in Accounting, Marketing, Project Management and Statistics.

The class is already hard at work with their first term courses.  “It was a great, well-run orientation,” said Cindy Vigil “So glad to be part of the Class of 2019!”

HEMBA 2019 students strike a Heisman Pose in front of Bryant-Denny Stadium during the EMBA Scavenger Hunt.

The HEMBAs will join the 34th Tuscaloosa class that will start in November 2017 to form the EMBA Class of 2019.

Congratulations to our incoming HEMBA Class of 2019:

  • Rodrigo Gallegos, Electrolux Major Appliances, North America
  • Diana Goss, Dekalb County Economic Development Authority
  • Ray Kolis, Nissan North America
  • Jonathan Lewis, Kord Technologies
  • Stirling Macfarlane, PPG Industries, Inc.
  • John Malloch, Motion Industries
  • Ray Morris, VentureSouth
  • Taylor Nelson, Southern Nuclear Plant Vogtle
  • Nicole Parker, PPG Industries, Inc.
  • Shane Peek, Heil Environmental Company
  • Custis Proctor, Synovus Corporate Banking
  • Cabel Rich, Mars Wrigley Confectionary
  • Scott Staples, Fidelity Investments
  • Shintaro Teranobu, OSG USA, Inc.
  • Joe Thomas, Orascoptic
  • Denise Vickers, WHNT News 19
  • Cindy Vigil, Army Material Command/U.S. Army Reserves
  • John Waltz, Ecolab
  • Tamara Washington, Reckitt Benckiser
  • Cathy White, First Impressions Integrated Marketing

For more information on how you can enroll in the UA EMBA, contact Cheryl Altemara at or call 205.348.4501.

To request information now, click here.

Neptune Technology Partners with MIS Capstone in Developing an App

Eric Satterfield (HEMBA 2016) with the MIS Capstone team

Neptune Technology Group recently partnered with MIS Capstone at the University of Alabama to create an app for the company. The app will help homeowners monitor their water usage at any time, adding value to their relationship with Neptune Technology. Neptune, located in Tallassee, AL, has installed over 25 million water meters in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Eric Satterfield is a business analyst with Neptune Technology and has worked with the company for almost six years.

Satterfield graduated from the Huntsville Executive MBA Program in May 2016. On December 1, MIS Capstone students presented their final plan to Neptune. We spoke with him about the collaboration with MIS Capstone and the goals of the app.

How did Neptune Technology decide to partner with MIS Capstone? 

Dr. Sox realized the MIS Capstone group had some additional bandwidth for projects and simply reached out to our      engineering group here at Neptune.

What was the process like for developing the app?

Very collaborative. Ideas and suggestions were tossed back and forth to develop a high quality product.

What is the main goal of the app?

We want to be able to track a homeowner’s water usage and alert them to possible leaks.

Who do you think will benefit the most from the app?

The greatest benefit is that homeowners will be able to see their water usage on their mobile device.
“It was great working with the Capstone Team. The project consisted of the team working with an existing data model to build dashboards and KPIs based on our user requirements,” said Satterfield.

At the moment, the app is not available on the App Store, but Neptune is working hard to help its consumers get the most of their products, giving them many options and helping them save time, money and labor.

For more information on how your company can partner with The University of Alabama’s Manderson Graduate School of Business contact Connie Chambers, Director of Corporate Partnerships, at (205) 348-4503 or by email at

For more information on the Executive MBA program and how it can benefit you and your company, contact Cheryl Altemara at (205) 348-4501 or

Incoming EMBA Alumni Network President Challenges Alumni to Participate and Grow EMBA

Gary Morrison (TEMBA 2014) and Russell Shamburger (TEMBA 2004) at 2016 EMBA Alumni Network Annual Conference

Greetings fellow EMBA alumni and current EMBA students. It is an honor to represent so many of you and continue to build on all the work that has been done since the Executive MBA Alumni Network Board was formed in 2013.  My first year on the board as Vice President was a great experience and I honestly don’t know where the time went. A special thanks to outgoing President Ben Paulk, Past President Mike Ross and Secretary-Treasurer Beckie Crawford for all the great work they did while serving on the board this past year.

The 2016-2017 Alumni Network Board will focus on three primary goals. The first is a challenge to our alumni to step up their participation in the EMBA Alumni Survey. In 2015 we had a response rate of 24%. In 2017 our goal is to double the response rate to at least 48%. The survey will be finalized in mid-2017 and more communication will follow.

Our second goal is to increase the reach of our alumni database. Staying well informed on all the activities that are going on with our program is very easy thanks to social media. The Executive MBA staff goes to great lengths to make this program a success. Let’s do our part by encouraging our classmates to maintain their contact information with the program. I will be reaching out to the class presidents and vice presidents in the very near future to help us reconnect with our alumni.

The last goal is one that we hope carries over into 2019, which coincides with the 100th Anniversary of the Culverhouse College of Commerce. With our graduating EMBA classes in 2016, the program has a total of 853 EMBA alums. If the program graduates an average of approximately 50 students over the next 3 years, we will reach the milestone of having 1000 alumni graduates. To make this a reality we need to encourage the best and brightest in our industries to pursue their continued education and development as a professional in the EMBA Program. Any alum referring someone who enrolls in the program will receive a special gift.

Another ongoing initiative that we will be working on is encouraging our alumni to fund the Brian A. Rankin Executive MBA Endowed Scholarship. This, our very first EMBA scholarship, will be used to assist students with necessary supplemental funds to aid them in funding their tuition and obtaining their degree. All of these goals are achievable and we thank you in advance for your commitment to the EMBA Program.
Our next event is the EMBA Alumni tailgate on Saturday, November 12th starting at 9am. Please RSVP as soon as you can and we look forward to seeing everyone at the tailgate. In closing, please feel free to reach out to any member of the board or Executive staff with any comments or feedback on how we can continue to make this EMBA Alumni Network board a success.
Roll Tide!
Russell Shamburger (TEMBA 2004), russell.shamburger@gmail.comRussell Shamburger is President of the 2016-2017 EMBA Alumni Club Network Board, and Vice President/Senior Business Process Analyst with Cadence Bank in Birmingham.
For more information on the EMBA Program contact Cheryl Altemara at or call 205.348.4501.

EMBA Program Welcomes Ninth Huntsville Class

With summer winding down and fall just around the corner, many students are getting ready to go back to school. The EMBA Program is no exception and has begun another academic year by welcoming the ninth Huntsville cohort at the UA campus in Tuscaloosa for orientation and their first day of classes.

On Wednesday, August 10, the new class got to know their classmates and teammates better, were instructed on university logistics TEMBAs on Crimson Rideand participated in a campus-wide team-building scavenger hunt. The full day was capped off with a dinner at the Hotel Capstone where the class mingled with professors, staff and alumni. Benjamin Paulk (TEMBA 2012) and Russell Shamburger (TEMBA 2004) represented the EMBA Alumni Network Board.

Following orientation, the students began their first semester classes on Thursday and Friday with Accounting, Statistics, Marketing and Project Management.

This year’s Huntsville class is composed of seasoned professionals from a variety of industries, including defense, healthcare, and manufacturing. Some other industries represented in this year’s cohort are services, telecom and construction. The average age for the Huntsville class is 41, and the average work experience is 19 years, with 12 years being management experience. Sixty-seven percent of the class are managers in their jobs and 20% are C-level/VP/Owners. Twenty-seven percent of the class has military experience, ranging from current active duty to retired service members.

“Although students take classes one weekend a month in Huntsville for twenty-one months beginning in September, it is great to get them on the UA campus to meet faculty and alumni at orientation,” said Director Donna Blackburn. Some HEMBA students in the past haven’t been able to visit the campus, so this is an excellent way to help them fully acquaint themselves with The University of Alabama.

Everyone is excited and ready to get started. The alumni were especially eager to welcome this new class into the program and see them thrive over the next twenty-one months.

The 2018 H-EMBA class are:

Colton Campbell, Otis Elevator Company

Chemeka Dabney, LP Building Products

Daryl Evans, TotalPrint

Lacey Hyche, Oral Arts Dental Laboratories

Eric Janssen, SportMed

Pete Kerr, ADTRAN, Inc

Nancy Laster, Piedmont Healthcare

Brian Lee, Sentry Insulation

Andy Maguire, Tennessee National Guard

Mario McKinnon, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company

John Meshensky, ManTech International

Rachel Smith, WOW! Business

Carl Vasilko, PAE

Tory Wiles, SAIC

Tyler Williams, Parker Hannifin Corporation

For more information on the UA EMBA Program, contact Cheryl Altemara at or call 205-348-4501.

Former EMBA Alumni Network President Named to Top 50 Over 50 in Birmingham

151136_MW_emba_alumni_network_board_membersMike Ross (EMBA 1989) was named to Positive Maturity’s Top 50 Over 50 List.  According to the Birmingham Business Journal, this honor recognizes individuals who are exhibiting a high level of success in their careers, civic engagement or personal lives, as well as making a measurable impact on their communities through their work. “I am honored and humbled to be recognized by an organization such as Positive Maturity,” said Ross, “It’s support of our aging population is a model for us all in terms of the importance of giving back to our fellow man in need.”

The list also includes several high profile civic and business leaders in the Birmingham metro area and celebrities such as the Crimson Tide Radio Network’s own, Eli Gold.  In addition to Ross, other Culverhouse College of Commerce alumni named to the list were retired Community Activist Joel Rotenstreich, and Jeffrey Bayer, President and CEO of Bayer Industries and Culverhouse College of Commerce Board of Visitor member.

“We are thrilled to have Mike recognized for his many contributions,” said Donna Blackburn, Director of UA EMBA Program, “he has always and continues to support and assist our program, students and alumni whenever and wherever needed.” Ross currently serves as the Central Region President and Chief Commercial Officer at Renasant Corporation. Ross was also a finalist for the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2015 CEO of the Year and was named to BHMBIZ Magazine’s list of 205 Influential Executives. He has also been very active with our EMBA Alumni Network, serving on the board as President in 2015 and Past President this year.

For more information on the EMBA Program at The University of Alabama, contact Cheryl Altemara at or call 205.348.4501.

Roll Tide Welcome for Incoming TEMBA Class of 2017

151107_MW_executive_mba_orientation_photosThe Culverhouse College of Commerce welcomed the incoming Tuscaloosa Executive MBA Class of 2017 at orientation on The University of Alabama campus on November 19. The 30 students enjoyed a kickoff reception the night before at Hotel Capstone. Interim Dean Brian Gray welcomed them to campus where they will pursue an M.B.A. degree over the next 17 months.

The incoming TEMBA class has an average age of 35 and 13 years of work experience. Thirty-three percent of the class is female (the average for EMBA Programs worldwide is 27.6 percent, according to the EMBA Council). The class represents a diverse range of industries from finance, government and non-profit, healthcare, manufacturing, defense, consulting, energy, construction, media, services, engineering and technology. In addition, 20 percent are military, 73 percent managers, 10 percent professionals and 20 percent are vice president/c-level/owners.


TEMBA Class of 2017 students in front of UA Manderson Graduate School of Business during the orientation scavenger hunt.

During orientation the students are divided into the teams they will work in during the program. The EMBA forms teams based on several parameters including professional and academic background, skill sets, goals and personality testing. Students had sessions on values, building their team charters, University processes, career development and an introduction to statistics.

Teams also competed in a scavenger hunt later in the day where they sought out campus landmarks for photo ops. “It’s a fun way to get to know the campus and build relationships with their team and classmates,” said Linda Cox, Program Assistant for EMBA.

The orientation concluded with a dinner hosted by the Executive MBA Alumni Network. Network President Ben Paulk greeted the incoming class and congratulated them on their journey. “The EMBA Program is a life changing experience and if you embrace it, the opportunity is there to build a great professional network and to make lasting friendships,” said Paulk.

The students will return to campus December 1 for a week-long immersion to begin their first semester Statistics, Marketing, Accounting and Project Management courses.

Congratulations and Roll Tide TEMBA Class of 2017:

  • Ruqayyah Abdullah, BBVA Compass
  • Michael Adams, Randall-Reilly
  • Katie Askew, The University of Alabama
  • Brady Baird, Summerville United Methodist Church
  • Brett BiaLowas, PPG Industries
  • Jay Brooks II, Tag Grinding
  • Stephen Buzzell, Grammer, Inc.
  • Christie Davis, Northport Police Department
  • Sierra Earle, USAmeriBank
  • Monte Green, McLeod Software
  • Matt Hartley, Chemetall
  • Billy Helmandollar, DCH Health System
  • Mary Scott Hunter, Intuitive Research
  • Doug Lafont, TAMKO Building Products
  • Walt Long, US Air Force, MAFB
  • Anuraag Malaviya, Tata Consultancy Services
  • Frazer McCurdy, ServisFirst Bank
  • Hayley Ray McNeill, The University of Alabama
  • Bridgette Montgomery, VA Medical Center
  • Natasha Moore, Horne LLP
  • Sean O’Brien, UPS
  • Bryan Sanders, DaVita Kidney Care
  • Jason Sellars, The University of Alabama
  • Lilly Setiawan, The Dutch Group
  • Dane Shaw, Arsenal Place Accelerator
  • Ryan Stallings, First South Farm Credit
  • Will Stroup, The  Brogdon Group
  • Josh Vinson, Parallon Business Solutions
  • Beth Webster, Small Business Development Center
  • Rich Winstead, US Navy

For more information on the Executive MBA Program at The University of Alabama contact Cheryl Altemara at or call 205-348-4501 or visit our website at
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UA and EMBA Receive Top Rankings for Veterans

2016_MFS_Logo_200x200For the sixth year, the Culverhouse College of Commerce Executive MBA Program at The University of Alabama has been named a Military Friendly® school by Victory Media. Now in its 13th year for companies and seventh year for post-secondary schools, Victory Media’s Military Friendly® ratings recognize colleges and companies with leading programs for veterans, members of the Armed Forces leaving military service and military spouses. The military currently represents 29% of the entering EMBA class for 2015, up from 25% the year before.

Factors considered in the Military Friendly® school selection process include support for student veterans on campus, graduation and employment outcomes, and military spouse/dependent policies. Daniel Nichols, Chief Product Officer of Victory Media and Navy Reserve veteran adds: “Those earning the 2016 Military Friendly® designation demonstrate a strong connection between classroom learning and career development. They’re moving the needle beyond ‘why recruit military’ to translating military competencies into training and positive employment after graduation.”

To read the full press release, click here. In ad2dition to the University of Alabama being named as one of the 2016 best colleges for veterans by U.S. News and World Report, a new study commissioned by United Services Automobile Association (USAA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes rates Tuscaloosa, Alabama as the top metro area that offers higher education opportunities for veterans.

According to the rankings released November 5, UA received the top ranking due to factors such as having the highest graduation rate among the top 10 and the highest percentage of Post-9/11 Yellow Ribbon recipients. For more information on this year’s criteria click on USAA.

Here’s the full top 10 list:

  1. Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  2. Lynchburg, Virginia
  3. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  4. College Station, Texas
  5. St. Louis, Missouri
  6. Killeen, Texas
  7. Syracuse, New York
  8. Greenville, North Carolina
  9. Salt Lake City, Utah
  10. Columbia, South Carolina

For more information about the UA Executive MBA, contact Cheryl Altemara at 205.348.4501 or request information at

University of Alabama Welcomes HEMBA 2017 Class

150812_MW_emba_classFall on the University of Alabama campus is exciting as new and returning students arrive. There is cooler weather and talk of classes, faculty and football, and not necessarily in that order.  From Denny Chimes to the Bryant-Denny Stadium, from the President’s Mansion to the Ferguson Center (Ferg), from Coleman Coliseum to the Park at Manderson Landing along the Black Warrior River, The University of Alabama is welcoming its students.

On August 12, the Culverhouse College of Commerce greeted the new Huntsville EMBA Class of 2017 with its first orientation at UA. The HEMBA Program began in 2008. In the past, students would take classes on the UAHuntsville campus and only come to Tuscaloosa for graduation. We wanted to do something different this year and have them begin their 21-month, five-semester experience with the Capstone. For many it was their first time on campus.

Freind A pic
Over the two-and-a-half day orientation, the students met with their first semester faculty, participated in team building, and met with the Executive MBA Alumni Board. They also spent time seeing some of the sites and meeting other alumni and students on campus while involved in a team challenge scavenger hunt. They also nailed down the “Rammer Jammer” and “Roll Tide” cheers and are looking forward to a tailgate this fall in T-Town.

Dean Brian Gray (right) welcomes Jimmy Hassan (HEMBA 2017)

The students represent companies such as PPG Industries, ADTRAN, Infosys, Nissan North America, Sikorsky Aircraft, Southern Telecom, Amerex Corporation, the US Army, Northrop Grumman, and the Missile Defense Agency. The defense and manufacturing agencies are hugely represented in this cohort, with 28% and 24% of the students working in them, respectively. Other industries include finance, technology, healthcare/pharmaceutical, retail, telecom, construction, real estate and services.

The class reflects more diversity in terms of educational backgrounds. 43% of the students who just joined the program graduated with undergraduate degrees in engineering, followed by 29% with liberal arts degrees, 19% with business degrees, and 10% with science/math degrees. The average age is 37 with an average of 15 years of work experience. We also have 38% of our students coming from a military background.


Incoming students have goals to develop and further their career, develop business skills, further their mentoring and leadership skills, pursue financial security, own a business, have an impact on their company, become a better manager and motivator, and travel and work abroad.

Please join us in welcoming our HEMBA Class of 2017:

Ryan Burch, Northrop Grumman Corporation

Felicia Craig, Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation

Jason Deane, Nucor Steel

Chuck Freind, Amerex Corporation

Sonya Harner, Nissan North America

Jimmy Hassan, Dayton Superior Corporation

Rodney Hoover, DRS Technology

Shane Jackson, AMRDEC

Ray Morris, VentureSouth

Barry Navarre, Southern Telecom

Gaurav Negi, ADTRAN, Inc.

Phillip Patterson, Stutts Properties, Inc.

Nicole Reynolds, Zero Point Frontiers

Joshua Rountree, Nissan North America

Will Stinson, TotalPrint, DEX Company

Joe Taylor, PPG Industries

Bhuwan Thakur, Infosys Limited

Josh Vinson, Parallon Business Solutions

Dustin Whited, MDA/ECM

Nirvana Williams, ENDO Pharmaceuticals

Matt Zepp, Department of the Army

For more information on the Culverhouse Executive MBA Program, click on EMBA or contact Cheryl Altemara at or call 205.348.4501.

Executive MBA Program’s 30th Anniversary

Dean Michael Hardin honoring Dr. Lonnie Strickland at the Executive MBA 30th Anniversary Reception.

You only turn 30 once. On Friday, April 17th, alumni, faculty, staff and friends gathered to celebrate 30 years of the Executive MBA Program. The event was held on the rooftop of the newly opened Renasant Bank in downtown Tuscaloosa. The weather was perfect as guests networked, caught up with classmates, and met new friends on the patio.

The apex of the evening was the honoring of the EMBA founders by Dean Michael Hardin. Dean Hardin spoke of having the great honor to have known the late Dr. H.H. “Billy” Mitchell (Dean of Culverhouse College of Commerce from 1981 to 1986) and his affection for Culverhouse College of Commerce and The University of Alabama. His son, Billy Mitchell, accepted the award in memory of  his father.  Also honored was Dr. Lonnie Strickland (MBA Director 1982-1986 and current Professor of Strategic Management) and Ms. Gina Johnson (MBA Coordinator 1982-1986). Dr. Strickland praised the “many faculty and staff who have supported and worked so hard to make the program so successful.”

Mike Ross, President of the EMBA Alumni Network.

Host and President of Renasant Bank, Mike Ross said, “It was an honor to have the opportunity to host the event. We had a great turnout, and the crowd seemed to really enjoy the program. Personally, I appreciated the opportunity to communicate to Dr. Strickland just how applicable his curriculum is to everyday decision-making in the banking industry. I also enjoyed having the opportunity to network with so many alumni and current students of the EMBA Program. We are fortunate to have such a quality program at the University of Alabama!”  Ross is also President of the Executive MBA Alumni Network.

(L-R) EMBA Alumni Network Board member Beckie Crawford (EMBA 2013), Dr. Alex and Andrea Ellinger, and Ondria and Tim Jett (EMBA 2013).

The evening concluded as former classmates went out and enjoyed a newly revitalized downtown Tuscaloosa. One Stop Events and Parties, a local Tuscaloosa company, catered the dinner and beverages. Local television station WVUA was there to cover the event.

The 30th Tuscaloosa Executive MBA class, along with the sixth Huntsville class graduated on May 2, at The University of Alabama. Prior to commencement, the graduating class was officially welcomed into the EMBA Alumni Network by the Board members at the EMBA Graduation and Awards Ceremony.

The EMBA Program will be hosting several other 30th Anniversary events throughout the year. Up next will be the EMBA and Manderson Graduate School Family Day on Sunday, June 14, at the Tuscaloosa River Market from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. For more information on the EMBA Program and other EMBA Alumni and prospect events contact Donna Blackburn or Cheryl Altemara at the EMBA office or call 205-348-4501.

2014 in review

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 2.56.05 PMHappy New Year to our followers and Bama fans.  We had an amazing 2014, welcoming our new Executive MBA classes in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa, celebrating the graduation of our EMBA Class of 2014, tailgating, connecting with alumni, showcasing companies, hearing great speakers and recruiting outstanding students.  Our visits to Santiago, Chile and Lima, Peru, and the breathtaking Machu Picchu, are some of the many moments we will never forget.

We are looking forward to 2015 as we celebrate our 30th Anniversary of the EMBA Program.  There are wonderful events being planned throughout the year and we look forward to having you join us to celebrate this milestone.  In addition, we will be reporting on recruiting events, showcasing our students and alumni, highlighting speakers, blogging about our upcoming trip to Panama and Colombia, and letting you get to know more about us, the EMBA staff and faculty.  Get ready for another AMAZING YEAR with the Culverhouse College of Commerce Executive MBA at The University of Alabama.


Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 7,900 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 7 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

For more information on the UA EMBA Program, contact Cheryl Altemara at 205.348.4501, or