Category: EMBA

Curry Named to Daimler AG Board of Directors

Curry at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

By Kate Hampton

HEMBA 2013 graduate, Raymond “Ray” Curry of  Nashville, TN has been elected to the Daimler AG Supervisory Board at the 2018 Dieter Zetsche Annual Shareholders Meeting in Berlin. Following the voting of nearly 700 delegates from various Daimler plants and offices, Curry was approved for the five-year term. “I am excited about this opportunity and feel so blessed,” stated Curry.

His formal induction to the board will take place in April 2018, after which he will also continue his role as a trade-union representative from outside Germany.

Per the German Co-determination law, the board consists of 20 members who have been selected by either shareholders or employees. As a member of the Supervisory Board, Curry will aid in the monitoring of executive management, appointments to the Board of Management, and the approval of the Operative Planning Board.

Daimler AG is a Fortune 500 German multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. The company is responsible for renowned car brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-AMG, Smart Car2Go, and the Mercedes-Benz bus.

To learn more about the UA EMBA Program and the international trip experience, contact Cheryl Altemara at caltemara@cba.ua.edu or call 205.348.0954. To request information now, click here.

What’s On Your Bucket List?

By Donna Blackburn

We are scaling the sacred Inca religious site Machu Picchu at close to 8,000 feet. The effects of high altitude are being felt with each step we climb but it is worth experiencing the lack of oxygen.  The vastness and immense beauty of the 15th-century citadel in Peru is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The University of Alabama Executive MBA Class of 2018 began their international trip to Peru and Ecuador by visiting Machu Picchu and Cusco on February 22. Machu Picchu’s glimpse into the Inca Empire’s crowning achievement is a creation of escarpments, terraces and giant walls surrounded by a vast vista. A roughly two-hour train ride followed by a two-hour bus ride delivers us to Cusco surrounding us in carved balconies, bold architecture, ruins, and the colorful Plaza de Armas. Students visited the local San Pedro Market, the Sacred Valley and sampled pisco, cuy (guinea pig) and purchased alpaca clothing.

From Cusco, the EMBAs traveled to Lima, Peru.  Coursework and culture co-mingled with company visits, a culinary class, and a chance to see Lima while biking or surfing.  The international trip is part of the students’ global business course taken in their final semester.

EMBA students visit Pamplona Alta community in Lima with MEDLIFE.

As part of the course, the EMBA class (combining  students from the graduating Huntsville and Tuscaloosa programs) work on a consulting project.  This year EMBA students worked with MEDLIFE, an American non-profit organization that partners with low-income communities in Latin America and Africa to improve their access to medicine, education, and community development initiatives, through Service Learning Trips and the MEDLIFE Project Fund.

Our EMBA Class of 2018 worked with MEDLIFE to deliver a long-term strategic plan to allow the organization to increase its income and to develop, implement and market a new Service Learning Trip. Currently, MEDLIFE focuses mainly on pre-med students but is looking to create new SLTs for students in other university disciplines.

After visiting with Retail Head Juan Carlos del Alcázar at Financiera Effectiva, Acting Executive Director Alberto Ñecco at ProInversion and meeting with Edo van Hassel an entrepreneur in Peru, the students departed for Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Guayaquil is the largest city and chief port of Ecuador. The beautiful Simón Bolívar promenade flows along the Guayas River, and the colorful Las Peñas homes, cafes, and shops surround and lead up to Santa Ana Hill where the chapel and lighthouse surrender to a magnificent view.

Visiting Sweet & Coffee in Guayaquil.

General Manager Andrés Casal and CFO Jose Antonio Ponce at Concorsio Nobis presented and invited the students to join them for a spectacular sunset view of the city.  Sweet & Coffee had packages of coffee for the students to take home after their manufacturing visit. The students also heard from Guillermo Lasso, CEO of Bank of Guayaquil, who ran for president of Ecuador in 2017, and VP-Marketing Communications & Corporate Affairs Sebastian Mantilla of Nestlé.

The international trip concluded at La Hacienda La Danesa. Students and guests heard from CEO of La Hacienda La Danesa Niels Olsen and CEO of New World Spirits Fernando Crespo.  The afternoon included a tour and history of the plantation, a sample of cacao nibs, and a farewell dinner in a tranquil setting.

Exploring Pinnacle Rock in the Galapagos.

So how do you finally end a trip that begins with a bucket list location? You offer an optional once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Galapagos Islands.  Thirty-one of the UA EMBA students and staff jumped at the opportunity to visit the Galapagos. On Santa Cruz and Bartolomé islands we encountered giant land and sea turtles, sea lions, stingrays, lizards, crabs and sharks. Locals say the sharks are so well-fed that they do not bother humans. We all made it back limbs intact.  North Seymour is for the birds and birders – a nesting ground for frigates and blue-footed boobies.  Exploring lava caves and climbing the volcanic cone Pinnacle Rock, left us all wishing we had more time.

The EMBA Class of 2018 will be completing their degrees in a few more weeks.  Graduation is May 5.  Without exception the international trip to Peru and Ecuador will be a highlight of their program. A bucket list of places to visit is unique to each person, but it should include some adventure. It should provide us with an experience not found in one’s ordinary life. It may even transform us and change our viewpoint. And, it should leave a lasting impression that when we look back on our time there, we would say how fortunate we have been.

To learn more about the UA EMBA Program and the international trip experience, contact Cheryl Altemara at caltemara@cba.ua.edu or call 205.348.0954. To request information now, click here.

Kenneth Kelly Named Chairman and CEO of First Independence Bank of Detroit

By Donna Blackburn

First Independence Bank announced Kenneth Kelly (TEMBA 1998) as its new chairman and CEO on March 12. Kelly, whom the board of directors appointed in 2017, will be responsible for leading the bank’s financial operations and assets, policies and regulations as well as overseeing the company’s management infrastructure.

“As chairman and CEO, Kenneth brings deep and experienced business leadership to First Independence Bank. His knowledge, relationships, and expertise will be extremely valuable in leading the bank’s growth opportunities in Detroit,” said Linda Forte, member of the board of directors and chairwoman of the Human Resources Committee.

First Independence Bank is the 10th largest African-American-controlled commercial bank in the country (as evaluated by Black Enterprise in 2016). In a recent ratings report, the bank is a five-star ranked financial institution according to BAUERFINANCIAL™, which has conducted independent institution ratings and reporting since 1983.

Kelly has a breadth of business knowledge and financial experiences as a cross-functional leader. As a former business development manager at Southern Company who retired in 2017 after 27 years of service, he also held many leadership positions in the communities he has lived. He achieved success in a variety of roles across engineering, marketing, finance, supply chain, and acquisitions that included leading negotiations for solar projects totaling over $3.4 billion in partnership value.

“We were delighted to hear of Kenneth’s appointment and congratulate him on his success.  We are sure that under his great leadership, wisdom and guidance First Independence Bank will strive to much greater heights and achievements,” said Dr. Brian Gray, Associate Dean, Manderson Graduate School of Business.
Kelly earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Auburn University and his M.B.A. from the University of Alabama Executive MBA Program. He is married and has two children.

To learn more about our UA EMBA Alumni and how you can become a part of the next incoming class, contact Cheryl Altemara at caltemara@cba.ua.edu or call 205.348.4501. To request information now, click here.

UA EMBA Class of 2019 Diversity Award Recipients

By Kate Hampton

The Huntsville Executive MBA cohort of 2019, with an average of 15 years of combined work experience, can add two more accolades to its accomplishments: the UA EMBA Diversity Award. Awarded to an EMBA Student that exemplifies and upholds diversity, he or she may exhibit this diversity through educational and professional leadership, unique career goals, as well as ethnicity and citizenship. We are proud to announce the 2017 recipients, Rodrigo Gallegos and Denise Vickers.

“The value these candidates’ diverse backgrounds bring into our program was demonstrated right away at their cohort’s orientation. Denise wowed everyone with her video production skills, while Rodrigo conducted a quick Spanish language lesson and shared personal insights reflecting his deep love for his home country of Mexico”, stated Cheryl Altemara, EMBA Assistant Director.

Hailing from Mexico, Gallegos is a Purchasing Project Leader for Electrolux Major Appliances. He has dedicated 14 years to the company, functioning as a Purchasing Agent, Commodity Manager, and Purchasing Manager. His leadership roles have led him through Sweden to Canada and presently Nashville, TN. Gallegos’ professional fluency in English and Spanish, paired with his cross-functional team leadership make him an asset to any team and a candidate for the Diversity Award.

Vickers is the Vice President of News for WHNT News 19 in the Tennessee Valley. For the last 11 years she and her team of reporters, anchors, and photo journalists have been dedicated to covering the stories that help people. As a result, they have earned two Emmy awards for investigative journalism.  Vickers is an active member of the Huntsville community, advocating for those who are often ignored. Her work ethic and passion for unbiased storytelling are sure to make an impact in the program.

The University of Alabama EMBA is currently enrolling for the next EMBA class.  For more information on the UA EMBA Program and EMBA scholarships and awards contact Cheryl Altemara at caltemara@cba.ua.edu or call 205.348.4501. To request information now, click here. 

Get Started On Your Dreams in 2018

By Hayley Ray Hallmark

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” This statement is a pretty powerful thought if you think about what choices you have made to become the person you are today. What you prioritize in your life makes you “you,” and although everyone can improve or change themselves at any moment, a new year is the perfect time to analyze 2017 and turn ideas of the person that you want to become into reality.

According to YouGov’s study, although 32% of Americans did not make 2018 New Year’s resolutions, 68% of us did. 68% of us still believe in that “new year, new you,” idea, and I have to say – I’m one of them.
New Years resolution
Perhaps the 32% answered this way because of lack of time, a hectic work schedule, or family obligations, but if you don’t accomplish what you want to now, when are you ever going to do it? I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I have ever heard a family member, friend, or coworker tell me they had more free time than they knew what to do with.

There are always the eating healthier/getting fitter resolutions, but how do you want to make 2018 an impactful year for you? Do you want to become more knowledgeable about what other companies are doing or how to motivate your employees? Do you want to learn something new or completely change your career?

UA EMBA team consulting on an export strategy with one of our international corporate visits.

All of the things above that the average American wants to complete in 2018 take time and planning, but I have to say –a good number of these goals can be achieved through The University of Alabama Executive MBA Program. Yes, it is a time and financial commitment, and it definitely isn’t easy, but in our 2017 alumni survey, 99% said they would do it again.

I can safely say that my classmates and I read more – probably more than any of us expected, but we learned so much about other corporations that several of us were able to apply techniques from other industries to our own, or felt comfortable starting new businesses altogether. Eight percent of our classmates have started our own businesses and 15% are currently developing a start-up.

A sea of EMBA students on a foodie motorbike tour in Vietnam.

We did the EMBA program for different and/or multiple reasons, but being with the same people either one weekend a month for 21 months or around two weekends a month for 17 months brings you together.

The bonding could be cramming together over a project management quiz, with one person exclaiming the acronyms they used to remember processes, together acing a group presentation that you put your heart and soul into for weeks, or shouting at one another in glee as each one of our individual motorbike drivers raced through the streets of Vietnam with you on the back.

Katie and me on graduation day in May 2017. ROLL TIDE!

For me – I met one of my best friends in the EMBA Program – and she’s actually a bridesmaid in my wedding!

Even if you come from a business background, you are going to learn a new skill that you don’t have now. It could be nonlinear optimization, negotiating, or blending infographics into a presentation seamlessly. Or possibly Project Libre, Minitab, or Excel Solver. The words I use in my writing became less poetic and more analytical, and although I found myself to be a strong presenter, there is always room for improvement!

Several classmates of mine moved to different companies or industries, and although I stayed at The University of Alabama, I received two promotions during the 17 months of my program. Many alumni can say the same, with 79% receiving promotions (average number is 3.3 promotions per student) and 98% receiving an increase in pay, with 8% stating they make at least twice as much as when they were a student. Others loved and wanted to stay in their current jobs but wanted to add to their skillsets, with 13% now serving on a corporate board of directors, and 29% serving on a non-profit board.

It’s 2018, what is it that you want to do? Whatever it is, make an action plan and get started. One of my favorite Walt Disney quotes is, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” You owe it to yourself to be courageous in this new year, and work on the person that you want to become, starting today. ❤︎

To learn more about the UA EMBA Program and how you can apply, contact Hayley Ray McNeill at hrmcneill@cba.ua.edu or call 205.348.0954. To request information now, click here.
Sourcehttps://www.statista.com/chart/12386/the-most-common-new-years-resolutions-for-2018/

2017 Ends in Gratitude for UA EMBA

If there was ever a time when everyone in our EMBA office gets all mushy, sentimental and nostalgic — it’s right before The University of Alabama Holiday break. It also doesn’t hurt to have snow blanket the campus, even though it may last only one day in December, to signal good cheer, Christmas tidings, Roll Tide and gratitude.

I have so much to be thankful for this year, beginning with an EMBA team who are so passionate about what they do and how much they care about others. To the ladies of EMBA — you have become family and dear friends and it is an honor to work with you.

Our EMBAs traveled to Saigon, Vietnam, Singapore and Koh Samui, Thailand this year. It is always wonderful to experience a new country with our EMBAs. We rode elephants, traveled the Mekong River, visited companies, sampled exotic cuisine and braver souls (braver than I) drank snake wine. Vietnam was my 39th country to visit with EMBAs.  I am looking forward to making it 40 next year when we visit Ecuador.

We celebrated the graduation of our 2017 class and ushered in our 34th TEMBA and 10th HEMBA class. Our EMBA Alumni Network had record-setting attendance at all of their events from Family Day at Regions Field, the Roll Tide Tailgate and the EMBA Alumni Network Annual Conference. We ended the year of celebrations with a 10th Anniversary HEMBA Luncheon in Huntsville. Seeing so many alumni from all the HEMBA classes made the day incredibly special.

2017 has been amazing and we look forward to 2018 with an emphasis on giving.  The EMBA Alumni Network Board, headed by our new President Jennifer Thomas (EMBA 2014), along with Board members: John Nettles, Russ Chambliss, Russell Shamburger and Russ Elrod (or, as we like to say in our office, Russ to the third power), are focusing on giving back and paying forward. We ask our EMBAs to join with us in taking part in mentoring, building our women’s initiatives, promoting the program and giving to the The Brian A. Rankin Executive MBA Endowed Scholarship.

Thank you to all our EMBA students, alumni, staff, faculty, friends and corporate partners.  We are grateful to have you as a part of our UA EMBA family.

Happy Holidays and Roll Tide!
Donna Blackburn, Director, EMBA Program

The University of Alabama will be closed for the Holiday Break from December 21, 2017 to January 2, 2018.  For more information on the UA EMBA Program contact Cheryl Altemara at caltemara@cba.ua.edu or call 205.348.4501. To request information now, click here. 

TEMBA Orientation and the Magic of Disney


By Kate Hampton

With a bit of magic and a few chants of “Roll Tide”, The University of Alabama’s Culverhouse College of Commerce welcomed the 28 men and women of the 34th Tuscaloosa Executive MBA Class for orientation. During the two-day event, students were introduced to their fellow 2019 classmates, faculty and staff. Engaging in a bit of friendly competition during the EMBA Scavenger Hunt gave them the opportunity to explore campus. Students also learned about program expectations.

TEMBAs take part in Scavenger Hunt with a Disney pal (L-R) George Tutt, Ryan Baldwin & Jason Kennedy.

“One of my dreams has always been to earn my MBA from The University of Alabama, but I never had the opportunity because my job often required me to relocate,” stated Jason Kennedy. “Now I’m back in the southeast and I feel honored to be here. It’s a dream realized.”

The TEMBA Class of 2019 ‘s average age is 39. It has 15 years of work experience on average. The class 82% managers, 14% vice president (C-level or owners of companies), 4% professional, and 31% military (defense or veterans).

“Its always exciting after an intensive recruiting season to finally see the group together for the first time,” said Donna Blackburn, Director of EMBA Programs. This year’s EMBA 2019 class represents a great cross-section of industries and backgrounds, and we look forward to working with the new class.

The events of the first day eased students into their new roles as teammates and class leaders. Students also took part in a collaborative exercise generating connections, strengthening networks and building social capital. During the second day, they were treated to a Disney Institute workshop.

Magic filled the room as teams from the newest Huntsville EMBA class joined in on the fun to learn about Disney’s Approach to Employee Engagement. The two groups explored the four aspects of Disney’s culture (employee selection, training, communication, and care) that foster employee engagement.

In addition to Walt, Mickey and Minnie, the EMBA Alumni Network board members Jennifer Thomas (TEMBA 2014), Russell Shamburger (TEMBA 2004), and John Nettles (TEMBA 1993) welcomed the incoming classes.

2018 T-EMBA class members are:

  • Ryan Baldwin, HCA
  • Tony Berenotto, US Army
  • Mary Margaret Carroll, Fine Geddie & Associates
  • Darrin Chatham, Darrin Chatham, Financial Advisor
  • Yolanda Coleman, Vincent’s Health System
  • Alix Connor, The Sanders Trust
  • Doug Cornelius, US Air Force
  • Lance Ezelle, Alabama Farmers Cooperative
  • Jason Frase, Symcor/Pier Associates, LLC
  • Gifford Haynes, A. Renfroe
  • Robert Henry, Plexus Technology Group
  • Chris Howard, Valmont Coatings
  • Jordan Jaggers, The Distribution Point
  • Jason Kennedy, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Pamela Laffitte, Mobile County Sheriff’s Office
  • Josh Lawley, Birmingham Alabama for Rent
  • Mia Simpson, Consultant
  • Cory Skipper, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.
  • Tamara Smoot, Dean Foods (formerly)
  • Ray Snead, Snead Group LLC
  • Jeff Stewart, (retired)
  • Ric Sweatt, Cox Communications
  • Rob Terry, Par Pharmaceutical
  • Josh Thompson, Cascades Sonoco
  • George Tutt, The University of Alabama
  • Shaun Williams, Tuskegee University
  • Colby Wilson, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.
  • Frederick Windham, Bayer Healthcare

For more information on how you can enroll and join the UA EMBA family, contact Cheryl Altemara at caltemara@cba.ua.edu or call 205.348.4501. To request information now, click here. 

Learning to Walk

[Reprinted with permission. This LinkedIn article, published August 7, 2017, was written by Sean O’Brien, UA EMBA Class of 2017. O’Brien is Platform Strategist at UPS.]

As I watch my one-year-old daughter begin her journey toward mobility, I am mesmerized by how she, as an infant, has so many lessons to offer an adult.

In the new global e-economy, companies and professionals find themselves frazzled when trying to respond to the emergence of this new commerce. From company boardrooms to collegiate classrooms, adults are confounded as to what they should do and how they should do it. I believe my fifth (and last!) child may provide some answers:

  1. Be Inquisitive

Childhood psychologists have suggested that cognitive and motor skill development could stimulate a child’s ability to start walking. Research revealed that a child’s investigation of her environment (and the verbalization of what is understood) could catapult these first few steps (Walle, E. A., & Campos, J. J.). For any professional or company to win in the e-economy, an inquisitive core is a prerequisite. Comprehending the global environment, customer pain points, opportunities for value creation, how to speak the lingo, and how to keep score; yields the clarity needed to launch forward into the market.

  1. Be Attentive

Anyone who has seen a child learning to walk knows that face – the look of being acutely fixated on the object of his or her short journey. Children succeed in taking those first steps because their focus is unwavering. Many of us are familiar with the child who stumbles and wobbles, but succeeds while repeatedly saying “mama” and reaching out for her hand.

For many companies pursuing digital transformations and winnable strategies, less is often more. If a strategy requires 250 PowerPoint slides and lacks an end goal, companies will fall hard from stumbling and wobbling across the e-economy. Clear messaging is often overlooked as a minor and generally inconsequential piece of the organization. However without it, a company will be unclear about what success looks like and why they should keep pressing forward in the midst of disruption.

  1. Be Positive

Have you ever heard an adult scold a child for attempting those first few steps? Have you ever seen a child learning to walk pessimistically with self-criticism? Have you ever seen a parent grade a child’s walking based upon a set of older rules such as how they should be sitting? A child and the rightful bliss that surrounds them is oftentimes a motivator for their continuation in this new venture.

Too often companies attempt to apply the old rules and scoring systems toward the brand new model of the e-economy. This has always been puzzling to me given the way in which the market (institutional and retail investors) have “scored” and rewarded those playing aggressively to win. Applying old standards to the new order of commerce will always lead to skepticism – but transforming a company to view competitiveness so that it aligns with the e-economy, can lead to a realistic set of criteria and an infectious positivism that motivates the firm to create success. Companies and professionals should not be blindly positive nor positive for positive’s sake, but should offer encouragement through words, incentives, and outward persuasion. They should create an atmosphere that facilitates continual optimism toward digital victory.

  1. Be Active

The number of times a child attempts to take his or her first steps increases exponentially until “walking” is actually realized. Reaching the walking phase demands ever-increasing activity, which is followed by additional activity once one foot has been successfully placed in front of the other. We are probably all familiar with the saying: “Oh, you want that baby to walk now, but once that starts, you will never be able to contain her!”

There have been times in my career when I was asked to “slow down”. Such direction is rarely the correct move, given the fruits of the decision. When someone suggests that professionals or companies slow down, they are often saying – “I can’t contain you!” In the e-economy, companies and professionals have the responsibility and the opportunity to be continuously active – and anyone who orates otherwise should signal a red flag.

One additional point is called for within this idea of being active – there will be some who will recognize the need for activity and the perception of it. They will oftentimes be misguided and become overly active in the wrong areas. Anyone can be active just to proclaim they are active, but being active in the right things means being attentive and positive with the right things.

  1. Be Adaptive

Learning to walk is somewhat easy on a flat, non-slippery surface; however, as a child continues to grow in their mobility, new terrains and circumstances arise. Challenges such as walking on uneven surfaces, turning corners, and avoiding obstacles create the need to learn how to adjust. A child learns how to walk by being adaptive!

In my Executive MBA Program at the University of Alabama, my cohort had many opportunities to engage and participate in (both real and situational) executive committee and boardroom scenarios while being critiqued by our instructors. I will never forget the one group that presented the future outlook of a firm that was greatly challenged by the circumstances of the e-economy. After essentially stating there was nothing to be worried about regarding the company’s future given the past performance of the firm, our professors jumped into action and directly challenged this approach. We were then trained on the essentiality of “Second-Level Thinking” as provided by Howard Marks in his book The Most Important Thing Illuminated: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor:

“First-level thinking is simplistic and superficial, and just about everyone can do it (a bad sign for anything involving an attempt at superiority). All the first-level thinker needs is an opinion about the future, as in ‘The outlook for the company is favorable, meaning the stock will go up.’ Second-level thinking is deep, complex and convoluted.” (Marks)

Wife Hannah and family enjoying the UA campus before Sean’s EMBA class.

I will never forget to discount those who claim they are qualified to lead based on a history of unchallenged, non-adaptive behavior. Anyone is capable of claiming success based on an easy road of mitigating risk – but the leaders needed in the e-economy are those who are second-level thinkers with a track record of recognizing risks, studying them, planning around them, experimenting with them, and adapting to the future – I will follow those leaders into battle every time!

To learn more about the UA EMBA Program and how you can become a part of the next incoming class, contact Cheryl Altemara at caltemara@cba.ua.edu or call 205.348.4501.
To request information now, click here.

EMBA Alumni Return to Tuscaloosa for Networking Conference

(L-R) EMBA alumni David Lyles, Ben Paulk, Allyson Cooper, Chris Hatcher and Brad Gannaway at 2017 EMBA Alumni Network Conference Kick-off Reception.

 

By Kate Hampton

Members of The University of Alabama’s Executive MBA program returned to Tuscaloosa for the fourth annual EMBA Alumni Network Conference, October 5th – 6th. Alumni from the very first 1986 class to recent 2017 graduates were in attendance. The conference commenced at Heat Pizza Bar in downtown Tuscaloosa, AL with a networking reception. It was exciting for alumni to reconnect with classmates and professors.

The second day of the conference took place at the Bryant Conference Center where attendees reunited to discuss innovative ideas and connect on future work and passion projects. The conference opened with speaker Dr. Greg Michaelson, Director of DataRobot Labs. His illuminating presentation on data science covered the four keys to building a competitive advantage.

Matthew Lawrence, Advanced Analytics Consultant for Slalom Consulting, followed Dr. Michaelson’s presentation as he challenged attendees to explore the application of agile methodology to analytics projects.
In the afternoon, Dr. Brian Gray, Associate Dean of Manderson Graduate School, provided alumni with updates regarding the Culverhouse College of Commerce’s 2017 rankings. Forbes ranked the MBA Program 43rd overall, 21st public, and 2nd in the SEC (moving us up 6, 4, and 2 spots, respectively) as having the best return on investment for students.

Gray also reported the 1st place finish of the full-time MBA case team at the 2017 National Black MBA Association Conference Case Competition in Philadelphia, PA.

Donna Blackburn, Executive Director of the EMBA program, presented the 2017 EMBA Alumni Survey results with 26% responding to the survey. The surveyed alumni reported a 51% salary increase on average after graduating from the EMBA program. Program satisfaction rate increased to 99% this year (a 4% increase over the last survey conducted in 2015).

(L-R) Outgoing Board Member Ben Paulk and 2016-17 President Russell Shamburger.

 

The president of the 2016-2017 EMBA Alumni Network, Russell Shamburger (TEMBA 2004), recognized outgoing board member Ben Paulk (TEMBA 2012). An active member of the board, Paulk has served as Communications Chair and 2015-2016 President. During his acceptance speech, Paulk stated, “The EMBA Alumni Network has been incredibly valuable to me and I encourage everyone to get involved and continue to help grow the network.”

Shamburger also introduced the 2017-2018 EMBA Alumni Network Board President, Jennifer Thomas (TEMBA 2014), who shared her goals for the upcoming year, including mentorship and career development initiatives.
With a final sendoff, the conference closed with a “Roll Tide” and reminder of the November 4th Alumni Tailgate for Alabama vs. LSU.

To learn more about the UA EMBA Alumni Network and how you can become a part of the next incoming class, contact Cheryl Altemara at caltemara@cba.ua.edu or call 205.348.4501. To request information now, click here.

Get Ready for the EMBA Alumni Network Conference

On October 5-6, The University of Alabama Executive MBA Alumni Network will host alumni, students and guests for their annual conference. The focus of the conference includes learning from great speakers and each other, networking and uniting to foster and grow the EMBA Program that brought them together.
The conference will kick-off with an opening reception on Thursday, October 5, at Heat Pizza Bar from 5:00-6:30 p.m.  The conference begins at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, October 6 at the Bryant Conference Center, 2nd floor, Lackey Room.
If you have not registered, NOW is the time to reserve your spot! Click here to register!

Great Speakers

This year we have two speakers that will inspire you with their own approaches to solutions and improving outcomes.

Update Your LinkedIn: You Can Be a Data Scientist
Greg Michaelson is Director of DataRobot Labs
Advanced tools have automated the process of building and deploying predictive models from credit scoring to customer churn to marketing response models.  Technology is forcing business people to learn and adapt to AI solutions to standard business problems.  In this talk, Greg will give a gentle introduction to some common terminology in data science, help you differentiate between hype and substance, and demonstrate the power of machine learning automation through a live demo of DataRobot.

Applying an Agile Methodology to Analytics
Matthew Lawrence is Advanced Analytics Consultant for Slalom Consulting
Many analytics projects begin with great vision and end with disappointment. Managing expectations, getting stakeholder buy-in and participation, integrating business needs with the IT departments strategy are all necessary to being successful in larger organizations. Often, these areas create hurdles to successfully developing analytics solutions that are both technically sound and useful to the business. CRISP-DM and SEMMA tend to follow a more traditional waterfall approach to analytics development. We at Slalom have developed our own approach to using agile in our analytics development that has greatly improved our outcomes.

EMBA Review & What’s Ahead
Hear from the president of the EMBA Alumni Network, associate dean of Manderson Graduate School and director of the EMBA Program as they reveal the results of the EMBA Alumni Survey and discuss future goals.

Networking, Reconnecting and Food
There’s more to the UA EMBA Alumni Network Conference than just great content—it’s also a lot of fun! Reconnecting with classmates, forging new friendships and business relationships, and enjoying local Tuscaloosa dining.  How could it not be an amazing event? It’s your University of Alabama Executive MBA. Roll Tide!

Register now. You do not want to miss the EMBA Alumni Network Conference. See you in Tuscaloosa.
For more information on the Executive MBA Conference contact Donna Blackburn at 205.348.8748.
To learn more about the UA EMBA Program and how you can apply contact Cheryl Altemara at caltemara@cba.ua.edu or call 205.348.4501. To request information now, click here.

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