Category: UA EMBA Latest News/Events

You’ve Heard the Lecture, Now Read the Book

Sitting with Elephants

Dr. Ron Dulek’s newest book, Sitting with Elephants: Lessons in Humility from the African Bush, has just been released.  The book shares lessons Ron and his wife, Sally, learned while spending fifteen summers living in an African bush house.  As we would expect from Ron, the story tugs at both your heart and your funny bone. The book’s content includes significant content from Ron’s opening day lecture to EMBA’s in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa.

Proceeds from the sale of Sitting with Elephants will be directed toward an educational trust fund for African students desiring to attend the University of Alabama.

Dr. Dulek is the John R. Miller Professor of Management in the Culverhouse College of Business at The University of Alabama. Dulek teaches management communications in the EMBA Program. He is a devoted teacher and has received numerous awards and honors by his students, the college, and the university.

The book is available on-line at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, and Waldorf Publishing.

To become a part of our upcoming EMBA programs, contact Samantha Vasey at svasey@cba.ua.edu or 205-348-0954 to request more information and attend a virtual information session.

UA Executive MBA Announces New Format For Tuscaloosa and Huntsville Programs

The Executive MBA Program offered by The University of Alabama’s Manderson Graduate School of Business announces new features to its format to better accommodate the schedules of busy working professionals.

Student at whiteboard“When considering adjustments to how we deliver the EMBA Program, we had a strong desire to preserve the valuable in-person classroom experience our programs offer. We recognized a need to make the required in-class session schedule more manageable for our students who have busy careers, plus active family and social commitments,” said Donna Blackburn, Director of Manderson Executive MBA programs.

What is new about the EMBA program is significant. Now professionals who choose the Tuscaloosa location will attend class sessions on Friday from 12:00 to 8:00 PM, and Saturday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM one weekend each month during the 17-month program. EMBA students were previously required to be on campus two weekends per month.

Student at homeEach course provides online instruction and content to support monthly in-person class meetings. This blended-instruction model aims to allow students more control over their busy lives while growing their business acumen through a meaningful and academically rigorous degree experience.

The Huntsville EMBA location adopted the one weekend per month, blended-instruction format in 2015. As a result, enrollment for that program has steadily grown, and students appreciate the flexibility the blended format offers.

About the blended format EMBA format in Huntsville, Lakota Holder, current EMBA student, and Regional Service Sales Director for The Bailey Company, said, “I can’t image earning my MBA any other way.  The class sessions in Huntsville provide the face-to-face engagement with my classmates and faculty I wanted, and because it’s just one weekend each month, my performance and travel schedule for work doesn’t suffer.”

Additionally, students in the EMBA Huntsville location can now earn their MBA in four semesters rather than five.  The program previously spanned 21 months but will now cover 17 months, or four semesters, like the Tuscaloosa location. In both programs, students work through 16, three-hour courses to earn an MBA.

UA EMBA in Macchu Picchu
UA EMBAs visit Macchu Picchu.

Furthermore, the immersive international study trip is now optional to allow students to save on their EMBA experience. Previous study trips have taken EMBA students to South Africa, Peru, Ecuador, and other locations to meet with and learn from local entrepreneurs and executives and to gain an understanding of business as it applies to international settings.

UA EMBA enrolls twice each year.  Huntsville location students start the program in August and graduate in December 2021. Tuscaloosa location students begin in December and graduate in May 2022.  Application deadlines are July 6 for Huntsville and October 19 for Tuscaloosa.

Successful applicants generally have a minimum of five years of professional work experience and must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.  We typically do not require a GMAT, GRE, or Executive Assessment entrance exam score for applicants meeting or exceeding our work experience minimum.  EMBA prefers a 3.0 undergraduate grade point average but does offer conditional admission for some candidates with a strong professional profile.

To become a part of our upcoming programs, contact Samantha Vasey at svasey@cba.ua.edu or 205-348-0954 to request more information and attend a virtual information session.

Tuscaloosa EMBA 2021 Class Begins Orientation With A Little Disney Magic

UA TEMBA Class of 2021The University of Alabama football Coach Nick Saban likes to say, “A process guarantees success and a good process produces good results.” November 13-15 future legends met at The University of Alabama to begin the EMBA Program. The EMBA Class of 2021 participated in a variety of orientation activities to get to know their classmates and define what a good process should look like to produce good results from their EMBA experience.

The Class of 2021 has twenty members with an average of 16 years of work experience.  Students represent a variety of industries including education, financial, nonprofit, health care, technology, government, defense, and retail services.

EMBA 2021 Case ChallengeOn the first day, former strangers now found themselves among friends as they learned more about the program and about the classes that would start them on their journey to graduation.

On Thursday the students were divided into their teams to test their business acumen in the Executive MBA Case Challenge. Each team was asked to develop a SWOT analysis on a company, then develop and propose a budget for one game-changing recommendation. Each team presented to a panel of judges, University of Alabama alumni: Managing Director Garey Morrison (BS Acctg 1977) of GPM Advisory, Corporate Controller Lilly Setiawan (EMBA 2017) of The Dutch Group, and CEO Mark Sullivan (EMBA 1986) of the Bank of Tuscaloosa.

Following lunch, the Class of 2021 learned more about the values that take a team from good to great. They also learned how influential a “paying it forward” culture, and handling hot button issues are in making exceptional leaders. Finally, the day culminated with a Disney themed scavenger hunt meant to familiarize the class with UA’s campus and inject a healthy dose of competition into the spirits of everyone present.

The orientation ended with the Huntsville EMBA 2021 Class joining the incoming TEMBAs to take part in a workshop from the company labeled the “Happiest Place on Earth.” Holly Hoffman, an instructor from the Disney Institute treated the Class of 2021 to a behind-the-scenes glimpse in Disney’s Creating A Culture of Employee Engagement and Quality Service program. Students learned how Disney selects its cast and crew members and how they instill the Disney culture. Students also learned how excellent service is the result of understanding your customers’ expectations and exceeding those expectations through their customer “Touch Points.” In the end, the class realized that making their team feel more like a family was crucial to success, and starting the process was as easy as saying, “You’ve got a friend in me!”

Congratulations to our incoming TEMBA Class of 2021. Roll Tide!

Rebecca Bonner, Tyndall Federal Credit Union

Suzanne Boozer, Studio by the Tracks

Suzanne Braden, Encompass Health Corporation

Sydney Burns, Lou and Company

Robert Dobson, Mossy Oak Properties

Adam Finefrock, The University of Alabama

Austin Hudgins, Otis Elevator Company

DJ Jackson, The University of Alabama

Mitchell King, Altec Industries

Pamela Laffitte, Mobile County Sheriff’s Office

Ronald Powell, City National Bank – An RBC Company

Matthew Preskitt, Morris-Shea Bridge Company

Angela Quick, Wells Fargo

Chad Smith, Stifel

Michael Spears, Deloitte Consulting/Missile Defense Agency

Micah Sutton, CCS Medical

Valerie Watts, Dal-Tile Corporation

Jesse Wheeler, Stillman College

Valencia Winston, Tuscaloosa City Schools/SkyPop Gourmet Popcorn

Bryne Zuege, CenturyLink

For more information on The University of Alabama Executive MBA Program, visit the UAEMBA website or contact Cheryl Altemara at 205.348.4501 or caltemara@cba.ua.edu.

Article was written by Ben Tarkoff, Graduate Assistant in the Executive MBA Program.

EMBAAN Honors Kent Darzi as Alumnus of the Year

Kent Darzi, ADTRANKent Darzi, vice president of quality at ADTRAN and EMBA Class of 2010 graduate, was named this year’s EMBA Alumnus of the Year at the EMBA Alumni Network (EMBAAN) Conference on October 4. In an interview after winning the award, Darzi talked about the various nuances of the EMBA Program that enabled him to be successful and why he continues to stay involved in EMBAAN and work with undergraduate and graduate students at UA.

From 2013-2015 Darzi served on the EMBAAN Board and was the first EMBAAN president, where he ensured that alumni could continue forging the legacy they had started in their pursuit of an M.B.A. in the form of various networking and alumni events. Darzi has been an active promoter of the EMBA and STEM programs, and the Culverhouse College of Business. He sponsors EMBA students, hosts opportunities to promote the EMBA program to ADTRAN employees, and recently worked with UA STEM students on a senior design project using artificial intelligence (AI) to advance ADTRAN solutions.

Darzi joined ADTRAN in 1995 and has been advancing within the company ever since, culminating in his current position as vice president, quality.

Kent Darzi, EMBAAN Alumnus of the Year 2019
Kent Darzi (L) accepts EMBAAN Alumnus of the Year award from 2019 EMBAAN President Russ Chambliss

How has the EMBA Program had an impact on your career?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a design engineer at ADTRAN and have always looked for ways to bridge both our technical and business needs. At ADTRAN, we are leading high-speed telecom solutions that are both best in class as well as expand our business presence. Right after completing my M.B.A. at The University of Alabama, I was asked to be part of the team that worked on one of our company’s largest acquisitions: integrating the R&D teams from Nokia Siemens Networks into the ADTRAN family.

Everything we learned in the EMBA Program was always practical. What I learned in class on the weekend, I was able to put it into practice on the following Monday. I know you hear this from a lot of different EMBA programs, but I could see it, especially in the UA program. To have colleagues compliment you on how you increase business by what you are learning in the UA EMBA Program is incredibly satisfying.  

What challenges did you face when deciding to enroll in an EMBA Program?

One of the hardest parts of the EMBA Program is committing yourself to enroll. Once you make that decision, you realize that balancing your school, home, and work schedules are possible. Once I decided to pursue my M.B.A., I never had second thoughts.

What drove you to become the EMBA Alumni Network President, and what does it mean to you?

The class before mine wanted to launch an alumni network, and when I was approached to help create and lead this effort, I thought this was an excellent way to keep connected with my UA professors, students, and peers. EMBA’s are a select group of industry leaders and professionals. The EMBA Alumni Network was an opportunity to continue to interact with former students and leaders across various industries. I was humbled and honored to become the first president and help solve some of the unique challenges of developing our network.

What do you envision for the future of the EMBA Program?

The program continues to expand and adapt to the fast-paced changes that impact all our respective industries. For example, within the financial and technology sectors, we are looking at how data analytics and artificial intelligence will become significant influencers over the next few years. I was so pleased to see that Alabama held its 2019 Business Analytics Symposium with hundreds of students, EMBA alumni, and faculty talking with leaders from companies like Intel, Disney, and ESPN, about the challenges of these business-changing technologies.

Additionally, I am proud that the EMBA Alumni Network holds to our goal of wanting to keep our alumni current on the latest ideas in business and technologies. For example, Tom Edwards, a technology futurist, shared his vision of industry changes during our October 2019 EMBAAN Annual Conference. Many futurists cannot always provide a clear picture when it comes to an understanding of what’s next. Tom was able to show in the next three years how much-augmented reality and AI will become a critical business catalyst. 

What would you say to those considering enrolling in an EMBA Program?

The UA EMBA experience was one of the best things I have done for my career and my pursuit of lifetime learning. I was able to meet and interact with top executives from across the country in our classroom and online settings. Plus, I was able to gain incredible knowledge, professional networks, and personal friends, and it all started because of the UA EMBA Program. 

For more information on The University of Alabama’s Executive MBA Program, contact Cheryl Altemara, caltemara@cba.ua.edu, or call 205.348.4501.

Article written by Ben Tarkoff, Graduate Assistant in the Executive MBA Program

Welcome to our New HEMBA Class

UA HEMBA Class of 2021

The newest students in The University of Alabama’s EMBA in Huntsville Program are up and Rolling! After completing their orientation on August 7-8, they began classes immediately, tackling accounting, marketing, statistics and project management.

The new class represents a diverse group of industries. The average work experience for the class is 14 years, representing industries in aeronautics, defense, military, technology, telecommunications, manufacturing, energy, distributions, services, engineering, government, education, and non-profit.

The HEMBA program is taught in a hybrid format with students combining face-to-face one weekend per month classes with online learning. Click here for more information.

We look forward to getting to know our new EMBAs over the next 21 months. Roll Tide Roll!

HEMBA 2021 students:

  • Gene Cox, Target Corporation
  • Dean Cozzolino, The Boeing Company
  • Tom Evatt, The Boeing Company
  • Doug Fitzgerald, Legrand
  • Jessica Grubbs, U.S. Army SMDC
  • Tara Guilfoil, Aerojet Rocketdyne
  • Lakota Holder, The Bailey Company
  • James Lee, SAIC
  • Jim Lopresti, Yulista Aviation
  • Lorenzo Mack, U.S. Space and Missile Defense Command
  • Miracle Osborne, ITW Sexton
  • Sam Overdear, Aerojet Rocketdyne
  • Jason Richburg, PPG Aerospace
  • Ryan Roberts, The University of Alabama Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Aundrey Ruffin, Army Material Command
  • Gareth Scott, Boneal Aerospace
  • Shardra Scott, Alabama Power Company
  • Michael Sommer, U.S. Army
  • Christina Zegler, Girls on the Run of North Alabama
  • Don Zegler, KBR Government Solutions

TEMBA Graduate Jamie Adams Honored as 2019 Alabama CIO of the Year

Jamie Adams has been named the 2019 Alabama CIO of the Year® ORBIE® Enterprise Award winner.  A graduate of The University of Alabama Executive MBA Class of 2013, Jamie is the CIO of Mspark in Helena, Alabama.

The Alabama CIO Leadership Association (Alabama CIO) is the preeminent professional association for Alabama chief information officers, and the ORBIE award honors chief information officers who have demonstrated excellence in technology leadership. Finalists and winners are selected by an independent peer review process, led by prior ORBIE recipients. This selection process is based upon leadership and management effectiveness, business value created by technology innovation, size and scope of responsibilities, and engagement in the industry and community endeavors.

According to Steve Mitzel, Chief Executive Officer at Mspark, “In less than three years at Mspark, Jamie has transformed our IT team, implemented value creation projects, and brought great leadership to Mspark.”

Mspark is a leading national media distribution company delivering advertising solutions to a portfolio of more than 3,000 clients across the United States. For additional information, visit mspark.com.

For more information on The University of Alabama’s Executive MBA Program, contact Cheryl Altemara or call 205.348.4501, or visit the UAEMBA website.

Congratulations EMBA Class of 2019 Graduates

EMBA 2019 Grads and FamilyGraduation is a special achievement to share with family. On Saturday, May 4, The University of Alabama Executive MBA Class of 2019, celebrated the completion of their graduate program with over 200 family members, faculty, staff, and the UA Mascot Big Al.

 

EMBA Graduates getting ready for Commencement at the University of Alabama.
Getting ready to walk at UA Commencement (L-R) Jason Kennedy, Joe Thomas, Rodrigo Gallegos, and Ray Kolis.

Beginning with the tour of Denny Chimes Stadium, the day-long event included a Brunch, EMBA Graduation Ceremony, and finally the University Commencement.

 

“The graduation ceremony at the stadium was wonderful. Getting my MBA was a great experience and I am so grateful I had the opportunity. The staff support of the program and our class is outstanding. The program was even better than I expected,” said graduate Ray Kolis, Senior Manager, Nissan North America.

In addition to recognizing the graduates and class leaders, awards were given to class MVPs Mia Simpson, Scott Staples, and Denise Vickers. The James F. Cashman Faculty award for counsel, positive influence on students, and high standard of integrity was presented to Dr. Ron Dulek for both the TEMBA and HEMBA classes.

Drs. Ron Dulek and Brian Gray were awarded the Faculty Excellence Awards from the HEMBA and TEMBA respectively, for exeptional instruction and significant impact on student understanding.

Ryan McDaniel, Vice President of the EMBA Alumni Network, welcomed the graduates into the Network of now 965 members.

Dr. Ron Dulek receives EMBA Faculty Award
L-R Joe Thomas, Scott Staples, and Dr. Ron Dulek.

 

Congratulations EMBA Class of 2019

  • Ryan Baldwin, Consultant
  • Tony Berenotto, Delta Air Lines
  • Yolanda Coleman, St. Vincent’s Health System
  • Alix Connor, The Sanders Trust
  • Doug Cornelius, U.S. Air Force
  • Lance Ezelle, Alabama Farmers Cooperative
  • Rodrigo Gallegos, Electrolux Major Appliances, North America
  • Diana Goss, Dekalb County Economic Development Authority

    Big Al celebrates graduation with EMBA 2019.
    Big Al celebrates graduation with 2019 EMBA classmates (L-R) Yolanda Coleman, Tamara Smoot, and Shaun Williams.
  • Gifford Haynes, E.A. Renfroe & Company
  • Rob Henry, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama
  • Stephen Hutchings, Torch Technologies
  • Jordan Jaggers, The Distribution Point
  • Jason Kennedy, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
  • Ray Kolis, Nissan North America
  • Josh Lawley, BAFR Properties
  • Jonathan Lewis, Kord Technologies
  • Stirling Macfarlane, PPG Industries
  • John Malloch, Motion Industries
  • Taylor Nelson, Yates Construction
  • Nichole Parker, PPG Industries
  • Shane Peek, Heil Environmental Company
  • Custis Proctor, Synovus Corporate Banking
  • Mia Simpson, DS Smith
  • Cory Skipper, Mercedes-Benz US
  • Tamara Smoot, Stryker Sustainability Solutions
  • Ray Snead, Snead Group LLC
  • Scott Staples, Fidelity Investments
  • Ric Sweatt, Comcast Cable
  • Rob Terry, Cosmetics Essence Innovations
  • Joe Thomas, Orascoptic
  • Josh Thompson, Cascades Sonoco
  • Denise Vickers, WFXG Fox 54
  • Cyndi Vigil, Army Material Command/US Army Reserves
  • Johnathan Waltz, Ecolab
  • Tamara Washington
  • Shaun Williams, Tuskegee University TUCEP-Co
  • Colby Wilson, Mercedes-Benz US
  • Freddy Windham, Bayer Healthcare

For more information on The University of Alabama Executive MBA Program, visit the UAEMBA website or contact Cheryl Altemara at 205.348.4501 or caltemara@cba.ua.edu.

 

UA EMBA Alumnus Kenneth Kelly Named to FDIC Advisory Committee

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced that Kenneth Kelly has been selected as one of seven new members for its Advisory Committee on Community Banking, which has been providing advice and recommendations to the FDIC on a broad range of community bank policy and regulatory matters since its establishment in 2009.

Kelly is Chairman and CEO of First Independence Bank in Detroit and is a 1998 graduate of The University of Alabama’s Executive MBA Program.

The seven new members will join 11 existing members. The FDIC Advisory Committee members represent a cross-section of community bankers from around the country. The Advisory Committee on Community Banking discusses and provides input to the FDIC on a wide variety of topics, including current examination policies and procedures, credit and lending practices, deposit insurance assessments, insurance coverage and regulatory compliance.

For more information on the Advisory Committee on Community Banking and committee members, see press release at https://www.fdic.gov/news/news/press/2018/pr18073.html

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. 

UA EMBA Alumni Network Conference To Focus on Business Owners

It’s fall at The University of Alabama, and for the EMBA Program that means our students along with our alumni are returning to campus.  The EMBA Alumni Network will be holding their annual conference October 4-5 in Tuscaloosa.

Entrepreneurship, innovation, networking and paying forward/giving back will be the themes covered at the conference.

Hear the stories from owners who are passionate about their companies. Learn how they created and built their businesses, the roadblocks, successes, and strategy for continuing success.

Featured speakers:

  • Founder and Owner Robert Armstrong whose company G Momma Cookies took honors this year in the Alabama Launchpad Competition.
  • Co-Founder and President Mary Drennen began Nourish Foods in Birmingham featuring Southern-inspired meals and now ships to 40 states.
  • A panel of UA EMBAs who are owners representing International Crating & Assembly, Atlas Senior Living, and Stringfellow Technology Group.

It is more than just a day of learning and inspiration. It’s also an opportunity to network and catch up with classmates and faculty.

We’re proud to bring together our community of EMBA alumni, students and prospects to learn, get inspired, and grow better together.  Welcome Back, Alumni, and Roll Tide!

To register for the UA EMBA Alumni Network Conference click here or call Donna Blackburn at dblackburn@cba.ua.edu.

HEMBA Class of 2020 Begins

The University of Alabama HEMBA Class of 2020

 

By Donna Blackburn

If it is August, you will find The University of Alabama Executive MBA staff busy getting ready for the incoming Huntsville EMBA students. The HEMBAs arrived in Tuscaloosa for orientation and their first classes August 1-4.

Before the students begin their first semester classes: Statistics, Accounting, Marketing and Project Management, they spend a day team building and getting to know each other.

At orientation, we focus on how our students can be successful in the program, using academic research and work with our own students on team and individual success, reciprocity, and coaching.  Teams also get a head start in creating their team charters which strongly emphasize their goals and commitments.
Also, the HEMBA 2020 class took part in the traditional EMBA Scavenger Hunt on the UA campus.  Every landmark on our campus, from Denny Chimes, to Bryant-Denny Stadium, President’s House, to Coleman Coliseum was documented with selfies taken by our HEMBA teams.

Twenty-two students make up the 11th Huntsville cohort. They represent 14 different industries, including retail, services, defense, aeronautics, manufacturing, healthcare, distribution and IT.  Fifteen percent are vice presidents/owners, 85 percent managers, and 48 percent are military or veterans – setting a record.

The HEMBAs will join the 35th Tuscaloosa cohort starting in November 2018 to complete the Executive MBA Class of 2020.

Congratulations to our incoming HEMBA Class of 2020. Roll Tide!

  • Alanna Aaron, Forever 21
  • Chad Brennan, Dynetics, Inc.
  • Jeremy Chism, Science & Engineering Services (SES)
  • Mike DeWerff, Motion Industries
  • Cynthia Dempsey, ZoomCare
  • Danielle DeVaney, The Boeing Company
  • Gilbert Goscicki, BASF
  • Joey Holdmeyer, Sonoco Products Company
  • Gabe Lewis, Leidos
  • Jim Lopresti, Yulista Aviation
  • Julie Mathis, Futaba Corporation of America
  • Brian McCormick, Parker Hannafin
  • Louis McMillian, USAAMCOM
  • Phil Monkress, All Points Logistics, LLC
  • Robert Post, Diversified Gas & Oil Corporation
  • David Ramirez, Ruag Space USA
  • Jennifer Ridgeway, PPG Aerospace
  • Stephen Schlanger, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S.
  • Adam Stephens, Smith Infiniti of Huntsville
  • Wilson Townsend, Schneider Electric
  • Mandy Watts, B. Braun Interventional Systems
  • Ted Yonke, ThyssenKrupp Materials

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

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