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ANNIVERSARY ISSUE | 2018

70 YEARS STRONG

THE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS CELEBRATES DECADES OF SUCCESS


Looking Back, Moving Forward Dear Friends, For the past year, we at Minnesota State University, Mankato, have been celebrating our 150-year history! It has been inspiring to hear stories from faculty, staff, students, alumni, community members and business partners who have all contributed to the University. Here at the College of Business, we are celebrating 70 years in business education and 20 years as an internationally recognized AACSB accredited business school. To mark these significant milestones, this Brenda Flannery, dean of the College of Business edition of In Review pays extra homage Photo by Steve Woit to our history as a business school: from our beginnings as a training ground for business educators to our launch as a College of Business in the late 70s to the real-world impact we’re having today. We’ve come a long way in 70 years. Classes in shorthand and typing have made way for realworld start-ups (see page 32), national competitions (see page 18) and students—in partnership with faculty and industry professionals—leading actual investments, innovation projects, community service projects and more. But what really stands out is the passion and dedication our faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners have for this place. I have loved being part of the Minnesota State Mankato College of Business family for 22 years. Yet my tenure pales in comparison to Verone Nelson, who served 48 years as an administrative assistant to eight business deans (see page 34). Or Mary Jane Patchin, who began as a student in the Division of Business Education, served as an educator for 30 years and is now one of our distinguished emeriti faculty (see page 27). Then there’s Dean Morgan Thomas, the College of Business’ longest serving dean, who cast a vision for the College that lives on to this day (see page 6). Brenda Flannery, first faculty photo 22 years ago.

DEAN, COLLEGE OF BUSINESS Brenda Flannery EDITOR Sarah Asp Olson CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Sara Gilbert Frederick GRAPHIC DESIGNER Wendy Bateman PHOTOGRAPHERS Jonathan Chapman Linda Clavel Social Butterfly Steve Woit Historical images courtesy of the University Archives at Minnesota State University, Mankato. PRINTER Minnesota State University, Mankato Printing Services PRINT COORDINATOR Doug Fenske ...................................................................... The mission of In Review is to inform and to connect the reader to the College of Business community. In Review welcomes story ideas supporting this mission. In Review is copyrighted in its entirety. This volume and all articles, images and photographs within may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the editor. ...................................................................... COVER: W. Albert Cox was an instructor in Business Education starting in 1948. He also served as registrar until 1959 when he accepted the registrar position at the University of Iowa. Here, he is conversing with students in the Student Co-op and Union in the Physical Education Building on Lower Campus. Photo courtesy of the University Archives at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

...................................................................... COLLEGE OF BUSINESS 120 Morris Hall, Mankato, MN 56001 507.389.5420 | cob.mnsu.edu

These are just a few of the stories you’ll find in the pages of our anniversary edition. We hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane as much as we have.

Brenda Flannery Dean, College of Business Professor of Management Now it’s your turn! What do you remember about your time in the College of Business? Share your stories and photos at the College of Business—Minnesota State University, Mankato Facebook page or, via email at cobevents@mnsu.edu. 2 / C OLLEGE OF BUSIN ES S I N R E V I E W

This document is available in alternative format to individuals with disabilities by contacting the magazine staff at the address, e-mail, and/or fax number listed above or at 800-627-3529 or 711 (MRS/TTY). BUSC131NE­_7/18


Contents

From the Dean........................................... 2 Leadership Team..................................... 4 Advisory Council...................................... 5

6

13

By The Numbers...................................... 12 The Future is Bold................................... 16 Reaffirmation of Excellence............ 17 Your Authentic Self At Work........... 18 Mankato Founder Shares Her Path to Success.............................. 22 Looking Back: In Pictures................. 28

20

24

Student Leaders: Where Are They Now?.......................................... 30 Risk and Innovation Pay Off Big for Student Entrepreneurs..... 32

A Look Back at the College of Business’ 70-Year History............................................................ 6

Verone Nelson: Dedicated to the College of Business..................... 34

Old Main to Morris Hall................................................................... 13

Faculty & Staff Honor Roll................. 36

Gifts to Grow on.......................................................................................... 20

College of Business Programs.........37

Faculty Reflect on College of Business Through the Years.................................................. 24

Minnesota State Mankato: Then & Now.................................................. 38

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Leadership Team in front of Old Main marker, State Normal School 1869. Photo by Social Butterfly

College of BUSINESS

LEADERSHIP TEAM The College of Business Leadership Team includes 14 high-impact professionals who are making real-world learning experiences happen each day.

PICTURED ABOVE Back Row (L to R): Kathy Dale, Department of Management Chairperson Linda Meidl, Student Relations Coordinator Dustin Sedars, Director of Development Bryan Hoffman, Information Technology Solutions Director Ferdinand Siagian, Master of Accounting Program Director Luke Howk, Internships and External Partnerships Director Paul Brennan, Department of Accounting and Business Law Chairperson Front Row (L to R): Marilyn Fox, MBA Program Director Brenda Flannery, Dean Harry Thiewes, Department of Finance Chairperson Ann Kuzma, Department of Marketing and International Business Chairperson Yvonne Cariveau, Director of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Not Pictured (newest members):

Ranae Hiniker, Administrative Assistant to the Dean Jennifer Cucurullo, Director of Communication and Events

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ADVISORY COUNCIL The Minnesota State University, Mankato College of Business Advisory Council exists to provide advice in developing the college’s strategic plan, monitoring the implementation of plans, and assisting the college in connecting with the business community to achieve its goals. Its bylaws were established in the 1980s.

Glenn Stolt, ’89, Chair

Douglas Holtan, ’87

Jay Adams, ’91

Lisa Hyland, ’88

President and CEO, Christensen Farms

Owner, Cranky Ape

Systems & Procedures, Mayo Medical Center Senior Vice President, Federated Insurance

Keith Bauer, ’86

Director of Human Resources, Mankato Clinic

Mark Bietz, ’07

Chief Marketing Officer, Fun.com

Brad Brolsma, ’73

President, Merchants Capital Resources, Inc. (Retired)

Curtis Fisher, ’72

Broker/Owner, Coldwell Banker Commercial Fisher Group

Jean Fitterer Lance, ’83

John Kind, ’79

Executive Director, Mankato Family YMCA

Don Kreye, ’88 National Accounts Director, Delaget

Greg Lea, ’74

Senior Vice President, CFO and COO, EnteroMedics

Suresh Mathews, ’75

Senior Vice President and CIO, Unisys Corporation (Retired)

Janet Moldstad

Vice President of Marketing, The Occasions Group, Taylor Corporation

Brad Peters, ’87

President, Bremer BankSoutheast Minnesota Region Group

Paul Rasmussen, ’92

Founding President and CEO, Zepol (Retired)

Bron Scherer, ’79 Founder and Partner, Protein Sources

Kyle Smith, ’01

Principal, TAILWIND Group

Ryan Spaude, ’98

Financial Advisor, Eide Bailly Financial Services, LLC

Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer, Boston Scientific Corporation (Retired)

Jeff Meyerhofer, ’98

President, Medicare and Retirement Bundled Payments, UnitedHealth Group

Jennifer Thompson, ’80

Trudie Gustafson, ’81

Dennis Miller, ’89

Pamela Ziermon, ’80

Norb Harrington, ’75

Mike Mitchell, ’71

Greater Mankato Growth and Taylor Companies Executive (Retired)

Regional President, Wells Fargo Bank (Retired)

President and CEO, Midwest Wireless (Retired) Key City Ventures

Senior Manager, Swanson Hinsch & Co.

Senior Vice President of Compliance, Dougherty Financial Group, LLC (Retired)

President, MSM Financial

—VISION— To be the clear business school choice for real-world learning experiences

—VALUES— Student centered, innovative, and professional always pursued in a spirit of collaboration, inclusion and collegiality

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Hazel Flood Faculty Leader

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Duane McCracken Chair

Morgan Thomas Dean


70

YEARS

STRONG

SINCE ITS FOUNDING IN 1948 AS THE DIVISION OF BUSINESS EDUCATION, TEN MEN AND WOMEN HAVE LED MINNESOTA STATE MANKATO’S COLLEGE OF BUSINESS—EACH WITH A UNIQUE VISION FOR THE FUTURE AND A PASSION FOR THE STUDENTS, FACULTY AND STAFF WHO WALK ITS HALLS. EACH SAW GROWTH, CHANGE AND REORGANIZATION—WITHIN THE COLLEGE, ON CAMPUS, IN THE COMMUNITY AND AROUND THE WORLD. What follows is the story of the College of Business. B Y S AR AH ASP OL S ON

Dr. Hazel A. Flood was a founding member of the Division of Business Education. She arrived on the campus of Mankato State Teachers College in 1947, and retired in June, 1969.

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determine credit values for their course. She lost others: the Academic Affairs Committee turned down a proposal for a Business English course. Her biggest victory came in 1949 when the Division of Business Education, including a major and minor, was officially established with McCracken as its chair. Over the subsequent decade, the Division added new courses, including techniques of secretarial science, secretarial bookkeeping and introduction to business correspondence. In 1958, enrollment records show that nearly 37 percent of all Mankato State College students were registered for a Division of Business Education course. McCracken stepped down from his role as chair in 1960, the same year the Division of Business Education got a new name: the Division of Business.

Morgan Thomas (shown at his desk in 1970) arrived as an instructor in 1953. He served as dean of the College of Business from 1964 until his retirement in 1982.

Laying the Groundwork Hazel Flood and Duane McCracken, 1948-1960 Economics professor Dr. Duane McCracken served as chair of the Division of Business Education at Mankato State Teachers College beginning in 1949 and is rightfully credited with the division’s steady growth and success. But without the work of founding instructor, Dr. Hazel Flood, the division may not have gotten off the ground at all. In 1947, Flood reduced her teaching load by half and developed a five-year plan for a new division that would include basic training for high school business teachers and those entering business occupations. In the winter quarter of 1947-48, the newly created Division of Business Education offered its first course in typewriting on eight war-surplus typewriters. The class met in the Health Division’s infirmary, where students had to push back beds and set up sawhorses for their machines. That spring, Flood taught a section of accounting; McCracken taught introductory economics. “Because of the wonderful cooperation of President Crawford and the very evident demand for this training, it was possible to move into the program very rapidly,” Flood wrote in a memoir of her time with the Division of Business. Flood characterized those early days as a series of battles. She won some: in 1949 instructors earned the right to

Melvin Stanford Dean

Gerald Stiles Interim Dean

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With Growth, Possibility Morgan Thomas, 1960-1982 When Dr. Morgan Thomas became chair, the Division of Business was composed of 15 faculty members and offered 35 courses. Over the next two decades, the school would go through reorganizations, name changes and a physical relocation. It would also establish itself as one of the leading business training programs in the state. Much of the explosive growth during this time is due to Thomas, whose official title became Dean of the School of Business in 1964. According to his son, Dick, Thomas’ strengths were hiring good people, focusing on student success and developing a close partnership with the business community. “The business community in Mankato had a high respect for my dad,” he says. “He made a point of being connected. That helped him gauge what kind of curriculum the business community wanted.”

“Morgan was honest, hard working, he protected his people. He started the whole program. I have the utmost respect for what he built.”

Gaber Abouelenein Dean

—Professor Emeritus Timothy Scott

Norman Solomon Dean

Scott Johnson Dean


Thomas expanded the division’s offerings to include majors in aviation, computer science and industrial-technical studies. In 1969, the school offered its first Masters of Business Education. He led the transition from lower campus to upper and managed two name changes, including adopting the College of Business in 1977. To support the College’s rapid growth and bolster its reputation, Thomas put a priority on hiring specialized faculty, including CPAs and attorneys. “He brought in talented people,” says Dick. Professor Emeritus Timothy Scott joined the management faculty in 1974 and stayed for 37 years. He recalls that Thomas was so determined to get him to Mankato that he kept matching any other offer Scott received. “Morgan was honest, hard working, he protected his people,” he says. “He started the whole program. I have the utmost respect for what he built.” Thomas was proud of the work he did growing the College of Business—from 15 faculty members to more than 100. Just before stepping down, he told the College Reporter he wouldn’t change a thing. “Every year, every day, in every way things got better.”

A College on the Rise Melvin Stanford, 1982-1989 Dr. Melvin Stanford was attracted to Mankato State by its excellent reputation and the quality of its business faculty. Stanford came from Brigham Young University with his own goals: preserve the quality of instruction; contribute to the advancement of knowledge through scholarly research and publication by faculty; and strengthen the ties between the College and business community. Several enterprises that gained ground during Stanford’s tenure have become hallmarks of the College of Business to this day, namely the Business Advisory Council and Executive Lecture series. Beyond new initiatives, the growth during those years was demonstrable. “In 1982, the year that I came, Mankato State awarded 666 degrees in business,” recalls Stanford. “In 1989, at the conclusion of my service as dean, the University awarded 1,291 degrees in business.” Faculty recruiting and advancement, too, became a high priority activity for the College of Business. Between 1982 and 1989, more than 20 new faculty were hired, many with or pursuing doctoral degrees. With growth, though, came challenges. The move to upper campus in 1979 and the increase in interest in business courses forced classes to squeeze into unlikely spaces.

Gaber Abouelenein (left) and Gerald Stiles worked to earn national accreditation, ushering the College of Business into a new era.

“The classes were in Armstrong until we got too big, so they moved part of the classes into the [Wilson] Campus School,” recalls Clinton Kind, professor emeritus of accounting, who described the conditions as cramped to say the least. “In fact, I had an accounting class with 80 people in it in the Campus School.” Times were tight in other ways too. In January 1983, Minnesota Governor Rudy Perpich placed a freeze on all non-essential state hiring and expenditures. For the College of Business, that meant faculty on overload and fewer resources for things like technology upgrades. Other changes shook up the very foundation of the College of Business—and the greater University. “It is significant to note that business students previously prepared primarily for education, and business was secondary,” former top-level Minnesota State Mankato administrator and Mankato city council member, Claire Faust, wrote in his book, “Mankato State University: The Second Century, the First Twenty-Five Years.” “Now most business students prepare specifically for careers in business and industry, with only a few preparing to teach. It is also significant that following the attainment of a degree, students are employed all over the world in business.” The world was shrinking, and Mankato State as a whole was moving away from its teacher college beginnings and growing into its role as a university. It was in this climate that the College of Business was ripe for a new challenge.

Paving the Way for Accreditation Gerald Stiles, 1989-1990; Gaber Abouelenein, 1990-1997

Marilyn Fox Interim Dean

Brenda Flannery Dean

After Stanford stepped down in 1989, professor of marketing and international business Dr. Gerald Stiles took over as Interim Dean. At the time, the College of Business boasted 41 percent of Minnesota State Mankato’s graduates. A national search to fill the role included Stiles himself, but ultimately it was another internal candidate, professor of management Dr. Gaber Abouelenein, who took the job—partly

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Brenda Flannery took over as Dean of the College of Business in 2011, drawing on her experience as professor of management, and Assistant Vice President of Undergraduate Studies and International Education.

due to his passion for continuing Stanford’s push for national accreditation from the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). “[It’s] a stamp of excellence,” Abouelenein told the College Reporter. “It’s like a Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval that business schools have to achieve.” When he was named Dean of the College in 1990, that stamp of approval became his primary focus. Abouelenein leaned hard into AACSB accreditation. He developed strong relationships with administrators and industry partners; he brought in faculty dedicated to research; and—perhaps most controversially—he streamlined the department by cutting down faculty and eliminating program offerings. Business education, computer science, aviation management, construction management and economics were relocated into other colleges, and a faculty of more than 100 became 50. For Abouelenein, the competitive advantage that came with AACSB accreditation was worth the growing pains. “It took someone with Gaber’s drive and passion to accomplish this,” says Dr. Marilyn Fox, professor of management and current AACSB director. Stiles, too, continued to work hard toward accreditation, acting as Abouelenein’s right hand and “accreditation czar.” In 1997, the College of Business became one of just three schools in the state to hold AACSB accreditation (which now stands for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). The distinction, says Fox, “motivated us to pursue goals and become better at everything we did.” Abouelenein accepted a position in Cairo, Egypt, shortly after accreditation was announced. Once again, Stiles stepped into the role of interim and began a national search for a new dean. This time, the committee went with an outside hire: Dr. Norman Solomon from the University of Windsor in Ontario.

Staying the Course Norman Solomon, 1998-2001 “Norm really believed in accreditation,” says Dr. Brenda Flannery, current dean of the College of Business. “He kept us on the right path—you don’t want to let your foot off the pedal.” Especially since AACSB requires reaccreditation every five years. 10 / C OLLEGE OF BUSIN ES S I N R E V I E W

Solomon paved the way for more international opportunities for students. An exchange program with Institut de Formation Internationale in Rouen, France, launched in 1999 and allowed students to gain overseas experience while enrolled at Minnesota State Mankato. It was also under Solomon’s watch that the College began to implement a cutting-edge laptop initiative, led by faculty and funded in part through alumni donations. The initiative, which began under Stiles’ leadership, came to fruition in 2000 when each incoming College of Business student purchased a laptop.

Tech Forward Scott Johnson, 2002-2009 The laptop initiative was in full swing when Dr. Scott Johnson arrived in 2002. In fact, it’s one of the things that attracted the Mankato native back home from his position as professor of marketing in Louisville, Kentucky. (Johnson’s father Robert I. Johnson, a professor in Industrial Arts, retired from Minnesota State Mankato in 1983.) “I have always been interested in tech, so that was a real draw to be part of that,” he says. “One of the things [the laptop initiative] enabled the College of Business to do is have many new online resources for students and faculty. We got online access to ‘The Wall Street Journal,’ we got ‘Business Week’ online, ‘Financial Times,’ and then various huge library databases. It sort of opened up this idea of online learning and hybrid learning.” The focus on technology not only transformed how students learned and faculty taught, but also how graduates were perceived as they entered the workforce. “I remember talking to alumni working in the Twin Cities,” says Johnson. “They [said] ‘if there’s ever a technology issue, we look for a Minnesota State Mankato College of Business grad because they are really familiar with personal computing technology.’” Johnson oversaw significant growth in the College. From 2002 to 2009, the number of degrees awarded increased by 36 percent. At the same time, the College of Business’ endowment increased by nearly 60 percent, and it awarded 51 percent more scholarship dollars. “Of course, if you’re a dean, you like to take some of the credit for these initiatives,” says Johnson. “But older deans who are retired or still on the faculty will remind you ‘I was working on that way back.’” In 2009, Johnson accepted a position at Illinois State University. He is currently dean of the school of management at the University of Michigan–Flint.

Tumult in the Interim Marilyn Fox, 2009-2011 Dr. Marilyn Fox stepped into the role as interim dean for the second time (her first placement was in 2001) in the midst of a state budget crisis and a nationwide recession that necessitated retrenchment for only the second time in the University’s history. “It was the most trying time of my life,” she says. “Having said that, I lived through it. We all lived through it.” And Fox didn’t let it slow her down.


“Strategic people will tell you, in times of decline you need to invest,” she says. It was during these years that the College of Business began to develop one of its signature programs, the United Prairie Integrated Business Experience, which has gained national notoriety for offering real-world entrepreneurial experience. One of the faculty members heavily involved with IBE planning and implementation was Flannery, who joined the College of Business faculty in 1996 and became dean in 2011.

Innovation and Becoming the Business School of Choice Brenda Flannery, 2011-Present IBE was a big win for the College early in Flannery’s tenure as dean, as was guiding the College through its second reaccreditation assessment. “I looked at my role as [the one] to implement what we already had until we went through accreditation,” she says. After the reaccreditation process in 2013, Flannery’s goals expanded. She drew from her faculty experience—one of her first courses at Minnesota State Mankato was called New Ventures— and three years as Assistant Vice President of Undergraduate Studies and International Education to shape an innovative, entrepreneurial vision for the future. Flannery led a strategic planning process that resulted in a new vision of the College: to become the clear business school choice for real-world learning experiences. In the five years since, the College of Business has created a marketing position and a dedicated director of internships and partnerships, and launched a Master of Accounting program. Last year, the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship opened its doors and has quickly become a flagship asset. “I’ve really tried to help innovation happen in the college by providing support, bringing new resources and trying to remove hurdles,” Flannery says. “I’ve been inspired by past deans and faculty—from Hazel Flood and Morgan Thomas to current colleagues and students.” The College of Business, she says, is still pursuing Thomas’ early vision. “We’ve come a long way, [but] it’s still about hiring great people, ensuring student success and growing industry partnerships.”

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Minnesota State University, Mankato

College of Business

1868

Mankato Normal School

1921

Mankato State Teachers College

1948

The Division of Business Education

1957

Mankato State College

1960

Division of Business

1964

School of Business

1975

Mankato State University

1977

College of Business

1998

Minnesota State University, Mankato

College of Business students have long enjoyed cutting-edge technology thanks, in part, to the faculty-led laptop initiative in the early 2000s.

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By the Numbers Real-world evidence of how big ideas shape the future at Minnesota State Mankato and the College of Business More than

business partners hire College of Business students as interns, share expertise in the classroom and create opportunities for real-world learning experiences.

of the University’s top 10 majors are in the COB: Management, Marketing, Finance, Accounting More than

The year that the Minnesota State Legislature authorized the COB to offer graduate-level classes and a master’s degree program. the number of years that Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity, has been active at Minnesota State Mankato of recent Minnesota State Mankato graduates are employed, and are working in fields related to their major; are pursuing additional degrees.

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students have participated in the United Prairie Bank Integrated Business Experience program since it began in 2013.

College of Business Dean Brenda Flannery was included in THE MINNESOTA TOP

a list of the most powerful business executives in the state compiled by Minnesota Monthly magazine.

The COB supports

student-run clubs and organizations

Minnesota State Mankato students applied for jobs or internships through the Career Development Center between August 2017 and April 2018.


OLD MAIN FOR 20 YEARS, STARTING IN 1959, MINNESOTA STATE MANKATO WAS A CAMPUS DIVIDED. THE VALLEY (OR LOWER) CAMPUS, COMPRISED PRIMARILY OF OLD MAIN AND NICHOLS HALL, HAD BEEN HOME TO THE SCHOOL SINCE ITS EARLIEST DAYS. BUT AS ENROLLMENT CLIMBED, SO DID THE NEED FOR SPACE. GROUND BROKE ON HIGHLAND OR UPPER CAMPUS IN 1959. BY 1964 CLASSES WERE EQUALLY DIVIDED BETWEEN UPPER AND LOWER FOR THE FIRST TIME. THE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS WAS ONE OF THE LAST TO MOVE TO HIGHLAND. THE TRANSITION WAS COMPLETE IN 1979 AND WITH IT, CLASSES OFFICIALLY CLOSED IN OLD MAIN AND NICHOLS HALL. THE COLLEGE OF BUSINESS NOW CALLS MORRIS HALL HOME.

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1 “I remember distinctly the time we had the two campuses and the shuttle bus in-between. [Students] had to ride the bus from lower to upper campus.” —Robert Bensch, professor emeritus 1964-1993

5 1. Bus going between upper and lower campuses, 1960s 2. Students relaxing outside of Morris Hall, 1990 3. Students protest the Vietnam War outside Old Main, 1972 4. Dennis Sam Erickson, Professor of Accounting, instructs students in Nichols Hall, late ’70s 5. Aerial photograph of Valley campus, Mankato State College, 1968

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6 6. Students relaxing on the lower campus lawn, 1977 7. Nichols Hall, 1966 8. Mankato State University president Douglas R. Moore (left) standing near a university sign, 1975 9. President Margaret R. Preska (L) and Minnesota governor Rudy Perpich (R) walking in Morris Hall, 1989 10. Morris Hall, current home to COB 11. Students talking outside of Old Main, 1976


IMAGE COURTESY OF THE MANKATO FREE PRESS

2

“One of the major things in terms of political issues at the time was the Vietnam War. I recall being taken over by demonstrators in Old Main [in 1972].” —Basil Janavaras, professor emeritus 1969-2013

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8

10

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The Future Is Bold The College of Business’ latest partnership with The Glen A. Taylor Foundation launches full STEM ahead.

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his June, 50 young women entering grades 10 through 12 arrived on campus at Minnesota State University, Mankato to explore business opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Bold Futures is a one-week camp made possible by a partnership between Taylor Corporation and Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Business. The goal is to provide a hands-on introduction to STEM careers and empower young women to pursue business opportunities in STEM fields. “The name was intended to represent the goal we have for participants in the camp—that they think boldly about their futures as there are so many exciting career opportunities, particularly in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math, but also in many other fields,” says Suzanne Spellacy, Taylor Corporation Vice president and general Counsel. Spellacy notes that for many high school students, career readiness in STEM is mostly focused on the areas of health care and research. Bold Futures is one way to begin to broaden that perspective. “There are many applications for STEM in business,” she says. ‘We wanted to showcase some of these options. In fact, Glen Taylor’s undergraduate degree is in mathematics, and he found this very helpful in his business career.”

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Campers stayed on site at the Julia Sears Residence Community and interacted with Minnesota State Mankato faculty. They also ventured out into the community, learning from corporate partners with strong female leadership—like the Minnesota Lynx. “Because the statistics still show a shortage of young women in STEM-related careers,” says Spellacy, “we wanted to provide a unique opportunity that we didn’t see represented in the choices available to students in the Mankato and southern Minnesota area. We want to educate young women about possibilities and inspire them to consider something they may not have thought possible before.” Thanks to a sponsorship by The Glen A. Taylor Foundation, Minnesota State Mankato will welcome campers to Bold Futures through 2020. For more information on Bold Futures, contact Business Partnerships and Internships Coordinator Luke Howk at cobinternships@mnsu.edu.


Reaffirmation of Excellence

AACSB reaccreditation confirms a continuous drive towards student success.

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his year marked the College of Business’ 20th anniversary as an Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredited program. What does that mean for students, faculty and staff? “Since AACSB accreditation represents the highest standard of excellence in teaching and learning, it’s an assurance of learning guarantee,” says Marilyn Fox, professor of management and AACSB director. “It ensures quality in everything [we do]. We want to demonstrate we can have an impact on the lives of students, in the business community and in society in general.” Since earning the international accreditation association’s highest standard of achievement in 1997, Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Business has worked continuously to meet and exceed AACSB standards.

Don’t take our word for it. The recent reaccreditation process yielded superlative comments from the Accreditation Review Team (see below).

COB students are able to compete in regional and national competitions with tremendous success. The Integrated Business Experience (IBE) provides an outstanding example of real-world student engagement. Discussion with the students reflected the distinctive advantage of the College of Business at [Minnesota State Mankato] is the faculty engagement and the support for professional development by the students. Students are actively engaged through curricular and co-curricular programs.

About the AACSB The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business is an international organization committed to ensuring the highest standards in business education throughout the world. Founded in 1916, the organization works across more than 90 countries to “foster engagement, accelerate innovation and amplify impact in business education.” Currently, only 5 percent of business schools worldwide are AACSB accredited. The College of Business became a member in 1969, but it took 30 years to fulfill the full accreditation.

The launch of the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the downtown location has the potential to have significant impact in the development of the next generation of entrepreneurs at Minnesota State Mankato. The Big Ideas Challenge—by the Center, will attract new businesses to consider locating their startup business in Mankato.

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Your Authentic Self at Work Students from the College of Business represent Minnesota as one of seven teams in prestigious competition.

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ast January, four seniors from the College of Business and their advisor, professor of business law Wade Davis, made their way to Bloomington, Ind., to represent Minnesota State Mankato at the seventh annual Indiana University Kelley School of Business National Diversity Case Competition. The team was one of just seven finalists—and the only invitees from Minnesota—to take on a case study problem provided by Target Corp. Over the course of two days, teams developed a 15-minute presentation answering the question: How can Target continue to build on a culture where authentic differences are appreciated? We asked the team what it means to be your authentic self in the workplace, and why it’s important to the success of employees and companies.

Riccardo Prosdocimi, Italy Majors: Marketing and Management and Economics

Nathaniel Branwall, Minnesota Majors: Finance and Environmental Science

“The benefits of being your authentic self at work are the facilitated abilities to spark new ideas, come up with innovative solutions, and think about original insights as well as cultural enrichment, multi problem-solving skills, different perspectives and unique experiences. The value that comes from these benefits consists of an enhanced job satisfaction for the employees and decreased employee turnover together with a higher bottom line for the company.”

“The value of being your authentic self at work transfers into your work performance. If you feel that you can express your authentic self without repercussion it will allow you to increase performance. If I feel that I can be who I truly am at work, it will help drive me to my best performance because I will feel more valued.”

Othmane Sekkat, Morocco Major: Finance “The major value of being your authentic self at work is feeling comfortable to contribute and express yourself in a genuine way that fits naturally within your workplace. In consequence, companies will benefit from the diversity of thought from loyal and motivated employees who master their business field. This will result in an efficient multi-perspective problem solving approach, enabling innovative and competent decision-making.”

Victoria Camasmie, Brazil Major: International Business “Being your authentic self at work means being able to be who you truly are without having to worry about meeting others’ expectations of you. We each have our own qualities, experiences and ways of expressing ourselves, and being your true you brings that uniqueness to the workplace. Being your authentic self at work also means recognizing and celebrating the diversity that exists among us.”

From left: Prosdocimi, Camasmie, Branwall, Sekkat

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Gifts to Grow On Alumni make transformational gifts to the College of Business.

One of things that sets Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Business apart from the pack is its commitment to driving innovation—taking big ideas and turning them into real-world solutions. But without support from dedicated donors, many of the ideas that have put the College of Business on the map may not have gotten off the ground. Over the past five years in particular, alumni donors have stepped up to the challenge, offering gifts to support new, industry-driven programs, entrepreneurial initiatives, and graduate assistantships and internships in the College of Business. “Our donor and industry partner gifts provide the angel investments we needs to go to the next level,” says College of Business Dean Brenda Flannery. Two recent donations by accomplished alumni are set to usher the College of Business into a new and exciting future. “These generous gifts from Curt and Julie Stangler and Allen and Kathy Lenzmeier have given the College of Business the opportunity to establish two firsts for the University: an endowed chair in accounting and an endowed internship program,” says Flannery. “These firsts, which would not have been possible without these committed and visionary donors, transform our ability to accelerate student success and grow into our goal of being the clear business school choice for real-world learning.”  We asked Allen Lenzmeier and Curt Stangler about their transformational gifts, and their commitment to giving back.  M I NN E S OTA STAT E U N I VE RSI T Y, M AN KATO / 19


You recently established the Allen Lenzmeier Endowed Professor of Accounting. Tell me about the decision behind this gift. Initially a group of alumni were assembled to discuss raising funds for a new building for the College of Business. I was one of the initial contributors to that effort. Over time, other priorities at the University arose and a new business building was placed on hold. I discussed other options with Brenda [Flannery] in terms of what was available for better utilization of the fund. She talked about establishing a chair. There had never been one for the business school.

How do you hope the endowed chair will benefit the College of Business, particularly the students going through the program?

ALLEN AND KATHY LENZMEIER Allen Lenzmeier ’65 was the first in his family to go to college. The Shakopee native came to Minnesota State Mankato because it was very affordable and close to home. His plan was to major in engineering, but after taking several math courses decided accounting was the track for him.

“My career aspirations were always to become a CPA,” he says. Lenzmeier’s first accounting job was as an auditor with Price Waterhouse in New Orleans where he spent four years and obtained his CPA certificate. He went on to take financial management positions at National Car Rental System, Tom Thumb Food Markets and Perkins Restaurants. In 1984, he was hired as VP of finance at consumer electronics retailer, Best Buy Company, and retired in 2009 as President, Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman. He helped Best Buy grow from sales of $25 million in 1984 to more than $40 billion in 2009. Lenzmeier and his wife, Kathy, have been longtime supporters of the College of Business, even offering seed money for the laptop initiative in the early 2000s. Now, with their latest gift to fund an Endowed Chair in the Accounting department, they’ve once again opened the door for innovation within the College of Business and the University.

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It’s my understanding that other top business schools have endowed chairs and this will provide the opportunity for Minnesota State Mankato to be included in that group. Hopefully this will assist in attracting professors and students to the school as well as enhance the opportunity for students to have more jobs available to them from new firms coming to recruit at the school. Having this endowed chair will be an indication that this is a place that’s really serious about teaching accounting.

Why is giving back to the College of Business important to you? This is where I received my education and it provided the foundation upon which to build my career. It was sort of my passport to a career in accounting and eventually financial management, as well as executive leadership. I’ve been very fortunate in terms of my career, particularly with Best Buy. Kathy and I both believe very strongly in giving back to the community. The Allen Lenzmeier Endowed Professor of Accounting will launch in 2018. It has the distinction of being the first endowed professorship for the College of Business and for Minnesota State University, Mankato.

We asked Lenzmeier and Stangler to reflect on lessons learned on Minnesota State Mankato’s campus that have stuck with them throughout their careers. Here’s what they said. LENZMEIER “The main thing is that education is kind of a lifelong learning process. Going to college is not the end of it. It’s really the beginning and you need to continue to keep your skills up-to-date. A degree from college is the passport to upward mobility and I think it’s important to study hard when you’re in school so that you can get good grades and be able to qualify for the jobs that you’re interested in doing.”


“Toward the end of the second year I took an accounting course and thought it was spectacular.” Stangler ended up graduating with a double major in accounting and political science. He got a job with Andersen Consulting after graduation and his career path was set. Stangler rose to the level of partner with the firm—now Accenture—and retired at the beginning of 2000. Stangler is passionate about giving back to causes important to him. In fact, he’s been a Minnesota State University, Mankato donor for 50 years. “I’ve contributed every year since I left school,” he says. In 2000 he established the Curt Stangler/Accenture Consulting Endowed Scholarship, which generates annual scholarships for the College of Business and the College of Engineering. For his latest gift to the College of Business, Stangler and his wife, Julie, wanted to target their giving for maximum impact.  

In December of 2017 you launched the Curt and Julie Stangler Internship Fund that will support internship creation in the College of Business. How did it come about?

CURT AND JULIE STANGLER Curt Stangler ’68 arrived on Minnesota State Mankato’s campus in 1963 with the goal of becoming a high school history teacher and coach. An all-around sports enthusiast, he figured he’d eventually coach football and wrestling.

“As time went along, during my first couple of years I began to change my mind about teaching,” he says.

I went to Dean Flannery and what I wanted to know from her was the greatest need in the College of Business. She was the one who pointed to the internship program and the desire to strengthen that and make it one of the real shining lights of the College of Business. I grew up in Southern Minnesota in a small town. If we can do something that would encourage people to get an education, but not necessarily have to leave the small/medium-sized towns in this area to go to Minneapolis or Chicago to practice, that would be good too.

What is the value of internships for College of Business students?

Internships give students a chance to do some real work and have real-life experiences in an area that they believe they want to practice in. I did an internship in accounting when I was at school and I found it to be extremely helpful. It made me feel good about my decision to be an accounting major. It also helped me figure out what kind of company I wanted to work for as well as on what part of the company (consulting) I wanted to concentrate my efforts.

Why is it important for you to give back to the College of Business?

STANGLER “One of the lessons I really learned was that learning never stops. You use what you learned in school and working to help you learn new things in the future.”

Because I wouldn’t have had the success I have had if I hadn’t been in college and been lucky enough to find an area that I could do well in. Would I have been as successful or more successful if I went to school somewhere else? Who knows? I went to school at Minnesota State Mankato, that is the school that helped me. I owe them back. Established in 2018, the Stangler Endowed Internship Program will provide the College of Business with the leading-edge opportunity to: Increase the number of students having high-impact business internships, and provide small- and medium-sized enterprises— especially in southern Minnesota—with exceptional resources, training and coaching to recruit, orientate, train, supervise and retain interns.

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Mankato Founder Shares her Path to Success Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP is one of the most recognizable snack brands on grocery shelves—and it all started in a west Mankato garage.

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n April 9, Angie Bastian commanded the stage in front of a packed Ostrander Auditorium. She wore a bright pink blazer over a t-shirt emblazoned with her company’s logo: Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP. Bastian was on campus as this year’s Richard & Mary Schmitz Food Entrepreneur in Residence. She spent the day meeting with students, faculty and community members, detailing how she and her husband, Dan, grew their small-batch kettle corn company from a $10,000 equipment purchase (made on a credit card) to a $250 million international business. On stage in Ostrander, Bastian walked through the early years, describing how she and Dan (a nurse and a teacher respectively) started selling popcorn outside local grocery stores. About a decade in, they’d landed major contracts with the Minnesota Vikings and Costco. That’s when Angie got a call. “At the time, Dan’s cell phone number was still on the back of every bag,” Angie told the audience with a chuckle. The woman on the other end of the line was standing in Costco in front of a pallet of Angie’s Kettle Corn. She wanted to know if the product was safe for her child with food sensitivities. Angie answered her questions and hung up the phone. A few weeks later the woman called back. She identified herself as a producer on the Martha Stewart Show and wondered if Angie and Dan would be interested in taking part in a segment on gluten-free snacks. So that January, they did. “People ask me when I felt like I had made it,” Angie said. “That’s when I felt like we had made it.” The story of the little kettle corn company that could didn’t end with the Martha Stewart Show— far from it. Since that day in 2011, Angie’s Kettle Corn—now Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP—has gone through a redesign, a reaffirmation of purpose and a massive rollout around the globe.

Photo courtesy of Conagra Brands

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But for Dan and Angie, it has always been about more than conquering the snack world. It’s about caring for their family and community, making a product they feel good about, and treating people with kindness and respect—from employees to every customer who calls the number on the back of the bag. In its current iteration, Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP is on a mission to empower. Female-positive branding and marketing campaigns intentionally celebrate women “in a way they have not been celebrated before in food,” Angie said as she clicked to a slide with the bold question: Who is Speaking for Women? “[We wanted to] respect the female consumer. Food can be empowering, and not the enemy.” To that end, Dan and Angie have launched a number of initiatives designed to give back and empower people—particularly women and girls. Over the years, Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP has partnered with I Am That Girl, Jeremiah Program, Partners for Affordable Housing and more. They’ve also made it a goal to empower their own employees by encouraging authenticity at work. “Everyone at Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP has the opportunity to bring the boom and crush it every day,” the company’s website reads. “There’s nothing more special than watching people grow, thrive and change the world. When we work together and stay positive, we give everyone the opportunity to crush it.” Chicago-based Conagra purchased Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP in 2017.

THE FUTURE IS AG Angie Bastian’s inspiring presentation was made possible by the Richard and Mary Schmitz Endowment for Food Entrepreneurship. The Entrepreneur in Residence program and lecture series is just one way Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Business is leveraging the region’s strong agricultural and food economy for student success. Here are a few more:

AgToday is a recognized student organization (RSO) designed to promote the growth and awareness of economic vitality shaped by the opportunities within agriculture. The organization strives to build and foster relationships with industry leaders, explore agricultural opportunities and educate students on the impact of agricultural economy.

For the first time this year, students had the opportunity to present ideas in a Food and Beverage category at the annual Big Ideas Challenge. Finalists included a food delivery service and a vegan baking mix company.

New ag-focused courses include Business in the Modern Ag Economy (MGMT 447), designed and taught by Dr. Shane Bowyer.

Deepened partnerships in the food and beverage industry through collaborations with GreenSeam, Hormel, Davis Family Farms, AMPI, Christensen Farms and more.

—S.A.O

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WHERE WERE THEY THEN? College of Business faculty and emeriti look back on decades-long careers and reflect on fond memories, accomplishments and changes over time. B Y S AR AH ASP OL SON

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BASIL JANAVARAS International Advancement

Dr. Basil Janavaras was a young instructor, just 26 years old, when he joined the College of Business faculty in 1969. He was even younger than some of his students. “Those were challenging days for me as a young instructor, while I was teaching at the same time I was learning and truthfully began to realize that teaching was something I wanted to do the rest of my life,” he says. Janavaras didn’t waste time laying the groundwork for what would be his lasting legacy to the College of Business. In 1971 he wrote a single page proposal for a course in International Marketing. His request was denied. “But, I’m the type of a person who does not take no for an answer easily,” he says. “So I went back. They approved, and it was offered as an experimental course.” Three years later, Janavaras became the concentration director of International Business. “At the time there were very few schools in the country that offered programs in International Business,” he says. “We were I would say pioneers in the nation offering a concentration in International Business at the undergraduate level.” Janavaras went on to grow the International Business program into a full-fledged major. From 1985 to the early 1990s, he oversaw about six faculty members in addition to graduate students and a handful of grants that allowed for partnerships with leading companies like 3M and Honeywell. “That was the best time of my life at Minnesota State Mankato,” says Janavaras. “We used that as a base to attract some of the best students all over the state of Minnesota and beyond—they would come to Mankato to study International Business.” Janavaras continued to build international connections with students and industry through his retirement in 2013. He now splits time between Mankato and his native Greece. Among his many business ventures, he continues to teach online for Minnesota State Mankato.

“That was the best time of my life at Minnesota State Mankato. We used that as a base to attract some of the best students all over the state of Minnesota and beyond—they would come to Mankato to study International Business.”

ABO-EL-YAZEED HABIB Solidly Student Focused

Dr. Abo-El-Yazeed Habib has a reputation for being a tough teacher, and he’s okay with that. The veteran educator has been at Minnesota State Mankato since 1988. And while his classes in accounting are hard by design, and his expectations for his students are high, “my philosophy is smile and learn,” he says. “I try to encourage the students to smile from the heart, not a fake smile so they will be motivated to learn in the classroom.” They do learn—and succeed. Many come back to thank Habib for pushing them to be their best. He keeps the cards and e-mails they send him, as well as a collection of more than 500 ties, gifts from students grateful for a tough teacher who cared about their future. “The only thing that keeps me coming to school— everybody asks me when [I’ll] retire—I cannot live without seeing my students every day,” he says. “I can’t imagine I will retire and sit at home, I will vanish.” Habib celebrated 30 years at Minnesota State Mankato in 2018 and has no plans to retire.

—Dr. Basil Janavaras, Professor Emeritus College of Business M I N N E S OTA STAT E U N I VE RSI T Y, M AN KATO / 25


CLINTON KIND Camaraderie and Lots of Laughs

To hear Dr. Clinton Kind tell it, the first decade or so of his career was a heyday of sorts for the College of Business, particularly for the Accounting Department, which he would go on to chair for more than 20 years. “Well, at one time we had 23 instructors in accounting,” he recalls. “And besides that, four part-timers. We were offering extended campus classes in Tracy, Waconia, Minneapolis, Faribault and Fairmont. So we had all kinds of things going.” Kind also recalls it as a time of deep camaraderie within the College of Business. There were regular dinners and picnics for faculty and their families, and a scholarship banquet where he and fellow accounting professor, Bruce Smith, poked fun at their colleagues with a routine based on Johnny Carson’s Carnac the Magnificent. Smith was nicknamed Hunyha the Great, and Kind was called Ed McMuffin. “We put that on every year. Our wives were always embarrassed,” he says. “We were kind of a family.” Kind retired in 1995 after serving as chair of the Accounting department for 23 years. He lives in Mankato with his wife, Joni. Kind’s five sons established the Clint Kind Family Endowment that awards three scholarships to outstanding accounting students each year.

HENRY & MARILYN OKLESHEN Extracurricular Support

The year Drs. Henry and Marilyn Okleshen arrived in Mankato, the University’s hockey team won the Division II National Championship. The hockey fans knew they’d made the right decision to leave California and return to the Midwest. Henry began teaching in the finance department in 1980, followed by Marilyn, who joined the accounting faculty in 1981. Both Okleshens were involved in supporting the student community throughout their years with the College of Business. “I was active with [the hockey team],” says Henry. “It was interesting back then— many of the hockey players, like over half, were business majors. Sometimes I’d take a bus ride with them to a game and I’d be tutoring them in finance.” Marilyn supported her students as faculty advisor for the co-ed business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, from 1997 to 2007. “Those are the kids I really keep in contact with,” she says. “I still get Christmas cards from a bunch of them. Those were my best years because I had so much fun with the students, interacting with them and learning from them, too.” Henry Okleshen retired in 2003 and, together with Marilyn, established a hockey scholarship for finance majors that still awards money to hockey players within the College of Business. Marilyn Okleshen retired in 2010. During her time with Delta Sigma Pi, she was awarded national chapter advisor of the year two years in a row.

“The thing I’m most proud of is that we always got better. From the time I came to the time I left, we kept getting better.”

—Dr. Timothy Scott, Professor Emeritus, College of Business

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ROBERT BENSCH Responsive Growth

Dr. Robert Bensch arrived on the campus of Minnesota State Mankato in 1964, the same year Morgan Thomas became dean of the newly named School of Business. It was a time of rapid growth, he recalls, particularly in contrast to the rest of the University. “In the early ’70s [the University] took a hit because education was no longer the popular program,” says Bensch, who came to Mankato from Arizona State to teach marketing. “The [University] was going downhill as far as enrollment was concerned.” On the contrary, the College of Business was thriving. “We were hiring faculty, and at that time my classes were the size of whatever the seats were in the room—that determined the size of the class,” he says. “It was nothing to have a 50 or 60 unit class at the time.” During his nearly 30 years with the College of Business, Bensch saw programs come and go, but overall, he’s proud of how the college kept up with market shifts and students’ needs—a strength he sees on campus to this day. “It’s interesting to watch the evolution of the programs,” he says. “The school has adapted rather well to the requirements of the market.” Robert Bensch taught marketing and advertising until his retirement in 1993.

TIMOTHY SCOTT

Continuous Improvement If you add it all up, Dr. Timothy Scott has 42 years of college teaching under his belt; 37 of those were spent teaching strategic management at Minnesota State Mankato. “The thing I’m most proud of is that we always got better,” he says. “From the time I came to the time I left, we kept getting better.” One of the most profound improvements Scott helped oversee was the launch of the College of Business’ laptop program in the late 1990s. It was a huge benefit for students in the College of Business, and directly led to Minnesota State Mankato becoming one of the first campuses in the nation to install a major wireless network. “I was always well treated here,” he says. “Most of the faculty had good hearts and were student focused. I think that’s what our competitive advantage was, if we had one. We hired some very good people, and good people attract other good people. We’re good and we’d be good anywhere.” Timothy Scott retired in 2011 but remains active on campus and with business ventures, including OakTree Simulations. He established the Timothy W. Scott Endowed Scholarship for business majors who have served in the military.

MARY JANE PATCHIN

Advocate for Business Education To this day, when Mary Jane Patchin sits down to read the newspaper or a magazine, “I still have the ‘red pen’ image in my mind,” she says. Patchin’s attention to detail and insistence that her students in the department of Business Education learn the same standards was a hallmark of her time within the College of Business. Patchin, who graduated from Mankato State in the 1950s, returned as a graduate assistant in 1964 and taught shorthand. Four years later, she joined the department of Business Education as faculty. Patchin spent the next 30 years dedicated to teaching the fundamentals of business education—even as the tools of her trade underwent massive transformations. In addition to shorthand and manual typewriters, Patchin recalls the early days of computers on campus. “When they first got the computers, they had those big, giant things in a room over in Old Main,” she says. “They made up those punch cards. When you were going to register for classes, then you would get a punch card. Each punch card represented a class.” By the time she retired, shorthand was a distant memory and Patchin began presenting lectures using PowerPoint. Despite all the technological advances, the principles behind business education, she says, remained the same. “Aim for positive tone even for bad news letters,” she recalls telling her students. “Make the reader nod in your viewpoint. Always use correct spelling and correct words/meanings. Use a dictionary—avoid trusting spell check—and use correct punctuation for clarity. Always put your best foot forward.” Mary Jane Patchin began as a student in the Division of Business Education in 1955, not long after it was created. She retired in 1998, just before the Department of Business Education was suspended. She helped launch the Hazel Flood scholarship.

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1. Students in female residence, Daniel Buck 3. Dean Morgan Thomas’ retirement from Hall at Mankato State Teachers College. Mankato State University, 1982 Between 1948-1952 4. Dr. Duane McCracken reads a Business 2. Aerial view of Highland Campus, 1970s Week Magazine, 1951 5. Students working in computer lab, 1984 28 / C OLLEGE OF BUSIN ES S I N R E V I E W

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6. Old Main Library, 1952 7. College of Business students meet with Dr. Reising at the interactive workstations in Wigley Administration Center. 8. Dr. Melvin Stanford with students, 1988


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9. Business education student typing, 1951 10. Robert Morris looking at the Morris Hall sign, Mankato State University, 1980 11. Professor watching as students work on computers during a class, 1991

12. Highland Arena Addition, Business College Annex, 1978-80 13. William Montag, Instructor in Business receives certificate on passing CPA exam, 1958.

14. Business Administration or Education Class, Nichols Hall, 1967 15. Students review notes in the Commons area on the first floor of Morris Hall

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Student Leaders: Where Are They Now? Heather Ludwig and David Kuplic took on a variety of leadership roles while at Minnesota State Mankato. Both have gone on to successful careers, but still draw on some of the lessons learned as student leaders.

Heather Ludwig ’87 President, Ludwig Coaching LLC   Heather Ludwig’s path to her current career as President and Professional Coach at Ludwig Coaching hasn’t been a straight line. “I weaved my way through [my] career,” says Ludwig, who graduated from Minnesota State Mankato with degrees in Business Management, Human Resources and Urban Studies. She then attended the University of Minnesota where she received a master’s degree in Industrial Relations—“which they now call Human Resources,” she says. “I enjoyed being a generalist in HR [and] I spent about six and-a-half years with Dow Chemical in their corporate headquarters and Michigan Division.” Ludwig continued working in human resources at General Electric, Health Partners and finally GMAC—where she was at the end of 2007, just as the recession began to take its toll on the company. “GMAC used coaches,” she says. “I was in the process of getting my own certification to do coaching with managers when we

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learned about the downsizing. I finished my certifications while wrapping up my time there and started my own business after I left.” Ludwig has used her skills as a professional coach and volunteer mentor ever since, helping everyone from students to pre-retirement executives figure out next career steps. Her own path to success started on campus. As president of the human resources management club, she served as a representative on the Council of Student Business Organizations (COSBO). Eventually she became the COSBO president. While she fondly recalls her time with the organization—particularly organizing a club-wide softball tournament each year—Ludwig still benefits from one key lesson she gleaned from her work with COSBO. “If I hadn’t become engaged in COSBO, I would not have understood the power of networking,” she says. “Even though I may not have understood the term at the time, I needed to understand how to interact with people and build relationships. You can’t accomplish things unless you have a network of people to do that. I carried that throughout my career.” This life lesson was essential when she left her career in HR to launch Ludwig Coaching. “I’d been in human resources for 20 years, no one knew me as a professional coach,” she says.  “One person in my network reached out and said, ‘I have a client who could benefit from coaching, we want to have you start the day you’re done with GMAC. [Since then] the majority of my clients have come from referrals, word of mouth.” These are the kinds of lessons Ludwig continues to pass on to her coaching clients and to her students as an adjunct professor at Minnesota State Mankato. Ludwig also volunteers on campus with the HR club, where she was once a member. “It’s really cool to go 360-degrees, to come back and be helping the students,” she says.

Heather Ludwig (Bissonette) with Dean Melvin Stanford (center) and Student Senate President, Kurt Battles.


David Kuplic ’80 President and CEO, Securian Asset Management When David Kuplic was an undergraduate in the College of Business, he and a team from the management club hosted an allcampus spring event. As part of the festivities, they held a car smash on the green. “I called a junkyard and bought a car and sledge hammers; it was a lot of fun,” he says. “When they hauled off the car, there was a bunch of glass left there.” Dean Morgan Thomas, who at the time headed up the Dean’s Business Council (a precursor to COSBO), gave Kuplic a call shortly after. “He said, ‘Hey, you need to get out there and sweep that up!’” Kuplic recalls. “Through that I learned I have responsibility—this is how you see the whole thing through.”

It’s just one example from his time in student leadership within the College of Business, but it’s a lesson that has stuck with Kuplic over a successful career in finance. “It’s that sense of responsibility,” he says. “This isn’t going to happen unless you make it happen.” Kuplic has spent his entire career making things happen. After earning an MBA from Indiana University, he honed his finance and leadership skills at a number of Fortune 500 companies, including Travelers, US Bank and Ameriprise Financial. He currently serves dual roles as president of Securian Asset Management and chief investment officer of Fortune 500 Securian Financial. Between Securian’s own funds and external clients, he’s directly responsible for about $40 billion in assets and a team of 110 employees. His advice to current business students? “Get involved. Try to use [your leadership position] to further a cause that you find you’ve got some passion around, and engage in activities you like. It is your time as a leader and you have the ability to shape it.”

COSBO leadership pose with College of Business Dean, Brenda Flannery.

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RISK AND INNOVATION PAY OFF

BIG

FOR STUDENT ENTREPRENEURS Students had a strong showing at the fourth annual Big Ideas Challenge.

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efore announcing the judge’s pick for best pitch presentation at the 2018 Big Ideas Challenge, Christy Lloyd Ernst gave the audience in Ostrander Auditorium a little insight into how they chose a winner. “Being an entrepreneur takes risk,” she said. She went on to explain, of the five pitches the judges heard the afternoon of April 16, there was one that stood out as a product on the cusp, one that could be risky but with the potential for huge rewards. Lloyd Ernst announced O-Cam as the presentation winner. The first-to-market prototype for an oven camera and mobile app lets you watch your food bubble away and monitors temperature, ensuring a perfect and safe cook every time. “We think they have a big idea we could see on Shark Tank one day,” Lloyd Ernst concluded. O-Cam entrepreneurs and engineering students Sherif Bakr and Abdelrahman Elkenawy walked away with $4,000 provided by Lloyd Companies that they will use to secure a patent and build a working prototype. The afternoon’s other big winner was an environmentally friendly dry erase marker, EnduraMark. Inventors Benjamin Lindquist, Robert Pederson and Michael Ganzer took home prizes for best business plan and best overall. In addition to a $6,000 cash prize, the EnduraMark team earned the right to present at the MN Cup, the largest statewide startup competition in the country hosted by Carlson School of Management. Finally, the audience favorite went to Twin Cities Engineering Consulting, a consulting service made up of engineering students and graduates. Their $2,000 prize will allow them to expand services and move into an office space. Overall, it was a close contest, said returning judge Sarah Richards, president and CEO of Jones Metal Products— evidence that students keep improving each year. “The presentations were very good, but the business plans were the best I’ve seen so far,” she said. —S.A.O

Foodies of the Future This year’s Big Ideas Challenge featured a new category made possible through a donation by Jones Metal Products. The Agricultural/Food/ Beverage Division featured two finalists competing for a $3,000 prize. The winner, Coconut Whisk Baking Co., produces vegan and allergy-friendly baking mixes using wholesome, high quality ingredients. Founders Bella Lam and Myles Olson wowed judges with their straightforward mission statement: simple makes life sweeter. The pair will use their winnings to move the company forward and begin donating a portion of their profits to animal sanctuaries around Minnesota. “The word is momentum,” Lam said. “It gives us so much momentum to keep doing this [knowing] we can build this company—and it’s worth it.”

Left: College of Business students welcome visitors to the Big Ideas Challenge. Craig Lloyd celebrates with the winning Big Ideas Challenge start-up, EnduraMark. Right: Agricultural/Food/Beverage Division winners, Coconut Whisk Baking Company accept their prize money. Photos by Social Butterfly

The Big Ideas Challenge is a new venture competition that encourages and celebrates students’ innovative business ideas. The Big Ideas Challenge is open to any Minnesota State Mankato student or alumnus within two years of graduating. Individual and team entries are welcome. This new venture competition gives students the opportunity to compete for money to fund their business. Thank you to alumnus Craig Lloyd of Lloyd Companies for generous support and donation of the prize money.

To learn more about the Big Ideas Challenge, visit cob.mnsu.edu/center-for-innovation-and-entrepreneurship

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Clockwise from top left: Verone Nelson with Professor Emeritus Rich Paulson and former College of Business Dean, Melvin Stanford; Nelson answering the phone early in her career; Nelson with former College of Business Dean, Morgan Thomas. Nelson poses with College of Business staff, including current Dean, Brenda Flannery; Nelson just before her retirement in 2012. 34 / C OLLEGE OF BUSIN ES S I N R E V I E W


Dedicated to the College of Business Administrative assistant Verone Nelson spent much of her 48-year career at Minnesota State University, Mankato in the College of Business.

D

uring her 48 years on campus Verone Nelson had a front row seat for the growth, development and transformation of Minnesota State Mankato and the College of Business. After graduating from clerical school, Nelson began her run at the University in May 1964, when she started working in the College of Education on lower campus. She was promoted to administrative assistant in the College of Business in 1966 and remained there for the rest of her career, serving alongside eight College of Business deans. Raised in an era of limited professional opportunities for women, Nelson says she’s proud to have witnessed career options expand. “Back then, if you were a woman, you were either a nurse, a teacher or a secretary,” she told Today magazine upon her retirement. “I don’t think we had any women in business classes, and now there’s so many … I should have been taking classes all these years!”

A relic from yesteryear sat prominently on Nelson’s desk until she retired in 2012: her vintage electric typewriter, a reminder of times gone by. “Typewriters were the only equipment we had to type tests and letters until we received office computers in the early 1980s,” she said. “It’s amazing how technology has changed over the years, but I like working on computers much better.” From typewriters to computers; shorthand to online courses, Nelson saw a rapid shift in technology throughout her time with the College of Business. She also witnessed the coming and going of faculty members, staff and, of course, students. Ultimately, it all added to the enthusiasm that kept her deeply engaged for just shy of 50 years of employment at Minnesota State Mankato. “What I enjoyed was working with faculty, administrators, every area of a college—the interaction,” she said. Drew Lyon and Mike Lagerquist contributed to this story.

Support and Camaraderie in the COB Each month, 10 current and former College of Business administrative assistants get together to catch up and reconnect. It’s a tradition that’s been going on since shortly after Terry Evers retired in 2007. We just kind of missed seeing our friends,” says Verone Nelson, who retired in 2012 after more than 40 years in the College of Business’ Dean’s office. “Reminiscing is always fun.” The get-togethers started as lunches out, then a few years ago morphed into monthly after-work happy hours. “We select a different place each month,” says former administrative assistant to the dean, Renee Grams. “Those of us that are still working keep the others up-to-date on what’s going on in the College of Business. We all share our personal updates like travel, family and children. We consider it a friendship gathering!”

—S.A.O

M I NN E S OTA STAT E U N I VE RSI T Y, M AN KATO / 35


Faculty & Staff Honor Roll Claudia Pragman

Professor of Management Faculty Co-PI, Minnesota State Collaboration grant for the development of the online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program

Kathy Richie

Assistant Professor of Management Faculty Co-PI, Minnesota State Collaboration grant for the development of the online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program

Luke Howk

Internships and Strategic Partnerships Keynote Speaker, 2018 Financial Planning Association of Minnesota Career Day. Project Manager, Bold Futures camp funded by The Glen A. Taylor Foundation.

Oksana Kim

Associate Professor of Accounting President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) Honorable Mention for research “Does Sex Matter? Female Directors on Boards and CEO Performance-Driven Turnover”

Wade Davis

Assistant Professor of Business Law Faculty advisor, National Diversity Case Competition Team Finalist; Faculty Leader for International Law European Study Tour; Published article “Trolling Twitter: Defamation in an Online World in the Journal of Critical Incidents”

Leon Chen

Associate Professor of Finance 2018 College of Business Research Excellence Award; Published article “An Investigation of the Short-Run and Long-Run Stock Market Response to Insurer Rating Changes” in the top tier Journal of Risk and Insurance.

Yvonne Cariveau

Director, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Faculty PI for industry innovation project contracts including Mankato YMCA, Jarraff, Encore Consignment, Nidec Corp. (Kato Engineering) and Fun.com.

Shane Bowyer

Assistant Professor of Management Faculty PI, Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council grant (Ag Careers). Faculty advisor, AgToday (new student organization)

36 / C OLLEGE OF BUSIN ES S I N R E V I E W

Queen Booker

Associate Professor of Management Emerging Leaders, American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AACSU) program; Published article, “Evaluation of Predictive Analytic Techniques in Healthcare Research” in the journal Issues in Information Systems

Connie O’Brien

Assistant Professor of Accounting Invited Speaker, Forensic Accounting Teaching Case presentation at the Annual Meeting of Business Analysis Association at Toyo University, Japan; Faculty Advisor to the new Center for Public Trust Student Organization

Marilyn Fox

Professor of Management 2018 College of Business Research Excellence Award; Published article “The Relationship Between Supervisor and Subordinate Value Congruence and Role Stress” in the Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management

Chris Brown Mahoney

Professor of Management 2018 College of Business Research Excellence Award; Published article “The Relationship Between Supervisor and Subordinate Value Congruence and Role Stress” in the Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management

Kris Rosacker

Associate Professor of Accounting Published article “Accounting, Politics and Public Pensions in the U.S.” in the journal Accountancy, Business and the Public Interest; Faculty Advisor for Beta Alpha Psi and VITA program *PI=Principal Investigator

Every year, business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi conducts a survey of business students. Here’s how they ranked the faculty for 2018: MOST SUPPORTIVE PROFESSOR: Joe Reising (Associate Professor of Finance) MOST CREATIVE PROFESSOR: Kristin Scott (Associate Professor of Marketing) KINDEST PROFESSOR: Kathy Richie (Assistant Professor of Management) FUNNIEST PROFESSOR: Steve Wilcox (Professor of Finance) MOST CAFFEINATED PROFESSOR: Roger Severns (Professor of Finance)


College of Business Programs Undergraduate Programs BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ACCOUNTING BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN FINANCE BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS (INCLUDING NEW 100% ONLINE PROGRAM) BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN MANAGEMENT BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN MARKETING

Master’s Programs MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (MBA) MASTER OF ACCOUNTING (MACC)

Certified Financial Planning Program (CFP) (non-degree) A PROFESSIONAL CONTINUING EDUCATION PROGRAM AT THE EDINA LOCATION

Minors  ACCOUNTING   ACTUARIAL SCIENCE   BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION   BUSINESS LAW   ENTREPRENEURSHIP & INNOVATION   FINANCIAL PLANNING   HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT   INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS  MARKETING

INTRODUCING Bachelor of Business Administration, launching August 2019 First in the Minnesota State system, the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program will launch in the fall 2019 as an undergraduate program for working adults interested in advancing their career opportunities. The College of Business at Minnesota State University, Mankato is working in collaboration with Riverland Community College to create this flexible business transfer pathway program for their Associate of Science (AS) business degree graduates. The BBA program will be offered in an online, five-week, one-courseat-a-time format, allowing working adults to complete a bachelor’s degree in just two years. This innovative design will meet the needs of working adults as well as the talent needs of employers. For more information, contact program co-leaders, Dr. Kathy Richie at kathy.richie@mnsu.edu or Dr. Claudia Pragman at claudia.pragman@mnsu.edu.

M I NN E S OTA STAT E U N I VE RSI T Y, M AN KATO / 37


In the early days, athletic teams were known as the Peds—a nod to the pedagogy that was the primary focus at Minnesota State Teachers College. The school’s nickname became the Indians in the 30s.

SCHOOL NICKNAME

1950: 2,854

UNIVERSITY ENROLLMENT

Mankato Normal School opened as the state’s second teacher training school. By the time the Division of Business Education launched in 1948, the school was known as Mankato State Teachers College.

NAME

The Mavericks was adopted in 1977.

SCHOOL NICKNAME

2017: 14,712

UNIVERSITY ENROLLMENT

NAME

The College of Business was created in 1977, and in 1998, the University adopted a new name for the fifth time, Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Minnesota State University, Mankato & The College of Business


Bill Carlson launched Carlson Letter Service as a part-time venture in 1948. The North Mankato shop grew to be the world’s largest wedding and social stationery printer.

NOTABLE BUSINESS IN TOWN

E.A. Hodapp, 1949-1951

MAYOR OF MANKATO

1940: 15,654

MANKATO POPULATION

The Grotto, the Kato Ballroom and, of course, the Albatross

STUDENT HANGOUTS

Women: Cooper Hall and Buck Hall, Men: Searing Center, Married Students resided in The Barracks, residential facilities designed for returning WWII Vets.

WHERE STUDENTS LIVE

ALL MALE BUSINESS FRATERNITY, DELTA SIGMA PI LAUNCHED A CHAPTER ON THE CAMPUS OF MANKATO STATE IN THE 1960S

Margaret R. Preska Residence Community

Clarence L. Crawford, 1946-1965

NOTABLE BUSINESS IN TOWN

Glen Taylor, ‘62

MAYOR OF MANKATO

Eric Anderson ’92, 2010-present

2017: 42,264 (estimated)

MANKATO POPULATION

STUDENT HANGOUTS “The Barmuda Triangle” in downtown Mankato, including Blue Bricks, Red Rocks, Rounders, Pub 500, South Street Saloon, Square Deal, Pagliai’s and Politos Pizza

Bill Carlson hired Minnesota State Mankato alum, Glen Taylor, at Carlson Wedding Services in 1959. Taylor purchased the company in 1975 and built Taylor Corporation, one of the largest privately held companies in the United States.

Richard Davenport, 2002-present

PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY

The Barracks

WHERE STUDENTS LIVE

Five co-ed, on-campus residential living options, including traditional residence halls such as Crawford and McElroy as well as semi-suite options in Preska and Sears and apartments in Stadium Heights.

TODAY, DELTA SIGMA PI IS GOING STRONG AND IS INCLUSIVE OF ALL STUDENTS


NON-PROFIT ORGN. U.S. POSTAGE

PAID

PERMIT NO. 202 MANKATO, MN 56001

Minnesota State University, Mankato College of Business 120 Morris Hall Mankato, MN 56001

Gifts That Make a Difference A 1979 graduate from the College of Business with a degree in accounting, Bron Scherer, CPA understands how important financial support is to his alma mater. As a College of Business Advisory Council member with more than 30 years of giving to Minnesota State University, Mankato, Bron has provided funding for scholarships, various programs and most recently has provided support for graduate assistants in the internship and strategic partnership office for the College of Business. You can make an impact in student’s lives as well. Please take time to look at the giving envelope inside this issue of In Review magazine, or contact Dustin Sedars at 507-389-2578 or dustin.sedars@mnsu.edu.

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