Engage@Spears Summer 2012

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letter from the Dean

PHOTO / Gary Lawson, university Marketing

Dear Spears School and OSU supporters: The Spears School of Business competes in the highly fragmented market of business education. Globally, an estimated 12,000 institutions offer business degrees. The AACSB, which accredits business schools all over the world, has more than 1,300 member schools and close to 650 accredited schools. About 490 of those accredited schools are in the United States. As in any crowded industry, brand positioning is critical to establishing a unique identity and achieving a level of differentiation. In higher education, brand positioning should emphasize the school’s intellectual assets and how those assets are reflected in its graduates. We are fortunate in the Spears School to be blessed with deep expertise in three areas that cut across the traditional academic disciplines. These capabilities also address some of the key challenges of the modern business environment. One area is innovation and entrepreneurship: “peering around corners,” inventing new business models, gaining support for creative ideas, leading change, etc. Certainly our flagship and highly ranked School of Entrepreneurship is proof of this capability, but innovation and change are also strong themes in our marketing and management departments. Another area is evidence-based management, applying the systematic and objective approaches of science to making decisions. Examples of this capability are our world-class business analytics program offered in cooperation with SAS as well as sophisticated data mining research conducted by our faculty and graduate students. The third area might be termed corporate responsibility, which covers governance, ethics, environment/sustainability, citizenship, reputation, etc. This is an area of very active teaching, research and outreach across all departments.

While other business schools can obviously claim significant expertise in one or two of these areas, the overlap of the three themes is the white space we seek to own. Together, they represent a unique Spears School mindset for transforming organizations and industries. Along these lines, we will soon be announcing a major undertaking in the area of health innovation that effectively combines these perspectives. Still, as an institution of higher learning, it is not sufficient to say that faculty have researched and written on these topics, are known for their work and are thought leaders. What’s equally important is that our instructional programs cultivate the mindset in our students and provide the frameworks, methods and tools that enable them to act accordingly. Therefore, we are undertaking a number of initiatives in the Spears School to align our teaching efforts with these focus areas. The result we seek is graduates who are grounded in responsibility, have the evidenced-based tools with which to be inquisitive, and are impacting the future as innovation leaders. One such aligned initiative is our Ph.D. in Business for Executives program, which is firmly rooted in the Spears School three-pronged mindset. Another example is our recently established Net Impact Chapter (the first in Oklahoma), which is a business-student-led organization focused on sustainable enterprise. In this and subsequent issues of engage@spears, you will find many examples of how we are bringing the Spears School mindset to life for our students.

Lawrence “Larry” A. Crosby, Ph.D. Dean, Spears School of Business

summer 2012 engage@spears


Table of contents

A publication of Oklahoma State University Spears School of Business • Vol. 2, No. 1, Summer 2012

About the cover

Two of a kind Ashley Leonard and Kyle Buthod have left their marks on the Spears School of Business. The two reflect on four successful years at OSU. (Photo/Gary Lawson)


Unlike any other OSU’s groundbreaking Ph.D. in Business for Executives program is already drawing corporate officials from across the country as it garners national attention.

Donor Profile

Decades of devotion Chuck and Kim Watson explain what OSU has meant to them and why they’ve chosen to help establish a new graduate school of management in the Spears School.


International reach Top Spears School MBA students received the chance of their academic careers last spring, thanks to a leading Oklahoma manufacturer.


Women inspiring women In both Oklahoma City and Tulsa, the Spears School brings together top businesswomen and large audiences to hear messages of inspiration and motivation.


Associate dean named Longtime accounting professor Carol Johnson is taking on new duties as the associate dean for strategic management and measurement for the Spears School.

Also inside… Letter from the dean Transitions


Honors & Awards


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24 4 12 20 32 36

Table of contents

OSU Spears School of Business Dean Larry Crosby

Associate Deans Mark Weiser Carol Johnson

Spears School Marketing and Communications Terry Tush

Editor Dorothy L. Pugh

Art Director Mark Pennie

Contributing Writers Matt Elliott Dollie Mitchell

Photography Phil Shockley Gary Lawson

Graphic Designer Kevin Cate

Spears School Department Heads Bud Lacy, School of Accounting Jim Fain, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business Bruce Barringer (interim), School of Entrepreneurship John Polonchek, Department of Finance Ken Eastman, Department of Management Rick L. Wilson, Department of Management Science and Information Systems Joshua L. Wiener, Department of Marketing

Contact Spears School of Business Oklahoma State University 201 Business Building Stillwater, OK 74078-4011 405-744-5064 ssb.news@okstate.edu spears.okstate.edu

Oklahoma State University, in compliance with Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Executive Order 11246 as amended, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and other federal laws and regulations, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, disability, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices or procedures. This includes but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services. Title IX of the Education Amendments and Oklahoma State University policy prohibit discrimination in the provision of services or benefits offered by the University based on gender. Any person (student, faculty or staff) who believes that discriminatory practices have been engaged in based upon gender may discuss their concerns and file informal or formal complaints of possible violations of Title IX with the OSU Title IX Coordinator, Mackenzie Wilfong, J.D., Â Director of Affirmative Action, 408 Whitehurst, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, (405) 744-5371 or (405) 744-5576 (fax). This publication, issued by Oklahoma State University, as authorized by the dean, Spears School of Business, was printed by Royle Printing at a cost of $6,769.20, 7,000. Job # 4149 8/12

summer 2012 engage@spears



A Ph.D. unlike any other OSU’s new doctoral program targets business executives By Terry Tush

Patti Jordan’s life was similar to that of most business executives. She was balancing raising two teenagers with her husband, Jeff, while working long hours as she sought to enrich her professional career. A goal setter who is always looking to better herself, Jordan compiled a list of professional goals nearly 10 years ago. That list included continuing to excel in her career while raising her children and earning a doctorate. But Jordan couldn’t figure out a realistic way to earn a doctoral degree — until last year when she joined some of her co-workers from Webco Industries at former General Electric Chairman Jack Welch’s appearance at the Tulsa Business Forums in February 2011. There, Jordan saw information about Oklahoma State University’s new Ph.D. in Business for Executives. “As soon as I got back to the office, I went to my computer and looked at it online,” says Jordan. “It was the doctoral program that was perfect for me.”


engage@spears summer 2012

Jordan, who was recently promoted to vice president at Webco in Sand Springs, Okla., where she has worked since 1994, is one of 19 executives from across the United States participating in the groundbreaking program in OSU’s Spears School of Business. The Ph.D. in Business for Executives is the first ACCSB-accredited doctoral program for executive development in the United States. “I’ve actually wanted to pursue a Ph.D. for a long time, but I didn’t want to quit work and have to move my family,” says Jordan. “When this program came about, it’s the perfect way for me to get my Ph.D. and still continue my career. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and this format allows me to do both.” The format is a dream come true for most executives. The Ph.D. participants meet monthly for three days — Thursday, Friday and Saturday — and connect with professors through conferencing technologies and online platforms between sessions. The program takes three years to complete. The program is a hybrid of the business-related Ph.D. and the Doctor of Business Administration, both of which are research focused. OSU’s Ph.D. in Business for Executives is a true researchbased Ph.D., targeting executives who want to stay in the corporate world. The program is for high-level executives who already have a master’s degree. “Business has become so complex, and an MBA can get you only so far,” says Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School of Business, in a U.S. News & World Report story on the program. “There’s a lot more to be understood — theories, concepts and tools and challenges coming at an accelerated rate. The ability to carve out some time to get on top of that new thinking is really what this degree is all about.”

Academics/Research The program already is attracting national attention with coverage in U.S. News & World Report and the Chicago Tribune. More national coverage can be expected if future classes are comparable to the first group of participants. The inaugural class includes such executives as Fred Cleveland of Dallas, chief operating officer and senior vice president of technical operations for American Eagle Airlines; Richard Castagna from the Houston area, assistant vice president for Union Pacific; James Thomas of Chesapeake, Va., a deputy force supply officer for the U.S. Navy, and Jordan.

First through the course The first class of the Ph.D. in Business for Executives features 19 participants from seven states representing 10 industries: David Altounian, chairman and founder, Motion Computing

Applications are still being accepted for the second cohort, scheduled to begin in January.

Scott Anderson, operations manager, CRI Feeders of Guymon LLC

Jordan earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and management in 1985 and a master’s in business administration in 1992 from OSU. She says the return to some late-night study sessions has been an adjustment, but it is well worth the time and effort.

Thomas Bennett Jr., chairman and co-chief executive officer, First Oklahoma Bank

“The one thing I would tell anyone considering the program is that it’s all about timing. It’s a life-changing event,” she says. “My one piece of advice is to make sure you’re ready. If I had tried this five years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. The advantage of having the annual cohort starting (every January) means that if it’s not right for you this year, it doesn’t mean you can’t look at it next year. Find the right time for you, your family and your career.

Richard Castagna, assistant vice president, Union Pacific

“It’s a very unique program, and it’s not just for people who are considering entering the world of academics but also for those who may want to understand more in-depth how the world of business works and what it takes to get ahead,” Jordan says. @ For more information on the Ph.D. in Business for Executives, visit phdexec.okstate.edu, or call Jose Sagarnaga at (405) 744-9000.

Members of the inaugural class for the Spears School’s Ph.D. In Business for Executives surround OSU alumnus Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb (center).

Jonathan Butler, president, Quarter Guard Asset Management

Fred Cleveland, chief operating officer/senior vice president of technical operations, American Eagle Airlines Durand Crosby, COO, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health Derrick Davis, advanced sales manager/director of data center virtualization, Cisco Systems Warren Dyer, former CEO, Ulterra David Gregor, COO, Innovative Steel Detailing Inc. Richard Guthrie, president, GPB Management Consultants LLC Toby Joplin, vice president and chief financial officer, R.L. Hudson & Co. Patti Jordan, vice president, Webco Industries George Mayleben, lieutenant colonel, inspector general, U.S. Air Force Philip McMahan, former president, First National Bank, Altus, Okla. Dessie Nash, vice president, market investment director, U.S. Trust Donald Rowlett, director of regulatory policy, OGE Energy Corp. James Thomas, deputy force supply officer, U.S. Navy Thomas Totten, CEO, Nyhart

summer 2012 engage@spears



Balancing act

good performance while also protecting the firm and discouraging overly risky behavior. Paying managers and executives in stocks can however have the opposite effect. “Stock options are almost like letting them take money and go to Vegas and play roulette with it. If they gamble, it’s on my dime. If they fail, I’m going to be penalized. But if they win, they share the winnings. Obviously, they have every incentive to go do that. That’s basically the agency problem.” A topic in nearly every college MBA program, an agency problem occurs when management, shareholders and owners have differing goals. It was thought for a long time that one way to fight that is by tying managers’ compensation to the firm’s stock price by paying them partly in shares.

OSU study looks at the best ways to determine fair executive compensation and avoid risky business tricks By Matt Elliott

Open the Wall Street Journal’s business section any day. You’ll see several stories on CEO pay. Take today’s paper, April 11, 2012. One story reports that, due to the company’s unmet performance goals, Morgan Stanley Chief Executive James Gorman lost a quarter of his compensation from 2010 to 2011. That netted him $10.5 million, much of which was in “stock-based compensation.” Another reports that a huge stock award pushed Gap CEO Glenn Murphy’s salary up 64 percent to $9.7 million. That’s $3.1 million in stock and $3.2 million in options vested over several years, the Journal reports. Executive pay is a big, big deal. Not just because it’s serious money, but because of how it affects those who receive it. Often, it’s enhanced with millions of dollars in stocks. “The concept of designing optimal compensation has been a point of interest for quite a while in economics and finance,” 6

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says Ali Nejadmalayeri, an assistant finance professor at OSU. “How do you compensate so that the corporate decisions such as financing decisions of the firm make sense and increase the firm’s value?” Businesses often struggle to reward performance while not encouraging risky behavior. Designing the best ways to pay the best employees is the subject of a new study by Nejadmalayeri. The study, “Managerial Compensation and the Debt Replacement Decision,” was published in 2011 in the Journal of Corporate Finance. Nejadmalayeri found that firms that grant high-powered executive compensation (such as stock options) are more adept in taking on bank loans. This is because banks and similar lending institutions can investigate firms’ profitability and detect malfeasance that could lead to financial trouble later. And if something comes up later, banks can detect it, because they can check into a firm’s innermost financial records throughout the term of the loan. That is, if they’re doing their due diligence. That has a disciplining effect, Nejadmalayeri says. Backing high-powered contracts with private lending can reward

That practice really took off in the 1990s, especially in the technology industry, Nejadmalayeri notes. The problem is that it can encourage unnecessary risks because the market rewards risk taking to an extent. Managers might be overly aggressive in acquisitions if acquisitions can make their firms’ stock prices rise and increase their compensation — money that they view as theirs to lose but not theirs. “It can encourage managers to take on risk that they should never have touched,” he says. “The beauty of a debt contract with a bank is that it prevents them from doing that.” Companies don’t just pay people because research has shown so-called external extrinsic rewards fail to motivate, or, at best, generate motivation that is short-lived, reports OSU management professor Ken Eastman. In fact, extrinsic rewards sometimes have the opposite effect. Employees don’t often see the relationship between performance and pay. Pay also creates too much of an emphasis on money instead of other rewards. And money lacks an appreciation effect. Over time, employees see raises as entitlements rather than rewards. Nejadmalayeri, an expert in corporate financing and risky bond pricing, began looking at the problem a few years ago. He pored over financial data from public and private debt, and loans, as well as the information OSU collects on compensation

Academics/Research contracts at large firms. He performed what’s called a choice analysis to figure out what affected firms’ choices of private or public debt. “What we find is higher-powered incentives make it more likely for a firm to choose private debt, be it a bank or privately placed debt,” Nejadmalayeri says. That makes sense, because “when you give high-incentive contracts, it might be very helpful to combine that with some sort of a high-powered bank borrowing or private lending so there is a safeguard in place — someone who can come in and look at things regularly.” Banks were literally staggered by the biggest financial crisis in more than 80 years. About $11 trillion in wealth vanished into thin air due to some shenanigans in the financial sector. Speculation has abounded

since the financial crisis ended in 2008. Banks as we know them are on the endangered species list.

expose you to the agency problem. What we’re saying is basically align yourself with the bondholders.”

Nejadmalayeri says he’s not sure how the crisis will affect firms’ habits of using banks in this way. There was talk that banks were going to be replaced by private equity firms. Today, despite backing from hedge funds and private equity, corporate financing still benefits from banks’ participation, he says. Corporate borrowing globally, and to a lesser extent nationally, has been rising since the crisis ended, a fact that he finds intriguing.

Nejadmalayeri has been an OSU professor since 2006. He is a former electrical engineer who worked in the energy business before starting on an MBA in 1995 at Texas A&M. He finished his doctoral degree in 2001 at the University of Arizona and taught for five years at the University of Nevada-Reno.

Regardless, involving banks’ scrutiny in high-powered incentives contracts may be a good idea, Nejadmalayeri says. “If you say, it’s OK to give managers stock options, that’s fine. But understand that there’s a flip side to that story. It could

He is an award-winning researcher and instructor. He took first place in 2008 at the Rotman International Trading Center’s competition, where participants trade securities on an electronic market to see whose performs the best. In 2005, he won the McGraw-Hill/Irwin Distinguished Paper Award. @

PHOTO / Gary Lawson, University Marketing

“Stock options are almost like letting them take money and go to Vegas and play roulette with it. If they gamble, it’s on my dime. If they fail, I’m going to be penalized. But if they win, they share the winnings. Obviously, they have every incentive to go do that.” — Ali Nejadmalayeri, OSU assistant professor in finance

summer 2012 engage@spears



Defining top-notch customer service OSU research details the best kinds of workers to select for a variety of frontline jobs

By Matt Elliott

A study by Spears School of Business researchers highlights the importance of hiring the right kinds of frontline workers if a company truly cares about customer satisfaction. Customer orientation, or how much an employee values customer satisfaction, is probably not something that can be taught effectively, say professor Tom Brown and former professor Alex Zablah. You either have it, or you don’t. The results of the metaanalytic study, which combined data from hundreds of published studies, appeared in a recent issue of The Journal of Marketing. “That may not sound all that surprising,” Brown says. “But leading thinkers in marketing have argued for 30 years that customer orientation is a set of behaviors that, presumably, can be taught. We’ve been arguing for the last decade that customer orientation is something inside a worker that motivates him or her to want to satisfy customers’ needs.” But companies spend billions of dollars on training customer service behaviors. “It’s most likely a waste,” says Zablah, noting the subject needs more study. “We could probably get most any worker to smile or say ‘thank you,’ at least for the short run. Unless the behaviors are internally motivated, however, they’re just not likely to last for the long run.” Brown first delved into the subject with marketing professor John Mowen shortly after arriving at the Spears School in 1997. 8

engage@spears summer 2012

Before Mowen retired in 2011, the two worked with several doctoral students to publish high-profile articles on customer orientation and its outcomes. Zablah sparked new energy in the research team when he joined the effort in 2006. Brown says the study offers other insights for managers. The primary effects of customer orientation are to lower job stress and increase job engagement for frontline sales and service workers. “Most people have suggested that higher levels of customer orientation lead directly to higher levels of job performance, but that just doesn’t seem to be the case,” says Zablah. “The process is a lot more complicated than that.” The group also found conditions under which customer orientation was shown to be most influential. Conventional wisdom suggests customer orientation should have greater effects when frontline employees have ample time to get to know their customers’ needs and in situations that call for the use of persuasion (think: sales positions). To determine the validity of these assumptions, the research team examined each of the 323 samples included in the meta-analysis, scoring the likely customer workload, need for persuasion and other job characteristics for the workers in each sample. “Not a lot of fun,” says Brown, “but necessary.” Frontline workers who benefit the most from having higher levels of customer orientation are the ones who have the highest levels of customer workload and who aren’t

required to use a great deal of persuasion with their customers. As a result, recruiting employees with high levels of customer orientation is especially important for jobs such as fast-food workers and customerservice representatives and probably less so for many types of sales representatives. As Zablah explains, “Customer orientation is an important internal resource that is most useful for frontline workers in demanding job situations, such as when a worker must successfully satisfy lots of


“But leading thinkers in marketing have argued for 30 years that customer orientation is a set of behaviors that, presumably, can be taught. We’ve been arguing for the last decade that customer PHOTO / Gary Lawson, University Marketing

orientation is something inside a worker that motivates him or her to want to satisfy customers’ needs.”— Tom Brown (left), with research partner Alex Zablah

different customers in a given time frame. It turns out that customer orientation isn’t a useful resource when employees believe they have to ‘sell’ the customer something — customer-oriented employees are focused more on customer satisfaction, and that may or may not involve selling.” Brown is the Noble Foundation Chair in marketing strategy and professor of marketing in the Spears School. In addition, he is an International Research Fellow in the Oxford University Centre for Corporate

Reputation. He earned his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He conducts research in two primary areas, the customer orientation of service workers and the causes and effects of corporate reputation. His research has appeared in a variety of journals including The Journal of Marketing, The Journal of Marketing Research, The Journal of Consumer Research and The Journal of Applied Psychology.

The research team also included George Franke of the University of Alabama and former doctoral student Darrell Bartholomew, who recently joined the marketing faculty at Rider University in New Jersey. The most recent article is entitled, “How and When Does Customer Orientation Influence Frontline Employee Job Outcomes? A Meta-Analytic Evaluation.” @

summer 2012 engage@spears


2012–13 OSU Spears School of Business

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The Spears School Needs You

The Associates is a select group of individuals whose experience, counsel and participation have had a profound impact on the Spears School of Business’ ability to provide a quality educational experience for its students. Benefits include: • Assisting the Spears School of Business to become a top-ranked business school. • Early notification about school-sponsored events. • Social functions and opportunities to network with business professionals. • Opportunity to interact with students and faculty. • Meetings with other Associates twice a year.

For more information please contact: David Spafford Associate Vice President of Development Spears School of Business Office 405.385.5667 Email dspafford@osugiving.com

Donor profile

Photo / Gary Lawson, University Marketing

Building on an Orange Legacy Couple’s devotion to OSU spans decades By Terry Tush

longtime boyfriend, she agreed to a blind date with a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity at OSU.

Chuck and Kim Watson will celebrate 40 years of marriage in August 2012. Who knows how their lives — and the lives of many Oklahoma State University students — might have been different if not for the circumstances surrounding one fateful weekend in 1968.

That date, however, was not with Chuck Watson. Kim’s blind date to the OSU-sponsored Varsity Revue talent show was with Chuck’s pledge son in the Sigma Chi house — until fate intervened (or maybe it was the flu or a migraine headache; who really remembers now?).

Watson was an enthusiastic entrepreneurial spirit who made his way to OSU that year in hopes of playing basketball for legendary Cowboys Coach Henry P. Iba. He never got that opportunity because of a back injury (and, in his words, a serious lack of talent), electing instead to concentrate on his education, Sigma Chi and campus leadership activities. As the daughter of two diehard Oklahoma State wrestling fans, Kim Hogan knew she would end up in Stillwater. A senior at Ponca City, Okla., High School who had recently broken up with her


engage@spears summer 2012

Watson did what any Sigma Chi would do: He stepped in for his pledge son at the last minute. Even though that meant showing up in his 1965 Chevrolet Impala unable to open the driver’s side door thanks to a recent accident. “It was the old Chevrolet Impala with bucket seats, so I had to climb over the bucket seats from the passenger side to get in. I’m surprised she even got in the car with me,” Watson says. Hogan not only got into the car but the two became best friends over the course of the next several years, and they were married in

Donor profile 1972 after Watson completed work on his business degree from OSU. Oklahoma State University has been an integral part of their lives from the day Chuck drove into Stillwater in that Chevy Impala as a wide-eyed freshman, not knowing a single person, throughout college careers that led to degrees in economics (for Chuck) and education (for Kim), and eventually for their three children who followed their parents’ legacy as OSU graduates. “For me, OSU is where we met, and it turned out to be the four most incredible years of my life,” Chuck Watson says. “Since graduation, there’s always been a connection, and I truly wanted to stay involved at OSU. It gave me a great start and prepared me for who I am today so I’ve always felt compelled to help make OSU the best it can be.”

powerEd BY an OSU education Chuck Watson is a living testament to what an Oklahoma State education, paired with ambition, hard work and perseverance, can attain. His résumé reads like a Who’s Who profile of success in the business world. He spent 13 years with Conoco before founding his own company, the Natural Gas Clearinghouse, which later became Dynegy. He later founded Eagle Energy Partners, which was acquired by Lehman Brothers. In 2010, Watson co-founded Twin Eagle Resource Management, where he serves as chairman. In addition, he is a minority owner of the NFL’s Houston Texans and was chairman of the 2004 Houston Super Bowl Host Committee. Watson was inducted into the Spears School of Business Hall of Fame in 1996 and the OSU Alumni Association Hall of Fame in 1997. In 2001, he was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame and named a Master Entrepreneur by Ernst & Young. He received the Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award from OSU in 2002. Kim Watson also realizes the importance of an outstanding education. She earned a teaching degree from Oklahoma State and was inducted into the College of Education Hall of Fame in 2002. She is a distinguished teacher, speaker and philanthropist and is the vice president of Inspire Women, a ministry that urges women to serve God’s purpose. She is working on a master’s degree in Christian leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary. More importantly, the Houston residents are proud to be known as “Mimi” and “Papa” to their five grandchildren. The Watsons have been supporters of OSU in numerous ways over the years, including a $2 million continues on next page

Donation establishes business graduate school of management By Terry Tush

Chuck Watson wouldn’t be the successful businessman he is today if not for his entrepreneurial spirit and his ability to adapt to change. Thus, the Oklahoma State graduate (bachelor’s degree in economics, 1972) has long envisioned the day when he could help make a difference within the Spears School of Business. He and his wife, Kim, have always been supporters of the school, including a $2 million gift in 2001 to provide the Watson Trading Floor. In order to make the impact that Watson believes is necessary for the Spears School to have a national role, he saw a need for a greater emphasis on graduate-level programs. Thus, his multimillion-dollar gift, pending approval by the university and the OSU Board of Regents, will help build the new home for the Spears School and establish the Watson Graduate School of Management. All of OSU’s business school graduate programs will benefit from the coordinated oversight of the new graduate school. A new vice dean will be hired to focus on graduate-level studies. “I think it really provides a focus around graduate education, and it emphasizes that this is an important part of our mission as well,” says Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School of Business. “Even though graduate students are outnumbered by undergraduates (approximately 3,700 undergrads to nearly 800 graduate-level students), our performance at the graduate level is very important to the reputation of our school. In some ways, that’s what the public and national audience are aware of.” Crosby says the graduate school will focus on two areas — traditional graduate education and the continuing development of executive education. The Spears School’s new Ph.D. in Business for Executives program, one of the first of its kind in the nation, kicked off in January with its first class. “I think the school has reached a point where this makes so much sense,” Crosby says. “The school has always had solid programs, and we’re very proud of our graduate students who have gone on to do great things, both at the master’s level and the doctorate. Some of them are deans at other well-known universities, and we have famous faculty and MBAs around the world who have gone on to fantastic careers. “But we are trying to step up, to differentiate ourselves, so I think the time has come for this program.” Crosby will continue to oversee all aspects of the Spears School of Business, but a new vice dean for the graduate school will be vital. “I think the double whammy of the building (announcement) and the Watson Graduate School of Management, the name and having responsibility for this entity, will allow us to bring a star player from some other university who is ready to assume this mantle. It’s imperative we find the right person who will really help to move us forward in our graduate education,” Crosby says. @ summer 2012 engage@spears


Donor profile

“OSU is just getting better and better every year, and for us to see the progress and to be a part of that, witnessing how it’s evolved and grown to touch so many lives over the years and well into the future, that’s a real blessing and something very special to our Chuck Watson speaks at the Spears School of Business as Kim Watson looks on.

donation that led to the Watson Trading Floor in the Business Building. They endow the Watson Family Chair in Financial Risk Management and MSQFE held by finance professor Tim Krehbiel, the Chuck and Kim Watson Chair in Business and various other business and education endowed scholarships. They also endow full scholarships for the OSU basketball and wrestling teams in honor of Kim’s parents. “OSU is just getting better and better every year, and for us to see the progress and to be a part of that, witnessing how it’s evolved and grown to touch so many lives over the years and well into the future, that’s a real blessing and something very special to our family,” Kim Watson says.

Backing words with action The Watsons’ recent gift of cash, pledges and an estate commitment, when combined with matching gifts, will have a total impact of $36 million. The gift will help build the new home for the Spears School of Business and establish the Watson Graduate School of Management in honor of the OSU alumni, pending approval by the university and the OSU Board of Regents. “OSU has been talking about building a new business building for 10 years, if not more, and we’ve needed one for 20 years,” says Chuck Watson. “I have felt for some time that I wanted to help enable OSU to build a new business school. More importantly, the new building will allow a transformational change in the quality of the school and in its teachings for all students in the future. “Oklahoma State has a good business school, but it could always be better. The reputation of OSU is so much more than the recognition we receive nationally. From its Midwest values, to the quality of students attending Oklahoma State, to the professors across the university, it is not just the School of Business that is seriously underrated.” Watson believes the Watson Graduate School of Management, in addition to the new $90 million building to house the Spears School of Business, will greatly enhance the advanced learning opportunities for everyone, but especially for graduate students. “From the business school, we have graduated some incredibly successful business leaders throughout the globe. We have the 14

engage@spears summer 2012


— Kim Watson

graduate programs, the MBA and doctorate programs, and I feel like there is so much more potential for these graduates to flourish under one roof. That’s how the really successful schools have their programs designed. Some of the best graduate schools are thought of separately (from undergraduate programs) and their reputations are unique,” says Chuck Watson. The Watson Graduate School of Management will be under the direction of a new vice dean whose sole focus will be on graduate programs, and Watson believes that is going to make a huge difference. “I’d like to bring OSU into that level of recognition around the world. I know we can get there,” he says. “Not only is the new school of business building going to help, but I think segmenting the graduate program is going to make a positive difference. Again, we’re in better shape than people think we are, so it’s not a huge leap of faith to say we can be a top-tier graduate school.” Dean Larry Crosby of the Spears School of Business realizes that having supporters like Chuck and Kim Watson is not common, and he appreciates their efforts to improve the education opportunities for future students. “Chuck is always encouraging us to raise our game. When he sees interesting things being done at other universities, he brings it to our attention. He’s just a real loyal, orange through-and-through alumnus,” Crosby says. “From the bottom of our hearts, we’re extremely appreciative of his passion for the business school and Oklahoma State. We truly thank Chuck and Kim for their leadership and the guidance they have provided and for their economic support of our programs. We are very proud to have Chuck as one of our most prestigious alumni, and that Kim is also one of our biggest supporters.” But the Watsons aren’t making contributions to be recognized. They want to help make the Spears School into a school that is going strong when their five grandchildren, and maybe more to follow, arrive in Stillwater. “To me, this is a way Kim and I can make a real difference,” Chuck says. “We have always believed that helping people and leaving the places they gather a little better than how you found them is our obligation and passion as human beings.” @

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Donor profile

Reinvesting in the Spears School Norman and Suzanne Myers provide $1 million gift to name dean’s suite in the new business building Norman Myers arrived on the campus of Oklahoma A&M College in the fall of 1953. Like many other freshmen, he wasn’t sure which course of study to pursue. After his dad suggested engineering, he decided it would be a good major. He pledged Sigma Nu fraternity and began to involve himself in every aspect of campus life, which did not necessarily include regular attendance in his classes. By his junior year, he was making A’s in campus activities. He was president of Sigma Nu and served as student senator for the Interfraternity Council. However, Myers’ engineering studies weren’t going well. He found himself on scholastic probation, and he had stopped attending one class altogether. He had decided that he wanted to be a stockbroker, but his chances of remaining in school looked bleak. It was the last day of finals week when his two roommates suggested that he call the professor of the class he hadn’t attended since midsemester and tell him of his interest in changing his major to banking and finance in the College of Business. Myers gave the professor a call and told him his story. The professor allowed him to withdraw from the class with a passing grade, giving Myers a C average and preventing him from being kicked out of school. Norman Myers, the salesman, was on his way.

Going to business Myers began the second semester of his fourth year in school with a business major. He found his niche, and his transcript showed it. Another life-changing moment occurred that year when Myers 16

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Norm and Suzanne Myers are strong supporters of the Spears School. “We have come a long way since our days in Morrill Hall,” says Suzanne Myers. “Oklahoma State and the Spears School of Business will always be special to us.”

became engaged to Suzanne Carlile. The two met when they pledged their respective fraternity and sorority. Suzanne Carlile had joined Kappa Kappa Gamma, and she was also a business major. She was also involved in many campus activities, serving on the Business Student Council and as the student senator for the College of Business. She graduated in May 1957 as a member of the last graduating class of Oklahoma A&M. The couple married in August 1957. They returned to the campus for Norman Myers’ second senior year, needed because of the loss of credits when he transferred from the College of Engineering, and Suzanne worked in the dean’s office of the College of Business. Norm Myers graduated in May 1958 as a member of the first graduating class of Oklahoma State University. He still had a dream of becoming a stockbroker, starting with becoming an intern for Merrill Lynch in New York. However, all seven internships were filled by partners’ sons. The company told Myers to get a couple of years of sales experience under his belt, and it would hire him to work in its Oklahoma City office. He accepted a job offer from Jones and Laughlin Supply Co. to sell oil field equipment. His first assignment was in Perry, Okla., 25 miles northwest of Stillwater. His first day at work, he was handed a broom and told to sweep out the warehouse. From Perry, the Myerses went to Fort Eustis, Va., where 2nd Lt. Myers served his six-month U.S. Army obligation, followed by many years of active reserve service. After his active duty, he returned

Donor profile to work for Jones and Laughlin and was eventually transferred to Houston.

Life in Houston Even in the 1960s, Houston had a dynamic business climate that appealed to Myers. He knew that he would be transferred if he stayed with J&L, so he made another life-altering decision and went into the life insurance business. The Myerses were in Houston to stay. Ever the salesman, Myers went on to become the top producer at his agency. Once again, he had found his niche. The Myerses weren’t quite through with life-changing decisions. A friend from their Sunday school class had purchased a used garbage truck to begin a trash-hauling business, and he was looking for investors to buy stock in his fledgling company for $1 a share. Suzanne Myers was privy to a conversation her husband had with another friend who also was contemplating buying some stock. After that conversation, he looked at his wife and asked, “What do you think?” Suzanne said, “I wouldn’t touch that with a 10-foot pole.” Norman Myers decided otherwise, purchased 10,000 shares in the company and told his wife the next morning.

“They have so much to share, and they have a perspective because they have been in the same seats that those graduates are in right now,” says Trennepohl, Regents Service professor and ONEOK Chair in finance and President’s Council Chair. As the Myerses began to spend more time on the campus they decided they would like to begin to give financial support as well. They determined that they would like to establish the Norman and Suzanne Myers Endowed Chair for Excellence in Business, now held by Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School of Business. They felt strongly that the free enterprise system that provided them with the means to give financially should be vigorously promoted in the School of Business. Most recently, the Myerses gave a gift of $1 million to name the dean’s suite in the new 200,000-square-foot business building that was announced last October. The new building will replace the current facilities. The effort is under way to raise $60 million in private support for the $90 million building. “We are so grateful for the generosity of Norman and Suzanne for their support of the Spears School of Business in the past and again as we create an engaging and inspiring building for the business students of the future,” Crosby says. “Norman and Suzanne have a PHOTO / Office of OSU President Burns Hargis

“I went to bed thinking that I was going to remain the wife of an insurance salesman, and I woke up married to a garbage man. But that decision completely and totally changed our world,” Suzanne says.

Trennepohl says OSU students need to hear success stories like that of Norm and Suzanne Myers.

Actually, Myers had planned to be a part-time garbage man while maintaining his job as an insurance agent. However, the insurance company had other ideas. He was told his contract stipulated that he would give 100 percent of his time to selling life insurance. He had to make a choice. Trash triumphed. The company began as American Refuse Systems Inc. In 1969, the group purchased a heavy equipment business, which led to changing the name to Browning Ferris Industries Inc. Later that year, the publicly traded company went on the New York Stock Exchange. Over the next 30 years, Myers and his partners expanded the company to operate thousands of garbage collection vehicles, more than 100 landfills, 30 medical waste treatment facilities and 125 recycling facilities. BFI became the second-largest waste disposal company in the world with more than $6 billion in annual revenue. Myers held a variety of positions at BFI, including executive vice president, chief development officer, national sales/marketing director, vice chairman of the board and chief marketing officer during his 30 years with the company, before it was sold to Allied Waste Industries Inc. in 1999.

Strengthening OSU ties In 1996, Gary Trennepohl, then dean of the business school, approached Myers with an invitation to be inducted into the Business School Hall of Fame. Myers accepted, and so began a journey of renewed interest and involvement in OSU. He became active in the OSU Foundation and in the Business School Associates, and the former dean remains a close friend today.

Gary and Sandra Trennepohl (from left), Suzanne and Norm Myers, Ann and Burns Hargis, and Billie and Ross McKnight gathered last fall in Colorado.

very inspiring story to tell, and one that should show our students that if they dream big it is not unrealistic to make a difference in the world.” The Myerses are keenly aware of the importance of their education at OSU. “We have come a long way since our days in Morrill Hall,” says Suzanne Myers. “Oklahoma State and the Spears School of Business will always be special to us. We are convinced that the new business building will be world-class and will put OSU in the top tier of business schools in the country. It will attract professors that perhaps would not give us a second look now.” So many years ago a professor gave a student named Myers a second chance to get his degree, to parlay that education into a successful career, and to live a life beyond imagination at the time. Myers says his ability to support OSU now is in no small way a tribute to that wise and generous man. @

summer 2012 engage@spears


Donor profile

Honoring an icon Former students spearhead effort to name new classroom after professor Bob Hamm By Terry Tush

Bob Hamm saw the young men and women taking his classes as more than just names and faces trying to get a passing grade during his 38-year teaching career. The longtime business school faculty member says many former students became his friends. Many of those Oklahoma State University students — perhaps we should say friends — are now successful as oil and gas executives, attorneys, business owners, college professors, members of Congress and in many other fields too numerous to list. Hamm had a part in pointing them in the right directions during their college days. Hamm was held in such high regard when he retired in 2002 that a group of former students helped fund a $250,000 endowed scholarship in his name. And two former OSU students are helping spearhead a new effort to further honor the 79-year-old teaching icon. Vaughn Vennerberg and Frank Merrick want to recognize Hamm as OSU’s Spears School of Business plans to move into a new 200,000-square-foot building in the coming years. “There was no doubt whatsoever in our minds that Dr. Hamm needed to be honored, and I knew it would be a very successful fundraising effort because of the broad base of support for him from students for the many years he’s been involved at OSU,” says Vennerberg. The initial effort was to raise $250,000 to name the Department of Marketing office after the longtime marketing professor, who taught on the Stillwater campus from 1966 to 1990 and again from 1996 to 2002. But his former pupils believe the best way to honor Hamm would be by naming a classroom in his honor. After all, the classroom is where he had the greatest impact on thousands of students. “It’s not about money; it’s about where he made his mark, and that was in the classroom,” says Steve Mackey, chief administrative officer and executive vice president of Tulsa-based energy company Helmerich and Payne. “That’s what we need to do because not only do I think it would please him more, but the most fitting honor we could give him is in the classroom, because that’s where he excelled.” It will take a gift of $500,000 to name a classroom after Hamm, and efforts to reach that goal are picking up steam. “I think personally it’s nice from my standpoint for him to know that I appreciate what he’s done for me, for my family and for my career,” 18

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Bob Hamm says he’s honored by the support his former students show. “It’s nice to know they haven’t forgotten you,” says Hamm, who was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in 2007.

says Mark Burson, who often sought Hamm’s advice during his 16 years as a Stillwater business owner. “I don’t know of a better way to acknowledge that. Selfishly, I want him to know how much he’s meant to me.” Vennerberg graduated from OSU with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He didn’t have Hamm as a professor but got to know him while serving as president of the universitywide Blue Key leadership organization, which the professor advised for more than 20 years. “Like many other students, I have stayed in touch with him over the years. It’s certainly been a rewarding friendship for the past nearly 40 years,” says Vennerberg, who is known for his success in the oil industry and educational philanthropy and was one of the featured speakers at OSU’s Commencement ceremony in May. “I think when you really understand and realize the impact he’s had on the hundreds of thousands of students that he’s taught, it was a very easy decision to give money in his name to honor him. He is such an inspiring individual … to be able to give something to

Donor profile

Photo / Chris Lewis, OSU Foundation

How to help To contribute to the classroom in Bob Hamm’s name, or to make a gift to the building fund, visit osugiving.com/ givetospears. All gifts will count toward the Branding Success campaign.

honor him for what he’s done for so many students over so many years was an easy decision for me. “After all he’s given, it’s time to give back to him,” says Vennerberg. Hamm is overwhelmed with the outpouring of support in his honor. “One of my greatest fears is that people would ask one of my students, ‘Who did you have for marketing?’ And they would say, ‘I don’t remember, but I know we had a green book.’ I still get phone calls from students who will quote back to me things that I said in class many years ago, and they still remember it. “It’s nice to know they haven’t forgotten you,” says Hamm, who was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in 2007. Mackey believes very few individuals find their calling in life as Hamm did, and then have a similar impact both in and outside the classroom. Hamm has traveled to 138 countries, helping plan curricula, design courses, teach professors and build business libraries for universities in China, the Czech Republic, Jordan and

By designating your gift in Hamm’s honor or providing a gift for the Spears School of Business new building, you will be a partner in shaping the future of business education at Oklahoma State. If you prefer to make your gift in person or have questions regarding the project, contact Diane Crane or David Spafford at the OSU Foundation at 405-385-5106.

Argentina. In addition to academics, Hamm was a consultant to organizations such as NASA, Liberty National Bank, Remington International, Gulf Oil, PepsiCo and Southwest Bank Corp. “We don’t always in life have the privilege of working squarely within our gifts, and I think his gift was to be an educator,” Mackey says. “I think you could see his love for teaching and his passion for teaching, and I think that came through in the classroom and was part of the reason he did make it interesting and relevant and fun because he was clearly within his gift.”@

summer 2012 engage@spears


Spears’ international reach MBA students collaborate with Chinese counterparts on corporate strategy project

Story & Photos By Matt Elliott

Top Spears School MBA students received the chance of their academic careers last spring thanks to a leading Oklahoma manufacturer. Ten OSU MBA students, working with 10 students from one of the top business schools in China, Sun Yat-sen University, worked on a semesterlong project sponsored by the Charles Machine Works to explore areas for international business growth. The students, collaborating across about 12,000 miles, separated into three groups, sorted through economic data and forecasts, and presented their recommendation in April to the company’s leadership.


Inset: MBA students who traveled to China pose for a photo with their collaborators — students from Guangzhou’s Sun Yat-sen University — and OSU President Burns Hargis outside the Student Union. The OSU students visited China in March on a trip that took them to Hong Kong (top left) and Guangzhou in Guangdong province, site of the Chinese government’s first experiments with free market principles.

“We work on this issue every day — what markets do we consider next?” Sewell-Howard says. “This is an exciting project for students to work on a current challenge facing a firm in global business.”

Part of class

The project, including a trip to Guangzhou, China, sprang from company leaders’ connection to OSU, the value they place on education, and their desire to help students. Based in nearby Perry, Charles Machine Works was founded by OSU alumnus Ed Malzahn and is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of Ditch Witch underground utility installation equipment. Many of its employees are OSU alumni, including Malzahn’s granddaughter, chief executive officer Tiffany Sewell-Howard, who has her MBA from OSU.

The project, working with the company’s China director, OSU alumna Autumn Steinert, was incorporated into a corporate strategy course. The class combines everything the students have learned in finance, management, marketing, accounting and economics into a semester’s worth of real-world applications. The company also provided scholarships for the students to help with expenses.

The 1,500-employee company has a profitable joint venture in China where infrastructure spending is expected to continue to rise during the next five years.

“They get the experience of doing a project with a group of international students on a project that’s international in scope,” SewellHoward says. “We get the opportunity to see students in action and

engage@spears summer 2012

they make Windows.’ Is that the reason or is that just something true about the firm?” After a few weeks, the students were free to organize their teams and proceed how they saw fit. They spent several months delving into the worldwide construction industry, gathering intelligence on the company’s competitors, analyzing products, gathering data, combing through industry trade journals and networking with people in the industry around the world. They visited Sun Yat-sen University’s campus in Guangzhou, China, in March. They toured cultural sites, attended a lecture by a campus economist on China’s economic boom since the 1970s and visited the nation’s largest residential housing developer. “The project’s openness really made us push and guide ourselves, which is what we’ll have to do when we’re doing this in a real-life

Shoppers and tourists pass on a street in Macao’s historic city center. The students who traveled to China also could take side trips, and writer Matt Elliott traveled to Macao.

The OSU students pose for a photo next to Sun Yat-sen University’s sign on its campus in Guangzhou. The university is home to more than 85,000 students.

evaluate potential hires for us. Ideally, there will be a couple of nuggets we pull from the reports and implement.”

situation,” says Stacey Brandhorst, one of the MBA students in the program. “I was shocked they were giving us that kind of liberty — to look anywhere in the world for the best places.”

OSU chose to work with the company because of the university’s drive to give its students as much hands-on experience as possible, especially in international settings.

Back to Oklahoma

Major players such as Caterpillar and Komatsu dominate the global market. CMW has found its niche under their reach. Ever since its first trencher was created in 1949, the company has served a market the others don’t, one that depends upon expanding infrastructure, urbanization and energy business expansion.

In April, their Chinese teammates came to OSU for the project’s culmination — the presentations of their findings to executives and key managers on the company’s campus.

And, because of China’s mercurial economic growth since the 1970s, the opportunity to work with Sun Yat-sen University was a no-brainer.

“We dedicated ourselves to this project,” says Max Yang, an analyst with KPMG and one of the students from Sun Yat-sen University. “We worked very hard, usually until the middle of the night. We had great teamwork and spirit. That allowed us to deliver a high-quality report.”

“This is a great opportunity for both CMW and OSU,” Steinert says. The classroom portion featured material in industry analysis, competitive advantage, and global strategy. “You have to have a good handle on what’s actually causing a firm to have good performance,” says associate management professor Scott Johnson, who taught the course and coordinated the project at OSU. “Often times even MBA students think ‘Well, Wal-Mart is successful because they’re big,’ or ‘Microsoft is successful because

The groups spent many long hours into the night working together. That was especially true in the days leading up to the presentations.

Rupesh Agrawal, one of the OSU students and an intern at OSU’s Technology Development Center, says the project was invaluable to him. “This project has given me the opportunity to connect beyond classrooms,” Agrawal says. “It also was interesting to understand continues on next page summer 2012 engage@spears


the dynamics between your teammates while working across geographic borders. Our group had a lot of people from very different backgrounds, and it was interesting to see how everything came together.” Steinert and Sewell-Howard say they were pleased with the students’ work and impressed by their analysis of market data. “We really felt like we were working with the cream of the crop of both OSU’s and Sun Yat-sen’s business students,” Steinert says. Steinert says the company’s management team was impressed by how seamlessly the teams delivered their proposals considering how little face-to-face time they had for the project. “I get a lot of gratification that the program I graduated from is taking the initiative to do things that are innovative and different to develop the future employees of Oklahoma,” Sewell-Howard says. “I love the fact that I have someone right in my backyard, being innovative, stepping out there, and doing something different.”

The main gate to Sun Yat-sen University’s Guangzhou campus lies next to the Pearl River.

Valuable experience The experience was a prized one for the OSU students, many of whom graduated after the course’s conclusion, and for their Chinese counterparts, too. “It’s good practice for work in strategy consulting,” Yang says. Agrawal and Brandhorst agreed, adding they will rely on what they learned during their careers. “I didn’t realize how challenging it is to get information,” Brandhorst says. “Sometimes you can’t get it and you have to make decisions with imperfect information. You just have to try and do your best because there’s never going to be a black and white answer.”

Cars motor down a busy thoroughfare in Guangzhou, where residents had no cars as recently as the 1970s.

The hands-on experience made it stand out from their previous classes. “It was a great feeling knowing that you’re working on a real project,” Agrawal says “Where you can touch, feel, and interact with the company, instead of reading some case study from Harvard where you already know the result.” OSU’s MBA program, established in 1961, offers students courses addressing the major issues business leaders face today, including specializations in management, finance, accounting, human resources, marketing and other areas. From its humble beginnings with just a few students, the program has grown to nearly 638 students in 2012. Its graduates have gone on to lead businesses all over the world. @

“We really felt like we were working with the cream of the crop of both OSU’s and Sun Yat-sen’s business students.” — Autumn Steinert, China director, Charles Machine Works 22

engage@spears summer 2012

Spears School Outreach?

The Center for Executive and Professional Development… Tony Blair, Tulsa Business Forums/ Executive Management Briefing

• Offers more than 50 public professional development programs annually to executives, managers, and professionals on topics reflecting the departments in the Spears School of Business. Also, has played the lead role in hosting flagship speaker series—Tulsa Business Forums and Executive Management Briefings— since 1988. • Offers on-site programs at corporations and organizations to help with professional development in topics such as Leadership, Influence Skills, Leading Change, Team Building, Emotional Intelligence, and Conflict Resolution. • Offers annual conferences on current emerging business topics such as Accounting and Financial Reporting, Energy, Women’s Business Leadership, Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Sustainable Enterprise.

Women’s Business Leadership Conference

• Offers 275 distance learning courses annually that reflect ability to complete an undergraduate business degree in general business or management. Other graduate degrees and certificates available through distance learning are: Master of Business Administration (MBA) M.S. in Entrepreneurship M.S. in Management Information Systems M.S. in Telecommunications Management

Graduate Certificates in Business Data Mining, SAS Business Analytics (for MBA students), and Information Assurance

• Facilitates a face-to-face Ph.D. in Business for Executives program at OSU-Tulsa attracting students across the nation. Executive Development Programs

• Offers multi-day public programs that serve the needs of executives in the region, including the Executive Education Partnership Program and the Governor’s Executive Development Program. • Assists with conferences and planning of curriculum and provides certifications for organizations and associations in the state of Oklahoma: Municipal Clerks and Treasurers Leadership Oklahoma Conference and Institute (session hosted by Stillwater) Oklahoma Municipal Court Clerks Association Conference

Summer in Greece

• Offers short-term study abroad and travel programs with Spears School faculty to gain 3 or 6 hours credit in such countries as Costa Rica, Eastern Europe, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, London, South Africa, Spain, as well as U.S. cities like Chicago, Phoenix and New York City.

Contact us at 1.866.678.3933 or 405.744.5208 or cepd.okstate.edu to see how we can help you and your organization.

Two of a kind

Kyle Buthod, Ashley Leonard leave their mark on Spears School

Photos / Gary Lawson, University Marketing


engage@spears summer 2012

By Terry Tush

In her own words: Ashley Leonard

Kyle Buthod was planning to join many of his high school classmates at the University of Missouri. Ashley Leonard was going to continue the lineage of her family at Texas Tech University, including her grandfather, a longtime professor at the Lubbock school.

was Homecoming. More specifically, it was Homecoming

But the losses for Missouri and Texas Tech were definitely gains for Oklahoma State University.

before. I’m not Greek, so I had never pomped or been a

Buthod and Leonard, seniors who graduated in May, left a legacy at the Spears School of Business and Oklahoma State University. Their list of accomplishments since arriving in Stillwater could fill several pages of this magazine. They were two of the 15 students selected to receive the OSU Outstanding Senior Awards, presented annually by the OSU Alumni Association. Leonard was the recipient of the Raymond D. Thomas Award, given annually to the top senior in the Spears School. Buthod and Leonard were recognized as OSU Seniors of Significance and as Spears School Outstanding Seniors. Buthod was honored as the outstanding member of the Business Student Council. Focusing solely on the pair’s successes in the Spears School would be diminishing their impact on the Oklahoma State University community. “It is rare to find such a dynamic duo,” says Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School. “And that these two OSU student government leaders would both come from the same college is truly unique. “I think this speaks highly about the type of student we enroll in the Spears School. They are engaged and aspiring business leaders with a strong sense of social responsibility to improve the organizations and institutions in which they participate. While getting a job and making a decent living remain drivers, these students are equally compelled to make a difference. Ashley and Kyle are the exemplars for this type of thinking and motivation we see in our students today.” Buthod, from Lee’s Summit, Mo., and Leonard, from Artesia, N.M., went from not knowing a single person when they arrived on campus in 2008 to becoming two of the most recognized students on the Stillwater campus when they walked across the stage during commencement in May. That’s because the pair decided to follow through on their dreams to run for Student Government Association offices — dreams they came up with as freshmen residing on the Spears School’s Living and Learning Community floor of the Village E suites. Leonard served as SGA president during the recent school year, and Buthod was her right-hand man as SGA vice president.

Favorite memory of OSU: “I hate to be so clichéd, but it my senior year. I had the opportunity to serve on the court, so by serving on the court I got to see several different areas of Homecoming that I had never seen part of an all-night pomp. I had never had the opportunity to go to the kids’ carnival. I went to the RHA dance. It was just an incredible week. I got to see every side of Homecoming, and it was my senior year — so that made it so much more special.” Favorite memory of the Spears School: “It would probably have to be the summer after my freshman year. Four other students and I went to California to compete in business competitions on behalf of OSU. It was a great opportunity.” Which three people will you still be in contact with in 30 years? “Kyle Buthod, Carly Schnaithman and Eric Scanlan.”

In his own words: Kyle Buthod Favorite memory of OSU: “I’d like to say football and Homecoming, but I think the one that stands out to me whenever I look back at OSU is probably Camp Cowboy. I went my freshman year; it is such a fun and encouraging place, and it really helps students learn about what OSU is and what we’re doing.” Favorite memory of the Spears School: “There are so many great experiences. It’s like home. One of the most fun things that took place in the building was my first Homecoming, when we set out to beat Ag in the Homecoming decorating contest. We ended up winning most spirited college, which never happens because the College of Agriculture always wins. It was kind of a huge upset. So it was fun to go from this outlandish idea that no one thought was possible to winning the award. I think that really helped bring our (Business) Student Council together, and it has slowly grown over the past few years. I think that was kind of the turning point for Student Council in seeing that we could make a differ-

“It’s been a great experience,” says Leonard, who earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance and will begin law school this fall at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

ence, even if it’s just decorating the building. There are

The two were the perfect complement to one another while serving together, Buthod says. “She’s always been the thinker and the logistical person, while I’ve been the one out in front driving it. That’s always been our dynamic. She’s always been very quiet, although she’s been forced to become a little more vocal and a little bit more outgoing than when we started.”

definitely stay involved after graduating.”

so many great things that happened inside this building the last four years. It’s an amazing college, and I will Which three people will you still be in contact with in 30 years? “There are so many people that I do plan to stay in touch with, but the three that come to mind are Ashley Leonard, Brittney Hale and David Purdie.””@

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‘Kyle train’ Spears School administrators often referred to the “Kyle train” to describe Buthod’s style of getting things done, especially this past school year as president of the Business Student Council. “It really describes Kyle and his ability to complete a project when he takes it on,” says Mark Weiser, associate dean in the Spears School. “You either get on board, or you get out of the way.” Buthod says, “I’ve always been a motivated person and have always tried to take action. If someone else isn’t doing it, I just plow ahead.” The same could be said of Leonard. Their common denominator is that both are leaders, and they won’t be caught sitting on the sidelines. Leonard started early: She ran for and was elected an SGA senator her freshman year. “I saw big policies on campus that made a huge impact, and they all originated with students,” she says, “so I started talking to Kyle about running for president and vice president.” However, it wasn’t until both were away from Stillwater — in Denmark (Leonard) and Australia (Buthod), participating in study-abroad trips — that they began serious discussions about running for SGA office. The two were videoconferencing one day during the 2010 spring semester when Leonard said, “Kyle, I think we should go for it. I think we should run for SGA president and vice president.” The pair ran and won with an overwhelming 75 percent of the votes. “It’s been a roller coaster of a ride, but I’m very glad that we did it,” says Buthod. “I’m very blessed with the experiences that we’ve had from putting on new programs, to hosting people on campus. We’ve tried to make a lot of positive changes.” Leonard believes the sacrifices they made have been well worth it. “I just hope my biggest contribution and what I’m remembered for here on campus is that I found what I was passionate about, and I dedicated every spare second of my time to it,” she says. “I would like for freshmen to realize they’re only here for four years but you can do a lot in four years, so don’t waste your time building up your résumé by joining every organization possible. We have 458 (student) organizations to join, but why don’t you just focus on two or three organizations that really impact what you are really passionate about, and give it your all? Do everything you can to make a difference in that area while you’re here. “My passion is OSU as a university, but also student government and all the impact it can have on campus. So I hope they will see that I dedicated all of my time and energy to that.”

Changing paths But it almost never happened for Leonard or Buthod. Upon graduating from Lee’s Summit High School outside of Kansas City, Buthod was planning to attend the University of Missouri to major in photojournalism. But a trip with his parents to OSU, the University of Oklahoma and Tulsa University changed his mind.


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Even though he had missed the application deadline, Buthod was determined to find a way to enroll at OSU. “I applied that Sunday night when we got home, and I was accepted (as a late enrollee) later that week. I visited with Dr. Weiser, and he offered the Scholar Leader Scholarship, which made it possible because otherwise, without that scholarship, I would not be at OSU,” says Buthod, who earned his bachelor’s degree in international business with an emphasis in Mandarin Chinese and a double minor in East Asian studies and International studies. This summer, he is helping establish a sister school program at Fudan University in Shanghai before returning to the United States in August to begin a job in global marketing with Phillips 66 in Houston. Leonard’s entire family went to Texas Tech, just a 2.5-hour drive from her hometown of Artesia, N.M. But she also decided to visit a few other schools, including OSU, OU and the University of Colorado. She attended high school with Landry Jones, the starting quarterback at OU the past two seasons, and the two “hung around with the same crowd, went to the same church, and we were pretty good friends. To be perfectly honest, he’s one of the reasons I was looking at Oklahoma schools in the first place.” But it didn’t take her long to decide that she would be moving to Stillwater, not Norman. “Honestly, as soon as I came to campus and had a tour, I knew I was coming here,” she says. “The atmosphere on this campus is just indescribably different than any other campus I’ve ever been on. I just fell in love with this campus.” Leaving Artesia to attend college in Oklahoma is now in vogue. “They want to come here, but they always visit both OSU and OU. Since Landry went to OU, there are eight people from Artesia who have come to Oklahoma. One went to OU, and the other seven have come to school here,” Leonard says proudly.

Surprising impact Leonard and Buthod say they never envisioned the impact OSU would have on their lives in four short years. “I think OSU is very different. It’s very student-centered, where at other universities it’s about getting your education and getting out, and student life isn’t always the most important thing,” says Buthod. “But I think OSU is very much about student development, which is why I’ve loved it. “I don’t know what it would be like if I weren’t at OSU because I wouldn’t have the same support group and have the same degree, the same friends, the same experiences. It’s really mind-boggling to think about what it would have been like if I had stayed at Mizzou or gone to KU or anywhere else. I know it wouldn’t have been the same, and I wouldn’t be graduating with the same experiences. It’s weird to think about what life would be like without OSU. I can’t imagine it,” he says. “And I wouldn’t have all the orange clothes that I have.” Leonard agrees, saying, “I would not a change a single thing about my college career. It’s been amazing. The people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had … I definitely could not have asked for more.” @

By Dollie Mitchell

The Riata Center for Entrepreneurship hosted more than 40 U.S. veterans for an intensive eightday Disabled Veterans Entrepreneurship Program at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center on the Stillwater campus.

Chris Stokes

The program has graduated its third class with participants representing all branches of the U.S. military. The veterans traveled to Stillwater from Alaska, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Florida, California, Illinois, Georgia and several other states, says Michael Morris, the program’s founder. VEP was created to train and empower disabled American veterans to turn their business ideas into reality.

Arturo Corpus

“This year’s program was our best yet, and we always set the bar pretty high. The veterans were amazing and are pursuing some exciting concepts with their ventures,” Morris says. “And I am always humbled at the many faculty, entrepreneurs, subject matter experts and members of the community who donate time, money, meals and other critical elements to support entrepreneurship by disabled veterans.” The participants were exposed to all aspects of venture creation during their 12-hour days. A team of world-class faculty, distinguished entrepreneurs

PHOTO / Gary Lawson, university Marketing

Veterans Entrepreneurship Program trains, inspires U.S. military vets and experts worked closely with the veterans to provide opportunities to develop entrepreneurial ideas. They also taught the veterans leading-edge concepts, tools and frameworks to expand their existing or potential businesses. “The Veterans Entrepreneurship Program gives you a path to accomplish your dream, and at the same time, tells you that just because it looks like this in your mind, it may not materialize without a good plan,” says Arturo Corpus, an Army veteran from Colorado Springs, Colo. The yearlong program consists of three phases. In the first phase, from December through mid-January, delegates develop their business concepts with the assistance of OSU faculty and graduate students. Phase two is the eight-day training and workshops in February at the OSU campus in Stillwater. Lastly, VEP graduates receive 10 months of ongoing support and mentorship from the entrepreneurship experts at OSU. Thanks to the support of OSU and private donations from corporations and individuals, the program — including travel, lodging and meals — was entirely free for all participants. “I would definitely recommend this program. It’s topnotch,” says Chris Stokes, an Air Force veteran from Lincoln, Neb. “You can tell there is so much work that goes into this. It’s by far the finest program I’ve been through.” @

summer 2012 engage@spears


Flying high Spears MBA student getting Air Force support for his Olympic goal

By Dollie Mitchell

Air Force Capt. Caleb Pelger is a busy guy. He is balancing training for the upcoming U.S. Olympic bobsledding trials, earning his MBA through Oklahoma State University’s distance learning program and fulfilling his duties as an Air Force pilot. Originally from Peabody, Mass., Pelger is stationed in Seattle but he’s making plans to move to Washington, D.C., in a few months to train for the U.S. bobsledding team. His ultimate goal is to make the team to represent the country in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The games are, as he says, “the pinnacle stage for any athlete.” Meanwhile, he trains other airmen for combat in the Air Force while pursuing a master’s degree in business administration from OSU’s Spears School of Business. “A long time ago, someone told me to get to where I want to be, I must continue my education,” says Pelger. He decided to pursue an MBA from OSU’s distance learning program after graduating from the Air Force Academy. 28

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Air Force Capt. Caleb Pelger has completed one tour of duty in Afghanistan, but he has a new assignment now: make the U.S. Olympic bobsled team.

Pelger chose OSU after he researched the top MBA programs throughout the country. “To be honest, what I was looking for and what I love about OSU’s MBA program is the video instruction and the way they do the group work. A lot of other online programs only have discussions and posts, but with OSU I can watch a live feed of the instructor. The virtual classroom setting was an awesome asset for me,” Pelger says. He also admitted that he looked at the success of the Cowboys’ football team in recent years and thought that the association would also be positive for his résumé. Pelger juggles earning an MBA, piloting for the Air Force and training for the Olympic trials with self-motivation, time management and discipline learned from service in the military.

He starts his day with 6:30 a.m. weight training, works during the day to train pilots for combat in Afghanistan, and then returns home to do homework and study in the evening. The youngest of seven children and a lifelong athlete, Pelger earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the Air Force Academy while excelling as a decathlete in track and field. After graduation, he did pilot training from 2005 to 2007 and went on to fly B-52 bombers for about three years. Today, he is an air liaison officer in charge of the Joint terminal attack controllers in Afghanistan. The 28-year-old Pelger recently completed one tour in Afghanistan and was preparing for another when he was removed from deployment to take part in the World Class Athlete Program, a two-year program that provides outstanding military athletes the opportunity to train and compete with the ultimate goal of making the U.S. Olympic team. He says he has been fortunate to have a supportive commander who allows him to take time off for trials and to apply for the program. “I just got into the program, and now my full-time job as a member of the Air Force is to train for the Olympics,” says Pelger. Pelger’s interest in bobsledding began in 2011 when his brother Jake, who works at the Olympic Park in Park City, Utah, encouraged him to try it. The typical bobsled Olympian is more than 6 feet tall, weighs 220 to 230 pounds, and, of course, has strength and speed. Pelger has a long athletic background, stands 6-foot-3 and weighs about 215 pounds. “My brother’s encouragements led to inspiration,” said Pelger, who attended the U.S. team trials last September at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. Pelger hopes to qualify for the national team at the trials in October 2012 and 2013. Meanwhile, like many athletes, he will train alone but will occasionally join other aspiring national team members to do sled work in Lake Placid as well as in Park City, Utah, and Calgary, Canada. “I really have to be determined in the weight room and on the track to get to the level where the veterans are right now, where I want to be,” says Pelger. After the team is selected, the athletes will participate in the World Cup tour, where the best bobsledders in the world will compete in North America and Europe, and the World Championships during the 2013-2014 seasons. He believes the work he does on the Cup circuit will prepare him for the final selection of the U.S. Olympic Bobsled team that will compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Spears doctoral student killed in plane crash Garrett Coble, an Oklahoma State University graduate who was working on his Ph.D. in business administration with a marketing emphasis, was one of four people killed when a twin-engine plane crashed in a field west of Chanute, Kan., on May 11. Coble was 29. He and four other people were traveling from Tulsa to Council Bluffs, Iowa, to attend a Teen Mania Ministries Acquire the Fire Christian youth rally. One passenger in the plane survived the crash. “Garrett was truly a good person who was always kind and caring, thinking and doing for others,” says Josh Wiener, chair of the Spears School’s Department of Marketing. “He was a caring colleague. Each year when new doctoral students arrived, he would volunteer to be their guide and shepherd.”

As a newcomer to the sport, Pelger’s goal is to make Team USA 3, which is the third sled that will compete. “To mold and shape my body to be prepared for the Olympic trials will be the biggest challenge of my life,” says Pelger.

Coble was a devout Oklahoma State Cowboys football fan. “He was an alumni to the hilt. He never missed a football game,” his mother, Cathy Coble, told the Tulsa World.

He plans to complete his commitment to the Air Force in 2017 after his two-year commitment to the World Class Athlete Program. He may eventually return to piloting or training other airmen again. He would like to stay in Washington to work at the Pentagon or as a liaison for a congressman.

Originally from Henryetta, Okla., Coble was passionate about serving in the mission field and had traveled all over the world, including Peru, Mexico, Vietnam, Russia, South Africa and Venezuela.

His long-term aspirations are to attend law school after the Air Force and apply his MBA from OSU to a career in politics. How far does he want to go in politics? Pelger answers: “As far as anyone will let me.” @

“He was an outstanding young scholar who joined his passion for helping those in need by increasing our understanding of how to help the most vulnerable in our society,” says Wiener. @ summer 2012 engage@spears


PHOTO / Dollie Mitchell

Speaking Socially

The Spears School brought in Randi Zuckerberg, sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the company’s original chief marketing officer, to discuss social media outlets with audiences in Tulsa and Oklahoma City in March.

PHOTO / tom gilbert

Bagging success Coach’s COO says lessons learned at OSU have helped him along his way

“I didn’t know anything. I didn’t know how to be a CEO. I didn’t understand finance. I sure didn’t understand making women’s apparel,” Stritzke says. “That year was transformational. I had to learn.” The OSU alum joined Coach in March 2008 and eventually succeeded former president and COO Keith Monda after his retirement. Stritzke has seen remarkable company growth in his nearly four years with Coach. The company bought back its distributorship in China three years ago, and retail sales have increased from $30 million to $300 million.

Jerry Stritzke grew up in Oklahoma, was a member of the FarmHouse fraternity at Oklahoma State University and originally aspired to be a farmer. So how is it that he ended up with an office on 34th Street in midtown Manhattan, N.Y., as the president and chief operating officer for Coach, one of the world’s largest marketers of upscale accessories and gifts? PHOTO / Gary Lawson, university Marketing He answered that question at the Executive Management Briefings speaker series coordinated by the Center for Executive and Professional Development and presented by OSU’s Spears School of Business in conjunction with corporate sponsors. “I have to say that Oklahoma State was a transformational experience for me. It was a very defining event,” says Stritzke, who has a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics. “OSU really kind of motivated me to embrace the idea of what was possible.”

As president and chief operating officer for Coach, OSU alum Jerry Stritzke has shared lessons with school audiences several times, including at the 2010 Fall Commencement and more recently at the Executive Management Briefing in Oklahoma City.

After graduating from OSU, Stritzke’s path took him to Norman (where he earned his law degree from the University of Oklahoma), Chickasha (where he began his law career) and Tulsa (where he was part of the law firm of Best, Sharp, Sheridan & Stritzke before opening his own law practice). But he realized that being an attorney wasn’t what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. He began a new career as a consultant with a retail-consulting firm in Tulsa, and was hired in 1999 by Limited Brands. Within nine months, he was asked to succeed the retiring founder and president of its subsidiary, Mast Industries. 30

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“What did I learn? Great things don’t happen by being safe. Sometimes it’s about pushing the unknown,” Stritzke says. “Fortunately, and foolishly at the time, I stepped into the unknown in changing a job or changing a career, taking a job where I really wasn’t qualified, but the one thread throughout it all was learning, and that began at Oklahoma State.” Stritzke also learned that attending Oklahoma State and growing up in Oklahoma have been beneficial throughout his successful business career.

“I’ve found the work ethic, the hunger, the desire and that commitment that I think is so common in a place like Oklahoma fits in well anywhere in the world,” he says. “My chief financial officer for Coach Japan (James Peters) is an Oklahoma State graduate. My head of visual merchandising (Kris Houlton), who lives in Shanghai, China, is an Oklahoma State graduate. In Sri Lanka, the gentleman who is running one of the largest factories in the country and is an amazing testimony in that country is an Oklahoma State graduate.

“You would be surprised when I travel the world how many Oklahoma State graduates that I connect with. I think the skill sets you learn here definitely translate well.” @

To Our Distinguished Guests

We Extend a First Class Welcome Professional relationships between external constituents and faculty and administration in the Spears School of Business are important to the school’s mission. The Spears School Speakers Bureau provides our faculty with an opportunity to merge business and academics by hosting distinguished alumni and friends as speakers.

To Sign Up as a Speaker please visit, spears.okstate.edu/sssb

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Women Inspiring Women Stories & Phot0s by Dollie Mitchell

What makes a great leader in business? The 2,100 women who attended Oklahoma State University’s annual Women in Business Leadership and the Women Entrepreneurs (WE Inspire) conferences would say a great attitude and focusing on the positive are key. Tulsa conference highlights a variety of success stories Each year, the Women in Business Leader– ship Conference presents a variety of expert women leaders who share their experiences in the business world with women from Oklahoma corporations, government, nonprofit organizations, universities and high schools. “The women and young ladies who spent the day hearing from a great lineup of speakers certainly received much more than they could have envisioned. The outstanding speakers are examples of what it takes to be a success in business and offered valuable insight into the characteristics of a leader,” says Larry Crosby, dean of OSU’s Spears School of Business. “The message that was conveyed was that women, no matter their background or their business experiences, will only benefit from hearing other women’s success stories, and that’s one reason the Women in Business Leadership Conference has become so popular and continues to grow each year.”


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The conference, held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Tulsa in March, was highlighted by a “love to improve” message. Guest speaker Maureen Gean Mulvaney, who refers to herself as MGM and a “big production,” took the mood and ran with it. Mulvaney, owner of MGM & Associates Inc. and author of The Women’s Millionaire Club, was an energetic speaker who told her audience to “choose your attitude” and “success

is learned, no matter where you start from,” as she waved her gold pom-poms. Mulvaney and other speakers inspired the audience at the leadership conference, which was sponsored by the Oklahoma International Women’s Forum, the International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation and the Center for Executive and Professional Development at OSU’s Spears School of Business.

Attending the 21st Annual Women’s Business Leadership Conference were (from left) Mary Norton, founder of Frosting by Norton; Rebecca Greenbaum, assistant professor of management at the Spears School of Business; Marilyn Johnson, vice president of marketing development at IBM; Maureen Gean Mulvaney, owner of MGM & Associates Inc.; Lou C. Kerr, president and chair of the Kerr Foundation and founder and chair of the Oklahoma International Women’s Forum; Susan Connors Parrish, president of Carolina Networks Inc.; Margret Schramm Horn, former chief administrative officer of Prudential Financial, and Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School of Business.

Among the speakers was Marilyn Johnson, vice president of marketing development at IBM in Austin, who encourages women to “follow your path, follow your dreams but don’t forget to step out of your comfort zone with confidence.” Margaret Schramm Horn, former chief administrative officer of Prudential Financial, gave practical tips on résumé building, quantifying work and the importance of networking. “Seventy percent of jobs are obtained through networking,” says Horn. Susan Connors Parrish, president of Carolina Networks Inc., detailed her personal struggles as a single mother before her two-person business grew to 15 employees with a sales increase of 860 percent. Mary Norton, founder of Frosting by Mary Norton, a line of fashion accessories sold on the Home Shopping Network, told the audience to “listen to your intuition.” Rebecca Greenbaum, assistant professor of management at the Spears School of Business, was the facilitator of the event. “I think this conference is really important for young women in the crowd who are just starting their careers to be inspired by the strong women in the room,” she says. “The most important thing is to realize that you can overcome adversity.” @

WE Inspire features Vera Bradley co-founder The Riata Center for Entrepreneurship from the Spears School of Business hosted the third annual Women Entrepreneurs Inspire (WE Inspire) Conference in April. The one-day symposium featured influential women entrepreneurs from across the nation. “Women are the fastest growing segment of small business start-ups in the nation and make an enormous contribution to our economy in terms of job creation, spending

Award winners and others at the WE Inspire Conference in Tulsa were (from left) Ella Speakes, owner of Ella Speakes International; Nola Miyasaki, Norman C. Stevenson Chair and executive director of the Riata Center; Terry Neese, chief executive officer at Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women; Julie Coffee, owner of High Impact Management; Margo Gray-Proctor, president at Horizon Engineering Services Co.; Patti Wheaton, owner of Faith Family Clinic; and Patricia Henriques, Thoma Distinguished Clinical Professor in entrepreneurship at OSU.

power and other areas,” says Nola Miyasaki, Norman C. Stevenson Chair and executive director of the Riata Center. Despite the recent growth, she explains that womenowned businesses continue to lag behind male-owned businesses in terms of numbers, revenue and access to capital. Each year, the WE Inspire Conference presents an exciting program filled with new speakers, insights and perspectives. This year’s conference included keynote sessions with leading women entrepreneurs, as well as sessions led by experts on a wide range of topics such as financing and online marketing. Michael Morris, N. Malone Mitchell Chair in entrepreneurship, designs the program each year with the goal of enabling aspiring women entrepreneurs to act on their dreams. The conference, with more than 700 in attendance at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City, featured 20 acclaimed entrepreneurs. Keynote speaker Patricia Miller, cofounder of Vera Bradley Designs, presented “Unleashing Your Entrepreneurial Spirit,” sharing how she started the international business with partner Barbara Bradley Baekgaard in 1982. While on vacation, the two were waiting to board a flight when they noticed the lack of feminine-style luggage. So the longtime friends created Vera

Bradley Designs (named after Baekgaard’s mother), now an internationally recognized brand with sales of $366 million in 2011. The conference explored the obstacles, demands and challenges women face when creating their own businesses. Attendees chose from breakout sessions geared to the start-up track or the growth track. In conjunction with the WE Inspire Conference, the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship and the National Association of Women Business Owners partnered to honor two outstanding women entrepreneurs. The conference recognized Patti Wheaton of Jenks and Margo GrayProctor of Tulsa as this year’s top women entrepreneurs in Oklahoma. Wheaton started Faith Family Clinic, which employs six and has annual revenue of $300,000. Proctor owns Horizon Engineering Services Company, which won among firms with more than 20 employees and more than $1 million in annual revenue. The NAWBO Legacy Award went to Terry Neese, founder and CEO of the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women in Tulsa. The Pat Tull Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Julie Coffee, owner of High Impact Management. @

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Focusing on better health Inaugural OSU conference attracts professionals from around the world Story & photos By Dollie Mitchell

Health care executives, leaders and professionals from 18 states and several nations learned about ideas and innovations in their field at the first International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Health. The two-day conference was presented by Oklahoma State University’s School of Entrepreneurship, the Center for Executive and Professional Development in the Spears School of Business, and the Center for Health Sciences at OSU. Among the attendees who traveled to Midwest City, Okla., were representatives from Australia, Denmark, India, Slovenia, South Africa, Trinidad and more. “The Spears School of Business is dedicated to the mission of improving Oklahoma health care by bringing together physicians, educators and medical executives from all over the world. We want to help create innovative solutions that will lead to better health for all Oklahomans,” says Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School of Business. “The hosting of the annual International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Healthcare, coupled with other exciting initiatives, is a reflection of OSU’s commitment to the transformation of the health care industry in this country and across the world,” says Rubin Pillay, the Daniel White Jordan Chair in Entrepreneurship and Creativity for the School of Entrepreneurship and chairman of the conference.

Scholars in health care entrepreneurship presented ideas and innovations in health on the first day of the conference. Keynote speakers included: •  Douglas Wood, director of the Strategy and Policy Center for Innovation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. •  Arlen Meyers, president and CEO of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs in Denver. •  William Paiva, manager of Oklahoma Life Science Fund and partner of Sevin Rosen Funds in Tulsa. •  Michael Morris, OSU professor and N. Malone Mitchell Jr. Chair. The second day’s featured speakers addressed information technology in the transformation of health care and included: •  Terry Cline, Oklahoma secretary of health and human services and state commissioner of health. •  Bruce Lawrence, president and chief executive officer of Integris Health in Oklahoma City. •  Kersey Winfree, chief medical officer at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City. •  Bert Marshall, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma. •  Dick Flanigan, senior vice president of Cerner Corp. in Kansas City. •  Martin Harris, chief information officer and chairman of the technology division at the Cleveland Clinic. Jay Condry, benefits consultant of CFR in Tulsa, addressed “Benchmarking Oklahoma in the Health Care Area.” The conference sessions covered several key health care topics including innovative clinical practices and processes, entrepreneurship and training, innovations in public health, health reform, social entrepreneurship and the not-for-profit sector, holistic health care and the role of information technology in the transformation of health care. The International Society for Healthcare, Entrepreneurship, Education and Research (I-SHEER) was launched at the conference, and Pillay was elected its first president. @

Panelists Bruce Lawrence (from left) of Integris Health, Kersey Winfree of St. Anthony Hospital and Bert Marshall of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma discussed opportunities for innovation in health care reform on the second day of the conference. RIGHT: Rubin Pillay, chairman of the International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Health, addressed the health care professionals who attended the two-day event.


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Get Connected If you’re not following OSU’s Spears School of Business through social media, you must feel lost. In addition to providing content via its website (spears.okstate.edu), the Spears School can be followed via its Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LInkedIn accounts.

To find the school’s Facebook page, go to facebook.com, sign in and type “Spears School of Business” in the search box. We hope you will choose to “like” us and receive news, videos and other information from the school in your news feed. To follow the SSB on Twitter, sign up for an account at twitter.com, and then search for “SpearsSchoolOSU.” The Spears School also has a YouTube account and recently began interviewing guest speakers on campus to ask about their impressions of business students at OSU, what advice they would give students preparing to enter the business world, and much more. To find us, go to youtube.com, sign in and type “SpearsSchoolOSU” in the search box. To join the school’s Linkedin group, go to linkedin.com, sign in and search for the “Spears School of Business.”


New associate dean named Popular longtime accounting professor Carol Johnson is the new associate dean for strategic management and measurement for the Spears School of Business. “I’m excited and humbled to take on this new job,” says Johnson, who has been at the Spears School since 1992. “There are so many people in the college who are amazingly bright, caring and thoughtful. They give me complete confidence that anything’s possible.” Johnson’s passion and gratitude for the non-traditional student distinguishes her. After high school, she set out on a 13-year career in insurance. As her career progressed, Johnson enrolled in night school and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting over a 10-year period. After quitting her insurance job and completing a master’s degree in accounting, she moved west to attend Arizona State University, where she completed her doctorate. “Although we will definitely miss her teaching abilities in the classroom, we are pleased that Carol has accepted this new position as associate dean for strategic management and measurement,” says Spears School Dean Larry Crosby. “These are exciting times at the Spears School, and we look forward to Carol’s ideas and contributions in her new role.” Johnson joined OSU in 1992 as an assistant professor of accounting. In 2000, she began engaging in the study of fraud prevention and investigation. Ultimately, Johnson found herself researching and teaching in the area of fraud and ethics, which led her to begin conducting related outreach activities. In 2004, the accounting department decided to improve the quality and quantity of its students, and Johnson began administering activities related to recruiting and scholarships. “The accounting department was fortunate enough to have donors who helped fund scholarships to attract qualified students and retain them while providing incentives. It was a matter of utilizing the resources that were already there,” says Johnson. These activities nearly doubled the number of undergraduate and master’s students, and led to a half-point increase in the average grade-point average of undergraduates. In the spring of 2011, Johnson took the job of coordinating the master’s program in accounting and was promoted to her new position seven months later. She credits volunteer work for her development as a professional, saying, “The lessons that you learn from working with volunteers and those they help carries over into your work life in ways you never anticipate.” When she’s not working, she spends time with her husband, Earl, cares for her pet finches or the wild birds in her backyard, and plays Words With Friends. She and Earl have two sons, Robert, a studio art major at OSU, and Ben, a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma. The Board of Regents officially approved Johnson as associate dean in January. @


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Retirements Don Hansen, Arthur Andersen Professor in the School of Accounting, has retired after nearly 30 years with Oklahoma State University. Hansen taught more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. His courses included cost and managerial accounting, analytical doctoral seminar and financial statement analysis. During his career, Hansen co-authored 20 journal publications and six accounting textbooks. He received the Greiner Graduate Teaching Award in 1999. Hansen was a member of several editorial boards, including The Accounting Review. He held endowed positions for more than 12 years and was a Regents Service Professor. “Don Hansen was a true academic,” says Bud Lacy, department head and Anadarko Accounting Chair in OSU’s School of Accounting. “He was an outstanding teacher. He published papers in the top journals, wrote one of the best managerial and cost accounting textbooks in use today, and chaired or served on over 30 dissertation committees.” He served as accounting department head for six years during a critical time of transition. During his tenure as head of accounting, the department hired eight new faculty members and made improvements and changes that helped enhance the school. “Don has been a consummate professional during his 30 years of academic service to Oklahoma State University. During a time of growing specialization, he has chosen to excel in multiple areas,” says Tim Ireland, management science and information systems professor. Hansen played a key role in the Spears School doctoral program for many years.

Transitions Hansen served on more than 30 doctoral committees, taught the analytical doctoral seminar for about 20 years, and served as the doctoral coordinator for several years. Hansen’s research, analytical and empirical in nature, was published in accounting and engineering journals. “Don has not only performed admirably in the classroom, but he has provided exceptional service to his university and profession while producing high-quality academic research,” says Ireland. “My career at Oklahoma State University has been very rewarding. It has been a great journey — one which has allowed me to interact with young people for most of my life,” says Hansen. “It has enabled me to engage in continual learning, which is something I have found to be of great value.” Hansen earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Brigham Young University in 1971. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War from 1971 to 1973, attaining the rank of first lieutenant, and serving as a nuclear missile launch officer. In 1977, he received his doctorate in business administration with an emphasis in accounting and quantitative methods from the University of Arizona. @

Marilyn (Meg) Kletke, professor in the department of Management Science and Information Systems, retired in June after 31 years at Oklahoma State University. Kletke taught computer courses to more than 15,500 undergraduate and master’s students. She balanced teaching, research, and service. Kletke said her heart and passion has been with teaching students. “Without a doubt, her biggest impact has been on our students,” says Rick

Wilson, head of the MSIS department in the Spears School of Business. “Through her innovative ideas in the classroom, her passion for instructional excellence, and her compassion for her students, Dr. Kletke has truly changed lives … and the world.” Kletke has always been on the cutting edge, pushing her department to adopt new technologies. “Meg has been an icon of excellence in all the aspects of being a faculty member at a comprehensive, land-grant university like OSU,” says Wilson. Kletke received numerous awards for her contributions to the MSIS department. She received the Greiner Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2007 and in 2010. She received the Oklahoma Distance Learning Association Distinguished Higher Education Instructor Award in 2009. She was also honored with the OSU Regents Distinguished Teaching Award twice (the maximum allowed). In 2008, she received a ConocoPhillips Faculty Scholarship Grant for $40,000. The grant was originally intended to fund student activities and would deplete over the course of two years. “I thought, ‘This is a great opportunity, but I want to do more,’” says Kletke. She asked for permission to create an endowed scholarship for MSIS students that would run for years to come. Her request went all the way to the CEO of ConocoPhillips, whose response was, “No one has ever done that before.” Impressed by her tenacity, the CEO agreed and Kletke was elated to start the Meg Kletke Endowed Scholarship to “forever assist MSIS students in funding their educations,” says Kletke. The fund now assists two students per semester with books and tuition costs. Kletke’s hope is for the fund to grow to $1 million. “She has showed us all that we should not only teach from our store of knowledge but also from our heart,” says Wilson. “She will be sorely missed, but perhaps we have all learned from her example and will do our part to adopt Meg’s approach to work and to life.”

In 1999, Kletke chaired the committee that built the master’s degree in management information systems/ accounting information systems. She directed the program for about seven years and saw enrollment grow to nearly 100 students. It is still the largest graduate program in the Spears School and one of the top programs at OSU. Kletke’s research focused on data mining, intellectual property rights and human factors in computing, which studies the productivity of computer usage. Kletke published 10 editions of Learning the Basics of Micro Computing: An Introductory Computer Software Workbook. Kletke earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s in computer science from Iowa State University. She received her doctorate in agricultural economics from Oklahoma State University. @

Daryl Nord, professor of management science and information systems in the Spears School of Business, retired in June after 35 years with Oklahoma State University. Nord taught more than 14,000 undergraduate and graduate students at OSU. He remained in the same office, Room 220, of the Business Building throughout his career. His courses varied from advanced electronic commerce in the MBA program to global information technology, an OSU London International program. Nord has guided research for numerous doctoral and master’s level students. “I feel that my greatest achievement has been my contribution to my students,” says Nord. “Feeling that you’ve made a difference in their lives, knowing that you helped them along the path to not just earning an education but getting a continues on next page

summer 2012 engage@spears


Transitions job which they can be happy with and successful has been the most rewarding.” “Having the privilege of working with Daryl for nearly three decades, I found him to be highly capable, dedicated, and creative as he carried out his professorial duties,” says Zane Quible, Professor Emeritus of management. “These notable attributes enabled him to earn a high level of respect from his colleagues and the thousands of students he taught during his distinguished career.” Nord received numerous professional and teaching awards, including the Outstanding Service Award by OSU’s MSIS department in 2010, the Fulbright Specialist Travel Award for International Exchange of Scholars from the University of Primorska in Slovenia in 2009, Outstanding Professor Award from the OSU MBA Association in 2009, and the Computer Educator of the Year Award from the International Association for Computer Information Systems in 1992. “Daryl Nord is a bright, accomplished and solid academic citizen in all regards,” says Dennis Mott, professor of management and managerial communications. “Professor Nord has amassed a record of scholarly accomplishments that are many, varied and quality-driven.” He spent his entire 35-year career with OSU, except for his sabbaticals at the University of Primorska in Slovenia (2009), the University of Southern Queensland in Australia (fall 2000), the University of California-Los Angeles (spring 2000), San Diego State University (1984-85) and the University of New Mexico (1976-77). Nord earned his bachelor’s degree from Mayville State College in North Dakota in 1969. He earned a master’s degree in 1974 and holds a doctorate in philosophy, both from the University of North Dakota. In 1977, Nord began his career with OSU as an assistant professor. He plans to continue as the managing director of the International Association of Computer Information Systems and remain an executive editor of the Journal


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of Computer Information Systems. He will also continue his role as a Fulbright senior specialist. @

Bev Dunham, word-processing center supervisor in the office of the dean of the Spears School of Business, retired in July after 30 years with Oklahoma State University. Dunham is well known at the Spears School for her meticulous proofreading skills and keen attention to detail. Over the years, she has proofread and edited countless journal articles, exams, reference letters and dissertations for Spears School staff, professors and doctoral students. “Bev got me out of so many jams, it’s unbelievable,” says Debra Nelson, associate professor of business administration and management. “If I messed up a project, lost something and couldn’t recover it, forgot a deadline and had a rush job ... she was always calm, cool and confident that it could be fixed. I will also miss her wit and dry sense of humor.” In 2006, Dunham was honored with the Outstanding Classified Staff Award for the Spears School. Originally from St. Louis, she met her husband, Stan, while attending the University of Tulsa. The couple moved to Stillwater in 1982 for his job as a program coordinator in the College of Arts & Sciences at OSU. She was soon hired on campus to work at the Office of Independent and Correspondence Studies. In 1988, the business school hired Dunham as a research assistant. Later, she was promoted to word-processing center supervisor. “Bev has contributed more to my productivity and success at OSU than I could ever convey in words,” says Kevin Currier, professor in the Department of Economics and Legal Studies. “She is the consummate professional with

respect to skills, attitude, work ethic and attention to detail. She is also a great personal friend and colleague.” “Some people make a difference. Bev Dunham is a difference maker,” says Lee Manzer, professor in the Department of Marketing. “We worked together on over a hundred projects. Bev always went beyond fulfilling her responsibility. Much of my career success can be attributed to Bev. She was an outstanding colleague and is my great friend.” “I have very much enjoyed my work during my career, but what I will miss most is the people at OSU,” says Dunham. @

Gayle Robbins, a longtime part of the Center for Executive and Professional Development in the Spears School of Business, is retiring in July after more than 30 years with Oklahoma State University. Her career with OSU began after she returned home to Stillwater from Atlanta in 1981 with her husband, Tommy, and two children, Ryan and Blair. She accepted a position in the College of Business Administration Business Extension Department on Oct. 26, 1981. She was promoted to supervising secretary in 1986, then to administrative assistant in 1991, and in 1999, to administrative associate. A Stillwater High School graduate, she received her bachelor’s degree in family relations and child development from OSU in 1986. Robbins has supervised numerous students and staff, completed an enormous number of faculty and staff payroll actions, and helped coordinate materials for many noncredit programs. She also served as the Municipal Clerks, Treasurers and Finance Officials Institute registrar and handled many special projects during her career. @

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Honors & Awards

Hall of Fame banquet honors outstanding alumni Four Oklahoma State University alumni were inducted into the Spears School of Business Hall of Fame during the school’s annual Hall of Fame banquet during the 2011 fall semester. David Batchelder, Link Newcomb, and Amy Mitchell and Malone Mitchell III were recognized for their successful careers and contributions to OSU with the induction into the Spears School Hall of Fame. Also, the Spears School named Wesley Holmes and Galen Martens as Outstanding Young Alumni. In addition, Steve Nave, Ken Starks, Melinda Stinnett and Steve Tatum were this year’s Orange Star Award recipients. The Hall of Fame banquet honors OSU graduates who have distinguished themselves in their professional careers, displayed great leadership, made outstanding contributions to their communities and given meritorious service to others. Spears School’s highest honor is the induction into the Hall of Fame. In 2011, the Outstanding Young Alumni award was created to exemplify the alumni who have provided significant services and

Spears School of Business Dean Larry Crosby (center) helps induct the newest members of the school’s Hall of Fame: David Batchelder (from left), Link Newcomb, and Amy Mitchell and Malone Mitchell III.

achievements early in their professional careers. The Orange Star Award recognizes exceptional Spears School alumni who have significantly contributed to their alma mater.

About the honorees David Batchelder is a founder and principal member of the Investment Committee of Relational Investors LLC, which manages more than $6.3 billion for some of the largest pension funds in the world. Batchelder has more than 27 years of financial management, mergers and acquisitions experience. He also served as chairman of Mac Frugal’s Bargains Close-Outs Inc., and as director of many other companies, including ConAgra Foods Inc., Home Depot Inc., ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc., Intuit Inc., Nuevo Energy Co., Santa Fe Pacific Gold Corp. and Washington Group International. In addition, from 1988 to 2005, Batchelder was a principal for Relational Advisors LLC, a financial advisory and investment-banking firm he founded. The firm was built into a nationally recognized source of expertise for mergers,


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acquisitions, private financing and shareholder matters. In 1971, Batchelder earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from OSU. Amy Mitchell and Malone Mitchell III founded Riata Energy in 1985 in their guest bedroom with $500 in capital and have turned it into one of the largest privately held energy companies in the U.S. and the largest private landdrilling contractor in the nation. The Mitchells donated $28.6 million to the Spears School in 2008 to help fund the entrepreneurship program, which has received international recognition. For their contribution, the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship is named in the Mitchells’ honor. The couple graduated with bachelor’s degrees in 1983; Malone obtained a degree in agriculture and Amy earned a degree in family relations.

Link Newcomb, currently senior adviser to the chief executive officer of Oakley Inc., has held many positions within the company, including executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief operating officer. Before joining Oakley, Newcomb served as a corporate attorney for five years in the Los Angeles office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom. After growing up in Elk City, Okla., Newcomb graduated from OSU in December 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He earned his master’s degree in accounting from OSU in 1984, and obtained his law degree from the University of Texas in 1988. At OSU, Newcomb received the Raymond D. Thomas Award for outstanding graduate of the business college in 1984, and he was one of OSU’s Top 10 Seniors that same year. @

Honors & Awards and Strategic Communications and the Spears School. The two Spears School employees received their awards at the association’s conference at Rose State College in Midwest City. @

Simon Ringsmuth

Tracy Suter

State group honors Spears School duo Spears School of Business employee Simon Ringsmuth and associate professor of marketing Tracy Suter have been honored by the Oklahoma Distance Learning Association. Ringsmuth, a computer support specialist for the Center for Executive and Professional Development, received the Outstanding Development and Application of Technology in Support of Education in the Field of Distance Learning award. This award is dedicated to a “behind-the-scenes” distance learning technician or instructional designer that contributes to the operation of distance learning environments. Ringsmuth joined the OSU distance learning team in August 2009. His specialties include technology, production and innovation, and his passion is for assisting the school in delivering quality online courses to students. A project by Suter, associate professor of marketing at the Spears School, and Bill Handy, former visiting assistant professor in the OSU School of Media and Strategic Communications, was the basis for the Innovative Use of Mobile Technology award. This award is presented to the individuals and/ or institution for inventive uses of distance learning as it correlates to mobile technologies. Suter and Handy conducted an Apple iPad initiative in the fall of 2010 with a few courses in the School of Media

The OSU team, with adviser Andrew Urich (from left), Mary Kate Barnthouse, Joe Tibias and Gina Hancock, brought a trophy home from their second-place finish in the Oklahoma Student Ethics Challenge.

Spears trio places 2nd in state ethics match Spears School undergraduate students Mary Kate Barnthouse, Gina Hancock and Joe Tibias received $1,500 and a trophy for taking second place in the Oklahoma Student Ethics Challenge held during the Oklahoma Business Ethics Consortium at Oklahoma Christian University. The competition consisted of the students’ analyzing hypothetical ethics cases. Teams squared off against one another in a debate-style format, with one team member going head-to-head with a student on the opposing team. The Spears School students studied ethical theories and did a lot of research to prepare for the competition. The group met to share their ideas and develop strong arguments for their case. “Analyzing and arguing cases is interesting and fun,” said Andrew Urich, the OSU teams’ adviser and an associate professor. “The students learn a great deal, acquire presentation skills, learn to think on their feet, and, most importantly, gain confidence in their abilities.”

The OSU student team of undergraduates Jimmy Holland, Karla Tankut, Jamie Solberg and Kentiya Orange also competed. @

Entrepreneurship school receives national award Oklahoma State University’s School of Entrepreneurship continues to receive national recognition, and the latest is the National Model Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program Award from the United States Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, one of the most prestigious honors the program has received in its short history. The OSU School of Entrepreneurship is just in its fourth year of existence and is already attracting attention from the association, the premier national organization for entrepreneur educators, and is recognized as a leader across the nation. “This award indicates that we are at the leading edge in terms of a comprehensive approach to entrepreneurship education,” says professor Michael Morris. “Our approach to curriculum design, student engagement, experimental learning, infrastructure development and community outreach represents a model that other universities can learn from. “The award is a validation of what we are doing and where we are going at Oklahoma State. We have done a number of things that others have not, and so it is good to find that others recognize the value in our approach and see it as a model to guide where the discipline is going,” he adds. “We want OSU to be recognized as the best in the world, and our goals are high. As such, I was not surprised when the announcement was made, but instead felt joy for all the people in our program and all the others at OSU who have supported us and made our progress possible. And one always feels humbled when their peers provide this kind of recognition.” continues on next page summer 2012 engage@spears


Honors & Awards The award is given annually to colleges and universities that have developed and offer high quality and innovative programs to educate and train future generations of entrepreneurs. Programs are evaluated on their innovation, quality, comprehensiveness, sustainability, transferability, depth of support and impact.

Top 20 University Entrepreneurship Club rankings (FledgeWing.com). @

After completing his education, Sharda joined the OSU faculty. During his 31 years in Stillwater, he has held several positions, including assistant professor, associate professor, and his current titles: Regents Professor of Management Science and Information Systems, ConocoPhillips Chair of Management Technology, and director of the Institute for Research in Information Systems.

“I think they were especially impressed with our competency-based approach, seeing it as the future of where education needs to go,” Morris says. Larry Crosby, dean of the Spears School of Business, is thrilled that the School of Entrepreneurship is making an impact in the lives of OSU students. “While the School of Entrepreneurship is few in numbers, it packs a powerful punch that is being noted across the land,” Crosby says. “Everyone at the Spears School takes great pride in this accomplishment.” Morris was at Syracuse University when it received the National Model Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Program Award in 2005. But for OSU’s program to receive the same recognition after only a few years is especially satisfying. “This was our goal, but one can never tell with these things,” Morris says. “We have moved very far and done so very fast — at least in terms of the pace at which universities work. But it is one thing to create and implement the program and quite another to get the recognition for what we are doing. So it is quite humbling to receive this recognition.” The award is just another sign of the school’s impact since the program began in 2008. In the past 18 months, OSU’s School of Entrepreneurship has received a research productivity world ranking of No. 10 (by the M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University), was one of the few schools to have its undergraduate program (No. 24) and graduate program (No. 23) ranked among the nation’s top 25 (The Princeton Review/Entrepreneur Magazine), and has learned that the student-led E-Club was No. 9 in the 2011


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U.S. I felt proud to be representing OSU from half a world away.”

Ramesh Sharda (right) was recognized as one of the Jewels of Rajasthan in the World at a ceremony in Jaipur in India.

Professor named a Jewel of Rajasthan Ramesh Sharda, Regents Professor of management science and information systems at Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business, received an international honor at the Jewels of Rajasthan in the World event from the National Federation of Indian-American Associations. A two-day ceremony in Jaipur, Rajasthan, in January honored 65 Indians from the state of Rajasthan in northwestern India. All honorees were presented with awards for their outstanding contributions and representation of Rajasthan. A coffee-table book, Jewels of Rajasthan, was released by Manish Media Agency at the gala, which was held in conjunction with an annual event held by the government of India for the Indian diaspora. The book profiles each of the 65 honorees, including Sharda. “It was an honor to receive professional recognition from my home state, especially because the honoree pool included industrialists, doctors, entertainers and outstanding community leaders,” says Sharda, who was one of only two American educators to receive the honor. “It was very gratifying to be a part of a group that has done so much for Rajasthan,” he says. “I was also proud to be one of only two educators from the

Sharda also serves as the director of the Spears School’s newly introduced Ph.D. in Business for Executives program. Furthermore, he coordinates the Spears School’s collaborations with universities in India. Some of the OSU professor’s other awards include winning the Spears School of Business Greiner Graduate Teaching Awards twice and the University Regents Distinguished Research Award. @

Taylor Shinn

Kayvon (left) and Hillary Olomi

Alumni make Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ Spears School of Business graduates Kayvon Olomi and Taylor Shinn have been recognized as two members of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” for 2012. Forbes magazine recognized 30 successful business people under the age of 30 in 12 different categories in the workforce who are having an impact on the world today. The Forbes “30 Under 30” distinguishes these men as valuable contributors to society as well as the workforce. With diligence and persistence, Shinn

Honors & Awards and Olomi have broadened their horizons through a pathway that began at Oklahoma State University. Olomi, founder of AppTank, holds his spot in Forbes at the age of 26. AppTank is an online marketplace that matches mobile developers with application projects. “I like to measure success based upon if I have learned and gained skills from a venture,” Olomi says. “I believe it is best this way because even though a concept might fail, you gain invaluable experience and knowledge that you can capitalize on with future ventures. So always be sure to walk away with a story of success, whether it be from a successful venture or one that failed. “The overall tenure at OSU played a huge impact from the academics to the exposure,” he says. “It was a very well-rounded and balanced experience throughout the years.” Shinn, senior director of corporate development with Chesapeake Energy Corp., earned his way onto the Forbes list at 27 years old. He has worked his way to the top tier of the Oklahoma City energy company’s natural gas department, focusing on building compressed natural gas fueling stations. “The SSB offered me many things while I pursued my undergraduate degree and provided me with the confidence and skills to work in the aggressive energy sector,” Shinn says. “Not only did I learn much about the dynamic fundamentals of finance, marketing, business development and corporate management, but the various programs and leadership opportunities within SSB enabled me to continue to refine business strategies and understand the development side of business. “I’ve been blessed to work for and alongside incredible leaders at my company and have been mentored by wonderful people. My wife, Kim, my family and my friends have been extremely supportive and encouraging of me, and they deserve much of the credit,” he adds. “Furthermore, my past professors, both

in my undergrad and graduate programs, helped give me a foundation on business principles and encouraged me to work hard. The Oklahoma State work ethic and team-oriented philosophy is something that sets all of us apart and is a key reason for anyone’s success.” @

Students receive honors, awards The Spears School of Business recognized a number of students, faculty and student organizations for outstanding achievements in academic and extracurricular activities during the 59th annual Honors and Awards Banquet in April. “We are extremely proud to have a large number of students and faculty who are deserving to be recognized each year for their many contributions both inside and outside of the classroom,” says Dean Larry Crosby. “Their accomplishments are instrumental in the Spears School’s continued success, and this is our way of saying congratulations for a job well done.” Ashley Leonard, a senior from Artesia, N.M., was the recipient of the 2012 Raymond D. Thomas Award, given annually to the top senior who excels at leadership and citizenship. The award is voted on by a faculty committee in the business school and includes a lifetime membership to the OSU Alumni Association, valued at $750. Recipients of the Spears School Outstanding Senior Awards are Kyle Buthod, Claire Compton, Chris Copeland, Katie Fielding, Shane Gibson, Gina Hancock, Rachel Herrmann, Sarah Kester, Ashley Leonard, Kaylan Lowrie, Jamie Solberg, Joe Tobias and Tyler Van Arsdale. Also honored were 10 students the OSU Alumni Association selected as Seniors of Significance: Kyle Buthod, Katie Fielding, Hannah Geis, Shane Gibson, Gina Hancock, Rachel Herrmann, Ashley Leonard, Krista Lopez, Peilin Shi and John Stivers. Graduating with 4.0 grade-point averages and receiving Delta Sigma Pi

Gold Key Awards are Kaylee Brace, Charles Cutler, William Gossell, Gina Hancock, Benjamin Lenski, William Little, Christopher Long, Amy Reichenbach, Peilin Shi, Jamie Solberg, Gaylan Towle and Tyler Van Arsdale. Beta Gamma Sigma honor society inductees are Garrett Baker, Jonathan Bartlett, Kevin Bell, Trevor Bombagetti, Audrea Brown, Jonathan Fain, Jana Gregory, Luke Henkenius, Jessica Hitt, Jennifer Hofener, Shelby James, Benjamin Koch, Sarah Mathews, Carson Mitchell, Ryan Ogle, Kim Olstroem, Ashley Pratt, Chelsey Puckett, Charles Sievers, Kaley Uptergrove, Thomas Vail, Aaron Wright, Razan Al Ashi, Madeline Bailey, Samuel Chandler, Amanda Giles, Linda Gorman, Dak Hall, Callie Heerwagen, Christopher Mansker, Alayna McClendon, Michal Starr, Angela Victorio and Mitchel Wegener. One member of each business organization was recognized as its outstanding member. The honorees include Sara Shidell (Delta Sigma Pi), Tiffany Davis (Marketing Club), Jordan Payne (Phi Beta Lambda), Taylor Weaver (Alpha Kappa Psi), Brittania Mecher (American Association of University Women), Lauren Baldwin (Entrepreneurship Club), Joivanni Menefee (African American Business Student Association), Ryan Garrett (Information Security and Assurance Club), Lynley Fox (Spears Ambassadors), Meredith Lee (Human Resources Management Association), Aurora Burns (Beta Alpha Psi), Sarah Kester (Association of Information Technology Professionals), Kyle Buthod (Business Student Council), Erin Scanlan (Freshman Business Student Leaders), Audrey Tompkins (Business Honors Organization), Griffin Mason (Financial Management Association) and Meg Sokolosky (Beta Gamma Sigma). Robert Cornell, Wilton T. Anderson Professor of Accounting, was the recipient of the Kenneth D. and Leitner Greiner Undergraduate Teaching Award. Phi Beta Lambda was presented with the Outstanding Business Organization Award. @ summer 2012 engage@spears


Honors & Awards

OSU wins Big 12 MBA Case contest … again If this continues, Mike Gundy, Travis Ford and other Oklahoma State University head coaches are going to be hard pressed to keep up. OSU’s four-person team of MBA students captured first place in the sixth annual Big 12 MBA Case Competition hosted by the Spears School of Business in early March. The victory was OSU’s third title in the six years of the MBA Case Competition. Julena Bonner, Chad Dayton, Wayne Harber and Clint Miller placed first out of the nine universities competing from the Big 12: Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma, OSU, Texas Tech and conference newcomer Texas Christian University. The OSU team won the first-place trophy and $2,000 prize money. The University of Oklahoma placed second and won $1,600; TCU was third and received $1,200. In addition, OSU’s Clint Miller was selected as the best presenter and MVP during the two-day event, and the Oklahoma State team received the sportsmanship award from the other competitors. “It was an honor to be selected for this competition, and I am truly proud of what our team was able to accomplish,” Miller says. “We were asked to put together a solid business recommendation in a short, 24-hour period. The situation was stressful, but our team worked hard and stuck to a strategy that we felt would differ from our opponents. The decision paid off. I am even more proud that we could showcase OSU and the MBA program.” It was the first time for the Spears School to host the competition. “We were really excited to be hosting the Big 12 MBA Case Competition but it became extra special when our team was able to rise to the top and win the competition,” says Jan Analla, OSU’s MBA Case team adviser and assistant director of business graduate programs for the Spears School. “We are proud of the 44

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Spears School of Business MBA students (from left) Chad Dayton, Clint Miller, Julena Bonner and Wayne Harber proved they know their way around a few bucks when they took first place in the Big 12 MBA Case Competition in March.

hard work and dedication of Julena, Chad, Wayne and Clint. They did an excellent job.” The nine teams were required to analyze a real-world case problem provided by ISN Software Corp. in Dallas. The teams were asked to assess the problem, research possible solutions, write a concept proposal and give a presentation on their findings and recommendations — all within 24 hours of receiving the case early on March 2. Each team then presented its strategy to a panel of judges, composed of business executives and industry leaders. The field was narrowed to the top three teams following the preliminary round, and those three presented their proposals during the final round. The winners were announced during a banquet on March 3 at the Wes Watkins Center on the Stillwater campus. None of the judges in any round knew which schools were presenting at that time to eliminate any bias. Presenters were not allowed to wear clothing with logos from their schools and were penalized if they mentioned which school they represented or their hometown. “We couldn’t be happier for the four members of the team representing OSU and the Spears School of Business,” says Dean Larry Crosby. “It’s a great accomplishment against some of the best MBA students from other Big 12 schools. It’s an indication of the quality of the education that our MBA students are receiving at Oklahoma State University, and shows that they stack up against other MBA students throughout the Big 12. It’s a great accomplishment for the MBA students, and we are very proud of each of them.” @

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