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notabene 201 1 – Planning for our future

Table of Contents 1. Dean’s Message: Something Bigger Than All of Us 2. Building on a Passion: George Herbert Walker III 4. Shaping a Company and a Century: IBM at 100 with Chairman Sam Palmisano 6. Designed to Suit: An Interview with World Reknown Architect Robert A.M. Stern 10. Building Global Citizens: The Global MBA 12. The Business of Fun: Silly Bandz’ Founder Robert Croak 14. Dethroning the King 16. Set Your Sky: Romaine Seguin, MBA ’96, 2011 Woman of Influence, President, UPS Americas Region 17. Planning to Serve: Anthony Thompson, MBA ’88, President/CEO, Kwame Building Group 18. Bridging the Business Gap in Europe and the Middle East 19. Engineering a Solution for Russia 20. Building a Future: Mario Santander, MBA ‘11 21. Borderless Global Education: The IBIE 22. A Blueprint for Healthcare 22. Outsmarting the Criminal Mind 23. At the Crossroads of Accounting and IT 24. G  eorge Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology Advisory Board & 2010 Timeline

On the cover Professor Ali Ovlia and student Mario Santander, MBA ’11, inside the construction of the new home for the Walker School of Business and Technology

On this page Pictured left to right with Dean Akande are students Ashley Hayworth, Haili Wang and Annamarie Szakonyi.

a friend

of mine shared a story not so long ago of a man walking past the steps of a newly completed academic facility at a major university, where he stopped to gaze at the building’s beauty. He was taken by the architectural design and the impact the building would have on thousands of lives for years to come, when a small voice broke his concentration. “Do you like this building?” a young girl seated half way up the steps in front asked. “Yes, I really do. It’s absolutely beautiful,” the man replied. “I am glad you like it,” the little girl responded, “because I helped build it.” “Now you are awfully small to have had a part in the construction of such a large building,” the man said smiling,”Just what did you do to help build it?”

With a proud smile the little girl explained that her father was in the construction business and was one of the workers on the site. Every day he came to work and every day the young girl brought him his lunch. Without her help, her father couldn’t work. Without his contribution along with others, the building wouldn’t have been completed. I find similarity with what we are experiencing today on our campus. Webster is home to many construction workers right now. They have poured the foundation and set the girders for what will soon be the home of the Walker School of Business & Technology. But they are not the only builders we have. In fact our school is made up of individuals who each in their own way help shape and define who we are. There’s George Herbert Walker III, who gave us his name, and Robert A.M. Stern, the legendary architect who designed our building and captured the very essence of our vision. There are our alumni, who are living and leading

extraordinary lives. And there are our students, who are in the midst of a remarkably transformative time building their future. We celebrate our faculty whose commitment to excellence is unparalleled. Our NotaBene 2011 issue is dedicated to the permanent citizens of Webster’s Walker School of Business and Technology; our students, alumni and faculty.. They represent the human brick and mortar of the Walker School of Business. We invite you to read their stories, then go to notabene2011 to enjoy more pictures, videos and interviews. We want to share what we’re building at Webster’s Walker School of Business with you because, like the young girl on the steps, we’re proud to be part of something bigger than all of us. Sincerely yours,

Benjamin Ola. Akande, Dean George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology

“Our 2011 NOtabeNe is dedicated tO the permaNeNt citizeNs Of Webster’s Walker schOOl Of busiNess aNd techNOlOgy; Our studeNts, alumNi aNd faculty.”

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Ambassador George Herbert Walker, III

“Webster is famOus fOr impartiNg ON its studeNts kNOWledge, iNtegrity, empathy, the ability tO dO hard WOrk aNd the skill tO listeN tO Others as Well as themselves.� 2 | 2011 notabene: george herbert Walker sChool of business and teChnology


of you may not know me. You ask “who is this guy who has his name on this outstanding school?” Is he living? Is he smart as hell? Is he some intellectual giant? Let me set your mind at ease. Yes, I am living. No, I’m not that smart and I am not a giant, intellectually or by any other means. My principal attribute is a long-standing enthusiasm, really an excitement, about Webster University, what it is today and what the future holds for it. Some of you may know that I attended and graduated from a couple of so-called “elite” institutions in New Haven and Cambridge. Why, you ask, did I not give my major contribution to them? How did I get hooked on Webster? Like so many things, my love of Webster didn’t happen overnight. It is a passion built on my long history with this exceptional institution. It all started with my great admiration for Webster’s then-president Leigh Gerdine, a man of extraordinary talent and great vision. Gerdine was a brilliant musician, a skilled administrator and an inspired educator. I was thrilled when he invited me to join Webster’s Board of Directors in 1974.

In time I learned where President Gerdine wanted Webster to go. He didn’t want Webster to be a stereotype of other universities where those who wanted to be educated had to come. Gerdine knew that an increasing segment of the population wanted to be educated or continue their education; they just needed something more accessible. So Webster pioneered the concept of extended campus sites on military bases, in downtown locations, in suburbs and even distant communities. The concept didn’t stop there. Educational programs were started giving working students who could not leave their jobs the option to go to school at night. Webster’s reputation quickly spread well beyond the borders of its home campus site in St. Louis, and in 1978 the university was invited to take its know-how to Geneva, Switzerland. That launch of our first international campus was the start of Webster’s amazing and extraordinary international outreach. Over the years Webster and its student community has continued to grow and succeed, thanks in part to some key qualities I believe are essential to achieving any goal; integrity, endurance, hard work, empathy, ability to listen and passion.

Integrity gives the world the security that you can be trusted. Endurance shows your ability to bounce back from adversity. No amount of knowledge can surpass the power of hard work toward achieving a goal. Empathy allows us to see into the lives of another and do unto them in a way they will remember and hopefully reciprocate. The ability to listen gives us the opportunity to learn what is important to our audience, be it students or business associates. And passion gives us the power to achieve anything we set our sights on. My passion, over the years, has been Webster University. With each commencement I see another graduating class full of “success stories in the making” leave our campus. They carry with them all the things Webster is famous for imparting on its students: knowledge, integrity, empathy, the ability to do hard work and the skill to listen to others as well as to themselves. They already have a passion toward their future career and a passion toward Webster. And to me, that is a passion worth building on.

the Walker travel aWard For many years, business and service to his country took Ambassador Walker abroad where he learned how essential the expansion of knowledge is to bridging gaps between the U.S. and international communities. Our new Walker name embodies the ambassador’s dedication to education, his steadfast integrity and his unwavering leadership. But it also personifies his support of our international mission to graduate the next generation of global citizens. Now, to help make that globalization possible for more undergraduate and graduate students of the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology is the new Walker Travel Award.

Beginning in Fall 2011 qualified students will have the opportunity to receive up to $1000 as a one-time travel award to defray the cost of traveling abroad to participate in a short-term hybrid course. These hybrid courses combine a rigorous online class with approximately a week of international travel making it a perfect choice for many nontraditional students kept from other study abroad opportunities because of commitments at home. Ambassador Walker is proud to spotlight Webster’s amazing and extraordinary international outreach. Now a fund that bears his name will bring those opportunities within reach to even more Webster students. Apply for a Walker Travel Award at Webster university | 3

building from experienCe 50 years

ago, as IBM celebrated its first five decades in business, the company’s chairman and son of its founder toasted their success with a reflection on reality. “Corporations are expendable,” Tom Watson, Jr. said “Success, at best, is an achievement which can always slip out of hand.” For IBM, who turns 100 this year, that didn’t happen. The company which started off making clocks, scales and cheese slicers is now an industry leader in computers, software and analytics in more than 170 countries around the world. IBM made the need for continual forward movement part of its business model. And its Chairman, President and CEO, Samuel Palmisano, made it part of his preparation as a leader. Palmisano’s friend, Webster University’s Trustee for Life Ambassador George Herbert Walker III, says before rising to the top of IBM, the young executive experienced every facet of the organization, worked hard and quickly developed a reputation along the way for being industrious. “It wasn’t industriousness, per se – that’s pretty much universal among IBMers,” counters Palmisano. “I’d say the most important thing was the variety of experiences and perspectives I was able to have. I have had, as you say, some

“cross-training” throughout my career at IBM, in terms of what jobs I performed and where I worked around the world. All of these experiences – from living in Asia, to running our PC business, to starting our global services business from the ground up – provided wonderful opportunities for learning.” In his day, Palmisano says, future leaders of multinational companies prepared through overseas assignments in mature markets. Palmisano himself lived in Japan for two years. But in a world where growth is increasingly coming from emerging markets, and where companies like IBM have a global engagement far wider and closer to the ground than in the past, businesses must create a whole new generation of global professionals and global citizens. Like Webster’s Global MBA program, Palmisano says when it comes to learning about the global marketplace there is nothing like being there. IBM’s Corporate Service Corps puts diverse teams of high-potential employees from around the world into communities and cities in emerging markets such as Ghana, the Philippines, Turkey and Vietnam. There they work with NGOs and local leaders on economic development projects, technology infrastructure improvements and other core areas of IBM expertise. As a result, Palmisano says the program

is developing next-generation leaders who are truly global citizens, and who can seamlessly work on teams that span borders and functional disciplines. In April, Palmisano celebrated IBM’s 100th anniversary at Webster with an address at the school which bears his friend’s name and embodies the ambassador’s uncompromising integrity. “What I have learned from Ambassador Walker is that we as business leaders must be devoted to service. We must leave our companies, our societies and our world better than we found them,” says Palmisano. “If you look at how the modern corporation is evolving, you’ll see that companies are realizing that in a globally integrated world, it is increasingly difficult to separate the work they do for profit from the health, prosperity and sustainability of their societies. “Based on the Ambassador’s outlook and the macroeconomic shifts we are seeing today,” Palmisano continued, “I cannot think of a better opportunity than for the Walker School of Business to open its doors with a focus on building new foundations and models of value creation in business – ones that advance our communities and the way the world works.”

The Walker School awarded Mr. Palmisano its 2011 CEO of the Year following his address at Webster University. Visit for the sights and sounds from that day.

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“cOmpaNies are realiziNg that iN a glObally iNtegrated WOrld, it is iNcreasiNgly difficult tO separate the WOrk they dO fOr prOfit frOm the health, prOsperity aNd sustaiNability Of their sOcieties.”

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Robert A. M. Stern Architects has designed projects around the world. The firm’s work includes the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Disney Feature Animation Building and the future George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

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“Webster is a little like, iN my experieNce Of campus desigNiNg, dartmOuth cOllege. it is imbedded iN the tOWN...”


you want to be the best, you surround yourself with the best. That’s why when it came time to design a new building to house the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology at Webster University, we went to an architect whose name is associated with greatness. Robert A.M. Stern is that man. He has designed for those whose names evoke excellence: Harvard, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Stanford. His name is also on the drawings for buildings at Yale where he currently serves as Dean of the Yale School of Architecture. He’s an educator as well as an architect. And that is why, Stern tells Dean Benjamin Akande, he knew when designing a building for Webster it would have to be one that optimizes learning in and out of the classroom.

dean akande: You have said that “At its

best, the college campus is the representation of beliefs, of the specific character of a place, of a community, or an institution.” What institutional characteristics do you look into for inspiration in designing a building for a university? dean stern: The campus as an idea is a

very American idea. There were no campuses in European universities. So the idea that you build a number of buildings on a new site like the Univer-

sity of Virginia and you would have those buildings mean more than just accommodating dormitories or classrooms is very specifically American. (Thomas) Jefferson was trying to figure out what the United States would be like and he used the university as a major emblem of its future. So we do have a tradition that says certain buildings are symbolically important. But many universities, and I think Webster is one of them, are not a planned, pre-conceived campus. So when we started work on this project I asked, “What is it we can do to discover the essence of Webster and to also maybe give it a greater sense of its own character?” One thing was the campus green, a community space that all the people can share. We wanted to reinforce that so we designed the building to form an “L”. Also, Webster is not a typical college. At least in the business school the students are older. They are coming back. They are not there for playtime. They are there to improve their skills and their lives. Then some of the students are not even in Missouri. They are online. So we had to make a place that was physical so when it showed on the screen, you’d say “I’m taking this course at Webster and it looks like this.” Whether we answered the questions appropriately, time will tell. dean akande: We believe you have

answered the question because you listened

attentively to what our needs are, what our aspirations are and focused on understanding what we represent as a campus. That is a very distinctive attribute. What are the take-aways from the very important art and science of listening? dean stern: Architects are not famously

good listeners. Many have a personal approach or style and while they do listen to, “We need so many classrooms, we need so many this and that,” basically they take those functions and put those in a package which resembles many other packages they have delivered around the world. I call those architects auto-biographers because every building is another chapter in their autobiography. I’m more interested in being a portraitist. I try to make a picture of what I find. Webster presented an interesting challenge because it doesn’t have several buildings over time that are even coherent to one another. Webster is a little like, in my experience of campus designing, Dartmouth College. It is embedded in the town. In fact at Dartmouth the town green half belongs to the college and half belongs to the town. Maybe when we are finished with this building, the green will become a crossroads where people in Webster Groves as well as the students will intermix.

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Dean Akande: What you have helped us create at Webster is a definition of the present but also of the future. You have designed some of the most remarkable buildings around the world. What does the future hold in terms of business education and how will your buildings help make that future one that really connects the student to learning?

Dean Akande: Let’s talk about the “town and

Dean Stern: I’m not a good fortune teller. I think what we try to do is make a building that presents the best case that we understand in the present and try to make it flexible enough so the future can take care of itself. In the future, students learning from students as well as from their teachers and teachers learning from students is the key thing. There has to be a way to have good rooms, stages or theatres if you will, out of the classroom so that there is a focus so students can interact with each other. The other thing about the future, like the past, it all doesn’t happen in the classroom. In a building, we can make wonderful hallways and lounges and places on staircases where you bump into someone and carry on the conversation from the classroom. That is the best we can do as architects to make those conversations happen.

Dean Stern: A business school is really a place

gown” concept where a university is embedded inside its community like we are with Webster Groves. What we envision is that this business school will receive ownership not just from the university but also from the community. How do you see that type of relationship when putting the architecture in place? where academics and experienced practitioners can come together in the classroom on the teaching side so the students are exposed to the rough and tumble of the world as well as the theories that can guide them. We are not building an ivory tower up on the hill but a set of buildings in the town recognizing that people are going to be part of Webster the town, online and in the classroom. We tried to make a building that isn’t intimidating in character but isn’t a lazy pushover either. The building has a strong silhouette, it identifies itself and I hope it will add to the identity of the university as a whole. When you come in there is a staircase to take you up that is wide, there is light coming in so the stairs invite you to use them. And, especially at the end of a class, when you are filled with challenges from the new realms

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of knowledge you’ve been exposed to, you want to talk to somebody about it. So you need a few extra minutes and space to do that. You have a big lounge there where people can talk to each other or read. It is the living room of the school and every school needs that space. That’s how you build community. That is what a building can do. Dean Akande: When you take a historical

look at your body of work and your designs and review their impact, what will be your legacy beyond architecture in terms of your contribution to humanity? Dean Stern: Wow. That’s a tough one. I would like to think that through the architecture that we have designed that we have made places that people can adopt for themselves. Not that they “adapt to” but that they adopt. And that’s a big difference. To show that you can make a building, but not at the expense of what went before, in fact take what went before and take the next step. I’ve tried not to make architecture into a threatening act, but a reassuring act. I think that’s as good as you can do.

Watch Dean Akande’s interview with Robert A.M. Stern at

The new George herbert walker school of business and technology by the numbers $36,000 total saving per year due to green construction

200,000 6 62 Water Fountains

92,000 1,450

Estimated building man-hours

Tallest Point in Feet



Total Square Feet

Largest Room’s Square Footage






Number of Windows

Total Cubic Yards of Concrete


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Maxwell Dunlop, Global MBA, 2011

“the real geNius Of a Webster gmba is the cONfideNce yOu gaiN frOm liviNg iN NeW aNd uNfamiliar cOuNtries, aNd the ability tO speak firsthaNd abOut experieNces iN the glObal settiNg.”

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construction and building projects around the world had to be put on hold while we recover from the blows of the economic down turn, focusing on some “personal” building through Webster’s Global MBA program has already paid dividends for this GHWSBT student. About to complete my third assignment after my undergraduate studies, I wondered how I could grow myself in step with an ever-expanding global business world where Asian manufacturers use American labor to sell products to Canada. There is no doubt that learning from experience plays a key role in shaping the next wave of business people coming out of college. But how could I expedite my personal and professional growth to make me a better candidate for newer and challenging jobs that attract more competitors than ever? Enter Webster’s Global MBA Program.

The corner stone for any MBA program is a solid curriculum, which Webster can deliver from virtually any of its global campuses in Austria, The Netherlands, Switzerland, China, England, Thailand or online. Our GMBA instructors have been a mix of adjunct professors with fresh perspectives and full time teachers with deep expertise and experience in their field. To deepen my footings, I decided to pursue an emphasis in finance, which can be completed online while I travel between Asia and Europe. With a solid foundation set, Webster’s GMBA program provides a framework of vital experiences that have shaped how I really see and understand the business world. GMBA cohorts are given a unique opportunity to make corporate visits and listen to local business experts. Visits to European Financial Institutions, Chinese and Thai manufacturing plants and lectures from international experts on finance and marketing are all part of the GMBA blueprint.

But the real genius in the architecture of a Webster GMBA goes beyond the resume. It is the confidence you gain from living in new and unfamiliar countries, and the ability to speak first hand about experiences in the global settings. It may sound strange but I’m thankful for the sometimes challenging, unpleasant but laughable situations the program has put me through: Politely eating indiscernible dishes your international host puts in front of the you, figuring out how to get back to class in The Netherlands when your plane is grounded in Germany and trying to figure out how much a 60,000 dong sandwich really costs in Viet Nam. Global business people will no doubt come up against similar hurdles, and I’m glad I’ve been given the chance to take a practice run. So as far as building professional capital goes, the Webster GMBA was practically the only choice for me. Sound, sturdy, a good value and only 11 months to create – this is the construction business to be in.

photo by Maxwell Dunlop

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The Gorlok is Webster University’s mascot, a mythical creature designed by Webster students and staff with the paws of a cheetah, horns of a buffalo, and face of a Saint Bernard that embodies the highest standards of speed, agility, and stamina in an atmosphere of fairness and good conduct.

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the luckiest guy alive right now,” says entrepreneur Robert Croak, a businessman who just two years ago worked as a club owner and a concert promoter making other people famous. Now as the creator of Silly Bandz, those silicone bracelets shaped liked animals and objects, Croak’s name is the one making headlines. Croak says he was simply strolling through a Japanese market when he came across a decorated rubber band that would be the inspiration for his creation. Silly Bandz soon took on a life of their own as a kids’ fad and Hollywood fashion statement. Today they come in every color and every shape imaginable including ones resembling Webster University’s own mascot, The Gorlok.

“the sky’s the limit fOr us.”

Croak himself came to Webster’s St. Louis campus as part of the Walker Speaker Series and to hand out to the audience his customized Gorlok Silly Bandz. During his address, Croak shared with students, alumni and community members his insight on the highs and lows of entrepreneurship along with lessons on how to capitalize on what you have to do to make your next “best” thing even better. Silly Bandz’ sales in some parts of the U.S. have peaked. But that isn’t deterring this Ohio native. Croak’s colleagues are now focusing on several new markets in Europe where the demand for the bands is starting to grow. Croak’s enthusiasm for business and bands is contagious, so when he beams “the sky’s the limit for us,” we’re willing to bet he’ll stretch his success that far. Explore Croak’s presentation at the Walker Speaker Series at

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“yOu dON’t have tO be pOWerful Or rich Or Wildly ecceNtric tO be iNterestiNg.”

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than 150 years and four generations of a single family made up the history of one of the world’s most famous breweries, Anheuser-Busch. That is until 2008. It was then that beer lovers’ beloved A-B accepted a $52 billion cash offer from its competitor, InBev, following a hostile takeover bid by the Belgium conglomerate. In New York, the Financial Times’ reporter who covered the sale told her editor the story behind the story was one that had to be told. “I knew it the minute the leak hit our newsroom that a foreign brewing juggernaut was going to try to latch on to an American icon,” author Julie MacIntosh revealed to a standing room only audience of the Walker Speakers Series. “I especially knew it when the whole takeover was done and dusted just a month and a half later.”

The result was the penning of the New York Times’ bestseller “Dethroning The King,” a tell-all timeline of the boardroom events that led up to the demise of A-B. Just weeks after publishing the narrative, MacIntosh was at Webster sharing the countless stories of those involved in the battle to save the King of Beers, those orbiting the brewery’s inner circle, and of a father versus son struggle to sell the family business. “I was stunned to discover that August Busch III aggressively shot down his son’s plan to rescue the company and instead supported a sale to InBev,” MacIntosh says. “I knew the story of this hard-driving father and his sometimes wayward son had to be the key thread that ran throughout this book.”

You don’t have to be powerful or rich or wildly eccentric to be interesting, the author told her audience. Of course industry-watchers and those in St. Louis, Missouri, know that the Busch family is all three, making “Dethroning The King” and MacIntosh’s address this year at Webster one of the speaker series’ most fascinating. Watch MacIntosh’s speech “Dethroning The King” for the Walker Speaker Series and see pictures from the event at

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“leadership starts at the begiNNiNg Of yOur career, aNd NOt WheN yOu’ve reached the tOp.”


is in the business of building relationships. Every day the multi-billion dollar corporation links people, cultures, and commerce in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. And now behind the success of its supply chain, package and cargo operations through Latin America, Canada and the Caribbean is Webster alum Romaine Seguin, president of UPS Americas Region and a woman who knows that embracing diversity is one of a business’ most important building blocks. “The world is one trading place, whether it is the movement of goods, technology or funds,” says Seguin, MBA ‘96. “You must be able to compete across all continents and in order to compete; cultures and the way of doing business must be understood to be successful.”

Seguin’s own success started in St. Louis more than two decades ago when she began her career with UPS in the Missouri District as a part-time hub supervisor. Promotion within UPS is one of the company’s core values and Seguin’s talent was tapped early on for a variety of management jobs both in the U.S. and in Europe. 27 years, 8 moves and 26 countries later, Seguin is now the leader others in the industry emulate.

Is Seguin’s success something others just starting out in business can achieve? Once armed with your degree, Seguin says, the rest is up to you. “Set your sky or simply put, set a goal to how far you want to go,” Seguin advises. “When you’ve set your sky, and you’re focused on reaching it, the opportunities that will get you there become much more visible.”

“Leadership starts at the beginning of your career, and not when you’ve reached the top,” says Seguin. “Sure, at first, the only person you’re leading is yourself but isn’t that the best time to assess your leadership skills and style? After all, if you wouldn’t follow you, would anyone else?”

On April 4, 2011, The George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology recognized Ms Seguin’s dedication, drive and continuing contribution to business by naming her Webster University’s 2011 Woman of Influence. Experience the event in pictures and video at

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“my brOther aNd i Were raised tO be cONcerNed abOut the future Of Our family aNd cOmmuNity.”


serving as a police officer and chief, 47-year old Tyrone Thompson became a consumer fraud investigator for the Missouri Attorney General’s office He was passionate about kids, his own and his community’s. And over the years, he became a mentor for hundreds of disadvantaged youth. In the summer of 2010 two teens attempted to rob Thompson. Guns were fired and Tyrone Thompson lost his life. “Those teenage suspects were the kind of boys Tyrone would have tried to mentor if he had met them,” says his brother Anthony Thompson, MBA ’88, President/CEO of Kwame Building Group. “And if he had met them I know he would have touched them.” Thompson knows his brother wouldn’t have hesitated to help even those who would take his life because giving back to the community is how the Thompsons were raised. Sometimes

To Tyrone Thompson (pictured right) the heart of solving crime and unemployment was a good education system. That’s why as an example to his children and a role model to the at-risk teens he mentored, Thompson was working on his degree in business at Webster. Violence claimed Thompson’s life before he could finish his studies. At his funeral Webster University awarded Tyrone Leon Thompson a honoris causa B.A. degree in management.

you give back with money. Sometimes it is with your time. And always it is with opportunities. That is what Tyrone Thompson hoped to give those he mentored; the opportunity for something different, something better. “My brother and I were raised to be concerned about the future of our family and community,” Thompson says. “Education is the one guarantee to a better life. That’s why mentoring minority youth and supporting early childhood education along with scholarship opportunities is our way of assisting America in restoring its place at the top of the educational ladder with minorities leading the charge.” This year, the Thompson family continued Tyrone’s commitment to others by launching the Tyrone Thompson Institute for Nonviolence. Its goal is to match mentors with students suspended from school. The Institute is based on a successful program at St. Louis’ Dunbar Elementary School funded by Thompson’s

philanthropic Kwame Foundation. It was through that project that Thompson learned that most of the kids suspended from school considered it a day off. Many spent the day at home with no one to supervise them. What they really needed was someone to hold them accountable for doing their homework and improving their behavior. “Hundreds of kids are suspended every week,” says Thompson. “These are not bad kids, and they are not dumb. All they want is somebody to care about them.” The Institute will train college students as scholars in the program. They’ll learn about community service, receive a small stipend for their work and then become the new mentors for our next generation. They will be the new ones to care; building on the work Tyrone would have loved to be doing himself.

Group picture: anthony thompson with the kids

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Pictured left to right: Hossein Nabavi, Marlon Juenemann


and I have a vision,” consultant Marlon Juenemann says. “We can picture what the future can look like. Like Dr. Akande (Dean of the Walker School of Business) says, ‘The future belongs to those who can see it.’” What Marlon Juenemann and partner Hossein Nabavi can see is a business without boundaries. Determined to bring the world closer through business activities that are accountable and add value, Juenemann and Nabavi have taken the fundamental principals they developed while students and founded a truly international consulting company. VIA Consultants is a business venture that started in the classrooms of Webster University – Vienna, where a man from Germany and a man from Iran met for the first time. “From the beginning it was our plan to start our own business,” Juenemann says. “Here at Webster University we worked with students from Central Eastern Europe and students from the Middle East, so from the very beginning we saw ourselves as business intermediaries.”

And that was the plan the team pitched to Webster University. The result, they hoped, would be support in projects from the expertise of those who make up the Webster community. What they got was so much more. “We have people here at Webster University Vienna like Dr. (Arthur) Hirsh and Prof. Christian Newman who really listen to our ideas,” Juenemann says. “There is an openness here and we were able to give the University the feel for what we wanted to do.” The team proved itself by excelling at projects referred to them by their Webster professors. Since graduation their business has grown as VIA continues to take on assignments throughout Europe and the Middle East that other companies might shy away from. “Clearly the Middle East is experiencing the most unstable situation it has ever faced in the current century, ”Nabavi says. “This immense instability completely changes the business environment, not only in those countries, but also globally, especially in the Middle East region.

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“But we are not focusing on the political side. Instead we have set our minds on the cultural and business aspects. It is our shared belief that as long as people are economically linked and culturally involved, politically they will also become close.” VIA has always followed two pre-set strategies of diversification and survival in order to be affected as little as possible by instabilities and unrest. That way when regions do become closer, VIA will be there as a bridge between countries and commerce. “Surely, the happenings in the Middle East affect our business to a certain extent, but they do not change the nature of our cross border hopes and beliefs,” Jueneman continues. “Hossein, myself and the whole team at VIA see ourselves as global citizens. We don’t see countries. We see one planet.”


has been six long years since Russia was named a member of the BRICs, a group many said would be the most dominant economies over the next five decades. Despite the promise given Brazil, Russia, India and China, many started questioning Russia’s membership in the elite quartet when its economy shrank last year by 8%. (Brazil’s contraction was barely noticeable, and the output for India and China powered ahead.) Elsewhere, others were also doing better. Indonesia, for example, recorded a 6% economic growth according to the International Monetary Fund and continues to garner support of those who find it a more appealing investment due to the strength of its social and political institutions under President and Webster University alumnus Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Yes, fiscally prudent Indonesia has merit but does that mean that Russia should be ousted in its favor? Can nothing be done to help heal Russia’s bad PR when it comes to courting investors?

Tackling the question “Where do we go with Ruble & Co? Strategies for Russia’s Recovery” was the task of the 3rd Webster Vienna Alumni Symposium in Vienna Austria. Moderated by Dean Benjamin Akande, the panel pictured below (Dr. Maximilian Burger-Scheidlin, Executive Director of the International Chamber of Commerce, Austria; Mag. (FH) Anton Chirkovski, BBA, Senior Portfolio Manager Kommunalkredit Austria & Owner of BFE Group; Dr. Mikhail Davydov, Strategic Advisor to CEO of Invest AD in UAE & Advisor to Chairman of Summa Capital in Russia; Dipl.-Kfm. Evgenij Minkin, Head of Capital Markets of VTB Bank Austria; KommR Otto Ordelt, CEO of Knauf GmbH; Nenad Pacek, MA, President of Global Success Advisors, Author of the book “Emerging Markets”; Dr. Sergey Shuklin, President of the Russian-European Chamber of Commerce) agreed that the key, as ever in Russia, has always been execution. There should be no new generation of oligarchs, or inefficient state managers-

turned-owners. Auctions must be carried out in the open by internationally recognized banks. Russia is a place where foreign investors have been scared away by bureaucracy and corruption. It must continue its recent open courtship with new investors and ensure that those businesses be free to participate in a non-discriminatory way. It is not enough simply to ensure that foreign investors can buy assets. They must be sure they can hold on to them, or indeed dispose of them, in an unimpeded way. There is hope that Russia will re-emerge as a true economic power. But even if the leadership is committed, Russia’s bureaucracy and vested interests are so entrenched that achieving these goals within the planned 2011-13 time frame remains a big “if.” And that means the BRIC could soon find itself missing an “R.” View pictures from “Where do we go with Ruble & Co?” at notabene2011

Webster university | 19


across campus with graduate student Mario Santander is the closest I will ever get to being on a red carpet. We haven’t left the lobby of our building before he’s waved over to a set of chairs filled with students studying. He slips from my side to shake hands with the coeds and catches up with me outside only to hear his name being called from across the quad. We walk on to pass more friends, some students and some staff, who greet this graduate as if he’s a member of their family. In a way he is, because Mario has made Webster his home and measures his years here by the people he has met and those who have changed his life. It didn’t start this way. Our now outgoing grad on a campus where everybody knows his name was a shy freshman who when he first started commuting to class didn’t know anyone at Webster. “I would arrive at school, go to class, then immediately leave for work or head back home until it was time to do it all over again the next day,” Mario remembers. “It wasn’t that exciting and it definitely wasn’t the “cool” college experience I expected.”

That changed when mario met another commuter student, Emanuel da Silva, who offered some advice: get involved with its people and you’ll learn lessons at Webster you never thought possible. He steered Mario toward a work-study job at the student union where Mario would end up earning more than a paycheck. “It was golden,” Mario grins thinking back on his days as a Student Building Manager for the University Center. “It was truly a turning point in my college career. Little did I know this would help get me involved, help me meet a ton of Webster students and put me at the center of so many events at Webster.” Since that time Mario has made himself a part of almost every group on campus and has been involved in projects too numerous to mention. He’s now a mentor to many and with every handshake or hello he urges others to make the most of their time on campus. “The advice that I offer each and every student who is coming to or is currently studying at Webster around the world is to get involved,” Mario states

matter-of-factly. “Join student organizations, clubs, mentor groups or create your own organization if it is not currently being represented.” The worst thing, Mario says, is to let time pass you by and not take advantage of the resources and the people available to students at Webster. He has. And, it’s given this young man the opportunity to take on leadership roles, travel abroad and experience other cultures; all experiences he plans on applying to his professional career. “Mario’s passion for Webster University is unmatched,” says Billy Ratz, advisor to Webster’s Student Ambassadors “He is what every student should aspire to be; professional yet fun and serious about his education as well as Webster’s mission.” Mario credits what he learned through the people at Webster with changing his life. It enhanced his experience as a student and sparked a life-long passion to keep improving who he is as a person. They are lessons we haven’t put in any text book. When the people of Webster are part of your curriculum, you don’t have to.

Mario Santander, BSBA ’09, MBA ’11, has been named the university’s 2011 Outstanding Graduate Student by Webster’s Alumni Association for his dedication to and accomplishments at Webster. Since coming here in 2005, Mario has worked with almost every student group from the Ambassadors to SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) and almost all projects within the Walker School of Business from Lunch with a Pro to the Walker Speaker Series. Learn more about these programs at

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is borderless. Everyday around the world, even the smallest companies find themselves extending their reach outside their community, beyond their own country and often, well past their comfort zone. In this growing global marketplace, the need for international experience is more important than ever. Executives who recognize this, look for employees who can adapt and succeed in any international business situation and within any culture. The question for students is, “How do I to get international work experience while still in the U.S. and still in school?” The answer for the past 30 years has been Wilma Prifti and Webster’s IBIE (International Business Internship Exchange). Each year for the past three decades, Prifti and her IBIE staff have matched the most qualified Webster student candidates with premier companies throughout the world for summer internships ranging from eight to ten weeks. The experience for students is a total immersion in the business as well as culture of countries ranging from Germany to Ghana.

“The IBIE, now more than ever, reflects the world of business which continues on a path of globalization,” says Prifti, who first started working with interns when the program focused only on exchanges between Germany and the U.S. Since then the IBIE has placed interns in dozens of companies across Europe, Asia, Mexico and Ghana. Through the IBIE, Prifti has helped hundreds of students receive a life-changing experience that sets them apart from their peers. “This was my fifth time in Europe and my sixth time traveling for an extended period of time overseas, but this was really the first time I ever really felt like I was leaving a life when my internship was over,“ admits Karalynn Miller, an IBIE intern in Germany. “There’s something uniquely different about working in, living in, and speaking the language of the country that makes you feel like you’ve grown in ways that just aren’t possible by studying or traveling in a country.”

That growth has caught corporate America’s attention. Prifti, who retired this year, says more than anything else prospective employers want to discuss an IBIE student’s internship. They know the need for international knowledge is more important than ever in today’s growing global marketplace, “Wilma has had a remarkable impact on the professional lives of so many people,” says Dr. Neil George, Chancellor of Webster University and the man who hired Prifti three decades ago. “We will miss her daily leadership, but because of Wilma’s guidance and direction the IBIE will continue as a premier program at Webster for years to come.” People measure worth in a million different ways. Some use the size of their paycheck, the length of their business title or the square footage of their office to determine their importance in a company or business. At Webster, Prifti’s worth will always be measured in all the students’ lives she has helped change for the better.

Webster university | 21


March of 2010 The Affordable Care Act was signed into law. The policy promised to expand health insurance coverage, hold insurance companies accountable, lower health care costs and improve health care for all Americans. Sound good? Supporters say “yes”. But whether the reform is ever fully implemented, or even survives repeal attempts, will depend on how well voters know the history behind health care in the U.S.

“History gives us a look at the success and the failures of health care policy,” says Dr. James Brasfield, chair of the Walker School of Busi Busidepartness’ management depart ment and author of the new book “Health Policy: The Decade Ahead.”

“Health policy is path dependent because past decisions shape future options,” Brasfield says. “To understand the current debate one must appreciate past actions. In the book I have tried to combine a historical perspective with an analysis of policy choices facing us in the next decade.” Since that future belongs to Webster’s students, Brasfield had them in mind when writing the book. “Students in my classes mirror society,” Brasfield offers. “Some support programs such as Medicare/Medicaid and others want to see them changed. When they hear the Medicaid debate we are having today, it is helpful to understand the arguments are the same as when Ronald Reagan was in the Oval Office. An overview

of the system and its history helps to make a more informed decision today.” The expertise behind “Health Policy: The Decade Ahead” comes from Brasfield’s 30 years of teaching, researching and writing on the subject. (As a former city mayor and alderman, the political scientist even has experience implementing public policy.) It’s all shared in the author’s exploration of everything from the debates surrounding the Affordable Care Act to the challenges brought on by America’s aging population. “Health policy is complicated,” Brasfield admits. “There is a lack of understanding the basic facts. Hopefully my book will go a long way toward helping readers better understand the issues we are facing today and will need to confront tomorrow.”


aren’t brandishing badges, dusting for prints or bagging evidence for the lab at Webster’s Walker School of Business. But when the new Master of Science in Forensic Accounting degree starts up in Fall 2011, our students will find that the pen is mightier than any sword when it comes to catching a thief in business.

ms forensiC aCCounting degree

Investigating crimes in the field of accounting has become one of the fastest growing niche services in the United States thanks to high-profile felonies such as those committed by Enron, WorldCom and Adelphia Communications. These financial white-collar crimes prompted the federal government to employ impartial forensic accountants to uncover fraud and other accounting irregularities practiced by unscrupulous executives and accounting firms. It was the work of forensic accountants which toppled bad business and ended some corrupt careers. Forensic accountants work side by side with investigators, attorneys, federal and state prosecutors, the FBI and the IRS. These specialized

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9 0 0 0 0

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“Today technology and accounting go hand in hand,” the associate professor in computer science says from his office at Webster University. “To fully comprehend


ISBN-13: 978-0-13-213252-7 ISBN-10: 0-13-213252-4




have spoken the language of business for generations. They first communicated with clay tokens, then symbols and finally numbers. Now the career has evolved again. Those who succeed in accounting are bilingual, vocalizing with not only the best practices of their profession but also with the language of technology. Accounting has crossed paths with IT and at that intersection is Walker School of Business professor Ali Ovlia’s book, Accounting Information Systems: The Crossroads of Accounting and IT.

accounting, professionals must appreciate how these two disciplines work together and understand how to speak both their languages.” The basis for Accounting Information Systems: The Crossroad of Accounting and IT came from Ovlia and his co-author Donna Kay’s drive to help students understand businessspecific accounting systems. This book uses accounting systems-specific requirements models methodology which depicts how businesses design and customize the systems they use. Insight into the system is Donna Kay • Ali Ovlia

professionals don’t just crunch numbers. They utilize accounting, auditing and investigative skills to conduct investigations into fraud. Because of their training, which at Webster includes courses in criminal and civil investigation, legal procedure, management of evidence, cyber forensics, substantive law, valuation, economic damages and internal auditing, forensic accountants succeed by knowing the accounting practices of specific industries better than the experts themselves! “Deep immersion is the key to learning the nuances of forensic accounting,” Webster University associate professor Richard Dippel says when describing the Walker School of Business’ new degree. “Each term in Webster’s Forensic Accounting program integrates real-life experiences from the forensic accounting field. From dissecting cases like Madoff’s to running our own mock trials, students will be fully engaged in all aspect of what it means to be a forensic accountant.” Experiencing what to expect in court is essential for forensic accounting students because once they look beyond the numbers to assess the

from both a “big picture” as well as closeup view so students can see the entire accounting platform as well as the smallest parts of any section. This book is the first of its kind that includes chapters on Sustainability Accounting and XBRL reporting. The book also wove constructivist pedagogy throughout the text with questions, examples, illustrations and assignments all designed to create a deeper, more personal discovery experience for students. “I’m here as a guide to my students on their educational journey,” Ovlia continues. “Nothing is more important to me than helping them understand these two fields so they can embark on one extraordinary career.”

business reality of any given situation it is up to them to communicate their findings. That’s why Webster’s 18-month program includes case studies as well as a capstone course emphasizing written and oral communications like court testimony. Webster’s Master of Science in Forensic Accounting program kicks off in Fall 2011 lead by a faculty with extensive backgrounds in forensic accounting, both from an academic and practical standpoint. “It’s our job to both challenge and educate our students,” says Dippel. “Once they complete our program, our grads will be able to conduct the most intricate investigations into a variety of criminal and civil financial matters. If someone’s trying to cook their financial books, our Webster forensic accountants will be ready and able to put out the fire.” Go to for more on the MS in Forensic Accounting Webster university | 23

The Walker School receives international recognition from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in the form of a Bronze CASE Circle of Excellence Award for the first-ever international “Tweet Up” with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.

Webster’s School of Business & Technology officially becomes the George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology in a ceremony honoring former Ambassador and Webster University Trustee for Life George Herbert Walker III.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper publishes “Dreams Do Come True” a tribute to the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Dean Benjamin Akande on CNN’s AC360.

The School of Business & Technology launches the SBT Blog allowing students, faculty and alumni access to articles, invitations and access to what is going on at Webster around the world.


The Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law names SBT Professor and Chair of Management Jim Brasfield as its new book review editor.

Cindy Brinkley, Senior Vice President of Talent Development and Chief Diversity Officer, AT&T, receives the 2010 Woman of Influence award. The WSBT hosts its first Global Academic Conferences bringing colleagues from around the world to Webster St. Louis.

Advertising icon Robert Lachky, former head of the Anheuser-Busch advertising dream team for two decades, addresses the SBT’s Success To Significance Speaker Series.

Dale Cammon, Webster Board of Trustees’ member and co-chief executive officer of the Bryant Group, is named new chair of the Walker School advisory board.




Julian Z. Schuster begins his tenure as Provost, Senior Vice President, Webster University.

The first class of the newly named George Herbert Walker School of business & Technology commences. Thurayya Bahman, BBA ’06, CEO of Bahman Enterprises, is named 2010 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year.

Diverse Issues in Higher Education ranks Webster first among leaders of non-profit institutions in total minority master’s degrees in business

The Walker Speakers Series hosts the HR panel discussion “Employment in a Changed Economy.”

The China Economic Review lauds Webster business programs, including the MBA, at Webster University China for their “level of interaction unrivaled by any other B-School” in the region.



Lauren Kleve Coordinator, Institutional Planning and Research

notabene 2011

Bradley Wolaver Coordinator, Faculty Development Academic Programs

Designers Falk Harrison Donna Franquemont

Ron Van Fleet Director of Alumni & Development

Dr. Debbie Psihountas Chair, Department of Business

Photographer Rebecca Barr, RBarr Photos

Walker sChool of business & teChnology

Anne Browning Director of Global MBA

Dr. Benjamin Ola. Akande Dean

Denise Harrell Associate Director, Forensic Accounting

Prof. Al Cawns Chair, Department of Math & Computer Science

Webster university Dr. Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble President Dr. Julian Schuster Provost & Senior VP Dr. Neil J. George Chancellor

Patricia Masidonski Associate Dean

Dr. Peter Maher Associate Dean Caprice Moore Director of Operations Charla Lord Director of Communications

Dr. James Brasfield Chair, Management Department

24 | 2011 notabene: george herbert Walker sChool of business and teChnology

Editor-in-Chief Charla Lord

Twitter: @WebsterU_Biz Facebook:

“the schOOl is made up Of iNdividuals aNd eveNts that, year after year, help shape the fOuNdatiON Of WhO We are.” – Benjamin Ola. Akande, Dean

Time Magazine’s 2010 100 Most Influential People in the World Michael Sherraden Director and Founder of the Center for Social Development at Washington University addresses the Walker Speaker Series. After a week long orientation at the St. Louis home campus, The Global MBA Class of 2011 flies to The Netherlands for their first semester of classes.

Webster President Elizabeth (Beth) J. Stroble is the commencement speaker at the Global MBA Class of 2010 ceremony at Palais Eschenbach in Vienna, Austria.

The Walker School of Business & Technology is the proud recipient of a $1 million donation from the Anheuser-Busch Foundation. “As one of Missouri’s largest employers, we know first-hand the quality of graduates produced by Webster and the other outstanding universities in our home state,” President of AnheuserBusch Dave Peacock said in announcing the donation.



the advisory board Antoinette Bailey Civic Leader Raymond Bayer, MBA ‘97, MA ‘02 Executive Director, MOHELA Dale Cammon (Chairman) Chairman, The Bryant Group, Inc. Omar Danial, ’91, MBA ’97 CEO, Finial Capital S.A. Charles A. Dill General Partner, Two Rivers Associates, LLC Alyn Essman Civic Leader

Dean Benjamin Akande is named chief of Webster’s new Office of Corporate Partnerships and to the board of directors of Ralcorp, a publicly traded company.

The newly named Walker Speaker Series kicks off internationally this year in Leiden, The Netherlands by naming Bart Decrem Webster’s 2010 CEO of The Year.

The IBIE (International Business Internship Exchange) celebrates its 30th anniversary.

George Herbert Walker III’s International Study Award exceeds its goal of matching a $100,000 challenge gift from Ambassador Walker by raising more than $230,000 to benefit business students who lack the necessary financial resources to study internationally.

The Walker Speaker Series welcomes President and CEO of Fleishman-Hillard Dave Senay, and CEO of Sansone Group Tony Sansone Sr., to our St. Louis campus.

Webster Vienna’s third Annual Alumni Symposium “Where do we go with Ruble and Co?” takes place in Austria with Dean Akande moderating the panel examination of Russia’s future as an economic world leader.




Robert A. Fischer Executive Director, World Affairs Council of St. Louis Michael Gabriel Exec. VP Information Technology & CIO HBO Dr. Neil George, Sr. Chancellor, Ex Officio Neil George, Jr., MBA ’89 Managing Director, Green & Gold, LLC Michael Hejna President/CEO Gundaker Commercial Group Gilbert Hoffman, MA ’93 CIO, Maritz

The Walker Speaker Series welcomes communication experts from around the area as part of a webstreamed panel discussion, Social Media: Bettering Your Business.

Dr. Deniz Saral, chair of the WSBT business department at Webster University – Geneva, is elected president of The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs’ (ACBSP) International Council of Business Schools (Region 8). Debbie Psihountas, associate professor and Walker School of Business & Technology department chair, is named to the curriculum team for the Webster Global Leadership Academy.


Debra Hollingsworth, MA ’97 Vice President, External Affairs, AT&T

Rodger Riney President /CEO, Scottrade, Inc.

Michael Holmes, MA ’93 President, RX Outreach

Anthony Thompson, MBA ’88 President, Kwame Building Group, Inc.

Donald Huonker, Jr., MBA ’00 Senior VP of Innovation, Walgreens

George Herbert Walker III United States Ambassador

Allan Ivie, IV Chairman/CEO, Reliance Bancshares Inc

Patricia Whitaker Chairman, Arcturis

Katherine Lintz Founder/Partner Financial Management Partners Kathleen Mazzarella, MBA ’02 Executive VP/COO, Graybar Electric Co., Inc. 470 East Lockwood Avenue St. Louis, MO 63119-3194 U.S.A.

“Set your sky or simply put, set a goal to how far you want to go, and when you have set your sky, and you’re focused on reaching it, the opportunities that will get you there become much more visible.” – Romaine Seguin, MBA ‘96 President, UPS Americas Region The 2011 Woman of Influence

NotaBene 2011: Planning Our Future  
NotaBene 2011: Planning Our Future  

The annual magazine of the Walker School of Business & Technology highlights the "builders" behind the internationally business school