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Keith Henry – Cohort 11

The first impression I had of Thailand was that this country was very developed. As the bus travelled from the airport, the towering skyscrapers were hard not to miss. These buildings elegantly towered into the clouds with their artistic designs, signaling Thailand’s financial might. Due to the sheer size and the quantity of these buildings I immediately assumed this country was wealthy and its citizens must enjoy a high standard of living.

Bangkok, Thailand 2014

Bangkok, Thailand 2014

However, as we continued our journey, I could not help but notice poverty. I saw children sleeping in the streets. I saw beggars; I noticed a sign to beware of pick-pocketing in the holy temple. I saw children swimming in water that did not appear clean.

I am of the opinion that government has a responsibility to its citizens. And just as how they might be focused on developing the business sector in Thailand (which it appears they are doing a good job at), they should also put a priority on the citizens and ways to elevate their standard of living. This disparity was most obvious to me during the boat tour. Looking straight ahead I was able to see these majestic skyscrapers, but turning to my immediate left or right, the slum houses cried for attention.

Views from Bangkok Canal Tour & Rice Barge Cruise

Views from Bangkok Canal Tour & Rice Barge Cruise

 

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Keith Henry – Cohort 11

I was surprised to see how widely scooters are used to get around the city of Taipei. I later found out that Taiwan has approximately 1.5 million scooters in use. By studying this course and learning how different government regulations can affect how products are utilized, I can now appreciate how companies with new technology have to do additional work with various governments in order to influence acceptance.

Scooters in Taipei

Scooters in Taipei

Asia Pacific Fuel Cell is one such company. If their technology is implemented successfully, it can lead to cost savings to the consumer because the estimated cost to refill the tanks will be $1 US Dollar (compared to $34.79 NT per liter). The cost savings can then become disposable income that can be used for other purchases.  Another big benefit of the new technology will be the environmental impact – zero CO2 emissions and a reduction in noise pollution as well.

 

 

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Leaving for Bangkok

Leaving for Bangkok

The first few days in Taipei went by very quickly with so much to experience in such a short period of time. Cohort 11 is now embarking on their next phase of their educational journey – a trip to Bangkok, Thailand. They are all so excited to learn more about the Thai culture and the way business is conducted in Bangkok.

Cohort 11 leaving for Bangkok, Thailand

Cohort 11 leaving for Bangkok, Thailand

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Antonio Caldas – Cohort 11

IMG_0701Taiwan cannot be considered one of the most unequal societies in the world. In 136 countries ranked by income inequality (Gini coefficient, CIA, 2013), Taiwan is in 46th place. As a comparison, US is in 96th and Brazil in 118th. My perception though, confirmed by many locals, is of a disproportional penetration of foreign global luxury brands among Taipei’s retail business.  Local people love markets in general, and vertical shopping centers in particular. I had the opportunity to visit three in downtown Taipei, and in all brands like Rolex, Longines, Dior, Juicy Couture, Prada, Chanel were present.

Local population seems to love specifically American global brands. Some American icons experience huge brand loyalty, leading to performances frequently superior than what they experience in the US domestic market. Starbucks operation, for instance, has 308 stores in Taiwan and are more profitable than they’re 256 stores in the United Kingdom, a country with three times they’re population and with much more cultural affinity to US.

Antonio Caldas

Antonio Caldas

Reasons for that seem to be diverse. Taiwanese love for innovation, often associated to American brands, is one of the most important. For me, one of the most significative examples of that was the inauguration of the first Krispy Kreme store in Taipei. Although an increasingly successful brand in US, nothing can be compared with they’re launch in Taipei. The first store is located in one of the most prestigious locations in the city, and attracted lines the rounded the block in the first day. Since I’m a Krispy Kreme lover, I decided to visit to research the reasons. Intelligently, the store is clearly up scaled compared to the domestic ones, and is clearly targeted to the emerging young upper class, innovative focused. I’ve never seen such traffic in a Krispy Kreme store in US, and the classic donnut tasted even better than most of the ones in US.

American global companies should definitely keep exploring this trend in Taiwan

 

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Ford Lio Ho Motor

Cohort 11′s third business visit was to a Taiwanese automaker, Ford Lio Ho Motor which began operations in 1972 in Taiwan and is 70% owned by Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford Motor Company. Its vision is to provide sustainable transportation that is affordable in every sense of the word: socially, environmentally, and economically. Their vision drives the development of product CO2 strategy, which targets at least 15% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2015. For example, urbanization, congestion, high fuel prices, and other trends are putting safe, affordable transportation out of reach for many Taiwanese.

Asia Pacific Fuel Cell Technologies

Cohort 11 at the Ford Lio Ho

Cohort 11 at the Ford Lio Ho

The fourth visit was to a successful local company, Asia Pacific Fuel Cell Technologies which was founded in March of 2000 with a core team of engineers, scientists and other related experts. APFCT is the most advanced and recognized world leader in the successful application of PEM fuel cell power generators to 2-wheel and 4-wheel light electric vehicles. Its corporate headquarters is located in Hsinchu Science Based Industrial Park, Chunan, Miaoli County, Taiwan. The company has a branch located in California, USA. Their mission has been to advance Polymeric Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technologies and to focus on promoting the commercialization of fuel cell power for scooters and other similar end product applications. Through attaining these mission goals, they hope to make a significant contribution to a cleaner environment with pollution and CO2 gas reduction, higher utilization efficiency of earth’s resources and to act as a critical agent in the sustainability of renewable energies.

Cohort 11 at the Asia Pacific Fuel Cell Technologies company

Cohort 11 at the Asia Pacific Fuel Cell Technologies company

 

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Wendy Lowe – Arriving in Taipei

Cohort 11 finally arrived in Taipei, 42 hours later! Spirits remained high despite the delays in our travel experience.  We left luggageOrlando on Friday and arrived into Taipei mid-day on Sunday after an unexpected extended layover and stay in Tokyo where the cohort received a few extra stamps in their Passport.  The cohort utilized their extra travel time to prepare for their business visits on our weeklong international trip, and growing their strong personal and professional relationships as they experienced interesting Asian cuisine, beverages, and lodging experience at the Tokyo Niko Narita Hotel.

Exploring Taipei

Ready to take on Taipei, we spent time exploring the famous Yong Kang Street where typical Taiwanese food (noodles, fried rice, shaved mango ice, pancake with egg, meat, cheese filling, Vietnamese beer) was enjoyed by street vendors and family operated businesses. The atmosphere was extremely friendly and welcoming to us. We were amazed by the cleanliness of the city and how safe and secure we felt as we traveled about on bus and foot.

lobbyWe visited the National Palace Museum exhibits and the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall where we observed the traditional changing of the guard.

The Welcome Dinner was held at the popular Shin Yeh restaurant in Xinyl. For over two hours, traditional Vietnamese meats, vegetables, and spices tantalized our taste buds. Those adventurous in dining and even those not as much sampled new items, served family-style, and learned to appreciate the food combinations and the cultural reasons why some food items are eaten to benefit ones health.

C11 at the Memorial Hall

C11 at the Memorial Hall

A quick stop at the local street market was an excellent way to culminate the first day in Taipei.  Amazing to see the vast operation that went on for blocks including food, vegetables, clothing, jewelry, and toys to mention a few.

The entire cohort was anxious to get some uninterrupted rest, recover from jet-lag and prepare for the business visits tomorrow! Many students and sports fans were setting their alarms early to cheer on USA in the World Cup vs. Portugal, a benefit of our time change!

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President Wendy Libby

President Wendy Libby

Stetson University’s Executive MBA program hosted their Annual Alumni Event at the Citrus Club in Downtown Orlando on May 20th. The event incorporated participation from our Executive MBA Alumni, current students, Stetson University administrative leaders, faculty and staff.

The evening began with tremendous energy as the alumni networked not only with their cohort of peers, but also became acquainted with alumni from other cohorts. These connections were almost immediate as these alumni have had similar fond experiences at Stetson to share.  “It was great to see old cohort friends and catch up and meet alumni from other cohorts. I am especially excited about the vision that Dean Bakamitsos shared. The program is on a great trajectory!” Rich Tetley, Cohort 5

Alicia Matheson, Cohort 7

Alicia Matheson, Cohort 7

Stetson University leaders, President Dr. Wendy Libby and Dean of the School of Business, Dr. Tom Schwarz welcomed the enthusiastic crowd and encouraged each individual to “get involved, stay involved” and be an active participant in connecting their professional and personal lives and talents with members of the Stetson community.  President Libby shared the Strategic Plans and the direction for the future along with highlighted the significant accomplishments and growth that the University has experienced in the last 3 years.  Dean Schwarz introduced Dr. Yiorgos Bakamitsos, the new Associate Dean of Graduate Business Programs. This new position at the University is a direct result of the strategy, future expansion, and focus on graduate business programs at all Stetson campuses.

The featured presenter, Alicia Matheson, Alumni from Cohort 7, drew the crowd in when facilitating a discussion on Evolutionary Service, “meeting customer’s expectations is an evolutionary process. In today’s world, the customer has all the power! Knowing and understanding customers changing needs, expectations, and emotions and using the knowledge, coupled with the innovation and technology, to build stronger relationships that deliver memorable experiences is vital. Building these loyal relationships will help create a sustainable competitive advantage with bottom line results”, said Alicia.

Alicia proceeded to share specific examples from her 20 years of leadership experience with the Walt Disney Company, her international experience working for the United Nations, and her time as a student in the Executive MBA Program. Alicia had other alumni, share their evolutionary and innovative services that have revolutionized the health care industry (Rich Tetley, Cohort 5), and put a new company on the map (Pablo Chavez and Krista Scimeca, Cohort 10)!

Alumni and current students alike agreed that the event was a big success! Dean Schwarz welcomed a few professionals that will begin their Executive MBA journey in the fall 2014.  He assured these individuals that the challenging but rewarding months ahead would be transformational in their professional and personal lives. Valerie Drebsky who will be joining the Executive

Valerie Drebsky, Melanie Johnston and Dave Tucker - Cohort 12 with Dean Tom Schwarz

Valerie Drebsky, Melanie Johnston and Dave Tucker – Cohort 12 with Dean Tom Schwarz

MBA program in the fall with Cohort 12 said, “We were so honored to have the chance to meet not only existing students but also get to know recently graduating and existing alumni to the program. Having the opportunity to talk with individuals at all different points in their journey was as valuable as we prepare for our next steps. We ran into some familiar faces through the company we work for but we had no idea they had gone through the EMBA program so it was really refreshing to see them and know they were able to complete the program and balance it while working full time. The networking was great and connections made through the presentations helped to break the ice for individuals we didn’t know. Thank you for the invitation and looking forward to making more memories and friendships along the way!”

We had an excellent participation by all the cohorts; however, we are pleased to

Cohort 9

Cohort 9

announce that Cohort 9 had the highest participation of all.  This was their first opportunity as alumni to cherish the rich relationships that were formed both within their cohort and with the cohorts that mentored them along the way!

Dr. Bakamitsos thanked the alumni and students for their enthusiastic presence within the community and encouraged them to share their talents with others to make a difference in Central Florida and beyond!

Plans are underway for our next Alumni Event!

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thARC2C4SVOn April 25th, 2014, Cohort 11 visited the Second Harvest Food bank of Central Florida, a private, nonprofit organization that collects and distributes donated grocery products to more than 500 nonprofit feeding programs in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Lake, Brevard and Volusia counties. Since opening its doors in 1983, the Food Bank has distributed close to 300 million pounds of products for its neighbors in need. Second Harvest Food Bank assists approximately 55,000 people per week by providing groceries and they capture about 3% of the 25% of the food from food industry that does not make it to the table. It’s not about charity but about the supporting the health and well-being of the community.

They also have a culinary program that provides the outreach to train, educate, and help with the hiring process of future talented culinary team members in Central Florida.

Cohort 11

Cohort 11

This visit is part of their Marketing Decision Making Class and had the goal to collect information to develop a marketing plan for the organization. The plan will include a summary of the research and analysis of the organization’s current situation, including the markets and consumers, and development and documentation of the organization’s marketing objectives, strategies, and programs. The major goals of this project are to: create a multichannel plan for Hunger Action Month (September 2014) that engages new and current supporters; and create a marketing roadmap to continue engaging supporter to donate/volunteer or start a virtual food drive in the fall 2014.

Dr. Michelle DeMoss

Dr. Michelle DeMoss

The classes are taught by Dr.Michelle DeMoss, Dennis C. McNamara Sr. Professor of Marketing; Department Chair. She is a specialist in marketing ethics, sustainable business practices and marketing education. She has written several business cases, including one selected for publication by the Department of Environmental Protection. Over the last 20 years at Stetson University, she has won awards for both her service to and teaching in the School of Business Administration. In addition, she remains connected to the external community through her consulting and volunteer work.

 

 “I was blown away by how great of a difference they make in our society with such little resources they have on hand”. Rachid Labzioui 

“My personal aha was that I thought I was familiar and knew the impact Second Harvest had but learned my awareness IMG_3473was only scratching the surface.  The programs to help underprivileged children with weekend meals was eye opening. I was highly impressed with their outreach in their culinary program as well”.  Adam Galea

“I was extremely excited to hear that we would be creating a marketing plan for second harvest.  It is an amazing opportunity to be able to take what we have learned in class and directly apply it to helping in our community.  After visiting on Friday, we all have so many ideas that we are already thinking of ways that we can take this a step further after the class concludes”. Jennifer Farb

IMG_3488“It was breath taking to see the passion and commitment 2nd Harvest has to help the community, and the massive operation that goes on behind the scenes to get food on the table of the needy. It helped open my eyes to the real problem that the hungry isn’t the stereotype that most people think of, rather that a majority of the hungry people are victims of circumstance who really need help. These hungry people can be working full time, and could be your next door neighbor. I didn’t realize that 1 out of every 5 families deals with hunger, and it breaks my heart to see so much patriotic efforts going overseas when we have issues on our homeland that we can fix now”. Carl Pfeiffer

“After seeing first-hand how this organization operates I have a renewed sense of enthusiasm towards making a difference and giving back to those less fortunate”. Keith Henry

 

 

 

 

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On March 19th – 20th, 2014, Stetson University – Center at Celebration hosted the Stetson Think Tank Retreat, a group of experts in their respective fields that provide a great gauge, and source of influence, to help guide our continued innovation and relevancy. They have increased our innovative and strategic thinking exponentially along with enhancing our current and future program deliverables.

Clay Maxwell

Clay Maxwell

Clay Maxwell, from Peer Insight, facilitated the two-day event using a design-thinking format. Clay is a gifted enabler of organizational growth, with extensive experience in corporate innovation, human-centered design and entrepreneurship. He has led innovation and service design work across numerous industries with clients such as Hewlett-Packard, Intuit, Intel, Kimberly-Clark, Colgate-Palmolive, Emerson and Merck. Clay brings a capacity for sharp analysis as well as keen creative insights. He complements our business strategy offering with his analytic rigor, as well as his ability to wrangle the numerous moving parts inherent in taking a service offering to market.

During the two days, aspirational thinking and a leadership development approach were the cornerstone

Think Tank Group

Think Tank Group

to specifically building upon the 16 previous months of collaborative work and efforts of the initial Think Tank members of 9 which now has evolved to twelve creative thought-leaders in every business segment across the US and internationally.  A result of the work was evident! We created a stronger connection between the Think Tank members and key University stakeholders that would assist in our efforts of elevating our executive programs into something much broader and relevant for today’s business executive.

Greg McCan

Greg McCann

Greg McCann, co-creator of the Think Tank said that the Think Tank was created with the intent to help us in three ways. First it was meant to give us an international perspective on what leadership development is and could be. Secondly, we wanted to further enhance the practice of incorporating ongoing innovation into our EMBA and all of our graduate programs. Third, we wanted to further explore how innovation in the graduate curriculum could inform executive education programs we offer to the business community.

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Cohort 11 students are gearing up to board their international field journey to Taipei and Bangkok on June 20 – June 29, 2014. The International trip is part of the International Field Experience Class (INTL 501) in which the students travel abroad to meet with a variety of international business leaders, learning first-hand how business practices differ. The Cohort experiences the local culture which supports these international businesses. In addition, the students become acquainted with the impact of our global economy and the importance of appreciating the differences in business practices.

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Dr. John Carrick

Dr. Jon Carrick is the professor responsible for the course and trip. Jon Carrick is passionate about international business. His passion stems from his practical experience, education, and interest in other cultures. On a practical level, Jon has been a partner in a couple of born global firms. This practical experience prompted him to further pursue his education in international business, leading him to obtain his master’s and Ph.D. in in international business. He feels that his international experience and academic degrees are just the beginning, and he is furthering his pursuit of international business knowledge through his research and continued engagement in business. Through this work, he will continue to travel and add to the list of 68 countries that he has visited.

 

taipei

Taipei, Taiwan

The Executive MBA Cohort 11 students, Dr. Jon Carrick and Wendy Lowe will arrive in Taipei, Taiwan on June 21, 2014, where they will spend 4 days visiting and engaging in conversation with various business leaders. Some topics include: Taiwan’s economic and political stance, an American company doing business in Taiwan, and Human Resource management practices in the Hospitality industry. Students will have a chance to get better acquainted with Taipei on a half-day cultural tour and see how people live in this fascinating city. Visits include: Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall, Martyrs’s Shrine, classic Ming Dynasty architecture and finally the National Palace Museum. Their tour will end with a visit to a Handicraft Center to view typical Taiwanese craftsmanship.  Students will have ample time to explore the destination on their own allowing for diverse interests to be enjoyed.

b

Bangkok, Thailand

 

On June 25, students will arrive in Bangkok, Thailand. Here students will be exposed to an overview of Thai economy and business culture, medical tourism, foreign banks operating in local markets, and how communities develop. Students will have a chance to explore cultural events such as the Bangkok canal, the Rice barge cruise and take in a traditional show as a cohort.

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