Category Archives: Cohort 15

Dr. Ram Subramanian

Ram Subramanian is professor of leadership in the management department in the School of Business Administration, where he teaches courses in strategy both at the undergraduate and at the M.B.A. levels. Dr. Subramanian’s academic background is in strategic management. In addition, he teaches courses in a variety of areas in the broad field of management including international management, family business, entrepreneurship and organizational behavior.

His research interest is in examining various facets of the organization-environment relationship and has published papers related to market orientation and environmental scanning in Harvard Business Review, Journal of ManagementJournal of Business Research and Management International Review, among others.

Ram makes extensive use of the case method in his classes. In 2016, Ram was invited to serve on the editorial board of Case Research Journal, after he won an award from the journal as its “Most Outstanding Ad Hoc Reviewer.” He has published teaching cases in Case Research Journal, Business Case Journal and Asian Case Research Journal. He has more than 15 cases in the Ivey Publishing depositary that distributes cases worldwide.

In 2016, he was a Fulbright specialist scholar in case methodology and taught case writing and case teaching to faculty at Windescheim University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. His cases have won more than $25,000 in prize money in global competitions organized by Canada’s John Molson School of Business and by Oikos in Switzerland.

Dr. Madhu Rao

B. Madhu Rao earned a Ph.D. in Operations Research from the University of Toronto. He started his academic career at the College of Business Administration at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and served as professor, chair of the department of applied statistics and operations research, senior associate dean, and interim dean of the College of Business Administration. During this period, he was recognized for his undergraduate and graduate teaching, research productivity, administrative leadership and service to the university.

He comes to Stetson University from Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, where he served as senior associate dean for two years. His professional experience also includes serving as a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories, visiting faculty at the National University of Singapore and as industrial engineer for a major engineering firm in India.

Scout’s Honor

Shared by Brian Vann


Scouts, BSA offers boys and girls the opportunity to build leadership skills, develop strong character and learn how to provide service to their communities.  These teachings and the Scouts’ philosophy of developing boys and girls led me to introduce scouting to my sons.  Brian, Jr., 10, is a Webelos and Layson, 7, is a Tiger.

I decided to lead my oldest son’s Tiger Den four years ago.  As a leader in the Scouting program, I learned how the organization impacts our young people.  After two years of leadership at the Den level, I moved to lead the entire Pack as the Cubmaster.  As a Cubmaster, I plan the programming for our Pack meetings and help our Den Leaders deliver the Scouting program to our youth. 

Reflecting on my time in Scouts, the program has impacted me just as much as it impacts the youth.  Watching the youth learn and develop character, service attitudes, and honor inspires me.

Cohort 15 Presents their Integrative Research Projects

Each year students ending their EMBA program have a Capstone Project to complete and present on their last day of class. This year it was Cohort 15’s turn to present their final project before celebrating together that evening at their graduation party.

They were tasked with a research project on launching an innovative product or service, or redesigning an existing product or service for the bottom of the pyramid. Each of the 4 teams were fully responsible for the project from beginning to end. Below is an overview of the companies each team presented on.

Generation Hearts

Pictured from left to right: Juan Yang, Lilian Kaares, Ryan Gormon and Elena Outlan

Generation Hearts is a company whose vision is to enhance the quality of life for lonely, aging, less fortunate individuals by satisfying the basic human need of interaction via an intergenerational safe and caring virtual social network. Their logo which displays connected hearts aims to connect generations to one another to help the aging population who are lonely. Through a downloadable app on your phone, seniors could easily connect to trained individuals that will speak with them and keep them company for some time throughout the day. This company was created by Ryan Gorman, Elena Outlan, Lilian Kaares and Juan Yang.

Block Builders

Block Builders was created by Kris Sahadeo, Kristie Jones, Nicole Amero and Sophia Baldwin to enhance lives by creating high quality places to live. Their mission is to build world-class, affordable residences through up-cycling shipping containers into Minuscule Mansions. Don’t let the fact that they are shipping containers fool you, while they are very affordable, each container is fully outfitted to look like a regular home and redesigned exteriors form beautiful communities.  

GrOtown Greens


Pictured from left to right: Brian Vann, Natalie Ferrer, Kate Kroll, Jessica Bundy and Laure Warfield

GrOtown Greens is dedicated to feeding and fueling Orlando through a vertically integrated model which incorporates school gardens, holistic education, a fresh take on a food truck (for improved access to healthy dishes and increased food distribution) and continued community engagement opportunities. Through their efforts, GrOtown Greens hopes to plant the seeds for a better tomorrow for children and their families in Central Florida. This company was created by Jessica Bundy, Natalie Ferrer, Kate Kroll, Brian Vann and Laurie Warfield.

F3: Food For the Future

Pictured from left to right: Aziz Ndiaye, Nicole O’Reilly, Eddie Molina and Greg Lucas

Food For the Future (F3) was created by Aziz Ndiaye, Nicole O’Reilly, Eddie Molina and Greg Lucas. F3 leverages the organizational advantage of an established non-profit (Meals on Wheels America) to create an in-home delivery option for families who need food during school breaks. Through partnerships with multiple non-profits and civic organizations they bring peace of mind and create “Full Bellies, Healthy Minds” to the underprivileged youth of Central Florida. By working with administrators in local schools with free and reduced lunch populations, families could connect to F3 to receive this service.

With their presentations, final projects and papers submitted, SqUadron 15 can now take some time to relax and celebrate their accomplishments. We can’t wait to see you walk across the stage on Graduation Day!

Nicole O’Reilly Gives Back

 

At a young age, Nicole O’Reilly, a current student in Cohort 15, learned about the importance of giving back from her mom.Kate O’Reilly, mother of Nicole, shared “When our daughter Nicole was born, I was so thankful that she was healthy. Listening to the radio one day that September when she was just a few months old, the opportunity to become a Partner in Hope for St. Jude Children Research Hospital presented itself. Four and a half years later, our son Sean was born, so I upped the ante.” She participates each year in a national campaign, Thanks and Giving®, created by Marlo, Terre, and Tony Thomas, children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital founder Danny Thomas. Their motto: “Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not.”

While giving each year, Kate never had an opportunity to visit the facility. “28 years later, I was finally able to see this amazing place,” said Kate. Due to stringent security clearance requirements, she was not able to drive on property when she visited in March 2018. Though she was not able to go into the building, she stated, “I’m proud to be part of something that gives and asks nothing in turn.”

Continuing in her mother’s footsteps, Nicole shares, “I’m grateful to my mom for making my brother and me aware of such an incredible organization that does so much for families going through the unimaginable. In the future, when I have my own family, my goal is to have my kids make the biggest list they can think of: books, movies, toys, etc., go shopping, and then personally take all the donations to St. Jude’s!

Currently, I use an app called Charity Miles as a means to give back. Through corporate sponsors (like Johnson & Johnson, SwapPet, Marriott, etc.), for every mile you walk, run or bike those companies will donate a certain amount of money to the charity of your choice. There are over 40 charities to choose from including St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Even though each mile doesn’t earn that much, (I think 10 cents per mile or something along those lines) it adds up! Charity Miles is free to download, and then you just start working out.

I use Charity Miles daily on my lunchtime walk with my friend (and Stetson Hatter MBA ’18 Graduate) Sarah Zambrano, and we used it back in February of this year while I completed my first 5K.

This app can even be used for a fun scavenger hunt day, like my fellow Cohort/SqUadron members Brian Vann, Natalie Ferrer, Nicole Amero, and I did back in April 2018.

Pictured left to right: Nicole O’Reilly, Kate Kroll and Laurie Warfield (Cohort 15)

My fellow Cohort/SqUadron members Laurie Warfield, Kate Kroll, and I have started to walk weekly in Celebration before a homework session. You guessed it, I use the app then too. It’s great to see my daily accomplishments and know that I am making just a small difference to families that are experiencing some of the most difficult times in their lives.”

While balancing the demands of work, school and family, Nicole found her way of supporting those in need. We look forward to seeing the many contributions Nicole will share in the future!

To learn more about/sign up for Charity Miles visit: https://charitymiles.org/

To learn more about or donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, visit: www.stjude.org

 

 

 

 

Dr. Ram Subramanian’s Thailand Reflection

Dr. Ram Subramanian, Professor of Strategic Management in our Executive MBA Program, ventured to Thailand with our Cohort 15 students, and shares his experiences.  

“We’ll Always Have Sukhumwit”

My colleague, Jon Carrick, was in full drill master mode on our first day in Thailand.  I, like most others in Cohort 15, had landed late Saturday at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok and the nearly 20-hour flight had left me, as I am sure the others, in a groggy and disoriented state.  Jon, a veteran of several trips to Thailand, had anticipated correctly our discomfiture and had the perfect antidote for it!  A 6:00 a.m. wake up call and a day long bus trip was just the panacea for jet lag!

The beauty of Ayutthaya more than made up for Jon’s tough love approach! Ayutthaya, Thailand’s variation of Ayodhya, the historic city in northeast India, putatively the site of Ramayana, the ancient Indian epic, hit its peak in the 14th-18th centuries, when it was a leading city in Asia, and a center of both commerce and culture. By then, Buddhism was widespread, and Ayutthaya was replete with numerous statues of Gautama Buddha.  What we saw, however, was the strange sight of statue after statue with Buddha’s head chopped off.  Our intrepid guide, Crystal, told us that the Burmese were to blame for the beheadings.  Regardless of what the Burmese did, Buddha’s influence permeates even today in a country where 97 percent of the people are Buddhists.  Buddha got his enlightenment while meditating by a tree and so I thought it fitting that an interesting feature of our visit was the sight of a Buddha statue embedded in a tree.

While Sunday was the cultural tour of Ayutthaya, the rest of our hectic week was filled with business visits, each of them distinct and interesting in its own way.  At McDonald’s or McThai, we saw how the famed American restaurant chain succeeded by adapting its menu to fit local market needs.  An interesting presentation at Taskworld showed us how coding and start-up skills can be found anywhere.  Our visit to Kantor gave us a fine-grained glimpse of Thai market conditions from the perspective of a market research firm. Kidzania allowed us to be kids once again, albeit for a brief while. And at Hangar we saw a replica of Silicon Valley’s vaunted entrepreneurial culture as our presenter told us that the search was on for Thailand’s first unicorn!  Every day was exhausting but interesting and informative.  At the end of each day, we looked forward to coming back to the luxurious confines of Westin Grand Sukhumwit, our hotel, which as our resident hotel expert Aziz pointed out is part of the worldwide Marriott group. Suffice to say, I wouldn’t be wrong if I paraphrase Humphry Bogart in saying, no matter what, we’ll always have Sukhumwit!

Cabbages, Condoms and Cohorts – Oh my!

Our visit to Cabbages and Condoms

It’s not everyday that you walk into a restaurant that is themed

around something that could be considered fallic or inappropriate, but I found myself in that place during our

International Experience to Bangkok Thailand when we visited Cabbages and Condoms. I chose this restaurant for 3 reasons: I really wanted to experience true Thai Cuisine, I had heard that the concept was unlike anything I would ever experience in USA, and I wanted to learn more about the foundation which the Restaurant supports.

The evening started with a short walk from our Hotel down a very dark ally to a beautifully colorful lite building. As you enter the restaurant there is a gift shop with logoed souvenirs which I knew I would have to stop and make a purchase on my way out. We were greeted by a very friendly host who was quick to put a table together for our large group.

The restaurant is two stories which has three air-conditioned dining rooms, and two more authentic courtyard style dining areas. We were seated on the upper level, which gave us a gorgeous view of the lower level. The uniqueness to this restaurant is all the decor is made from Condoms.

When we were seated, we were presented with a huge book that was our menu. It was filled with about 50 or 60 choices, and full cocktail, beer and wine section, and at the end was the dessert page. I stopped and got very excited when I found the very thing I had been wanting to try on this trip…Durian Ice Cream!!

We were all curious and looked to the end of the meal! When we ordered our meals, everyone chose something different as the portions are large enough to share, and they stage the table with sharing plates to encourage you to do so. The menu choices ranged from Spring Rolls, Sweet and Sour Chicken for the faint of heart to Blazing Spicy Chicken, Pork and Noodle dishes. We all had a great time experiencing the amazing flavors of Thailand. At the end of the meal, I ordered the  Durian Ice Cream. It came beautifully presented, and there was enough for everyone to take a bite. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I am attaching our reaction to the Ice Cream that is made from the “Noble Fruit”, as Krystal, our translator from the Ayuttaya tour deemed it.

With all the fun we had at this restaurant, there is benefit to the Thai community through the fundraising effort that is promoted through-out the restaurant through the signage and donation boxes. Mechai Viravaidya has a campaign to raise funds for HIV prevention and education and life skills for underprivileged children that attend his school, Mechai Bamboo school.

As a community leader, he has identified that HIV is not a ‘health problem’, but rather a Soceity Problem, and through education, we can begin to diminish the disease by promoting safe sex. What better way than through starting with the youth through giving them the tutelage at the Mechai Bamboo School.

I highly recommend a visit to Cabbages and Condoms if you visit Bangkok for the food, décor and opportunity to support a very beneficial Charity. When the server dropped off our check, each of us was given a condom as a parting gift. For some in our group, one was not enough, so there is a box to help yourself on the way out the door.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shared by Kristie Jones

 

Kantar Group: A Leader in Market Research

Today, we in Cohort 15 were lucky enough to meet with Kantar Group, one of the world’s largest insight, information and consultancy groups. They are a leader in market research and a division of the larger company WPP. Kantar works with clients to launch products, improve marketing efforts, innovate their strategies, create brand equity, lead communications and more. They shared with us the unique perspective they have by focusing on insight rather than just providing information and looking into the “why”, rather than just describing consumer behavior. They consider themselves a “people” company that tries to be the voice of the consumer in Thailand.

We learned that advertisements in Thailand could be described through the three S’s: Sanook, Sabai, and Suay! Sanook refers to humor, Sabai means happy and Suay means beautiful. Thai people love very emotional commercials that play on feelings, we also learned that celebrities in advertising are extremely popular. Another unique insight we had into the Thai consumer was the changes in retail Kantar has observed over the past few years. Convenience stores have been exploding in popularity due to their convenience of course, but also the ability to be cost-effective by buying smaller quantities of products.

Another major difference was that Thai consumers have a hesitancy to purchase things online due to fraud, so they typically pay for items after they have already received them from Internet purchases, quite different from what we do in the U.S.! We also learned about how globalization has made Thai consumers more materialistic and has given them a tendency to “live for today” to the detriment of their savings and financial futures. Our presenters from Kantar Group shared so much valuable knowledge with us throughout our visit and gave us a unique insight on the experiences and behaviors of consumers in Thailand.

Shared by Jessica Bundy

Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights

A Visit to the Museum of Counterfeit Goods

Intellectual property rights are nothing new, with the concept having existed since the late 1800’s. However, advances in technology and the expansion of global markets have made it easier for would be creators to mimic original creations and therefore disrupt the benefits that would otherwise be afforded to the original creator. Intellectual property consists of many different creative avenues such as creations of the mind, expressive works and inventions. It would seem logical that as more of these ideas are brought to fruition the harder it will be for new and original ideas to be presented. Many forms of intellectual property are used to form the basis for new ideas and there is a fine line as to whether these deviations constitute infringement or original works that were merely inspired by others. These intricacies have influenced many forms of legal representation throughout the world. With each country typically enforcing property rights in its own way or, in some cases, not at all. Copyrights, Patents, and Trademark laws all have specific areas in which they govern but the way they are governed all rely on the origin of the original work and the country in which it is being enforced. 

Creators in any form are ultimately responsible for the enforcement of their individual intellectual property. As businesses develop products they must understand the inherent risks of doing business worldwide and their ability to maintain control of how they generate revenue. It is almost inevitable that counterfeits or altered versions of original work will be made. Although governments have made efforts to make these practices illegal it is up to individual owners to police their products and pursue legal action against those who infringe them.  

 Shared by Eddie Molina

Cohort 15 visits the Land of the Cool Kids

Welcome to the Land of the Cool Kids!

KidZania is where kids in Thailand (and a number of cities all over the world) come to learn about careers through play.

   After finishing our visit to McDonald’s, we headed over to KidsZania for some Edutainment. KidsZania means “Land of the cool kids”.

Located in Bangkok, Thailand, KidsZania, a unique concept mixing education and entertainment, allows kids to learn about career options, money management and social responsibilities while building self-confidence and independence.

You start the adventure like many trips, via an airplane.  When you land, you enter a tiny city containing stores, hospitals, banks, fire and police stations, gas stations, government offices, tv studios and etc…. The entire “city” is run by kids.  The parents observe but don’t participate.  There is an airport lounge for parents to relax while their kids have fun.

The “city” has its own economy and currency.  The kids earn money by working at gas and convenience stores, as firemen and women, DJs and veterinarians.  Depending on the experience, the kids either earn money or spend money.  Kids earn money buy performing a job or they spend money on a University degree.  Each job pays a different amount based on role.  In addition, if you have a degree related to the job you earn more money.  Kids can even save their money in the bank and earn 1% interest per month.  Kids can also pass a driving test and earn a driver’s license.

 

 

The iconic experience is the Junior Pilot Program. The kids become certified pilots by passing a flight simulator.

 

 

 

We had the opportunity to be “kids” again, at least for an hour.  We role played as news anchors, cameramen and women and producers.   We also pretended to be pilots in the real airplane.

Shared by Brian Vann