F a L L 2 0 1 4

Engaging Customers with Captivating ContentMore than ever, companies are adding content marketing to their brand strategy.

A Fresh Set of EyesCorporate clients value the insights they obtain from Johnson Immersion Learning teams.

A Legacy of InnovationFrom its inception in 1946 through today, Johnson continues to live up to a proud legacy of embracing innovation.

Hernan Mendez, MBA ’83, President of ProcafecolFresh, new energy jump-starts a national icon.



1w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

a virtuous cycle of innovationWe are proud to be celebrating Cornell’s 150th anniversary this year.

Cornell’s Charter, signed by the governor of New York State on April 27,

1865, established the new university as non-sectarian and coeducational,

welcoming anyone who was academically qualified, regardless of sex,

color, creed, or national origins. Sage Hall, Johnson’s home since 1998,

was originally built as Sage College for Women to make co-education at

Cornell a reality at a time when creating equal opportunities for women

was a radical idea. Our school, established as the Graduate School of

Business and Public Administration in 1946, took a bold step in 1983

by embracing a new identity as the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate

School of Management. The Sesquicentennial story in this issue, “A

Legacy of Innovation” (p. 21) tells more about this.

Johnson embraced innovation from its very inception. An example

is Immersion Learning — Johnson’s unique, signature semester for

Two-year MBA students that integrates course and field work in a

specific industry or career interest. Students who gain experience

through immersion projects report back that those experiences boost

their internship and job search successes. In addition, many participating

companies keep coming back to Johnson to engage student consulting

teams. Read more about this in “A Fresh Set of Eyes” (p. 30).

A more recent innovation is Johnson’s 360 Leadership Assessment,

a proprietary, behavior-based feedback instrument that students use in

conjunction with the Johnson Leadership Matrix to guide their leadership

development plans. Students in all of our MBA programs can use their

360 report to identify the dimensions on which they want to focus,

and then use the matrix to craft their experience at Johnson to fit their

personal leadership development goals and ambitions.

Johnson is promoting entrepreneurial approaches to innovation

by helping to establish eHub, a new entrepreneurship center in

Collegetown that will house eLab and PopShop as well as office space

for Entrepreneurship at Cornell and other Cornell organizations that

support student entrepreneurship. To make this effort a reality, Johnson

is collaborating with Entrepreneurship at Cornell and several sister

schools within Cornell: the College of Engineering, the Dyson School

of Applied Economics and Management, School of Industrial and Labor

Relations, and School of Hotel Administration.

Our alumni also play a key role in helping drive novel changes at

Johnson by sharing innovations in their industries with the Johnson

community. They come back to campus as career coaches, as marketing

professionals do each fall for the Marketing Executive One-on-One

Mentoring program. Hosted by Warren Ellish ’77, MBA ’78, visiting

senior lecturer of marketing and president and CEO of Ellish Marketing

Group, this year’s program brought together 98 marketing students who

were mentored by 36 leading executives in the marketing world. Scores of

alumni speak at symposia on campus and at Johnson events around the

world; several serve on advisory councils; and many share their experience

and expertise to show just how new technologies are transforming the

way they work, as alumni in marketing did for “Engaging Customers

with Captivating Content” (p. 24).

Of course, alumni also come back to campus to reconnect with

faculty and one another, as many of you did for our very special

Sesquicentennial Homecoming celebration this October. We will also

celebrate Cornell’s 150th anniversary at Johnson Predictions Dinners in

January and February, and I hope you will join Cornell-wide celebrations

and visit the Sesquicentennial website ( to learn more

about Cornell and the myriad “firsts” on its timeline.

Innovation travels full circle at Johnson — from our distinguished

faculty, who are eminent scholars as well as gifted teachers, through

our collaboration with sister schools at Cornell, to our students, and

back through our alumni, who achieve success and stay connected with

Johnson. It’s a winning model, and I am grateful to all members of the

Johnson community who are passionate about leading innovation in

today’s fast-paced world, and who work together to keep innovation

a living and ever-evolving endeavor at Johnson. Together, we help

to sustain Cornell’s position as a leading research university that

lives up to the aspirations of its founders, Ezra Cornell and Andrew

Dickson White.

Soumitra Dutta anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean



2 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4


FaLL 2014 VOL. 29, NO. 1

Engaging Customers with Captivating ContentMore than ever, companies are adding content marketing to their brand strategy.

By Robert Preer


Cornell Enterprise

A Legacy of InnovationJohnson’s home, Sage Hall, was originally built as Sage College for Women to make co-education at Cornell a reality at a time when creating equal opportunities for women was a radical idea. From its inception in 1946 through today, Johnson continues to live up to that proud legacy of embracing innovation.

By Janice Endresen

A Fresh Set of EyesCorporate clients value the insights they obtain from Johnson Immersion Learning teams.

By Merrill Douglas




3w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

DepartmentsFrom the Dean 1A virtuous cycle of innovation

Enterprise Online 4Web exclusive stories and videos

Intellectual Capital 5Johnson welcomes new faculty

Welcome visiting faculty

Faculty Honors

Cynthia Saunders-Cheatham named director, Career Management

Sean Scanlon named associate dean

Tyi McCray named director, ODI

One of Johnson’s Best Steps Down: Associate Dean Bill Huling Jr. ’68, MBA ’74

Newsmakers 9Global technology and innovationA high five for high-frequency tradingTech startup TipRanks generates a buzzReversal of fortune among black men

Thought Leadership@Johnson 10Young-Hoon Park: How popular are your keywords?

Eric Gladstone and Kathleen O’Connor: Feminine features are a drawback at the bargaining table — even for men

Bookshelf 11Extracting Value from Big Data — Ask, Measure, Learn: Using Social Media Analytics to Understand and Influence Customer Behavior by Soumitra Dutta and Lutz Finger

Brazil rising? The Political Economy of an Emerging Power: In Search of the Brazil Dream by Lourdes Casanova and Julian Kassum

Vantage Point 14Robert H. Frank: Shattering Myths to Help the Climate

Jeremy Kuhre, MBA ’16: Business leads carbon neutrality

Startups 17Smith Family Business Initiative welcomes its first director Startup Snapshots Naama Bloom, MBA ’03

HelloFlo David Bloom, MBA ’01

Job Talk 19Be the architect of your own career

Class Notes 40 Alumni Profiles Richard Saccany, MBA ’73

Spanning the globe in mining Larry Kraft ’87, MBA ’88

Refocusing on climate change Ponsi Trivisvavet, MBA ’99

A GMO approach to sustainable crops Abbi Hills, MBA ’09, MHA ’09

Combining consulting with a passion for sports

C over illu str at ion: Daniel Hert zberg

Profile in Leadership —Hernan Mendez, MBA ’83, Fresh, new energy jump-starts a national icon Hernan Mendez, president of Procafecol, parent company to Juan Valdez, led a remarkable turnaround of the 66-year-old brand, starting it down a road of growth and profits.

By Chris Kraul



Printed green on recycled stock with 30% post-consumer fiber.

FaLL 2014: Vol. 29, No. 1 Cornell Enterprise is published twice a year by the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University.

anne and Elmer Lindseth Dean Soumitra Dutta

associate Dean, Marketing, admissions, Global Strategy Carolyn O’Keefe

Executive Director, Marketing and Communications Sandra R. Paniccia

Editor Janice Endresen, MA ’85

Staff Writer Shannon Dortch

Class Notes Editor Tanis Furst, PhD ’94

Copy Editor Ellen Henrie


Emily Zuwiala, Warkulwiz Design Associates


Chris Kraul

Cornell University Photography:

Robert Barker

Jason Koski

Lindsay France

We welcome feedback from readers.

Address letters to:

Cornell Enterprise Johnson at Cornell University 130 E. Seneca Street, Suite 400 Ithaca, N.Y. 14850-4353

Phone: 800.847.2082; 607.255.3096

Fax: 607.255.1858

E-mail: [emailprotected]

Letters may be edited for clarity and length.

Cornell Enterprise online

©2014 Johnson at Cornell University ISSN 0741 6989

4 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

enterpriseonlineC O R N E L L


Corning CEO Wendell Weeks: Sustaining Institutions in a World of Creative DestructionCorning CEO Wendell Weeks emphasized that all aspects of

business — what, how, and why — must come together to

drive innovation when he visited Johnson to deliver the 27th

annual Lewis B. Durland Memorial Lecture, Nov. 17, 2014.

Entrepreneurship Summit 2014Entrepreneurs from throughout the country, including

keynote speaker Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO of Chobani, joined

with Cornell alumni, students, faculty, and staff Nov. 7

in New York City for a daylong conference, “Beyond the

Horizon,” hosted by Entrepreneurship at Cornell.

Johnson Energy Connection Energy sector alumni shared developments and concerns

about the future of energy at the 2014 Johnson Energy

Connection: Fueling Interest in Renewable and Alternate

Energy, Sept. 26 and 27. Hosted by Johnson’s Center for

Sustainable Global Enterprise and co-organized by Johnson’s

Energy Club and the Sustainable Global Enterprise Club, the event was sponsored by Chevron

and Emerson.

Johnson Women in Business and Women’s Leadership ConferenceJohnson Women in Business, an annual education and

networking event sponsored by Johnson’s Office of Diversity

and Inclusion, gives woman students and alumnae from varied

backgrounds an opportunity to come together and share their

experiences and offers prospective women MBA candidates a chance to learn about what an

MBA has to offer. Held Oct. 16–17, the event was immediately followed by the Women’s

Leadership Conference, which featured guest speakers Janet Carr, MBA ’90, president of the

handbag division at Nine West Group; Michele Williams, assistant professor of organizational

behavior at Cornell; and Judy Rowe, global security project manager for Corning.

Expanding Diversity in the WorkplaceKeynote speaker Fred Keeton, chief diversity officer and vice

president of external affairs for Caesars Entertainment, urged

a group of Johnson students, prospective students, and faculty

to broaden their definition of diversity at Johnson’s 2014

Diversity Symposium at Sage Hall on Oct. 24.


5w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

Robert Bloomfield, Nicholas H. Noyes Professor of Management and professor of accounting, was appointed faculty director of eLearning.

Lourdes Casanova, senior lecturer of management, was appointed academic director of the Emerging Markets Institute.

Cornell-Queen’s Executive MBA students honored Professor Jim Detert with the STAR Award for Outstanding Teaching (marking the fourth time he has received the STAR Award).

Vishal Gaur, professor of operations management, was appointed associate dean for MBA programs.

Faculty Honors

Johnson Welcomes New FacultySoo Yeon Kim, assistant Professor of Marketing

Soo Yeon Kim’s research interests include

consumers’ symbolic versus adaptive use

of products, consumer well-being, and the

influence of self-views and emotions on

consumer behavior. Her research has been

published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Kim received her BA in psychology from

Ewha Woman’s University, South Korea; MS in Communication

from Cornell University; and PhD in marketing from the Kellogg

School of Management, Northwestern University.

Clarence Lee, assistant Professor of MarketingClarence Lee’s research examines the

drivers behind consumer adoption, usage,

and purchase dynamics of digital goods,

where he models consumer behavior using

Bayesian statistics and structural econometric

techniques. Digital products and platforms,

such as the ones provided by many Silicon

Valley and New York City tech startups, are increasingly present in

almost all consumer interactions. In such settings, understanding

consumer choice and the dynamics of engagement and usage

become critically important in order to acquire, serve, and retain

consumers. Lee received his doctorate from Harvard Business

School and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical

engineering and computer science from MIT. He has conducted

nanotechnology research at IBM and space system design at MIT

Lincoln Laboratory.

Kristina Rennekamp, assistant Professor of accountingKristina Rennekamp’s research examines

financial accounting from a behavioral

perspective; particularly, how biases affect

managers’ disclosure decisions and users’

judgments with respect to those disclosures.

She teaches financial accounting in both the

One-year MBA program in Ithaca and the

Cornell-Queen’s Executive MBA. She is the recipient of numerous

awards, including the Deloitte Foundation Doctoral Fellowship

and the AAA Financial Accounting and Reporting Section’s award

for the best dissertation completed in 2012. Her research has been

published in leading journals, including Contemporary Accounting

Research, Foundations and Trends in Accounting Research, and the

Journal of Accounting Research. Formerly a faculty member at the

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she received her MS

and PhD from Johnson at Cornell University.

armin Rick, assistant Professor of EconomicsArmin Rick specializes in applied

microeconomic theory with a focus

on the economics of information and

communication. His recent research

centers on the role of communication error

and transparency of economic actions in

situations with asymmetric information.

His work shows that appropriately limiting transparency can often

improve the economic efficiency of communication mechanisms,

in particular with respect to the equilibrium tradeoff between

information transmission and communication costs. He is similarly

interested in labor market inequality and the economics of crime

and human capital accumulation. Rick holds a PhD in economics

Sachin Gupta, PhD ’93, Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management and professor of marketing, was appointed director of Graduate Studies. In addition, Gupta’s paper, “Simulated Maximum Likelihood Estimator for the Random Coefficient Logit Model Using Aggregate Data,” was one of four finalists for the O’Dell Award, the top honor bestowed by the Journal of Marketing Research.

The MBA Class of 2009 honored Professor and Associate Dean Vrinda Kadiyali with the Stephen Russell Distinguished Teaching Award. This award is voted on by the five-year reunion class for the professor whose teaching most influenced their post-MBA careers.

Continued on page 6

I N T E L L E C T U a L


6 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

I N T E L L E C T U a L

capitalfrom the University of Chicago as well as master’s degrees in

economics from the University of Chicago and the University of

Mannheim (Germany).

Isaac Smith, assistant Professor of Management and Organizations

Isaac Smith’s research focuses on the morality

and ethics of organizations and the people

within them. Specifically, his research

examines the psychology of inspiration,

the causes and consequences of unethical

behavior, and the potential role of business

in battling the world’s social ills, such

as poverty. His work has been published in academic journals,

including Psychological Science, Academy of Management Learning

and Education, Journal of Business Ethics, and Entrepreneurship

Theory & Practice. His research has also been covered in multiple

media outlets, including BBC World Service Radio, Businessweek,

Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Scientific American, Time, The

Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. He received his PhD

in business administration (organizational behavior) from the

University of Utah, and he holds an MBA and BA from Brigham

Young University. He has worked with and consulted for a number

of Fortune 100 companies in the financial services and high-

tech industries. He has also worked with nonprofit organizations

dedicated to reducing poverty and promoting economic self-reliance

in Mongolia and Thailand.

Welcome visiting Faculty Christopher Marquis, Visiting Professor of Management and Organizations

Christopher Marquis’ research focuses on

how business can have a positive impact on

society and, in particular, how historical

processes and community relations have

shaped firms’ and entrepreneurs’ social

strategies and activities. Marquis’ research has

won a number of national awards, including

the Academy of Management’s 2006 William H. Newman Award

for best paper based on a dissertation. He has published in the

Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review,

Administrative Science Quarterly, American Sociological Review,

Organization Science, and Strategic Management Journal as well as a

number of edited collections. He is a member of the editorial boards

of Academy of Management Review, Administrative Science Quarterly,

Organization Science, and Strategic Organization. Marquis received

a BA in history from Notre Dame, MA in history and MBA in

finance from the University of Pittsburgh, and MA and PhD in

sociology from the University of Michigan. Prior to his academic

career, he worked for six years in the financial services industry,

most recently as vice president and technology manager for a

business unit of Bank One Corporation (now J.P. Morgan Chase).

Christopher Meredith, Visiting Lecturer of FinanceChris Meredith is a senior portfolio manager and the director

of research and portfolio management at O’Shaughnessy Asset

Management (OSAM). Meredith reports to the CEO/CIO,

and is responsible for managing the portfolio management

team, investment strategy research, and overseeing the firm’s

Hyunseob Kim’s paper, “The Asset Redeployability Channel: How Uncertainty Affects Corporate Investment,” was selected as the “best paper in corporate finance” at Finance Cavalcade, the Society for Financial Studies’ conference in Washington, D.C., on May 19, 2014.

Cornell Executive MBA students honored Risa Mish ’85, JD ’88, senior lecturer of management, with the Globe Award for Teaching Excellence.

Maureen O’Hara was appointed to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s chief advisory body to represent viewpoints of Cornell University and academia.

Stijn van Osselaer received the 2014 Faculty Research Award.

Second-year MBA students in the Ithaca program honored Drew Pascarella, MBA ‘01, lecturer of finance, with the Apple Award for Teaching Excellence.

William Schmidt, assistant professor of operations management, was honored with the Doctoral Dissertation Award for significant originality and technical competence by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals for his doctoral dissertation, “Supply Chain Disruptions and the Role of Information Asymmetry.”

Douglas Stayman, associate professor of marketing, concluded his appointment as associate dean for MBA programs and was appointed associate dean at Cornell Tech.

Faculty Honors continued


7w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

trading efforts. He leads a team of analysts

conducting research on new and existing

strategies and evaluating the efficacy of

new factors. Prior to joining the firm,

Meredith was a senior research analyst on

the systematic equity team at Bear Stearns

Asset Management. He was a director at

Oracle Corporation and spent eight years as

a technology professional. Meredith holds a BA in English from

Colgate University, an MBA from Johnson at Cornell University,

and an MA in financial mathematics from Columbia University.

He is a chartered financial analyst.

Scott Yonker, Visiting assistant Professor of FinanceScott Yonker’s primary interests are in

corporate finance, behavioral finance, and

investments. Using tools from psychology,

sociology, and economics, Yonker investigates

how identifiable differences in “key” market

players impact the important decisions that

they make. His work has been accepted

for publication in The Journal of Finance, The Review of Financial

Studies, and The Journal of Financial Economics; cited by The Wall

Street Journal, The New York Times, and Bloomberg Businessweek;

and featured on the Fox Business Channel. On leave from the Kelley

School of Business at Indiana University, Yonker, a chartered

financial analyst, holds a master’s degree in economics from Duke

University and a PhD in finance from the Ohio State University.

Prior to entering academia, Yonker was a portfolio manager for a

registered investment advisory firm in Chapel Hill, N.C. He is the

president and founder of Frontier Asset Management.

Cynthia Saunders-Cheatham named director, Career Management

Cynthia Saunders-Cheatham was named

executive director of Johnson’s Career

Management Center (CMC), responsible

for career management efforts across all

Johnson’s MBA programs. Saunders-

Cheatham has been at Johnson for six years,

initially filling a dual role as brand advisor in

the marketing and communications group and as CMC marketing

advisor. Most recently, as director of career development for the

Two-year MBA in Ithaca, she advised students pursuing careers in

marketing, high-tech industries, and sustainability. Before Johnson,

Saunders-Cheatham held various corporate marketing roles in

consumer packaged goods and business-to-business marketing.

She earned her BS and MBA degrees from the University of North

Carolina at Chapel Hill. Saunders-Cheatham succeeded Fred

Staudmyer ’77, MBA ’79, who left Johnson in November to accept a

senior leadership position with a regional bank in Connecticut.

Sean Scanlon named associate dean Sean Scanlon joined Johnson as associate

dean for Alumni Affairs and Development

in October 2014. Formerly senior director of

development and philanthropy at Cornell’s

Lab of Ornithology, Scanlon is respected

nationally for his work in helping further the

lab’s global conservation and research agenda,

with special recognition for his efforts in developing its digital

outreach efforts. An advancement professional since 2000, Scanlon

has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a

master’s degree from the University of Illinois. “Scanlon’s intimate

knowledge of Cornell and comprehensive knowledge of current best

practices in academic fundraising make him the ideal candidate to

help further the growth that Johnson’s advancement program has

enjoyed under Bill Huling’s leadership as associate dean,” said Dean

Soumitra Dutta.

Tyi McCray named director, ODITyi McCray became the fifth director of

Johnson’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion

(ODI) in October 2014. Formerly associate

director of Diversity Programs in Cornell’s

College of Engineering, McCray holds a BS

from the University of Maryland, Baltimore

County, and a PhD in biology from Cornell

University. She has worked with the Cornell International Institute

for Food, Agriculture, and Development in South Africa and in

Ithaca, with Cornell’s Prison Education Program, at the White

House Office of Public Engagement, and as a researcher at the Max

Planck Institute in Germany. McCray succeeded Nsombi Ricketts,

who left Cornell to become an assistant dean at Northwestern


Christopher Meredith


“ Building a high-performing alumni affairs and Development team and achieving new levels of excellence in Johnson fundraising during his time as associate dean has been the capstone to Bill’s 26-year career at Cornell.” — dean soumitra dutta

8 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

I N T E L L E C T U a L

capitalOne of Johnson’s Best Steps Downassociate Dean of alumni affairs and Development William W. “Bill” Huling Jr. ’68, MBa ’74, will retire from Cornell in January Janice Endresen

A double-degree Cornellian, Huling embarked on his second career

at Cornell in 1988, after retiring as a lieutenant colonel in the

United States Army. Although stationed in sunny Hawaii for his

last tour, he says: “I knew exactly where I wanted to retire, where I

wanted to go, what I wanted to do.”

Why so certain? Huling thoroughly enjoyed his first alumni

and development effort at Cornell, which came about when he

worked as an assistant professor of military science in Cornell’s

ROTC detachment in Barton Hall, where he taught military

history, military science, and leadership from 1974 to 1977 (after

earning his MBA and while still a captain in the U. S. Army).

“I came in contact with a famous alum, F.R. Newman [Class

of 1912] of Newman Arboretum and Newman Hall,” Huling

recalls. He learned that Newman, who had been a lieutenant in

WWI, had never received certain military awards because many

of his files had burned in a fire in St. Louis. So Huling obtained

some documentation from Newman; then, working through the

Department of the Army Awards branch, “managed to get him three

medals that he deserved,” he said. “We had a wonderful ceremony,

we pinned the medals on him, and he was so happy.” Afterwards,

“Newman helped us build the WWI exhibit over in the Wortham

Military Museum in Barton Hall — he donated all of that to

Cornell ROTC.”

Fueled by this experience, Huling returned to Cornell in 1988

to become director of regional programs in Cornell’s Office of

Alumni Affairs. In 1991, he joined Johnson’s alumni affairs team,

serving first as director of development, then as director of corporate

relations, and later as major

gifts officer. In 2009, he

became associate dean.

Throughout his tenure at

Cornell, Huling set the

bar high for strengthening

relationships with

corporations and alumni.

“Building a high-performing Alumni Affairs and Development

team and achieving new levels of excellence in Johnson fundraising

during his time as associate dean has been the capstone to Bill’s 26-

year career at Cornell,” said Dean Soumitra Dutta.

But the achievement that means the most to Huling is his role in

creating Cornell’s Korean/Vietnam War Memorial. “In 1990, I got a

letter from Joe Ryan, an alum and Vietnam veteran,” recalls Huling,

himself a Vietnam veteran. “He said, ‘Bill, the university has done

nothing to recognize our veterans in the Vietnam War.’” So Huling

brought alumni veterans together during Reunion, where a Korean

War veteran asked, “What about the Korean War?” As Huling tells

it: “Joe Ryan said, ‘Come on in, we’ll do a Korean/Vietnam War

Memorial.’” Huling subsequently became Cornell’s coordinator for

the project and Ryan the alumni leader.

“In 1990, when we started, we didn’t know a single loss of the

Korean or the Vietnam War,” says Huling. “And remember this

was pre-Internet. So it was the old-fashioned way of doing research.

… University archives pulled names of deceased alumni; we took

that and matched them against the losses on the Vietnam Veterans

Memorial Wall, line by line.” The memorial was built, and in

June 1993 Cornell President Frank H. T. Rhodes presided over a

dedication ceremony in Anabel Taylor Hall, which Huling describes

as a “beautiful and very momentous event.”

At Johnson, Huling says, “We were the very first to recognize

that veterans would make outstanding students. They’re very

mature, they’re very calm, they’ve had a lot of responsibility

under a lot of stress.” Johnson began reaching out to veterans in the

1990s, with Huling participating in their admissions interviews. “It

was gratifying to me to be able stay close to what was happening

to these young people, and stay close to the service,” he says. “This

year, we’re very proud that we have 19 first-year MBAs who are

U.S. veterans.”

Huling is affectionately and familiarly known to myriad alumni

under a variety of monikers, including “coach” (a star athlete in

high school, Huling coached Cornell freshman football 1972–77);

“captain” or “lieutenant colonel”; and “Rakkasan” — an eclectic

tribute given him by Korean alumni who enjoy knowing he first

visited their country via parachute.

Johnson staff and faculty will miss his smile, his candor, and his

uncanny ability to instantly recall names of alumni with specific expertise.


9w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

Global technology and innovationDean Soumitra Dutta netted

a great deal of attention in the

U.S. and global press with

the release of his two annual

research projects. In April

2014, the Global Information

Technology Report 2014,

co-edited by Dutta, gained

coverage for Johnson in top

media outlets, including

Newsweek, The Wall Street

Journal, and Voice of

America Radio. The dean

also captured global coverage with on-air appearances on

BBC News and ChannelNewsAsia, both in Singapore. In summer

2014, following the release of the Global Innovation Index 2014,

co-authored by Dutta, he was interviewed on CCTV America,

regarding China as a global innovator; Business Standard, India;

and India Abroad.

The Global Information Technology Report, published with the

World Economic Forum, ranks countries’ networked readiness, or

how prepared an economy is to apply the benefits of information

and communications technologies (ICTs) to promote economic

growth and well-being. The Global Innovation Index, produced in

partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization

and INSEAD, ranks 143 economies around the world, using

81 indicators, to gauge both their innovation capabilities and

measurable results.

a high five for high-frequency tradingMaureen O’Hara, the Robert W. Purcell

Professor of Management and professor

of finance, had a lot to say in April 2014,

following the publication of a new book

by finance journalist Michael Lewis. His

book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, asserts

that high-frequency traders use algorithms,

supercomputers, and the Internet to gain

microsecond advantages on other traders.

While the book suggests that flash trading could be a form of

cheating, O’Hara takes the opposite view.

“Virtually all academic research looking at transaction costs and

volatility finds that U.S. markets are better now than in the pre –

high-frequency era,” she told Time magazine. That’s because most

brokers have “best execution” requirements, wrote Time, meaning

that civilians get the same price as the pros. In this view, the

HFTs are adding information to the market and thus aiding

price discovery. O’Hara, who co-authored the book High-

Frequency Trading: New Realities for Traders, Markets,

and Regulators, conducts research on computerized trading,

and its effect on markets. O’Hara’s comments on high-frequency

trading, and Lewis’ book also appeared in

and Forbes.

Tech startup TipRanks generates a buzz

Roni Michaely, the Rudd Family

Professor of Management and

professor of finance, made news

in August 2014 with the launch of

a tech startup for which he is an

investor and advisor. TipRanks, a

financial accountability website,

uses machine learning and natural

language processing algorithms

(NLP) to search the Internet and measure the performance of

anyone giving investment advice on leading financial blogs and

websites. The startup’s launch and its high-profile investors —

including former New York State Governor Elliott Spitzer — led to

media buzz and coverage in numerous outlets, including the New

York Post, New York Daily News, Yahoo! Finance, The New York

Times, CNBC, and The Wall Street Journal’s Marketwatch.

Reversal of fortune among black menResearch from Armin Rick, assistant

professor of economics, and his co-author

Derek Neal of the University of Chicago,

finds that the considerable economic

progress black men achieved between 1940

and 1980 has halted, and in many cases,

reversed. Numerous media outlets reported

on their working paper, “The Prison Boom

and the Lack of Black Progress after Smith

and Welch,” including The Washington Post, Time, and blog sites 538

and Vox.




10 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

How popular are your keywords? Less popular keywords better suited for paid search advertising

Consumers are more likely to click a

sponsored link when their searched

keywords are less popular, according

to new research by Johnson Professor

Young-Hoon Park and his co-authors.

Searching the Internet for a

product, service, or idea will yield a

list of results, based on the keywords

used. The results usually include

a list of “organic” results — those

that are returned based on the search

engine’s algorithm — and also a list

of “sponsored” results, which are paid for by businesses as a form of

advertising. Quite naturally, advertisers want to increase the likelihood

that the person searching will click on their sponsored link.

New research from Young-Hoon Park, the Sung-Whan Suh

Professor of Management and professor of marketing at Johnson, and

his co-authors provides marketers with insights to what happens once

a consumer arrives at the search results page. Their paper, “Consumer

Click Behavior at a Search Engine: The Role of Keyword Popularity,”

was published in the August 2014 Journal of Marketing Research.

The research finds that the popularity of a keyword — how often it

is searched relative to other keywords — is an important indicator of

consumers’ clicking tendencies: The less popular a keyword is, the more

a consumer clicks after searching it, and the more likely those clicks are

on sponsored links.

“Consumers who search using less popular search terms are more

invested in their search for information and are closer to a purchase than

those who are using more popular keywords,” Park said.

“They are, quite simply, closer to making a purchase and purposeful

in determining what to buy.”

Knowing that consumers using less popular search terms are more

likely to click on sponsored links has implications both for advertisers and

Internet search engines. Advertisers can make more targeted sponsored-

link buys, and search engines can incorporate this click behavior to better

optimize search results to consumer queries, Park said.

The research, by Park, Kinshuk Jerath of Columbia University, and

Liye Ma of University of Maryland-College Park, was based on data

from a Korean search engine that provided data on search-and-click

activity for several hundred keywords over a one-month period.

Summaries of the research were posted to dozens of media websites

and numerous science and marketing blog sites, including ScienceBlog.

Young -Hoon Park

Feminine features are a drawback at the bargaining table — even for men

New research suggests that people

with feminine facial features are

offered less in negotiations than those

with more masculine ones, and are

perceived as more cooperative.

People with feminine features —

even men — are at a disadvantage at

the bargaining table, according to new

research by Eric Gladstone, a PhD

candidate at Johnson, and Kathleen

O’Connor, associate professor of

management and operations. The

study was published online in

July in the journal Organizational

Behavior and Human Decisions

Processes, and caught the attention

of The Washington Post, Bloomberg

Businessweek, and the Wall Street

Journal Digital Network.

“Research shows that women,

compa r ed to men , do wor s e

in negotiation situations,” said

Gladstone. “We asked whether, on

top of gender/sex effect, there is an element of femininity involved. In

particular, are those with feminine faces judged to be more cooperative?

If so, how does this play out?”

Gladstone and O’Connor addressed this question in two studies.

“In the first study, we show that when choosing someone to negotiate

against, participants chose a more, versus less, feminine-featured other,”

said Gladstone. “When asked to choose someone to represent them

in a negotiation, however, participants chose the less feminine-faced

individual. In an actual negotiation simulation, participants demanded

more from, and acted more aggressively toward more feminine-faced


Gladstone is earning his PhD in management and organizations at

Johnson and will complete his degree in May 2015. His research articles

have been published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision

Processes, Psychological Science, Journal of Mathematical Sociology, Social

Networks, Sociological Science, and Best Paper Proceedings of the 2014

Academy of Management.

k at Hl een o ’Connor

er iC gl ads tone


11w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

“ For academics and policy makers, the book provides a political and economic framework that can be studied and applied in Brazil and in other emerging markets.”

— lourdes casanova


Brazil rising? The Political Economy of an Emerging Power: In Search of the Brazil DreamBy Lourdes Casanova and Julian KassumBy Pallavi Rao

Twelve years of s ignificant

growth in social and economic

development have made Brazil

the seventh largest economy in

the world, but now the country

seeks a second wind. A new book

by Johnson’s Lourdes Casanova,

senior lecturer and academic

director of the Emerging Markets

Institute at Johnson, encapsulates

Brazil’s role in the new order of

emerging economies and the steps

the country needs to propel its

economic growth forward. The

Political Economy of an Emerging Power: In Search of the Brazil Dream,

co-authored by Casanova and Julian Kassum, an independent consultant

and author of The G20: A Business Guide, analyzes Brazil’s achievements

and its soft and hard power.

While Brazil’s international stature has risen thanks to its ambitious

and friendly foreign policies, it has reached an economic standstill. “To

correct this situation and kick-start growth again, Brazil needs political

consensus and social inclusion,” Casanova says. “Social development

programs need to be maintained and scaled up.”

The book asks whether Brazil’s rise on the global stage is barely

beginning or has already hit a plateau, held back by numerous domestic

challenges and the external constraints of the global governance system.

The authors show that Brazil’s hard power capability is greater than is

often believed, and that this power largely rests on its energy, food, and

financial reserves.

But Brazil’s biggest strength lies in soft power, because Brazil is

able to “seduce” other states with its culture, values, and policies. The

book describes how Brazil is developing its own model of growth and

development with some features of state capitalism and innovative forms

of welfare. The authors examine the role the state plays in Brazilian

business and industry and ask whether the “Brasília model” can be an

alternative to the old “Washington consensus.”

Finally, the authors assess Brazil’s numerous domestic challenges

and how these may prevent it from becoming an effective global power.

These include economic, social, and educational challenges.

“For academicians and policy makers, the book provides a political

and economic framework that can be studied and applied in Brazil and

in other emerging nations,” says Casanova. For students, she hopes,

her book will provide insights into Brazil’s economy and into emerging

markets in general. “Brazil’s problems are similar to those of other

emerging countries,” she says. “People who moved from poverty to

middle class now demand better services: affordable and efficient public

transportation, education, and health care. But the government has not

kept up with it.”

Brazil enjoys the presence of large, local companies that provide

economic stability, but only a few at the top wield a lot of power.

Generally, the economic model known as the Brasilia Consensus, which

has worked up to this point, now needs updating.

Casanova and Kassum also address Brazil’s role on the global stage.

A survey of Brazilian opinion leaders, experts, and practitioners revealed

that the outlook for its international policies needs to be more focused.

“Brazil has to establish a clear international policy, including how to

balance its relations with the U.S., Europe, and the BRICS,” she says.

“The country now needs to be vocal as one of the leaders in South


Lourdes Casanova specializes in international business with a focus on latin america and multinationals from emerging markets. at Johnson, she is senior lecturer and academic director of the emerging Markets institute.




12 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

In their new book, Ask, Measure,

Learn: Using Social Media Analytics

to Understand and Influence

Customer Behavior (O’Reilly

Media , 2014) , co-author s

Soumitra Dutta , Johnson’s

dean, and Lutz Finger, LinkedIn

director of data analytics, neatly

encapsulate both the opportunity

and the hype associated with big


Data has always had strategic value, but with the

magnitude of data available today and our capability to

process it has become a new form of asset class. In a

very real sense, data is now the new equivalent of oil

or gold. And today we are seeing a data boom rivaling

the Texas oil boom of the 20th century or the San

Francisco gold rush of the 1800s.

If today’s world of big data is like a modern-day oil boom or gold

rush, then just about anyone can get out there and extract the raw material

without special equipment or deep pockets. However, the authors argue,

it can still take sophisticated algorithms and a whole lot of know-how to

realize its ultimate value — just as it does to refine crude into gasoline,

or to make a sophisticated gold watch, for example.

Ashish Gambhir, MBA ’09, co-founder of newBrandAnalytics,

has built a profitable business by extracting value from big data, as the

book notes. His firm started by aggregating all customer feedback in

the hospitality industry — a virtual fire hose of data — from social

media, travel site reviews, and guest surveys. To reap value from that

data, Gambhir and his team developed automated scoring and customer

satisfaction metrics by “training the machine” through proprietary

algorithms. That process enables newBrandAnalytics’ hotel and restaurant

customers to gain actionable insights into their food presentation, quality,

and service.

Sentiment algorithms like the one developed by newBrandAnalytics,

as well as recommendation systems like Amazon’s, get a lot of airtime

in the book, and the authors report keen interest in their work from

data analysts and social media specialists. But Ask, Measure, Learn is

expressly written to help managers learn to uncover the value in both

structured and unstructured data sets. Dutta and Finger call that value

the fourth “v,” which, along with volume, velocity, and variety, typically

characterize big data.

“Big data is all around us,” Dutta says. “It’s not a question of whether

to use it or not, but how to best use it — how to make it small data and

to get it to answer your question.”

As co-founders of Fisheye Analytics, a Singapore-based social media

analytics firm that was sold to WPP Group in late 2013, Dutta and Finger

have spent years grappling with the very questions they write about.

Finger now heads up a data science team at LinkedIn. And as Johnson’s

dean, Dutta is meeting increased demand for data-intensive courses

with additional coursework and a new, big data-focused immersion

that could launch as early as spring 2015.

Ask, Measure, Learn is divided into two main sections, the first of

which describes how collecting and crunching the right data can drive

value across various business functions. Marketing, Sales, PR, Customer

Care, and Social CRM (Customer Relationship Management)/Market

Research each get a dedicated chapter. The second section is designed to

get individual managers focused on building their own “Ask-Measure-

Learn” system. Key in that process is seeking the right data sets and

asking measurable questions with actionable outcomes.

Wondering if big data is a panacea? Think the right social media

analytics software will magically build your customer base? The authors

remind us that selling your product still depends on building knowledge

and trust with consumers through the virtues of big data. On the other

hand, we as consumers hold more power than ever thanks to social


Used strategically, big data enables companies to build some of that

trust while dialing down the human touch. Take Netflix, for example.

The company famously offered a $1 million award to whoever could

develop an algorithm to improve the accuracy of its predicted movie

ratings by 10 percent. Over 60 percent of users rely on its suggestion

engine for recommendations on what to watch. “For companies the

size of Netflix, which generated $3.2 billion in fiscal year 2011, better

recommendations can have a tangible financial impact,” notes the book.

Still, suggestion engines and other machine-learning mechanisms can

get it wrong sometimes. “The more we have machines making decisions

for us, the higher the risk that they get it wrong and we don’t know,”

Extracting Value from Big DataAsk, Measure, Learn: Using Social Media Analytics to Understand and Influence Customer BehaviorBy Soumitra Dutta and Lutz Finger by Jeffrey Gangemi, MBA ’09


13w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

“ Big data is all around us. It’s not a question of whether to use it or not, but how to best use it — how to make it small data and to get it to answer your question.” — dean soumitra dutta

Finger warns. An example in the book illustrates this: “New York Times

bestselling business author Carol Roth once complained in a blog that

Google infers that she is a male over age 65, when in fact she is a woman

decades younger.”

The authors also address how social media increases transparency

and disperses power, allowing customers to influence the behavior of

companies. For example, customer service organizations used to cut costs

by reducing average call times, even if service quality suffered. Now, any

disgruntled customer can take to Facebook or Twitter and voice their

displeasure at lackluster service, causing brand damage and negative

online sentiment. “Suddenly, the hidden discussions between a call center

somewhere in the offshored world and you — the customer — became

public and open,” write Finger and Dutta.

There are a number of ways to address this power shift without

taking a big hit to the bottom line, argue the authors, and they all

involve embracing transparency to build trust with the consumer. On

the one hand, companies can use social media to grow their own internal

customer service. Best Buy, for example, enables more of their workforce

to go online and offer support to thousands of requests they get via

social media and community forums. The company reports saving $5

million that would otherwise be spent on call center operations. Another

alternative: By engaging social-media power users to stock knowledge

bases with solutions to common issues, Apple engages their most valuable

customers, often turning them into vocal (and loyal) brand advocates.

In a quintessentially big-data approach to customer care, strategic

and brand consultancy Prophet asked the question for a banking client:

Which customer behaviors were predictive of switching to another bank?

As detailed in the book, Prophet then built a predictive model that

demonstrated a particularly devastating impact to customer retention

when customers had to call the customer hotline over the weekend.

That kind of actionable data helped to prioritize the improvement of

internal processes to improve customer retention — a clear connection

to the company bottom line.

In today’s data boom, even firms with the drilling and refining

capability of Exxon Mobil can go astray. Asking the right question from

the start is crucial for arriving at actionable, measurable outcomes. When

Google launched its now-legendary algorithm and quickly overtook Alta

Vista in Internet search, they were asking the right question to guide

their efforts: What’s the one website that will best satisfy a user’s search


Ask, Measure, Learn offers tools, cases, and new perspectives to help

managers, data analysts, and social media specialists to ask their own

versions of that “right question.”

Lutz Finger, co-author of Ask, Measure, Learn, heads up a data science team at linkedin, where he is director of data analytics.

Dean Soumitra Dutta, co-author of Ask, Measure, Learn, is a noted authority on the impact of new technology on the business world, especially social media and social networking, and on strategies for driving growth and innovation by embracing the digital economy.


14 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

Shattering Myths to Help the ClimateBy Robert H. Frank

Each new climate-change study seems more pessimistic than the last.

This May and June, for example, were the hottest ones on record for the

planet. Storms and droughts occur with increasing frequency. Glaciers are

rapidly retreating, portending rising seas that could eventually displace

hundreds of millions of people.

Effective countermeasures now could actually ward off many of

these threats at relatively modest cost. Yet despite a robust scientific

consensus that greenhouse gas emissions are at the root of the problem,

legislation to curb them has gone nowhere in Congress. In response,

President Obama has proposed stricter regulations on electric utilities,

which some scientists warn may be too little, too late.

Why aren’t we demanding more forceful action? One reason may

be the frequent incantation of a motley collection of myths, each one

rooted in bad economics:

The enormous uncertainty of climate science argues for

a wait-and-see strategy.

The claim here is that reducing greenhouse gases would be a wasted

expense if climate change ends up causing only minor problems. But

uncertainty cuts two ways. Things might not be as bad as expected, but

they could also be much worse.

In other domains, uncertainty doesn’t counsel inaction. Few people,

for example, recommend disbanding the military simply because

adversaries might not invade. In any event, many scientists now believe

that storms and droughts caused by climate change are already causing

enormous damage, so all that remains uncertain is how much worse

things will get. And as Robert Shiller has written in this space, when the

risk is as high as it now seems, economics tells us that insuring against

worst-case calamities is prudent.

Slowing the pace of climate change would be

prohibitively difficult.

Reducing CO2 emissions would actually be surprisingly easy. The most

effective remedy would be a carbon tax, which would raise the after-tax

price of goods in rough proportion to the size of their carbon footprint.

Gasoline would become more expensive, piano lessons would not.

The functional equivalent of that — a cap-and-trade system —

worked spectacularly well when Congress required marketable permits

for discharging sulfur dioxide (SO2) in 1995. Acid rain caused by SO


emissions quickly plummeted, at about one-sixth the cost predicted.

Once people have to pay for their emissions, they find ingenious ways

of reducing them.

Myth 1:

Myth 2:

Myth 3:

“In other domains, uncertainty doesn’t counsel inaction. Few people, for example, recommend disbanding the military simply because adversaries might not invade.”

—robert H. frank

a carbon tax would destroy jobs.

If a carbon tax were scheduled to be gradually phased in once the

economy recovered, its mere announcement would create jobs right

away. As with any policy change, there would be winners and losers.

But because an impending carbon tax would render many existing

energy-using processes obsolete, it would create strong incentives for

corporations to put their mountains of idle cash to work. Spending on

development of more efficient processes, with attendant hiring, would

be expected to begin immediately.

V a N T a G E©

/Jing Jing tsong


15w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

Myth 4:

Myth 5:

Myth 6:

The cost of reducing CO2 emissions would be

prohibitively high.

Because a steep tax on emissions would generate hundreds of billions

of dollars in annual revenue, you might assume the policy would entail

big costs for ordinary people. But every dollar raised by a carbon tax is a

dollar by which other taxes can be reduced. The actual cost of reducing

CO2 emissions would be only those costs associated with the cleaner

processes we’re led to adopt, and they promise to be low. Experience

in other countries, for example, suggests that a carbon tax that doubled

the price of gasoline would result in cars that are more than twice as

efficient as today’s.

The cost objection is further undermined by evidence that we’re

already bearing high costs because of our failure to limit carbon emissions,

as the White House declared in a report in July. The net cost of reducing

emissions would properly include an adjustment for the corresponding

reduction in weather damage.

It’s pointless for americans to reduce CO2 emissions,

since unilateral action won’t solve global warming.

Although an effective solution will take global coordination, America’s

inaction has been a major barrier to progress. If the United States and

Europe each adopted a steep carbon tax, they could elicit broader

cooperation through heavy tariffs on goods produced in countries that

failed to do likewise. India and China need access to our markets, giving

us enormous leverage.

Penalizing greenhouse gas emissions would violate

people’s freedom.

As John Stuart Mill, the British political economist, argued, people

should be free to do as they please, provided they don’t cause undue

harm to others. But greenhouse gases have already caused great harm

and threaten much worse. Mill’s cost-benefit framework provides no

reason for thinking that someone’s freedom to escape the small burden

of CO2 taxation should trump other, vastly more important freedoms.

To the contrary, he said, restrictions on individual liberty are needed

when the health and safety of the great mass of people and the purity

of the natural environment are at stake.

In 2009, the respected M.I.T. global climate simulation model

estimated that if we do nothing to curb greenhouse emissions, there’s a

10 percent chance that temperatures will rise by more than 12 degrees

Fahrenheit by century’s end, causing wholesale destruction of life as we

know it.

There’s still time to eliminate this catastrophic risk at surprisingly

modest cost. If we fail to act, future historians may wonder from behind

high sea walls why we allowed the more effective responses we could

have pursued to be blocked by an easily debunked collection of myths.

Robert H. Frank is Henrietta Johnson louis Professor of Management and pro-fessor of economics at Johnson, where he has taught since 1990. He is also professor of economics in Cornell university’s department of economics, where he first began his career as a professor in 1972, and a monthly contributor to the “economic scene” column in The New York Times. He has served as a Peace Corps volunteer in rural nepal, chief economist for the Civil aeronautics Board, fellow at the Center for advanced study in the Behavioral sciences, and was Professor of american Civilization at l’ecole des Hautes etudes en sciences so-ciales in Paris. Frank’s books include Choosing the Right Pond, Passions within Reason, Microeconomics and Behavior, Luxury Fever, What Price the Moral High Ground?, The Economic Naturalist, The Economic Naturalist’s Field Guide, and The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good.

From The New York Times, economic scene, august 2, 2014. reprinted with permission.

“ Experience in other countries suggests that a carbon tax that doubled the price of gasoline would result in cars that are more than twice as efficient as today’s.” —robert H. frank


V a N T a G E


16 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

Business leads carbon neutrality By Jeremy Kuhre, MBA ’16

On Sunday, Sept. 21, I had the privilege of participating in the largest

climate march in history. More than 400,000 individuals, including about

150 Cornell students, took to the streets of New York City in what is

being called the People’s Climate March. The march united more than

1,400 businesses, schools, faith-based groups, and environmentalists in

an unprecedented show of solidarity, carrying the message that something

must be done about climate change.

The march was scheduled to coincide with the Sept. 23 U.N.

Summit on Climate Change in New York City, where 125 heads of state,

including President Obama, convened to lay a framework for a binding

agreement to reduce greenhouse gasses and cap global warming to an

increase of 1 to 2 degrees Celsius. There are many opinions on how to

best achieve this, including carbon taxes, investment in renewable energy,

changes in dietary and agricultural practices, and divestment from fossil

fuel companies.

That diversity of opinion was the most hopeful message I took away

from the People’s Climate March. The constituencies lining up against

climate change are increasingly representative of the broader melting pot

of political ideologies across America. Take the bus that I organized as

an example: It was captained by a business student; funded in part by

the Center for Transformative Action, a local nonprofit that seeks to

sponsor innovative social change agents in New York State; underwritten

by local environmental activists; and filled with families, Democrats,

Republicans, and Cornell students from a diverse set of disciplines. The

issue of climate change is no longer just part of an environmentalist

or liberal agenda, but something everyone can get behind, including

religious, moderate conservatives like me.

(From left) Jeremy Kuhre, Zachary Perlstein, Mauricio Medaets, and Ace Stryker, all MBA ’16, participate in the People’s Climate March in new York City on sept. 21, which was planned to coincide with the sept. 23 u.n. summit on Climate Change.

Personally, I was marching as a representative of the Samuel Curtis

Johnson Graduate School of Management and, more broadly, business.

During the march, we met many individuals who were appreciative of

(and in some cases, surprised by) the fact that MBAs also cared about

climate change. It’s true that addressing climate change will require

extraordinary coordination between governments, businesses, and the

social sector. However, we at Johnson believe that business is the largest

catalyst for change when it comes to transitioning to a carbon-neutral


Business is leading the way. How? One example is a recent power

purchase agreement brokered in Austin, Texas, just hours away from

Houston, a major oil and gas center. Austin Energy, the local utility,

secured a solar power purchase agreement with Recurrent Energy for less

than 5 cents per kilowatt hour — considerably cheaper than the price at

which fossil fuel-generated electricity could be had in that market. This

game-changing deal was only possible because of dedicated companies

designing, manufacturing, and developing renewable energy.

Why is business leading the way in the fight against climate change?

One reason is that businesses are starting to see climate change initiatives

transition from cost centers to profit centers. A new report released in

September by CDP, an international nonprofit providing a global system

for companies and cities to measure, disclose, manage and share vital

environmental information, presented evidence that S&P 500 industry

leaders that are actively managing and planning for climate change

generate superior profitability (18 percent higher ROE than peers). Just

this October, the Economist Intelligence Unit reported that 66 percent

of surveyed managers believe there is a link between sustainability and

long-term financial performance. The takeaway is clear: In business

as in politics, the issue of climate change is becoming more and more

difficult to ignore for organizations that want to succeed.

These are exciting times, and, despite the perilous journey ahead of

us, I’m optimistic that human ingenuity and spirit will prevail.

Jeremy Kuhre is a first-year mBa student who plans to focus his studies on sustainaBle gloBal enterprise, especially in the area of renewaBle energy. prior to attending Johnson, he was a proJect manager for sustainaBle solutions corp., a consulting-engineering firm Based outside philadelphia.

“Business is the largest catalyst for change when it comes to transitioning to a carbon-neutral economy.”

— Jeremy Kuhre, MBa ’16


17w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

Smith Family Business Initiative welcomes its first directorDaniel Garrett Van Der Vliet joined Johnson in September as the

first director of the new Smith Family Business Initiative, generously

endowed this year by John Smith, MBA ’74, and his wife, Dyan

Smith. Van Der Vliet brings with him fourteen years of experience

at the University of Vermont, where he built a highly regarded family

business program from the ground up.

Developing a combination of family business-focused courses

and case competitions for MBA and undergraduate students from

across Cornell, as well as executive education non-degree courses and

workshops for key people and owners involved in running family

enterprises, are among the goals Van Der Vliet outlined for the Smith

Family Business Initiative. Scholarship, including generating research

and conducting surveys, will also be an important focus. In addition,

Van Der Vliet plans to develop a robust, interactive network of people

involved in family-owned businesses around the world, including

Johnson and Cornell students and alumni and family business owners

and key people who enroll in non-degree certificate programs. Finally,

Van Der Vliet is putting together an advisory council for the initiative.

For Van Der Vliet, coming to Johnson is exciting because of the

school’s global reach and reputation and its base of accomplished

alumni, so many of whom remain actively involved with the school.

“Most other centers that offer family business programs tend to be

regional; Johnson can be a bigger player,” he says. “With the help of

students, alumni, and faculty, we can establish programs in China,

the Middle East, and Latin America.”

Widely recognized as key drivers of economic growth worldwide,

family businesses are “the most common type of business on the earth,

particularly in developing countries,” says Professor Wesley Sine,

faculty director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute.

The Family Firm Institute (FFI), a nonprofit, reports that family firms

create an estimated 70 to 90 percent of global GDP annually as well

as 50 to 80 percent of jobs in the majority of countries worldwide.

Moreover, as Van Der Vliet points out, most entrepreneurs start out

with financial and emotional support from family; in fact, the FFI

reports that 85 percent of startups are established with family money.

Van Der Vliet and Sine plan to offer the initiative’s first new

“ Most other centers that offer family business programs tend to be regional; Johnson can be a bigger player.”

— daniel Garrett Van der Vliet

Daniel Garrett Van Der Vliet, director of Johnson’s smith Family Business initiative

courses in fall 2015. The Smith Distinguished Family Business Lecture

Series will feature executives from the world’s most successful family

businesses. A second course will focus on the benefits and challenges

specific to family businesses, including succession planning and developing

leaders with sound management, financial, and leadership skills, all within

the context of inter-family dynamics. Van Der Vliet is also developing

a Family Business Week focused on leadership skills unique to family

enterprises and featuring guest speakers.

“Without family business education, there was a big gap in the

offerings to students,” says Rhett Weiss, senior lecturer of management

and executive director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute,

which houses the Smith Family Business Initiative. “I see an overlap

between the institute and the family business initiative when it comes

to starting and scaling a new business.”

Students launch a Family Business ClubJohnson’s newly established Family Business Club held its inaugural meeting Sept. 29 at Sage Hall, with Van Der Vliet and club officers Christopher R. Pletcher, Farouk Appiedu, and George Read, all MBA ’16, presenting. The club will provide a forum for students to explore issues unique to family businesses, including family dynamics and estate planning, as well as entrepreneurship, strategy, and management. Club members plan to connect with Johnson and Cornell alumni involved in running privately held corporations and to reach out to similar organizations in other business schools. Planned events will include guest speakers, social outings, and field trips to local family businesses. So far, 40 students have signed up as members of the Family Business Club, including 35 Johnson students and five undergraduate students enrolled in Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management.

S T a R T


S T a R T


18 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

Going with the flow The curse. The crimson

tide. Lingonberry week.

It’s the five-day event

that happens to women

of childbearing age

each month, sending

embarrassed husbands

and fathers running to the

“feminine care” aisle. is happy

to meet women’s periods

head on.

“It dawned on me

that I really hate buying

tampons,” explains

HelloFlo founder Naama Bloom. Her spouse, entrepreneur David

Bloom, MBA ’01, encouraged her to make her vision into reality: a

subscription service delivering supplies to customers a few days before

each period. And so HelloFlo was born.

Naama Bloom, MBA ’03, founder of HelloFlo []

New Order Unless you’re a restaurateur

or app developer, you’ve

probably never heard

of This open

platform for restaurant

e-commerce is used by

restaurants, developers,

and websites to power their

food-ordering capabilities.

Co-founder David

Bloom describes

as “DNA for restaurant

e-commerce” — an

infrastructure for building

takeout-ordering services that allow college students to find the

closest pizzeria or guests staying in hotels without restaurants to get

room service. It is invisible to consumers. “It’s a purely business-to-

business infrastructure, like the multiple listing service for real-estate

properties,” he says. “Most people don’t even understand what we


David Bloom, MBA ’01, founder of

And that’s fine with Bloom. When you serve such a fundamental

need that people rely on without knowing it, you have a great


Bloom hatched the idea while leading restaurant-industry strategy

at American Express. “Every technology was designed to connect an

individual person with an individual restaurant,” says Bloom, who

wanted something to connect restaurants nationally while performing

transactions locally.

It didn’t exist, so Bloom decided to create it himself. He

mentioned the idea to software developer Felix Sheng, a friend of

spouse Naama Bloom, MBA ’03. Sheng’s reaction: “I can’t believe

something like that hasn’t already been made. Can I do it with you?”

First launched in 2010, received valuable support from

New York City incubator TechStars and behemoth Google Ventures

in 2011. The company has been growing steadily, with more than

20,000 clients to date, including Best Western, Wyndham, and Yelp.

Even so, Bloom will never forget an early boost from Johnson

alumnus and entrepreneur Justin Smithline, MBA ’04. “I was still

working out of my kitchen when he came to talk about my idea,” says

Bloom. “When you have nothing and someone writes you a personal

check, there is nothing more important than that that first check, and

that advice.”

The website-based company offers monthly subscriptions and

care packages for students, new moms, and girls experiencing their

first period — including educational materials to help parents and

daughters have “the” conversation. The site also features “Ask Dr.

Flo,” written by two doctors, and a blog.

The brand is all about poking fun at the mystique around

menstruation, to do away with the shame. As an important part of

the marketing approach, two videos take an insouciant look at the

age-old cycle: To commemorate HelloFlo’s launch, “Camp Gyno”

debuted in March 2013, and “First Moon Party” was released in

June 2014, with five million views in the first week. Vital product

and marketing support comes from personal-care giant Procter &


Bloom reached out to Johnson classmates for help, including

an alumna who had worked at Johnson & Johnson on Carefree

products, entrepreneurs in e-commerce, and an alumna with a

successful mom blog.

Bloom, who worked in customer acquisition, brand strategy,

and customer development at American Express for nine years, says

that it can be hard to adjust to the small scale required by a startup.

“When you’re starting from nothing, it can be incredibly hard on

your morale,” she says. “You have to celebrate every single win.”

— Irene Kim

Startup Snapshots



19w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

After 27 years of sales and marketing roles

of successively increasing responsibility

with IBM Corp., Dan Wellers, MBA ’81,

was laid off. But he stayed positive and saw

it as a moment of freedom: a chance to

think about what he really wanted to do.

“The problem was that I had lots of

possible directions, but no clue how to

choose,” says Wellers. He reached out to

Lynne Allen, associate director, Alumni Career Development, in Johnson’s

Career Management Center. With her help, Wellers considered his

options and explored different paths — including founding a nonprofit,

consulting to technology startups, and teaching. About a year later, he

joined multinational software giant SAP in a senior marketing role —

but this time in a newly created position that fulfilled his professional

as well as personal goals.

Whether faced with a layoff or just ready to try something new,

figuring out what you offer is a good place to start when pursuing a

new career direction. “You are marketing a product — yourself — to a

customer, and you have to determine your strengths and skills and how

you could add value to a future employer,” explains Allen.

Also important: What motivates you? What do you like to do? “These

things can help you keep an open mind,” says Allen. “Say you’ve been

working in the banking industry for years

but realize, ‘Helping clients is what I care

about, not just making money.’ You stop

thinking of yourself as a banker and see

other ways those skills, values, and interests

could be used.”

Think outside your usual role, industry,

even geographic region. Cesar Martin del

Campo, MBA ’11, looking to relocate

from the Dominican Republic, found he

had unnecessarily limited his options by

focusing on Miami. “There was a weak

labor market there for my skill set,” says

Martin del Campo, who has a strong

background in supply-chain management.

To find good job prospects, don’t

rely on job ads. Becky Metler, MBA

’10, who was out of work while she and

her husband were in Germany for a year,

says her first instinct was to apply for jobs

online and reach out to friends upon returning stateside. But Allen, with

whom she’d been in contact since going to Germany, put a stop to this

counterproductive strategy.

“Only 15 percent of applicants find a job solely by applying online,

and Lynne helped me navigate the construction and use of my network

so I didn’t tax it with a desperate plea for employment, which will not

take you far,” says Metler, now manager of diversity and inclusion at

Sony Pictures.

Networking infrastructure

Allen defines networking as building relationships. “You want to set up

one-on-one meetings with people in industries and companies that interest

you. You’re initially after advice, information, ideas, and referrals — not

just a job,” she says. “They need to know about your value and what you

are looking for before they can help you. Once they know more about

you, they can share leads. And you must stay in touch.”

When Wellers saw a notice on the Johnson job board for an opening

at SAP in New York City, he forwarded it to a former IBM colleague

at SAP. The position had just been filled. “But when an even better

position became available, he submitted my resume to HR with a

personal endorsem*nt based not only on my IBM career, but on what

I’d done and learned since. Three months later, I was hired.”

Martin del Campo, who interviewed for many promising positions

Be the architect of your own careerIf you’re considering a career change, or are unemployed for the

first time, now is a great time to think about what you want in your

career and what you offer prospective employers — and find your

perfect situation.

By Irene Kim

Dan Wellers, MBA ’81, senior marketer, saP

Lynne Allen, associate director, alumni Career development, in Johnson’s Career Management Center

Cesar Martin del Campo, MBA ’11, associate, Booz allen Hamilton

© theispot .com/leon Mussche




20 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

but received no offers, took Allen’s

advice to cast a wider net. He contacted

former employer Booz Allen Hamilton.

“I decided to reach out to someone for

whom I’d done a good job and whose

culture I knew,” he says. He was soon

hired as an associate in the firm’s energy


Show them you have what they want

Martin del Campo advises showing the interviewer that your skill set

matches his or her wish list. “You don’t know what they’re going to

ask you, but you know what they need to know about you,” says Allen,

who worked for decades as an executive recruiter and HR interviewer.

“If the job description lists duties and responsibilities A through H, go

in ready to talk about your experience doing those things. If they only

ask about A, C, and F, look for opportunities to bring up the pieces

they haven’t asked about.

“If you’re missing anything, address it by saying, ‘I’ve never worked

in exactly that capacity, but I have the transferable skills from my

background,’ and provide examples,” adds Allen. “Go in prepared to

show you understand their needs and have the background to get the

job done.”

Compensation savvy

Allen’s rule for negotiating offers: Never talk about compensation, if

possible, until they make it clear they want to hire you. “If they have

three candidates and you say, ‘I’m looking to work at home one day

a week,’ you might have cut yourself out,” she says. “Once they’ve

made it clear they want you, they’ll make their best effort to give you

want you want.”

Remember: Compensation isn’t just salary. “You’re looking at a

whole compensation package that includes salary, bonus, stock options,

insurance, 401(k) match, paid vacation, holidays, plus a car, cell phone,

flex time, or telecommuting,” says Allen.

Nirupama Prakash Kumar, MBA ’13, who conducted an

independent job search after graduating, had interviewed for a

quantitative data analyst role with NextEra/WindLogics, who liked

her so much that they offered to create another, more senior position.

But she wasn’t satisfied with the company’s lowball offer. With Allen’s

coaching, Prakash Kumar went in ready to discuss different components

of the compensation package. “As a result, I got the largest signing

bonus that we had discussed and one week’s extra vacation,” she says.

Whether you’re considering a change, looking for networking

strategies, or negotiating an offer, you can take charge of your career.

Allen, who has advised Johnson alumni for nearly a decade, is happy

to help at any point in your job search.

Tips for taking charge of your careerIf you’re ready for the next step in your career development,

here are a few pointers:

Create a “skills, values, and interests” inventory to

assess what you’re good at, what motivates you, and what

you like, advises Lynne Allen, associate director of alumni

career development at Johnson. She also suggests writing

down each job you’ve had and listing what you loved and

hated about each. “The ‘loved’ column now becomes your

‘gotta-have’ list,” she says.

Read through a variety of different job postings that

include some of your keywords when looking for possible

new roles for yourself. “Say you use the keyword ‘analysis’;

although you’ve always been in corporate finance, you may

find non-corporate finance jobs that are attractive to you

and that use many of your skills,” says Allen.

Highlight non-work experiences that helped you to

develop personal strengths to impress interviewers.

While in Germany with her husband, Becky Metler,

MBA ’10, was unable to work for a year. “In one of my

first interviews, I realized that not working had forced

me to develop myself outside of an association with an

institution, whether a school or respected company,” she

says. “I had had to establish myself on an individual level

in a foreign country and navigate that culture. Coupled

with my education and work and global experience, my

story made me highly marketable.”

Offer to meet in person, rather than be screened over

the phone, for interviews with HR personnel. “You need

that personal contact, to see if you click,” says Allen. At

the interview, be confident, with a warm smile and a

good handshake. “You’ve got to act like you’re happy

to be there, as if to say, ‘I’m a business person, you’re

a business person, and I’m looking forward to having a

conversation with you.”

Becky Metler, MBA ’10, manager of diversity and inclusion at sony Pictures

Nirupama Prakash Kumar, MBA ’13, senior operations engineer at Windlogics


21w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

age Hall, Johnson’s

home since 1998, was

originally built as Sage

College for Women to make

co-education at Cornell a reality

at a time when creating equal

opportunities for women was a

radical idea. From its inception

in 1946 as Cornell’s Graduate

School of Business and Public

Administration through today,

Johnson has endeavored to live up

to that proud legacy of embracing


A unique hybrid

In 1914, Cornell President Jacob

Schurman convened a faculty

“Committee on a Commercial

College”i that was chaired by

Economics Professor Allyn

Young, a graduate of Harvard

who had been influenced by

the new business school there.

That committee recommended

the un ive r s i t y p roceed to

organize a “two-year graduate

course leading to the master’s

degree” in both business and

public administration. This

“new program would provide

graduate instruction only, be

selective in admission, and …

have a professional emphasis like

A LegAcy of InnovAtIonPart I : the early years

that of medicine or law.”ii

World War I temporarily

dashed this and many other

ventures at Cornell; but after

the war, in 1918, Schurman

renewed his call for establishing

a business school at Cornell in

his presidential address to the

university’s trustees. While

adequate funding was not

available then, the dream did not

die. In 1936, Cornell welcomed

a new president, Edmund Ezra

Day, who was formerly the first

dean of business at the University

of Michigan. Day had begun his

academic career at Harvard and

watched the development of the

new graduate business school

there. At Cornell, he advocated for

a two-year professional program

based on the model planned by

Young’s committee in 1914.iii

In 1940, Day appointed a

committee of professors and

deans from various colleges to

make recommendations, and

they proposed establishing a

school of business and public

administration. The broader

pressures and concerns of World

War II put the idea on hold;

in fact, some Cornell faculty,

including Economics Professor

Paul O’Leary, who had served

on Day’s committee, left to serve

their country for the duration of

the war. In 1945, Day moved

ahead to establish Cornell’s

Graduate School of Business and

Public Administration (B&PA)

and asked O’Leary — who had

served as price executive for

textiles, leather, and apparel in

the Office of Price Administration

during the war — to be its first

dean. “Given the public-sector

experience of O’Leary and his

colleagues, the unique idea of

teaching business and public

administration together was

adopted as B&PA’s particular

intellectual niche,” wrote Johnson

historian James Schmotter,

formerly an associate dean at

Johnson.iv An innovative and

untested approach based on

the belief that “universals of

administration” in economics,

marketing, and accounting would

educate leaders for all sectors of

the economy, its inherent duality

would divide the school’s focus

through much of its early history

and eventually lead to a serious


D e m a n d f o r b u s i n e s s

education from returning veterans

was big in the post-war world, and

all but two of the new business

school’s inaugural class — the

class of 1948 — were veterans.

However, true to Ezra Cornell’s

“any person … any study” vision,

the new program’s brochure

welcomed women as well as

men: “The principal purpose of

the school is to give professional

training to men and women who

want to enter private business

or who desire employment with

public agencies, federal, state or

local.” One woman, Jane Stevens,

did enroll in the Class of 1948.

“ given the publ ic-sector experience of o'Leary and his col leagues, t h e u n i q u e i d e a o f t e a c h i n g b u s i n e s s a n d p u b l i c a d m i n i s t r a t i o n t o g e t h e r w a s a d o p t e d a s B & P A ' s p a r t i c u l a r i n t e l l e c t u a l n i c h e . ” — J A m e s s c h m o t t e r , A u t h o r , N o t J u s t A N o t h e r s c h o o l o f

BusiNess AdmiNistrAtioN

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of cornell University's founding, we take a look back at our school's history, from the graduate School of Business and Public Administration to the Samuel curtis Johnson graduate School of Management. by JAnice endresen

Look for A legAcy of iNNovAtioN PArt ii: 1984 to the PreseNt in the spring 2015 issue of corneLL enterprise.


22 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

As she put it herself years later,

in 2001: “Let’s face it: Back then

the business world was male

dominated. Men had the power.

The few women who made it

had to have guts. And luck.”

Nevertheless, she said her class-

mates were “perfect gentlemen”

— and that she was “no shrinking

violet … because I knew I could

match them intellectually.”v

Focused on advancing the

school’s thought leadership,

B&PA’s second dean, Edward

H. Litchfield (1954–56), initiated

the school’s PhD and executive

education programs as well as the

Sloan Program in Hospital and

Health Services Administration

and launched Administrative

Science Quarterly, which has long

since achieved recognition as the

preeminent scholarly journal

in the field of organizational


The school having outgrown

its first home in the basem*nt of

McGraw Hall, Dean C. Stewart

Sheppard (1956–61), raised $1.6

million to fund a new building,

Malott Hall. His successor,

Dean William D. Carmichael

(1963–69), a Rhodes scholar and

economist, focused his attention

on strengthening the B&PA

faculty. He hired Thomas R.

Dyckman, David Ahlers, Jerome

Hass, and L. Joseph Thomas —

eminent researchers and scholars

who, along with Sheppard’s

hires Harold Bierman Jr. and

Seymour Smidt, formed the heart

of the school’s teaching faculty

and thought leaders for several


schism + trAnsformAtion

W h i l e t h e s c h o o l g r e w ,

prospered, and gained standing

as a leading business school

throughout the 1970s under

Dean H. Jus t in Dav idson

(1969–79), the schism among

business, public-administration,

and heal th-adminis trat ion

faculty, clearly evident since the

school’s founding, became more

pronounced. Increasingly, the

functional areas of management

in business education were

developing into full-fledged

academic disciplines, making

the integration of business

administrat ion and publ ic

administration that O’Leary,

Litchfield, and Sheppard had

championed difficult to

It was Dean David A. Thomas

(1979–85) who finally confronted

this head on in 1982, when he

established an external, strategic

task force made up of prominent

business and educational leaders,

faculty, and alumni — including

Samuel C. Johnson ’50, Nelson

Schaenen Jr. ’50, MBA ’51,

Sanford Weill ’55. That task

force recommended the school

focus exclusively on business,

eliminating public and health


Dropping the “PA” from

“B&PA” generated a “fire storm

of protest” from the faculty,

students, and alumni of those

two programs.vii Nevertheless,

after passionate debate, the

faculty voted on March 1, 1983,

to implement the task force’s

recommendation. Thomas bore

the brunt of the ensuing criticism

and anger, but he “firmly believed

that for an institution of its

modest size to continue spreading

its energies and resources across

three broad academic fields would

prevent it from reaching the level

of excellence that would otherwise

be possible.”viii

There were also many who

applauded the school’s change in

focus and curricular reform, and

among those was Sam Johnson,

chair of S.C. Johnson and a

close friend of Thomas. Johnson

subsequently made the $20

million gift that transformed the

school and renamed it in honor of

his great-grandfather (the founder

of S. C. Johnson) as the Samuel

Curtis Johnson Graduate School

of Management.

Johnson is proud of its alumni

who earned master’s of public

administration and master’s of

health administration before those

programs migrated to other parts

of Cornell. The Sloan Program in

Health Administration, housed

in Cornell’s College of Human

Ecology, offers the MHA and

also a dual degree MHA/MBA

together with Johnson. This

November, Johnson’s Black

Graduate Business Association

and Office for Diversity and

Inclusion recognized Percy Allen

II, MPA ’75, as recipient of the

Wilbur Parker Distinguished

Alumni Award. The Cornell

Institute for Public Affairs offers

the MHA, and several Johnson

professors , including Glen

Dowell, Robert Frank, Robert

Jarrow, and Vithala Rao, serve as

field faculty members in CIPA’s program.

“ D e a n D a v i d A . t h o m a s f i r m l y b e l i e v e d t h a t f o r a n i n s t i t u t i o n o f i t s m o d e s t s i z e t o c o n t i n u e s p r e a d i n g i t s e n e r g i e s a n d r e s o u r c e s a c r o s s t h r e e b r o a d a c a d e m i c f i e l d s w o u l d p r e v e n t i t f r o m r e a c h i n g t h e l e v e l o f e x c e l l e n c e t h a t w o u l d o t h e r w i s e b e p o s s i b l e . ”

— JAmes schmotter

i Not Just Another School of Business Administrat ion: A Histor y of Graduate Management Educat ion at Cornel l Univers i ty , James W. schmotter, 1992, p. 9.

i i schmotter, p . 9.i i i schmotter, p . 10.iv “seven Who shaped us,” by James W.

schmotter, Cornel l Enterpr ise , spr ing/summer 1989, p. 24.

v “We Were Pioneers,” as to ld to Jessica Por tner by Jane stevens, Mba ’48, Cornel l Enterpr ise , spr ing 2001, pp. 26–29.

vi “seven Who shaped us,” by James W. schmotter, Cornel l Enterpr ise , spr ing/summer 1989, pp. 26–27.

vi i ib id, p . i i ib id, p . 29.

Many applauded the school's change in focus and curricular reform, among them Samuel c. Johnson '50, chair of S.c. Johnson.

Malott Hall housed Cornell’s business school, 1964–1998.

the Class of 1948, the inaugural graduating class, included one woman, Jane stevens.




y o

f In









23w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

n the fal l , looking

out at the broad vista

of Cayuga Lake and the hills

above its Western shore from

the third-floor windows of Sage

Hall, you can still see the view

that M. Carey Thomas, class of

1877, described when she was

one of the first residents there

in 1875: “The autumn foliage

is glorious. The trees scattered

But the practical barriers

proved too onerous for Cornell’s

first woman student, Jennie

Spencer of Cortland, N.Y., who

struggled up the steep, muddy

or icy hills from her downtown

boarding house for one winter,

then withdrew. Struck by

Spencer’s experience, wealthy

businessman and lumber mill

owner Henry Sage stepped

forward and donated $250,000

to build the residence hall that

became Sage College for Women.

When the cornerstone for Sage

College was laid on May 16,

1873, Sage proclaimed: “The

doors of opportunity must be

opened wide. All women should

have the liberty to learn what

they can, and to do what they

have the power to do.”

Designed to be an elegant,

Victorian Gothic-style structure,

Sage College was also a modern,

t echnolog ica l l y advanced

building, described in glowing

detail in an early brochure:

“Heated by steam, lighted by

gas, provided with water and

all the modern conveniences,

with baths on every floor, with a

gymnasium, a sheltered corridor

for walking in bad weather, and

infirmary for the sick.”

A l t h o u g h b u i l t t o

accommodate 120, when it

opened in 1875 only 29 women

students lived at Sage College.

Thomas’ experience gives us a

window into the social barriers

that may have prevented more

women from enrolling in those

early days. While her teacher at

Howland Academy, a Quaker

boarding school, advocated

for Thomas to attend Cornell

— “the highest place open to

ladies”ii — Thomas’s own father

strongly opposed her attending

a coed university. It took a year

of campaigning — “Many and

dreadful are the talks we have

had upon this subject,” she wrote

in her journal — but finally, her

father did relent and give his


If her contemporaries had to

struggle to achieve the support

of their families to attend a

coed university as Thomas did,

perhaps it is no wonder that Sage

College for Women was not fully

occupied until 1895 — a full 20

years later. By then the idea of

coeducation had become more

accepted, and in 1896, a new

addition to Sage Hall was built

to accommodate another 50


Thomas went on to earn her

“ the doors of opportunity must be opened wide. All women should have the liberty to learn what they can, and to do what they have the power to do.”

— henry sAge, benefActor of sAge hALL

PhD in Zurich and, in 1884, she

became a professor of English

and dean of the faculty at the

newly established Bryn Mawr

College, an institution she helped

to shape and found. Ten years

later, she became Bryn Mawr’s

second president, serving in that

capacity through 1922.

In an interesting twist,

Thomas bridges yet another tie

among Cornell, Sage Hall, and

Johnson. From 1897 to 1901, she

served as the first woman alumni

trustee at Cornell University, and

in that capacity, she supported

C o r n e l l P r e s i d e n t J a c o b

Schurman in his 1899 request

to New York Governor Roswell

P. Flower to establish a College

of Commerce at Cornell. She

also spoke in support of this to

her fellow Cornell University

trustees in 1900, and again in

1906, through her colleague,

Jeremiah Jenks.

M. Carey thomas (right foreground) with fellow residents of sage College for Women, april 1876

i First -Person Cornel l , Carol Kammen, p. 31.ii The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas, Helen lefkowitz Horowitz , p . 49.ii i The Power and Passion of M. Carey Thomas, Helen lefkowitz Horowitz , p . 52.

M. Carey tHoMas PHoto CreDit: bryn MaWr College arCHives

sage College for Women opened its doors in 1875.

oPenIng DoorS to oPPortUnIty

over the hills opposite and along

the shores of the lake look like so

many little bonfires.”i

When Thomas l ived in

Sage Col lege for Women,

the idea of co-education was

radical and controversial, and

Cornell was the first university

on the East coast to offer it.

Both Cornell’s founder, Ezra

Cornell, and the university’s

first president, Andrew Dickson

White, were firm believers in

equal opportunities for women,

and determined to offer women

the same education as men even

before women’s rights leaders

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth

Cady Stanton urged them to

do so.















25w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

he says. “If you want to create passion for your brand and be in the

lives of your customers, you have to create content that people care


Although few companies have adopted an approach as far-reaching

as Red Bull’s, more and more businesses are adopting the strategy

of content marketing. Marriott International, the world’s largest

hotel company, recently announced it would establish a content

studio that will produce television shows, Web series, concerts, and

movies. This year, IKEA took its marketing efforts well beyond its

bulky catalogue by publishing a global “life at home” report. The

interactive online document analyzes the results of a survey conducted

by the company’s research arm into the daily home lives of 8,000

respondents in Berlin, London, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris,

Shanghai, and Stockholm.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, which supports

and promotes the industry, 90 percent of business-to-business

marketers surveyed in 2013 reported using some form of content


“Content marketing today has become one of the important ways

for businesses to communicate about the company to customers,”

says Vithala R. Rao, professor of marketing and management at


Content marketing can take many forms — from white papers

to online video, blogs, podcasts, webinars, and social media posts.

Some businesses have gone so far as to establish their own newsrooms

and research departments.

“Smart brands share their stories, and they create content

people love,” says Farland Chang ’84, MS ’85, CEO and executive

producer of WorldBizWatch, a video production and media

strategy firm. “Companies

are leveraging their expertise

to produce content that gives

audiences ‘news we can use.’

Useful content creates loyalty.

It cultivates communities.”

Letting them come to youThere is no widely accepted

d e f i n i t i o n o f c o n t e n t

marketing, and most attempts

to define it start by saying

what it is not — traditional


“Traditional marketing

and advertising is telling

the world you’re a rock star.

more than ever, companies are adding content marketing to their brand strategy.By RoBeRt PReeR

Engaging Customers with Captivating Content

he basic approach to marketing a beverage used to be

straightforward: Craft an appealing logo and a catchy

jingle, sign up a celebrity endorser, produce a series of

television commercials and magazine ads, and perhaps put

up billboards and insert coupons in Sunday newspapers.

The maker of Red Bull, the world’s largest selling energy drink,

adopted a different formula. To promote the beverage, which was

launched in Austria in 1987 and introduced to the United States

a decade later, the Red Bull company established its own media

organization. Red Bull Media House produces a print magazine,

video games, feature films, records, mobile apps, and programming

for television, radio, and online media. Red Bull also owns several auto

racing teams, as well as professional soccer franchises in the United

States, Europe, and Africa.

Joseph Guzik, MBA ’11, is senior vice president of promotion and

integrated marketing at Red Bull Records, which since its launch in

2007 has become an important force in indie music. Based in West

Hollywood, with studios in major cities around the world, Red Bull

Records signs and promotes up-and-coming artists, sells CDs and

mp3s, produces music videos, and operates a YouTube channel.

“What we do is create content,” Guzik says. “We make videos,

which can be seen as content marketing for the music so that people

stream it and radio stations play it.”

According to Guzik, Red Bull is a lifestyle brand. Music has long

been a way to engage youth culture. “We are really the only brand that

has a major record company that delivers — quote-unquote — hits,”


smart brands share their stories,and they create content peopLe Love.”— Farland Chang ’84,

MS ’85, CEO and executive producer of WorldBizWatch

illustr at ion: Daniel Hert zberg


26 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

Content marketing is showing the world

that you are one,” reads one of a series

of definitions offered by the Content

Marketing Institute.

A more expansive definition used by

the Institute calls content marketing “the

technique of creating and distributing

relevant and valuable content to attract,

acquire and engage a clearly defined target audience in order to drive

profitable customer action.”

“Different people use the term in different ways,” says Jonah Berger,

visiting professor of marketing at Cornell Tech. “When I think about

content marketing, I think about rather than trying to sell someone

directly or push a product, you share useful content that makes the

recipients’ lives better. In doing so, you also show that you have expertise

or knowledge in the domain.”

Johnson Marketing Professor Stijn M. J. van Osselaer suggests using

the concept of inbound versus outbound communication to understand

how content marketing and traditional marketing differ. From the

perspective of the company doing the selling, content marketing is

inbound, while traditional marketing is outbound.

“Instead of going out and interrupting people through cold calling

or advertising, what you are doing with content marketing is letting

customers come to you by providing them with information that is

attractive to them,” van Osselaer says.

The inbound nature of content marketing is a big reason why it

works, according to Melinda Byerley, MBA ’02, CEO of Vendorsi, and

an expert in marketing technology.

“The purpose of content marketing is to draw you in and make you

feel so engaged and enamored of the company that you continue to the

salesperson,” Byerley says. “It’s inbound because the customer picks up

the phone to call the salesperson. That then becomes

a much easier conversation.”

a time-honored strategyAlthough the term content marketing first

came into usage in the 1990s, the

practice has existed for

m o r e t h a n a


In 1895, John Deere launched a farming magazine called The Furrow,

which is still published today. In 1900, the Michelin tire company began

publishing its popular guides, which remain a trusted information source

for travelers around the globe.

Other early examples of content marketing are Jell-O’s recipe

book, first published in 1904; Sears’ World’s Largest Store radio show,

launched in 1922; and Paramount Records, the pioneering label that

recorded African-American blues and jazz artists of the 1920s and ’30s,

started by the Wisconsin Chair Company to boost sales of its wooden

phonograph cabinets.

For many years, one of the most widely used forms of content

marketing was the white paper, typically a learned treatise on matters

of interest to an audience that included potential customers. Some

businesses issued white papers to generate sales leads; others used them

to demonstrate thought leadership in their field.

“In the early days of content marketing, it was all about writing

great blocks of enriching content in white papers,” Byerley says. “Then

the Internet changed everything.”

With the Internet came email newsletters, search engine optimization,

blogs, podcasts, e-books, online video, and webinars. The Internet even

gave the white paper a boost.

“Content became much easier to find,” says van Osselaer. “In pre-

Internet times, it would be difficult to find a white paper, and even if

I knew there was a white paper somewhere in the library, it would be

hard to get. Now, you can use Internet search to find a white paper and

then just download it.”

Before the Internet, content production was largely the province

of major publishers — mainly newspapers, magazines, and radio and

television stations, according to Berger. “The Web democratized the

content creation process. For a brand, it’s much easier to create content,”

he says.

advertising evoLvesAt the same time that new technologies were boosting content marketing,

they were inflicting damage on traditional approaches.

“You can’t really depend on advertising

anymore,” says Karolina Kocalevski, MBA

’08, a marketing executive in the U.S.

if you want to create passion for your brand and be in the Lives of your customers, you have to create content that peopLe care about.”— Joseph Guzik, MBA ’11, senior vice president of promotion

and integrated marketing at Red Bull Records

E N G a G I N G C U S T O M E R S W I T H

Captivating Content


27w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

office of the professional services firm

PricewaterhouseCoopers. “People

circumvent it. They record their

TV shows. They’ve learned how to

avoid ads on the Internet. You have

to engage them in different ways,

and social media is now a big part

of that agenda for many industries.”

Guzik of Red Bull Records says

that while traditional marketing

strategies still have their place, a

generational shift is underway. “My

son just turned 8, and he has never

watched a commercial in his life.

He also doesn’t understand that

some show comes on at 8 o’clock.

Everything is on the DVR, and he

can fast forward through the ads.”

With the Internet also came

search engines, and with search

eng ines came sea rch eng ine

optimization or the crafting of

website content to get higher

rankings in search results. Byerley

sees a close connection between the

ith newspapers and magazines folding and broadcast media cutting back, jobs in the news business have become scarce. Does the rise of content marketing offer hope of gainful employment for an army of out-of-work and underemployed journalists?

No broad movement of reporters, editors, and producers to the emerging field has been verified yet, but some journalists have discovered that their skill sets do transfer quite nicely.

“I’ve found the skills of a journalist to be hugely valuable in everything I do — interviewing, tracking down information, sorting through data, boiling it down, making a story make sense,” says Jeff Gangemi, MBA ’09, a former Businessweek staff writer who is now director of marketing and communications for TELUS International, a global customer service outsourcing provider.

Although he continues to pursue his passion for journalism on a freelance basis, Gangemi made the shift to content marketing shortly after getting his MBA. He discovered the field while doing marketing and communications for a New Hampshire-based local foods startup and a Vermont-based sustainability consulting firm.

“By creating quality content for these companies, I was driving lots of traffic to our websites that was generating sales leads,” Gangemi says. “That was really where the light went on, and I realized this was really valuable from a business perspective.”

Former colleagues at Businessweek have made similar crossovers, according to Gangemi. One is at IBM now, while another started his own media consulting business.

“People who are making a good living in journalism, more power to them; but I’m definitely seeing more and more former journalists going into brand communications and marketing roles,” he says.

Some high-profile journalists have jumped to brands recently. Michelle Kessler, a former editor and reporter at USA Today, is director of content for strategy at Qualcomm. Dan Lyons, a former senior editor at Forbes and a writer at Newsweek, went to work for HubSpot, an Internet marketing firm. Wired Senior Editor Michael Copeland left his job last year to lead content strategy for Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm started by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen and businessman Ben Horowitz.

In 2001, Farland Chang ’84, MS ’85, who had been a network correspondent for NBC News and business news anchor at CNN, left broadcast news to start his own video production and strategy company, WorldBizWatch.

“My goal back then was to create a platform that connects journalists with brands and agencies,” Chang says. “We wanted to provide news publishers with content for their audiences, and we wanted to help smart brands share and amplify their stories.”

With bases in Orange County and Hong Kong, WorldBizWatch produces content for mainstream media such as National Geographic, Bloomberg, and PBS. It also produces content for leading brands, such as IBM, Starbucks, Flextronics, Microsoft, and Accenture. “We have our feet in both worlds,” Chang says.

WorldBizWatch employs many people who, like Chang, came out of traditional broadcast journalism. “I love working with producers who know how to take a lot of content, boil it down into a compelling story and make the message stick” he says. “Whether we’re producing for mainstream broadcasters or social media publishers or directly for brand clients, we have a common goal: getting the audience to say “Wow!” and share useful content.

“One common thread between journalists and smart brands is storytelling,” notes Chang. “That’s why some people say ‘brand journalism’ is the new PR. Regardless of how much the news business changes, and whether you are a brand, old media, or new media, one thing is constant: The key to getting attention is telling great stories. It’s our oldest form of communication. It’s how we remember. The craft of storytelling will always be in demand.”

From reporter to content producer:news vets find that teLLing good stories has vaLue for companies


the skiLLs of a journaList are hugeLy vaLuabLe in everything i do — interviewing, tracking down information, sorting through data, boiLing it down, making a story make sense.” — Jeff Gangemi, MBA ’09,

director of marketing and communications for TELUS International


28 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

rise of content marketing and search engine optimization.

“If you had specific content that people liked to read, that content

would arrive on the page of the search engine,” Byerley says. “You have

more people coming to your site, and you didn’t have to buy an ad. You

might have to pay a copywriter or a visual designer, but you weren’t

paying for the advertising per se.”

Search engine optimization has the added advantage of generating

inbound communication, since people come to sites of their own volition,

Byerley notes.

The next stage in the evolution of content marketing in the Internet

era was the spread of broadband, which made feasible the use of video.

With video, marketers could create appealing, attention-grabbing content,

which viewers would share on social media and on mobile devices.

Kocalevski, who oversees marketing for her company’s mergers and

acquisitions group, says she produces content using video, audio, and


“These are different formats with the same idea behind them:

storytelling,” she says. “They replace the old idea of having a brochure

with features and benefits about your product or service. In professional

services, we have almost done away with the brochure. Our partners

and sales people lead their discussions with a point of view on a pressing

business issue or leave behind a white paper after a discussion, not a

brochure. It’s how they effectively ‘demo’ their expertise. And behind

the scenes, the marketing team takes that point of view and we generate

carefully crafted content for white papers, podcasts, webcasts, and video

clips. They all demonstrate our thought leadership on the topic, and we

also distribute that content more broadly to our target market through

various channels.”

“We’re at another tipping point due to the rise of mobile devices

and social networking, which give content a new distribution channel,”

Byerley says. “Because mobile devices now outsell PCs, and more than

40 percent of social media is consumed on a mobile device, content is

a major marketing channel for most brands, especially in the business-

to-business space.”

crafting a content strategyAn organization attempting a content marketing

strategy of course has to have content,

and for many, this is a


“Probably the biggest thing people struggle with is just creating

enough content,” says Steve Peck, MBA ’09, co-founder of Docalytics,

a firm that produces tools that help marketers determine how customers

interact with downloadable content. “I talk to a half dozen marketers

every day. I hear it again and again. It’s tough to continually create

compelling content that’s going to keep people engaged with your


Rao says that firms must be willing to commit substantial resources

to content marketing if they want it to succeed. “To develop a website

and to maintain it well is a very expensive proposition,” he says.

Whether a company’s content is video, audio, or text, it has to be

useful to prospective customers, and it also should demonstrate that the

company is a leader in its field, according to Chang. “People don’t want

the hard sell any more,” he says. “Companies have to use their expertise

to be a trusted source of content.”

Sometimes companies make the mistake of launching content

marketing without first developing a strategy, notes Berger. “If all we

do is post a lot of content on the Web and nobody shares it or reads

it, it’s not going to be very effective,” he says. “Understanding how to

design content is very important.”

Berger has spent the last ten years studying how social influences

promote the spread of ideas, behaviors, and products. He explains the

process in his best-selling book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On.

Berger identifies six principles that explain why people share things

and why contagions happen. He captures these principles with the

acronym STEPPS:

Social currency: People are more likely to share things that make them look good.

Triggers: Things that are top of mind are more likely to be at the tip of our tongue.

Emotion: The more we care, the more we share.

Public: The easier it is for people to see what others are doing, the more likely they are to imitate them.

Practical value: People share things that help others.

Stories: Information often travels under the guise of idle chatter.

Companies that incorporate these principles into their content marketing

are in a position to succeed, according to Berger. “When something

goes viral, it’s not random, and it’s not luck,” Berger says. “There is a

science behind it.”

suited to academiaContent marketing is a natural fit for universities. Research is part

of their core mission and most have well-established news

offices and publishing operations.

For eCornell, Cornell

University’s online education

it’s tough to continuaLLy create compeLLing content that’s going to keep peopLe engaged with your brand.”— Steve Peck, MBA ’09, co-founder of Docalytics

E N G a G I N G C U S T O M E R S W I T H

Captivating Content


29w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

division, content marketing is

a way to attract new clients and

engage current students and

alumni. The program offers

online certificate programs and

courses taught by faculty from

Johnson as well as the School

of Hotel Administration,

School of Industrial and Labor

Relations, and several other


“At least 75 percent of

my content marketing efforts

are focused on webinars,” says

Chris Wofford, digital media

business development manager for eCornell. “They work on a few

levels. We get a lot of prospects and leads from them, and the material

we produce dovetails nicely with our courses.”

Webinars on eCornell are typically faculty-led hour-long discussions,

with time set aside for questions and answers. Recent webinar topics

include “Marketing Strategies: Driving Demand and Connecting with

Today’s Buyer,” “HR Technology in the Era of Drones, Robots, and

Infinite Data,” and “The Influence of Reputation Analytics on Hotel

Revenue and Financial Performance.”

The marketing department at eCornell uses marketing automation

software to track the effectiveness of its initiatives. When visitors come to

the website, click on an email, or visit eCornell’s blog, their engagement

is tracked.

“Content marketing operates like a hub. All of the elements and

assets need to be talking to each other, ultimately to best serve the

customer. In short, we don’t try to sell anything to anybody until they

are educated about the product and ready to buy,” Wofford says.

Producing webinars and other content for eCornell is satisfying work,

Wofford says. “I like content marketing because it’s honest, educational,

and really valuable to people. It prepares and empowers them to make

informed decisions.”

buLL marketTo be effective, content marketing needs be tailored to the particular

business using it. The approach to marketing an indie rock band will be

different from the approach to marketing a team of financial professionals.

“In professional services, you really can’t demonstrate the product,”

Kocalevski says. “What you have to do is build the brand through really

strong content.”

One of the main ways that Kocalevski promotes the professionals

in PricewaterhouseCooper’s U.S. mergers and acquisitions group is by

producing one-hour webcasts. “We take a business topic, and we talk

about it for an hour,” she says. “It’s not just random content — we

choose a topic that’s important to our audience. We identify a business

trend, challenge, or opportunity. Next, we discuss the implications,

including pitfalls and possible actions that could be taken. We end by

talking about winning practices and the potential impact of taking a

recommended course of action.”

The webcasts are produced professionally and partially scripted,

Kocalevski says.

“There’s a lot of effort that goes into how we deliver the message. It’s

a way of storytelling — capturing the audience’s attention and making

sure we don’t lose them along the way.”

Red Bull Records uses a multipronged approach to marketing

its artists. Social media play a big role — all of the label’s bands

have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and the other major

platforms. Another key component is video, played on

the company’s YouTube channel, which Guzik

likens to a music video jukebox.

One of Red Bull

Records’ up-and-coming

artists is Twin Atlantic, a Glasgow-

based band whose “Heart and Soul” video

became a YouTube sensation.

“There is a tremendous amount of earned media —

media you don’t have to pay for — you can get with music,”

Guzik says. “That video had more than a million views on YouTube.

It became a really big hit in the U.K., and it’s starting to get on radio

in the U.S. It is generating millions of earned media impressions every


Guzik says music is well suited to content marketing. “It would

be hard to do the same thing with a company that makes couches,” he

says. A song that becomes a hit in Britain can quickly become popular

in the United States, Australia, and Japan, as fans send music files and

links around the globe, according to Guzik.

“The beauty of music is that it is the one piece of content that that

truly can go viral and can travel the world.”

we’re at another tipping point due to the rise of mobiLe devices and sociaL networking, which give content a new distribution channeL.”— Melinda Byerley, MBA ’02,

CEO of Vendorsi

Robert Preer writes regularly about trends in business

and finance for Cornell enterprise.


Corporate Clients value the insights they obtain from Johnson immersion learning merrill Douglas

A Fresh setof EyEs

To gain muscle, you need to get moving. As Johnson students work to build management strength, they get a

significant portion of their exercise through Immersion Learning.

Johnson’s Immersion Learning program lets a student in the

Two-year MBA program devote the entire second semester to a single

business discipline. Each immersion mixes rigorous study with hands-on



31w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

The Sustainable Global Enterprise (SGE) and Strategic Marketing

immersions provide an additional workout component. In both of these

programs, each student takes on a consulting engagement, teaming with

classmates to explore a real business issue on behalf of a client.

Why consulting? In the SGE immersion, it’s important to understand

the full breadth and depth of issues that shape the ever-evolving field

of sustainability, says Mark Milstein, clinical professor of management,

director of Johnson’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise, and

faculty leader for the SGE immersion.

“The only way to do that is to get students working on projects

with organizations that are struggling with those problems,” Milstein

says. The students confront business challenges that lack clear answers,

deciding which tools to apply and how to apply them.

A consulting engagement also enables students to practice for their

upcoming summer internships, increasing the odds that an intern will

do a good job and receive an offer of full-time employment, says Manoj

Thomas, S.C. Johnson professor of marketing and faculty leader for the

Strategic Marketing immersion. Students gain skills they can’t learn

in the classroom, giving them a competitive edge against interns from

other top business schools.

For example, says Thomas, how do you translate an employer’s

stated business objective into an effective project? “How do you scope

it out into a series of activities that can be accomplished in two months,

develop milestones, and then knock on doors in the organization to

recruit other people’s support?” An immersion project helps hone those


“It forced me to think strategically in a way that no other MBA

experience had forced me to do,” says Pratima Arapakota, MBA ’13,

a market intelligence analyst with Autodesk in San Francisco, who

did an SGE immersion project with the Korean beauty products firm


“My project helped me understand how to work with a varied group

of stakeholders who might have competing priorities,” says Teyren

Brown, MBA ’14, an associate brand manager at Johnson & Johnson,

who was a member of the SGE immersion consulting team for Novo

Nordisk in spring 2013. Her engagement also sharpened her leadership

and collaboration skills and taught her to make presentations that lead

to action, she says.

Students aren’t the only winners: clients gain real benefits from

immersion projects, too. For

some sponsors, an engagement

with a Johnson team is a way to

gain valuable business insights for

one-tenth what it would cost to

hire professional consultants, says

Thomas. For others, it’s a chance

to forge bonds with Johnson students before recruiting starts.

Some companies that work with immersion teams act directly on the

students’ recommendations. For many sponsors, however, the impact

of an immersion project is more subtle.

A student team doesn’t have the time or resources to produce

broad recommendations, such as whether to launch a new product,

Thomas says. Instead, a team conducts research to shed fresh light on a

business issue. “Rather than having us recommend strategic positions,

our engagement offers new and critical insights that help managers take

strategic positions.”

The students dig deep, and their objective analyses sometimes lead

them to redefine issues or spot new opportunities.

“We’re not there just to nod ‘Yes’ and do what the sponsor says,”

Milstein observes, “but to think critically and analytically, bringing all

of our program’s vast experience to bear on the issue.”

blooming flowerOne case in point is the SGE immersion team that worked with beauty

products company AmorePacific in spring 2012. The Korea-based firm,

headed by Suh Kyung-Bae, MBA ’87, CEO of the multibillion-dollar

global company, had asked for help in establishing its Mamonde line

of makeup and skin-care products in China.

Sustainability is a central tenet for AmorePacific. Knowing that

Chinese consumers value social responsibility, company officials wanted

to make sure that Chinese women linked the Mamonde brand in their

minds with sustainability.

AmorePacific turned to an SGE team because the students offered

expertise in both the business and social realms — a combination hard

to find among internal resources or traditional consultants, says Jeong

Hwa Oh, senior manager of AmorePacific’s sustainability management

team in Seoul. “It was also important to find people who could develop

solutions that were both creative and logical, and who could take a global

perspective,” she says.

Three members of the four-student team, plus a teaching assistant,

traveled to China to explore the thinking of local AmorePacific

customers. Working with MBA students from Tsinghua University,

they visited the cities of Wuhan and Xi’an to talk with retail employees

who sell AmorePacific products,

and with their customers. The

To unDerSTanD The FuLL BreaDTh anD DepThoF iSSueS ThaT Shape The ever-evoLving FieLD of sustainability, stuDents work on proJeCts with organizations that are struggling with those problems.”— professor mark milstein, director, Center for sustainable global enterprise

and faculty leader for the sustainable global enterprise immersion

of EyEs©

/Keith n



32 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

Tsinghua students also ran some

focus groups on behalf of their

colleagues from Cornell.

Back in Ithaca, reviewing

the results of their primary

research, the students uncovered

something surprising. “We had

to shift our understanding of

sustainability,” says Arapakota.

More than envi ronmenta l

stewardship or the use of natural

ingredients, the big concern for

the Chinese customers was how

to empower women.

So the team proposed an initiative to address widespread

unemployment among women in China by training women to become

beauty experts, who, of course, would use Mamonde products in their


“We saw a market opportunity for day spas, where the beauticians

would be independent entrepreneurs,” says Ufei Chan, MBA ’13, a

member of the AmorePacific team who went on to do a fellowship with

Citigroup’s Corporate Sustainability unit and now serves on the board

of the nonprofit organization Alegria: Hope Through Art.

AmorePacific named the students’ idea Blooming Flower, linking it

to the notion of personal growth. “It’s a brilliant concept that meets the

needs of both sustainability and brand image,” says Oh. The company

embraced the spirit of Blooming Flower as it made plans for new

marketing initiatives in China.

Oh credits the immersion team for highlighting the close

connection between social concerns and profitability. “The

recommendation showed that sustainability issues are not far

from business issues and can actually solve some of them.”

what makes CarD users tiCk Since Nate Rothstein, MBA ’11, did a marketing immersion

project in 2010, he knows very well what a Johnson team can

achieve. That’s why Rothstein, senior manager, partner and

product management at American Express in New York, decided

to tap the class of 2015 for help with a project of his own.

He asked four Johnson marketing immersion students to

find out why some consumers who buy reloadable, prepaid cards

become heavy users, and others don’t.

American Express’s prepaid card, Serve, has been well-received

in the market, Rothstein says. “The next step is to drive more

use of this product.”

Focusing not just on Serve, but on all cards of this type, the

team set out to learn what distinguishes heavy from occasional users.

After some secondary research, they started talking to consumers. “We

held a focus group with users of prepaid cards to understand what makes

them tick when it comes to what they choose for payment methods

and why,” says team member Alexander Allister, MBA ’15. They also

interviewed some heavy users one-on-one.

Based on that work, the team developed a survey and engaged a

market research provider to administer it to users — mainly heavy

ones — of prepaid cards. Responses showed that the heaviest users fall

into two groups with distinct motivations.

“One group was what we called Cash Lovers,” says Zachary Roberts,

MBA ’15, another member of the team. Such people rarely borrow

money, they tend not to make budgets, and when they’re not using

cards for purchases, they pay in cash.

“We called the other group Card-carrying Budgeters,” Roberts

says. Those consumers like using plastic. “They might have a credit

card, a debit card, and a prepaid card.” They use the prepaid cards for

budgeting, perhaps loading enough money to buy a week’s groceries

and then adding more when the fridge is bare.

American Express had already conducted similar research focused

on its Serve product. The immersion team’s work was in line with some

of those findings, Rothstein said.

The students also brought a fresh point of view to the research.

As outsiders to the payment industry, they were better able to put

themselves into customers’ minds when devising questions for their

survey, Rothstein says. “It’s really good to get a different perspective,

especially when you’re still in the early days of a new market.”

sustainable global enterprise immersion students Pratima Arapakota, MBA ’13, and Emily Busch, MBA/MILR ’13, interview an amorePacific retail sales representative at a mall in Xi’an with the help of a translator.

my proJeCt helpeD me unDerstanD how To worK wiTh a varieD group oF STaKehoLDerS who might have Competing priorities.” — teyren brown, mba ’14, an associate

brand manager at Johnson & Johnson

who participated on an sge immersion

consulting team for novo nordisk

a F R E S H S E T

of Eyes


33w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

extreme makeoverA leader in the market for equipment that controls hydroelectric turbines,

American Governor has grown by about 25 percent a year for the past

ten years, says president Scott Ginesin ’90 (Engineering).

But as the company blossomed from a startup into a major player, its

public image failed to keep pace. Although an outdated website wasn’t

hurting sales, American Governor had to make a better first impression

to attract top talent onto its team, Ginesin says. “We needed people to

look at our company and say, ‘I want to work there.’”

In 2012, Ginesin invited an SGE immersion team to give the

company a brand makeover. “The project was open to anything to do

with our image,” he says.

After studying American Governor’s industry and market, the students

spent a day brainstorming with Ginesin on the Cornell campus. Then

they visited its headquarters in Ivyland, Pa., to interview employees.

“We were trying to understand what they perceived to be the brand

of the company and what they wanted to improve,” says team member

Uday Tumuluri, MBA ’13, now a senior consultant at Deloitte Consulting

in Boston.

“We also got a lot of insight from Mark Milstein about how to

structure the problem and get to its root,” Tumuluri says. “We needed

to keep asking ourselves, ‘What is the problem we’re trying to solve? Is

it just branding, or something larger?’”

Based on its findings, the team developed new designs for the

company’s logo, business cards, on-premise signage, and website. Ginesin

says he has adopted most of those suggestions and will eventually install

the new signage.

The team also suggested some changes to make American Governor a

more appealing workplace. Some of those ideas focused on performance

management. “We also spoke a lot about rewards and recognition

programs they could bring into the organization,” Tumuluri says.

Many of those recommendations confirmed ideas that American

Governor had identified on its own and that it has since put into action,

Ginesin says.

Ginesin first learned about the immersion program from Milstein at

a green energy event. Since then, he and his classmate and co-founder,

Daniel Berrien ’90 (Engineering), have engaged five Johnson immersion

teams, hired one team member, and taken one as a summer intern.

Ginesin periodically rereads reports from past teams. “I get new insights

into things as time passes,” he says. “The recommendations from some

of the teams were ahead of their time and could only be implemented

much later down the line.”

new moDel for Diabetes managementIn 2012, the global health-care company Novo Nordisk started to

develop a model for delivering diabetes care in rural India. Focusing on

a village called Sampatchak in the state of Bihar, Novo Nordisk gave

training in diabetes management to doctors, pharmacists, and local

female health-care workers known as Accredited Social

Health Activists (ASHAs).

The ultimate goal was to sell insulin to India’s rural

poor, a vast and underserved “bottom of the pyramid”

(BoP) market. “These people do not have any access to

health care,” says Dr. Bharathi Bhatt, senior medical

advisor, market access and public affairs at Novo Nordisk

in Bangalore. They are largely illiterate and know very little

about diabetes, she adds.

Novo Nordisk engaged an SGE immersion team to

evaluate whether the company could turn the pilot into

a sustainable, scalable, and profitable business venture.

In the spring of 2013, the four-student team, along

with business analyst Anirvan Dutt Chaudhuri from Novo

Nordisk, began by interviewing Novo Nordisk employees via

phone and email. Then two team members, Michael Ditter

and Mallory Martino, both MBA ’14, went to Bihar for

an intensive week of interviews with doctors, pharmacists,

ASHAs, and patients.

iT ForCeD me To ThinK STraTegiCaLLy in a way ThaT no oTher mBa experienCe haD.” — pratima arapakota, mba ’13, a market intelligence analyst with autodesk in san francisco who participated in an sge immersion project for amorepacific

student participants in the american governor sge immersion project with american governor President Scott Ginesin ’90. Pictured (left to right): Uday Tumuluri, MBA ’13, Jennifer Le, MBA ’13, Scott Ginesin ’90, Christopher Smith, MPA ’12, and Willy Wang, MBA ’13.


34 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

a F R E S H S E T

of Eyes The students also used business

and financial tools, such as break-

even analysis and cost estimation,

to analyze the prospects for this

social and health initiative, says

Ditter, now a consultant with

Accenture in New York City.

The team determined that

Novo Nordisk should indeed scale

up, says Hira Hafeez-Ur-Rehman, CIPA ’13, now a reporting and

information specialist with USAID in Pakistan. (Hafeez-Ur-Rehman

was one of eight students from other Cornell schools who took part in

the SGE immersion program in 2013.)

“We proposed an alternative business model with five-year financial

projections and recommendations to scale the BoP model in other

villages in Bihar,” she says. The plan included details such as how many

patients Novo Nordisk would need to serve and how many ASHAs and

pharmacists it should involve.

The students also suggested looking for synergies with other Novo

Nordisk initiatives already in progress in India. For example, the ASHAs

should join the teams of health-care workers who administer blood

glucose tests and provide education about diabetes in company-sponsored

mobile health centers, says Ditter.

“The Novo Nordisk brand is really strong in that area,” he explains.

Patients who see rural care providers cooperating with a trusted health-

care company are more apt to accept care from ASHAs at home.

Novo Nordisk has since moved to expand the pilot project. “We

signed a memorandum of understanding with the state government of

Bihar for using 300 ASHA workers in the next phase and taking it to

ten districts,” says Bhatt.

The recommendation to integrate the activities of different Novo

Nordisk entities in India was extremely valuable, says Bhatt. So was the

experience in BoP that the team brought to the project. “Base of the

Pyramid was a new concept to us,” she says. “Since Cornell University

had expertise in that domain, association with them was certainly of


a Consulting engagement enables stuDents to praCtiCe for their upComing summer internships, inCreaSing The oDDS that an intern will Do a gooD Job anD reCeive an oFFer oF FuLL-Time empLoymenT.” — manoj thomas, s.C. Johnson professor of marketing and faculty leader for the

strategic marketing immersion

novo nordisk sge immersion team members Michael Ditter and Mallory Martino, both MBA ’14, with members of the Bihar Voluntary Health association in Patna, india

Mallory Martino, MBA ’14, and stalin Chakrabarty, novo nordisk local project manager, interview accredited social Health activitsts, or asHas, in Bihar, india.

iT’S reaLLy gooD To geT a DiFFerenT perSpeCTive, espeCially when you’re still in the early Days of a new market.” — nate rothstein, mba ’11, senior manager at american express,

on why he tapped class of 2015 students for a marketing

immersion project


35w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

travel innovationTerry Dale was so impressed with the work of two marketing immersion

teams in spring 2014, he invited some of their members to make a

presentation to his board of directors in August.

Dale is president and CEO of the United States Tour Operators

Association (USTOA), a New York-based membership organization

that represents packaged tour operators. USTOA recently established

an Innovation Lab to help members better understand their customers.

Dale considered seeking help with the Innovation Lab from Harvard

Business School faculty and professional consultants. In the end, though,

he decided to engage two Johnson teams. “It seemed like an absolutely

great fit,” he says. “To tap these bright, intellectual minds on a host of

different fronts felt right, fresh, and forward-leaning.”

He asked one team to create a consumer confidence index, a tool

to gauge the near-future demand for packaged tours.

The students created a survey to gather data and a methodology for

calculating the index. “We also went beyond the project a bit, developing

sample dashboards that USTOA can use to slice and dice the data,”

says team member Jeremy Budge, MBA ’15. A company that offers

luxury tours, for example, could use the tool to study the motivations

of high-income travelers.

USTOA now plans to conduct the index survey twice a year, Dale


The second team set out to study the travel preferences of millennials.

But while interviewing people across a broad spectrum of ages, members

discovered something completely unexpected: travel behavior has little

to do with age.

“We found that there were certain characteristics across different age

groups that made people more apt to use travel agencies or tour operators,”

says Derek Mayer, MBA ’15. For example, there’s Experimental Evan:

He’ll go anywhere, improvising all the way. Vigilant Vanessa, on the

other hand, shuns exotic destinations; she values safety and peace of

mind above everything else.

A survey of consumers aged 24 to 80 confirmed that travelers fall into

four distinct personality types. “We saw a similar percentage of each type

in each age bucket,” Mayer says. Tour operators should start segmenting

their markets by travel behavior, not by age, the team suggested.

Class of 2015 student participants in the united states tour operators association (ustoa) immersion project with ustoa President and Ceo terry dale, center. Pictured (left to right): Steve Ryu, Bernice Chan, Dan Murphy, Derek Mayer, Terry Dale, Grace Schiodtz, Jeremy Budge, Janice Claudio Morales, and Sam Griffiths.

to tap these bright, intelleCtual minDs on a host of Different fronts felt righT, FreSh, anD ForwarD-Leaning.” — terry Dale, president and Ceo of the united states tour

operators association

“It was reassuring that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel for future

customers,” Dale says. But USTOA members — who today market

mainly to baby boomers — should start paying attention to young

travelers now.

The engagement with both teams far exceeded Dale’s expectations,

he says, and he looks forward to sponsoring more immersion projects.

“I’ve already signed up for next year.”

Along with USTOA, several other companies that

participated in spring 2015 — including Johnson &

Johnson and General Electric — have signed up to sponsor

Strategic Marketing immersion projects again in 2015,

says Thomas.

Milstein says he looks forward to engaging with

more Johnson alumni about immersion projects. “As

our alumni network grows, the strength of the SGE

immersion program will continue to benefit from the

involvement of our alumni who help identify sponsored

project opportunities and actively support current

Johnson students.”

Merrill Douglas writes about a wide range of business and government-related topics for trade magazines, university publications, nonprofits, and corporate clients from her home on a country road in upstate New York.



37w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

hen Hernan Mendez took over as head of Colombia’s Juan Valdez

coffee business in 2010, the retailer was in sad straits. Parent company

Procafecol was on the verge of bankruptcy and its misguided expansion

plans for its chain of coffee shops had been deep-sixed. The executive

corps was dispirited and the brand’s mustachioed namesake, a national icon,

was in serious jeopardy of losing his aura.

Mendez has since led a remarkable turnaround at the company and started it down

a road of growth and profits, a success story that speaks volumes about his education,

experience, and talent. Mendez’s career trajectory provides a model for many young

executives, particularly those whose ambitions point to international business.

The numbers tell the story. In less than four years at the helm, Mendez has nearly

doubled Juan Valdez revenue and turned losses into healthy profits. Insiders say a once

restive corps of executives is now united behind common objectives. The thousands of

coffee growers who are the company’s owners are seeing millions of dollars in annual


Juan Valdez, which has been around as a Colombian coffee trademark since 1958 but

as a retail coffee chain only since 2002, will end this year with about 312 coffee shops

— 207 in Colombia and 105 in 13 foreign countries (including 11 in the United States).

That’s almost three times the 112 total outlets open when Mendez signed on. A key to the

company’s newfound health has been its embrace of franchising, a business model pushed

by Mendez that the company previously had resisted.

“I feel that I’m making a real difference in the lives of thousands of mostly small,

humble, coffee-growing families. That’s an important part of what motivates me to come

here every day,” said Mendez, who was interviewed in the Procafecol office in north


Procafecol headquarters is in the same office tower as the Colombian Coffee Growers

Federation, which represents the nation’s 564,000 coffee farmers and which owns 84

percent of Procafecol’s Juan Valdez brand. Another 12 percent of the company’s equity

is owned by the World Bank’s IFC investment arm and 4 percent by a smaller group of

18,000 coffee growers.

Fresh, new energy jump-starts a national iconHernan Mendez, MBA ’83, President of Procafecol, a parent company to Juan ValdezBy Chris Kraul

PHoto by: CHris Kraul


38 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

On his arrival at Juan Valdez, Mendez was a seasoned executive

with experience gleaned at several multinationals, including Dow

Chemical, Exxon, and Alpina, another iconic Colombian brand

of dairy products whose international expansion he guided. The

once-regional Alpina now sells in South and Central America, the

Caribbean, and the United States in addition to Colombia.

Mendez brought some time-tested business practices to the

table. One was his insistence on “participatory” decision making.

He constantly reaches out to Juan Valdez employees, from cashiers

to vice presidents, to solicit suggestions as well as get feedback on his

ideas for improving the company.

“He loves hearing what those who work alongside him have

to say,” said Eduardo Lehmann, Procafecol’s vice president of

manufacturing and supply chain, who has been with the Juan

Valdez chain since the coffee federation opened it in 2002. “It

shows his respect for people, but also that his decisions have been

thoroughly evaluated from all sides.”

But the turnaround took some wrenching adjustments. He put

in place strict cost controls and benchmarks and reset corporate

culture from a “silo” communication mode to a more transparent,

consensus-seeking style. He had to raise morale that had been

hammered by the closure prior to his arrival of many Juan Valdez

outlets, including flagship stores in New York and Madrid.

“As a firm proponent of ‘managing by walking around,’ I started

integrating people and getting everyone to focus on teamwork

and a common purpose by defining goals and letting people know

what they could do to help,” said Mendez, who added that his

management philosophy is founded on respect, preparation, and


Pretty words, to be sure, but people who know Mendez say he

lives by them. “There has been a total change in organizational

climate. Before he got here, each department was looking out after

its own objectives, and now we have formed a real team,” said

Adriana Ochoa, Procafecol’s VP of commercial operations.

Mauricio Rodriguez, Mendez’s former boss at Dow Chemical’s

Colombia unit and later ambassador to Great Britain (2009

to 2013), says Mendez’s communication skills, international

experience, and old-world values, added to his track record at Alpina

and Juan Valdez, make him “one of Colombia’s best executives.”

“Hernan’s way of treating people is friendly, respectful, and

organized, in his personal as well as his professional life,” said

Rodriguez. “He is also extremely logical and systematic, and so

he was a perfect complement to someone like me who is creative,

visionary, and chaotic.”

Mendez, who got his undergraduate degree in industrial

engineering at Bogotá’s Javeriana Pontifical University, said a

key factor in his career success was getting his MBA at Johnson,

which he chose over other graduate schools, including Penn’s

Wharton School, because of its reputation and also for Ithaca’s rural


“I personally feel close to nature and wanted to be in a small

town instead of a big city. I feel I got a better balance of life and

study,” said Mendez, whose hobbies are trekking and tennis.

But his appreciation of most things American began long before

he enrolled at Johnson. His father, also named Hernan, was a high-

level executive at Burroughs Corp. who moved his family around

the hemisphere, including to Detroit for three years. There, Mendez

attended elementary school, joined the Boy Scouts, and played Little

League baseball.

“I liked and identified with the American way of doing

things,” Mendez said. “The U.S. was a clear choice for my higher

studies. That’s why I didn’t apply to schools in any other country.

As a family member, I had lived the life of a U.S. multinational

employee. I had seen my father grow and develop, and I knew that

was the path to follow.”

It was no accident that his first job after getting his BS degree

from Javeriana was at Exxon Colombia, where he worked in the

economics and planning department. Influenced by his boss there,



i feel that i’m making a real difference in the lives of thousands of mostly

small, humble, coffee-growing families. that’s an important part of what

motivates me to come here every day. Hernan Mendez , MBa ’83


39w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

Mendez decided that he liked finance and that it should be his focus

at Cornell.

At the same time, Mendez had deep roots in Colombia and

knew at the outset it was where he wanted to live and work. So,

after earning his MBA at Cornell, he returned home and landed

a job with Dow Chemical as a credit analyst in the company’s

pharmaceuticals and agricultural products division.

For a variety of reasons, working for Dow in Colombia was

an auspicious start for Mendez’s career. Responsible for the

creditworthiness of customers that included big city hospitals as

well as coffee and rice farmers in the countryside, he got to know

Colombia inside and out. Later, after being promoted to treasurer

of Dow, which made him the company’s principle cash manager, he

forged close relations with the country’s largest banks.

Next it was on to Mexico City, where Dow made him CFO for

its Mexican operations. There, Mendez learned the ins and outs of

currency trading, perhaps the job’s biggest responsibility. That was

because Dow’s Mexico unit was largely a commercial and financial

business, since its manufacturing for the Mexican market was

virtually all done in the United States.

Learning about currency trading helped Mendez enormously

in his subsequent positions because it is essential in managing a

multinational business, Mendez said.

“Perhaps more important, my Dow experience taught me the

value of teamwork,” Mendez added. “Dow Colombia General

Manager Rafael Pavia liked to hire smart people and get everybody’s

opinion because it led to decisions that we all felt part of. We felt we

had had a chance to express our views and that our ideas had been

taken into account.”

In 1992, Mendez was hired as vice president of corporate

development at Alpina, a respected, well-known dairy concern based

near Bogotá that had ambitions of growing beyond Colombia’s

borders. Over the next decade, he helped manage the consumer

goods company’s entry into new product lines as well as expansion

into Venezuela and Ecuador.

Ivan Lopez, Alpina’s VP for business development who worked

with Mendez from 1998 to 2001, said Mendez’s leadership style

could be summed up by charisma, communication, and “emotional


“By that I mean comporting himself in such a way that made

the business function well not by organizational charts but with his

listening and participatory leadership style that pulled people along

because they wanted him to succeed,” Lopez said.

Mendez needed his communication skills to persuade the

family-controlled business to invest the millions of dollars required

to modernize and expand internationally. Convincing the board

to invest in a multimillion dollar Oracle IT system was especially

difficult, not only for the high cost but because adopting it would

require “changing the working habits of the entire company.”

“Alpina wanted to make a big corporate leap. But balancing

corporate needs with those of a family business is very challenging.

Especially when you are talking about investment in an IT system

from which shareholders wouldn’t see a return for two or three

years,” Mendez said. Eventually, the Oracle system paid big

dividends and Mendez was promoted to Alpina CEO.

In 2002, Mendez left Alpina to head one of its suppliers,

Phoenix Packaging, a company with operations and stakeholders in

Colombia, Venezuela, and Mexico that made plastic containers and

also had big expansion plans. His international experience plus his

familiarity with petrochemicals as a former Dow executive made

him the ideal candidate.

Over the next seven years, Mendez put his multicultural

background to work in balancing the interests of owners from three

different countries. “You have to gain the confidence of your board,

your customers, and suppliers and one good way of doing that in

a country like Mexico, for example, is sit down, have a meal, a few

tacos and shots of tequila, together. I became keen about adapting to

cultural differences, and now I believe it’s a strength of mine.”

But the fates of Mendez and Juan Valdez seemed destined

to intersect, so well-suited are CEO and company to each other.

Mendez’s predecessor as CEO, Catalina Crane, had done a lot of

the “dirty work” in restructuring the debt and closing money-losing

stores prior to leaving for a job in Colombian President Juan Manuel

Santos’ administration. But the company cried out for someone

with Mendez’s experience in managing international expansion and

applying best business practices.

As for Mendez, taking over at Juan Valdez was appealing

because it was “a brand close to Colombians’ hearts and because it

was a diamond in the rough.” Nearly four years later, the company’s

“recovery from the abyss” is nearly complete. More franchise-led

expansion is planned.

“There is a big appetite for the Juan Valdez brand, and we have

hundreds of requests for franchises coming in from all over the

world. So why not do it?” Mendez said.

“This is now a growing and profitable business that is benefitting

Colombian coffee farmers. We now know that they are our real

bosses — and that we are contributing to their welfare. That moves

me and motivates all of us to work hard and keep this company

moving forward.”

A former foreign correspondent with the los angeles times, Chris Kraul is a freelance writer based in Bogotá, Colombia.


40 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

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Submit Class Notes online at

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Email us at [emailprotected]

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C L A S S O F 1 9 6 8Bill Boerum was elected to a full

three-year term on the board of

directors of the Association of

California Healthcare Districts

(ACHD) and was also elected

board secretary. Having served

one year on the board’s gover-

nance committee, he now joins

the executive committee. ACHD

is based in Sacramento and

represents health-care districts

across the state of California.

C L A S S O F 1 9 6 9Ivan Blum ’67, MEng ’68, took

early retirement after a 25-year

C L a S SC L a S S

C L A S S O F 1 9 6 4James Byrnes ’63 retired in May

as chairman of Tompkins Finan-

cial in Ithaca and teaches a class

in bank management in Cornell’s

Charles H. Dyson School of Ap-

plied Economics and Manage-

ment. He writes that his son,

Andrew, was inducted into the

Canadian Olympic Hall of

Fame. James and his wife, Terry,

live in Cayuga Heights.

Robert Strahota ’62 worked for

many years and in more than

40 countries as a securities and

corporate governance consultant

with the SEC. Now retired from

that position, he continues his

emerging markets work and has

served as a consultant for Iraq,

Kuwait, Serbia, Ukraine, and

Vietnam. Teaching is also on

his agenda; his topic of choice

is investor protection issues af-

fecting investments in emerging


C L A S S O F 1 9 6 0Robert Camp ’59 was honored

in June with the American Soci-

ety for Quality’s Distinguished

Service Medal. The American

Society for Quality is the leading

authority on quality in all fields,

organizations, and industries

worldwide and honors the excep-

tionally distinguished lifetime

contributions of any person rec-

ognized as a long-term enabler,

catalyst, or prime mover in the

quality movement. Camp is also

is author of Benchmarking: The

Search for Industry Best Practices

that Lead to Superior Performance

(Productivity Press, 2006).

global management consulting

career as a partner at Deloitte

& Touche, AT Kearney, and

Grant Thornton, followed by

ten years as a services and re-

search executive at IBM. He is

now an adjunct professor at the

University of Connecticut, teach-

ing organizational leadership

courses, and at Albertus Magnus

College, teaching in the MBA

program. He spends time “with

my four granddaughters and on

my golf handicap, which refuses

to improve.”

Thomas Russo, JD ’69, ex-

ecutive vice president of legal,

compliance, regulatory affairs

and government affairs, and

general counsel of American

International Group (AIG), was

interviewed May 5 for a Law 360

Top In-House Counsel Q&A,

“5 Insights From AIG General

Counsel Tom Russo.” Law 360

[] features

expert analysis from Fortune

100 general counsels and leading


C L A S S O F 1 9 7 3James R. Marlow was appoint-

ed president of Core Services,

where he is also a member of the

company’s senior management

team. James is an executive and

management consultant with




41w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

as a teenager growing up in a suburb of Cleveland, richard saccany recalls reading in the newspaper about an underground salt mine operating near the center of the city. With all the drilling and blasting, the operation fascinated him, and when it came time to choose a college, he selected a school where he could major in mining engineering. “i had a fairly basic motive,” he says. “i like digging in the dirt.” that dream became a reality when saccany, with his Mba in hand, landed his first job as a production analyst in the uranium industry in 1973 and progressed through the organization to become a superintendent of a uranium mine in new Mexico in 1978. over the next 35 years, saccany would manage mining opera-tions, engineering, and construction projects for companies in the united states, Canada, Panama, turkey, south africa, Peru, and Mongolia. “My career has been one giant adventure,” says saccany, who has overseen the mining of gold in alaska, copper and zinc in turkey, and potash in Canada. His travels across the globe and his frequent visits to museums led saccany to pursue a master’s degree in world history, which he received from the university of Denver in 1991. For the past decade, saccany has been stationed in Canada, most recently as the project manager for construction of a $900 million mining facility 100 miles southeast of saskatoon, saskatchewan. the province has 40 percent of the world’s proven and probable reserves of potash, which is converted into fertilizer after being cut from underground mines in a form similar to rock salt. the project saccany is supervising — the Jansen Mine — is expected to take six years to construct. When complete, the mine will produce 33 million tons of potash ore annually, says Saccany, a senior consultant for Stantec, the engineering, consulting, and design firm that is developing the hoist plants’ structural steel towers and loading systems, which will transport the mining crews 3,000 feet below ground to extract the ore. Despite his long-term assignment in Canada, saccany continues to make Denver his home, because, he says, the climate there allows him to ski and golf in the same weekend. although his monthly commute is more than 1,000 miles, saccany wouldn’t think of trading in his job. “i’ve never been bored,” he says. “i can honestly say i’ve never gotten out of bed in the morning and dreaded going to work.”

— Sherrie Negrea

Richard Saccany, MBa ’73

30+ years of corporate experi-

ence, including CEO, COO, and

CFO positions with manufactur-

ing, high tech, and investment

companies, notes the ITBriefing.

net article about his promotion.

Henry Ritter ’71 writes that he

was appointed to the board of

directors and chairman of the au-

dit committee for Custom Pool,

“an OTC pink sheet company”

in Florida. Henry, who lives in

Scottsdale, Ariz., also writes that

his turnaround consulting firm

has opened an office in Miami.

C L A S S O F 1 9 7 6James Bierman was appointed

president and CEO of Owens &

Minor, a Fortune 500 health-

care logistics company.

C L A S S O F 1 9 7 7Michael Durham, MBA ’77,

was appointed a member of

Travelport’s board of direc-

tors. Michael, who was formerly

president and CEO of Sabre

Group Holdings, also serves as a

member of the board of directors

of Hertz Global Holdings.

C L A S S O F 1 9 7 8Mark Zweibel, MPS ’78, is

fiscal director (CFO) for the

public mental health network for

Northwest Connecticut, with

clinical locations in Danbury,

Waterbury, and Torrington.

C L A S S O F 1 9 7 9Diane (Dee) Berger, MPA ’79,

received her doctorate in educa-

tion, with a concentration in

educational administration, from

LIU Post in December 2013. She

writes: “Not sure why I took on

that challenge other than it was

on my bucket list! The process

took four years, while working

full time, and was as academi-

cally rigorous as my MPA from

Cornell … both degrees were

worth the sweat.” Dee is princi-

Central AsiaS P a N N I N G T H E G L O B E I N


Richard Saccany, MBA ’73, at the Jansen Mine project site in Saskatchewan




42 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

pal of the Children’s Learning

Center, a private, special educa-

tion school for children with

disabilities, ages 1 to 21, at the

United Cerebral Palsy Associa-

tion of Nassau County, where

she has worked for 32 years.

Nancy Schlichting, CEO of

Henry Ford Health System, was

a recipient of the National Cen-

ter for Healthcare Leadership’s

2014 Gail L. Warden Leader-

ship Excellence Award. She was

honored for her “innovative ap-

proaches to bringing high-value

and accessible healthcare to the

NCHL’s communities, perma-

nently transforming and improv-

ing the field.”

C L A S S O F 1 9 8 0David Culbertson is VP, cus-

tomer success, at OpenExchange

in Boston. He sent sad news:

“(Malcolm) Craig Kelley, passed

away this summer. Those who

knew Craig remember his sense

of humor, intellect, passion for

everything from skiing and bik-

ing to political discussions over

a cold one, love for his family,

and his huge collection of friends

around the country. We will all

miss him deeply.”

C L A S S O F 1 9 8 3Ron Scharman ’77 was named

COO of Chatterbox Wine Mar-

keting in Napa, Calif. He is an

instructor in wine e-commerce

and consumer direct market-

ing at Sonoma State University’s

Wine Business Institute.

C L A S S O F 1 9 8 4Cathy Dove was named the 10th

president of Paul Smith’s Col-

lege in the Adirondacks. Cathy

was formerly a vice president

of Cornell Tech, a position she

was named to in 2012. She was

responsible for all administrative,

operational, outreach, capital

planning, and construction func-

tions for the campus currently

under construction on Roosevelt

Island and at its temporary loca-

tion in Manhattan. “In Cathy,

Paul Smith’s College has found

an exceptional leader,” Cor-

nell President David J. Skorton

said in an article in the Cornell

Chronicle (July 28, 2014). “Her

talents are a perfect fit for Paul

Smith’s, whose mission combines

experiential and traditional

learning with a vibrant entre-

preneurial spirit. I wish her and

her new campus community

continued success.” Cathy had

served as an administrator at

Cornell since 1989, including

several years as associate dean for

MBA Programs and Admissions

at Johnson.

C L A S S O F 1 9 8 6Gordon Haff, a cloud evange-

list at Red Hat, was a panelist

at the DevOps Summit Power

Panel June 9 in New York City.

He discussed how DevOps is

changing the way IT works, how

businesses interact with custom-

ers, and how organizations are

buying, building, and delivering


C L A S S O F 1 9 8 7Tim Matson ’81 was named

chief investment officer at Re-

insurance Group of America,

where he manages all aspects of

RGA’s $35 billion global assets

portfolio. Tim was most recently

chief investment officer of a joint

venture between Cathay Life In-

surance Co. and Conning Asset

Management in Hong Kong.

C L A S S O F 1 9 8 9Brian Jung ’83 was appointed

VP of finance and CFO for

Nanomix, a nanotechnology


Robert S. White was appointed

a member of Novadaq’s board

of directors. White is a medical

technology industry veteran with

over 25 years of high-level experi-

ence, Novadaq’s announcement

notes, and was formerly president

and CEO of TYRX, a privately

held company commercializing

innovative, implantable com-

bination drug/device products

designed to reduce surgical site

infections, until it was acquired

by Medtronic earlier this year.

C L A S S O F 1 9 9 0John S. Roscoe ’85, portfolio

manager with the Roosevelt

Investment Group in New York

City, visited campus in April. He

enjoyed speaking to and interact-

ing with Johnson students in

the Parker Center about how the

investment industry has changed

since the 2008 financial crisis.

C L A S S O F 1 9 9 3Joseph Cherian, MS ’92, PhD

’93, is professor of finance and

director of the Center for As-

set Management, Research &

Investments at the National

University of Singapore. He

describes a “hybrid career” in

asset management, with “a few

professional twists and turns —

first as an engineer … then as an

academic, followed by a stint on

Wall Street, and … now back as

a clinical academic.”

C L A S S O F 1 9 9 5Andrew Neuman was inter-

viewed in June, in Japanese, by

BizGate Nikkei, Japan’s equiva-

lent to the Wall Street Journal.

The interview was about the

differences in Japanese and U.S.

project management styles, espe-

cially with regard to communica-

tion. Andrew is VP of business

development and project man-

agement with MSOL, a startup

providing project management

office services to clients across all

industries. MSOL’s parent com-

pany is Management Solutions.

C L A S S O F 1 9 9 6Paul Antinori writes that he

recently departed Cisco Systems

after a 14-year run. “Looking

forward to the next step in my

career in technology.”

Mike Renna was promoted to

president and COO of South

Jersey Industries, an energy

company headquartered just

outside Hammonton, N.J. He

is also president of South Jersey

Energy Solutions and South

Jersey Energy, the region’s largest

energy marketer, and serves on





C L a S S


43w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

the board of directors of the New

Jersey Chamber of Commerce.

Tony Riley is associate director

of IT at the Dow Chemical Co.

He gives back to Johnson via the

Ruth and Morris Abner Scholar-

ship, the very fund that helped

him pursue his MBA. He says, “I

had a wonderful two years that

have helped me in life, as well as

professionally and financially.”

Johnson also gave Tony early ex-

posure to international business,

which has helped him in his role

with Dow.

C L A S S O F 1 9 9 8Rick Cleary founded a compa-

ny, CYS Investments, a few years

after graduating from Johnson,

and took it public. In July “we

celebrated our fifth anniversary

on the NYSE (and over $1 bil-

lion in dividends paid to share-

holders) by ringing the opening

bell. It was a pretty good day.”

Brian Sapp has joined Hercules

Technology Growth Capital as

a managing director responsible

for the origination and execu-

tion of loans to venture capital-

backed companies in the energy

technology sector.

C L A S S O F 2 0 0 0Jonathan Alford was named

CFO of WISErg Corp. in

Redmond, Wash., a bio-clean

technology company that con-

verts food scraps into organic

fertilizer for sale to farmers and


C L A S S O F 2 0 0 1Anne Cramer writes: “I’m

thrilled to announce the launch

a year and a half ago, larry Kraft was senior vice president of sales and marketing at Digi international, a technology company in Minneapolis. but after circling the globe on an environmental quest with his wife and two children, Kraft decided to leave the corporate world and now leads an organization that empowers youth to fight climate change. the new direction in his career evolved from the questions Kraft began asking when he and his wife, lauri, became parents. “Having kids, you start to think, ‘What are my kids going to do when they grow up?’ and you start planning their education,” he says. “but when you do, you have to take a step back and say, ‘What kind of world will they live in?’” over the next few years, his growing concern about the climate crisis led Kraft to reach a tipping point in his career and decide to dedicate his energy to fighting global warming. First, though, Kraft and his wife decided to do something they had always wanted to do: travel around the world with their children — who were then 6 and 8 — and show them firsthand the environmental challenges threatening the global ecosystem. During their yearlong journey, they also shared weekly blogs (see with the Wilderness Classroom, an environmental education nonprofit followed by an estimated 85,000 young people. Their first stop was Costa Rica, where they saw how funds raised by kids around the world had created the country’s largest rainforest preserve. in vietnam, they met educators from an organization trying to reduce demand for endangered animals that are illegally poached. and in norway, they saw glaciers that are retreating because of rising global temperatures. after completing their trek across 17 countries in august, Kraft became executive director of iMatter: Kids vs. global Warming, an organiza-tion based outside santa barbara, Calif. Working remotely from his home in st. louis Park, Minn., Kraft is now planning activities for kids and strategies for them to demand political action on climate change. “i think everyone has a love of kids or is connected with kids,” he says, “and i think that’s the way to connect with people on climate change, regardless of their politics.”

— Sherrie Negrea

Larry Kraft ’87, MBa ’88

Central AsiaR E F O C U S I N G O N

climate change

Larry Kraft with his family at the Madikwe Game Reserve on the South Africa/Botswana border




44 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

of my new company Suitecx, a

multidimensional suite of tools

designed to enable marketing

and sales professionals to visual-

ize impact, cost, and ROI based

on customer, employee, and

institutional viewpoints. Suitecx

[] allows users

to make fact-based decisions

and process improvements that

are grounded in the customer

experience. Customer-centric

diagnostics, touch inventories,

experience maps, data-driven

personae and customer storytell-

ing, and precision marketing are

all components of this ground-

breaking software.”

Yair Holtzman, CPA, became

partner at Anchin Block & An-

chin, LLP, based in New York

City, Oct. 1, 2014. A member

of the firm’s tax credits and

incentives group and practice

leader of the R&D tax credits

group, Yair has more than 20

years of experience with national

public accounting and manage-

ment consulting firms focusing

on federal tax consulting issues

and assisting senior executives

with strategy development and

implementation. Anchin Block

& Anchin is a full-service tax,

accounting, and advisory services

firm that specializes in serving

the tri-state area.

Ben Lewis was appointed senior

VP of strategy and business

development at ProQuest, a

cloud-based technology company

offering solutions to librarians,

students, and researchers.

Ponsi trivisvavet has spent the past six years thinking about how to help farmers feed the world. in india and africa, how can growers increase their corn yields, which are far below worldwide averages? and in southeast asia, how can farmers boost their production of rice to meet the population’s demand? After working for McKinsey & Company as a consultant for five years, in 2008 trivisvavet plunged into the world of agribusiness when she joined syngenta, a global swiss agribusiness that markets seeds and agrochemicals. since her undergraduate degree is in electrical engineering, trivisvavet concedes there was much to learn when she was hired as syngenta’s head of strategy for seeds. “i won’t pretend that it was easy at all,” she says, “but i have to admit that agriculture and its technologies are fascinating.” Her focus on corn began in 2011, when she became syngenta’s global head of corn, responsible for developing solutions to improve crop yields in develop-ing countries and help farmers in other parts of the world. in india, for example, corn production averages 40 bushels per acre, less than a quarter of the average 170-bushels-per-acre yield in the united states. to boost the low yields, trivisvavet says, growers in developing countries must change their agronomic practices and adopt more sustain-able products, including genetically modified and hybrid corn seeds, which are commonly used in the United States and are among Syngenta’s main products. When she became regional director of Syngenta North America in July, working out of the Minnetonka, Minn., office, Trivisvavet expanded her focus to improving the productivity of several crops, including corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and vegetables. syngenta, a company that is involved in biotechnology and genomic research, is the sole developer of a genetically modified corn grown specifically for ethanol, which increases throughput while reducing the use of water and energy in the production process, trivisvavet says. While the approval of genetically modified corn in the United States and other countries has drawn protests, Trivisvavet says such technol-ogy is needed to ensure sustainable growth of crops. “there’s no way we can feed the world’s hungry without technology, without investment, without having the private sector work with the public sector to lift up the lives of the farmers and the population,” she says. “Feeding the world is what keeps me going.”

— Sherrie Negrea

Ponsi Trivisvavet, MBa ’99

Central Asiaa G M O a P P R O a C H T O

sustainable crops

Ponsi Trivisvavet hosts an employee breakfast at Syngenta’s Greensboro, N.C., office

C L a S S


45w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

C L A S S O F 2 0 0 5Michael Albrecht was appointed

managing director at Ridgewood

Private Equity Partners (RPEP),

an investment firm focused on

energy-centric real asset private

equity strategies.

Greg Hernandez was selected

by Diversity MBA Magazine as

a “Top 100 Emerging Leader

Under 50” for 2014. These lead-

ers, chosen across all industries,

represent Fortune 500 compa-

nies, entrepreneurs, health-care

organizations, educational insti-

tutions, and nonprofit agencies

and are honored annually for

excellence in the workplace as

well as the community. Greg is

a commercial business director

for AstraZeneca pharmaceuti-

cals and lives in Keller, Texas,

with his wife, Sharon, and two


C L A S S O F 2 0 0 6Kentaro Muto was appointed

managing director of Business

Development Asia, LLC, in the

firm’s Tokyo office.

Olga Narvskaia, head of online

revenue operations at Drop-

box, was featured in an Aug. 11

TechRepublic article in which

she spoke about her life in Rus-

sia, working for a company

that is changing the world, and

the power of focus. “It’s very

important to do whatever you’re

doing with as much excellence

as you can muster,” she said. “I

always try to take whatever it is

I’m doing to the next level and

really apply myself fully to that

problem or issue at hand.”

Henry Patz Jr. published his

first novel, The Naïve Guys: A

Memoir of Friendship, Love and

Tech in the Early 1990s, a his-

torical coming-of-age story set

in New York City in the 1990s.

Henry also posts to a blog on the

book’s website, www.thenaiveg-, including recent entries

about what he’s learned on his

“initial journey into self-publish-

ing” — parts I and II of “The

Alchemy of Self-Publishing.”

C L A S S O F 2 0 0 7Saurabh Nayyar was appointed

CFO for Macadamia Natural


Halis Santana works for PULSE

Network, a part of Discover

Financial Services. He lives in

Houston, Texas.

C L A S S O F 2 0 0 8William DeRosa was appointed

to the board of directors of Da-

kota Plains Holdings.

Tushar Virmani completed his

first Ironman race at Louisville

in August and wrote a series of

humorous, informative, and fun

blog posts about it for his train-

ing center’s website at

“Just to be clear, at this point in

my athletic career (if you want

to call that), I had never done

a triathlon, didn’t own a road

bike, and I could do the doggie

stroke in the pool,” his first entry

begins. He concludes: “I leave

with a quote from David Bowie

who said, “Just for one day, we can

be heroes.” Tushar is a director at

UBS Investment Bank in New

York City.

Brent Pycz, applied insights and

innovation manager at General

Motors, writes: “Moved around a

bit since Johnson, having worked

at 3M (Minnesota) and Nike

(Oregon) in various roles. Being

near extended family brought us

back to Michigan, where I am

currently with General Motors

to develop the future of the con-

nected car. Along the way, the

family grew with all three of my

kids having been born in differ-

ent states!”

Rhoda Yap spoke about the fash-

ion house she leads, BritishIndia,

in an interview with New Straits

Times of Malaysia in Septem-

ber, when the brand celebrated

its 20th anniversary. Rhoda

returned to Malaysia a few years

ago to take the reins as CEO

from Pat Liew, founder of the

company and Rhoda’s aunt. Prior

to this, Yap worked with McK-

insey & Company in the U.S.,

focusing on large-scale transfor-

mational efforts for Fortune 100

clients, including retailers and

financial institutions.

C L A S S O F 2 0 1 0Tyler Baier ’05 says, “Roshelle

and I just celebrated four years

of marriage, and it’s been the

best four years of our lives —

well, mine at least.” In Febru-

ary, Tyler was promoted to chief

strategy officer at the public

charter school management

organization where he’s worked

since leaving Ithaca. He also

has become a board member for

Beat the Streets Los Angeles, and

they have started over 20 youth

wrestling programs in the inner

city, “four of which served the

kids at my charter schools (not a


Harris Baltch and Sarah Sher-

Baltch ’04 welcomed a son,

Hunter Nate, March 28.

Oz Barhama and his wife, Abby,

“got married in Israel in a tradi-

tional Yemenite Jewish wedding

and a more modern wedding

last August,” and in June they

welcomed a baby girl, Noa. They

live in Chicago, where Oz works

at Aon in strategy consulting for

insurance companies.

Will Brassel ’02 has a new role

within Johnson & Johnson. The

job is global, “which has brought

a great deal of travel to Europe,

with plans that I visit the Asian

Pacific.” Will and his wife, Jill,

moved to Jacksonville, Fla.,

where “we bought a place at the

beach, which has definitely had a

soothing, positive impact on life


Sarah Brown ’04, MPS ’10, is

director, HR business partner

supporting the institutional

business, for TIAA-CREF. She

lives in Charlotte, N.C., with her

husband and two children.

Anna Bruno ’79 launched Im-

blim, a social jewelry company,

“founded on the premise that

jewelry connects people” [www.]. She says, “A few

awesome Johnson folks, includ-

ing Ann Cole, Jenn Li, and




46 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

Christine Sneva, already own

Imblims!” Anna has learned

firsthand that “everything takes

between two and ten times lon-

ger than you want it to — espe-

cially when you’re running on a

shoestring budget and people are

doing you favors.”

Vicki Chen lives in Singapore

and works as a new product

business development man-

ager at 3M Asia Pacific. She has

taken on a consumer health-care

project focusing on air quality

and respiratory health, especially

in heavily polluted markets like

China. Vicki and her husband,

Alex, also “have news of a baby

… of the restaurant/bar variety!”

They have opened a Mexican bar

and casual eatery called Hombre


Ryan Cole and Ann Tracy-

Cole had a daughter, Bailey

Elizabeth, in February. In March

they relocated to Maine, where

Ryan started a new job as senior

manager at IDEXX Laboratories

managing M&A and strategy for

the company. Ann is with Ener-

NOC, as senior marketing man-

ager, splitting time between her

home office and the company’s

Boston headquarters.

Ludo Denza spent two weeks

in Nepal with Clint Sidle ’74,

MBA ’77, on a leadership pro-

gram with a few other alumni,

including Steve Maddox. “Lots

of trekking.”

Katie Baines Drossos wel-

comed a daughter, Elizabeth

Baines, Dec. 30. Elizabeth joins

big sister, Madeline. In other

news, Katie joined Discovery

Communications as director of

educational engagement to “lead

collaboration with distribution

partners at the national, regional,

and local levels to build aware-

ness for Discovery Education and

its value as a community-based

partner that optimizes the power

of broadband to transform teach-

ing and learning.”

Sandra Chang Frank and her

husband, Brian, were married in

2013 at their favorite destination,

Sonoma wine country. Sandra

lives and works in San Francisco

and has started her own retail

business, Mason Grace Co.,

“providing elegant gift solutions

for the busy professional.”

Sakina Walsh-Groth works for

Mozilla (maker of the Firefox

browser) as a marketing strate-

gist. She says, “Not many know

this, but we are actually a non-

profit fighting to keep the Web

open, neutral, and in the hands

of people.” Sakina’s proudest ac-

complishment over the past year

has been becoming a vegetarian

“… a dramatic but rewarding

change.” She and her husband

live in Florida.

Ethan Hawkes ’07 lives in York

Beach, Maine. He “continues to

rack up frequent flyer miles and

hotel nights” as an associate prin-

cipal at McKinsey & Company,

working extensively with the

hospitality sector.

Melissa Kim ’09 created a new

role at ExxonMobil, “responsible

for building a team focused on

local content and sustainable

supply-chain development …

developing the company’s first

global supplier program for hu-

man rights and environmental

risk management … also creating

the company’s global strategy for

local supply-chain development

… back in my area of passion for

sustainability and business …


Ben McLaughlin ’03 and Whit-

ney Church were married in

August 2013 on Spectacle Island

in the Boston harbor. A Johnson

contingent representing the

classes of 2010, 2012, and 2013

celebrated with them.

Brian McMeekin ’02 and Katy

McMeekin ’02 live in Minneapo-

lis and spend a lot of time with

Cornell alumni. Last spring,

Brian came back to Cornell for

Destination Johnson weekend,

and “in May we brought three

current students to Minneapolis

to present their SGE project find-

ings around technical education

in the process industry.” Brian

is director of marketing, flow

lifecycle services, at Emerson

Process Management.

Katy Moyer, MEng ’08, moved

from the Boston area to San Di-

ego to begin working in program

management for General Dy-

namics NASSCO. The company

builds huge cargo transport ships

for the Navy, right on the harbor.

“Been loving it so far and loving

San Diego.”

Chrysoula Nigl and her hus-

band, Franz, welcomed a baby

boy on June 2. Chrysoula works

at S.C. Johnson, and Franz works

in downtown Chicago.

Kristin O’Planick and her hus-

band welcomed a son, Alexander

Penn Mershon, June 8. On the

job front, Kristin was promoted

to private enterprise division

chief with USAID. She says, “I

managed to get in one last work

trip while five months pregnant

to design a youth employment

program in Ethiopia. I liked that

Alexander made a trip to the vil-

lage while still on the inside.”

Uvika Sharma and her husband

had a baby boy, Jayvir, in 2013,

who is “quite a handful and

keeps us very busy.”

Connie Sintuvat and her hus-

band, Hsiang, welcomed a son,

Parker Pahnom-Ding Wong,

Oct. 3. Connie works for Big

Heart Pet Brands (formerly Del

Monte), “making dogs every-

where happy with Milo’s Kitchen

treats … also just recently

launched a food truck for dogs

that is touring the country.”

Hsiang works for a mobile game

company, DeNA. They live in

Alameda, Calif.

Tammy Tran ’05 is at Colgate-

Palmolive. She recently trans-

ferred from New York City to

Basel, Switzerland, to work in the

European division. She says, “In

this new role, I am in category

marketing, covering Colgate’s

whitening and multi-benefit

toothpaste brands across all the

European countries … tak-

ing the opportunity to travel as

much as I can.”

Anthony Van Nice joined

Soléna Estate, a private winery in

Oregon, to lead business opera-

tions, including company sales,

marketing, and strategic plans.

Jen Walvoord and her husband

welcomed a son, Theodore Mi-

chael, Nov. 14, 2013. Jen says, “I

can already sense a great interest

in business … he knows his way

around a Blackberry and devours

the Economist.”

C L a S S


47w w w.johnson.cor nell .edu

abbi Hills arrived at Cornell in 2004, not for graduate school but for her first job: assistant coach of the women’s lacrosse team. A vet-eran lacrosse player who had played in high school and college, Hills helped lead the team to earn its first Ivy League title. “It was such a great opportunity because i had always played lacrosse on the West Coast, and it’s such a historically east Coast sport,” she says. Having earned a degree in human biology from stanford, Hills knew that she wanted to become a health-care consultant. so in 2006, she started both an Mba and a master’s of health adminis-tration at Cornell. after graduating, she joined Deloitte Consulting LLP and was promoted to a manager in the Denver office this past summer. While Hills has been able to work with a variety of health-care clients — from an academic medical center to a nonprofit hospital group — she has also found a way to stay involved with sports through Deloitte. since all employees are expected to be involved in internal initiatives, Hills chose to work with the u.s. Paralympics, an organization Deloitte has been advising. along with a group of col-leagues, Hills has helped 25 of its sports clubs across the country with strategic planning and grants management. “if i had known when i started at Deloitte that i was going to work with Paralympics, i would have thought someone was fooling me,” says Hills, who spends about five hours a week on the project. “It’s just an amazing opportunity to work with these athletes and the organizations they are training under.” as a member of Deloitte’s senior Consultant board program, which exposes younger employees to nonprofit governance, Hills has also volunteered with the national sports Center for the Disabled in Denver and last year created a future leaders group to attract new volunteers to the organization.

abbi Hills, MBa ’09, MHa ’09

C O M B I N I N G C O N S U L T I N G W I T H a

passion for sports

in between her consulting and volunteer work, Hills remains active in sports and completed the ironman triathlon 2013 in Wisconsin in 13 hours and 11 minutes. “it was essential from a san-ity perspective to have something i was working toward for myself,” Hills says. “It helped me find some balance in my life.”

— Sherrie Negrea

Beth Xie reports that in 2012

she “co-founded TaggPic Inc.,

a high-tech startup in com-

puter vision … and served as the

company’s CEO until TaggPic’s

acquisition by a leading global

technology company earlier this

year. I moved to Silicon Valley

post-acquisition to be closer to

the heart of high tech.”

Marques Zak has worked for

Frito-Lay for four years. In Sep-

tember 2013 he was promoted

to a new role supporting the

company’s Georgia and Florida

retail business and moved from

Dallas back to his “home away

from home,” Atlanta.

Anador Zuazua and Megan

Willems-Zuazua welcomed a

son, Benjamin, Oct. 18, 2013.

On the career front, Megan

works at Goldman Sachs, and

Amador is with J.P. Morgan.

Peter Zullo has a new sales job

with SMA, a solar company in

Sacramento, Calif.

C L A S S O F 2 0 1 1Amit Dingare is a senior analyt-

ics advisor with 360i, a digital

marketing agency. Amit leads a

team of scientists working in big

data technology.

Abbi Hills skiing at Vail, Colo., with the Paralympic skiers she met through Deloitte’s sponsorship of the U.S. Paralympics


Early days in the digital ageThanks to Carol Fisher, Dave Duma, and Bruce Gordon, all MBA ’85, for writing to identify the

students pictured in this photo. All of them named Carol Fisher, who referred to herself as “the gal

in the striped shirt in the middle.” They also named the fellow on the right with the dark hair and

white shirt as John Preli, MBA ’85. Carol commented: “How interesting to reflect on how far and

fast technology has advanced in 30 years! The next 30 are sure to be as exciting!”



48 cor nell enter pr ise • fa ll 201 4

Gregory Howard Schmidt ’08

married Megan O’Hara Easley

Sept. 27 in Aurora, N.Y. Greg

is an assistant vice president for

energy financial services in an

investment branch of General

Electric in Stamford, Conn.

Megan is a daughter of Maureen

O’Hara, Robert W. Purcell Pro-

fessor of Finance at Johnson, and

David A. Easley, Henry Scarbor-

ough Professor of Social Science

at Cornell.

Chao Wang and Elaine Qin

sent this fun photo of their new-

born daughter, Zijun, sporting

a Cornell T-shirt and a Johnson

bib they received as gifts. “We

made her wear our proud all

day long,” Chao writes. Chao is

business development opera-

tions manager at Google Fiber,

and Elaine is a financial analyst

at IBM.

C L A S S O F 2 0 1 3Bobby Frisch and Kyle Rear-

don ’06, MPS ’14, along with

Bobby’s wife, Emma, and Dyson

School junior, Charlie Farioli,

had the grand opening celebra-

tion for their “glamping” camps,

“Ithaca by Firelight,” at La

Tourelle in Ithaca, Sept. 4 and 5,

2014. []

Henry Jameson, MBA ’49

Malcolm Craig Kelley,

MBA ’80

Luisa Velasquez, MBA ’12

Jeff D’Onofrio joined Zagat

Survey as their CFO while still

pursuing his Executive MBA in

2010. Zagat was purchased by

Google, and Jeff was asked to

stay on as head of Zagat finance

and operations. In December

2013 he became the CFO of

Tumblr, and in October 2014 he

was promoted to president and

COO. In his new role, Jeff man-

ages all day-to-day operations of

Tumblr, including engineering,

sales, marketing, legal, HR, busi-

ness development, and finance.

Jeff will be assisting CEO David

Karp with strategic planning,

including user growth and mon-

etization strategies.

C L A S S O F 2 0 1 2Selina Ang and classmates initi-

ated a fundraising campaign to

commemorate Luisa Velasquez,

MBA ’12, who passed away in

2013. They are joined in this ef-

fort by Luisa’s co-workers at Gen-

eral Electric, where she worked

as a diversity recruiting leader for

GE’s Experienced Commercial

Leadership Program. The effort

seeks to endow the Luisa M.

Velasquez Memorial Scholarship,

which will honor Luisa’s memory

and recognize future Johnson

students who exemplify her dis-

tinguished qualities. This year,

organizers hosted two fundrais-

ing events: a GE-sponsored golf

tournament in Danbury, Conn.,

on July 15, and an alumni event

in New York City on Nov. 8.

To learn more about the effort,

please visit www.rememberluisa.


Daniel Chavez, a partner at

McDermott Will & Emery, LLP,

in Houston, was interviewed

for a Q&A about private equity

investing in Latin America in

The Deal Pipeline in September.

“The regulatory environment for

private equity funds and inves-

tors in the major Latin American

markets continues to improve,

and population growth and in-

creasing urbanization driving de-

mand for oil and gas, power and

infrastructure, creates ‘significant

investment opportunities for

private equity investors,’” he says

in the article, which continues:

“He expects a pickup in activity

particularly in Mexico, which is

opening up its oil and gas sector

to private investment.”

C L a S S



S a G E H a L L I N F a L L

Cornell Enterprise130 E. Seneca St., Suite 400Ithaca, NY 14850-4353

Nonprofit Org.U.S. PostagePAIDCornell University



What is Cornell SC Johnson acceptance rate? ›

The acceptance rate for Cornell Johnson is around 30% It is important to consider the acceptance rate in the context of the student profile of those who are admitted. For example, the median GMAT score is 710.

What GPA do you need to get into Cornell MBA? ›

Cornell MBA median GPA is 3.30

Much like the acceptance rate and Cornell MBA GMAT score, the median GPA of Cornell MBA's class of 2023 is in the high-yet-achievable range, at 3.30.

Does Cornell Johnson require work experience? ›

Full-time work experience is not required to apply, but on average, students have completed two to five years of full-time work prior to enrolling.

How to get into Cornell University from India for MBA? ›

Bachelor's Degree: You must have a relevant bachelor's degree from a recognised university with a minimum GPA of 3.5 out of 4. Applicants to doctoral and research master's degree programs must have at least a four-year undergraduate degree, or a three-year degree plus a post-graduate diploma.

What is the hardest school to get into at Cornell? ›

The most selective schools at Cornell for admissions are:
  • Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management.
  • College of Arts & Sciences.
  • College of Engineering.
  • College of Architecture, Art & Planning.

What is the easiest school to get into at Cornell? ›

The Hotel School in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business is the least competitive with an acceptance rate of 30% The School of Human Ecology has a 23 % acceptance rate, the second-highest acceptance rate of all the schools at Cornell.

Is Cornell Johnson worth it? ›

Reputation: The Johnson School is a highly respected institution, and an EMBA from Cornell can be a valuable addition to your resume.

Is Cornell Johnson Ivy League? ›

Part of one of the largest universities in the Ivy League, the Johnson School offers graduate business students an unparalleled educational experience.

Where does Cornell Johnson school of Management rank? ›

Cornell University (Johnson) 2024 Rankings

Cornell University (Johnson) is ranked No. 15 out of 124 in Best Business Schools.

What is the average salary for Cornell MBA? ›

Average Base Salary$162,808$139,121
Average Base Salary – US Work Authorized$163,896$141,397
Average Base Salary – Non-US Work Authorized$160,495$133,173
Median Base Salary$175,000$140,000
7 more rows
Nov 29, 2023

What rank is Cornell for MBA? ›

Location, by primary campusUS
Rank in 202115
Rank in 202217
Rank in 20238
School nameCornell University: Johnson
5 more rows

How much is the application fee for Cornell Johnson MBA? ›

GMAT or GRE score report (test waiver optional) TOEFL or IELTS score report (for applicants whose first language is not English) One letter of professional recommendation (a second letter is optional) Non-refundable $200 USD application fee.

Is Cornell Hotel school hard to get into? ›

The acceptance rate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (SHA) for 2022 is approximately 21.05%. Cornell University's overall acceptance rate was approximately 10.85% for 2021. SHA class of 2024 had 800 student applicants. Of these applications, approximately 168 students were admitted.

Is Cornell Johnson the same as Cornell? ›

One College. Three Distinct Schools. An Ivy League Institution. The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University unites the strengths of three top-ranked business schools.


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