June 13th, 2013
One night last spring, Albin Soares (MBA ’13) was working at his computer when he got a text message from one of his colleagues on the Graduate Business Council, the Freeman School’s student government organization.
“Hey, you need to calm down for the day,” the message read.
Outgoing GBC President Albin Soares (MBA ’13) earned a reputation as one of the most active presidents in the organization’s history.
Soares puzzled over the message for a second before realizing what it was about.
“I looked and I had sent out 74 emails that day,” laughs Soares, the outgoing president of the GBC. “So I was like, ‘Okay.’”
Days like that weren’t unusual for Soares, who earned a reputation among faculty and staff as one of the most active, involved presidents in recent GBC history. From working with faculty to revamp the MBA program to making sure that the television in the GW2 lounge stayed tuned to CNBC, no issue was too big or too small for Soares, who brought boundless enthusiasm and unrelenting tenacity to the job.
“Over the last year, I think I spoke with Albin more than I did with my associate deans — or my wife for that matter,” quips Dean Ira Solomon. “While I can’t say that I agreed with every idea Albin brought to me, there’s no question his extraordinary drive and determination made Freeman a better school. One just needs to look at his record of accomplishment to see the profound impact he had on the Freeman School.”
Over the course of the year, Soares’ achievements included establishing a discussion lounge for graduate students, bringing in a host of guest speakers, and lobbying successfully for the creation of an experimental “offboarding” program to provide graduating students with a formal send off. When he found out that alumni participation in giving was one of the criteria used in ranking surveys, he succeeded in getting not just a pledge but a check from almost every member of the 2013 graduating classes.
Perhaps most prominently, Soares co-chaired with Dean Solomon the task force dedicated to rewriting the Freeman School’s mission statement and core values during the recent strategic planning process. In that respect, he played a substantive role in defining the Freeman School’s direction for the next five years.
“There’s not one big, bright, shiny thing I accomplished as GBC president, but I can say we chipped away at a lot of things that needed to be done,” Soares says of his tenure as president. “I think that’s what I’m most proud of.”
A native of Southern California, Soares worked a variety of jobs — including stints in the entertainment industry, as a Mercedes-Benz salesman and as a legislative aide to U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany — before deciding that he needed an MBA to pull everything together and give him the skills to get to the next level. Since graduating in May, Soares has relocated with his family — his wife, Elizabeth, and 11-month-old son Bennett — to the San Diego area, where he hopes to launch a business idea he developed at the Freeman School, but as an alumnus and a new member of the Freeman 50, the Freeman School’s young MBA advisory board, he plans to remain involved with the Freeman School for many years to come.
“We’ve had some really stellar professors, some who have been life changing,” Soares says. “That’s probably the thing I liked best and it’s probably the thing we all liked best about the Freeman School. Having a small class, everyone knew each other’s names. We’ve gone on three international trips together, we’ve worked on projects, done team building. I hope that that bond continues as we all move on with our careers.”
June 3rd, 2013
The CEOs of two of Louisiana’s biggest home-grown success stories — Daryl G. Byrd of Iberiabank Corp. and José S. Suquet of Pan-American Life Insurance Group — will discuss what it took to build those businesses as keynote speakers at the 34th annual Tulane Business Forum, “Home Grown: Leveraging the Louisiana Business Experience on a National Scale.”
Daryl G. Byrd
José S. Suquet
This year’s forum, which will take place on Friday, Sept. 27, at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, shines the spotlight on businesses that have leveraged the state’s unique resources to achieve national and international success.
Joining Byrd, who will deliver the morning keynote address, and Suquet, who will deliver the luncheon keynote, will be Gary P. LaGrange, president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans, and John F. Tercek, vice president for commercial and new business development at Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
The forum will also feature a panel on tourism and economic development featuring Darryl Berger, chairman of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp.; Tod R. Chambers, general manager of the Roosevelt New Orleans Hotel; Jay Dardenne, lieutenant governor of Louisiana; and Gregory Rusovich, chairman of the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau. Scott Couvillon of Trumpet will moderate.
The 34th annual Tulane Business Forum is a presentation of the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University, the Tulane Association of Business Alumni (TABA) and Iberiabank.
For more information about this year’s program and to register online, visit tulanebusinessforum.com.
June 3rd, 2013
Daniel Mochon recently had two papers accepted for publication. Mochon’s paper “Single option aversion” was accepted for publication in Journal of Consumer Research, and his paper “Anchoring in sequential judgments,” co-authored with Shane W. Frederick, was accepted for publication in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. Mochon is an assistant professor of marketing at the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University.
May 21st, 2013
Now that’s what you call an opening act.
The Dalai Lama addressed graduates at this year’s unified commencement ceremony, which immediately preceded the Freeman School’s diploma ceremony in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano.
To accommodate its growing size, the A. B. Freeman School of Business moved its diploma ceremony to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this year, where it immediately followed the university’s spectacular unified commencement ceremony. For business graduates and their guests, the move enabled them to witness what was surely one of the most memorable graduation ceremonies in Tulane history. The Dalai Lama delivered Tulane’s commencement address this year to a rapturous response, and the ceremony also featured special musical performances from honorary degree recipients Dr. John and Allen Toussaint. Natasha Trethewey, Pulitzer Prize winner and 19th U.S. Poet Laureate, was also on hand to receive an honorary degree.
With that exhilarating introduction, the Freeman School took to the stage and got down to business, with Dean Ira Solomon awarding diplomas to 717 new graduates of the A. B. Freeman School of Business. That number includes 77 Master of Accounting graduates, 156 Master of Business Administration graduates, 127 Master of Finance graduates, 14 Master of Global Management graduates, 9 Master of Management graduates and 27 Master of Management in Energy graduates. The number also includes 307 Bachelor of Science in Management graduates who received their diplomas as part of the Tulane-Newcomb College undergraduate diploma ceremony.
Elizabeth A. Freudmann was one of 156 MBA graduates who received their diplomas on Saturday at the Superdome. Photo by Cheryl Gerber.
Aaron P. Coulon (BSM ’13) received the BSM Scholastic Achievement Award, which recognizes the undergraduate student with the highest cumulative GPA, and Clifford T. Harlan (MBA ’13) received the Marta and Peter Bordeaux Scholastic Achievement Award, which recognizes the MBA graduate with the highest cumulative GPA. In addition, business graduates Nicole M. Munsey (MBA ’13), Lauren A. Nelson (MBA ’13) and Albin J. Soares (MBA ’13) received the Tulane 34 Award, which recognizes students from across the university for their academic achievements, student leadership and community service.
David A. Wilson, president and CEO of the Graduate Management Admission Council, spoke to graduates at the Freeman School’s diploma ceremony. Photo by Cheryl Gerber.
David A. Wilson, president and CEO of the Graduate Management Admission Council, delivered the charge to graduates for the Freeman School. Wilson, a member of the Business School Council, encouraged graduates to use their earnings to make the world a better place, to maintain their sense of humor and to value the unique contributions of everyone they come in contact with. He closed with a reference to the oath young Athenians were asked to take more than 2,500 years ago – “We will transmit this city not only not less, but greater, better and more beautiful than it was transmitted to us.”
“Your Tulane degree will open doors that you did not even know where there for you,” Wilson said. “Take the talent, the education and the opportunity that you have been given and make this world greater, better and more beautiful than it is today.”
To see more photos from this year’s graduate diploma ceremony, visit the Freeman School’s Flickr page.
May 15th, 2013
For almost 30 years, the Periwinkle Foundation has offered children with cancer one of the most powerful healing therapies in existence: Fun.
The Periwinkle Foundation hosts a summer camp and other programs for children with cancer. Last semester, a Houston-based class of PMBA students partnered with the foundation to develop strategies to improve marketing, development and community engagement.
The Houston-based foundation hosts an annual summer camp for children undergoing cancer treatment that enables the pint-sized patients to enjoy a week filled with all the traditional camp activities, from horseback riding and archery to fishing, swimming and even ziplining. Periwinkle also hosts weekend camps for teens and families and monthly programs at Texas Children’s Cancer Center and Hematology Center, all dedicated to meeting the social and emotional needs of children living with cancer.
On an annual basis, the foundation touches the lives of more 4,000 children, teens and family members, but like a lot of nonprofits, Periwinkle doesn’t always have the time or resources to devote to strategic marketing.
That’s where a Houston-based class of Freeman School PMBA students comes in.
Last fall, Yiorgos Bakamitsos, professor of practice and assistant dean for executive education, reached out to Periwinkle and offered the consulting services of students in his Topics in Marketing class. Over the course of the six-week module, the students met with representatives from Periwinkle and developed a host of recommendations to meet the organization’s wide-ranging needs.
“They wanted to, for example, grow their donor base,” says Giovanni Edwards (MBA ’13), one of the students in the class. “They wanted to make better use of technology. They wanted to improve their direct mail campaign. They wanted to increase volunteer support and turnout. It was a really nice consulting project.”
Bakamitsos has put his students to work on experiential learning projects with nonprofits for more than a decade, but he says the Periwinkle project stands out both for the commitment of the students to the organization’s mission and the quality of their recommendations.
“The recommendations were really excellent,” Bakamitsos says. “One of Periwinkle’s board members who came to see the presentations does marketing for HP, and her comment to me was that their work was very professional and that she sometimes wished she would get that kind of work from the people who work for her, which was a very nice compliment for the students.”
Working in teams of five, the students came up with ideas that ranged from simple and straightforward to surprisingly sophisticated given the project’s short timeline.
In addition to its annual summer camp, above, the Periwinkle Foundation also hosts weekend camps for teens and families and monthly programs at Texas Children’s Cancer Center.
One team highlighted the importance of color branding, and encouraged the foundation to be more consistent in its use of periwinkle blue—the foundation’s official color—in its logos and marketing materials. Another team used census data to generate a heat map showing areas in Houston with high concentrations of charitable donors. The team then showed the foundation how to use that information improve its direct mail campaigns.
One of the best received ideas was Edwards’ proposal for the creation of Periwinkle Fellows, a new program to expand and enhance volunteer support. The fellows program would enable young professionals in Houston to gain experience and build their resumes by leading volunteer projects for the foundation. Periwinkle in turn would receive valuable professional services while at the same time building name recognition in the local business community.
Doug Suggitt, executive director of the foundation, says the fellows program was just one of many ideas suggested by the class that Periwinkle hopes to implement in the near future.
“We were tremendously satisfied with the project,” Suggitt says. “I would say the vast majority of the recommendations that came from the students will be utilized by the foundation. We’re truly a more dynamic organization thanks to Tulane University.”
While the students say they enjoyed the chance to put their skills to work for a real-world client, the fact that the client was an organization like Periwinkle made this project that much more special.
“We would have worked just as hard if the client had been Exxon or Apple, but I think our connection to the organization and our satisfaction from the impact was very different,” Edwards says. “It felt better because it meant something.”
“There are definitely projects within the MBA program that are kind of draining and exhausting, but this was one that I wish we could have had more time to work on,” adds Kelli Stilley (MBA ’13). “We felt like we actually made a difference in the organization, so it was a lot of fun.”
May 7th, 2013
Geoffrey Parker’s research is featured in the May 2013 issue of International Innovation, a publication dedicated to the dissemination of science and technology research. The article, titled The Power of Platforms, discusses the research conducted by Parker and Marshall Van Alstyne, associate professor at Boston University, on platform-driven markets, a topic the two colleagues have studied for over 15 years. The magazine also features a Q&A with Parker and Van Alstyne. Parker is a professor of management science at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business.
May 1st, 2013
Over the past school year, a team of 52 members of the Freeman School community has been engaged in an intensive strategic planning effort. The purpose of this process has been to discover and refine the Freeman School’s mission, core values, capabilities and goals. The result is a comprehensive plan that builds on the Freeman School’s unique strengths to chart an ambitious course for the future.
The Strategic Planning Leadership Team consisted of faculty, staff and students as well as Tulane administrators and members of the Business School Council. Beyond these individuals, ideas and comments were solicited from the entire Freeman community, including alumni and partner organizations. All of these contributions were essential to shaping the strategic planning document.
“This effort was the most rigorous, comprehensive strategic planning process in school history,” said Dean Ira Solomon. “We hope that all of our community members will share our enthusiasm for the plan and join us as we work to implement its goals.”
The final plan is available in PDF format on the Freeman website.
May 1st, 2013
This year’s Burkenroad Reports Investment Conference attracted a record crowd of 750 people, but event organizer Peter Ricchiuti says he didn’t need to see an attendance roster to realize they’d broken a record.
This year’s Burkenroad Reports Investment Conference attracted a record attendance.
“We knew it was bigger than we expected because we ran out of cookies,” laughs Ricchiuti, professor of practice at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business and research director of the acclaimed equities analysis program.
Now in its 17th year, the conference, which took place on Friday (April 26) at the Westin New Orleans Canal Place Hotel, features presentations from senior management at many of the small- and mid-cap companies covered by the program’s student analysts. This year, more than 30 companies led information sessions.
Ricchiuti says one of this year’s hottest sessions was by Evolution Petroleum Corp. The Houston-based energy company specializes in tertiary recovery, a process in which carbon dioxide is used to extract oil from previously drilled fields. The company’s Delhi Field in northeastern Louisiana was thought to be drilled out, but since purchasing the property eight years ago, Evolution has turned it into a monster field.
“The Delhi Field has now produced to a level where the royalties that are going to come back to Evolution are going to go up significantly between now and the end of the year,” Ricchiuti says. “The stock currently sells for about $9.50 a share and when you look at what they think they have under the ground, it ends up being closer to $18. So that was a session that people loved.”
Peter Ricchiuti, center, talks with conference attendees Arvind Sanger (MBA ’87), managing partner of GeoSphere Capital Management, and Ron Mills (MBA ’95), equity analyst at Johnson Rice.
According to Ricchiuti, the big turnout this year was partly a reflection of the overall stock market — the S&P 500 is up 12 percent in the last year — and partly a reflection of the performance of Burkenroad Reports’ “stocks under rocks.” Hancock Bank’s Burkenroad Small Cap Fund, which uses Burkenroad Reports as a primary sources of research and invests in many of the companies followed by the program, is up an impressive 17 percent in the last year.
“The Burkenroad Mutual Fund has outperformed 99 percent of the nation’s mutual funds since its inception,” Ricchiuti says. “The returns have been just amazing.”
April 30th, 2013
More than 150 alumni and guests from the classes of 1968 through 2008 gathered in City Park Friday night (April 26) for the Freeman School’s third annual Graduate Alumni Reunion Party.
The event, which took place in Parkview Terrace (second floor of the old City Park Casino building), is a chance for the Freeman School to recognize alumni of graduate programs (MBA, MFIN and MACCT) celebrating milestone graduation anniversaries. This year’s party honored graduates from the years ’08, ’03, ’98, ’93, ’88, ’83, ’78, ’73, ’68 and ’63.
The reunion is also a chance for friends and former classmates to catch up with each other and to catch up with the Freeman School. Dean Ira Solomon attended the reunion along with a number of faculty and staff members, and he gave attendees a brief update on the state of the school. Lauren Nelson (MBA ’13), a member of the Graduate Business Council and president of Tulane’s chapter of MBA Women International, also spoke to alumni, offering guests a few comments about life at Freeman from a student’s perspective.
The party also included the presentation of a check to Freeman on behalf of the reunion classes. Members of this year’s reunion classes together pledged more than $300,000 to the Freeman School to provide support for a wide range of operating expenses. Reunion fundraising efforts are continuing through June 30, 2013, so if you haven’t yet made a gift, you can visit the Freeman School’s online giving page to make your pledge.
To see all the photos from this year’s Graduate Alumni Reunion, visit the Freeman School’s Flickr page.
Left to right, class of ’03 alumni Ana Derbez, Jose Mascarell, Tsetsa Dankova and Victor Luque.
Left to right, Kell Riess, Alvin Jones (MBA ’68) and Harry Smith (MBA ’68).
Left to right, Justin Collins (MBA ’08), Lorena Rojas (MBA ’08), Philip Allison (MBA ’08), Ryan Usner (MBA ’08) and Oscar Parada.
Members of the MBA class of 2003, which had the biggest turnout of all the classes honored at this year’s party.
This year’s reunion class chairs presented Dean Ira Solomon with a check for more than $300,000, representing the collective gifts of the reunion classes. From left to right, Chuck Atwood (MBA ’73), Dean Solomon, Alex Hernandez (MBA ’03), David Heikkinen (MBA ’98), Alvin Jones (MBA ’68), John Silbernagel (MBA ’88) and Bob Kottler (MBA ’83).
April 29th, 2013
The Tulane University chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma, the international honor society recognizing business excellence, welcomed its newest members on April 18, 2013, at a ceremony hosted by the A. B. Freeman School of Business.
Bachelor of Science in Management students Michelle Germain, Samantha Oppenheim and Walter Kissling, left to right, were among this semester’s inductees into Beta Gamma Sigma, the international business honor society.
Celebrating its centennial year in 2013, Beta Gamma Sigma is recognized by the educational and corporate communities as the highest recognition a business student can receive in a program accredited by AACSB International — the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Since its founding, Beta Gamma Sigma has inducted more than 700,000 members from over 520 collegiate chapters and 24 alumni chapters. Members currently reside in all 50 states and more than 160 countries throughout the world. The Tulane chapter of Beta Gamma Sigma was established in 1924.
The inductees, including students from the BSM, MACCT, MBA, MFIN and MNRG programs, are as follows:
Benjamin Briggs Barrios
John Philip Stuart
In addition, Linna Zhang, who was inducted as an undergraduate, also received second recognition at the graduate level.