March 25th, 2015
A biomedical firm with a technology to regenerate damaged tissue, a medical device manufacturer that’s developed a fast, accurate test to diagnose diseases, and a recycling company that extracts rare earth elements from discarded electronic devices have been named as finalists in the 2015 Tulane Business Model Competition.
The three companies — D & P Bioinnovations, Disease Diagnostic Group and REEcycle — will vie for $35,000 in cash prizes in the competition’s final round, which will take place before a live audience at the A. B. Freeman School of Business on April 16.
Tympanogen’s Parastoo Khoshakhlagh makes her pitch at last year’s Tulane Business Model Competition. The finals of the 2015 competition will take place on Thursday, April 16, in Goldring/Woldenberg Hall II.
They reached the finals by edging out three other ventures in the competition’s semifinal round, which took place on March 23 at the Chicory as part of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week.
“Participants were judged on the viability and sustainability of their business models and their models’ ability to create substantive intended outcomes,” said Sherif Ebrahim, professor of practice in strategy and innovation and director of entrepreneurship and innovation education at the Freeman School’s Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, which coordinates the annual competition. “D&P, DDG and REEcycle demonstrated to judges that they had well-developed business models, which makes them very strong candidates for future success.”
“All our semifinalists did an outstanding job pitching their ventures to judges,” added Lina Alfieri Stern, director of operations with the institute. “I think it was clear to judges that the finalists had done a great job vetting their products and services and pivoting based on what the market told them.”
The 2015 Tulane Business Model Competition finalists and their host universities are as follows:
- D & P Bioinnovations (Tulane University) – D&P Bioinnovations is developing a bioresorbable implantable medical device to regenerate a damaged esophagus.
- Disease Diagnostic Group (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) — Disease Diagnostic Group (DDG) is a pre-revenue medical device company specializing in the development of rapid, accurate and inexpensive disease diagnostic tests. The company’s flagship product is RAM (Rapid Assessment of Malaria).
- REEcycle (University of Houston) — REEcycle sells reclaimed rare earth elements from magnets used inside electronics, such as hard drives, cell phones and audio speakers.
Serving as judges for the semifinal round were Robert Autenreith, CEO of Pride Marketing and Procurement Inc.; Millie Bradley, retired controller of Exxon Mobil Corp.; E. Pierce Marshall, president/CEO of Elevage Capital Management; Chris Papamichael, principal and co-founder of the Domain Cos.; and David Rieveschl, shareholder and corporate securities attorney with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz. Aaron Miscenich, president and CEO of the New Orleans BioInnovation Center, served as master of ceremonies.
The final round of the 2015 Tulane Business Model Competition will take place in Goldring/Woldenberg Hall II on Thursday, April 16, at 2 p.m., with the winner to be announced later that evening at the Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Awards Gala. The competition is free and open to the public; the gala is by invitation only. For more information about the Tulane Business Model Competition, contact Lina Alfieri Stern at 504-865-5455 or email@example.com.
March 19th, 2015
The Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF), the industry’s premier leadership development organization, has honored Lorna C. Donatone (BSM ’80), COO and education market president at Sodexo, with the 2015 Fritzi Pikes Woods Trailblazer Award. The award recognizes individuals dedicated to improving gender diversity in the foodservice industry.
Lorna C. Donatone
A member of the Business School Council, Donatone is a founding member of SWIFT (Sodexo’s Women’s International Forum for Talent). Under Donatone’s leadership, Sodexo Education has established a strong record for promoting women across its ranks.
“Lorna’s outstanding efforts to promote gender diversity have had a meaningful impact on the number of women serving in leadership roles at Sodexo,” said Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School. “She embodies the values we endeavor to instill in students, and we are fortunate to benefit from her insight and leadership on Business School Council.”
A board member of the National Restaurant Association since 2005, Donatone currently serves as vice chair and trustee of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. She is past chair of the board of directors of the Women’s Foodservice Forum and is a member of the board of trustees for the Culinary Institute of America. Donatone previously served on the board of Entertainment Cruises and was most recently elected to the board of Jamba Juice Inc.
A member of the Sodexo North America Executive Committee, Donatone has served as president of Sodexo Education since 2010. She joined Sodexo North America in 1999 and has held several key roles in the company, including president of School Services in 2007 and president of Spirit Cruises in 2002. Donatone began her career with Deloitte & Touche in Dallas and has also worked in the airline, banking and high-tech industries.
March 11th, 2015
New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, the annual festival celebrating local entrepreneurship and innovation, will take place March 20 – 27 at venues across the city, and in conjunction with those festivities, the Freeman School is hosting two special events.
As part of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, the Freeman School is hosting the semifinal round of the Tulane Business Model Competition and an alumni reception.
On Monday, March 23, the semifinal round of the 2015 Tulane Business Model Competition will take place at the Chicory, located at 610 S. Peters Street in the Warehouse District. Join us from 2:30 to 5 p.m. as our six semifinalists — Campus Bee, Disease Diagnostic Group, eStaffMatch Inc., Soterias Medical, REEcycle Inc. and D&P Bioinnovations — pitch their ventures to a panel of judges for the chance to compete in the finals for $35,000 in cash prizes.
Following the competition, the Tulane Association of Business Alumni (TABA) and the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship invite you to a reception at Desi Vega’s Steakhouse in honor of New Orleans Entrepreneur Week and this year’s Tulane Business Model Competition semifinalists. The reception is open to Freeman School alumni and will take place from 5 to 7 p.m.
For more information about both events, contact Stephanie Kleehammer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504-865-5462. To RSVP for the reception, contact Rhonda Brown at email@example.com or 504-862-8470.
March 10th, 2015
One of the top priorities identified in the Freeman School’s 2013 strategic plan was the need to investigate the potential revitalization of the school’s dormant PhD programs. This summer, Freeman takes a big step toward realizing that goal by re-launching a PhD program in finance and financial accounting with the first major update to the program since Hurricane Katrina.
Professor of Finance Sheri Tice says the re-launched PhD program will help enhance research and improve the school’s academic reputation.
“It’s very exciting,” says Sheri Tice, A. B. Freeman Chair of Finance, who led the faculty committee charged with developing the new curriculum. “The PhD program enhances research, it keeps the faculty focused on what’s current, and it gets our name out there.”
“The Freeman School has enjoyed an outstanding reputation in finance for nearly 50 years,” adds Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon. “With the curriculum and student-support package that the faculty and school have put together for this program, I feel confident that our reputation for excellence will continue to grow.”
Prior to Hurricane Katrina, the Freeman School’s PhD program differentiated itself by educating PhD candidates to conduct empirical research in both finance and financial accounting. Graduates of the program emerged with a unique skill set that enabled them to join either accounting or finance departments, giving them greater flexibility in a fast-changing job market. Many went on to earn tenure at leading business schools, including the University of Minnesota, the University of Rochester, Southern Methodist University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In the wake of the storm and the university’s subsequent restructuring, the Freeman School was forced to downsize the program and eliminate the financial accounting component. Since 2011, no new students have been admitted to the program.
Recently, however, the situation has changed. With the Freeman School’s faculty recruiting initiative growing the size of the tenure-system accounting faculty and with Tulane’s economics department once again offering doctoral-level courses, the time became right to revisit the PhD program.
“We started from scratch,” Tice says. “We didn’t really look at what we had done prior to Katrina. We thought, ‘What do we have to do to do a good job today?’”
“We wanted, number one, to create a high-quality program that would make an impact on the field and produce high-quality graduates,” adds Ted Fee, Morton A. Aldrich Professor of Business and finance area coordinator.
Ted Fee, professor of finance and finance area coordinator, says the PhD program’s combination of finance and financial accounting gives graduates a competitive edge in the job market.
Fee says he and his colleagues quickly recognized the importance of leveraging the faculty’s expertise in empirical research as well as the pre-Katrina program’s unique mix of finance and financial accounting.
“That combination of finance and financial accounting is very rare,” says Fee. “We’re one of the few places that are doing it, so I think that together with the empirical focus really builds on our strengths.”
After collecting extensive benchmarking data from peer and aspirant programs, the faculty recommended substantial increases to stipends and fellowships to help attract the best candidates. They also changed the way students complete the program. PhD students are now required to complete an econometrics comprehensive exam instead of a microeconomics exam, and they’re also required to teach more classes and serve as teaching assistants and research assistants.
“It’s becoming more and more important that PhD students demonstrate that they’re good teachers to get a job,” Tice says. “We’re trying to set them up for success, and we think you need to do these things in order to be successful.”
And producing successful PhD graduates, Fee says, will benefit Freeman for years to come.
“Having a high-profile PhD program is something that is noticed within the academic community, so it helps to enhance our reputation, and it’s also something that can help professors at other schools recommend Tulane to their students who are applying to master’s programs,” Fee says. “So for a number of reasons, I think this program will be a huge asset to the Freeman School.”
For more information about the finance PhD program, visit freemanphd.tulane.edu.
February 25th, 2015
“Aaron was one of the greatest, smartest investors I ever met,” says Peter Ricchiuti. “He was the consummate value investor, always looking for things that were out of favor. I learned so much from him.”
Instructor Myke Yest says the Selber Course delves into an important yet often neglected area of finance. (Photos by Mahesh Rajan.)
Ricchiuti, founder and director of Burkenroad Reports, is talking about businessman and private investor Aaron Selber Jr. (BBA ’50), who died in August 2013 following a long illness. A member of the Burkenroad family by his marriage to the former Peggy Burkenroad, Selber played a major role in the family’s decision to endow Ricchiuti’s program in honor of his late father-in-law, New Orleans coffee magnate William B. Burkenroad Jr. (’23), and he remained one of its biggest champions until his death.
This semester, the Freeman School introduced a new course to pay tribute to Selber’s lifelong commitment to Tulane University. The Aaron Selber Jr. Course in Alternative Investments is a finance elective dedicated to the wide-ranging category that encompasses everything from real estate and hedge funds to commodities, derivatives and futures.
“Aaron Selber was an astute investor but also a real gentleman and an extremely loyal supporter of the A. B. Freeman School of Business,” says Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School. “While he will be sorely missed, this tribute to Aaron that his family has created is destined to take its place along with Burkenroad Reports as one of the most exciting and innovative educational initiatives in university business education.”
While future editions of the course may explore other areas of alternative investing, this semester’s class focuses exclusively on the highly complex investing space that Selber liked best: distressed debt.
“Investors spend far more time talking about the equity of a company than they do the debt side, but the reality is that the value of the bond market is far greater than the equity markets,” says course instructor Myke Yest, professor of practice in finance. “Distressed debt was an area that Mr. Selber was truly passionate about, so what better way to honor him than to make an entire course about distressed debt?”
The course combines lectures and case studies on non-investment-grade bonds with talks from an all-star lineup of guest speakers, including James Duplessie (MBA ’84), head of Distressed Debt Strategies at Napier Park Global Capital, and Howard Marks, co-chairman of Oaktree Capital Management and one of the nation’s leading experts on distressed securities.
Investor Dewey Corley spoke about his friend Aaron Selber and his approach to distressed debt as the course’s first guest lecturer.
Kicking off the guest lecture series on Jan. 15 was Dewey W. Corley (L ’70), Selber’s longtime friend and business partner. Corley worked with Selber’s son-in-law Robert H. Autenreith (E ’74, MBA ’78) and all the members of the family to help raise $1.2 million to name the course in Selber’s honor.
“Aaron was an inspirational guy,” says Corley, who met Selber in the early 1970s and became his business partner in 1998. “He cared deeply about education, about Tulane University and about investing, so I think he’d be delighted to know that this course had been established in his honor.”
While students in the course will gain the technical skills necessary to analyze and value distressed debt, the class also features an experiential learning component in the spirit of Selber’s beloved Burkenroad Reports. Yest plans to have his students write analysis reports on distressed companies detailing why the company is in distress, what piece of its debt they’d recommend purchasing, and what the most likely return for investors is. In a crowded job market, Yest says the reports can help students gain a critical edge.
“We can have a curriculum that is technically very strong, but if we’re not giving students relevant, applicable experience, we’re not doing our job,” Yest says. “The Selber Course gives students not only some unique technical skills, but also a deliverable to show potential employers what they did at Tulane, and that goes a long way toward helping them to stand apart from the competition.”
Ricchiuti, whose program has been helping students stand apart from the crowd for almost 25 years, echoes that thought.
“Aaron was always interested in creating things at Tulane that weren’t available anywhere else,” Ricchiuti says. “Burkenroad Reports was one of those things, and now I think the Selber Course is as well. When students come out of it, they’ll have a set of skills that nobody else has, and that’s something I think Aaron would be very proud of.”
February 19th, 2015
An article on CFO.com highlights new research by the Freeman School’s Kris Hoang on auditor reactions to persuasive tactics. For the study, Hoang and co-author Sanaz Aghazadeh looked at how 85 auditors from large international accounting firms react to persuasive language from clients and pressure to accommodate their wishes.
The professors conclude that client-services pressure – the kind that may occur when a senior audit partner tells auditors that the client will be completing a satisfaction survey at the end of the audit – changes how the auditor interprets a client’s expression of confidence in the numbers. Auditors under such pressure “perceive client confidence as a cue to a persuasion attempt, rather than as an innocuous message,” according to the study.
But such skepticism about the client’s motives doesn’t spur auditors to fact-check the corporation’s numbers by consulting its vendors or customers. Auditors “only seek more powerful evidence when they encounter persuasive language under weaker client service pressure,” the researchers find.
“Thus, even though stronger client service pressure sensitizes auditors to persuasion, it simultaneously deters auditors from pursuing evidence from a more objective source,” they add.
To read the article in its entirety, visit CFO.com:
February 12th, 2015
In a new ranking by Human Resources MBA, the Freeman School’s Greg Oldham is named as one of the nation’s most influential living I/O psychologists.
Oldham, J. F. Jr. and Jesse Lee Seinsheimer Chair of Business and professor of management, is ranked 14th on the website’s list of The 30 Most Influential Industrial and Organizational Psychologists Alive Today. Human Resources MBA bases the ranking on a combination of publications, impact on industrial and organizational practices, influence on future research directions, and awards and recognition.
Oldham was singled out for his co-development of the Job Characteristics Theory, which suggests that challenging tasks serve as motivation while monotonous or boring tasks suppress motivation and lead to employee dissatisfaction. The theory, which provides a set of principles for enriching jobs, is widely used by organizations.
Oldham joined the Freeman School in 2009 after serving as the C. Clinton Spivey Distinguished Professor of Business Administration and professor of labor and industrial relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on the contextual and personal conditions that prompt the creativity of individuals and teams in organizations. He has also conducted numerous studies on the effects of the design of work and work environments on employees’ effectiveness and psychological well-being. His research has appeared in many of the leading journals in the fields, including Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior Human Decision Processes, Administrative Science Quarterly and Journal of Management.
Human Resources MBA is an online education guide with resources to help aspiring HR professionals explore and choose the best human resources degree programs.
February 11th, 2015
From NOLA.com, Feb. 9, 2014:
A new study on the economic value of the 2014 Mardi Gras season showed a total contribution to the New Orleans economy of $465 million, with a total of $17.5 million in tax revenues going to local government entities. The study, conducted by Tulane economics professor Toni Weiss with help from the Freeman Consulting Group, determined that the direct expenditures during the 2014 Mardi Gras season — accounting for things like hotels, food and alcohol, and krewe memberships — came to $164 million.
To read the article in its entirety, visit NOLA.com.
February 10th, 2015
Recognizing the growing need for physicians with business training, the A. B. Freeman School of Business and Tulane University School of Medicine have created a new four-year accelerated program for medical students to earn a master of business administration with their medical degrees.
This summer, the Freeman School and Tulane School of Medicine will begin offering a new program that enables students to earn a medical degree and an MBA in just four years.
The joint-degree program, which begins this summer, is one of only a very few four-year MD/MBA programs across the country.
“Future leaders in medicine must excel as clinicians as well as managers in today’s rapidly evolving healthcare market,” said Dr. Lee Hamm, senior vice president and dean of Tulane University School of Medicine. “This joint degree program is designed to prepare physicians who may later run their own practices, become biomedical entrepreneurs or pursue future careers in health care administration or pharmaceutical development.”
“Whether their goal is to become a practicing physician, medical director of a hospital or manager of a medical group, physicians who understand the tools, concepts and language of business will have a critical advantage in bridging the clinical and business sides of health care,” said Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School.
The four-year program is for newly admitted medical students who will take courses at Freeman during the summers before and after their first year of medical school. Students then complete their business education throughout the remainder of their time at the school of medicine.
The new program will be offered in addition to Tulane’s existing five-year MD/MBA degree, which began in 2004. The five-year degree includes a required global leadership component, which provides real-world learning experiences through international travel. Both combined programs allow students to save time and money over earning the two degrees separately. Each require 48 credit hours compared to the usual 60 hours of a traditional two-year MBA program.
For more information, visit: http://tulane.edu/som/admissions/programs/combined-degrees.cfm