Archive for September, 2008

Tulane Business Forum preview

Friday, September 26th, 2008

Richard M. Bracken, president and COO of HCA, the world’s largest private operator of health care facilities, highlights a wide-ranging lineup of speakers scheduled to present at the 29th annual Tulane Business Forum.

This year’s forum, which will take place on Friday, Oct. 17, at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, focuses on the theme of innovation, a topic that forum co-chair Keith Crawford says is relevant to all businesses regardless of size or industry.

“Innovation can be found in some unlikely places,” says Crawford, a management consultant and chief financial officer with local entrepreneurial support firm the Idea Village. “For example, you don’t think of the offshore services industry as being terribly innovative, but Todd Hornbeck has brought an incredible level of innovation not only to his boats but to the way the business is structured. The joke among the industry is that his vessels out in the Gulf look more like NASA space shuttles.”

Hornbeck, chairman, president and CEO of Covington-based Hornbeck Offshore Services, will participate in a panel discussion on spotting opportunities along with Jim Bridger, general manager of the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, and Matthew M. Wisdom, co-founder and CEO of TurboSquid Inc. Business writer and editor Kathy Finn will moderate.

The forum kicks off with David M. Mize, retired major general and senior vice president with Apogen Technologies/QinetiQ North America, who will discuss the proposed Federal City project in Algiers, an innovative new model for military and federal installations. Next, Debra Neill Baker and Edwin Neill III of Hammond-based Neill Corp. will talk about the role innovation has played in building their business, one of the nation’s leading beauty and salon services companies.

William F. Borne, chairman and CEO of Baton Rouge’s Amedisys Inc., a leading provider of home health care and hospice services, will address his company’s approach to the value proposition in health care. Following the panel discussion, Bracken will deliver this year’s keynote luncheon address, “HCA and Innovation: Not Only a Requirement for Success, but an Important Aspect of Company Culture.”

“Innovation as a process is something the New Orleans business community needs,” says Crawford. “I think one reason more businesses aren’t demonstrating innovative thinking is that no one’s ever shown them how to drive innovation through their organizations. That’s really what we strived to do with our slate of speakers.”

Registration for this year’s forum is at 8 a.m., and the conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tulane faculty and staff can register at the special discounted rate of $75. For more information about the special rate, please contact Rhonda Earles at 504-865-8470 or To learn more about this year’s program, visit

Entrepreneurship program ranked among nation’s best

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

For the third straight year, Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review have named Freeman one of the nation’s top business schools for entrepreneurs.

The Freeman School was ranked 17th on this year’s list of the Top 25 Graduate Programs for entrepreneurs. The ranking appears in the October issue of Entrepreneur.

“This ranking reflects our commitment to providing students with the practical skills, real-world experience and inspiration to fulfill their aspirations to start and build companies that make the world a better place,” said John Elstrott, clinical professor of business and director of the Freeman School’s Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship. “In that last 17 years, more than 75 successful new businesses have been launched by graduates of our entrepreneurship program, each one creating jobs and wealth in its community.”

The Freeman School offers a wide range of courses aimed at entrepreneurs, including New Venture Planning, Marketing Planning and Implementation, Venture Capital & Private Equity, Marketing Research, and Management of Technology and Innovation.

The Freeman School also sponsors the annual Tulane Business Plan Competition, which awards cash prizes to promising new businesses. Recent ventures launched through the competition include, a social networking site devoted to socially responsible individuals and businesses; INExchange, a fair-trade boutique selling arts and crafts from around the world; and NOLA 180, an educational non-profit that helped create the Langston Hughes Academy Charter School in New Orleans.

Entrepreneur and The Princeton Review surveyed more than 2,300 entrepreneurship programs to come up with this year’s Top 25 graduate and undergraduate rankings. Schools were evaluated based on key criteria in the areas of academics and requirements, students and faculty, and outside-the-classroom experiences.

To learn more about this year’s survey, visit

Freeman jumps in latest U.S. News survey

Monday, September 1st, 2008

The Freeman School jumped five spots to No. 43 in the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of undergraduate business programs. The ranking appeared in the magazine’s Sept. 1, 2008, issue.

“This is great news for the Freeman School and the undergraduate program, but as always we must be cautious about putting too much weight in this or any other ranking,” said Angelo DeNisi, dean of the Freeman School. “Our true focus continues to be making the program the best it can be regardless of rankings.”

The ranking was based on a spring 2008 survey of deans and senior faculty at undergraduate business programs accredited by the AACSB. The deans and faculty members were asked to rate the quality of all programs they were familiar with on a scale of 1 (marginal) to 5 (distinguished).

Eight schools were tied with Freeman at No. 43, including Bentley College, the College of William and Mary, Rensselaer Polytechnic University, University of Arkansas, University of Pittsburgh, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee, and Virginia Tech.

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