Archive for January, 2013

NFL’s Smith and Atallah talk business with MBA students

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

New Orleans Saints starting defensive end Will Smith, standing, and NFL Players Association Assistant Executive Director for External Affairs George Atallah, seated, spoke to students about the business of the NFL in a special Super Bowl week talk. Photo by Cheryl Gerber.

Will Smith, starting defensive end of the New Orleans Saints, and George Atallah, assistant executive director of external affairs for the NFL Players Association, discussed the business side of football in a special Super Bowl week appearance at the A. B. Freeman School of Business on Tuesday (Jan. 29).

NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith appointed Atallah to the newly created position of assistant executive director of external affairs in 2009. In that role, Atallah manages NFLPA media relations, strategic partnerships and fan outreach. He also served as the NFLPA’s spokesman on issues including the lockout and the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal.

Smith, a nine-year NFL veteran, was one of four current and former Saints who had their suspensions in the wake of the bounty scandal overturned by former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

The interactive talk, organized by Graduate Business Council President Albin Soares (MBA ’13), covered topics including the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, player marketing, the image of the game and what the future may hold for the NFL and its players. To see more photos from the event, visit the Freeman School’s Flickr page.

Less than one week to enter Biz Plan Competition

Friday, January 18th, 2013

The deadline to enter the 2013 Tulane Business Plan Competition is Jan. 22 and officers of the Tulane Entrepreneurs Association are putting out a final call for entries.

The Tulane Business Plan Competition is the nation’s only business plan competition dedicated to the principles of conscious capitalism.

The annual competition, which is open to student innovators from around the world, offers a top prize of $50,000 for the startup with the best sustainable business model rooted in the ideals of conscious capitalism. Conscious capitalism incorporates the principles of social entrepreneurship, which are based on the belief that a business can benefit both the community and major stakeholders.

A second track called the Domain Companies New Orleans Entrepreneur Challenge offers $20,000 for the best plan for a New Orleans-based business that demonstrates strong growth potential and positive impact on the local economy.

“We are excited about this year’s competition and are hoping to continue the recent momentum that Tulane has gained in the New Orleans community and beyond as a driving force for entrepreneurial growth in the region,” says TEA President Cullan Maumus. “We are expecting this year’s competition to receive more international applications than ever before as a result of our outreach.”

To enter, teams must submit a six-page business abstract and a $100 entrance fee. For more information and to register online, visit

The 2013 Tulane Business Plan Competition will take place at the A. B. Freeman School of Business on April 19.


Research Notes: Prof. John Page

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

John PageJohn R. Page’s paper “Bank Accounting Practices and Current Financial System Uncertainty” has been accepted for publication in The CPA Journal. The paper, co-authored with Paul Hooper, retired professor of accounting at the University of Delaware and former visiting professor at Tulane University, explores some of the factors contributing to uncertainty on bank financial statements, in particular issues regarding the calculation of capital adequacy ratios. Page is an associate professor of accounting at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business.

Freeman School launches TABA chapters in five U.S. cities

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

The Tulane Association of Business Alumni (TABA) has announced the establishment of chapters in five U.S. cities. The five TABA chapters are Houston, Nashville, Washington D.C., New York and Miami.


TABA has established new chapters in five U.S. cities.

Establishing TABA chapters in cities outside New Orleans has been a longtime goal of the association, and TABA President Tom Spiers (MBA ’01) says he hopes the creation of these chapters will help strengthen ties among alumni in those cities and enable TABA to offer programs that better serve their needs and interests.

“The Freeman School has more than 20,000 alumni worldwide, representing an incredibly diverse population in terms of both geography and demographics,” says Spiers. “I think it’s important for us to do everything we can to engage those individuals at the local level, and the establishment of these first five TABA chapters will greatly enhance our ability to do that.”

According to Peggy Babin, associate dean for external relations, the five chapter cities were chosen based on several criteria, including the number of Freeman alumni residing in the greater area and the response of alumni in those cities to TABA’s outreach regarding the creation of local chapters.

“The five cities we chose—Houston, Nashville, Washington D.C., New York and Miami—are each home to hundreds of Freeman School alumni, and individual alumni in those cities were instrumental in providing the enthusiasm and support we needed to establish TABA chapters,” says Babin. “Our strategy is to get these chapters up and running initially and then add more cities in the coming months and years.”

For information on how to become involved with a local chapter or how to start a chapter in your city, contact Babin at or Rhonda Brown at


A message from Afghanistan

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Freeman School graduate Edward Crawford (MBA ’09, MGM ’09, LA ’09), an associate with Goldman Sachs & Co. in Miami, is currently deployed with U.S. Navy special operations forces in Afghanistan. He recently this holiday message to share with the Freeman community.

Dear Friends,

I write to you all today on Christmas from Afghanistan. I’ve been deployed in this remote province for 6 months now and have just a few more months to go. This deployment has been an incredible experience and has taught me a lot about what is most important in life.

Edward Crawford

We have had good times and bad times but we have always pulled through together. The fighting season here is finally over but unfortunately there has still been violence. We have lost a number of brothers in the last few weeks and the last one’s remains will arrive home on Christmas day. It has been a dramatic challenge for us to deal with the loss of these incredible men but we are cognizant of those wives who have lost their husbands and all the children who will spend their Christmas knowing that their dads will never be back. I have had the great honor of serving with these men who have given their lives for a greater cause and on this beautiful Christmas day we are remembering their sacrifice here. I thank all of you who have supported and prayed for the troops lost during this difficult mission and I pray that, on this day of birth and rebirth, their families can find some solace that their loved ones died as heroes and will never be forgotten. I wanted to thank each and everyone one of you for supporting Mary, Caroline and baby Edward in my absence and for the love and comfort you have provided. You have made this Christmas the most memorable of all.

Today is a new day, a day of joy and we are celebrating how lucky we are to have friends like you. I can’t wait to see you all back in the states in just a few months. Have a Merry Christmas, may God bless you and may the Christmas spirit dwell in each and every one of you on this special day.

The only blind person at Christmas time is he who has not Christmas in his heart.

(Helen Keller)

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Edward J. Crawford
Morton A. Aldrich Fellow & Jones Scholar
Tulane University, A. B. Freeman School of Business


Research Notes: Prof. Jennifer Merluzzi

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Jennifer Merluzzi is the co-author of “Embedded Brokerage,” which will appear as a chapter in the upcoming book Research in the Sociology of Organizations (Cambridge, Mass: Emerald Group). The article, co-authored with Ronald S. Burt, Hobart W. Williams Professor of Sociology and Strategy at the University of Chicago, discusses the complementary relationship between status and access to structural holes in the context of network advantage. Merluzzi is an assistant professor of management at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business

Consumers judge risk of illness by the cost of the cure

Friday, January 4th, 2013

When it comes to calculating their odds of getting the flu, consumers look to an unlikely gauge – the price of the flu shot – to measure their risk, according to a new study co-authored by a Freeman School researcher.

Janet Schwartz

Janet Schwartz

The study found that consumers make judgments about their risk of catching an illness based on the cost of its medication. The higher the price, the less they think they’re at risk, says co-author Janet Schwartz, assistant professor of marketing at the A. B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane.

“Your chance of winning at blackjack has nothing to do with how big the payout is and most people know that,” Schwartz says. “But when it comes to understanding what prices reflect for medicine, people look at the price and they do think that it somehow tells them something about their own risk of getting a disease. In reality, those two factors are completely independent.”

Researchers conducted several surveys to gauge consumers’ reactions to different medications based on cost and perceived risk. For example, they presented different health messages about getting a flu shot, emphasizing individual risk in one scenario and the larger public health risks in another. They told some that the vaccine cost $25 and others $125. Even though all were told the cost would be covered by insurance, those in the high-price group felt that they were at a lower risk of getting the flu.

Researchers found that consumers instinctively believed that important medication like flu vaccine should be affordably priced to be widely accessible. When priced high and perceivably out of reach for some, consumers inferred that the medicine must not be all that necessary and the risk of getting the illness must be lower. The results of the study, which is co-authored by Adriana Samper of the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, will be published in the April issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.

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