Archive for the ‘Freeman News’ Category

Freeman hosts 19th Finance Case Competition

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

MBA teams Washington University in St. Louis, the University of North Carolina and Tulane University took home the top prizes at the A. B. Freeman School of Business’ 19th annual Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence Finance Case Competition.

An MBA team from the Freeman School earned third-place honors in this year's competition. Pictured with sponsors Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence, center, are from left to right Cynthia Brown, David Dowty, Rodolfo , ???.

An MBA team from the Freeman School earned third-place honors in this year’s competition. Pictured with sponsors Rolanette and Berdon Lawrence, center, are, left to right, Nguyen Hai Ho, Sophia Brown, David Dowty and Rodolfo San Martin.

The competition, which took place at the Freeman School on Friday (April 17), tests the valuation and financial analysis skills of students in a challenging, time-sensitive environment. Student teams are tasked with analyzing a real-world finance case and then presenting their recommendations to a panel of finance professional charged with selecting the top presentations.

Washington University took home this year’s grand prize of $7,000, University of North Carolina earned second place and a prize of $5,000, and host Tulane University took home the third-place prize of $3,000. Also participating in this year’s competition were Rice University, University of South Carolina, University of Texas – Dallas and Vanderbilt University.

“I’m more impressed every year by the caliber, consistency and excellence of the presentations,” said competition judge Casey Herman (BSM ’86). “As a partner at PwC, I hope a few of you are coming to work for us, because we need you. You guys were great.”

“It’s tough to judge because you all are so talented and frequently the margins are very close,” added competition judge Joe Agular (A&S ’81, MBA ’88), partner with Johnson Rice & Co.  in New Orleans. “Hopefully, you all learned something valuable and take something away from the experience.”

Also serving as a judge this year was Chris Conoscenti (MBA/JD ’01), managing director with Credit Suisse in Houston.

The Finance Case Competition began in 1997 and has been sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence since 1998. Berdon Lawrence (BBA ’64, MBA ’65) is the founder of Hollywood Marine and former chairman of Kirby Corp., an operator of inland tank barges headquartered in Houston. Kirby purchased Hollywood Marine in 1999. Lawrence is also a former member of the Business School Council and a former member of the Board of Tulane.

“I owe a lot to my Tulane education,” Lawrence told attendees at the awards presentation. “I don’t think I could have built my company over the years had I not had a good business education here at the Freeman School, so this is a way for me to give something back.”

Lawrence left this year’s participants with some words of advice.

“Two things: Work real hard and be honest,” he said. “If you do that, you’re going to be successful.”

 


Malaria detection device wins Business Model Competition

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Disease Diagnostic Group, a startup company with technology to dramatically improve the diagnosis of malaria, won first place and a $25,000 grand prize at the 15th annual Tulane Business Model Competition.

Disease Diagnostic Group's John Lewandowski, right, receives the $25,000 grand prize from Sherif Ebrahim, the Freeman School's director of entrepreneurship and innovation education.

DDG’s John Lewandowski, right, receives this year’s grand prize from Sherif A. Ebrahim at the Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Awards Gala on Thursday (April 16).

The final round of the competition, an annual presentation of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, took place at the A. B. Freeman School of Business on Thursday (April 16) with the winners announced later that evening at the Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Awards Gala at the Audubon Tea Room.

In earning this year’s top prize, Massachusetts Institute of Technology-based DDG edged out runner-up D&P Bioinnovations from Tulane University, which earned the $10,000 second prize, and REEcycle from the University of Houston, which won the third-place prize of $2,500.

DDG’s flagship product is a medical device that uses magnets and lasers to accurately and inexpensively detect the presence of malaria parasites, which produce a magnetic byproduct.

“Current diagnostics are slow, expensive, and require medical expertise and refrigeration,” said DDG co-founder John Lewandowski. “We’ve created a reusable and portable device that leverages those magnetic biomarkers and can be used to diagnose malaria with one drop of blood from a fingertip for one-tenth the cost and 100 times the sensitivity of current techniques.”

Competition judge Srin Vishwanath (PHTM ’97) said he was impressed with both DDG’s technology and business model.

“The three finalists were all very smart and very viable businesses, but Disease Diagnostic Group was furthest ahead in terms of really developing a business model and getting closer to market,” said Vishwanath, CFO of GreenWave Healthcare Technologies. “It was close, but I think all the judges were in agreement that their business plan stood out.”

The 2015 Tulane Business Model Competition drew applications from more than 50 high-potential ventures across the country. Sherif A. Ebrahim, director of entrepreneurship and innovation education at the Freeman School, said this year’s entrants were among the strongest in the competition’s history.

“We received some very well considered business models this year that showed the capacity to pivot based on market feedback, but our three finalists truly represented the best of an impressive group of contenders throughout the competition,” said Ebrahim. “They each applied business model dynamics to create fundable businesses with sustainable value, and all three have the potential to become highly successful companies.”

 


Freeman honors Maurin, Besh as Entrepreneurs of the Year

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business honored real estate executive James E. Maurin (MBA ’72) as Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year and restaurateur John Besh as Tulane Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2015 Tulane Council of Entrepreneurs Award Gala. The ceremony took place on Thursday, April 16, at the Audubon Tea Room.

The Freeman School’s Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship presents the awards each year to highlight outstanding entrepreneurs in the community. The Tulane Distinguished Entrepreneur of Year Award honors individuals who combine a history of entrepreneurial success with philanthropic generosity and service to the community. The Tulane Outstanding Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes individuals who are solving social problems and meeting community needs through the use of entrepreneurial principles. Tulane President Michael A. Fitts and Freeman School Dean Ira Solomon presented the awards.

James E. Maurin (MBA '72)

James E. Maurin (MBA ’72)

Maurin is co-founder and retired chairman and CEO of Stirling Properties, one of the Gulf South’s leading commercial real estate companies. Founded in 1975, the company’s business areas include brokerage services, development and redevelopment, acquisitions and investments, and property and asset management over a wide array of property types. Maurin is a member of Tulane University’s Business School Council, and his professional and civic activities include serving on the boards of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Ochsner Health System, Blueprint Louisiana, the LSU Foundation, the LSU College of Business Dean’s Advisory Committee, the Northshore Community Foundation, the Urban Land Institute and the World President’s Organization. He earned his undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering from LSU in 1970 and an MBA from Tulane’s A. B. Freeman School of Business in 1972. Maurin began his career as a CPA with Ernst and Ernst and has been active in the shopping center industry for over 37 years.

John Besh

John Besh

Besh is a chef, businessman and entrepreneur dedicated to the culinary riches of southern Louisiana. In his 11 restaurants, entrepreneurial pursuits and public activities, he aims to preserve and promote ingredients, techniques and heritage. Besh is the author of three award-winning cookbooks, and he hosts two national public television cooking shows. His non-profit organization, the John Besh Foundation, works to protect and preserve the culinary heritage and foodways of New Orland and the Gulf Coast area. In 2011, the foundation established the Chefs Move! scholarship program to send a minority recipient to the International Culinary Center in New York City. The scholar pledges to return to New Orleans and work in the restaurant industry for five years, promoting and supporting diversity in the kitchen. To date, seven Chefs Move scholarships have been awarded. The foundation also started a microloan program in partnership with the A. B. Freeman School of Business to financially assist and advise farmers and artisanal producers within 200 miles of New Orleans to grow their businesses.

“Jimmy Maurin has devoted his career to developing commercial real estate properties that anchor communities, promote further development and spread economic prosperity,” said Dean Solomon. “John Besh, through his philanthropic foundation, is working to help provide the region’s farmers and culinary professionals with the training and business support they need to become sustainable. I am delighted to be able to recognize these two outstanding business people with our 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year awards.”

 


BSM/MACCT alum earns 2014 Elijah Watt Sells Award

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Megan E. Baumgartner (BSM/MACCT ’14) has been named a 2014 recipient of the American Institute of CPAs’ Elijah Watt Sells Award.

A. B. Freeman School of Business

Alumna Megan Baumgartner (BSM/MACCT ’14) earned the AICPA’s prestigious Elijah Watt Sells Awards, which recognizes the year’s top performances on the Uniform CPA Examination.

The AICPA bestows the prestigious award upon candidates who obtain a cumulative average score above 95.50 across all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination and pass all four sections of the examination on their first attempt. As a 2014 award winner, Baumgartner is one of just 60 individuals out of the more than 90,000 who sat for the exam to achieve the criteria.

“It is a huge honor to receive this award, and my experiences at the Freeman School definitely contributed to my success,” said Baumgartner, who serves on the financial services assurance staff with EY in McLean, Virginia. “I would not be where I am today without my accounting professors. Their passion encouraged me to pursue accounting and provided me with a fundamental understanding of the field.”

“I had the privilege of knowing Megan as a student, as an advisee in the BSM/Master of Accounting program, and as my teaching and graduate assistant, all roles in which she excelled,” said Christine Smith, assistant director of the joint BSM/MACCT program. “She is truly exceptional, and there’s no doubt in my mind that she has some very exciting days ahead of her.”

The Elijah Watt Sells Award program was established by the AICPA in 1923 to recognize outstanding performance on the CPA examination. Sells, one of the first CPAs in the United States, was active in the establishment of the AICPA and played a key role in advancing professional education within the profession.

“To place in the top .1 percent of CPA candidates in a given year is a remarkable achievement, and one that speaks volumes about Megan’s hard work, perseverance and dedication to excellence,” said Ira Solomon, dean of the Freeman School. “I couldn’t be more proud of her for earning this extraordinary honor.”

 


MFIN team earns top prize in ACG Cup competition

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

A team of Freeman School Master of Finance students traveled to Baton Rouge on Saturday (March 28) and came away with first-place honors in the 2015 ACG Cup, the Association for Corporate Growth’s annual M&A case-study competition.

A team of Freeman School MFIN student won first place at the fifth annual ACG Cup.

A team of Freeman School MFIN student earned first place in ACG Louisiana’s 2015 ACG Cup.

Presented locally by ACG Louisiana, the competition challenges students to analyze a complex mergers and acquisitions case and offer their finance recommendations. ACG members who are experienced M&A professionals serve as judges. The competition took place at LSU’s E. J. Ourso College of Business.

This was the first year that the competition was open to Master of Finance students as well as MBAs, and the Freeman School’s MFIN team made the most of the opportunity. The students — Yutiancheng “Tian” Hu, Yinuo “Perfeeno” Wang, Qian “Ann” Wu, Yulu “Evelyn” Zhang and Yuan Zheng — beat out MBA students from LSU and University of Louisiana – Lafayette to win the top prize of $2,500.

“It was a great opportunity for us to put what we’ve learned from the MFIN program into practice,” said Hu. “We treated the case like a real M&A deal, so it was exciting to be able to pitch our investment ideas to the judges. It was just an amazing teamwork experience. I wish our team could work a real LBO deal together in the future.”

Each year, the ACG Cup gives hundreds of MBA students from leading business schools across the nation the opportunity to apply classroom studies to real-world experience and gain invaluable insight into the field of mergers and acquisitions, investment banking, financial advising and private equity. Founded in 1954, ACG is a global organization with 56 chapters. ACG’s 14,000 members include professionals from private equity firms, corporations and lenders that invest in middle-market companies, as well as from law, accounting, investment banking and other firms that provide advisory services.


Internships help undergrads bring it all together

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Hala Bowen (BSM ’14) had always dreamed of owning her own concert venue, so when, as part of her business integration capstone course, she got the chance to do an internship at the Civic Theatre, she jumped at the opportunity.

Civic

As part of her internship at the Civic Theatre, Hala Bowen (BSM ’14) built spreadsheets to recap each event’s financial performance just hours after the show.

“Working for the Civic was my dream job, basically,” laughs Bowen, an Atlanta native who majored in entrepreneurship. “Being able to be a part of all the decisions that go into booking and running a music venue was just an amazing experience.”

Built in 1906 by the Shubert family, renowned developers of New York’s Broadway district, the Civic went through a host of incarnations in its long history, everything from vaudeville house to discotheque, before shutting its doors in the 1980s. After lying in disrepair for nearly 25 years, developers Brian Gibbs (BSM ’95) and Bryan Bailey (BSM ’02) took over the property and returned the elegant Beaux-Arts theater to its original use as a live event space.

Bowen worked alongside Bailey, the Civic’s managing partner, for 16 weeks, learning everything it takes to run a successful entertainment venue. She was no mere lackey. In addition to assisting with marketing and logistics, she created an Excel template for Bailey that pulled data from the theater’s point-of-sale system to create a recap of each event just hours after the show. She also helped build a template that used previous event data to predict the performance of upcoming events.

“There are so many things that go into making it a great show for the venue that you don’t think of unless you’re plugging in the numbers,” Bowen says. “That’s what I liked best — getting my hands dirty seeing what actually makes things successful.”

_MG_0738 - Version 4

Hala Bowen says the internship helped her understand what it takes to produce successful live events.

“She tackled everything we threw at her,” says Bailey. “By the end of her internship, she was definitely contributing a substantial amount, and I think the best part is she was taking the things she learned in school and applying them to the real world.”

The undergraduate internship program is the brainchild of Larry Merington, adjunct lecturer in management and instructor in the business integration capstone. While internships at the graduate level are traditionally part of the job-search process, Merington says his goal is more educational.

“The capstone is intended to push the students to bring together all the skills they’ve learned in the last three-plus years,” explains Merington. “Internships are a way for students to go into a real business and see firsthand how the things they’ve learned in school can be applied to solve financial or marketing or operational problems.”

This year, Merington’s students interned with clients including the National World War II Museum and a locally based hotel and hospitality group. While the program is currently voluntary, Merington hopes eventually to recruit enough clients to make it a required part of the class.

“This is really a bridge,” adds Merington. “A bridge between your academic career and putting it into practice.”

For Bowen, her internship with the Civic helped her realize there were other ways to be involved in music and live event production. Inspired in part by Bailey, she earned her real estate license after completing her internship. Today, as a marketing and sales associate with tech firm showNets, she helps coordinate Wi-Fi and Internet services for trade shows, marketing events and major venues.

“Even though my passion is live music, there’s usually a concert for each of these huge conferences,” Bowen says, “so it’s cool to be part of another side of producing live events.”

 


Research Notes: Daniel Mochon

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Mochon-236x236Assistant Professor of Marketing Daniel Mochon received the Society for Consumer Psychology’s 2015 C.W. Park Outstanding Contribution to the Field Award for his paper “The IKEA effect: When labor leads to love.” The award was presented at the society’s winter 2015 conference in Phoenix.  The paper, which Mochon co-authored with Michael Norton and Dan Ariely, suggests that individuals attach greater value to products they create themselves than those products might objectively deserve. It originally appeared in the Journal of Consumer Psychology in 2012.


Innovation in Ethics Education grant program seeks proposals

Friday, March 27th, 2015

The Freeman School is currently accepting proposals for the inaugural Millie and Allan Bradley Innovation in Ethics Education Grants.

The Millie and Allan Bradley Innovation in Ethics Education Grants Program will award grants of up to $10,000 to support innovative teaching in ethics.

The Millie and Allan Bradley Innovation in Ethics Education Grants Program will award grants of up to $10,000 to support innovative teaching in ethics.

Grants of up to $10,000 will be awarded to Tulane University faculty to support the development of innovative educational materials focused on ethics in business and society. These intellectual contributions might include case studies, decision- or judgement-making tools or research reports. Potential topics include business’ role in society, corporate social responsibility, social innovation and entrepreneurship, leadership character, corporate culture, ethics programs, and ethical decision-making dilemmas.

Proposals that reflect two emerging trends in higher education — collaboration among faculty across disciplines and “flipped classrooms” — will receive special consideration. Interdisciplinary perspectives on ethical issues increase students’ levels of ethical wisdom and enhance their overall understanding of this important broad-based educational foundation. Flipped classrooms refers to interactive, student-centered designs that use in-class time for students to engage in problem-solving and apply course content to real-world problems. Regardless of the focus or format, all submissions should have an ethical component as the centerpiece.

Funding for the program is provided by Millie P. Bradley (NC ’73, MBA ’75), former controller and manager of information systems with Exxon Mobil Corp.,  and Allan Bradley Jr. (MBA ’75), president and CEO of Questar Pipeline Co.

To learn more about the grants program, including information on how to submit a proposal, please see the program’s electronic brochure.

 


Tulane Business Model Competition announces finalists

Wednesday, 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.

TBMC-pitch_074

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 linaa@tulane.edu.

 


Alumna honored with WFF Trailblazer award

Thursday, 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-Headshot-2012

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.

 



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