UA EMBA Alumni Network Conference To Focus on Business Owners

It’s fall at The University of Alabama, and for the EMBA Program that means our students along with our alumni are returning to campus.  The EMBA Alumni Network will be holding their annual conference October 4-5 in Tuscaloosa.

Entrepreneurship, innovation, networking and paying forward/giving back will be the themes covered at the conference. Hear the stories from owners who are passionate about their companies. Learn how they created and built their businesses, the roadblocks, successes, and strategy for continuing success.

Featured speakers:

  • Founder and Owner Robert Armstrong whose company G Momma Cookies took honors this year in the Alabama Launchpad Competition.
  • Co-Founder and President Mary Drennen began Nourish Foods in Birmingham featuring Southern-inspired meals and now ships to 40 states.
  • A panel of UA EMBAs who are owners representing International Crating & Assembly, Atlas Senior Living, and Stringfellow Technology Group.

It is more than just a day of learning and inspiration. It’s also an opportunity to network and catch up with classmates and faculty.

We’re proud to bring together our community of EMBA alumni, students and prospects to learn, get inspired, and grow better together.  Welcome Back, Alumni, and Roll Tide!

To register for the UA EMBA Alumni Network Conference click here or call Donna Blackburn at dblackburn@cba.ua.edu.

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HEMBA Class of 2020 Begins

The University of Alabama HEMBA Class of 2020

If it is August, you will find The University of Alabama Executive MBA staff busy getting ready for the incoming Huntsville EMBAs. The HEMBAs arrived in Tuscaloosa for orientation and their first classes August 1-4.

Before the students begin their first semester classes: Statistics, Accounting, Marketing and Project Management, they spend a day team building and getting to know each other.

At orientation, we focus on how our students can be successful in the program, using academic research and work with our own students on team and individual success, reciprocity, and coaching.  Teams also get a head start in creating their team charters which strongly emphasize their goals and commitments.

Also, the HEMBA 2020 class took part in the traditional EMBA Scavenger Hunt on the UA campus.  Every landmark on our campus, from Denny Chimes, to Bryant-Denny Stadium, President’s House, to Coleman Coliseum was documented with selfies taken by our HEMBA teams.

Twenty-two students make up the 11th Huntsville cohort. They represent 14 different industries, including retail, services, defense, aeronautics, manufacturing, healthcare, distribution and IT.  Fifteen percent are vice presidents/owners, 85 percent managers, and 48 percent are military or veterans – setting a record.

The HEMBAs will join the 35th Tuscaloosa cohort starting in November 2018 to complete the EMBA Class of 2020.

Congratulations to our incoming HEMBA Class of 2020. Roll Tide!

  • Alanna Aaron, Forever 21
  • Chad Brennan, Dynetics, Inc.
  • Jeremy Chism, Science & Engineering Services (SES)
  • Mike DeWerff, Motion Industries
  • Cynthia Dempsey, ZoomCare
  • Danielle DeVaney, The Boeing Company
  • Gilbert Goscicki, BASF
  • Joey Holdmeyer, Sonoco Products Company
  • Gabe Lewis, Leidos
  • Jim Lopresti, Yulista Aviation
  • Julie Mathis, Futaba Corporation of America
  • Brian McCormick, Parker Hannafin
  • Louis McMillian, USAAMCOM
  • Phil Monkress, All Points Logistics, LLC
  • Robert Post, Diversified Gas & Oil Corporation
  • David Ramirez, Ruag Space USA
  • Jennifer Ridgeway, PPG Aerospace
  • Stephen Schlanger, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S.
  • Adam Stephens, Smith Infiniti of Huntsville
  • Wilson Townsend, Schneider Electric
  • Mandy Watts, B. Braun Interventional Systems
  • Ted Yonke, ThyssenKrupp Materials

For more information on how you can enroll and become a student in the UA EMBA Program, contact Cheryl Altemara at caltemara@cba.ua.edu or call 205.348.4501. To request information now, click here. 

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Ray Curry Elected to No. 2 Job at UAW

Ray Curry, a graduate of the Executive MBA Class of 2013 at The University of Alabama, has been elected Secretary-Treasurer at UAW.  Assuming the number two spot, Ray will serve for the next four years, overseeing financial operations for the 430,000 member organization.

Ray began the EMBA Program as assistant director of UAW/Region 8 and was quickly promoted to director.  In April he was named to the Daimler AG Board of Directors.

Prior to his move to Detroit, Ray met last week with Connie Chambers, director of corporate partnerships for the Manderson Graduate School, and Donna Blackburn, director of EMBA. “I am excited about the week ahead and the opportunity that awaits me,” said Ray.  “I’m thankful for completing the EMBA program, it definitely prepared me for last role and the new role as our organization’s chief financial officer.”

Ray has been an active alumnus of the EMBA Program. He has met with prospects, been involved with recruitment events, and advised incoming students.

According to EMBA classmate Jon Yobs, pricing director at Science Applications International, “Working with Ray was always a highlight of our program for me. I am not surprised that Ray has risen to the highest ranks of his organization because he always treated his colleagues with the highest level of respect. I’m proud to say he’s a friend of mine, and I’m glad to hear he’s doing so well at UAW. He’s a wonderful guy and will do great things!”

For more information on The University of Alabama Executive MBA Program, contact Cheryl Altemara at 205.348.4501 or caltemara@cba.ua.edu.

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2018 EMBA Graduation Ceremony is All About Graduates and Family

At The University of Alabama, the Executive MBA Program requires commitment and dedication by its students to complete a challenging curriculum within 17-21 months. On Saturday, May 5, 2018 the EMBA Class of 2018 fulfilled their graduate requirements to obtain their M.B.A. degree.  In attendance for the EMBA Graduation Ceremony were over 270 family members along with staff and faculty to celebrate this great achievement.

Overlooking the football field at Bryant-Denny Stadium, Culverhouse College of Business Dean Kay Palan welcomed the graduates and recognized the families for their strong support. It is not easy to earn a graduate degree and knowing that you have those who care for you can make a big difference in getting through a program of this nature.

Daryl Evans (EMBA 2018) and daughter Elora.

The day is all about celebrating achievement and showing gratitude to those helped and were there for our graduates throughout the process. “Graduation day was really a lot of fun and my family was really impressed,” said Daryl Evans, Class President for the Huntsville EMBA cohort.

Before the brunch and formal EMBA Graduation Ceremony, and The University of Alabama Commencement, the graduates and families toured the stadium, including the Crimson Tide locker room and tunnel.

During the ceremony all of the graduates were individually recognized.  In addition, special awards were given to Class MVPs Eric Janssen (HEMBA) and Chris Derksen (TEMBA) for reflecting the high ideals and standards of their class, being supportive of class and teammates and showing integrity and leadership ability.

Drs. Brian Gray and Ron Dulek were honored with the James F. Cashman Faculty Award for their advice, counsel, positive influence on students and high standards of integrity.

Drs. Don Minyard and Gary Taylor received the Executive MBA Faculty Excellence Awards for outstanding commitment to the EMBA Program through their exceptional instruction, generating a positive learning environment and creating a significant impact on student understanding.

The EMBA Ceremony concluded with Jennifer Thomas (EMBA 2014), President of the EMBA Alumni Network, welcoming the graduates into the Network of now 928 EMBA alumni. Roll Tide!

EMBA graduates line up for The University of Alabama Spring 2018 Commencement.

Congratulations, Executive MBA Class of 2018!

[L-R] EMBA 2018 graduates Jermaine West, Tyler Williams and Tory Wiles

  • Carolyn Berry, GEA/Roper Corporation
  • Molly Bray, AmerisourceBergen
  • Colton Campbell, Otis Elevator Company
  • Maren Cross, Daimler Mercedes-Benz U.S.
  • Joseph Culbert, Every Blade Solutions LLC
  • Chemeka Dabney, LP Building Products
  • Chris Derksen, Vulcan Materials Company
  • Daryl Evans, DEX Imaging
  • Christina Gordon, Druid City Hospital Health System
  • Matt Groves, BBVA
  • Eric Janssen, SportsMed, PC
  • Ben Johnson, CACI International Inc.
  • Dejarvas Kelly, Mercedes-Benz U.S.
  • Peter Kerr, ADTRAN, Inc.
  • Nancy Laster, DCH Health System
  • Mitchell Loper, Raymond James
  • Andy Maguire, NASA
  • Jake Mankin, The University of Alabama
  • Jason McConnell, RSM US
  • Felicia McKinney, The University of Alabama
  • John Meshensky, ManTech International Doster
  • Chris Overstreet, Doster Construction Company, Inc.
  • Christian Patel, Alabama Power Company
  • Derrica Poole, FIS Global
  • Kevin Porter, Consultant
  • Bethany Roberts, Books-A-Million
  • Drew Rollins, Star Asset Security

    Nora Woods (EMBA 2018)

  • Jenna Roney, Southern Company
  • Lacey Schoff, Oral Arts Dental Laboratories
  • Jason Sellars, UA Office of Veteran Affairs
  • Carl Vasilko, PAE
  • Justin Walker, Environmental 360, Inc.
  • Jermaine West, Barber Dairy
  • Tory Wiles, nou Systems Inc.
  • Tyler Williams, Parker Hannifin Corporation
  • Nora Woods, New Life Interfaith Ministries, Inc.

For more information on The University of Alabama Executive MBA Program, contact Cheryl Altemara at 205.348.4501 or caltemara@cba.ua.edu.

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Curry Named to Daimler AG Board of Directors

Curry at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

HEMBA 2013 graduate, Raymond “Ray” Curry of  Nashville, TN has been elected to the Daimler AG Supervisory Board at the 2018 Dieter Zetsche Annual Shareholders Meeting in Berlin. Following the voting of nearly 700 delegates from various Daimler plants and offices, Curry was approved for the five-year term. “I am excited about this opportunity and feel so blessed,” stated Curry.

His formal induction to the board will take place April 2018, after which he will also continue his role as a trade-union representative from outside Germany.

Per the German Co-determination law, the board consists of 20 members who have been selected by either shareholders or employees. As a member of the the Supervisory Board, Curry will aid in the monitoring of executive management, appointments to the Board of Management, and the approval of the Operative Planning Board.

Daimler AG is a Fortune 500 German multinational automotive corporation headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. The company is responsible for renowned car brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Mercedes-AMG, Smart Car2Go, and the Mercedes-Benz bus.

To learn more about the UA EMBA Program and the international trip experience, contact Cheryl Altemara at caltemara@cba.ua.edu or call 205.348.0954. To request information now, click here.

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What’s On Your Bucket List?

We are scaling the sacred Inca religious site Machu Picchu at close to 8,000 feet. The effects of high altitude are being felt with each step we climb but it is worth experiencing the lack of oxygen.  The vastness and immense beauty of the 15th-century citadel in Peru is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The University of Alabama Executive MBA Class of 2018 began their international trip to Peru and Ecuador by visiting Machu Picchu and Cusco on February 22. Machu Picchu’s glimpse into the Inca Empire’s crowning achievement is a creation of escarpments, terraces and giant walls surrounded by a vast vista. A roughly two-hour train ride followed by a two-hour bus ride delivers us to Cusco surrounding us in carved balconies, bold architecture, ruins, and the colorful Plaza de Armas. Students visited the local San Pedro Market, the Sacred Valley and sampled pisco, cuy (guinea pig) and purchased alpaca clothing.

From Cusco, the EMBAs traveled to Lima, Peru.  Coursework and culture co-mingled with company visits, a culinary class, and a chance to see Lima while biking or surfing.  The international trip is part of the students’ global business course taken in their final semester.

EMBA students visit Pamplona Alta community in Lima with MEDLIFE.

As part of the course, the EMBA class (combining  students from the graduating Huntsville and Tuscaloosa programs) work on a consulting project.  This year EMBA students worked with MEDLIFE, an American non-profit organization that partners with low-income communities in Latin America and Africa to improve their access to medicine, education, and community development initiatives, through Service Learning Trips and the MEDLIFE Project Fund.

Our EMBA Class of 2018 worked with MEDLIFE to deliver a long-term strategic plan to allow the organization to increase its income and to develop, implement and market a new Service Learning Trip. Currently, MEDLIFE focuses mainly on pre-med students but is looking to create new SLTs for students in other university disciplines.

After visiting with Retail Head Juan Carlos del Alcázar at Financiera Effectiva, Acting Executive Director Alberto Ñecco at ProInversion and meeting with Edo van Hassel an entrepreneur in Peru, the students departed for Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Guayaquil is the largest city and chief port of Ecuador. The beautiful Simón Bolívar promenade flows along the Guayas River, and the colorful Las Peñas homes, cafes, and shops surround and lead up to Santa Ana Hill where the chapel and lighthouse surrender to a magnificent view.

Visiting Sweet & Coffee in Guayaquil.

General Manager Andrés Casal and CFO Jose Antonio Ponce at Concorsio Nobis presented and invited the students to join them for a spectacular sunset view of the city.  Sweet & Coffee had packages of coffee for the students to take home after their manufacturing visit. The students also heard from Guillermo Lasso, CEO of Bank of Guayaquil, who ran for president of Ecuador in 2017, and VP-Marketing Communications & Corporate Affairs Sebastian Mantilla of Nestlé.

The international trip concluded at La Hacienda La Danesa. Students and guests heard from CEO of La Hacienda La Danesa Niels Olsen and CEO of New World Spirits Fernando Crespo.  The afternoon included a tour and history of the plantation, a sample of cacao nibs, and a farewell dinner in a tranquil setting.

Exploring Pinnacle Rock in the Galapagos.

So how do you finally end a trip that begins with a bucket list location? You offer an optional once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Galapagos Islands.  Thirty-one of the UA EMBA students and staff jumped at the opportunity to visit the Galapagos. On Santa Cruz and Bartolomé islands we encountered giant land and sea turtles, sea lions, stingrays, lizards, crabs and sharks. Locals say the sharks are so well-fed that they do not bother humans. We all made it back limbs intact.  North Seymour is for the birds and birders – a nesting ground for frigates and blue-footed boobies.  Exploring lava caves and climbing the volcanic cone Pinnacle Rock, left us all wishing we had more time.

The EMBA Class of 2018 will be completing their degrees in a few more weeks.  Graduation is May 5.  Without exception the international trip to Peru and Ecuador will be a highlight of their program. A bucket list of places to visit is unique to each person, but it should include some adventure. It should provide us with an experience not found in one’s ordinary life. It may even transform us and change our viewpoint. And, it should leave a lasting impression that when we look back on our time there, we would say how fortunate we have been.

To learn more about the UA EMBA Program and the international trip experience, contact Cheryl Altemara at caltemara@cba.ua.edu or call 205.348.0954. To request information now, click here.

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Kenneth Kelly Named Chairman and CEO of First Independence Bank of Detroit

First Independence Bank announced Kenneth Kelly (TEMBA 1998) as its new chairman and CEO on March 12. Kelly, whom the board of directors appointed in 2017, will be responsible for leading the bank’s financial operations and assets, policies and regulations as well as overseeing the company’s management infrastructure.

“As chairman and CEO, Kenneth brings deep and experienced business leadership to First Independence Bank. His knowledge, relationships, and expertise will be extremely valuable in leading the bank’s growth opportunities in Detroit,” said Linda Forte, member of the board of directors and chairwoman of the Human Resources Committee.

First Independence Bank is the 10th largest African-American-controlled commercial bank in the country (as evaluated by Black Enterprise in 2016). In a recent ratings report, the bank is a five-star ranked financial institution according to BAUERFINANCIAL™, which has conducted independent institution ratings and reporting since 1983.

Kelly has a breadth of business knowledge and financial experiences as a cross-functional leader. As a former business development manager at Southern Company who retired in 2017 after 27 years of service, he also held many leadership positions in the communities he has lived. He achieved success in a variety of roles across engineering, marketing, finance, supply chain, and acquisitions that included leading negotiations for solar projects totaling over $3.4 billion in partnership value.

“We were delighted to hear of Kenneth’s appointment and congratulate him on his success.  We are sure that under his great leadership, wisdom and guidance First Independence Bank will strive to much greater heights and achievements,” said Dr. Brian Gray, Associate Dean, Manderson Graduate School of Business.

Kelly earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Auburn University and his M.B.A. from the University of Alabama Executive MBA Program. He is married and has two children.

To learn more about our UA EMBA Alumni and how you can become a part of the next incoming class, contact Cheryl Altemara at caltemara@cba.ua.edu or call 205.348.4501. To request information now, click here.

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