Neptune Technology Partners with MIS Capstone in Developing an App

Eric Satterfield (HEMBA 2016) with the MIS Capstone team

Neptune Technology Group recently partnered with MIS Capstone at the University of Alabama to create an app for the company. The app will help homeowners monitor their water usage at any time, adding value to their relationship with Neptune Technology.

Neptune, located in Tallassee, AL, has installed over 25 million water meters in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Eric Satterfield is a business analyst with Neptune Technology and has worked with the company for almost six years.  Satterfield graduated from the Huntsville Executive MBA Program in May 2016. On December 1, MIS Capstone students presented their final plan to Neptune. We spoke with him about the collaboration with MIS Capstone and the goals of the app.

How did Neptune Technology decide to partner with MIS Capstone? 

Dr. Sox realized the MIS Capstone group had some additional bandwidth for projects and simply reached out to our engineering group here at Neptune.

What was the process like for developing the app?

Very collaborative. Ideas and suggestions were tossed back and forth to develop a high quality product.

What is the main goal of the app?

We want to be able to track a homeowner’s water usage and alert them to possible leaks.

Who do you think will benefit the most from the app?

The greatest benefit is that homeowners will be able to see their water usage on their mobile device.

“It was great working with the Capstone Team. The project consisted of the team working with an existing data model to build dashboards and KPIs based on our user requirements,” said Satterfield.

At the moment, the app is not available on the App Store, but Neptune is working hard to help its consumers get the most of their products, giving them many options and helping them save time, money and labor.

For more information on how your company can partner with The University of Alabama’s Manderson Graduate School of Business contact Connie Chambers, Director of Corporate Partnerships, at (205) 348-4503 or by email at

For more information on the Executive MBA program and how it can benefit you and your company, contact Cheryl Altemara at (205) 348-4501 or


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Incoming TEMBA Class Celebrates Orientation with Disney Magic

img_2035 You kind of expect that there will be Big Al sightings and shouts of Roll Tide! and Go Bama! when the new EMBAs hit orientation on the campus of The University of Alabama, but this year the students were also greeted by the Disney Institute and some famous Disney characters.  The 33rd Tuscaloosa Executive MBA Class joined their fellow classmates, the Huntsville EMBA 2018 class, on the second day of orientation for Disney’s Approach to Leadership Excellence.

“Disney is one of the premier companies in the world for leadership and customer service,” said Dr. Brian Gray, Associate Dean of Manderson Graduate School, “and this is a great opportunity for our students to get an inside look on what makes them so successful and how they can apply what they do at their companies.”

TEMBA students enjoy opening night dinner in T-Town.

Students were exposed to firsthand principles that are at the core of Disney’s organizational strength: effective communication, successful organizational structures, sustaining momentum to achieve goals, day-to-day behaviors that make long-lasting impact on others and developing action steps to influence and develop individual leadership behaviors. Also, during the November 18 Disney Workshop everyone celebrated the birthday of Mickey Mouse, who turned 88 years old.

The day before the Disney Workshop, the TEMBA class enjoyed the traditional orientation activities. Twenty-six students began their 17-month journey to obtain their M.B.A. degree.  In addition to preparing the new students on how to navigate University logistics, orientation focuses on getting the students to know their classmates and teammates through various team building exercises including the EMBA Scavenger Hunt which has become a tradition. Another tradition is the welcome from the EMBA Alumni Network President Russell Shamburger (TEMBA 2004) at the orientation dinner.

Showing off their Heisman Pose during the TEMBA Orientation Scavenger Hunt.

Showing off their Heisman Pose during the TEMBA Orientation Scavenger Hunt.

This year’s Tuscaloosa class has an average age of 37, with 14 years of work experience and 8 years of management. Industries represented in this year’s cohort include automotive, finance, consulting, energy, manufacturing, construction, distribution,  retail, service, government, healthcare, food & beverage and technology.  Sixteen percent represent VP/C-level and professional positions and 23% has military experience (current active duty or retired service members).


The 2018 T-EMBA class members are:

  • Carolyn Berry, GE/Roper Corporation
  • Molly Louise Bray, AmerisourceBergen
  • Maren Cross, Daimler Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.
  • Joseph Culbert, GE Appliances
  • Chris Derksen, Vulcan Materials Company
  • Christina Gordon, Druid City Hospital Health System
  • Matt Groves
  • Ben Johnson, Cahaba Government Benefit Administrators LLC
  • Dejarvas Kelly, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc.
  • Mitchell Loper, Raymond James
  • Jake Mankin, The University of Alabama
  • Jason McConnell, RSM US LLP
  • Felicia McKinney, The University of Alabama Supply Store
  • Chris Overstreet, Doster Construction Company, Inc.
  • Christian Patel, Alabama Power Company
  • Frank Pete, Horne LLP
  • Derrica Poole, FIS Global
  • Kevin Porter, TIAA
  • Bethany Roberts, Books-A-Million
  • Drew Rollins, Star Asset Security
  • Jenna Roney, Mississippi Power Company
  • Jason Sellars, The University of Alabama Office of Veteran Affairs
  • Jeff Stewart, Barings Capital Management
  • Justin Walker, Georgia-Pacific
  • Jermaine West, Dean Foods
  • Nora Woods, New Life Interfaith Ministries, Inc.

Congratulations and Roll Tide! to the Tuscaloosa EMBA Class of 2018.

UA Tuscaloosa EMBA Class of 2018

Check out more photos from the TEMBA orientation at the UAEMBA Facebook page.

For more information and to apply to the EMBA Program go to or contact Cheryl Altemara at or call 205-348-4501.

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Incoming EMBA Alumni Network President Challenges Alumni to Participate and Grow EMBA

Gary Morrison (TEMBA 2014) and Russell Shamburger (TEMBA 2004) at 2016 EMBA Alumni Network Annual Conference

Greetings fellow EMBA alumni and current EMBA students. It is an honor to represent so many of you and continue to build on all the work that has been done since the Executive MBA Alumni Network Board was formed in 2013.  My first year on the board as Vice President was a great experience and I honestly don’t know where the time went. A special thanks to outgoing President Ben Paulk, Past President Mike Ross and Secretary-Treasurer Beckie Crawford for all the great work they did while serving on the board this past year.

The 2016-2017 Alumni Network Board will focus on three primary goals. The first is a challenge to our alumni to step up their participation in the EMBA Alumni Survey. In 2015 we had a response rate of 24%. In 2017 our goal is to double the response rate to at least 48%. The survey will be finalized in mid-2017 and more communication will follow.

Our second goal is to increase the reach of our alumni database. Staying well informed on all the activities that are going on with our program is very easy thanks to social media. The Executive MBA staff goes to great lengths to make this program a success. Let’s do our part by encouraging our classmates to maintain their contact information with the program. I will be reaching out to the class presidents and vice presidents in the very near future to help us reconnect with our alumni.

The last goal is one that we hope carries over into 2019, which coincides with the 100th Anniversary of the Culverhouse College of Commerce. With our graduating EMBA classes in 2016, the program has a total of 853 EMBA alums. If the program graduates an average of approximately 50 students over the next 3 years, we will reach the milestone of having 1000 alumni graduates. To make this a reality we need to encourage the best and brightest in our industries to pursue their continued education and development as a professional in the EMBA Program. Any alum referring someone who enrolls in the program will receive a special gift.

Another ongoing initiative that we will be working on is encouraging our alumni to fund the Brian A. Rankin Executive MBA Endowed Scholarship. This, our very first EMBA scholarship, will be used to assist students with necessary supplemental funds to aid them in funding their tuition and obtaining their degree. All of these goals are achievable and we thank you in advance for your commitment to the EMBA Program.

Our next event is the EMBA Alumni tailgate on Saturday, November 12th starting at 9am. Please RSVP as soon as you can and we look forward to seeing everyone at the tailgate. In closing, please feel free to reach out to any member of the board or Executive staff with any comments or feedback on how we can continue to make this EMBA Alumni Network board a success.

Roll Tide!

Russell Shamburger (TEMBA 2004),

Russell Shamburger is President of the 2016-2017 EMBA Alumni Club Network Board, and Vice President/Senior Business Process Analyst with Cadence Bank in Birmingham.

For more information on the EMBA Program contact Cheryl Altemara at or call 205.348.4501.

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Paulk Reflects on Honor to Serve as President of the EMBA Alumni Network

Ben Paulk and Beckie Crawford at EMBA Alumni Conference & Business Analytics Symposium in October 2016.

Ben Paulk and Beckie Crawford at EMBA Alumni Conference & Business Analytics Symposium in October 2016.

As is often the case, whenever we stop to reflect on the past year, it seems to have gone by so fast. We rarely notice time as it is passing with all of the things going on in our busy lives. And so it is as the Culverhouse College of Commerce Executive MBA Alumni Network at The University of Alabama turns the page on another year.

Looking back, your board accomplished a lot. We held events, like the tailgate, lunches, and family day, where people got to network while having a great time. We contributed to continuing education by hosting our annual conference and participating in various activities with the University, including the Business Analytics Symposium. We have supported the development of the Executive MBA Program by recruiting exceptional prospective students and promoting a new endowed scholarship. We also welcomed our newest class of alumni in the spring.

It was an honor to serve as President of our EMBA Alumni Network, but it was a greater honor to work with your Board of Directors. Each person put forth a great effort to further the mission of the EMBA Alumni Network.

I want to especially thank Mike Ross (TEMBA 1989) our former president and Beckie Crawford (TEMBA 2013), our former secretary-treasurer. Their service and leadership has helped us make great strides over the past few years.

Ben Paulk and his son Carter at the 2016 A-Day Game at the University of Alabama.

While we have accomplished a lot, I feel that our network is only just beginning to fulfill its potential. I would urge everyone in the EMBA Alumni Network to get involved in any way that you can, whether it’s attending an event, contributing to the endowment, or just promoting the EMBA program to your colleagues.

We have many opportunities in the years ahead and you have elected some wonderful individuals who will carry on this important work. I look forward to working with the current Board as we build on the momentum we have created.

Roll Tide!

Benjamin Paulk (TEMBA 2012) served as President of the EMBA Alumni Network Board for 2016 and is currently serving as 2017 Past President on the board.

For more information on The University of Alabama EMBA Program, contact Cheryl Altemara at or call 205.348.4501.

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Predictive Modeling and Data Mining Trends Highlights EMBA Alumni Network Conference

This year the Executive MBA Alumni Network held its Annual Conference in conjunction with the Culverhouse College of Commerce’s Business Analytics Symposium.  EMBA alumni and students joined over 200 attendees on October 13-14 at the Bryant Conference Center at The University of Alabama. Two keynote speakers and 10 sessions at the 2016 Executive MBA conference offered insights on exploring analytics in today’s corporate world as well as emerging trends in forecasting and predictive modeling and their implications for business. Sessions also covered operations research, data mining and statistics and their usage in fields including sports, healthcare, weather and finance.


James Spann addressing attendees at UA EMBA Conference.

Peter Keating, a senior writer at ESPN kicked off the symposium sharing stories from his “Numbers” column covering statistics which rate pro teams, NCAA tournament upsets and his pioneering work on concussions exposing how the National Football League deals with brain injuries.

Martha Hoover Crombie of The Crombie Group, a leading healthcare data consultant exposed the participants to RealTime Medicare Data where you are able to virtually walk with people as they progress from the doctor’s office to the emergency room, and from the operating table to the hospital bed.

Keynote speaker James Spann transported us back to the tragic Super Tornado Outbreak of April 27 in Alabama that claimed 64 lives including six University of Alabama students. Spann’s words were powerful as he cautioned to never forget that “there are people behind the numbers.”


TEMBA 2016 graduates (L-R) Erik Spencer, Aaron Craddock and Pritha Powell.

The annual conference is an excellent way for our alumni to recommit themselves to their educational development and collegiate network. Seeing all the people, feeling the energy and learning about everyone’s success stories, as well as their challenges, can energize and motivate. According to Pritha Powell (TEMBA 2016), Vice President, Corporate Marketing Strategist at Regions Financial Corporation, “The Business Analytics Symposium was an informative event that I would highly encourage others to attend. The sessions were led by forward-thinking and inspirational leaders from a wide-variety of industries. It was also a great opportunity to reconnect with classmates and meet other EMBA alumni and current students. I look forward to attending it again next year!”


2015-2016 EMBA Alumni Network Board members Ben Paulk and Beckie Crawford.

In addition, there were tracks on data science and how to build a startup, analytics leadership, applications in banking, marketing and sales, and results from the Dow Challenge and MERCK National Student Competitions winners. The conference also featured the Executive MBA Alumni Network Dinner highlighting the “Year in Review” of alumni events held throughout 2016 by outgoing President Ben Paulk, and our 2017 Plans for the Future by incoming Board President Russell Shamburger.

The 2016 Board members were recognized as well as board members transitioning off this year: Beckie Crawford (TEMBA 2013), Vice President-Finance with Southern Medical Health Systems, who served as Secretary-Treasurer and Michael Ross (TEMBA 1989), Central Region President & Chief Commercial Officer for Renasant Corporation and Past President of EMBA Alumni Network Board.


EMBA alumni enjoyed seeing their faculty at the evening reception. (L-R) Russ Elrod, Dr. Lonnie Strickland and Jennifer Thomas.

The 2017 Board Members:

Russell Shamburger (TEMBA 2004), President

Ben Paulk (TEMBA 2012), Past President

Mike Brost (HEMBA 2015)

Russ Elrod (HEMBA 2013)

Jennifer Thomas (TEMBA 2014)

The EMBA Alumni Network’s annual conference is still a key event that our alumni find great value in attending. We continue to think strategically about the educational and networking events that we hold throughout the year. These programs are not something we take lightly because we understand it has potential implications and huge benefits for our members. So for those of you who attended this year’s conference, I hope you find a way to sustain the excitement, the vibrancy that you felt, and use it as motivation to make the 2017 conference an important event to attend and to encourage classmates to join us next year. For those of you who could not make the conference this year, we look forward to seeing you next year. Roll Tide UA EMBAs!


Roll Tide UA EMBA Alumni at the 2016 EMBA Alumni Network Annual Conference and Business Analytics Symposium.

Donna Blackburn, Director, Executive MBA Program

For more information on the UA EMBA Program and the EMBA Alumni Network, contact Cheryl Altemara at or call 205.348.4501.

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EMBA’s First Endowed Scholarship

Brian Rankin, EMBA 2004, has generously donated and established the very first endowed scholarship for The University of Alabama Executive MBA Program. The Brian A. Rankin Executive MBA Endowed Scholarship will be used to assist students with necessary supplemental funds to aid them in funding their tuition and obtaining their degree.

Rankin is the Vice President, Deputy General Counsel of Comcast Corporation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has been in this position for almost 11 years, but has been in the telecommunications industry since 1989. He graduated from Illinois State University in 1983 with a degree in Political Science and History, before attending DePaul University College of Law. Rankin graduated from The University of Alabama Executive MBA Program in 2004 where he graduated with honors. He is a veteran of the US Army and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service.

Rankin works for a number of community organizations, including as a pro bono volunteer for Philadelphia Law Works. He also works as pro bono legal counsel for Sojourners, which is a national anti-poverty organization; and serves on the Vestry of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Philadelphia. He and his wife, Soozung Sa Rankin, are a host family for Curtis Institute of Music international students.

The scholarship will be given priority to students who are unconditionally accepted into the Executive MBA Program.

“We would like to thank Brian Rankin for his generous donation and are profoundly honored by his choice to support the Executive MBA Program,” said Donna Blackburn, Director of EMBA.

For more information on the UA EMBA Program, contact Cheryl Altemara at or call 205.348.4501.

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EMBA Program Welcomes Ninth Huntsville Class

With summer winding down and fall just around the corner, many students are getting ready to go back to school. The EMBA Program is no exception and has begun another academic year by welcoming the ninth Huntsville cohort at the UA campus in Tuscaloosa for orientation and their first day of classes.

On Wednesday, August 10, the new class got to know their classmates and teammates better, were instructed on university logistics TEMBAs on Crimson Rideand participated in a campus-wide team-building scavenger hunt. The full day was capped off with a dinner at the Hotel Capstone where the class mingled with professors, staff and alumni. Benjamin Paulk (TEMBA 2012) and Russell Shamburger (TEMBA 2004) represented the EMBA Alumni Network Board.

Following orientation, the students began their first semester classes on Thursday and Friday with Accounting, Statistics, Marketing and Project Management.

This year’s Huntsville class is composed of seasoned professionals from a variety of industries, including defense, healthcare, and manufacturing. Some other industries represented in this year’s cohort are services, telecom and construction. The average age for the Huntsville class is 41, and the average work experience is 19 years, with 12 years being management experience. Sixty-seven percent of the class are managers in their jobs and 20% are C-level/VP/Owners. Twenty-seven percent of the class has military experience, ranging from current active duty to retired service members.

“Although students take classes one weekend a month in Huntsville for twenty-one months beginning in September, it is great to get them on the UA campus to meet faculty and alumni at orientation,” said Director Donna Blackburn. Some HEMBA students in the past haven’t been able to visit the campus, so this is an excellent way to help them fully acquaint themselves with The University of Alabama.

Everyone is excited and ready to get started. The alumni were especially eager to welcome this new class into the program and see them thrive over the next twenty-one months.

The 2018 H-EMBA class are:

Colton Campbell, Otis Elevator Company

Chemeka Dabney, LP Building Products

Daryl Evans, TotalPrint

Lacey Hyche, Oral Arts Dental Laboratories

Eric Janssen, SportMed

Pete Kerr, ADTRAN, Inc

Nancy Laster, Piedmont Healthcare

Brian Lee, Sentry Insulation

Andy Maguire, Tennessee National Guard

Mario McKinnon, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company

John Meshensky, ManTech International

Rachel Smith, WOW! Business

Carl Vasilko, PAE

Tory Wiles, SAIC

Tyler Williams, Parker Hannifin Corporation

For more information on the UA EMBA Program, contact Cheryl Altemara at or call 205-348-4501.

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