Alumni of The University of Alabama’s Executive MBA Program made the journey back to Tuscaloosa on October 4th-5th, 2018 for the fifth annual EMBA Alumni Network Conference. In attendance were alumni from the 1986 class through to our current EMBA students, along with a host of guest speakers, EMBA faculty and staff. The EMBAAN conference was a two-day event filled with excitement, scholarship, and of course, that unforgettable Crimson Tide spirit!
The conference kicked off with a reception at the beautiful River restaurant overlooking the Black Warrior River. Alumni, faculty, and guests reunited and enjoyed the amazing view from the terrace.
Dr. Brian Gray welcomes Andy Maguire (HEMBA 2018) back to campus.
The second day of the conference was held at the Bryant Conference Center where attendees met to discuss innovative ideas, entrepreneurship, and the future of the program.
The conference began with a warm welcome from Dr. Kay Palan, dean of the Culverhouse College of Business at The University of Alabama. Addressing the attendees with a short overview of herself, her family, and her diverse career path, she ended with exciting new updates for the college and the announcement of the construction of a new building to be named for one of Culverhouse’s most prestigious alumni: Marillyn Hewson, chairman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp.
Following Dr. Palan, Russell Chambliss, a TEMBA 2006 Alumni and the 2018-2019 EMBA Alumni Network president addressed all of the attendees with some exciting, yet bittersweet news. Dr. J. Brian Gray, associate dean of Manderson Graduate School of Business, will be stepping down from his daily duties as Associate Dean to spend more time in the classroom teaching EMBA and MBA students. He will focus on his research, and of course, relaxing with his family and grandchildren. Russell presented Dr. Gray with an award from the EMBAAN to commemorate his dedication and service to the program.
Russell Chambliss (TEMBA 2006) and presenter Mary Drennen, Nourish Foods.
The themes for this year’s conference were entrepreneurship, innovation, networking, paying it forward, and giving back.
Keynote addresses and speakers gave enlightening presentations and focused their energy on providing the attendees with the good, the bad, and the ugly regarding the processes behind starting your own business and keeping it up and running, and most importantly, profitable!
Alumni heard from leaders of G Momma Cookies, Nourish Foods, International Crating & Assembly, Atlas Senior Living, Stringfellow Technology Group and Blue Dawg and Financial Imaging.
Ben Paulk and Russell Shamburger
In the afternoon, EMBAAN Past President Russell Shamburger (TEMBA 2004) presented Ben Paulk (TEMBA 2012) the first EMBA Alumnus of the Year Award.
In his acceptance speech, Paulk expressed his overwhelming joy for being in the EMBA program and stressed the importance of remaining active and involved even after graduation.
In addition, outgoing EMBAAN board member and secretary, Russ Elrod (HEMBA 2013) and Past President Russell Shamburger were recognized for their service to the Board.
After some important updates about the program and alumni activities from Donna Blackburn, director, and Cheryl Altemara, assistant director of the EMBA Program, Chambliss presented his closing remarks and his goals for the EMBA Alumni Network for the 2018-2019 academic year focusing on network growth, strengthening initiatives like mentoring, and assisting with recruiting.
To learn more about the UA EMBA Alumni Network and how you can become a part of the next incoming class, contact Cheryl Altemara at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 205.348.4501. To request information now, click here.