In an event brimming with emotion, friends and colleagues came together on Saturday night to celebrate the life of Isenberg’s David Lepak, who died suddenly on Thursday, December 7, at the age of 46. Lepak, the Berthiaume Endowed Chair of Business Leadership & Professor of Management, and the Management department chair, was a popular professor who had been part of the Isenberg family since 2016. Married and the father of 4 children, he was also active in the community, coaching youth soccer, and volunteering at his kids’ schools.
Road-tested advice for women contemplating financial careers and networking opportunities with their peers and Boston area employers were highlights at Isenberg’s first Women in Finance Luncheon. Presented by State Street and coordinated by Isenberg’s MBA program and the school’s (undergraduate) Women in Business student group, the event at the UMass Club in downtown Boston attracted 51 students from Isenberg and five other area universities: Boston College, Brandeis, Northeastern, Suffolk, and Worcester Polytech.
“My brother excelled in operations; marketing always came easily for me,” remarked Marty Jacobson ’68 in Matthew Glennon’s course, Fundamentals of Marketing. The Isenberg marketing grad’s prowess was a critical ingredient in the innovation and success of Nutmeg Industries, the brothers’ upscale sportswear company. The Tampa-based company succeeded spectacularly throughout the 1980s and into the early 1990s, when Vanity Fair Corporation bought it for $325.5M in cash.
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“In loaning money to a prospective buyer of property, I’m not giving advice; I’m negotiating,” emphasized PeoplesBank CEO Tom Senecal ’88 in a visit to HTM professor Bob Wilson’s course, Real Estate Finance, Analysis, and Investments. “I’m not in the business of owning property; I’m in the business of loaning money,” added Senecal, whose network of community-focused banks rule as the largest mutual bank business in western Massachusetts. The Isenberg accounting graduate revealed a banker’s perspective that shed light on a case study recently tackled by the students.
Now in it's fifth year, the Women of Isenberg Conference brings together over 300 students, faculty and alumni. The conference is organized by the Isenberg Women in Business student organization. Learn more about what it took to create this highly successful event.
Driven, Speakers, Student Organizations, Alumni, Career (+)
The Pioneer Valley Tip-Off is an annual High-School Basketball Showcase that takes place here at UMass in the historic Curry Hicks Cage. Started back in 2011, the PVTO aims to bring in the best high school basketball teams in and around Western MA. The event strives to bring together the Western MA community for a fun and exciting weekend at the Commonwealth's Flagship Campus. The event is run by the McCormack Student Leaders Club, with the help of Amherst-Pelham Regional High School.
Department News, Students, Sport Management, Student Organizations, Sport Management (+)
Department News, Students, Sport Management, Student Organizations, Sport Management, Dept Only
Hosted by the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship, the four-part Innovation Challenge continued with The Seed Pitch on Wednesday, November 29. In front of a panel of three judges, 13 teams gave five-minute pitches of their venture ideas and participated in Q&A with the panel. With assistance from the sponsors, EY and Bud Robertson (Isenberg ’72), $15,000 in prize money was awarded to four ventures.
Gail Cruise, a senior lecturer in Isenberg’s Channing L. Bete Business Communications Program, recently excelled as co-chair of the Association for Business Communication’s (ABC) 82nd annual conference. On the gathering’s final night, Gail received the Association’s Spirit of ABC Award, which recognizes “members who exemplify friendliness and openness to both newcomers and current members [of the organization].”
Open wide and visualize dentistry without drills, needles, and scalpels. “We’re past the initial resistance and we’ll be fully through the market inertia in a year from now,” noted Mike Cataldo, founder and CEO of Convergent Dental. The young company has developed and markets the first FDA-approved CO2 laser system (i.e, Solea) for dentistry on both hard and soft tissue. “We built the prototype, which proved we could vaporize tooth structure with lasers,” observed Cataldo, who shared entrepreneurial insights via Skype in Charlie Johnson's New Ventures class in late October.
The Young Alumni Panel featured five recent Hotel & Tourism Management graduates; Brianna Cole ’16, Seth Roberts ’17, Victoria Quill ’16, Alex Darling ’16, and Lindsay Tice ’17. The panelists discussed the journey to their current positions, aspects of their jobs, and what the transition from college to career has been like. They all provided great insight with unique aspects to their individual experiences. Other key topics discussed were negotiating salaries, how to know if a company is the right one, moving to a different city, and work-life balance.
On October 22nd, 2017 the Amherst Irish Association presented Senior Monica Caggiano of Peabody, MA with the Inaugural Margaret Maher Award. The essay contest honors the memory of Margaret Maher, an Irish maid who worked in the Emily Dickinson household. The subject for this year’s competition, which was open to all undergraduate students in Western MA, was Considering Ireland: What Interests Me and Why?
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“Remember, it’s all about journeys. Be patient!” HTM graduate and high-profile Manhattan-based chef Marc Forgione ’01 advised his mostly student audience in the Campus Center Auditorium in late October. Since its debut in 2008, Marc’s establishment, Restaurant Marc Forgione, has earned coveted Michelin stars and review kudos from the New York Times, Forbes magazine, and the Zagat Guide. In 2012, Marc won the Food Network’s Next Iron Chef competition, instantly gaining international “chef” celebrity status. So why did Chef Forgione regale his student audience with the good, the bad, and the nitty gritty details of his notable ascent?
On November 1, Bjarke Ingels and John Fish shared insights in the third installment of Isenberg’s Boston-based Driven conversation series. In a wide-ranging, hour-long discussion at the Aloft Seaport Hotel, Fish and Ingels dissected trends in building and design technology, holistic urban design and infrastructure, transportation networks, sustainability, and other issues of the day.
HackUMass took over UMass’ Integrative Learning Center Nov. 3-5 for the fifth annual hack-a-thon. As a presenting partner, the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship was proud to award $1,500 in funding to outstanding ventures, as determined by Director of New Ventures Birton Cowden.
Can this marketing miracle worker really get Inuits (a.k.a. Eskimo) to swap their hard-earned pelts for ice? You be the judge. For sports marketing legend Jon Spoelstra, “borderline outrageous” and nonstop innovation are road-tested enablers of business success. On October 23 and 24, Spoelstra, this fall’s Mark H. McCormack Executive in Residence, shared insights in classes, met one-on-one with students and faculty, and lectured to a packed auditorium of mostly sport management faculty and students.
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Hosted by the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship, the four-part Innovation Challenged kicked off with The Minute Pitch on Wednesday, Oct. 25. In front of an audience of nearly 200 students, faculty, staff and supporters, 22 teams gave 60-second pitches of their venture idea. With assistance from the sponsors, EY and Bud Robertson (Isenberg ’72), $2,500 is prize money was awarded to the first-, second- and third-place teams and the audience choice selection.
Department News, Students, MBA, Undergraduate, Masters (+)
Since the 1970s, innovation—conceptual and technological—has transformed the practice of finance. But “innovation itself doesn’t create growth” it must be “translated into the general economy,” insisted MIT finance professor Robert C. Merton in his keynote presentation at Isenberg’s Center for International Securities and Derivatives Markets’ (CISDM) annual research conference on October 6. Professor Merton—a 1997 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics—headlined an ambitious program devoted to diverse aspects of digitally enabled financial innovation, including cryptocurrencies, algorithmic trading, and other advances on the financial landscape. Attended by a packed house of 125 academics and practitioners, the daylong event took place at Boston’s Aloft Boston Seaport Hotel.