.:  SEPTEMBER, 2005  


.: Marketing planning requires more than discipline.

"A surgeon needs to fully understand the process of performing an operation, but he or she also has to be able to improvise once the procedure begins."

Peter R. Dickson

Using this analogy, Peter R. Dickson, Knight Ridder Eminent Scholar in Global Marketing, professor, and chair of the Department of Marketing in the College of Business Administration at Florida International University, sets out the paradox of marketing planning.

"People too strong in planning—which tends to emphasize discipline, a careful review of past and current situations, and the patient development of a thorough plan of execution—may lack the flexibility and adaptability to respond to a changing competitive environment or may be too focused to see potential drawbacks," he said.

Dickson also argues that there is no such thing as a single marketing plan document.

"There are three critical documents and organizations need to allow for both discipline and creativity in each," he said. "The first report describes and analyzes the situation, taking a comprehensive view that looks at the whole market and that allows for creative insight. The second is a creative and problem-solving report in which alternatives are evaluated—in a very disciplined way—within the context of the first report. Finally, the implementation document charts the plan and all its steps. Creativity is needed here also, because if people concentrate only on the details, they may overlook problems."

Dickson and a colleague published their ideas in an award-winning article, "The Paradox of a Marketing Planning Capability," which appeared in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, a premier journal. The survey-based research looked at the practices of a couple hundred North American companies.

"We worked with The Conference Board, a not-for-profit organization that conducts research and provides forums for sharing information about management and the marketplace," said Dickson, who has won recognition for a total of seven research papers, five of the awards coming since his arrival at the College in 2000.


.: Alumni connection takes on a Latin flavor.

From left, Alex Lastra (BBA'91) and Ramon Ferran (BBA'79)

We all have our morning routines. For Alex Lastra (BBA '91), principal of Atlantic & Pacific Development, and Ramon Ferran (BBA '79), senior vice president of commercial lending at TotalBank, the day does not start without a quick stop at Versailles in Little Havana. For more than a year, the two College alums would greet each other at 7:00 a.m. as they got their morning kick with a Miami staple—Cuban coffee. They were both, however, oblivious of their FIU connection until they coincidentally attended the launch of the Real Estate Alumni Affinity Council on May 24 at the Miami City Club.

"When I saw Ramon I knew I recognized him from somewhere but couldn't pinpoint the place—and then it hit me—Versailles," Lastra said. Both Ferran and Lastra smiled and shook their heads.

"We're morning regulars," said Ferran—who knew what Lastra ordered for breakfast every morning before he actually met him—a cortadito, croqueta, and bottled water.

This business alumni connection proves once again just how small our community is. Today, Florida International University has more than 110,000 alumni living in Miami-Dade County. So, next time you stop for coffee, gas or a quick bite to eat, look around: you might just find a fellow alumnus/ae. As for Ferran and Lastra, the two continue to stop for their morning quick-start at Versailles, a place with tradition, friendly faces and, as Ferran puts it best, "flavor."

.: Real Estate Alumni attend high-power networking event.

Real Estate Alumni Affinity Council (REAAC) Events Committee members Lynda Fernandez (BS '98) and Maria Arguello, College of Business Administration Events Planner; Denisse Recinos (BBA '05); Craig Kirsner (MBA '04), REAAC Special Events Chair; Bill Harter, REAAC Governance Committee; Monique Catoggio (EMBA '03), College of Business Administration Director of Alumni and Partner Relations; Ana Maria Parsons (BBA '98) and Maria Brackett (BBA '74, MS '78).

 More than 100 alumni and friends gathered at Chispa Restaurant in Coral Gables for a night of high-powered networking on August 18 hosted by the FIU Real Estate Alumni Affinity Council (REAAC), a subdivision of the Business Alumni Chapter. REAAC's focus is to unite real estate professionals in the community as well as to support the initiatives of the Jerome Bain Real Estate Institute and the College's student Real Estate Council. For upcoming Real Estate Alumni events or to join REAAC, visit our web site.

.: Business Alumni Chapter launches its "Traveling Happy Hour."

   This month, the Business Alumni Chapter launches its Traveling Happy Hour—a series of monthly networking events at upscale locations in the Brickell/Downtown and Coral Gables areas—with the kick-off event on September 15th at Mosaico Restaurant, from 6:30-9:00 p.m. Drink specials, free appetizers, and a chance to win fabulous travel prizes highlight the night. The first 50 individuals to arrive will receive complimentary cocktails. To RSVP for this event, e-mail Cristina Jaramillo at jaramill@fiu.edu. Visit our web site for upcoming Traveling Happy Hour dates and locations.

.: Business Alumni Chapter hosts The Graduates Club Business Affairs Forum - "Blue Ocean Strategy" with author W. Chan Kim

The Business Alumni Chapter and the Graduates Club are co-hosting a morning of networking and discussion featuring a presentation by W. Chan Kim, professor of strategy and international management at INSEAD, on Friday, September 16, from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. at The Bankers' Club, One Biscayne Tower, in Miami. His presentation, based on his new book Blue Ocean Strategy, which he co-authored with fellow-professor Renee Mauborgne, will challenge commonly-held assumptions about the requirements for strategic success. There is no charge for this event. Anyone interested in attending should register online at: https://www.toad.net/cgi-bin/cgiwrap/mba/916-registration.cgi.

Kim also is the Boston Consulting Group Bruce D. Henderson Chair Professor of Strategy and International Management at INSEAD; a board member and advisor to many multinational corporations; an advisor to the European Union; fellow of the World Economic Forum, and is a contributor to The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Wall Street Journal Europe, The Asian Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, World Link, South China Morning Post, among numerous other publications.

.: Alumni Circle selects new Chair.

Demian Bellumio  (BBA '00) vice president of corporate finance and development for Terremark Worldwide, Inc., has been named 2005-2006 Chair of the Alumni Circle.

Alumni joining the Circle of late include Diane P. Davis (MBA '92), AVP/ wealth management advisor for Merrill Lynch; Francis Hondal (BBA '87, MBA '94),vice president, general manager for American Express Latin America, and Christian Aitken (MBA '97), managing director for Tuthill Corporation, Latin America.

The Circle is a group of senior-level alumni who work closely with the College's administrators and deans to develop programs and initiatives to achieve the College's goals. For more information on the Alumni Circle, contact Monique Catoggio (EMBA '03) at catoggio@fiu.edu or 305-348-4227.

.: Want to post a job on our web site?

If you are a business alumus/ae and would like to submit a job posting for our web site, please e-mail Cristina Jaramillo at jaramill@fiu.edu with a position title, description, contact information, and details about how applicants should apply. Please note we will do our best to feature your job posting, but due to high demand, we cannot guarantee your posting will be showcased.

  • Banco Popular North America, the U.S. arm of San Juan, Puerto Rico-based Banco Popular, named Israel Velasco (BBA '88) regional executive for South Florida. Velasco formerly was president and CEO of Alabama-based Colonial Bank's South Florida region.
  • Kaufman, Rossin & Co. PA has named Edward V. Gannon (BBA '88) director of its litigation consulting practices.
  • Alumni Circle member, Rick Escudero (BACC '92, MACC '93) has joined Reason Management Group's (RMG) Board of Directors. RMG is a full-service consulting firm dedicated to the analysis and auditing of commercial and industrial organizations' assigned pricing structures in the areas of natural gas, electricity, telecommunications, freight, and customs brokerage costs.
  • Carlos A. Wright (BBA '03) has been appointed branch manager for TotalBank's Brickell branch.


Have you been promoted or changed jobs? Update your information.




.: International Business Honor Society (IBHS) plans service project in Nicaragua.

IBHS students inform visitors at a recent Nicaragua festival of their humanitarian mission to help 1,350 children later this year.

Inspired by last year's Thailand Global Leadership Project, students in the College of Business Administration are now planning and fundraising for the NICA Global Leadership Project, slated for two locations in Nicaragua from December 26, 2005 through early January, 2006. Grupo TACA already has signed on as a major sponsor of the project.

The group's goal is to have twelve students each in Granada and Managua, where they will work with children, teaching English. One site is a school and three are orphanages. Participants plan to give the children shoes, toys, school supplies, and ideally, scholarships, depending on the success of their fundraising efforts.

Two veterans of the Thailand Global Leadership Project, Christian Jarquin and Norman Uriarte, are serving as site leaders.

"When we returned from our March trip to Thailand, we wanted to continue to do global projects to help others," said Jarquin. "Someone suggested we go to Nicaragua, and we began to make plans."

"The students have benefited from lessons learned from the experience in Thailand," said Malcolm Vivian, graduate assistant/civic engagement coordinator, who went on the spring 2005 Thailand Global Leadership Project and plans to go on the Nicaragua trip. "In addition, the proximity of Nicaragua and the fact that many of the students speak Spanish will make this project easier in some ways."

"We hope the event will become an annual one," said Jarquin. "We have set up a Yahoo group where people interested in the project can find out more information."

Anyone who would like to get involved, make a donation, or obtain the link to the Yahoo group should contact Jarquin at christianjarquin@yahoo.com.

Robert Hogner (known as "Dr. Bob"), associate professor of management and international business and coordinator of the College's Civic Engagement Initiative, will accompany the students on the trip





.: College captures high rankings in three separate lists.

   The College of Business Administration at Florida International University now holds seventh position in U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Colleges 2006'" annual ranking of undergraduate international business programs at U.S. business schools. The College has moved up two places in this listing of undergraduate programs with a focus on international business since last year.
   The College also placed ninth on the "Top 10 Business Schools for Hispanics," just published in Hispanic Business (September, 2005) magazine. The College joins the august company of schools such as Stanford (also first last year), University of California at Berkeley, University of Texas at Austin, Yale, Duke, Columbia, and Michigan. View the entire list, along with details about each program, at www.hispanicbusiness.com. This marks the seventh year that the College has been featured in the Top 25 in this publication.
   Finally, AmericaEconomía (August 19-September 1, 2005), a premier pan-regional business journal, just ranked the College as number 55 among the best international business schools for Latin American students based on surveys of business school faculty, Latin American business people, and school data. This is the fourth year the College has made the list.

"These impressive rankings show the success of the efforts of our students, faculty, and staff," said Joyce J. Elam, executive dean of the College. "It also gives us the enthusiasm to continue the momentum of strengthening the programs, services, and opportunities we offer."

.: Executive MBA students pay ten-day visit to India.

Participants in the Executive MBA trip to India got to see one of the world's most famous monuments: the Taj Mahal.

Twenty-six students, 24 in the current Executive MBA cohort in the College of Business Administration at Florida International University and two Executive MBA alumni; Sumit Kundu, Ingersoll-Rand professor in international business and faculty director of the program; and Clifford Perry, associate dean of academic affairs and undergraduate programs, recently toured Mumbai (Bombay), Bangalore, and New Delhi, India. The ten-day junket combined visits to local companies and opportunities for sightseeing in a country that is rapidly becoming an economic superpower.

Now mandatory in the Executive MBA program, the international trip is turning out to be a major selling point, at least from the perspective of two cohort members.

"I thought an international trip was an interesting twist to the learning process," said Cathy M. Pareto (BA '95), senior financial advisor, Investor Solutions, Inc. "We were told that the trip would give us real world experience. I had never seen this type of learning strategy, and since I had never been able to travel abroad as an undergraduate, the idea really drew me in."

She returned very impressed by what she saw of the business environment.

"India is gaining power very quickly," she said. "The potential for outsourcing and off-shoring in my industry is huge."

"The mandatory trip sealed the deal for me," said Matthew Millheiser, managing director of Paravel, a small IT consulting company. "India is the IT hotspot in the world, and as an IT professional, I wanted to learn about their best practices."

One such opportunity occurred at Infosys.

"They've developed a global distribution model for application development that's their standard operating procedure," he said. "It was absolutely eye-opening for me, and I can apply what I learned to the way I do business."

For Kundu, who wanted to showcase his country, the trip was a personal and professional success. He made several trips to India to arrange logistics, including lining up appointments with senior management of public and private companies in each destination, as well as securing press opportunities.

"We had huge media coverage of our trip in major financial papers in India," he said.

Unfortunately, the planned session with the president of India did not materialize due to the national emergency in Mumbai—flash floods during the third week in July, whose devastating effects closely paralleled those of Hurricane Katrina. However, he promised a future meeting, should another Executive MBA group visit.

.: Building for Business Campaign captures a number of firsts.

Since its launch earlier this year, the Building for Business Campaign for the College of Business Administration has generated enthusiasm within and beyond the campus community. And it's already garnered some interesting firsts—first alumni, faculty, staff, and student donors, that is.

Don Dietz

"I received e-mails about the Campaign and followed local business articles that led me to the web where I saw the virtual tour of the building," said Don Dietz (BBA '01), now a senior auditor with Ernst & Young. "When I saw the web site, I wanted to play a small part in making the new building a reality."

With his contribution, using the online link at http://business.fiu.edu/web/donate/index.htm, Dietz became the first alumnus to make a pledge to the fundraising effort.

"I see how the College's reputation is growing," he said, "and overall I think it has the building blocks in place—the vision, the faculty and staff, and great students—to go to the next level. But it needs a new infrastructure. The building will provide wonderful facilities and a place where everyone can gather."

Watching the computer-generated virtual tour of the building during the Evening of Stars on March 10, 2005, prompted Brice Dupoyet, assistant professor of finance, to make a contribution.

"It looked amazing and I wanted to be part of it," he said.

Though he's a relative newcomer, having been at the College for only two years, Dupoyet was happy to donate.

"We have a shortage of space," he said. "The new building will help, and it will also be a very nice structure."

Unlike Dupoyet, Carole Johnson, senior secretary in the Department of Finance and College of Business Administration, has been at FIU for decades—starting 26 years ago and moving to the College in 1984.

"This is my College and my building," she said. "My donation isn't large, but I wanted to do what I could. As soon as I knew we could contribute, I stopped by the Office of External Relations and gave Director Annabelle Rojas a check."

Michael Gonzalez

Two reasons spurred Michael Gonzalez (BACC '04), the first student donor.

"I had really good experiences at FIU," said Gonzalez, who made his contribution during his senior year. "I thought it would be a good way to give back to the University and the College. In addition, I liked the idea of having my name on the building," referring to the fact that donors who make a certain level of contribution will have their names included in a planned "Wall of Stars."

"Every contribution, regardless of size, is very important to us," Rojas said. "Also, the State will match every donation dollar for dollar, which doubles the value of each contribution.

Anyone interested can pledge at http://business.fiu.edu/web/donate/index.htm or contact Annabelle Rojas at 305-348-3339 or William Levin at 305-348-0473.

.: National Science Foundation awards planning grant to College.

Irma Becerra-Fernandez

Irma Becerra-Fernandez, associate professor of decision sciences and information systems in the College of Business Administration at Florida International University, has been awarded a research planning grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for a project titled "Enabling Globally-Distributed Electronic Collaboration (GLODEC) for Expertise Studies and Human and Social Dynamics." The year-long grant will make it possible for Becerra-Fernandez, serving as principal investigator, and a co-principal investigator, to explore ways to enhance the capabilities of the Knowledge Management Lab, an entity she founded within the College in 1997.

"We would like to design a pioneering program that supports interdisciplinary research on the study of expertise—whether it's among athletes, chess players, knowledge workers, or others," said Becerra-Fernandez, who has been the recipient of many grants, including a number from NASA and private sources. "This collaboration will require a technology infrastructure, and we expect to apply for an infrastructure grant from NSF at the end of our planning period."

Not only will Becerra-Fernandez use the grant period and funding to look at ways to build the technology infrastructure to support interdisciplinary work among experts on the topic of expertise, but also she is exploring the creation of innovative, interdisciplinary graduate programs.

"Currently no university offers a Ph.D. in expertise studies," she said. "If we can equip our graduate students—particularly at the Ph.D. level—with background in the two areas of expertise and human and social dynamics, and if we can expose them to the researchers we hope to involve from other universities, it will give them a competitive advantage."

The plans align well with the objectives of the new complex that will house the College's programs.

"Our state-of-the-art building complex will include the Faculty and Research Center Hall, which will feature research labs to support the kinds of projects and programs Dr. Becerra-Fernandez is envisioning," said Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam, who will work closely on the project with Dr. Becerra-Fernandez during the coming months.

.: College names William G. McGowan Scholar for 2005-2006.

Shradha Ramchandani

Shradha Ramchandani has been named the William G. McGowan Scholar for the upcoming year in the College of Business Administration. The scholarship will cover the tuition for her undergraduate senior year, which she has entered with a 3.904 GPA. Working toward her business degree with a double major in finance and management information systems, she looks forward to internships in both areas, then to getting an MA or MBA.

As part of the application process, students had to submit a 1,000-word essay about McGowan, a noted telecommunications leader—a task she found fascinating.

"At first, the requirement seemed very long," she said. "But I learned so much about McGowan's contributions to MCI and to the telecommunications industry that I had to shorten my document."

Though she has steadfastly applied for scholarships, stipulations such as citizenship always eliminated her. This was her first success, and she almost missed it. On vacation in India, she wasn't checking her e-mail. When she finally did, she had a message telling her that she had won the scholarship, but she needed to accept by a deadline—which was the next day.

"Fortunately, I saw the message and called the College right away," she said.

In addition to her focus on her studies, Ramchandani has been active in many College organizations, serving as events coordinator for the Indian Student Association and an international peer mentor. She holds membership in the international honor society Phi Beta Delta, the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, the Honors College, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. A participant in the Collegiate Leadership and Development Program, Ramchandani currently is involved in the International Business Honors Society's fund-raising events for the NICA Global Leadership Project, planned for Nicaragua in December.

Born in Brazil and raised in India, this accomplished young woman, who speaks five languages among her other abilities, chose Florida International University for two reasons.

"I felt I could fit into the environment because of the diversity, and I had heard they had a good business program," she said.

She's particularly grateful for the scholarship because of her hard-working parents, who have made it possible for her to attend the College.

"This scholarship is a great way for me to help them out," Ramchandani said.

.: Investing in Real Estate seminar designed for high-end investors.

The College of Business Administration's Chapman Graduate School of Business and Jerome Bain Real Estate Institute have joined forces with Ocean Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Steel, Hector & Davis LLP to offer an intensive, hands-on, five-day seminar on investing in high-stakes real estate.

J. Antonio "Tony" Villamil, CEO of the Washington Economics Group, Inc., will open the seminar and Chaim Katzman, chairman and CEO of Equity One, Inc., will host the closing program. Leading real estate experts from the three sponsoring organizations—who have helped design the program—and College faculty will make presentations daily. The unique consortium of speakers will provide in-depth information on every aspect of real estate investment. An on-site look into a current Katzman project, thorough analysis of relevant case studies, and three evenings of prime networking—hosted by each of the sponsors—are among the many carefully planned activities scheduled throughout the event.

"We designed the seminar to attract participants from South Florida, Europe, and particularly Latin America," said John Zdanowicz, director of the Jerome Bain Real Estate Institute and professor of finance. "The Institute has international real estate transactions as a strategic focus and the seminar is an important component of our overall plan to grow in this field."

"Real estate is an area in which we distinguish ourselves nationally and internationally," said José de la Torre, dean of the Chapman School. "Miami is one of the hottest and most exciting real estate markets in the United States and abroad. This field is key for us, especially as there are very few business schools that concentrate on real estate and none that concentrate on international real estate."

As further evidence of its commitment to the subject, the College is expanding the faculty and recruiting students for a Master of Science in International Real Estate, scheduled to begin at its new Downtown Center in January 2006.

To request a brochure or for more information about the seminar, including available sponsorship rates, contact Erica Gjorven, associate director of program development in the Office of Professional and Executive Education, at 305-348-1144 or gjorvene@fiu.edu. You will also find the brochure at http://business.fiu.edu/web/execed/RealEstateBrochure.pdf.

Comments? Questions?

BUSINESS NETWORKS is published by the Communication, Publications, and Public Relations Office and developed in conjunction with the College's Alumni and Partner Relations Office in the College of Business Administration at Florida International University. Design: Alexis Puentes, Editor: Sally M. Gallion.

Copyright © 2005 College of Business Administration at Florida International University.