Speakers’ Week 2015

Posted: Friday, April 3rd 2015 at 7:27 AM

The Spring 2015 Speakers’ Week brought in business professionals from different fields to talk to students about how their business knowledge relates to careers in the real world.

On Monday, March 23, Bill Nyman ('70 BA) spoke to two of Eric Yordy’s ACC 205 and ACC 405 classes and also to some of the students in the Business Leadership Program (BLP). In the class presentations, Nyman shared real life stories related to the topics being covered in the classes. With the BLP students, he talked about how to discuss negotiations using the skills of listening, understanding, and persuasion, the three main learning points of the BLP. He shared with the accounting students that the principles of the law do not always reflect the reality of the legal system.

Thom O’Hara, marketing leader at W.L. Gore and Associates, spoke to marketing students in Jennifer Mitchell’s MKT 490 class. O’Hara gave the graduating seniors a glimpse into Gore’s unique corporate structure and culture. He shared some of the challenges of marketing medical devices and managing brand consistency. He related a specific case study of the re-branding effort from a multi-product to family brand strategy, driven by customer research. Finally, he left the students with three pieces of advice for the “marketing world." Understand statistics, develop your presentation skills, and comprehend the value of market research.

Speakers on Wednesday, March 25 included Bob Loechel, HR business executive at IBM Global Services; and Matt Cochener presenting on sales careers.

Pete Hathaway, retired executive vice president and CFO of JDA Software and Allied Waste presented in Rebecca Hickman's FIN 311 classes. Students sent a note to express their appreciation. "Grazie, Senore Hathaway! It was interesting to hear  your perspective," noted 'Ray'. "Thank you for your time, guidance, and advice," signed Paul Reinking.

Mike Konefal, owner of RisingHy, who spoke in three of Scott Hoefle's MGT 301 Operations Management classes. Konefal talked about his experiences with starting RisingHy and running two local businesses. He discussed topics such as changing processes, supply chain management, product design, and logistics. He also talked about what it was like for him to be an entrepreneur. 

"I learned so much about the chains of business and how much his sales relied on forming relationships with store managers and restaurant owners," said Kyle Kennelly, a student in one of the classes. "These are crucial elements of business that could easily be overlooked."

"His enthusiasm and animation made him relatable and his passion and love for his company were overwhelmingly apparent as he presented to our class," Michelle Roesch added.

Thursday wrapped up the week with John Ferron, chairman of Board of Directors and former CEO at Purple Communications, Inc. who spoke to a small group of students; Jane Kuhn, vice president for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs at NAU who spoke in Will Otts' MGT 300 (full story HERE); and Pat Wicks, City of Yuma finance director, talking to Kathe Shinham's class.

The experiences these speakers shared brings the 'real world' to the students who now have a better understanding of how to use their knowledge to make it in the business field.

Categories: spring 2015 bill nyman alumni thom o'hara scott coor bob loechel math cochener pete hathaway mike konefal john ferron jane kuhn risinghy ibm global services jda software enrollment management and student affairs business leadership program blp w. l. gore and associates eric yordy jennifer mitchell speaker's week