The Paul Merage School of Business - Dean's Quarterly - Winter 2009
In Perspective
Dean Andy PolicanoHappy 2009 from your friends at the Merage School!
      At the risk of repeating an oft-quoted cliché, there is a "silver lining" behind the clouds despite the fact that we are in an economic storm.
     As savvy executives arm themselves for long term competitiveness, higher education is helping our business community develop effective strategies for sustainable growth, and providing our community with the tools it needs to compete and thrive. A clear sign that this investment in education continues to be a compelling strategy is the 35 percent increase in applications to our full-time MBA program that we are currently experiencing.
     While all indications are that the global economy is facing a gloomy 18 to 24 months ahead, a critical component of the economic recovery will be effective and timely business strategies designed to achieve and sustain profitable business growth. For the past several years, the Merage School has focused on researching and sharing those important strategies, and training our students and executives how to implement them. During downward cycles, such as the one we are experiencing now, many forward-looking individuals and companies seek and act upon opportunities that arise today and will have an excellent return in the future. One of these opportunities is to invest in human capital by pursuing further educational opportunities to improve their ability to compete, and drive business and personal growth.
     Our economy will recover, however slowly, from this economic turbulence. The question you must ask yourself is, "How am I - and how is my organization - positioned to take advantage of the recovery?"
     I invite you to partner with the Merage School via the many educational opportunities – MBA and non-degree executive education courses – that will help you retain and increase your competitive edgeDean Andy Signature.

The Merage School Makes the
Grade in BusinessWeek’s
National Rankings

The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine has been ranked as one of the Top Business Schools in the United States by BusinessWeek magazine in its 2009 Best U.S. B-Schools report. The report also ranked the Merage School 20th in the nation specifically in faculty intellectual capital, a category in which faculty research and publications are evaluated.
     The biennial report ranks the top 45 schools out of about 600 accredited business schools in the U.S. The first 30 schools are ranked in order, with the second tier of 15 additional top schools added without numeric rankings. The Merage School is included in the 15 schools in the follow up tier.
     "Despite UC Irvine's relatively young age, we continue to be recognized by the media, students, faculty and recruiters as a top business school in the nation," said Merage School Dean Andy Policano. "Further proof of our success is reflected in BusinessWeek’s recognition of our

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Global Business Challenges
Top Executives Address Global Business Challenges
at Conference

The Paul Merage School of Business joined the Orange County Business Council in hosting the annual Global Business Conference, "Global Business Strategies...Navigating Today's Economic Challenges." Some of Orange County's most influential leaders were on hand to discuss the impact and solutions to today’s growing economic challenges.

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Mark Your  Calendar Learn more at
MBA Programs Information Sessions invite prospective students for full-time, fully employed and executive MBA programs starting in both spring and fall of 2009.
Distinguished Speakers Series
FEBRUARY 9, 2009
Alexis Livanos, Corporate Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Northrop Grumman Corp.

APRIL 7, 2009
Jim Caudill, President, Hardware & Home Improvement, Black & Decker

MAY 19, 2009
Bob McKnight, CEO, Quiksilver
FEBRUARY 19 & 20, 2009
2009 Health Care Forecast Conference attracts a world-wide audience and the nation's top analysts in the industry.

FEBRUARY 23, 2009
Learn to Leverage Your Contacts seminar for Dean’s Leadership Circle members.

Executive Education – MBA Update Sharpen your management skills. MBA not required.

FEBRUARY 26, 2009
Effective Decision Making
MARCH 12, 2009
MARCH 26, 2009
Managing Influence
APRIL 9, 2009
Always a Winner: Managing
Companies and Money in an
Up and Down Economy

APRIL 9, 2009
MBA Career Fair

JULY 23, 2009
Economic Outlook Revisited: Changing Strategies for Changing Times presented by the Center for Investment and Wealth Management
Taco Bell Exec Adds a Bit of Spice

Taco Bell Exec Adds a Bit of Spice to
the Distinguished Speakers Series

Greg Creed, president and chief concept officer of Taco Bell Corporation, a subsidiary of YUM! Brands, Inc., was the featured speaker at The Paul Merage School of Business Distinguished Speakers Series on November 18. Speaking on the importance of strategic innovation, Creed shared the experiences and lessons he has learned over more than 25 years in marketing and operations with leading packaged goods and restaurant brands.
     Creed talked about the challenges to growth his company is facing. "Even though the economy is tough and the competitive environment is fierce, there are no excuses at YUM! We need to grow both sales and profits year over year.”
     To achieve the kind of growth YUM! demands requires an aggressive, proactive approach. Creed identified three key elements to be included: 1) the right strategy, 2) the right organizational structure and 3) the right culture. Creed was adamant about the last element and reminded the audience not to underestimate the importance of culture. “We take it very seriously at Taco Bell. We work hard and have a blast at the same time."
     Overall, Creed believes that there is one primary strategy lesson he has learned through his experience. "Keep it SIMPLE and say it over and over again." To keep things simple at Taco Bell, Creed and his team structure all food innovation around only three key pillars: Price Value, Quality Value and Abundant Value.
     Creed stressed the importance of how, by always putting people first, profits will follow. "Work smarter, not harder, and lead with passion," he commented, adding, "Inspire your teams, don't manage them."
     In closing, Creed gave some valuable advice. "Focus on results and find ways to make big changes to big things." He concluded with, "Remember to have fun in everything you do. Life is short."

Merage Alum Promoted at Ingram Micro

Strengthening its executive bench, Ingram Micro Inc. announced December 5 the appointment of Lisa Locklear, a Merage School alumna, to senior vice president and chief financial officer, North America. In her new role, Lisa is responsible for leading the company’s finance organization and supporting business operations, planning and strategy.
 Lisa Locklear     Lisa is a seasoned finance executive with more than two decades of experience in corporate finance and business operations," says Ingram Micro’s North America President Keith Bradley. "She has been acting in this capacity for Ingram Micro since September of this year (2008) and we are very pleased to officially confirm her as Ingram Micro North America’s CFO and formally welcome her to our senior leadership team."
     The Paul Merage School of Business was a key contributor to my career opportunities and successes. The program helped me to develop the leadership, critical decisionmaking and communication skills I needed to reach the executive ranks of various Fortune 500 companies," said Locklear. "I continued to stay involved and participate in MBA Update sessions which keeps me informed and helps me to maintain a strong network of local business leaders, alumni and faculty friends."
     Today both Locklear and her husband Mark, also a Merage alum, are Visionary level members of the School's Dean’s Leadership Circle.
     "We are proud to be part of Lisa's success and value her involvement with The Paul Merage School of Business. She is an exemplary member of our alumni and we wish her continued success," said Andy Policano, dean of The Paul Merage School of Business.
     Prior to joining Ingram Micro in 2003 as vice president of finance for North America, Lisa worked in key finance leadership roles for several high profile organizations including The Walt Disney Company, Avery Dennison Corporation and Price Waterhouse (now PricewaterhouseCoopers). Lisa’s experience also includes two international tours to Europe totaling eight years.
     "Lisa has played an instrumental role in the planning and financial execution of Ingram Micro North America’s growth strategies and business initiatives," continues Bradley. "She has a keen understanding of the IT channel and is a natural leader who offers both the financial expertise and the business sense we want in a CFO."
     Lisa is a Certified Public Accountant and received her bachelor of science from UC Davis and her MBA from UC Irvine. She resides in Orange County with her husband and two sons, and is an active member of the Orange County United Way Board of Directors.
Think Merage First

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Global Business Conference

"This conference couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time," said Dean Andy Policano of UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business. "We are currently facing one of the most challenging economic crises in our country’s history. The events taking place today are reshaping the banking and investment world as we know it. By gathering the input of these experienced leaders, we are providing our business community access to some of the most brilliant economic minds in the world."
     OCBC’s Lucy Dunn and Andy Policano welcomed the more than 300 guests attending the conference. Dr. Max Zedtwitz, vice president, PRTM Management Consultants, was the first speaker of the day. His presentation was followed by a panel discussion led by Michael Aghajanian, managing director of PRTM and conference co-chair. Panelists included: David Pyott, chairman and CEO of Allergan; John O’Connor, director of Global Supply Chain for Cisco; Stephen Marlow, executive vice president for Toshiba America Electronic Components, and board member for the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs at UC Irvine, and Kate Gutmann, vice president, worldwide strategic accounts for UPS.

Global Business Strategies Conference
     A second panel, which focused on global public/private partnerships and accessing capital/funding and resources through government partnerships and agencies, included: Bijan Kian, director of US Export Import Bank; Geoffrey Jackson, U.S. Trade and Development Agency director of Policy and Program and regional director for East Asia, and Cindy McKim, chief financial officer for Caltrans. The panel was moderated by Wayne Gross, a partner at the law firm of Snell and Wilmer.
     Esteemed economist and managing director of PIMCO, Paul McCulley, was the luncheon keynote speaker.
     Robert E. Wollan, global managing partner for Accenture, led the afternoon with a presentation titled the Seismic Shift in Global Consumerism. Dr. Wallace Walrod, vice president of Economic Development and Communications for the Orange County Business Council, followed with an insightful overview of economic development in Orange County.
     The conference concluded with a final panel moderated by Dean Andy Policano, focused on Orange County’s global influence and featuring business leaders Steve Tully, president, Quiksilver Brand (Americas); Mike Mussallem, Chairman and CEO, Edwards Lifesciences; Aram Bassenian, chairman and CEO of Bassenian Lagoni Architects; and Ed Grier, president of Disneyland Resort.

Career Management Program Sets the Path for Incoming MBA Students

One of the primary goals of The Paul Merage School of Business is to help develop future business leaders with the dynamic skills they will need to be successful in the industry of their choice. In an effort to prepare students, the School has developed a program to help them learn lifelong career management skills.
     The ProSeminar series was first established in 2007 and is designed for incoming full-time MBA students. The program begins with two, threehour Career Visioning workshops. These workshops take students through a process designed to help them focus on why they are seeking an MBA in the first place, and what they truly want to achieve once they get it.
     "Some of our new students feel an MBA is the key to future success, however they haven’t thought through what their career will look like once they receive their degree," said Tom Kozicki, executive director of MBA Career Services at The Paul Merage School of Business. "Having a clear goal is critical to the success of our students and conversely, the success of our program."
     After completing the Career Visioning workshops, students are then required to explore brief online modules before participating in facilitator-led workshops that cover: Career Marketing Plans, Resume Writing, Networking, Interviewing and Negotiating.
     "With so many career options available to MBA students today, some students come into the program lacking clarity on how exactly they will apply their MBA. The ProSeminar program provides these students the opportunity to explore their true career goals and align their education to accomplish them," Kozicki added.
     "Students didn’t want to hear about writing a resume or how to network. They felt they already had these skills," said Nan Stothard, senior associate director of the MBA Career Center at the Merage School. "Our challenge was to create a program that teaches some basic information while at the same time provides students with practical and extremely valuable career tools."
     After two years as part of the curriculum, the ProSeminar series has proven its worth. "We have remarkable results from this program. Students who came in thinking they were going to do one thing with their MBA, ended up on an entirely different path," Stothard commented. "Once we got the concept across to students that it is their responsibility to take ownership and literally manage their career, they quickly took the ball and ran with it."
     Today, the ProSeminar series is a mandatory part of incoming students’ class schedules. The program is required and graded with benchmarks along the way.

Three Merage School Students Recognized as Having the Spirit of Difference

By demonstrating their interest in gender and cultural diversity issues and public service, and by overcoming significant personal obstacles, Geetanjali Singh, Julia Buchanan and Catherine Vu have been chosen this year to receive the Judy B. Rosener "Spirit of Difference" Fellowship. The fellowships will assist these students in pursuing their MBAs at The Paul Merage School of Business.
     Established in 2003 in honor of Dr. Judy Rosener, who recently retired from the Merage School after having been a full time faculty member for almost 30 years, the Spirit of Difference Fellowship was the brainchild of Darcy Kopcho. Kopcho, a former student of Rosener’s, was so inspired by the professor that she and her husband Richard donated $200,000 to create the fellowship. Additional funds were added by community members and other alumni wishing to honor Rosener.
     "I’m not sure exactly what it was that so motivated Darcy and her husband," Rosener commented, "I just did what I love. I taught and encouraged students to reach their full potential."
     Kopcho, now an executive vice president with The Capital Companies, said she sees Rosener as a mentor "who has made a big impact on my life. It was Dr. Rosener who gave me the guidance and courage to go into the business world."
     Kopcho received her MBA from the Merage School in 1980 and credits the school for preparing her for the position she holds today. "The guidance and encouragement I received from the professors and their dedication to students made a significant difference for me," Kopcho said.
     Since it was established, a total of seven individuals have benefitted from the Spirit of Difference fellowship including the three named this year, plus Alex Preston ’08 and Yuliya Barbasheva ’06.
Spirit of Difference Fellowship recipients celebrate with Darcy Kopcho
Spirit of Difference Fellowship recipients celebrate with Darcy Kopcho and Dr. Judy Rosener. Pictured from left to right: Geetanjali Singh '10, Julia Buchanan '10, Darcy Kopcho, Dr. Judy Rosener, Catherine Vu '10, and Yuliya Barbasheva '06. (Not pictured is Alex Preston '08).
     "I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with so many wonderful students. It’s very gratifying to know that I have played a role in helping some very deserving students earn an MBA and reach their professional goals," said Rosener.
     Today, Rosener lives in Newport Beach with her husband. She remains a strong advocate of women in business and focuses the majority of her research on men and women at work and cultural diversity.

Graduate Students Look to Turn Business Ideas Into Cash Through Annual Business Plan Competition

2009 Business Plan Competition The 2009 Business Plan Competition is underway.
     The annual event is hosted by the Don Beall Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Merage School. It is one of the nation's premier business plan competitions, challenging teams to create a business plan and giving them the opportunity to fund their business ideas with as much as $30,000 in cash prizes. Winning teams will also be invited to the Tech Coast Angels Seed Financing Invitational, where they will have the opportunity to be assigned a Tech Coast Angel executive as a coach and be screened by the Tech Coast Angel membership for up to $1,000,000 in seed financing.
     The competition provides all UC Irvine students, researchers and staff the opportunity to form a team, create a business plan and pursue the seed funding for a new business idea.
     Teams are provided access to experts who help them write, present, and generate funds for start-up ventures. Semi-finalists receive special coaching, six workshops in new venture creation, university assistance in intellectual property licensing, and introductions to members of the southern California private investment and venture capital community. The 2009 Business Plan Competition runs from January through the end of April.

Is Multigenerational Living the Wave of the Future?

Together AgainJohn Graham's book, "Together Again," presents a guide for households shared by three or more generations (12.15.2008)
By Jason Mednick, University Communications

Weak stock market performance is eating up Americans' retirement savings, and John Graham believes this may signal the return of the three-generation household.
     Graham, a professor in UC Irvine's Paul Merage School of Business, is the author of Together Again: A Creative Guide to Successful Multigenerational Living. Graham co-wrote the book with his sister, Sharon Graham Niederhaus.
     The nuclear family of only parents and their children in one home may seem ideal to many Americans; it has been a standard for decades. But from a global perspective, it’s far from the norm. "Almost everywhere else, grandparents are close by the grandchildren, so extended family influence and interaction are much more important," Graham says.

Assessing your MBA: ROI, Financial Aid, and the Economy

Assessing your MBA Have you ever asked yourself: Why would I want to pursue an MBA parttime? What would I like to get out of it? What are the key concerns/questions I have about pursuing an MBA parttime?
     These questions and more were answered during the "Assessing Your MBA: ROI, Financial Aid and the Economy" conference held at The Paul Merage School of Business. Dean Andy Policano and Jon Masciana, director of the Fully Employed MBA program, discussed the employment outlook for Orange County and explained how, while many other employment sectors were experiencing a downturn, others were projected to increase. Along with the employment increases, interest in graduate management programs was expected to grow as well.
     They reassured potential students that even with the slow down in some areas, demand for MBAs remains strong. Companies are hiring MBA graduates primarily for their business management knowledge and their ability to apply that knowledge, along with their technical skills. In fact, companies surveyed in 2008 hired more MBAs than undergrads or direct industry hires because of their specific talents associated with an MBA education during times of economic turmoil. In addition, MBAs experienced an average salary growth of 41% from the start of program to graduation (June, 2008)!
     The bottom line is that MBAs are very valuable to employers during economic downturns. If you're interested in getting started on your MBA, need information about student loans or FEMBA fellowships available, visit, or contact Mary Morris at 949-824- 5728 or

MBA Update Program

Merage on the Move

Merage on the Move
Pictured from left to right are: Ingoo Han, Dean, KAIST Graduate School of Management, Dong-Wan Tcha, Dean, KAIST Graduate School of Information & Media Management, Andy Policano, Dean, The Paul Merage School of Business and Chair of Accreditation Review Committee for KAIST, Byong-hun Ahn, Vice President, KAIST Business School, Peter Wolnizer, Dean, University of Sydney and AACSB Review Team member, Sung Joo Park, Founding Dean, KAIST Graduate School of Management, Kooyul Jung, KAIST Dean, Graduate School of Finance.
Reaching Out to the World
Expanding the reach and enhancing the student experience have long been objectives of The Paul Merage School of Business. This year, as we continue to pursue our global initiative and partner with learning institutions around the world, we are pleased to expand our relationship with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).
Merage Professor Recognized for Lifetime Achievement

Merage Professor Recognized for Lifetime Achievement
Ken Kraemer, professor of Information Systems at The Paul Merage School of Business received the 2008 LEO Award for Exceptional Lifetime Achievement in Information Systems from the Association for Information Systems at their international conference in Paris on December 15. Professor Kraemer is only the 18th person to ever receive the award out of an AIS membership of over 1500 academics.
     The LEO Award is the highest honor in the world for the Information Systems field. One of the speakers at the award ceremony described it as the "Oscar" of the field. Named after one of the world's first commercial applications of computing (The Lyons Electronic Office), the purpose of the LEO Award is to recognize truly outstanding scholars or practitioners who have made exceptional global contributions in the field and who are regarded as preeminent representatives of their national or regional Information Systems community. The LEO award is only given to one scholar or practitioner per year. It was established in 1999 by the Council of the Association for Information Systems and the Executive Committee of the International Conference on Information Systems.

Shaheen Husain
Shaheen Husain has been promoted to Executive Director for Corporate Relations & Business Development. As the key corporate relations executive for the school, Husain will focus on engaging the southern California business community and developing new strategic partnership initiatives with the Merage School.
Diane Sagey
Diane Sagey has been promoted to Executive Director, Marketing and Communications. Going forward, Sagey will take a stronger role in the development of overall marketing and brand management strategies for the Merage School.


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faculty intellectual capital. The outstanding research and publications of our world-class faculty are garnering attention worldwide and we are capitalizing on this momentum with the addition of seven more esteemed faculty members this year."
     BusinessWeek's biennial ranking of full time MBA programs includes both public and private business schools. Among public programs, the Merage School ranks in the top 20. Rankings are determined by a number of statistics including, but not limited to: age of the MBA program, enrollment, test scores, acceptance rates, and number of international and minority students. A program must be accredited to be considered for ranking.
     The Paul Merage School of Business is ranked 38th among top full time U.S. MBA programs by the Financial Times and 44th by US News & World Report.

One Day. One Campus. Many Options.

One Day. One Campus. Many Options
Come to UC Irvine's 31st annual Open House on Saturday, April 18, 2009 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This spring event features campus tours, games and rides for children, an Earth Day celebration, classic car show, and Wayzgoose Medieval Faire. Events and parking are FREE.

Celebrate your success

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