The Paul Merage School of Business - Dean's Quarterly - Winter 2011
Dean Andy Policano

In Perspective

Throughout history, economists have observed periods of relative economic stability punctuated by paradigm shifts that have altered the competitive landscape and paved the way for new opportunities. As today's business environment experiences a mixture of rising energy prices, a growing scarcity of natural resources and increasing economic pressures, a new megatrend – sustainability – has taken shape.
    Today, business leaders are realizing the potential that sustainable business practices and products can have on driving innovative new business models, opening new markets, and changing industry cost structures.
     The Paul Merage School of Business is developing the talent pipeline of executives capable of addressing sustainability issues and driving innovation throughout their organizations. Through class and focused sessions - such as our 2011 Profit Plus Planet? sustainability conference scheduled in March - we facilitate the exploration of current trends and learn to embrace the evolving issues shaping our future.
     Incorporating sustainability education into our curriculum is just one example of how the Merage School seeks to meet the needs of a robust business community. Through initiatives like this one, we're continuing to graduate leaders recognized and rewarded for their skills, and we're proud this has translated into our latest rankings report from Financial Times - our best ever - at #27 in the US and #53 Dean Andy Policano Signaturein the world. I cannot express my thanks enough to the entire Merage School family for the role each of you plays - as teachers, advisors, and lifelong learners who continue to make us proud.


Merage School Ranks 27th in Nation, 53rd in World

According to the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking 2011 report released January 31, the Full-Time MBA program at UC Irvine's Paul Merage School of Business ranked 27th in the U.S., up from 43rd in 2010, and 53rd in the world, up from 72nd in 2010, among the top 100 full-time global MBA programs. For career success, as measured by salary increases, Merage School ranked 23rd globally and 11th in the U.S.
     "This is exciting news and an affirmation of the success of the initiatives we have set into place over the last few years to enhance our program to better meet the demands and expectations of our business community," said Andy Policano, SUCCESSdean of The Paul Merage School of Business. "Our vision is to be recognized among the top public university research -based business schools in the world. Clearly, we continue to be one of those top schools."

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Can Your Businesses Thrive in a Green Environment?

Join the Merage School on March 24 at the Irvine Marriott Hotel for Profit Plus Planet?, southern California's premier sustainability conference. Corporate sustainability experts, thought leaders, clean technology investors, environmental consultants and researchers will gather with hundreds of Orange County's business elite to explore the future of green innovation and learn best-practices techniques to harness the power of sustainability as a driver of innovation and profit.

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MBA Program Information Sessions
invite prospective students for Full- Time, Fully Employed, Executive and Health Care Executive MBA programs starting in both spring and fall 2011.
Distinguished Speaker Series
FEBRUARY 10, 2011
Victor Nichols,
CEO, Experian North America
MARCH 31, 2011
Douglas Hutcheson, EMBA '91,
President & CEO, Leap Wireless International, Inc.
MAY 12, 2011
Kevin Clifford,
President & CEO, American Funds Distributors
MARCH 24, 2011
Profit Plus Planet?
A Premier Global Sustainability Business Conference
Strategic Issues in Management Series from Executive Education
FEBRUARY 17, 2011
MARCH 3, 2011
MARCH 17, 2011
APRIL 7, 2011

Beall Family Gives the Merage School More Reasons to Celebrate The Merage School has millions more reasons to celebrate thanks to the Beall Foundation. In a generous move, Don and Joan Beall recently accelerated their gift to the School's Don Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship by donating $2 million ahead of their scheduled commitment in 2014.
      "We are very grateful to the Beall Family through the Beall Foundation for their generosity, and we are truly thankful for their enduring commitment to the Center and to the Merage School," said Andrew J. Policano, dean of the Merage School. "With the backing of our community and business leaders in our area, we continue to flourish and build our reputation as one of our nation's leading business schools."
       The acceleration of the Beall's $2 million donation will allow the Merage School to establish an endowed chair within the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and move forward with planned initiatives.

Wells Fargo Foundation Pledges $500,000 to Building Campaign WELLS FARGOIn a rare commercial capital donation, the Wells Fargo Foundation has pledged $500,000 toward the Merage School's Living Building campaign.
      "We are delighted that the Wells Fargo Foundation believes so strongly in the Merage School. We are honored to have worked closely with John Evans, who is a member of our Dean's Advisory Board, and Merage School alumnus Jack Toan, both of whom play key roles at Wells Fargo and who were instrumental in securing this donation," said Merage School Dean Andy Policano.
      The Wells Fargo Foundation gift, along with those from PAAMCO, Ed Fuller, Thomas Antunez, Experian and Darcy Kopcho total over $2 million pledged toward the new Merage School building.
      The new "living building" is the only new building at any UC school in the current state budget proposal, reflecting the dire need for space to accommodate the Merage School's growth.
      For more information regarding the building campaign and naming opportunities, contact Melissa Beck at or 949.824.8470.

Perspective From the Top:
Dean's Advisory Board
The list of executives on the Merage School's Dean's Advisory Board (DAB) reads like the Who's Who of top business leaders in Orange County. And the list is getting even stronger as an impressive group of new members are joining in. Among them are:
  • Thomas Antunez, Senior Vice President, Prithvi Percentix
  • Neel Grover, CEO,
  • Dave Jones, MBA, CFP, Wealth Advisor, Select Portfolio Management
  • George A. Kalogridis, President, Disneyland Resort
  • Mike Mata, Chair, Don Beall Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Don Natenstedt, Western Regional Managing Director, McGladrey
  • Victor Nichols, CEO, Experian North America
  • Andy Peykoff II, CEO, Niagara Water
  • Lester Savit, Partner, Jones Day
  • Paul Short, Lead Engagement Partner, KPMG LLP
  • Chris White, Vice President, Cisco
  • Nam Woo, Retired CEO and Corporate Advisor, LG Electronics

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Workshop: Effective Boardroom Leadership
This spring, corporate leaders can take part in the weekend workshop: Effective Boardroom Leadership, now in its third year. The program, accredited by Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and co-sponsored by the Forum for Corporate Directors, addresses the latest thinking on the variety of issues facing boards today, with a focus on risk evaluation.
      The sessions are geared toward new or aspiring directors, C-level managers, directors, and non-profit and family business owners. Topics range from the board's role in mergers and acquisition and planning and strategy to ethic responsibilities and enterprise risk management.
      "In past years, this program has provided a unique forum for business leaders and academics to interact and share ideas," said faculty member and instructor Mort Pincus.
      Faculty involved in the program include: Margarethe Wiersema, dean's professor in Strategic Management; David Blake, professor, Strategic Management and director of International Programs; Thomas Turk, associate professor of Strategic Management; and Mort Pincus, dean's professor in Strategic Management.
      Thought leaders and executives participating as speakers and leading discussions include:
  • Bruce Edwards, chairman emeritus of Powerwave Technologies, member of the board of
    directors of Emulex Corporation, Semtech Corporation and Southwest Water Company
  • Gene Goda, independent director of Powerwave Technologies
  • Bala Iyer, member of the board of directors of Conexant
  • Jim Mazzo, president, Abbott Medical Optics, Inc.; senior vice president, Abbott
  • Michael Reznick, principal, FW Cook
  • Dean Yoost, member of the board of directors of Emulex Corporation and Pacific Life
    Insurance Co.
      According to Merage School Dean Andy Policano, "The goal of this program is to create a strong base of knowledge as well as to offer an interactive opportunity for directors and potential directors to learn from the real world experiences of business leaders. Serving on a board of directors, whether for a public or non-profit corporation, is an exciting opportunity but one with serious duties and responsibilities."
      The Effective Boardroom Leadership program will be held at the Merage School in two 2-day sessions starting May 11. Completion of the program leads to a certificate in Director Education. For more information or to register contact Lynette Albovias at or 949-824- 0523, or visit

Victor Nichols
Victor Nichols, chief executive officer of Experian North America, is the next executive featured in the Merage School's Distinguished Speaker Series. On February 10, Nichols will share his perspectives on leadership and management with approximately 350 corporate professionals, community leaders, MBA students, faculty members and campus staff. For more information or to register for the upcoming Distinguished Speaker Series, visit

Economists and Analysts Keep Corporate Partners In the Know The recent Corporate Partners quarterly meeting featured record attendance from Corporate Partners, members of the Dean's Advisory Board, the Dean's Leadership Circle, Center for Real Estate, and the Alumni Network. Attendees heard Dean Andy Policano speak on his new book, Public No More. He discussed the new reality of permanently lower levels of state support requiring that major public research universities adjust their positioning strategies and organize structure to accommodate intense market pressures from tuition-paying students. He acknowledged the adjustment process of making changes in the way resources are allocated, reorganizing to become more entrepreneurial, and refocusing on preferences of external constituencies.
      Ryan Fox, portfolio analyst with HighMark, followed with an industry overview.Economists and Analysts He discussed how the supply of traditional education (public and not-for-profit institutions) has faced significant fiscal headwinds, which has resulted in having insufficient capacity for this increase in demand for education. He also summarized some of the successes that have been seen in the for-profit sector with what can potentially be done to strengthen the more traditional university programs.
      Overall it was an enlightening presentation that brought attendees up-to-date on the global state of education.
      Learn more at

Will Wireless Technology Transform Healthcare?
Will Wireless Technology Transform Healthcare?
Experts Convened to Explore the Possibilities of Wireless Healthcare
What is the strategic potential of wireless technologies in healthcare? Will hospitals be replaced by new remote technology gadgets? How will technology impact personalized care and fundamentally change the underlying economics of the industry?
      These questions and more were addressed at the 2010 Wireless Health Care Conference titled, Wireless Health: Transforming Healthcare with Technology.
      "Electronic health records and other IT-enabled innovations are changing healthcare delivery, but the advent of sophisticated wireless technology has revolutionary potential," said Vijay Gurbaxani, director of the Merage School's Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations (CRITO). "The healthcare delivery system as we know it will be transformed as the technology enables compliance, improves communications, and allows patient monitoring in home and outpatient settings."
      Professor Paul Feldstein, Robert Gumbiner Chair in Health Care Management at the Merage School added, "The technologies enable providers to truly focus on an individual's care by diagnosing and managing health remotely, resulting in huge economic benefits to patients and payers by improving service delivery, reducing costs, expanding reach and most importantly, enhancing the quality of life."
      Featured keynote speakers included:
  • Eric Topol, MD, the Gary and Mary West Chair of Innovative Medicine and chief academic officer for Scripps Health, who presented, "Digitizing Man and Its Impact on Medicine."
  • Don Casey, chief executive officer for West Wireless Health Institute, who presented, "Outlook & Implementation of Wireless Solutions in the Health Care Marketplace."
      Also featured was an expert panel of pioneering executives including:
  • George Savage, MD, co-founder and chief medical officer, Proteus Biomedical, Inc.
  • Tom Watlington, chief executive officer, Sotera Wireless
  • David Inns, chief executive officer, Jitterbug
  • Robert McCray, president and chief executive officer, Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance.
      Donald Jones, vice president at Qualcomm, and Margaret Laws of the California Healthcare Foundation provided closing remarks for the conference.
      The 2010 Wireless Health Care Conference was cohosted by the Center for Health Care Management and Policy and the Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations at The Paul Merage School of Business. To watch the conference, visit

Robert Cammack '91

Robert Cammack '91 with the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure Executive Director Lisa Wolter after he received his award at the Volunteer and Team Captain Appreciation Awards ceremony.
Alumnus Named Volunteer of the Year by Susan G. Komen for the Cure

Robert Cammack '91 was recently named Volunteer of the Year for his strong support of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization and for his dedication to ending breast cancer forever. Since Cammack's wife Carla was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, he has committed himself to helping to find a cure. This year he served as the 2010 Race for the Cure pledge co-captain and Tshirt captain, among many of the other volunteer posts he has held in the past.

Critical Goal Reached for Luis Villalobos Fellowship
Fellowship Now Available for Award
A generous $5,000 donation, made by the Harvard Business School Association of Orange County (HBSAOC), has enabled UC Irvine's Paul Merage School of Business to reach its goal of raising $25,000 for the Luis Villalobos Endowed Fellowship in Entrepreneurship. Because of this gift, and other contributions from individuals and organizations including Conexant, San Diego Tech Coast Angels, The Block Family Trust, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and Ms. Ann Payne, the Merage School is now accepting applicants for the Fellowship.
      "We made this contribution in honor of one of our long-standing members and a significant contributor to our organization,Luis Villalobos Luis Villalobos," said David Oh, co-managing director of HBSAOC. "Luis was a uniquely talented businessman and mentor, whose legacy will continue to influence entrepreneurship through this fellowship and the support of organizations, including ours, who are committed to education and entrepreneurship."
      The Luis Villalobos Endowed Fellowship in Entrepreneurship was established in memory of businessman and entrepreneur Luis Villalobos who passed away on October 1, 2009. The fellowship is intended to be awarded to a graduate MBA student in the Merage School's Full-Time MBA program. Candidates for the endowment must meet all of the requirements for admission to the School as well as display an interest in entrepreneurship and/or starting or being part of a new business. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of donors.
      To apply for the Villalobos Fellowship or for more information, please contact Elizabeth Dahl at 949.824.3066 or

Merage School Alum Goes Green
John CreelmanJohn Creelman '89 began working at Western Digital, including a stint working for Tim Leyden, EMBA '92, midway through his Full-Time MBA program. Creelman parlayed that opportunity into a role at MTI Technology in Anaheim, continuing his career with large public companies. In 1995, Creelman left the world of large public technology firms to follow his entrepreneurial spirit and pursue opportunities financing and building emerging growth companies. Today Creelman is with PowerGenix Systems, his 6th venture-backed company as CFO. Powergenix develops and manufactures environmentally friendly energy storage solutions (i.e. rechargeable batteries) for industrial applications.
      "After having raised over $260 million in combined debt, private placements, venture capital and two public equity (IPO) offerings, I've become pretty well versed in financing IT-based or high tech firms," commented Creelman. "While 'green' wasn't necessarily my focus, the excitement of the clean tech space has provided the lure. What interests me about PowerGenix is the promise of the company's proprietary battery chemisty, the target markets, the company's management team and investors, and its prospects," said Creelman. "PowerGenix is my first clean tech company and I joined because it was a good fit and the timing was right. I value the opportunity to be involved in a burgeoning new business and I enjoy learning about new technology, and seeing and doing new things. Clean tech and the energy sector have tremendous potential. As an entrepreneur, it's all about taking risks and that's why I'm here."
      Creelman has learned companies competing in renewables are not just made up of a couple of founders and a small team of engineers. "These companies are trying to solve large, difficult problems that involve physics, chemistry and hard-core manufacturing," said Creelman. "That's where a high level of education and training is so important. Executives that are successful and instrumental to the success of a company understand business from many angles including manufacturing and international operations. I credit the Merage School with broadening my viewpoint, giving me a strong skill set and strengthening my ability to multitask. By challenging me to stretch and reach - and ask questions like 'why is it always done that way?' - overall, I believe I have become a better innovator and a better business person."
      Headquartered in San Diego, PowerGenix has developed and patented a high-power and low-cost Nickel-Zinc battery for power intensive consumer, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) and stationary storage applications. The batteries provide an effective and environmentally friendly recyclable alternative to many existing battery technologies.
      John Creelman has a BA and an MBA (Cum Laude) from the University of California, Irvine. He is a member of the advisory board for the Merage School's Don Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

If Experience Makes Great Teachers, Marketing Expert Murphy is Among the Best
An entrepreneur and expert in brand strategy, David Murphy is making his mark on MBA students at the Merage School. Tapped on numerous occasions to speak to students on marketing, consumer behavior and strategic brand development, Murphy is right at home in the classroom.
      "David is a fantastic speaker and his presentations add tremendous value to the classroom," commented Loraine Lau-Gesk, assistant professor of Marketing. "By providing real case scenarios for our students, he helps make the connection between what we are teaching, and how it applies in the real world."Murphy
      Murphy's day job is co-president and director of Brand Innovation for Barrie D'Rozario Murphy, an agency he helped co-found in 2007. Murphy works with clients such as United Airlines, Accenture, Applied Materials and UnitedHealth Group, and has helped create successful brand strategies for some of the world's most respected companies, including Toyota, Ford Motor, Sony, P&G, Hilton Hotels, Mattel and Callaway Golf.
      Recently Murphy spoke on marketing to Lau's classes and was instrumental in securing United Airlines for a real life case study and competition for the students.
      "This was a unique opportunity for me to align one of my clients with the students at the Merage School, and challenge them to make recommendations," explained Murphy. "This collaboration gave students the opportunity to work on real business issues with a real client, and gave the client, United, a fresh perspective on different ways to market their services. It also put the Merage School on the mental map with a Fortune 500 company."
      In addition to his classroom involvement, Murphy serves as vice chair of the Merage School's Dean's Advisory Board.
      "I originally got involved with the Merage School when Paul Merage made his naming gift. I worked closely with Paul and directly with Dean Andy Policano on the marketing committee surrounding the donation," said Murphy. "I have stayed involved ever since. I find it satisfying to share my experiences with future leaders, and personally it's extremely valuable to stay plugged into the range of strategic business issues MBA students are facing at their various companies. It allows me to stay on top of trends and provide better counsel to my own clients."
      Find out more about Murphy's ideas and thoughts on marketing by reading his blog at or by following him on Twitter at @wikimurph.

Tustin Selects David C. Biggs '84 as New City Manager
David C. BiggsFollowing an extensive nationwide recruitment, the Tustin City Council has unanimously selected David C. Biggs to serve as its City Manager. Biggs, a 1984 Merage School alumnus, was selected from a pool of 55 impressive candidates to succeed Bill Huston who has fulfilled the role of City Manager for the last three decades.
      "Despite the high quality of the candidates we had to select from, it was abundantly clear to the entire council that David was the best choice for our organization and the community," said Mayor Jerry Amante. "In addition to his outstanding economic and community development experience, he has tremendous depth in all aspects of city government. We are delighted that David will be joining us and look forward to benefiting from his talent for many years to come."
      Biggs is relocating to Tustin with his wife, Catherine, and their two sons, Adrian and Dylan. He stated, "I am honored to be selected to serve the City of Tustin and look forward to becoming part of the community."

MBA Students Interview Top Workplaces
MBA StudentsA unique partnership between The Orange County Register and the Merage School's Center for Global Leadership gave 20 Merage School MBA students the opportunity to interview top executives from Orange County and publish their findings. The executives interviewed were from companies included in the newspaper's annual list of Top Workplaces in Orange County.
      "It was a true win-win. A valuable experience for the Merage School students provided the people of Orange County with additional insights into local companies," said Chris Meyer '08, deputy editor for the Register.
      "The partnership with the Register provided a valuable opportunity for our MBA students to learn about organizational culture, leadership and an opportunity to create contacts," said Anna Liza Garcia, associate director of the Merage School's Center for Global Leadership.
      The Register's Top Workplaces are determined based on employee surveys conducted by a third party. Once the Top Workplaces were selected, Merage School MBAs interviewed chief executive officers, chief operations officers and presidents to gather insight about hiring practices, company culture, communications and other facets of the companies that make them unique. The results of the interviews were published in the Register's Top Workplaces supplement and on the web at Among this year's Top Workplaces were Merage School Corporate Partners Taco Bell, Volcom, and Precept.
      Nili Haghigi, a Fully Employed MBA student at Merage School, interviewed David Aldrich, CEO of Skyworks Solutions, Inc. noting, "It was inspiring to see that even in this economy, employees are being heard and that there are happy employees who are appreciated by employers of all sizes."

Professor Leverages Skype Technology to Present at Conference in New Zealand
Judy RosenerJudy Rosener, PhD, retired Merage School professor of economics and public policy, utilized a simple technology to make a sophisticated impact during the Senior Women in Leadership Forum held at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Presenting from her home in southern California, Rosener tapped Skype to stream and project her image to more than 40 academic and general staff women who attended the forum and interacted during the question and answer session.
      "Technology is a tremendous enabler for education. We can communicate and collaborate around the world on a regular basis with very little expense," said Rosener. "The impact of a presentation is best when viewed in person, but with some of the social networking technologies we have available, presenters can be almost anywhere in the world and still be 'virtually' present."
      "Judy is a very engaging presenter," said Gail Reichert, acting Leadership Programmes Manager for the University of Auckland. "Being able to see her added to the excitement of the presentation. She was very well received. So well, in fact, that after closing down the connection, the discussion continued for another 30-40 minutes as people went over various aspects of what she talked about."

Real Estate Awards Luncheon Honors John O'Donnell
Real Estate Awards

John O'Donnell, managing general partner of The O'Donnell Group, receives the Lifetime Achievement Award. Pictured from left: Doug Meece, John O'Donnell and Center Director and Professor Kerry Vandell.
The Center for Real Estate annually recognizes real estate professionals who have either made an indelible mark on the industry or are at the crossroads of shaping its future. This year a crowd of more than 500 attendees joined us to honor John O'Donnell with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his far-reaching contributions in real estate. Additional honorees included Greg Merage, CEO of Stoneridge Capital Partners as the Rising Star Award winner and Bob Campbell, Chairman and Co-Founder of CT Realty as our Power-Packed Philanthropist.
      A true visionary in the industry, John O'Donnell pioneered industrial development in the 1970s and 1980s throughout California, Washington and Alaska. He founded O'Donnell Property Services, a firm that would ultimately manage more than 26 million square feet of commercial space before its sale to Insignia Commercial Group in 1995. In accepting the award, he attributed his success to his ability to forge and value strong relationships and to his unyielding pragmatism.
      The event also featured a keynote address from Peter Ueberroth, Managing Director of the Contrarian Group and celebrated organizer of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Time Magazine's former Man of the Year shared insightful thoughts on organizational leadership, the importance of government relations in business and market factors affecting real estate today.
      Our thanks extend to the attendees, sponsors, award recipients and dedicated staff for making The 2010 Real Estate Awards Luncheon an inspiring and memorable event. See video.

Merage on the Move

South American Residential Rated Best Ever

Students report the FEMBA '11C International Residential in Chile and Brazil was one of the best Residentials ever, crediting their positive experience to Professor David Blake, a noted authority on global business strategy, foreign investment, management education and strategic leadership.
      During their stay, students met with Citibank Brazil, Wal-Mart, and D&Y in Santiago, two micro finance entities in Chile, and an innovative chemist and entrepreneur in Chile who developed a company called Crystal Lagoons that builds the largest swimming pools in the world using 90% less chemicals than competitors. They also participated in a lively discussion and case study of a startup Brazilian airline, Azul Airlines, where they had the opportunity to meet with company CEO David Neelemen, the founder of Jet Blue.

Registrations Are In for the 2011 Business Plan Competition

Business Plan Competition
The 2011 Merage School Business Plan Competition, sponsored by Stradling, Yocca, Carlson and Rauth, is one of the nation's premier business plan events offering all UC Irvine students, staff and researchers the opportunity to form a team, create a business plan, and potentially fund their business idea all within seven months.

      This year's competition is underway as teams develop their plans and prepare to compete for over $36,000 in cash prizes. The next step is for judges to review the concept papers submitted by February 7. For more information about competition, visit
Undergrads Continue
(back row from left) Merage School Undergrads Mona Siddique, George Goodman and Nirav Bhardwaj. (front row from left) Margo McEntee, Manolo "Jin" Puertollano and Linda Tan.

Undergrads Continue to Distinguish Themselves

UC Irvine's central campus is transferring a $500 cash award to the Merage School in recognition of the outstanding participation of the School's undergraduate students' in the University of California's Undergraduate Experience Survey. Merage School undergrads, by far, had the highest student response rate and won first place. In addition to the cash award, which will be used to support student activities, the Merage School received a plaque and recognition at the Dean's Advisory Council meeting.

New Research, Books & Ideas

Professor Kristin Behfar'sProfessor Kristin Behfar's study titled, "Conflict in Small Groups: The Meaning and Consequences of Process Conflict," co-authored by Elizabeth Mannix, Randall Peterson, and William Trochim, has been accepted at Small Research Group. The study was designed to better understand the meaning and consequences of process conflict. The results showed that process conflict negatively affects group performance, member satisfaction, and group coordination.
Professor Kenneth L. KraemerJason Dedrick, Professor Kenneth L. Kraemer and Greg Linden from The Personal Computing Industry Center (PCIC), in the Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations (CRITO), have announced a new report titled, "The Distribution of Value in the Mobile Phone Supply Chain." The report explores how supply chains of the mobile phone industry span national and firm boundaries. The report can be accessed at
Jone Pearce Jone Pearce, dean's professor of Leadership and director of the Center for Global Leadership, is leading a program to translate quality research into practice, and make those translations easily available to practitioners throughout the world. Three translations are already complete with more to come. For more information on the translation project visit
Professor Cornelia (Connie) Pechmann The Journal of Public Policy & Marketing has accepted a paper by Professor Cornelia (Connie) Pechmann titled, "Learning about At-risk Consumers: Research Challenges and Opportunities." The report explores the plight of at-risk consumers, a perennial problem in social marketing and public policy.

Program News

Mike Aghajanian '88Mike Aghajanian '88 has accepted the position of executive director for Executive Education. Aghajanian brings more than 25 years of consulting and industry experience to the position, most recently as managing director of PRTM Management Consultants. Aghajanian is a Merage School alumnus where he earned an MBA with a concentration in Technology Management. Aghajanian is a member of the Dean's Advisory Board, a Visionary Member of the Dean's Leadership Circle, and serves on several committees for the School including the EMBA Taskforce and the Sustainability Conference Committee.
Melissa Beck '12Melissa Beck '12 has accepted the role of acting director for the Center for Investment and Wealth Management (CIWM) in addition to her role as executive assistant to the Dean. In her new position, Beck will serve on all Center committees and oversee operations and events for CIWM. Beck is enrolled in the Executive MBA program class of 2012.
Maureen Bresse Maureen Bresse has been promoted to associate creative director in the Marketing & Communications department. With her extensive design skills, Bresse has been instrumental in providing creative vision and direction while upholding and improving upon the brand image of the Merage School year after year.
Mary Clark Mary Clark has been promoted to assistant dean of the Fully Employed MBA Program. Previously working for the Full-Time MBA program, Clark and her team have worked to recruit increasingly competitive MBA students, expanding the applicant pool by 42% and improving the caliber of the incoming class in terms of GMAT, GPA and employability post-MBA. Her role helped the Full-Time MBA program gain national prominence, recently ranking 27th in The Financial Times.
Donna MumfordDonna Mumford has taken on the role of interim assistant vice chancellor of Campus Development for the University of California Irvine. In this role she will be responsible for providing leadership and management support to campus-based fundraising programs as well as to the foundation and corporate development team.
Kristy NarensKristy Narens has joined the FEMBA team as associate director of Student Affairs. Originally from San Diego, Narens completed her BA in Communication at San Diego State University and later finished her Masters degree in Education. Narens brings a wealth of experience to the Merage School including two years at Harvard Business School in MBA Career Services and the Student Services Office in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University. Most recently, Narens worked in Campus Recruiting at PIMCO where she led university recruitment efforts for the company.
Denise PatrickDenise Patrick has been promoted to assistant dean of Undergraduate Degree Programs for the Merage School. Patrick has been with the School for more than 23 years working in Student Affairs. Due to her efforts, the Merage School's undergraduate major and minor programs together enroll nearly 1,000 students annually.
Diane Sagey '99 Diane Sagey '99 has been promoted to interim assistant dean of Marketing and Strategic Initiatives for the Merage School. Her responsibilities include oversight of the Marketing and Alumni Relations functions, plus the added role of taking on initiatives such as conference planning, data management, research on strategic priorities, process improvements, issues identification and solutions management. She is a member of the Dean's Leadership Circle.
Think Merage FIRST'

Certificate in Management for Technical Professionals Now Available

Certificate in Management Would engineers and scientists be more effective if they added more knowledge to their deep technical education about how companies operate? The Advisory Board for Executive Education at Merage School thinks so. As a result, a new Certificate in Management for Technical Professionals has been created, the first of several programs under development to enhance the business knowledge of industry professionals.
     "Most engineers acquire business knowledge over time through experience or trial and error," said Michael Aghajanian, executive director for the Merage School's Office of Executive Education. "This program is designed to provide more comprehensive and accelerated learning. The decisions made in the design process have a significant impact on the complexity and cost structure of a company; therefore, it is imperative that these professionals have a well-rounded understanding of business operations."
     The program is designed for engineers or scientists with 3-6 years of job experience. It consists of 10 modules covering the full spectrum of business operations delivered over a 10 weeks. The inaugural program will be this spring.
     The cost for the Certificate program is $7,500 per student and includes all course materials (books, workbooks, handouts, simulation, assessment fees, refreshments and certificate). For more information contact Lynette Albovias at

Innovation: In Your Hand Or On Your Feet
In Your Hand
Students participating in an idea-generating exercise as part of the Design and Innovation Management class.
A coffee cup that eliminates lines at Starbucks? An iPad on admission at the hospital? A gadget and a social network that make biking to work feasible?
      When teams of MBA students set out to change the way they think, they've discovered that they have the power to change the world - in large ways and small. It's all part of a hands-on experience that combines design thinking, ethnography, neuroscience, small group dynamics, networking, borrowing, creative workshops, and storytelling. Some of the outcomes: a winning project in the Business Plan Competition, a change in student food service, and even a marriage.
      Four years ago, when Professors Alladi Venkatesh, Lynda Lawrence and Raymond Pirouz developed the Design and Innovation Management class, they were responding to requests from business leaders to train MBA students to foster innovation. The class they designed, however, uncovers and enhances hidden talents in every student - instead of just managing other creative people, students tap into their own creativity and bring it into every aspect of their lives.
Students work in groups

Students work in groups and collaborate on creating solutions to issues they have experienced themselves.
      Combining theory, science, design expertise and real-world experience from 30 years of practice, the professors guide students through the innovation process. Students select their own projects, finding a less-than-perfect experience and making it better. Then they go through the same steps used in business: defining the problem, researching it, developing teams, scoping out the competition, generating ideas, vetting them, prototyping, reiteration, refining, clarifying key benefits, persuasion, rehearsal and presentation. Along the way, they participate in workshops with branding consultant Barbara Wartman, play with toys, learn techniques from improvisational theatre, keep journals, and build with cereal boxes and string with directions from Shakespearian scholar Julia Lupton.
      So when you walk by the classroom and catch a glimpse of bright colored posters or hear the laughter, you'll know that those students are actually learning something quite serious - the tools they'll need to engage in human-centered design and create innovative solutions forever.

Merage School Student Selected for $7,500 CRE NAIOP SoCal Fellowship
NAIOP SoCal, the region's leading commercial real estate organization, and the Merage School's Center for Real Estate have selected Matt Ottesen, an MBA Real Estate and Finance student, as the recipient of the CRE NAIOP SoCal Fellowship.
      Ottesen will receive a $7,500 scholarship to support his academic endeavors and he will also be provided the opportunity to serve as a liaison to the NAIOP SoCal Board of Directors and mentored by some of the nation's top real estate executives. NAIOP
      "NAIOP SoCal and the Center for Real Estate named Ottesen because he demonstrated a strong passion for pursuing and excelling at a commercial real estate career," said Greg Blomstrand, president of NAIOP SoCal and principal-managing director of American Realty Advisors. "This meritbased fellowship is designed to provide a deserving student with financial support to pursue the study of commercial real estate."
      Ottesen, who has an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University, is currently an associate with the acquisitions team at Buchanan Street Partners. He is also a member of NAIOP SoCal.
      "Receiving this Fellowship is both an honor and an advantage in that it will jump-start my professional real estate career in southern California," said Ottesen. "This is a unique opportunity. For this reason I will strive to repay the confidence and trust I was given by giving others opportunities to achieve their real estate aspirations as well."

Business Students Go to Battle Over Smart Grid in China
Business StudentsFour teams of Full-Time MBA students competed over the future of China's smart grid during The Paul Merage School of Business 5th Annual War Games. Each of the four student teams represented a company - Cisco, GE Energy, IBM or Siemens - and focused their efforts on determining which could develop the best long-term strategy with respect to its competition and China itself. The all-day event was held December 3 on the UC Irvine campus.
      Designed by Fuld & Company, a leading consulting firm in competitive intelligence, the war game started with the assumption that China will need to spend as much as $10 billion (USD) a year through 2020 to build a modern electric grid. The Chinese government has set long-term energy and power distribution goals for itself that it intends to meet, but it needs the technology to accomplish these ambitious goals. The four teams, representing some of the largest, most technically sophisticated corporations, designed unique strategies to help build what China hopes to be one of the greatest infrastructure projects ever conceived.
      Each of the four student teams focused on the uniqueness of their different selling propositions of hardware vs. intelligent software, while understanding their need to deal with often conflicting national and provincial views.
      Professors Leonard Lane and Arjan Singh who teach Competitive Intelligence at the Merage School and run the game said, "The War Game allows students to learn in real time how to stress test a strategy using the tools they have learned in their Strategy and Competitive Intelligence classes."
      This year's game was the 5th Fulddesigned war game run by the School. Previous games have focused on the battle for electronic medical records, the battle for the wireless internet, and the battle for digital entertainment. For additional information about Fuld & Company visit
Two teams - GE Energy and Siemans - came out on top as a result of this year's competition. Team members included:
GE Energy Team
Shazeeye Kirmani
Maggie Kepta
Lily Li
Arnold Patel
Shouvik Raychudhury
Tyler Staley
Jason Zeler
Tao Zhang
Siemans Team
Kshitio Aggrwal
Talal Alnafie
Geneva Holden
Philip Igler
John Ludlow
Peter Preston
Courtney Watts
Vicki Yang
Shawn Yuan

Alumnus Start Up Achieves 1070% Growth, Makes Inc. 500 List of Fastest Growing Private Companies
CallFire, a voice telephony company started by Dinesh Ravishanker '05, reported growth of 1070 percent and was ranked 285th on Inc. Magazine's annual Inc. 500 list of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. Ravishanker started the company right after graduating from the Merage School and has been leading the company as their CEO ever since.
Inc. 500 ||| 5000
      Ravishanker attributes the strong growth to "economic circumstances requiring small- and medium-sized businesses to leverage cost and time saving technologies like CallFire." He adds, "CallFire also released a Phone Tree product, a powerful inbound and outbound interactive voice response utility, which has been adopted by thousands of businesses and which drove 20-30 percent of our revenue growth in less than a year."

In the Green Spotlight
University Wins California Environmental Leadership Award
      The University of California system has received the California Environmental Leadership Award for its 32 LEED green-certified buildings, its leadership in research and educational programs focused on climate change, clean energy and other sustainability issues.

UC Irvine's Sustainable Transportation Programs Earn EPA Environmental Achievement Award
      UC Irvine's effort to reduce congestion and improve air quality through sustainable transportation programs was recognized with an outstanding achievement award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The transportation program promotes walking, biking, and the use of scooters, carpools, vanpools, car-sharing services, shuttles and public transportation. The EPA lauded the comprehensive program for eliminating more than 39 million vehicle miles and 19,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and for saving the university community more than $21 million annually. UC Irvine commuters average 1.87 riders per car, the highest average vehicle ridership for any employer of comparable size in southern California.

A Hot House for Innovation
Founded by Tony Page and Daniel Vesely, XIQ is a virtual hot house for innovation. A family of entrepreneurial business, XIQ is siphoning off some of the best and brightest entrepreneurial minded Merage School MBAs, and providing young entrepreneurs with the environment they need to grow.
      Under the XIQ umbrella a variety of young businesses are spouting including: BioLink, a professional placement firm (; LNX Research (, a social network analysis company run by Philip Topham, UC Irvine alumnus and member of the Merage School Dean's Leadership Circle; PharmaVoxx (, a marketing and competitive analysis company led by Dao Vo, a Merage School alumna, and Reimbursement IQ, a reimbursement strategy consulting firm. HealthIQ, another of the XIQ companies, was founded in 1985 and is the genesis of the XIQ family. The business was taken over by Page and Vesely in 2004 and is today the employer of many Merage School alumni. Health IQ was the launching point for Dao Vo, a graduate of the Merage School's Full-Time MBA program in 2001. Vo started as an intern with HealthIQ and is now general manager of PharmaVoxx, a provider of marketing and competitive analysis.
      "The Merage School gave me the building blocks and product development expertise to manage my own business. Tony and Daniel gave me the freedom and support to enable me to establish and make it grow," said Vo. "I have been with PharmaVoxx since its inception and have remained focused on our vision to deliver market intelligence to clients seeking competitive knowledge about pharmaceutical communications to the healthcare and patient community," said Vo. "It's a niche market, one with a tremendous amount of potential."
      Vo's vision appears to be on target. While still in its infancy, PharmaVoxx is showing real signs of growth. With only six employees, the company has already expanded to India where much of the data entry work takes place, and plans are underway to pursue companies outside of the pharmaceutical industry.
      Currently XIQ and its family of businesses have about 35 full-time current employees of whom eight are Merage School alums. "Since the company's formation 12 years ago, the percentage of employees who have been Merage School alumni has always been significant," said Page, "Merage School is a leading recruiting source."

Dean's Advisory Board
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      "The exemplary level of leadership our members provide and their vast experience and expertise in business and innovation speaks volumes for the Merage School," said Dean Andy Policano. "With the guidance of so many prominent executives, we are generating tremendous synergies and creating an unparalleled MBA curriculum aimed at developing new global leaders in business and industry. This is just a glimpse of what is to come as I believe we are just hitting our stride."
      The DAB was established to assist in the ongoing qualitative growth of the School. Specifically, the DAB serves as the School's primary advisory body, providing advice and counsel for academic and professional programs from the perspective of the general management profession. For a current list of Dean's Advisory Board members visit New members are added to the DAB by invitation only and each serves for a total of four years.

Profit Plus Planet? Sustainability Conference
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Breakout sessions will take an in depth look at topics including:
  • The Business Case for Sustainability
  • Global Perspectives and Best Practices
  • PR, Marketing & Messaging - Communicating Your Commitment
  • The Future of Clean Tech; Good for Investors?
  • Cultivating a Culture for Sustainability and Generating Support
  • Sustainable Supply Chain Management
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Green Innovation
     Special guest Pierre-André Senizergues, CEO and founder of Sole Technology Inc., parent company to etnies global action sports footwear and apparel company, will participate in the conference and host a VIP breakfast and tour of his company the following day. Space is limited for this VIP event and participation will be granted on a first-come, first-served basis. To register for the conference visit

Financial Times
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Financial Times"As a leading business school, we continue to define our vision and differentiate our programs, and graduate business leaders with the exceptional ability to help grow their organizations through strategic innovation," said Dean Policano. "Through input from our corporate partners, we're continually focused on the caliber of students we're bringing into the program and we've enhanced our curriculum with a keen eye toward strategic innovation and global competitiveness which helps to set our graduates apart in the job market."
     Most recently, the Full-Time MBA program at the Merage School was ranked first in the nation for employment of its MBA graduates three months after graduation, by U.S. News and World Report's 2011 annual ranking of America's Best Graduate Schools. The Merage School's Executive MBA and Fully-Employed MBA programs both ranked in the top 25 nationally among part-time business school programs, with the EMBA program ranking 23rd and FEMBA program ranking 24th.

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