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November 2017

EKU’s Team Competes in Jones Cup National Championship

From left: Robert Wolfers, Zachary McNeil, Nathan Bratcher, Madison Erskine, Phi

Congratulations to EKU’s PGA Professional Golf Management Program on participating for the 10th consecutive year at the Jones Cup Tournament at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla. EKU joined the other 18 accredited PGA Golf Management universities nationwide participating in the 16th annual PGA Jones Cup. The competition was a two-day, 36-hole stroke play event contested at PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course. Since inception in 2002, the PGA Jones Cup has signified professionalism, integrity, sportsmanship and camaraderie through competition. Read more...

MMIB Hosts 4th Annual Professional Development Workshop

2017 Professional Development Workshop participants

Now in its fourth year, the Department of Management, Marketing and International Business hosted the 4th Annual Professional Development Workshop. The two-day event, held in EKU's Business and Technology Center on November 9-10, brought together 74 students, 10 business executives, and several special guests for two days of challenging case competitions.

Developed by Dr. Beth Polin, Assistant Professor of Management, the day-long, case-competition style workshop challenged students to apply classroom learning in solving real business problems.

Dr. Polin opens the 2017 Professional Development WorkshopBeginning on Thursday evening, the 20 student teams assembled for a professional development session that covered topics including Teamwork, Brainstorming, Communication, Problem Identification, Empathy, Interpreting Data, and Business Etiquette. They were then given a case that centered on a fictional company -- BrightStart Engineering, Inc. -- that was facing a multitude of challenges including stagnant revenues and high employee turnover.

2017 Professional Development Workshop team at workThe teams worked on the case until lunchtime on Friday, when they took a break to participate in a networking luncheon at which President Benson was the keynote speaker. Students had time to chat and eat with business executives.

EKU President Benson brings remarks at the networking luncheonAfter lunch, students presented their case solution to the business executives who acted as judges for the competition. Five winning teams were selected for recognition, and six individual students were identified and recognized as "Most Effective Speaker." The event concluded with a case debrief with the business executives and an awards ceremony.

Winning team students were: Tessa Aminetzah, Daniel Bevins, Heather Boatman, Joshua Caplinger, Ashley Carneal, Will Davis, Kassidy Easterling, Madison Harris, Jacob Knox, Maybelline Leandra, Tim Lumbrix, Kyle Rogers, Alyssa Scharklet, Sarah Smith, Preston Spade, Dalton Stanley, Jake Wilson, and Sydney Ziebold. "Most Effective Speaker" recognitions went to: Tessa Aminetzah, Daniel Bevins, Jackson Hurtt, Jacob Knox, Abigale Wilson, and Sydney Ziebold.

Student teams present their case solutionComments were positive all around. Students said they really enjoyed the experience, and many said they were already looking forward to next year's event. The Workshop gives them the opportunity to apply classroom learning to "real-world" business challenges. According to Dr. Polin, "Opportunities for application are critical in the development of business students, and this event provides just such an opportunity."

Department Interim Chair, Dr. Weiling Zhuang, said, "The Management Professional Development Workshop series is designed to offer business students the hands-on experience to apply what they learn in the classroom to solve real-world problems. During the process, students engaged in the teamwork, addressed the real business issues, and made connections with  business executives and faculty. To conclude the workshop, student teams shared their thoughts on the solutions, and the panel of executive judges provided feedback and suggestions. Sincere appreciations go to those committed faculty who devoted their time and efforts to make this happen. Specifically, Dr. Polin took the leadership initiating this workshop series; Dr. Roberson and Dr. Martin served as the faculty advisors advising students and coordinating so many things throughout the process. We want to celebrate the student achievements out of the workshop, and thank those caring and committed faculty who guide students' way to success."

A special thanks to the business executives who gave so generously of their time:

  • ​Mr. Ty Adams, Managing Director, Adams:Kinkade Design
  • Mr. Chris Caldwell,  Vice President Sales & Marketing, Innovative Publishing
  • Mr. Duane Davis, Co-founder, Michael Neal Group
  • Mr. Jeff Fultz, President, Central Bank Richmond
  • Mrs. Mendi Goble, President and CEO, Richmond Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. David McFaddin, Vice President of Engagement, Regional Stewardship, and Government Relations, EKU
  • Mr. Todd Jones, President, Baptist Health Richmond
  • Mrs. Amy Scarborough, Vice President External Affairs, AT&T
  • Mrs. Kristel Smith, Director, Kentucky Innovation Network
  • Dr. Aaron Thompson, Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer, Council on Postsecondary Education
  • Dr. Ryan Wilson, Senior Director for Regional Planning, EKU

Dr. Polin helps students and judges prepare for the case studyPolin continued that the event would not have happened without the support of faculty and staff. Dr. Tom Martin, Dr. Mike Roberson and Ms. Sandy Taylor were instrumental in the successful planning and facilitation of the event. Dr. Lana Carnes and Mr. Kevin Cumiskey served as faculty mentors to students during the case process. And last, but certainly not least, Polin was most grateful to the CBT Dean's Office, CEDET, and the MMIB Department for funding the event.

Stretching EKU Around the World

ASEAN handshake - Dr. Robles is third from left.

Dr. Marcel Robles, EKU Professor of Corporate Communication and Technology, represented not only EKU but also the United States with four other countries - Korea, Germany, Hungary, and China - at the Chinese Business Communication and Negotiation Committee of Industrial Technology Association of Economic Management Colleges. Earlier this month, Robles was appointed as advisor for the China Communication and Negotiation Committee to a three-year term through November 2020.

Robles spent three days with the College of Business Administration at Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing, presenting on cross-cultural communications.

During her trip to China Dr. Robles attended the conference and signed a Memo of Understanding among Business Communication Associations. Robles signed the MOU as First Vice-President of the Association for Business Communication (ABC), of which she will assume the role of President next year.

Interim Chair of EKU's Department of Management, Marketing and International Business, Dr. Weiling Zhuang congratulated Dr. Robles on her accomplishments, “We are so proud of Marcel's achievements. She represents us very well promoting MMIB, the school, and the university internationally.”

Robles made great connections for EKU School of Business and even discussed the potential for an MBA program taught in Mandarin.

Expanding EKU Opportunities

From left: Ben Durham, Elijah Vaughn, Quentin Carter, Jose Rebolledo

Recently, EKU sales students were among 260 competitors participating in the International Collegiate Sales Competition (ICSC) held in Orlando, Florida. Competitors proudly represented 70 university sales programs from the United States and Canada.

ICSC is a competition for university sales programs, and it is the largest event for role-play and sales management case competitions in the world. The students enjoyed intense competition and professional networking opportunities during the event, November 1-5. EKU Student attendance at this event is particularly significant, as a new era ushers in for sales at EKU with the soon to be launched EKU Center for Professional Sales, complete with sales labs and recording studios.

Elijah Vaughn and Quentin CarterFlorida State University sponsors ICSC, which hosts both a sales role-play competition and a sales management case study competition. Ben Durham and Jose Rebolledo represented EKU in the Sales Role-play, while Quentin Carter and Elijah Vaughn represented the Colonels in the Sales Management Case competition. These students received trophies and recognition as 'Rising Star Rookies' for their commitment and dedication in preparing for their first competition.

In addition to the competitive events, ICSC provides an outstanding opportunity for students and companies from all over the world to connect and network by attending formal dinners, recreational events (e.g. Casino Night) and a large sales-focused career fair. Informal opportunities to engage and interact with company executives also emerged for many students as they lounged by the pool or watched the World Series games in the resort restaurants, during free time when they were not actively competing.

This year, over 40 sponsor companies sent executives to participate in the Career Fair and networking events. Many students landed interviews, and some even received outright job offers. The executives also served as the professional buyers and judges for the competitive events, providing students with valuable feedback from high profile professionals across a wide spectrum of industry settings.

Kevin Cumiskey and Lee Allison, marketing professors from EKU MMIB worked to attract, select, and prepare EKU’s first sales team. This team heralds from a variety of signature programs here in the School of Business representing several towns nearby. Senior Quentin Carter, Lexington, and Junior Jose Rebolledo, Frankfort, major in Marketing. Juniors Ben Durham, General Business, and Elijah Vaughn, Accounting, are from Richmond.

“This is a great opportunity for our students to improve their sales and presentation skills outside the comfort of Richmond, Kentucky," said Cumiskey, Interim Director of the EKU Center for Professional Sales. He continued, "The students worked diligently and prepared well to represent EKU and our new Center for Professional Sales. Our students were able to network with more than 40 companies at the conference career fair and made connections with students at many other schools from around the country. The competition provided our students with valuable knowledge of the sales industry and added to their individual skill sets. I hope we are able to attend this event, and others like it, every year.”

Allison noted, “We all found benefit in the comradery of colleagues and peers working toward similar goals. ICSC represents a tremendous learning and networking opportunity for both students and coaches. Moreover, we will leverage this experience to guide strategy, as our vision for EKU’s Center for Professional Sales takes shape.

Finally, all students and coaches enjoyed a trip to Disney to top off the fantastic events! Epcot was unanimously selected as the park of choice for the EKU students, where they experienced a spectacular celebration of global cuisines, cultures and more at the 2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.

Stay tuned for announcements detailing the ribbon cutting ceremony for our new EKU Center for Professional Sales. And, for more on our Certificate for Professional Sales, visit

EKU SAM Club: Helping the Community and Making four-legged Friends

EKU student works with puppies at the Humane Society

EKU’s Society for Advancement of Management, also known as SAM, is a student run club designed for leaders-in-the-making. The group honored their mission statement "to provide an opportunity for the members to increase management skills and expertise through participation in programs and services designed to improve the professional quality of their knowledge, performance, and leadership ability" by exploring a service project of improving their abilities through serving their community at the Humane Society on the weekends.

On October 21, SAM provided personnel to help with daily tasks at the Humane Society. Their work included facility maintenance, animal care, and small renovation projects. The Humane Society was grateful for the work that SAM completed in their five hours of service, and has welcomed them back for future service.

Kitten at the Humane SocietyThe SAM Members shared some of their most memorable furry-friends and why they were so special,  “We loved getting to dedicate our time to the humane society on Saturday. While most of our time was focused on helping out with janitorial duties like cleaning the cages, refilling water and food bowls, and picking up around the building we also spent much of our time playing with the friendly kittens. This little fella was filled with love and sensitivity. He would reach out to us to give so we would give him affection”- SAM Members.

Spunky feline at the Humane Society “This spunky feline was all about being the center of attention. Once we opened the door to his cage he immediately sprung out with excitement. He walked around as if he owned the place but was reluctant to go back in his cage”- SAM Members

Black kitten“As opposed to the normal superstition, this black cat was an absolute delight. He had an equally adorable buddy as well. They were charming and affectionate to us as we cleaned their cage and restocked their food and water. We even had the opportunity at the end of the day to work on a small project by adding wheels to the cats' cages for mobility and ease of future cleaning.”- SAM Members

“As the day progressed, we shifted our focus from cats to dogs. The remainder of our time was spent taking care of the puppies and dogs by giving them time to play outside their kennel, as well as taking care of the animals' bedding.  Once we folded and stowed away the blankets, towels, and toys in the laundry room, we invited some furry friends to play.”- SAM Members

Walking the pups“Once the puppies had exerted energy inside, we changed gears and took the dogs outside for potty breaks and much needed play time.”- SAM Members

 “This little guy was named "Flash."  Can you guess why?”- SAM Members

Humane Society puppy on a walkSAM is a completely student-run club full of future leaders who devote their time to lead and serve.

Bringing the Classroom into the Real World

EKU students at Asahi Bluegrass Forge in Richmond

Students in Dr. Jae-Young Oh’s Operations Management class got a first-hand learning experience of the materials taught in class at the Asahi Bluegrass Forge (ABF) located in Richmond, Ky.

ABF is a subsidiary of Asahi Forge Corp., a Japanese company that specializes in producing automotive parts such as hub units, gears, transmission components, bearings and joints.

The students were able to go on a facility tour and hear senior managers’ presentations regarding their lean manufacturing strategies, organizational culture, and internships. One of EKU’s accounting students was recommended for an internship in the accounting department and holds that position now.

Vice President Mack Ishgaki took an interest in contributing to the community and EKU, and has been invited to be a guest speaker in Dr. Oh’s class next year on the topic of Japanese “lean” culture.

Photo caption: (from left) Dr. Jae-Young Oh (far left) with MGT 370 Students and ABF employees. Front right is Ms. KiKi Creech, Senior Administration/Accounting Manager. Behind and to her right are Mr. Danny Pittman, Plant Manager, and Mr. Jimmy Bennett (with  cap), Production Control Manager and EKU business alum. Directly behind them are Ms. Emeline Koga, accounting staff, and Ms. Xilan Ji, accounting intern and public accounting major.

Former EKU Star Makes an Educational Impact

From left: Easterling, Erekson, Guice, Gaskins

EKU gridiron great Jim Guice welcomed CBT representatives to his AmeriQuest home in Coral Springs, Fla, this week.

CBT Dean Tom Erekson and Global Supply Chain Management Executive-in-Residence James Kirby Easterling joined Guice, who is the current AmeriQuest Corporation executive vice president. The group discussed included indirect and direct spending, outsourced logistics services and truck leasing strategies. AmeriQuest has annual revenues exceeding $1.7 billion and focuses on identifying and assisting small-to-medium sized firms become more efficient, lean and profitable through effective supply chain management practices.   

This visit was a great opportunity to highlight one of EKU’s fastest growing programs, Global Supply Chain Management, with 40 students currently enrolled. AmeriQuest is planning to provide a Global Supply Chain Management internship opportunity for an EKU student in Summer 2018 at their office in Coral Springs. 

Game ball featuring Jim Guice as EKU quarterback

EKU’s Global Supply Chain Management program is grateful for the ongoing support of alliance-partners like AmeriQuest Corp. Find out more about EKU's Global Supply Chain Management program at,

Photo caption: (left to right) Mr. James Kirby Easterling, Dr. Tom Erekson, Mr. Jim Guice, and Mr. Patrick Gaskins/Senior VP-Financial Services

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