The George Washington University

School of Business: GWSB News

March 13, 2009

Alum Inspires Audience, “Hot Mommas” Winners Announced

From L-R: Hot Mommas Case Competition Winner Saranne Rothberg, GWSB adjunct professor Kathy Korman Frey, and Rand Construction Corp. CEO Linda Rabbit.

Linda Rabbitt, founder and CEO of Rand Construction Corp., warns that activity should not be mistaken for accomplishment. Rabbitt, MA, ’72, also underscored the importance of educational credentials as she kicked off the Howard Hoffman Distinguished Lecture Series at the George Washington University School of Business. During a question and answer session, Rabbitt discussed the challenges of managing both a business and a family. Rand Construction is one of the 50 largest women-owned businesses in the country. Following Rabbitt’s speech, Kathy Korman Frey, GWSB adjunct professor and founder of the “Hot Mommas” initiative, announced the winners of the project’s 2008-2009 case competition.

The top honor went to Saranne Rothberg, founder of The ComedyCures Foundation, a nonprofit that uses humor and laughter to help people cope with illness and trauma. In her “Hot Mommas” case study Rothberg wrote: “During my first chemotherapy treatment, we organized a ‘Chemo Comedy Party,’ including friends, family, sparkling cider, dessert, party favors, and six hours of stand-up. I spontaneously invited the doctors, nurses, fellow outpatients, and their family members to join us. The ‘ComedyCures Epiphany’ happened as Adriamycin coursed through my veins: I would launch a nonprofit organization to bring joy, hope, and comedy into the trenches of treatment.”

“Hot Mommas” is an independent venture housed at the GW School of Business and included in the mission of the Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence. It seeks to spotlight innovative businesswomen and create an online database of case studies of successful female role models.

Brenda Rhodes, CEO of SugarBeets Productions, was first runner-up in the “Hot Mommas” competition while the second place runner honor went to LaSara Firefox, who works with bipolar disorder issues. To learn more about the “Hot Mommas” winners and read their case studies, visit

“These women are an inspiration. They take risks in being so honest about their personal and professional challenges. The result is that we all benefit from role models like Saranne, Brenda, LaSara, and the rest of our founding case authors,” said Frey.

“Hot Mommas” is sponsored in part by a generous donation from Rabbitt. “Linda Rabbitt is so successful and authentic,” said Frey. “Her involvement with the project makes me feel as if we have a fairy godmother…with a briefcase.”

The Hoffman Distinguished Lecture Series is hosted by GWSB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence (CFEE), which is directed by management professors Erik Winslow and George Solomon. To learn about CFEE, visit

D.C. Sports Icon Honored at GW School of Business

Seated L-R: GW President Steven Knapp, Abe Pollin, NBA Commissioner David Stern
Standing L-R: Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs Larry Singleton, Director of the GW Sports Management Program Lisa Delpy Neirotti, and GW Chairman of the Board of Trustees Russ Ramsey.

By Jeanne Segal, Senior Associate, Yui+Company, Inc.

Abe Pollin, owner of the NBA Washington Wizards, has been inducted into the GW School of Business Sports Executive Hall of Fame. Pollin, BBA, ‘45, received the honor at a March 9 ceremony at the Charles E. Smith Center. Dignitaries on hand for the induction included NBA Commissioner David Stern and Washington Capitals hockey-team owner Ted Leonsis. Pollin’s accomplishments highlighted at the event included his development of the Verizon Center. Since its launch in 1997, the Verizon Center has revitalized Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown neighborhood.

“Abe Pollin is a sports and business legend,” said Lisa Delpy Neirotti, GWSB associate professor of sport management and tourism. “His contribution to the sports industry is unparalleled, and it was an honor for us to induct him into the GWSB Sports Executive Hall of Fame. I was touched by his kind words about the School and strong support of the sport management program.”

Pollin joins an illustrious group of sports executives and GW alumni, including David Falk, JD,’75, founder and CEO of Falk Associates Management Enterprises (F.A.M.E.); Jerry Reinsdorf, BA, ’57, chairman of the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox; Ted Lerner, AA, ’48, LLB, ’50, managing owner of the Washington Nationals baseball team; Randy Levine, BA, ’77, president of the New York Yankees; and Sam Perlozzo, BS, ’73, former manager of the Baltimore Orioles and current third-base coach for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Pollin and his wife Irene are in their 45th season as owners of the Washington Wizards (previously known as the Washington Bullets), making them the longest-tenured owners in the NBA and putting them on the front line of some of professional basketball’s most memorable moments. Their sports management leadership has also included ownership of the Washington Capitals, a National Hockey League franchise, and the launch of the professional women’s basketball team, the WNBA Washington Mystics.

Pollin also is chairman of the board, chief executive, and majority shareholder of Washington Sports and Entertainment, through which he oversees the operations of the Washington Wizards, Washington/Baltimore Ticketmaster, and in-house promoter Musicentre Productions, as well as the management of the Verizon Center and The George Mason University Patriot Center. Thirty-five years ago, the Pollins opened the Capital Centre in Landover, Md.

MBA Students Give High Marks to San Francisco Career Trek

By Catherine Lee

First year MBA student Alexandra Chaikin asks a
question during a meeting at Natural Logic.

Twenty MBA students recently spent three days meeting distinguished alumni, visiting corporate headquarters, and listening to business executives talk about their industries. The activities were part of the 2009 San Francisco Career Trek, held March 4-6.

Students met with 19 distinguished alumni from the GW School of Business, interacting with them throughout San Francisco at in-office sessions, meetings, lunches, dinners, and an alumni mixer.

Alumni who shared their experiences, insight, and professional advice included Neil Baquiran, MBA, ’07, of, and his wife, Aileen Baquiran of Jazz Pharmaceuticals; Scott Beeber, BBA, ’93, of Craford Benefit Consultants; Logan Coker, MBA, ’07, of Del Monte Corp.; and Melanie Warrick, MBA,’01, of Accenture.

Early on March 5, the students began the trek with in-office visits to Wells Fargo and Navigant Consulting. Maya Paul, MBA,’07, human resources consultant with Wells Fargo, and Bob Behray, MBA, ’80, senior vice president of Wachovia Securities, greeted seven students majoring in finance. Paul and Behray led an insightful presentation and a vibrant question-and-answer session focused on the Wells Fargo-Wachovia merger.

Ave Tucker, BBA, ’77, sponsored the Navigant Consulting session. Thirteen students majoring in environmental business and consulting visited that company to learn about sustainable business, green business, and alternative energy.

On Friday morning, the GWSB chapter of Net Impact, a leading sustainable business student club, organized three speakers from local green businesses to speak during a breakfast featuring organically grown foods. Students closed the career trek with a “Last Supper” meeting with Jim Carruthers, MBA, ’80. Carruthers, a fund manager at Third Point LLC, spoke about his career in hedge-fund management.

Over the course of the two days, students also met with distinguished alumni from Adaptive Planning, Business Researchers, California Pacific Medical Center, Federal Realty Investment Trust, Jacobs Associates, Kaiser Permanente, Logitech, Marriott, Sandler O’Neill & Partners, SolFocus, and Visa.

Unlike previous career treks, the 2009 San Francisco Trek offered an opportunity to exchange thoughts and pose questions in a more intimate environment. Afternoon meetings brought groups of no more than six students together with a single alumnus in restaurants and offices across the city. The trek also engaged more alumni than ever before. Students found themselves making meaningful introductions and involved in thoughtful discussion and debate about business issues – a superb learning and networking experience.

Marriott Recruiter Visits GWSB

Philip DeVliegher, national recruiting manager at Marriott International Inc., spoke to GWSB students on March 4 about career and internship opportunities in hospitality management.

Are You Following the GWSB Tweets?

Want up-to-date information about the latest GWSB happenings? Then follow us on Twitter. In 40 characters or less, we will keep you posted on the latest events, important information, and news coming out of the School of Business. Did you hear what one of our professors told the “Newshour with Jim Lehrer” about the economic crisis? Do you know who won the “Hot Mommas” case competition? If not, head to and follow us.

Save the Date! Climate Action Conference

The Department of Strategic Management and Public Policy and the Institute for Corporate Responsibility’s Environmental Sustainability Program will co-host GWSB’s third annual Climate Action Conference. The conference brings together speakers from business, education, energy, health, economics, and other fields as it provides the GW community a chance to learn about climate change-related opportunities, policies, and the local and international effects of an ever-warming world.

April 22-23
8 a.m. — 5 p.m.

Jack Morton Auditorium
805 21st Street, NW
Washington, D.C.

To learn more about the conference or to register, visit

GWSB Co-hosts Peace Through Commerce e-Conference

The Institute for Corporate Responsibility (ICR) and the World Bank Institute (WBI) have partnered for an electronic conference on “Business and Peace.” The e-conference will address a different topic each week for nine weeks, beginning March 23 and running through May 22.

The online conference will highlight the contribution that responsible business and economic development can make toward building peace. Discussion will run the gamut from doing business in a conflict zone to current business practices to new research. Presenters and topic experts will interact online with e-conference participants, and practical action will be outlined for advancing the understanding, investment, and systemic change needed to bring about peace through commerce. To register, visit

After the success of the first Peace Through Commerce Conference at the School of Business on Nov. 13-15, 2008, ICR and the WBI joined to organize a follow-up e-conference aimed at generating worldwide discussion on the role of ethical business practices in fostering peace.

An Agenda for the Americas

With a new government in Washington and the much-awaited Summit of the Americas convening in Trinidad in April, the United States and the other countries in the Western Hemisphere have an opportunity to forge a new working relationship. In anticipation, the Center for Latin American Issues at The George Washington University School of Business is sponsoring a high-profile conference to discuss ways to tackle the most pressing issues on the inter-American agenda.

April 7
8:30 a.m. — 12:30 p.m.

Jack Morton Auditorium
805 21st Street, NW
Washington, D.C.

To learn more about the conference or to register, visit

Getting to Know: Linda Giles Matthews

Title: Senior secretary for the GWSB Graduate Programs Office

Job Duties: Perform a variety of secretarial duties that require substantial skill and independent judgment to meet the University’s graduate enrollment goals; manage projects and activities that involve interacting with other GWSB offices; schedule meetings; order supplies; and assist graduate students.

Years at GW: 13 years

Best part of working for the GWSB: The people. I love working for my bosses and assisting colleagues and students.

What co-workers don’t know about me: I am a mediator.

Family: My husband, Steven Matthews.

Favorite things to do on the weekends: Write poetry and read novels.

Favorite Vacation Spot: Florida

Favorite Book(s): I know Why the Caged Bird Sings and Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now, both by Maya Angelou.


William LaForge, adjunct professor of strategic management and public policy, was the speaker at Delta State University’s annual Crawford Memorial Lecture. LaForge’s address was titled “Career Path Partnerships: From History to Law, and Around the World Too.” It focused on five points: education, experiencing college life, involvement in politics and public policy, world travel, and mentors and colleagues.


CORRECTION: The Feb. 27, 2009, newsletter incorrectly identified Assistant Professor of Decision Sciences Marie Matta’s publication as a presentation.

Marie E. Matta, assistant professor of decision sciences, published “A genetic algorithm for the proportionate multiprocessor open shop” in Computers & Operations Research, vol. 36, issue 9, pp. 2601-2618, 2009.

William Handorf, professor of finance, recently published two articles: “Discount Rates, Market Sources of Information and Loan Workouts” in Commercial Lending Review (March/April, 2009), and “Bank Risk” in Financeiro (Review of Credit in Brazil) (November/December, 2008).

Getting Ink

The induction of sports legend and Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin into the GW School of Business Sports Executive Hall of Fame was covered by:

Comcast Sports Net, WJLA-TV 7, WUSA-TV 9, NewsChannel 8, WTTG-TV 5, WRC-TV 4, and WTOP FM. It was also spotlighted in the Washington Post articles titled “Pollin Has Always Seen the Potential,” and “Stern: NBA Will Survive Poor Economy,” as well as a Washington Post blog titled “Abe Pollin, David Stern and George Washington.” Meanwhile, the Washington Times ran an article, “Pollin honored,” , the DC Examiner published the story “Wizards owner Pollin honored in ceremony at alma mater,”, and the Daily Colonial had a story on “Wizards Owner Pollin Inducted into GW Hall of Fame.”

Susan Aaronson, associate research professor of strategic management and public policy, was mentioned in a State of the City speech by the mayor of Round Rock, Texas. In his speech, Alan McGraw said: “Let me read an excerpt from US Economic History Since 1945 by Michael French. ‘Under the changing conditions of the 1970s, existing technologies were not always appropriate for the changing patterns of demand and costs, while new investments were fraught with greater uncertainty than usual. American managers were unprepared for more challenging times. [An author, Susan] Aaronson argued that U.S. business schools… provided little or no training or encouragement to entrepreneurship. Instead, they trained managers to fit particular careers or disciplines.’ ”

Kathy Korman Frey, adjunct professor of management and associate director of GWSB’s Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence (CFEE), discussed her “Hot Mommas” initiative on WJLA-TV’s “Working Woman” program . (2/27)

Frey also spoke about the project on “Let’s Talk Live!” on NewsChannel 8. (3/2)

Scheherazade Rehman, professor of international business and international affairs, discussed Europe’s economic outlook on “The Newshour with Jim Lehrer.” She said: “Things are going to get a lot worse. The next six months to a year are going to be dire. It’s a trickle effect. It happens here. It goes to Western Europe, and it goes to Eastern Europe. This iron curtain that the prime minister from Hungary is talking about really started with the euro. This is not an iron curtain between east and west. Countries that belong to euro or the Euroland, they’re safe. Everybody outside is not safe anymore.” (3/3)

Robert Weiner, professor of international business, was interviewed by the Washington Post about General Motors Corp.’s financial struggle and whether the government might take over the auto giant. “The people who make the decisions on what to produce, what to charge, where to produce is what matters,” Weiner told the paper. “You don’t want a bunch of bureaucrats making those decisions. There is no reason the government can’t hire professional managers to run General Motors.” (3/6)


Frank T. Anbari, assistant professor of project management, and Elias G. Carayannis, professor of management science, had their paper ranked No. 1 on Technovation’s “Hottest 25 Articles” in business, management, and accounting. The article was titled “Post-project reviews as a key project management competence.” Volume 28, Issue 10, October 2008, Pages 633-643

Class Notes

Richard Mulberry, BA, ’48, spent more than 50 years working as a certified public accountant in Texas. Now retired, he was a marine major general and served as a pilot. He and his wife of 64 years reside in Texas where he is active with the Park Cities Presbyterian Church and serves as a volunteer docent at Frontiers of Flight Museum at Dallas Love Field.

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