The George Washington University

School of Business: GWSB News

April 24, 2009

GWSB Rises in Rank Among U.S. News Business Schools

The George Washington University School of Business’ M.B.A. program has risen in the rankings in the 2010 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s annual "America’s Best Graduate Schools.” GWSB tied for the No. 55 spot, up from No. 67 last year. More than 381 schools participated in the survey.

“At the GW School of Business we are steadily increasing the depth and breadth of our program offerings with recent emphasis in the M.B.A. program on ethical leadership, corporate responsibility and globalization,” said Susan Phillips, dean and professor of finance. “In addition to providing an exceptional education to our students, we are preparing them to become global business leaders.”

GWSB tied with four other schools, including the College of William and Mary and Temple University, in the No. 55 spot in the rankings released April 23.

The ranking is based on evaluations by deans and senior-level staff at U.S. business schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International and corporate recruiters. The survey also examined starting salaries and employment rates for graduates as well as average GMAT scores and grade point averages.

“The U.S. News ranking is validation that our graduate programs offer a top-notch, unmatchable education and experience for students,” said Murat Tarimcilar, associate dean of graduate programs. “Our new global M.B.A. program highlights responsibility and ethics and prepares students to act responsibly, lead passionately and think globally.“

Video Tours for People with Disabilities Wins Top Prize in Business Plan Competition

Keen Guides wins $20,000 in start-up money.

A company that customizes video tours for special populations, including people with disabilities, took home the $20,000 top prize at the first-ever GW Business Plan Competition. The innovative tours, which can be downloaded to media players, as well as iPhones and Blackberry devices, were developed by a team led by a GW student.

This seed money, along an additional $10,000 split among three teams of runners-up, will launch four businesses. The competition was sponsored by the School of Business and the Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence with funding from Richard and Annette Scott. Winners were announced April 18.

The winning team, Keen Guides, creates customized and multilingual video tours, including tours geared toward persons with disabilities. Keen Guides’ tours will be marketed to museums, universities and cultural institutions. Visitors will be able to download tours to their personal media players or pick up pre-loaded players at the venues.

Team member Catharine McNally, an art historian who is deaf, spotted weaknesses in some museums’ compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. McNally is the sister of Frank McNally, an M.B.A. student at GW and Keen’s chief administrative and sales officer. Other team members are Georgetown MBA students Karen Borchert and Martin Franklin.

“We want to thank Richard and Annette Scott, as well as John Rollins, the director of the competition, for making it possible to share Keen Guides with the panel of entrepreneurial judges,” said Frank McNally. “We will use the Scott family’s investment to develop the mobile application that will make it possible to bring our product to market. We hope to make some inroads with colleges and universities in the area and hope to make GW a hub for our service.”

More than 200 business plans were entered in the contest. The finalists survived three rounds of cuts over the course of two months. During the final round on April 18, each team presented their business plans to a panel of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. The presentations were set up to look like real-world venture capital pitches.

“The GW Business Plan Competition encourages and cultivates business innovation and entrepreneurial drive in our student community, putting real seed money behind creative and viable business opportunities,” said Rollins, who oversaw the contest. Rollins, an entrepreneur, founded AZTECH Software Corp. and served for 30 years as its CEO and chairman before founding StreamCenter.

Nurse Traudi Rose, who will complete her M.B.A. at GW this spring, won $6,000 for her team’s second place idea: Health Day by Day, a pill caddy that tracks when medication is taken. The pill caddy contains a sensor that uploads information to a Web site. An alert e-mail can be sent if medications are skipped.

GW graduate students Deepak Haridas, Rounak Muthiyan and Akash Shah won $3,000 for third place with their plan for Kalpa Energy, which derives biodiesel from algae. And 19-year-old GW undergraduate Konrad Kopczynski took fourth place, and $1,000, for The Saturday Delivery, which delivers bulk, wholesale grocery products to college students. Kopczynski plans to launch the service on GW’s Foggy Bottom Campus.

Annette and Richard Scott, a health care entrepreneur, donated $300,000 to set up and maintain the business plan competition for 10 years. The Scotts’ daughter, Allison Scott Guimard, is a 2005 graduate of the Business School.

Tourism Students Get a Taste—Literally—of the Hospitality Industry

Kate Scafidi, Morton's sales and marketing manager; Assistant Sales and Marketing Manager Deborah Testi; General Manager David Crain and GW assistant professor Stuart Levy.

Students in Stuart Levy’s Introduction to Tourism and Hospitality Management class not only get an insider peek at the restaurant industry, they get some fine dining, as well.

Levy’s undergraduate students examine and discuss the hospitality industry and the state of the tourism sector. But they also venture beyond the classroom to visit industry venues and talk to executives and managers about their work and their challenges. A recent trip took 31 students to Morton’s the Steakhouse, where the restaurant management surprised them with a multi-course meal as part of the experience.

“We’re a very large restaurant group and we wanted to give back to our community. We thought we could do that by letting students in the hospitality program see what goes into running a restaurant,” said Kate Scafidi, Morton’s sales and marketing manager. “We contacted Stuart Levy and he brought the class in.

“We gave a tour of the restaurant, had a presentation, went over a profit-and-loss statement, explained the facets of the restaurant world and answered questions,” she explained.

Scafidi said it was the first time the restaurant had hosted hospitality students.

“I’ve never seen the students so thrilled,” said Levy, an assistant professor in the GWSB Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management. “My approach is to try to mix it up and keep it fun. That means a lot of guest lecturers and a couple of field trips.” An earlier field trip took students to the Hotel Palomar, a boutique hotel at Dupont Circle.

At Morton’s, the students visited the dining room and public areas, toured the bar and heard a presentation by General Manager David Crain.

“The managers treated them as customers. They even went through the coat check process,” Levy explained. “They learned about the restaurant, its operations, the challenges in this economic climate, about any cutbacks.

“And then they were served a three-course meal of filet mignon, side dishes and cheesecake,” he added.

Panel Examines Economic Crisis’ Affect on the Persian Gulf Region

Left to right, Salah Hassan, professor of marketing; former U.S. Ambassador Patrick N. Theros; journalist Claude Salhani; and author Elena Panaritis.

At a gathering sponsored by the School of Business, a panel of Middle East experts discussed how the global economic crisis is affecting the fast-growing, oil-rich Persian Gulf region.

Salah Hassan, a GWSB professors of marketing, opened the April 21 panel by highlighting the dramatic growth seen in the region between 2002 to 2008. He said the economy of the Gulf Cooperation Council – a six-country trade bloc – more than doubled in size during the period. However, current global economic conditions have sparked corporate bankruptcy, job losses and reduced operations by many multinationals.

Still, Hassan noted, the GCC economy, made up of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, is the 17th largest in the world, controlling nearly 45 percent of the world’s recoverable oil deposits. It is the world’s largest defense spender, directing 32 percent of its GDP, or $52 billion, to arms and defense equipment.

The GWSB professor served as moderator of the forum titled “Psychology of a Crisis; How the GCC States Have Reacted to the Current Economic Crisis.” He stressed that growth potential is especially strong in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait.

Panelist Claude Salhani, chief editor of the Middle East Times, talked about media coverage of the economic crises and why some Gulf countries are safer for business investments than others. Patrick Theros, former U.S. ambassador to Qatar and president of the U.S.-Qatar Business Council, also spoke about the business climate.

Elena Panaritis, director of the Panel Group, an advisory group that invests in undervalued property, talked about how the crisis has affected the property market in the Gulf. She discussed real estate as well as the informal economy of the region. Panaritis, who wrote the book “Prosperity Unbound: Building Property Markets with Trust,” offered business solutions and policy recommendations for the GCC region.

Hassan noted that the real estate sector is estimated to contribute as much as 10 percent to the GDP of the GCC economy. In absolute terms, he said, the largest contribution comes from Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, with $12.8 billion and $9.6 billion, respectively. The real estate market in the GCC grew 22.3 percent between 2002 and 2008, he added.

The panel discussion, which was sponsored by the GWSB GCC Club, drew about 50 participants from the University, the World Bank and D.C.-area businesses. The event concluded with a reception and a book-signing ceremony.

Students transform assignment into Internet sites

From Google pay-per click campaigns to social networking strategies, students in the Tourism Information Management Systems: Internet Marketing Practices course are getting unusual hands-on experience.

The two biggest class projects have students taking the Google Online Marketing Challenge and designing marketing Web sites that are up, running and available to the public.

In the Google challenge, students formed groups to design and launch Google paid search campaigns for real clients, including including Tonic Restaurants and the DC United soccer team. For the Web site projects, meanwhile, students designed more than a dozen Web sites then used analytics to track their marketing success. The Web sites run the range from how to eat Chinese food in China to insider tips on being a college gymnast. Student Web sites with D.C. cultural and tourism offerings include: Looking for great food at a great price in the Foggy Bottom and Georgetown area? The No. 1 Source on D.C. nightlife for the savvy scholars and professionals. A nonprofit promoting African-American owned and operated hospitality businesses throughout the D.C. Metropolitan area. Meet your neighbors, swap great books, read great books!

Policy and Business Leaders Discuss Implications of Ever-Warming World

Amy Townsend, executive coordinator of the Institute for Corporate Responsibility at the School of Business, joined a Climate Action conference discussion on sustainability and biodiesel fuel.

The third annual Climate Action Conference at the School of Business brought together an impressive array of speakers on policy, business, economics, energy, food and water, and the environment.

The goal of the annual event is linked to Earth Day and this year took place April 22-23. The conference provides decision makers, communities, students and the public with an unusual opportunity to learn first-hand about climate change-related opportunities. For more information visit,

The conference is a sustainability program organized by the GWSB Department of Strategic Management and Public Policy and the Institute for Corporate Responsibility. Co-sponsors included: the Bureau of National Affairs, Ecoprint, Green Advantage, Net Impact and the Sustainable Business Network of Washington.

Become a Fan, Follow the Tweets and Win Free GWSB Gear

Are you receiving the latest news and updates about the School of Business? The answer is “no,” if you’re not a fan on Facebook or following our tweets on Twitter. Join one or both of the groups before May 15 and you will be eligible to win a bag of GW School of Business paraphernalia and goodies. Current followers and fans are automatically entered in the contest. To sign up before May 15, go to the GW School of Business home page. The winner will be announced May 19 on Twitter. Good luck!

Also, if you administer a FB or LinkedIn page that targets the GWSB community and you need high resolution logos or photos, please contact GWSB Web Developer Donny Truong at

School of Business Graduation Celebration Details

Tickets for the GWSB celebration and the GW commencement ceremonies are now being distributed to prospective graduates. The celebration will be held on Friday, May 15, 2009, at The Charles E. Smith Center.

For more information about the commencement celebration, including ticket pickup dates and locations, please visit

D.C. Gets Another “Duke“

Donny Truong, GWSB’s web developer, and his wife, Dana, welcomed their first child—a son—on April 25. Trương Công Đạo weighed in at 7 pounds and 1 ounce. The jazz-loving parents have already nicknamed the baby “Duke," after the District of Columbia’s own Duke Ellington. A happy Truong says his son’s birth and first cries were “like a personal video that plays over and over again in my head.“

Getting to Know: Amy Schwartz

Title: Executive Assistant for School Alumni Programs

Job Duties: Help to create, support, and communicate programs and events that will encourage alumni from the School of Business to build connections with each other and the school.

Years at GW: One month

Best part of working at GWSB: I love being in an environment that fosters relationships. The school is a true advocate of cultivating their employees, working with each other and creating an environment that is supportive. I also like the fresh ideas new students bring to the table.

What co-workers do not know about me: I am the biggest Minnesota Twins fan and my dream is to go to spring training. I love everything about the game of baseball and have a true passion for learning about the players and the game in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Family: My parents live in Minnesota, my sister and niece live in Las Vegas and, now that I’ve moved here, my family consists of my best friend from college.

Favorite things to do on the weekend: Relax and go out with friends, explore the city, travel and go to baseball games. There is never enough weekend!

Favorite Vacation spot: New Zealand, where I studied abroad. Although I’ll probably never get to go back.

Favorite Book: “The Glory of Their Times” and “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”


Ahmad Jarrah, associate professor of decision sciences, published “Large-scale constrained clustering for rationalizing pickup and delivery operations” in Transportation Research (2009), pp. 542–561.

Patrick McHugh, associate professor of management, published, “Employee Involvement Programs and Collective Bargaining: The Role of Labor Relations Climate” in the Journal of Collective Negotiations. Co-authors are Matthew Bodah (University of Rhode Island) and Seong Jae Yim (Pantech).

Young Hoon Kwak, associate professor of decision sciences, published “Analyzing Schedule Delay of Mega Project: Lessons Learned From Korea Train Express” in IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 56(2), May 2009

pp. 243-256.

Getting Ink

John Forrer, associate research professor and associate director of the Institute for Corporate Responsibility, was quoted in the GW Hatchet article, “MBA certificate stresses ethics.” The story was about the new GW School of Business certificate in responsible management. “ ‘I hope that once [students] are done with their degree and go out and study, it will be kind of an extra bonus for employees to see that this is someone who is committed to this area and spent the hours and extra time in order to earn this certificate,’ Forrer said.” (4/16)

Kathy Korman Frey, adjunct professor of management, was profiled in the Washington Post magazine story, “CEO of me.” The article highlighted Frey’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership class and how it is promoting work-life balance by using an entrepreneurial model. (4/12) Frey and one of her students, Alicia Buford, a senior business major, discussed the same issue on NPR’s “Tell Me More.” (4/15) U.S. News and World Report Video included Frey in a segment on “New Grad School Trends in 2010.”

GWSB’s Business Plan Competition was spotlighted by columnist Tom Heath in a Washington Post business blog. Heath looked at “the Final Four,” the last teams vying for coveted start-up seed money in the business plan contest.

Lisa Delpy Neirotti, associate professor of tourism and sport management, was interviewed by Advertising Age about the increase in sport events commercialization and the impact it has on fans. She was also interviewed by Market Place radio regarding the possible 5 percent tourism tax in Hawaii and what impact it will have on tourism.

Paul Swiercz, professor of management, was interviewed by Government Executive Magazine for a story on performance-based pay plans.


Global Security Summit Looks at New Target for Data Thieves
The president of the International Council for Small Business, Charles Matthews, joined Dell’s 2008 Global Small Business Excellence Award winner, Heather Gorringe of Wiggly Wigglers, as featured panelists at a March 19 forum examining credit card security. The 2009 Visa Global Security Summit titled “Securing the Future of Payments” covered a range of issues related to cardholder security and protection. Matthews was one of four speakers on a panel looking at “Small Business: The New Target of Data Thieves.” They discussed security challenges for small businesses, small business as an emerging target and what must be done to combat the growing problem. Other panels at the March 19 gathering looked at “E-commerce,” “Innovations in Payment Security” and “Meet the Experts on Cyber-crimes and Computer Intrusions.” For more information and an interactive video, click here.

ICSB 2009 World Conference in Seoul, Korea, June 2009
The 2009 ICSB World Conference will be held in Seoul, Korea from June 21-24, 2009. A strong presence by committed international scholars is expected to make this year’s conference an enriching and memorable experience. Included in the program are the 2009 Pre-Conference Policy Forum on Entrepreneurship Research; plenary panel sessions that cover “Implications of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Research,” the “Role of Information Technology and Small Business” moderated by GWSB’s professor Ayman El Tarabishy, and “Overcoming the Barriers of SME growth.” The conference will include wide-ranging research study presentations from more than 30 countries. Please click here for additional information.

Class Notes

William Drohan, M.B.A. ’81, has been elected chairman of Alliance Bank. Drohan, a member of the GWSB dean’s board of advisers, previously served as a founding director of Alliance and chairman of the budget and ALCO committee; he was also a past executive director of the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors. Currently, he serves as president and CEO of Drohan Management Group and on the board of directors of the consultants section of the American Society of Association Executives. Drohan is an active member of the Luther Rice Society

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