The George Washington University

School of Business: GWSB News

April 9, 2010

Maxon Lecture Highlights Need For Transparency

From left: IASB Chairman Sir David Tweedie; Binyamin Appelbaum, former Washington Post reporte;, and FASB Chairman Robert Herz discuss accounting standards.

Transparency in accounting practices and a movement toward converged accounting standards are key for regaining investors’ trust, accounting leaders told a standing-room-only audience at The George Washington University School of Business Robert P. Maxon Lecture on April 7.

Robert Herz, chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), and Sir David Tweedie, chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), discussed “Greater Global Transparency in Financial Reporting: Lighting the Path for Investors.” Speaking to a packed audience at the Jack Morton Auditorium, the accounting leaders highlighted the challenges of moving toward converged standards and the steps for getting there.

“We won’t get another chance at global accounting standards,” Tweedie said, highlighting the urgency for standards adoption.

Herz told the audience that there has been a “broad trend” to provide more information to investors. “Transparency is FASB’s objective,” he told attendees.

The event was moderated by former Washington Post reporter Binyamin Appelbaum.

The Maxon Lecture is named for GW alumnus Robert P. Maxon, who served his country in WWII and went on to hold several executive positions at Mobil, retiring as general manager of worldwide corporate public relations. The annual lecture features prominent executives and academics making presentations on contemporary global management issues. It is designed to add depth to the understanding of the next generation of global business leaders.

Follow the lecture on Twitter at: #GWSBMaxon

Student Conference: Business and Climate Change

More businesses are developing sustainability strategies and executives are increasing their focus on energy efficiencies, but more must be done, Greg Kats, senior director and director of climate change policy at Good Energies, told an audience gathered for the day-long “Business Response to Climate Change” conference organized by GWSB students.

Kats, author of the new book Greening Our Built World: Costs, Benefits and Strategies, kicked off the April 8 conference with a presentation on the impact and financial costs of “green” buildings. Good Energies invests globally in renewable energy and energy-efficiency technologies and currently manages a $6 billion portfolio.

Panel discussions later in the day included “The Energy Revolution: Innovations for a Sustainable Planet,” focused on entrepreneurial opportunities, and “Navigating a Carbon Conscious Economy: Strategic Responses to Climate Change,” with business leaders detailing how their companies have responded to global warming. Students were also given networking opportunities with participating executives.

Some 180 students, faculty members, entrepreneurs, consultants, policy experts, business executives and nonprofit leaders registered for the conference.

“Here we are in early April and it’s 90 degrees. By the time some of you are in your waning years, New York state is going to feel like South Carolina or Mississippi,” Kats said. “Climate change is not in front of us, it is already with us today.

“The really good news is that a growing number of businesses and government agencies and nonprofits are paying attention,” he added. “But whatever business is doing, whatever you and I are doing, we need to do more – and we can’t wait until we have all the best answers to start.”

Kats said energy-efficient buildings were one of the best strategies in the effort to reduce the globe’s carbon footprint. He detailed their financial benefits, saying that buildings meeting LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification standards did not cost much more than other buildings, yet they were more valuable, saw lower tenant turnaround and were less costly to operate.

He also said green buildings can help the economy as a whole and boost worker productivity by resulting in healthier work places.

Universities have a relatively small physical footprint when it comes to global warming “but we do have a very large impact on the current dialogue – and the skills our students will take them,” said Meghan Chapple-Brown, founding director of the University’s 16-month-old Office of Sustainability, which was one of the sponsors of the conference.

Other sponsors included GWSB, the GWSB MBA Association, NetImpact, GWU Energy Group and the Environmental Sustainability Program at GWSB’s Institute for Corporate Responsibility (ICR).

Mark Starik, ICR director and chair of the Department of Strategic Management and Public Policy, lauded the students for their work in organizing the high-profile event.

Event Focuses on Corporate Social Responsibility in Tourism, Hospitality

Michael Gehrisch, president and CEO of Destination Marketing Association International, speaks at the April 5 event.

More than 120 GW alumni, students, faculty and industry professionals attended the April 5 George Washington Tourism Alumni Network and the Department of Tourism & Hospitality Management’s 2010 Spring Colloquium. Industry leaders from sport, event, destination and hospitality management shared their expertise around the topic of “Corporate Social Responsibility in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry.”

The event was moderated by Michael Gehrisch, president and CEO of Destination Marketing Association International. Speakers included Doug Price, senior vice president of professional development at Destination Marketing Association International; Ghassan Aidi, president of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association; Kimberly Lewis, vice president of conferences and events for the U.S. Green Building Council; and Kenneth Abrams, former director of community relations for the Baltimore Ravens.

Department of Tourism Recognizes Donald Lehman, Alumni

The Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management recognized two outstanding individuals during the April 5 Spring Colloquium. Donald Lehman, senior vice president of academic affairs, was recognized for his outstanding efforts on behalf of the University as well as to the Department of Tourism. Doug Frechtling presented Dr. Lehman with an Award for Meritorious Service on behalf of the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Kannan Sankaran received the Outstanding Alumni award. This award is presented annually to a member of the GW tourism alumni community who has continually supported the University’s tourism program through service, by mentoring students and by providing internships, research and career opportunities. Sankaran is a vice president at PKF Consulting. Sankaran holds a Master of Tourism Administration degree with a concentration in international hotel management, as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in finance, from GWSB.

Dean Susan Phillips participated in a March 31 discussion on Global Business Education at George Mason University. Speakers included Ian Carter, president of global operations at Hilton Worldwide; George Daly, dean of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business; Richard Durand, dean of American University’s Kogod School of Business; Jorge Haddock, dean of George Mason University’s School of Management; and Walt Havenstein, CEO of SAIC. Photo credit: George Mason University
Jennifer Griffin, associate professor of Strategic Management and Public Policy, spent spring break in London with graduate students examining U.S. and U.K. policies and perspectives on corporate social impact. Students visited Citigroup – where they were hosted GWSB alumni Sagheer Mufti – and Diageo and GSK, as well as other companies and charities including ViiV Healthcare, Business in the Community (BiTC) and ASH-UK (Action on Smoking and Health).

Getting to Know: Gergana Jostova

Name: Gergana Jostova

Title: Associate Professor of Finance

Job duties: Research, teaching and service to the School of Business and University.

Time at GW: Eight years.

Best part of working at GWSB: GW and GWSB have been up-and-coming over the past few years. It’s great to be part of this process. My other favorite part of working here is being part of probably the most cosmopolitan department at GW. We have faculty from nine nationalities.

What co-workers do not know about me: I used to write poetry about physics as a teenager.

Family: My husband is also in academia and we love doing research together. We love research, teaching and everything about academia. Our “almost-5-year” old wanted to become a professor, too, until recently. Then he decided he wanted to become an architect. There’s still hope for our 15-month-old though...

Favorite things to do on the weekend: Being outside with our kids and getting together with friends.

Favorite vacation spots: The seaside in Bulgaria and traveling to new exotic places around the world.

Favorite book: Lately, my favorite time is reading Peter Pan stories with my 5-year-old.

Events

SAVE THE DATE

The GW Business Plan Competition and the GW Entrepreneurs Round Table awards ceremony are partnering for first ever GW Summit on Entrepreneurship. The two-day event highlights and promotes the creative, innovative and pioneering efforts of entrepreneurs in the GW community. In addition to an awards luncheon and ceremony, the Summit on Entrepreneurship includes panel discussions on different aspects of entrepreneurial endeavors, poster sessions for students to present their business ideas and networking opportunities for alumni, students and friends.

The Summit on Entrepreneurship is sponsored by GWSB, its Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence and the GW Alumni Association. The main event of the summit is the GW Business Plan Competition, directed by John Rollins and sponsored by Rick and Annette Scott, parents of a former GW student.

When: Thursday, April 15, and Friday, April 16
Where: Funger and Duquès halls and other campus locations.
For more information, please contact Jillian Krupski or go to gwbizplan.com

Climate Action Symposium

The Next Big North American Climate Issue: Sustainability Impacts of the Canadian Tar Sands Development

The GW Institute for Sustainability will host a panel discussion on the potential impact of the Canadian Tar Sands Development. Canada’s Alberta Oil Sands development – the world’s second-largest source of oil after Saudi Arabia – has generated global debate and action. Experts from the United States and Canada will discuss the environmental and social costs of development and possible next steps.

When: Tuesday, April 13, 2– 5 p.m.

Where: GWSB
Duquès Hall, Room 451
2201 G St. NW, Washington, D.C.

RSVP: http://sustainabilityinstitute.ning.com/events/the-next-big-north-american

GWU to Host International Leaders for Discussion on Economic Recovery, Growth

The George Washington University and the Growth Commission will host leading international experts for a panel discussion on the challenges of moving from economic recovery to sustained growth in changing economic times. Panelists will explore what new financial regulations, higher unemployment and damaged personal and corporate balance sheets mean for future economic growth. The event will be moderated by Danny Leipziger, professor of international business at GWSB.

When: Monday, April 26, 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Where: GWU
Lindner Family Commons, Room 602
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E St. NW, Washington, D.C.

Presentations

Tjai Nielsen, assistant professor of management, presented “Utility of OCB? Organizational citizenship behavior and group performance in a resource allocation framework” at the 2009 Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Conference in New Orleans. In addition, Nielsen presented, “The role of leader-follower personality similarity in the development of leader-member exchange” at the 2009 Academy of Management Conference in Chicago.

Jennifer Griffin, associate professor of strategic management and public policy, presented a paper, “Corporate Responsibility: Initiatives & Mechanisms” at the 21st annual International Association for Business & Society (IABS) conference. The paper was co-authored with Aseem Prakash, a former GWSB colleague.

Publications

Miguel A. Lejeune, assistant professor of decision sciences, published “MIP Reformulations of the Probabilistic Set Covering Problem” in the journal Mathematical Programming 121 (1), 1-31, 2010. The paper is co-authored by A. Saxena (Axioma) and V. Goyal (Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

Ahmad I. Jarrah, associate research professor of decision sciences, co-authored “Validating vehicle routing zone construction using Monte Carlo simulation,” which is to appear in the European Journal of Operational Research, volume 206, 73–85.

Tjai Nielsen, assistant professor of management, published “OCB and performance: A group-level meta-analytic review” in the journal Small Group Research. This paper was co-authored with George Hrivnak, a former GWSB doctoral student and current a professor of management at Bond University, and Megan Shaw, a doctoral student in GW’s Industrial & Organizational Psychology Program.

Getting Ink

Chandru Rajam, visiting associate professor of international business, was featured in the April 4 Chronicle of Higher Education for the company he co-founded, EduMetry Inc., which provides assignment grading services. “We tend to drop the ball when it comes to giving rich feedback, and in the end this hurts the student," Rajam said.

The Maxon Lecture sparked discussion on Twitter by accounting observers on the micro-blogging site. Follow the lecture on Twitter at: #GWSBMaxon

Alumni and students linked to GWSB’s International Institute of Tourism Studies (IITS) were spotlighted in a March 30 feature story on the African news Web site, AllAfrica.com. Alumni Brad Weiss and Jessie McComb joined four Elliott School of International Studies’ students working on an IITS-sponsored community tourism development project in Ethiopia. Weiss and McComb, as well as students Lizzie Weber and Ryan Foster, were mentioned in the story.

Class Notes

Erin Tench, MTA, ’02, and CMP, CMM and president of Hyland Events, has been appointed to Meeting Professionals International’s Board of Directors. MPI is the meeting and event industry’s largest global community, helping its members thrive by providing human connections to knowledge and ideas, relationships and marketplaces. MPI has more than 23,000 members in 71 chapters and clubs worldwide.

Melvin R. Bielawski, MS, ’70, retired from the Department of Defense and his subsequent consulting work with the DOD and IT companies in the D.C. area. In his retirement he has written and published several books, including his most recent work, “Diagnosis: Alzheimer’s: My Travels with Frances.”

Walter C. Jones, MBA, ’03, has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as the U.S. executive director to the African Development Bank (AFDB). Jones will represent the United States on the African Development Bank and African Development Fund boards in promoting sustainable development in Africa. His duties include votes on loan and technical assistance proposals and deciding policy issues that guide the operations and direction of the bank.

Enrico Campitelli Jr., MBA, ’09, had his sports blog “The700Level.com” acquired by Comcast SportsNet. Although the site will keep its Web address, most of the content will be featured on CSNPhilly.com. Campitelli will continue to work for the site.

Douglas Strahan, MBA, ’93 and cert, ’99, has been appointed president and CEO at Aptela, a leading provider of hosted Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.

David Farmer, MBA, ’92, has joined Environics Communications Inc., a full-service North American public relations agency, as a vice president in the Washington, D.C., office. Farmer, who has nearly 25 years of professional public relations and corporate communications experience domestically and internationally, will head the agency’s expanding U.S. technology and telecommunications practice.

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If you have information for the newsletter, news, or items to post on the GWSB Web site or events calendar, please send them to: gwsbcomm@gwu.edu.

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