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Inside Business Buzz – May 2014


amasoncMessage from the Dean

I often talk about a culture of aspiration. An aspiration is simply a hope or desire to achieve. As a College, our aspiration is to achieve national prominence. We want to be among the best business schools in the country, recognized and respected for providing superior value and impact.

In response to the question why climb a mountain, George Mallory famously replied, “because, it’s there.” Well, we share that same spirit and are driven by the same aspiration. Our faculty, our students, and our alumni are as good as any anywhere. So, why strive to be the best? Because we can. We are driven by a culture of aspiration and a desire to be the best. It’s not just something we do. It is who we are, as members of the Eagle Nation.

Logistics Case Competition

On April 10-12, 2014, Georgia Southern University College of Business logistics students travelled to Jacksonville, FL, to the IANA Logistics and Supply Chain Management case competition, held at the University of North Florida. College of Business students Taylor Sapp, Yolidia Osbey, Amanda Macchio, and Kayla Womack were chosen for the team through a competitive process in February and began preparing to work together for the case competition in April. Dr. Monique Murfield, assistant professor of logistics, has served as the coach and advisor for this team for the past two years. It is a prestigious competition, with Georgia Southern College of Business students competing against other top students in the country from Auburn University, the University of Tennessee, the University of Maryland, the University of North Texas, the University of North Florida, the University of Arkansas, and Michigan State University. The team had an exemplary performance and was able to make connections for future career opportunities with executives from CH Robinson, Seaonus, JAXPort, CSX, Yusen Logistics, Trac Intermodal, and Proficient Auto Transport.


writingFaculty News & Publications

Dr. Randall hosted Brent McCallum, sales manager and sales trainer for ADT, April 24 for his Professional Selling class.

Robert Marley, assistant professor of accounting, has been awarded a research grant from PricewaterhouseCooper’s INQuires program to examine the effects of electronic certification on taxpayers’ risk preferences.

PwC established the INQuires program in 2007 to increase the knowledge base contributing to auditing and tax. Since 2007, PwC has awarded more than $3 million through the PwC INQuires program.

Marley was named on the grant with fellow co-authors Dr. Eric Gooden of Virginia Commonwealth University and Dr. Mark Mellon of the University of South Florida.

Faculty-Staff Awards Banquet

The Faculty-Staff Awards Banquet was held on Friday, May 2, 2014 at 6 p.m. at The Hall by 40 East Grill in downtown Statesboro. The following faculty and staff were recognized during the evening.

Faculty Tenure/Promotions:


Don Berecz

Janet Moss

Paige Rutner

Ed Sibbald

Mark Yanochik


Feruzan Irani Williams

Xinfang Wang

Olivia Suggs Flanagan Faculty Fellowship Award for Outstanding Teaching or Research

Chuck Harter and Eddie Metrejean

Ron & Barbara Shiffler Faculty Award

Don Berecz

Brown & Williamson Tobacco Faculty Award

Chris Boone

Charles R. Gibbs Faculty Award

Paige Rutner

M. Albert Burke Faculty Award

Joe Ruhland

Bank of America Faculty Award

Constance Campbell

T.J. Morris, Jr. Faculty Award

Jin Woo Kim

Michael W. Skinner School of Accountancy Excellence Award

Abbie Gail Parham

Porter, Keadle, Moore, LLP Faculty Fellowship in Accounting

Dwight Sneathen and Robert Marley

Dabbs, Hickman, Hill and Cannon Accounting Scholar

Stephanie Sipe and Lowell Mooney

J. Daniel Speight Banking Excellence Award

Ed Sibbald

Donald D. Howard Faculty Award

Chris Brunt

Rutherford Award for Excellence in Teaching and Service in the MBA

John Barkoulas

Tomlinson & Bond Families Staff Award for Excellence

Carolyn Price

Martin NeSmith Faculty Award for Distinguished Service

Karl Manrodt

W.A. & Emma Lou Crider Award for Excellence in Teaching

Lindsay Larson

Gary M. Davis Excellence in Research Award

Alan Mackleprang

William A. Freeman Award for Outstanding Professor

Misty Loughry

The Right Way to Interview Your Customer

Published on, 4/16/14

by Jason Anderson, director, Georgia Southern University Small Business Development Center

Customer interviews are one of the best ways to understand your customers’ lives and how to give them what they want. The customer interview can tell you which offerings to keep and which to cut, how to communicate with your customers and what specifically about your offering or value proposition drives the purchasing decision. Despite its importance, customer interviews are sometimes overlooked and under thought-out aspects of a small business’s marketing strategy. Here are a few things to consider when planning for customer interviews:

• Build rapport and put your customers at ease early.

Approaching a customer, not to mention a stranger on the street, to interview can be uncomfortable for both of you. Take a moment to establish why you want to ask questions and let him or her know that you respect his or her time by saying something like, “Do you have a few moments? Can I interview you because I am working on a project?” The “because” is really important. It tells your customers why you are asking for their time, and it makes them more likely to participate, even with a vague explanation such as “I am working on a project.” Provide a more specific reason if you can, and it will be even more effective. Asking your customers for their advice is another great way to earn their trust. Everyone loves to give advice, and, if you can phrase your questions so that they illicit advice from your customers, you will be more likely to engage them early and keep them engaged in the interview.

• Let your customers do the talking.

Try not to interrupt them, put words in their mouths, or steer the conversation. Ask open-ended questions, then be quiet and let your customers finish their responses. Remember the natural ratio of the number of human ears to mouth. You should be listening at least two-thirds of the time, if not much more. If their responses leave anything unclear in your mind or pique your interest, prompt them to expound with questions like, “Can you say more about that?”; “And then what did you do?”; or simply, “What else?” Follow-up questions should emerge from the conversation.

• Look for and pay attention to your customers’ stories.

When you have found a customer’s story, don’t move off topic too quickly. Stories explain not only factual context, but also the emotion and pain that your customer feels. From these stories, you can determine your customers’ needs and requirements. Those requirements form the basis of potential solutions. So, how do you get your customers to tell you their stories? Well-worded questions will go far in priming your customers to tell their stories. “Tell me about the last time…” is one of the most effective questions for eliciting a story response because it asks the customer to remember the most recent instance. That is usually easier to do than remembering the worst, best, or most unusual instance because determining those instances requires thinking about and evaluating multiple instances. Other story-eliciting questions include “What’s the hardest part about that?” and “What don’t you love about the solutions you’ve tried?”

Effective customer interviewing is a skill that can be developed like any other. With enough practice, interviewers will learn how to effectively ask questions, engage in a conversation about their customers’ pain points, determine what isn’t working with existing solutions, and identify patterns in customer responses. This can be invaluable information for keeping your offerings relevant and in demand.


24th Annual Accounting Day Celebrated

The Zeta Delta Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi and the Georgia Southern University Accounting Association sponsored the School of Accountancy’s 24th Annual Accounting Day Awards Banquet on April 30. The evening’s events began with a career fair for accounting majors. Eighteen accounting firms and professional organizations with more than 40 industry representatives met with students to discuss full-time positions and internships. The evening ended with the annual awards banquet at which the School awarded scholarships.

Beta Alpha Psi President Leslie Cox recognized several members for their active participation in the accounting honor society. Scholarships were presented to Cody Girvan and Alicia Prothe.

Brooke Sims from The Accounting Association presented the Professor of the Year Award to both Drs. Robert Jackson and Lowell Mooney.

Academic Achievement awards are sponsored by the local chapters of the Georgia Society of CPAs and the Educational Foundation of the Georgia Society of CPAs.  The winners of these awards were as follows:

Coastal GA Chapter:  Leah Epperson, Heather Gay, and Samantha Hairston

Heart of GA Chapter:  Morgan Crowley and Christian Woodberry

Savannah Chapter:  Danielle Anderson, Bradley Bernard, Merlan Powell, and Stephanie Simpson

Southeast Chapter:  Christopher Cone, Christopher Policastro, Kiara Ramey, and Logan Worsham

Ms. Monica Woods presented the Coastal Georgia Chapter of the Institute of Internal Auditors Academic Distinction Award to Danielle Kinkella and Linette Rousseau.

Heather Gay and Rebecca Henderson received the Educational Foundation of the Georgia Society of CPAs Academic Excellence Award for being the School of Accountancy’s top graduating seniors. These awards were presented by Dr. Chuck Harter.

Mr. Matthew Workman of Becker CPA Professional Education awarded Charlene Grosse a full CPA review package and awarded half CPA review packages to Tony Jacobs, Emily Prestridge, and Anastasia Weatherley.

The Southeast Georgia and Savannah Chapters of the Georgia Society of CPAs, jointly with the Georgia Society’s Educational Foundation, co-sponsored the Georgia Accountants’ Team Effort program. Presented by Dr. Dwight Sneathen, this year’s recipients were Hannah Brown, Leslie Cox, Samantha Hairston, Joshua Hinson, Mary Kathryn Mason, and Christopher Williamson.

Mr. Zach Stroup of Elliott Davis presented their scholarship to Morgan Crowley.

The Paul G. LaGrone Scholarships, established by former business dean, Dr. Paul G. LaGrone, were awarded to Daniel Schmit and Elizabeth Hoehn by Dr. Timothy Pearson.

Each year the Institute of Management Accountants gives away the CMA Review.  This year we had 15 recipients!  They were Collin Phillips, Leslie Cox, Hannah Tatum, Valerie Burke, Danielle LaDuron, Charlene Grosse, Rebecca Henderson, Donald Ramey, Anastasia Weatherley, Kenneth Creekmore, Jackie Reddish, Daniel Schmit, Patrick Mimbs, Emily Prestridge, and Christopher Cone.

Mr. Wayne Yesbick with Draffin and Tucker, Albany, presented a scholarship to Colton David. Mr. Alex Knight of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne, Atlanta, presented scholarships to Heather Gay and Laura Henry. Ms. Kelsi Deiter of Mauldin & Jenkins, Albany, presented scholarships to Jessie Knight and Rebecca Pettit; Ms. Kate Dean of Nichols Cauley and Associates, Dublin, presented scholarships to Brian Butler and Amanda Hamlin.  The winners of the Porter Keadle Moore scholarships were Ken Creekmore, Stephanie Gratto, and Emily Hall.  Mr. Phil Moore, Managing Partner of PKM, presented these awards.

This year’s D. Greg Morgan Family Scholarship, sponsored by Greg and Ruth Morgan of Atlanta, was presented to Christian Woodberry by Ms. Kristen Lord of Mauldin & Jenkins.

Mr. Roy Austin of the Savannah CFO Council presented awards to Rebecca Henderson and Collin Phillips.

Ms. Lynne Gerber of Warren Averitt, Atlanta, presented the Ronald A. Lundstrom Scholarship in Forensic Accounting to Danielle LaDuron.

Accounting Day is made possible through the generosity of many organizations that have supported the Georgia Southern College of Business accounting program for several years. Many thanks go to the following corporate sponsors: Becker Professional Review; Dabbs Hickman Hill and Cannon, LLP; Draffin and Tucker, LLP; Elliott Davis, PLLC; the Georgia Society of CPAs; Warren Averitt LLP; Habif Arogeti and Wynne, LLP; Holland, Henry & Bromley, LLP; the Institute of Management Accountants; KPMG, LLP; Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC; Moore Stephens Tiller, LLC; Nichols Cauley & Associates, LLC; and Porter Keadle Moore, LLC.


MBA Marketing Class Visits Byrd Cookie Company

The MKTG 7431 Strategic Marketing Management class in Savannah visited Byrd Cookie Company on Monday, April 7. Geoff Repella, president, hosted the class, providing a history of Byrd Cookie Company and the evolution of the company to where it is today. The visit exposed MBA students to a successful business and made them aware of the possibilities in industry. The visit added beneficial insights to the world of business and marketing innovation. Experiencing this successful local business was invaluable to the class.


A Note from Constance Campbell:  Women Leaders in STEM Professions

Using funds from the W. E. Carter Chair in Leadership, we co-sponsored a colloquium that is bringing together women from a variety of academic perspectives, some of whom are relatively well-known for their writing on leadership (e.g., Jean Lipman Blumen, Susan Madsen, and Margaret Wheatley),  to work on building theories pertaining to women and leadership.  We met in Utah May 18 – 20. To maximize our time together, the colloquium attendees completed lessons beginning in January to renew our knowledge about applied theory building and enlarge our expertise in particular areas of leadership, such as building one’s identity as a leader. This meeting will be followed by a pre-conference session at the International Leadership Association annual conference in October.

Not only does this begin to get the word out about our leadership activities here in the College of Business, it also coordinates nicely with a budding research emphasis on Women Leaders in STEM professions.  We expect our research to contribute to strengthening the leadership development programs we offer through the College of Business, as we continue to advance the teaching of leadership.


College of Business Student Team Makes Pitch at TiE Atlanta’s University Business Plan Competition

On Saturday, April 26, 2014, a team of Georgia Southern University College of Business students pitched the app, Pelorus. Pelorus is an app that allows people to take virtual walking tours of college campuses and shopping malls across the nation. The team, coached and mentored by Chris Welter, entrepreneurship professor and SBDC Director, Jason Anderson, made it to the final round of the competition.


Note of Reminder: Event/Speaker Photos

Faculty/Staff – After pictures have been taken at an event or speaker visit, the Office of Marketing & Media will share your event photos with you on Google Drive. After two months, the pictures will be removed from Google Drive and backed up on an external drive. At that point, you will need to request photos from the Office of Marketing & Media at Please let us know if you have any questions about this process.


The Office of Marketing & Media


Last updated: 2/27/2019