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Taking Flight – May 2018

deanphotonewsletter2016Message From the Dean

Regardless of what you do for a living, I suspect you have days that are invigorating. You can almost hear the buzz of excitement in the hallways and see the sparkle of excitement in the eyes of your colleagues. Of course, other days are just the opposite. Everything is a grind; the atmosphere is heavy, and nothing seems to go your way. In my experience, most everyone has some measure of both. The trick to managing these different environments is learning to ignore them. You don’t get too high when you’re up nor too low when you’re down. You stay on message; you stick to magnetic north; and you do the right thing, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I largely agree with this advice, at least on the down days. If nothing is going your way and if everything seems harder than it should, then focus your efforts elsewhere. Don’t let circumstances drive your mindset; find something on which you can make progress, even if it’s only a simple thing. But, make progress where you can today, and then build on that progress tomorrow. At least that’s my approach on the bad days. Here’s the thing about the good days though: sometimes, you just want to let yourself get swept up in them. Sometimes, it simply feels so good that you bow to the excitement just because you’re enjoying the ride.

I’ve actually had several of those good days recently, and, I must admit, I really enjoyed them. What sorts of days were they? Well, graduation was terrific; it was great to be there and to shake hands with hundreds of business school graduates. I knew many of them, but I was proud of all of them. It was great to be at our graduate student brunch and to hear a member of our Young Alumni Board talk about his success and his passion for the Georgia Southern brand. I was blown away at our year-end faculty/staff banquet, as the whole College of Business family gathered to celebrate another year and to recognize our award winners. I was giddy with pride when I visited NYC with our Eagles on Wall Street students, and I watched how well they represented our College. And, I was exhilarated by the deep and rich insights of our Dean’s Advisory Board which met recently to discuss how to move us faster and farther into the future.

Don’t get too high when you’re up nor too low when you’re down; yeah, I know. But, when you do work you love and when you do it with a great team of people, sometimes you just can’t help yourself. And so, I hope you’ll forgive me if I take a moment and enjoy how great it is to be a part of the Georgia Southern College of Business!


Alumni Spotlight – Jesse Nkemka

Jesse Nkemka (FINC, 2011) is an independent contractor who uses his IS minor and SAP emphasis to assist companies with implementing, enhancing, and/or deploying SAP Plant Maintenance solutions. He took on this role after being laid off due to the re-organization of his dream employer when it merged with another company. Jesse used this opportunity to reach out and network with recruiters in his industry and to attend networking events centered on the information systems/information technology (IS/IT) industry. His efforts paid off and a recruiter placed him in a consulting role just months after Jesse’s lay off.

Being an independent contractor is quite different than being an employee, and the transition between the two was difficult at first, but Jesse persevered and thrived. He thoroughly enjoys working with business users and stakeholders to identify their issues, problems, and explicit and implicit needs. Being able to take that information and work with the development team(s) to create a solution that solves their challenges and needs and seeing that solution work out in the field makes him proud to know that something he created and developed is being used by a major organization. It is almost like creating a piece of art and seeing others enjoy and benefit from it. Jesse also enjoys traveling and interacting with the users. He says that IT/IS people typically get used to being in an office, but Jesse enjoys working with the end-users who actually “do the heavy lifting and get their hands dirty.” He admits he learns a great deal from the men and women on the ground that he, then, takes with him to incorporate in future implementations and/or enhancements.

That Jesse’s future career would be in the area of IS/IT was evident in the courses he most enjoyed. Though he enjoyed almost every ERP class he took, Jesse’s favorite was an ERP configuration course he took during his fourth year at Georgia Southern. In that class, Jesse was able to configure and build different aspects of a business’s operations throughout the semester and was able to see how everything worked together at the end of the class by actually performing transactions and watching the data flow through the system. Jesse says that was the most fun he ever had taking a final exam.

Jesse cites his creation of the SAP Student Advantage (SAP SA) organization before he graduated in 2011 and watching and seeing what it has developed into today as one of his proudest accomplishments. Although the organization’s name has changed to Students of Business Technology (SBT), Jesse can still see the values and vision that he put into place in 2011 coming to fruition with the students within the SAP program who are members of the organization and are thriving and doing well. Jesse fondly recalls coming to Georgia Southern to speak at an SBT event in 2015. He took a few of the members out to dinner and was encouraged and inspired by what he saw. Several of the students had landed jobs before they graduated while others had landed internships with prestigious organizations. It was a beautiful thing to see, and Jesse is proud to know that the vision that he had all those years ago is providing value to the IS Department and, most importantly, to the students.

Jesse is proud to be an IS alum from Georgia Southern University. When he returns to campus and sees the strides, leaps, and bounds that the IS Department has made in the short time since he left Statesboro, it definitely gives IS alumni a sense of pride and allows them to talk about Georgia Southern and the IS Department that was responsible for teaching them and developing the skill sets that have blessed them with great careers, opportunities and the chance to give back. In the future, Jesse plans to continue to grow and develop his consulting firm. Currently, the firm is composed of himself and a recruiter. He hopes to, eventually, include additional consultants and clients. Jesse’s major goal is to be able to come back to Georgia Southern and recruit and hire students from the IS program for his company and provide those students with some of the opportunities that he has been blessed with over the years.

Jesse and his wife live in the Atlanta area. In his spare time, Jesse enjoys working out, playing sports (specifically basketball and football), spending time with his wife and their dogs, working on and developing different business ventures and anything business related. Jesse also enjoys photography, real estate, traveling the world, visiting new places and cultures, and playing with anything that has a button and a screen! Jesse is also a proud alum of Delta Sigma Pi, where he pledged the Epsilon Chi chapter at Georgia Southern University.

A New Era for the College of Business

The business college at Georgia Southern University is proud to announce that it is implementing its new name: Georgia Southern University College of Business. The change, from the College of Business Administration to the College of Business, has been approved by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents and all of the members of the College of Business family.

“The new name is cleaner, simpler and better reflects who we are and what we do, which is produce career-ready business professionals through inspired teaching, relevant research and meaningful service,” said College of Business Dean Allen C. Amason.

The Georgia Southern University College of Business is home to several nationally recognized academic programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Additionally, the College is home to several specialized Centers of Excellence, including the Center for Sales Excellence, Center for Retail Studies, Southern Center for Logistics and Intermodal Transportation and Business Innovation Group.

The College is currently implementing the name change. The new name coincides with the College’s recent reaccreditation by AACSB-International. These events together reflect our commitment to quality, to impact and to the future. All academic units and centers will include the new name and logo on digital platforms and in print and other marketing materials.

“This is an exciting time in Georgia Southern’s history, and we are proud to be a part of a vibrant and growing Eagle Nation,” said Dean Amason.

Mooney Named New Graduate Programs Director

The Georgia Southern University College of Business is pleased to announce new leadership for the Georgia Southern MBA program. Lowell Mooney, Ph.D., professor of accounting, will be the new MBA director as well as director of Graduate Studies for the College, starting July 1, 2018. Mooney, a long-standing faculty member of the Georgia Southern College of Business, is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Georgia Society of CPAs, and the Institute of Management Accountants, among other professional organizations. He currently teaches managerial accounting courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Mooney has received numerous awards for his teaching, research and service activities, including the Beta Alpha Psi Outstanding Advisor award, the Georgia Society of CPAs Outstanding Accounting Educator award and the Georgia Southern University Bishop Award for Sustained Excellence.

Mooney currently leads the Graduate Curriculum and Programs Committee (GCPC), which spent the last six months reevaluating and redesigning the MBA program. The revised program, to be implemented in Savannah, brings a 21st Century approach to the College’s MBA curriculum. “While the current GCPC has been working tirelessly this year, it is important to give credit to the two previous GCPC committees and a special task force,” states Mooney. “Those colleagues performed benchmarking studies, conducted surveys of current and former MBA students, and met with our advisory boards and potential employers. Without that groundwork, there is no way this year’s committee would have been able to redesign the curriculum in six months.”

After extensive review of the research, the GCPC adopted a competency framework that posits that managers add value to their organization when they apply functional knowledge (technical skills) in the context of their organization (business skills) to influence others (people skills) and lead (leadership skills). Research further shows that, as professionals move up in their careers, leadership and people skills increase in importance relative to the technical and business skills. “Given our decision to target working professionals with two to eight years of experience, the committee realized we needed a greater focus on people and leadership skills,” Mooney noted. The GCPC embarked on a two-fold strategy for its MBA makeover: (1) reinforce existing technical and business skills to meet the challenges of today’s highly complex and competitive environment; and (2) enhance the communication, collaboration, negotiation, team building, coaching and change management skills that are so important for career advancement.

Georgia Southern began its MBA program in 1969. During its first 50 years, the program was redesigned several times to meet stakeholder needs. The program’s latest iteration will launch in Fall 2019, with Mooney as its seventh director. “I see a real opportunity for our College to build something new, exciting and valuable,” stated Dean Allen C. Amason. “The reputational capital that an MBA program can create pays off in many ways, including more selective recruiting and placement, better recognition and respect in industry and academic circles, and more successful fund raising and alumni engagement.”

New Director of Student Engagement

With a focus on producing career-ready professionals, the Georgia Southern College of Business is excited to welcome Danielle Smith as the new director of experiential learning and student engagement. In this role, Smith will facilitate and increase College of Business internships, oversee and expand business abroad trips and create and implement strategy to increase professionalism and placement through events geared toward professional development of our students.

Smith comes to the College of Business from the University’s Office of International Programs and Services, where she has spent the past eight years acting as director for the last three years. She got her start in higher education ten years ago, teaching history at Savannah Tech and then international studies at Georgia Southern before moving into administration in 2012 as the curriculum, advisement, and assessment coordinator for the BA in International Studies and BS in International Trade degree programs. Smith’s professional expertise is in developing study abroad and exchange programs, higher education partnerships and integrating experiential learning into the curriculum.

Smith’s experience with traveling abroad started at a young age due to her father being an Air Force officer. She spent eight years in Germany before finally settling in Savannah, where she finished high school. From there, she attended Georgia Southern University, where she earned two degrees, a BA in history, international studies, and an MA in history. Smith is currently working on her Ph.D. in international affairs at The University of Georgia. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, going to the movies and traveling. “I’ve been to roughly 30 countries, and [I] hope to add more soon,” stated Smith.

Business Abroad December 2018 Announced

The College is excited to announce its next Business Abroad trip. Students, accompanied by Trey Denton, Ph.D., professor of marketing and College of Business Honors coordinator, will travel to Hong Kong in December 2018 before completing coursework on campus during the spring semester. Business Abroad trips are part of experiential learning and enhance student and professional experiences. For more info about the Business Abroad trip to Hong Kong, please contact Danielle Smith at or 912-478-6047, or visit

Hospitality Students Experience NOLA

During a weekend in April, 13 hospitality management students, accompanied by faculty advisors Les Furr, Ph.D., professor of hospitality management, and Stan Suboleski, Ph.D., professor of practice in hospitality management, visited New Orleans, Louisiana, for the annual Hospitality Tourism trip.

The trip exposed Introduction to Hospitality Industry students to many different tiers of hospitality services from mode of transportation to style of hotel to various levels of food service. This year, students took tours of Harrah’s Casino and Hard Rock Café, learning what goes into the operation of a hotel and casino, participated in a cemetery tour, visited a cigar rolling shop and took walking tours of the city’s street performing hot spots. They were also asked to compare and analyze the service and food of the two most famous beignet restaurants in New Orleans, Café du Monde and Café Beignet.

“As a graduating senior of the Hospitality program from Georgia Southern University, I have learned so much from this program and the professors who taught me and my fellow classmates,” stated Caroline Campbell. “This trip to New Orleans was a once-in-a-lifetime trip and allowed me to learn about many topics. I learned about the regional food, living and culture. We [visited] the WWII Museum, the Cathedral, The Pharmacy Museum, [and many more]. Dr. Furr taught all of his students the importance of education and how life would be after we graduated. He [holds] his students to the highest degree and [gives] us all valuable information to succeed in this field. He wants to see everyone succeed and tries to help every student find a job once they graduate. This was an amazing trip to end my time, here, at Georgia Southern.”

Students Participate in Georgia Logistics Summit

By Jerry Burke, Ph.D., department chair, Logistics & Supply Chain Management

Eight undergraduate students majoring in programs delivered by the Department of Logistics and Supply Chain Management traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, April 10–11, to participate in the Georgia Logistics Summit Logistics Student Showcase and MODEX Student Days.

On April 10, students presented posters on research projects for honors thesis or case competition work.

Madeline Conner and Aaron Todd presented research as part of Madeline’s honors thesis on Internet of Things (IoT) technology applications in logistics. Madeline expressed benefits to her education by saying, “Being able to present my thesis at this event provided me the opportunity to gain valuable feedback from industry professionals and help[ed] to guide my future research within the IoT field.”

Mitchell Mayes and James (Bailey) Morris teamed up to present research from Mitchell’s honors thesis. Mitchell’s takeaway from the experience was summed up this way: “Going into this presentation experience at the MODEX event and Georgia Logistics Summit in Atlanta, I didn’t really know what to expect. I knew I was doing a poster session about my honors thesis project, which is about drones and the regulations affecting their use, but I didn’t know what type of response I would get. I was very pleasantly surprised when I began the session and almost immediately there were interested professionals. They were asking questions and interacting with me and even being very appreciative of the material I was presenting and how I presented it. All in all, this was a wonderful experience that made me feel more comfortable in a professional setting and helped to deepen my interest in the field of logistics.”

Jonathan Templeton and Nick Abbadangelo presented a poster they created based on their experience competing in the IANA EXPO student case competition last semester as part of a special topics course in logistics. Similarly, Ngoc Le and Tara Orr presented a poster that described a supply chain case competition challenge from the Denver Transportation Club’s event this past February and their solutions developed as a part of this semester’s special topics course in logistics. When asked about the experience, Ngoc said, “The Student Project Showcase was a great opportunity for us to present our work and engage with others at the conference. Not only did the showcase allow students to practice presentation skills, it also provided us a great chance to network with logistics industry professionals. At the same time, while presenting our posters at the showcase, we had an opportunity to hear expert opinions and feedback from industry professionals on our projects.”

On April 11, students were mixed into various groups to explore the massive trade show floor as the main event of MODEX. Following these tours of the trade show, students convened for a networking luncheon and were entertained by Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame.

Special thanks to Material Handling Institute (MHI) and Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) for financial support that enabled these students to experience these wonderful events in Atlanta, Georgia.

Savannah Traffic Club Awards Scholarships

The Savannah Traffic Club (STC) recently awarded five scholarships totaling $10,000 to Georgia Southern University logistics and supply chain management students at its annual scholarship luncheon. The scholarships were presented by the president and board of the STC.

During the luncheon and scholarship presentation, Christian Rossetti, Ph.D., assistant professor of logistics, updated STC on the accomplishments of the Georgia Southern logistics program. He discussed students who were recently hired in the logistics field, the top 15 ranking on the SCM Journal List, experiential learning opportunities students have participated in during the spring semester, the IANA case competition where our students placed first and future plans to increase logistics educational opportunities in the Savannah market.

The STC and the Georgia Southern Logistics and Supply Chain Management Department have a long-standing partnership, through which education in the field of transportation and logistics is promoted.

“The continued support of the Savannah Traffic Club allows the College of Business at Georgia Southern University to attract the best and brightest to the field of logistics,” stated Rossetti, Ph.D.

Formed in March 1995 as a result of the Savannah Women’s Transportation Association and the Transportation Club of Savannah, STC is a non-profit organization open to persons in the transportation and logistics industries and related fields. More than 50 companies in manufacturing, shipping and allied industries, along with Georgia Southern University are currently represented in the club. A member of Logistics and Transportation Association of North America, STC promotes education, provides financial assistance in the area of continuing education and holds various social functions.

Sales Program Receives Recognition

The Georgia Southern College of Business is recognized again as one of the top universities for professional sales education in the country by the Sales Education Foundation (SEF). SEF recognizes our Center for Sales Excellence for preparing students for successful careers in professional selling and helping to elevate the sales profession.

In the 12th edition of the foundation’s annual magazine, SEF listed Georgia Southern as one of the programs that provides a university sales education while preparing and placing future talent in professional selling roles. SEF conducted an annual survey, and the College of Business sales program distinguished itself through offering a specialty area, participating in sales competitions, offering a sales lab for students and having a 100 percent job placement rate for students in the program.

Founded in 2006, the Center for Sales Excellence, housed within the College of Business, has more than 200 students and offers accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), University Sales Center Alliance (USCA) and is a full member of Global Sales Science Institute (GSSI). Georgia Southern is also the only university to award Huthwaite’s Academic SPIN Selling Certification.

SEF is pleased to see the rapid growth of sales education programs at universities across the U.S. “We are gratified to see the collaboration of seasoned programs providing insight and support to these dedicated academics with a vision to deliver quality sales education to their committed students,” said SEF Executive Director Sally Stevens.

For information on partnerships with the Georgia Southern University Center for Sales Excellence, contact Linda G. Mullen, Ph.D., director of the Center for Sales Excellence, at To learn more about the growing sales education space, visit

IS Through the Ages

On April 21, a group of about 80 Information Systems (IS) alumni, students and faculty converged on the Georgia Southern University campus for the first-ever IS Reunion. Hosted by the College of Business, the IS Reunion consisted of campus and College of Business tours, an alumni panel discussion, an alumni and student lunch, student presentations and a low-country boil.

After lunch, current IS students showcased skills learned during the semester in Alex Gambill’s (SMGT, ’00), lecturer of information systems, class. Gambill introduced five of his students who presented their class project responding to a request for proposal for a fictitious aerospace company and delivering a fully-integrated presentation highlighting value, process improvements and shared data across the enterprise landscape. Ann Lassiter served as project lead with team members Reynaldo Cadot, Matthew Howard, Cristian Morales and Hunter Walton. Following the student presentation, Adrian Gardiner, Ph.D., associate professor of information systems, updated attendees on the current curriculum for the IS major, the department’s minor in business analytics and where the IS program expects to grow in the future.

During the reunion dinner, which took place under a tent on the College of Business lawn, Jason Hoynes (IS, ’02) served as Master of Ceremonies. After welcoming his fellow IS alumni, he recognized several dignitaries in attendance, Mrs. Billie Pickett, wife of long-time IS faculty member, the late John Pickett, Max Burns, Ph.D., and former Congressman, Camille Rogers, Ed.D., associate professor of information systems and coordinator of the Online Graduate ERP Certificate Program, now the longest tenured member of the IS faculty, and Professor Emeritus Tom Case, Ph.D., who recently retired from the IS department after 36 years of service to Georgia Southern and the College of Business and served as IS Department Chair from 2007–2014.

Jason challenged each of the attendees to think about what their next step was going to be before they left the event that night. He encouraged them all to stay involved by making sure the College has their updated contact information, making a donation, joining the Eagle Executive Society, coming back to campus to speak to students or attending future events.

To view more pictures from the IS Reunion, visit and view the IS Reunion album.

Stay tuned for future alumni events. If you’re interested in having a reunion for your program, please contact Chris Osborne at or 912-478-5377.

Business Alum Inducted into Boys & Girls Club Alumni Hall of Fame

Georgia Southern University alumnus, Lieutenant General Leslie C. Smith (ACCT, ’85) has been inducted into the Boys & Girls Club Alumni Hall of Fame, along with nine others. The Boys & Girls Club has provided kids and teens of all backgrounds with opportunities to achieve great futures for more than 150 years. The organization annually recognizes distinguished alumni who have excelled and reached the top of their respective fields. This year’s “Class of 2018” inductees include Ed Arnold, Emmy-award winning journalist; Candace Bird, Ph.D., Department of Defense, senior program analyst for community and family policy; Becky Bonner, Orlando Magic executive; Matt Bonner, two-time NBA champion; Terrell Davis, NFL Hall of Famer; Jason Derulo, global multi-platinum recording artist; Hulk Hogan, 12-time World Champion; U.S. Army Lieutenant General Leslie C. Smith; and Shaun White, Olympic gold medalist snowboarder.

Eagles on Wall Street

Students traveled to NYC for the annual Eagles on Wall Street (EoWS) trip from May 6–12, visiting numerous financial institutions including RBC Capital Markets, Bloomberg, Willis Towers Watson and UBS, among others. During the visit to the Big Apple, the students took in a Yankees game where they were welcomed by a message on the jumbotron in the outfield. Stay tuned for more on this trip in the fall issue of the Eagle Executive magazine.

BIG Café

The BIG Café, a one-hour structured business innovation session creates a space for peers, mentors and advisors to help local entrepreneurs solve small business problems while enjoying a cup of coffee and some doughnuts. On May 9, 2018, local entrepreneurs, students and business people from Statesboro joined for the monthly collaborative coffee session at 9:00 a.m. to hear Lakeyshia Hampton of FES—Financial Education Services—and Marie Williams with Williams Events present.

Lakeyshia Hampton started the morning off explaining that FES specializes in credit restoration, building and sustaining. The services offered by FES range from building or rebuilding credit to identity theft protection to credit monitoring with a target market of individuals ages 18 and up. Lakeyshia’s main challenge is how to educate people on credit. One attendee suggested reaching out to local organizations that have small community groups, such as churches, and possibly fraternities and sororities. It was suggested that she educate rather than sell due to people automatically thinking there is fine print they’re missing. Lakeyshia informed the group that initial consultations with FES are free. She was encouraged to advertise this benefit. Another BIG Café attendee suggested coming up with a tag line about building credit, emphasizing it’s a long-term endeavor. Lakeyshia also heard that different marketing tactics work for different segments of her target market. She’ll want to market to college-aged people differently than she does working professionals or even those close to retirement, for example.

After a networking coffee break, Marie Williams with Williams Educational Events introduced herself and company. Marie’s background is in event management in higher education. She currently offers conference and event services for professionals, schools, associations and organizations interested in providing professional development and collaborative experiences for their colleagues. Marie offers event services ranging from event registration to negotiating contracts to finance and reporting to attendee communications. She posed three challenges she’s currently experiencing as a start-up. First, she’s finding it difficult to go from large scale events in higher education to a small business mind set with minimal resources. Second, Marie is very conscientious and wants to ensure she’s taking on the best events for her as a start-up so that she doesn’t over extend herself since she’s currently a one-woman shop. Lastly, she is questioning her pricing for the event services she offers. Several times during BIG Café, she was told to establish her value which will help her determine how she continues to grow her business. It was suggested that she become a one-stop shop for educational event services, continue to utilize student interns and resources at BIG and to develop an online portfolio of events she’s planned and managed. To learn more, visit

May’s BIG Café was another success thanks to Lakeyshia Hampton, Marie Williams, everyone who attended and those who gave constructive and beneficial feedback to the presenters. Thanks to sponsors, Cool Beanz, for providing the coffee each month, and Downtown Statesboro Development Authority, for providing doughnuts. If you would like to present your business challenges at BIG Café, please contact Suzanne Hallman at or 912-478-5586. Attend the next BIG Café if you are interested in networking in Statesboro, drinking coffee and helping one another solve business problems. Also, attend five times, and you will receive a free BIG Café coffee mug. Catch BIG Café on Facebook Live on the second Wednesday of each month.

Cote: Set Content Guidelines for Business Facebook Page

On May 21, Valerie Cote (MBA, ’15), area director of the UGA SBDC at Georgia Southern University, was featured on, the online platform for the Savannah Morning News. In the article, she discussed the best practices for businesses to use when creating content for business Facebook pages, highlighting three things business owners can do to build a sense of community around their businesses and brand loyalty. To view the article in it entirety, click here.

Faculty/Staff News

Jackie Eastman’s paper “Green to be Seen: The Ecologically Conscious Consumer Behavior of Millennials” coauthored with Raj Iyer (Bradley University) has been accepted for the 2018 Summer American Marketing Association Conference. The study found that the motivation for status can impact ecologically conscious consumer behaviors (ECCB) and cultural values can mediate this relationship. The bandwagon effect moderates the relationship between the motivation for status and ECCB and influences the relationship between status and ECCB for the cultural values. The results suggest for millennials motivated by status their ECCB is driven more by the need to be seen within their group than to just fit in. To encourage millennials’ ECCB, marketers and public policy makers should emphasize the social influences of these behaviors. Congrats, Jackie!

The International Association of Interviewers published an expanded article “The Beginning of the Associate Certified Forensic Interviewer (ACFI) Designation” by Don Berecz, CPA, CFE, CFI and director of the Center for Forensic Studies in Accounting and Business, as a feature article in CFInsider, the association’s newsletter. To view the article, click here. Thank you, Don!

Last updated: 1/27/2023