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Taking Flight – March 2022

Message from the Dean

As I write this, I’m away on a business trip. I travel quite a lot because, while my office is in Statesboro, the business world is everywhere. So, I go out into that world in an effort to engage the opportunities—opportunities to spread the good news about the Parker College, opportunities to connect with alumni or with new corporate partners, and opportunities to connect our students, faculty, and programs to a world that needs better leadership and a deeper perspective on what it means to do business in the right way.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. This very night, I went to a restaurant alone. It happens that I eat out on my own quite often; I’m a party of one. I understand that tables and seats are at a premium in a busy restaurant. Every seat represents potential revenue and there are limited times, over the course of an evening, that a table and its seats will turn. So, it makes sense that a restaurateur would want to maximize capacity by filling every seat, thereby maximizing revenue and return on investment. But what that meant on this particular night was that the restaurant turned me away; I could sit at the bar, if I chose, but they would not dedicate a table, even a “2-top” to just one person. Now, that’s classic, analytical thinking. Run the numbers; follow the money; and do what you must to drive as much as you can from every asset. Here’s the thing, though, while this kind of thinking may seem appropriate given the numbers and may make sense in terms of the data and the finances, it’s often short-sighted and even counter-productive to the long-term value of the brand and the long-term potential of the business. Peter Drucker famously made the point that the overarching purpose of a business is to create an ever-increasing number of satisfied customers. Well, this particular restaurant not only failed at this purpose tonight, it actually alienated me to the point that I won’t go back. It also prompted me to write this letter telling you about it. If I were to mention the restaurant’s name (which I will not), many of you might also be offended and so avoid it as well.

The point is that, sometimes, what can seem a good decision in the moment may not be so when assessed over time. Simply following the numbers can mislead you because numbers only capture the momentary and the immediate. It’s difficult, perhaps impossible, to capture and quantify all the downstream effects—the residual loyalty of a satisfied customer or the rippling effects of poor word of mouth. Every customer, every associate, every transaction, every product or service are opportunities to create value, to instill satisfaction, and to build momentum by doing the right thing. Understanding this bigger picture is fundamental to true leadership, which is something in short supply in today’s business world. And that, in and of itself, is an opportunity for the Parker College. Naturally, we want our students well-trained in terms of data and financial analytics. But, even more than that, we want them invested with an appreciation for humility, service, and humanity. We want them to focus on creating satisfied customers and to truly lead in a world that is hungry for a better way! 


Alumni Spotlight: Kyle Streicher

Kyle Streicher (MKTG, 2016) began his career selling data center and cloud technologies at Cisco, but, five months ago, he joined Salesforce and now covers some of the largest financial services organizations (banking, insurance, wealth management, etc.) along the east coast. He is responsible for a set of solutions that help these organizations plan their sales coverage models, execute in the field, and drive more predictable results using analytics. Kyle is surrounded by some incredibly smart, talented, and genuine people who motivate and bring out the best in him every day, something for which he is profoundly grateful. Salesforce embraces a team selling motion, and Kyle says, “there is no way [he] could tackle these projects alone.”

Kyle really enjoys interacting with different types of businesses and people and experiencing new and varied ways of thinking. He can be on a call with a new or a market disrupting company that is growing at an insane pace at one point in his day, and, then later, take a call from an established industry giant in the process of modernizing its business. Either way, Kyle finds both interesting in different ways. He does admit, however, that his work is not without challenges as he must continually learn and remain current about his customers’ businesses. Salesforce’s customers want to be spoken to in “their language,” meaning Kyle must be knowledgeable about, and mindful of, recent acquisitions, new industry initiatives, leadership changes, and new market opportunities and changes.

Although he feels like he still has much to accomplish professionally, Kyle is very proud of the sales track record he had while working at Cisco, especially achieving more than 110% attainment several times. He is also proud of what he is working to create at Salesforce in only five months. At both companies, Kyle has been able to expand his network. He believes it is no coincidence that both Cisco and Salesforce are consistently ranked as top places to work. Kyle aspires to continue growing as a seller. He hopes to eventually lead or develop a team of people and to build a real estate portfolio to create additional passive income.

A member of Georgia Southern’s baseball team from 2011–2014, Kyle fondly remembers the excitement of winning five straight elimination games in the 2014 SoCon tournament, and, ultimately, winning the conference championship before beating nationally seeded Florida State in a regional game. In the academic area, Kyle feels very fortunate to have found a home within the Parker College. He treasures the time he spent in the Parker College Center for Sales Excellence and, through the Center, attending the sales competition at Kennesaw State. According to Kyle, the two most helpful parts of his Parker experience were the lessons and advice shared by alumni and guest speakers and the relationships he formed with his peers and key professors. He adds, “Gaining advice from people I aspired to be like or model my career after were invaluable, and a big reason I am where I am today. Additionally, the relationships I made with my peers are some of my best memories at GS, and I still keep up with many of them today.”

Now that his days of playing baseball have ended, Kyle has become an avid golfer. He and his fiancée go to the gym every morning and enjoy activities on and near the beach, especially in the Tampa/St. Pete area. In the future, Kyle hopes to become a great husband and father while maintaining an optimum work-life balance.


Doug Lambert Named Rotary Club 2022 Citizen of the Year

from https://www.statesboroherald.com/local/rotary-clubs-salute-lambert-as-2022s-citizen-of-the-year/

The Rotary Club of Statesboro and the Downtown Rotary Club of Statesboro, in their annual joint luncheon meeting Wednesday, honored Doug Lambert as 2022 Citizen of the Year in recognition of his contributions to the community not just this year, but spanning half a century.

“Various words have been used to describe our recipient: civic leader, entrepreneur, developer, manager, visionary, planner, volunteer, organizer, community advocate and mentor,” said Kenny Stone, presenting the award. “All are appropriate and convey a sense of his commitment to serving this community. His involvement as an outstanding citizen spans a period of 50 years, and his many contributions will have a lasting impact on this community for generations to come.”

Stone, the 1995 Citizen of the Year award recipient, has served with Lambert in a number of local economic development and civic organizations. Back in 2004-2005, Stone served as president of the Statesboro Rotary Club while Lambert was, simultaneously, president of the Downtown Statesboro Rotary Club.

In fact, Lambert is a charter member of the Downtown Rotary Club, founded in 1995, which is also known as the “Morning Rotary” because it meets over breakfast on Thursdays. The Statesboro Rotary Club, which has been in existence since 1937, long met on Mondays, but now meets at midday on Wednesdays.

But the two clubs get together to present the Citizen of the Year award. It does not always go to a Rotarian, but it is meant to celebrate citizenship qualities promoted by Rotary International with its ideal of “service above self.”

Early in his remarks, Stone quoted the Irish author and philosopher Charles Handy, who once said, “Citizenship is the chance to make a difference to the place where you belong.”

“That statement is fitting of our honoree because he chose to make a real difference in the place where he belongs,” Stone added.


Soeting Joins VEON Board

Photo courtesy of Georgia Southern Magazine

VEON Ltd., a leading global provider of connectivity and internet services, recently announced that Michiel Soeting (MBA, 1984), former global lead partner at KPMG, has joined the VEON Board as a non-executive director and chair of the Audit & Risk Committee. Michiel, a graduate of Vrije University (the Netherlands), also holds a doctorate in economics.

After spending more than 30 years at KPMG and becoming a partner in 1998, Michiel has extensive financial expertise, as well as a strong governance, risk management and regulatory compliance background. In addition, Michiel is a chartered accountant qualified in both the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and the former chair of KPMG’s Global Energy and Natural Resources practice.

Gennady Gazin, VEON’s board chair, said: “We welcome Michiel as an independent director to our board, and we look forward to working with him. With his strong background, having led some of KPMG’s largest global audits, Michiel brings a wealth of experience to our company. We are pleased that he will also serve as chair of our Audit & Risk Committee.”

For more information about VEON, go to veon.com/about-us.


SHPCO Execs Address Finance Association

by Axel Grossmann

The Georgia Southern University Finance Association kicked off its Spring 2022 Guest Speaker Series with a visit from Steve H. Powell & Company (SHPCO) on Wednesday, February 16. Brad Washburn (FIN, 2002), president and owner, Brian Alligood, CFO and owner, and Kaleb Smith, financial institution specialist visited the Statesboro campus for the event. Brad is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and a Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) who leads the Compliance Division. Brian coordinates asset quality reviews, internal audits, and due diligence reviews for the firm’s financial institution clients. He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a BBA in Finance from The University of Georgia (2004) as well as a BBA in accounting from Georgia Southwestern State University (2018). Kaleb (FIN & IS, 2016) specializes in asset quality, monitoring reviews, and due diligence assignments for financial institution clients.

Brad, Brian, and Kaleb each briefly outlined their backgrounds and paths to SHPCO. They spoke about who their typical clients are (community banks and credit unions) and the services they traditionally provide (loan review, compliance audits) as well as other services they offer. In addition, they discussed how SHPCO began by providing these specialized services to smaller financial institutions that did not have the ability or need to staff these types of positions on a full-time basis. Further, Brad, Brian, and Kaleb also noted how their business has changed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Historically, they traveled extensively on a near-weekly basis. Now, due to the need for remote work to minimize face-to-face interactions and the technological advances that have taken place, they do much of their work in-house in their Statesboro office rather than traveling and working out of their clients’ offices. Brad specifically noted fraud examination/review, which the students in attendance found particularly interesting. After the presentation, Brad, Brian, and Kaleb answered students’ questions about a wide range of topics including fee/compensation structure to clients, advice to students about preparing for jobs/internships, and the types of fraud they’ve identified during client reviews for nearly 30 minutes.

Steve H. Powell & Company specializes in third party asset quality monitoring (loan review) and regulatory compliance support. The firm’s services are currently utilized by financial institutions, including national and state regulated banks, credit unions, and farm service agencies, located in the southeastern states of Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi as well as Texas. The company was founded in Statesboro in 1993. For more information about SHPCO, visit www.shpco.net.


NABA Members Acquire Essential Technology Skills

by Jasmine Alexander

The Parker College chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) held its first meeting of the Spring 2022 semester on February 23 in the computer lab located in Parker College Room 1119. During this meeting, Adam du Pon, Ph.D., assistant professor of accounting, led a technology workshop that taught students essential technology skills to help them succeed in the workplace. At the beginning of the meeting, participants received access to a spreadsheet, referred to throughout the evening as du Pon taught them to solve real-world challenges that he had encountered as an accountant and that the students would be likely to encounter in the workplace.

Some students may have already been familiar with the basics of Excel through introductory technology classes as part of their required courses; however, this workshop allowed NABA members to gain in-depth, hands-on experience with advanced tools in Excel that went beyond the basics and equipped them with the knowledge to solve real-world situations that they will face in the workplace.

At the end of the session, a recording of the workshop was shared with each student in attendance. The recording allows them to continue referencing the material taught and improve their technology skills beyond the workshop. Before the meeting concluded, one of NABA’s faculty advisors, Errol Stewart, Ph.D., associate professor of accounting, complimented attending students on their decision to attend the technology workshop and investing in their futures saying, “Being proficient in Excel is a valuable skill to have and will help you be more marketable and stand out to employers.”Participants felt that this meeting was time well spent and now feel better prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation! For more information on NABA, go to www.nabainc.org/about_us or contact Errol Stewart at estewart@georgiasouthern.edu.


MBA Students Use Fun and Teamwork to Accomplish Goals

by Benjamin Tankersley

In a Parker PEP event this month, Parker MBA students completed a series of teambuilding activities led by Southern Adventures of the Georgia Southern Department of Campus Recreation & Intramurals (CRI). Graduate assistants from Southern Adventures led the MBA students through a number of different games and activities that were designed to challenge them to effectively communicate and think through strategies to accomplish their goals. These activities required students to step up and be leaders in the group to help accomplish the task at hand. 

One such game required the group to split up into groups of three, with each team member set up in three different parts of the gym forming a line stretching across the gym floor. The first member of the team was given a set of LEGO pieces that had been built into a puzzle. The first student had to run to the middle of the floor where the second team member was and explain how to recreate that puzzle. After the first team member left, the final team member had to come to the middle to receive the instructions for how to recreate the puzzle. “I loved the teamwork aspect of the game with the LEGO pieces,” Zachary Kahrs (MBA ’23) said. “It was all about communicating well. Not being able to see the pieces and trying to put together a puzzle was a fun little exercise.”

In another game, the students were given the name of the game with no instructions and were expected to complete what was required with only a fictional story to give the game some background. Several students were able to take a lead, and, after some trial-and-error, they eventually completed the task. In the cool down time after this game, Southern Adventures GAs talked to the MBA students about leadership, detailing what it means to be a good leader and a good team member. “What I learned about communication: being precise, brief, having the same language, just communicating clearly and effectively to accomplish the task that is at hand. That’s something I can take back to the workplace even tomorrow in responding to emails or in phone conversations with customers,” Kahrs said.

For more information about the Parker MBA program, please call the Graduate Programs Office at 912-478-5767 or email at mba@georgiasouthern.edu. To learn more about Southern Adventures, go to recreation.georgiasouthern.edu/southern-adventures.


Gulfstream’s Turner and McCullough Present to ES&A Students

by Steve Moss

On February 28 and March 1, the Parker College Enterprise Systems & Analytics Department (ES&A) welcomed guest speakers from Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation. Shane Turner, director of Enterprise Reporting, and Erin McCullough, Enterprise Reporting, Data, & Analytics (ERDA), presented to six classes of Janet Moss, Steve Moss and Kwabena Boakye’s Introduction to Business Analytics I and II. Approximately 400 students attended presentations focused on business analytics and enterprise reporting systems (ERP)—the two information systems (IS) concentrations currently offered by the ES&A Department. Shane and Erin showed students how business analytics and ERP systems are used across all functional areas at Gulfstream, from R&D through customer support and service after the sale. They discussed what a business analytics or ERP professional does, what career paths in business analytics and ERP look like, what skills are important to be successful, the job market, and software, among other topics. Between presentations for students, the ES&A Department hosted a meet and greet luncheon for Shane, Erin, and the ES&A faculty.

Gulfstream’s headquarters are in Savannah. The company employs more than 15,000 people worldwide with more than 13,000 working in Savannah-area facilities. Gulfstream designs and manufactures high quality private and business jets and delivers approximately 150 jets each year. For more information on Gulfstream, go to www.gulfstream.com/en/. To learn about Parker College’s ES&A programs, email esa@georgiasouthern.edu.


Mercer Tedders (left) carries the Parker College flag as he and a friend hike the AT.

Alumnus Hikes the Appalachian Trail

Completing the entire 2,190+ miles of the Appalachian Trail (AT) in one trip usually takes five to seven months with only a quarter of those who make the attempt finishing at all. Hikers must plan resupply points, know and understand various camping regulations along the trail, and make physical and mental preparations prior to beginning their treks. In addition, if they wish to be acknowledged as 2,000-Milers by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), hikers must be familiar and meet all ATC expectations. Starting on Spring Mountain, Mercer Tedders (LSCM, 2021) and a friend recently began their attempt at hiking the AT.


Faculty/Staff News

Jan Grimes, MBA, senior lecturer of management, is featured in the “What I Like About Connect” video on the McGraw Hill Management website. To view the video, go to video.mhhe.com/watch/t8fK8gCStk2MrS6BtiuDEn. Way to go, Jan!

Richard McGrath, Ph.D., professor of economics, was recently interviewed about the reasons for the recent increases in gas prices by WTOC 11. To see the interview, click here. Good job, Rick!

Duong “Katie” Pham, Ph.D., assistant professor of finance, was featured in WalletHub’s piece about Quick Personal Loans. You can find it here: https://wallethub.com/personal-loans/quick#duong_%E2%80%9Ckatie%E2%80%9D_pham. Kudos, Katie!

Last updated: 3/24/2022