Photo from Reggie Hoops
Photograph by Joseph Labolito

This winter, the Department of Theater will embark on its second round of an innovative playwriting initiativecommissioning and producing a world premiere playthanks to Fox alumnus David Steele, BBA ’91. In 2016, Steele, the founder and CEO of One Wealth Advisors in San Francisco, established the Playwright Residency Program at Temple University’s Department of Theater.

A true everyman, Steele began his professional career with J. P. Morgan Securities, but soon branched out as an entrepreneur. Once he was confident and secure in his success, Steele pondered the expansive possibilities of his professional life.

Now he is the founder and manager of five businesses from restaurants to yoga studios in the San Francisco area. In addition to his primary business One Wealth Advisors, Steele is the co-creator Moxie Yoga & Fitness, founder and Managing Partner of Ne Timeas Restaurant Group, Managing Partner of Foxsister Hospitality Group and Managing Partner of Noise Pop Industries, an independent music promoter. 

Steele is also a board member of Playground, a nonprofit playwright incubator in San Francisco and the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a nonprofit service organization that empowers working artists and emerging arts organizations across all disciplines. 

His longtime interest in the arts and the perceived lack of arts patronage on the West Coast led Steele back to Temple University. “We don’t have a patron artist culture or society as I wish we did. This [program] is really just a form of patronage,” says Steele. 

When Temple approached him with the residency proposal, Steele, a visual artist and playwright himself, felt it was a perfect match for his ideals and investment. “They came up with a concept that was absolutely perfect with my ideas and my ideals,” says Steele. “I really didn’t have anything to add to it. And I equally believe in getting out of the way of artists.”

The past, present and future of the program 

The Playwright Residency Program was developed by former Temple professor Edward Sobel, past Director of New Play Development at Steppenwolf Theatre Company. It is uniquely structured to support playwrights and their work. Playwrights are guaranteed a full production of the play following a short development process, allowing them to remain in close contact with the original generative impulse. They also have the opportunity to write for a known ensemble of actors and artists to create pieces suited to the strengths of the students at Temple University. 

The first result of the program was the 2017 production of Reggie Hoops by Kristoffer Diaz, author of the Pulitzer Prize-nominated The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. Diaz created a full length drama about a former NBA assistant general manager faced with the decision between the profession she loves and the family life she cherishes. The world premiere production featured the six 2018 master of fine arts (MFA) acting students as well as original designs from MFA design students.

This academic year, a new class of students will have the opportunity to participate in the program with playwright Marisela Treviño Orta, a Mexican-American artist whose work has been produced at the Marin Theater Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Arizona Theatre Company, among others. The actors and designers will work directly with Treviño Orta and director, Professor Lindsay Goss, on Somewhere, a drama about a world on the verge of ecological collapse. The production will run from January 29 to February 9 in Randall Theater.

To purchase tickets to Somewhere, click here

Temple University’s Dr. Kathleen Reeves (right) delivers testimony during a state hearing on the impact of gun violence on communities. Caterina Roman, assistant professor of criminal justice at Temple, also testified at the hearing. [Photo by Karen Naylor]
One by one, members of a community caught in the center of the gun violence crisis came to the table, adjusted the microphone and told their stories.

Leaning in and listening intently were several members of Pennsylvania’s Special Council on Gun Violence, all seated in a large, second-floor room at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University’s Health Sciences Campus.

The council, created in August by Gov. Tom Wolf, has been traveling the state holding hearings, engaging stakeholders and identifying recommendations and best practices they believe will one day reduce gun violence. The council visited North Philadelphia on Dec. 5 for its fifth and final stop.

Among those waiting to testify was Dr. Kathleen Reeves, a pediatrician who is senior associate dean of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and the director of the Center for Urban Bioethics at Temple University.

Reeves is passionate about the work being done by Philadelphia CeaseFire Cure Violence, a public health violence intervention program housed at the bioethics center. The program, which originated in Chicago, was replicated in 2011 and operates in portions of the city’s 22nd and 39th Police Districts. 

She firmly believes in the organization’s premise that the violence happening in communities is a public health issue and needs to be treated as such.

“Gun violence is as contagious as any other disease,” Reeves testifies. “We’ve known this for over 10 years. We see it each and every day and the wonderful people in this room live it each and every day.

“We need to be working the problem like the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) would handle an epidemic: interrupt the spread, keep people away from the contagion and vaccinate them. Give (people) the opportunities and the tools that everyone deserves to be able to live a life free of violence.”

But in order to accomplish that, resources, including additional funding, are needed.

Reeves detailed recent research that reported a reduction in gun-related violence in a police district where the city’s Ceasefire Cure Violence program currently operates. Using a series of scenarios, she explained how the return on investment can increase when efforts go beyond the immediate and primary needs in the battle against gun violence. 

“If we expand that effort to include secondary health care needs, mental health care needs, prison costs and lost wages, we actually see the return on investment go up,” she says.

Reeves was able to show examples in her testimony with the assistance of a modeling tool created by an MBA student team at Fox Management Consulting (FMC). The team’s members, Ethan Kannel, Rebecca Wolf, Megha Aggarwal, Alexandra Alicea and Vidya Sabbella, did the client consulting work as part of their MBA capstone course with FMC.

“The tool is a dynamic and flexible system that takes into account all of the variables that impact the cost of gun-related violence, ranging from immediate medical costs like ER care through societal consequences such as incarceration,” says Donald Phillips, FMC project executive for the student team. 

“The students’ experience was a total immersion in this healthcare issue, from a political, sociological and economic point of view. You’re not always going to get that opportunity.”

Kannel, who was at the hearing with Rebecca Wolf, was pleased to see the team’s work included in the day’s testimony.

“A lot of schoolwork that you do, you think it won’t go anywhere,” Kannel says. “But the day after we presented our project, we heard our numbers in a hearing.”

Wolf was grateful that her experience with the project was used in an impactful way.

“The most important work we did in the project was related to finances and that was used directly in the hearing,” says Wolf. “It’s a great feeling.”

Now that the hearings are done, the panel will begin its assessment.

“It is important to note that today’s discussion serves as a starting point for the work of the special council to listen to and learn from individuals with both professional and life experience and expertise,” says Mike Pennington, executive director of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

Fox Professor Donald Phillips and TL Hill, professor of strategic management and managing director of Fox Management Consulting and Executive Education, recently co-authored an opinion piece for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Read that piece here

For more information about FMC projects, click here.

Manveer in Africa

Manveer Singh, his cousin and their driver were riding through the streets of Nairobi, Kenya in January of 2019 when a bomb exploded. Within seconds, gunmen were firing indiscriminately at anyone on the street and the trio found themselves hiding in the back seat of their car as bullets pummeled the vehicle. 

The three men survived. Now, months removed from the terrorist attack, Singh, BBA ’19, shrugs it off. The coffee business can be dangerous, the young entrepreneur says. 

Singh graduated in May 2019 and runs two businesses: Maharajah Coffee and a network of Airbnb properties. He also works online as a stockbroker. Maharajah Coffee is his passion project and his vision for it began years earlier as he hiked along the border between the Brazilian states of Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais, a few hundred miles north of Rio de Janeiro. 

Singh passed what he thought was a winery due to the bustle of men carrying large sacks heaved over their backs in the heat. But the farmer, a friendly, tall man in a big fedora named Ernesto, flagged him down. When he stopped, Singh took note of the strong coffee aroma. 

The two men started chatting, face-to-face. Singh prefers face-to-face conversations. He lost 95% of his hearing about 10 years ago and often relies on reading lips to “listen” to what other people are saying. Singh toured the coffee farm and learned about the farmer’s process for growing and harvesting the beans. He already knew that, often, the farmer had to settle for less than a fair price. 

They parted with a handshake and Singh began to dream of starting his own coffee business. “I want farmers to have a better life, I want to pay them fairly,” Singh says. “What happens if you do not pay them fairly? Some farmers have committed suicide, some have sold their land. If there are no coffee farms, there is no coffee. A life without coffee is nothing.” 

Struggling to find his path

As a teenager, Singh began to lose his hearing. He adapted to his new normal and in 2012 he came to the Fox School. 

“Fox’s international business program is really diverse—there are a lot of students from different countries,” Singh says. “Students from China, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and India come here to study and we all get to learn from each other about different cultures.” 

As enthusiastic as he was about Fox, Singh struggled to adjust. Trying to read the lecturers’ lips was not easy for him; he often felt confused and anxious. By 2013, he faced academic dismissal, so he decided to travel and find opportunities to volunteer. As a Sikh, he took up Seva, or service, and traveled to Turkey, Syria and Nepal. Following an earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal, Singh volunteered to help clear the rubble and search for survivors. Singh said the travel and volunteer work helped “put my mind and soul back together.” 

Hearing loss is not a disability; not listening is  

In 2016, he returned to Fox and his lip-reading skills improved. Taking online classes worked well for him. His grades improved, but he still struggled at times. The key, Singh says, was that he never lost hope. 

Singh attempted to find internships and other job opportunities, but he was turned down, occasionally because of his hearing loss. Singh learned to turn that rejection into a source of inspiration after realizing that the true disability was others’ inability to listen to him and see his value. 

“I used to think my hearing disability was my obstacle until one day I realized that was not true,” Singh says. “It did not matter that I had 95% hearing loss, it is the people who cannot see what I can do that are the obstacle.” 

He decided if he could not get hired, he would run his own business. 

In 2017, he cashed in stocks and started two companies, one based on turning real estate into Airbnb locations and the other, partially inspired by that conversation with a Brazilian farmer, was Maharajah Coffee. 

Singh’s model is simple: he finds quality coffee grown at organic farms and he pays farmers fair market value. 

“I want farmers to harvest their seeds with happiness,” Singh says. “If a farmer harvests their seed with depression or sadness, the coffee will be bitter.” 

Earlier this year, in January, he went to Kenya to visit his father’s family, and, of course, meet some farmers to try some coffee. He felt welcomed by the Maasai tribe and was intrigued by the strong coffee grown in the red soil of the Kenyan mountainsides. 

On Jan. 15, 2019, while Singh and his cousin, a government official, were traveling through Nairobi, there was an explosion and several gunmen started firing on a crowd. After the gunfire died down, the men hid in the car for about an hour before they climbed out of the bullet-riddled vehicle and ran for home. 

“The coffee business can be risky sometimes,” Singh says, noting that in many countries, the areas filled with coffee farms are also known hideouts for criminals and terrorists. But Singh was not deterred. 

By February, Singh started selling coffee from Sumatra, Ethiopia, Brazil and Kenya. He sells one-pound bags of whole beans or coffee grounds online through Amazon and plans to open a shop in the U.K. 

Courage and hope

“In the future I do hope to become a motivational speaker to inspire others and help them succeed,” Singh says. “When you are going through hell, there are three things to keep in mind: keep smiling, have hope and don’t let yourself down.”

Money is at the forefront of the way we think about business—how can you make your company, and in turn yourself, more profitable? A recent Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey reports that “92% of surveyed corporate human resources executives agree that contributing business skills and expertise to a nonprofit can be an effective way to improve employees’ leadership and broader professional skill sets.”

We agree. That’s why the Fox School offers a well-rounded business education. In the classroom and the community, these three alumni gained tangible skills that empowered them to carry forward altruistic efforts that enhanced their personal and professional lives.

1. Empowering the next generation 

Photo of Melany Bustillos
Photo by Joe Labolito

MELANY BUSTILLOS, BBA ’16, believes that lifting up others is the key to helping the city of Philadelphia thrive. As the education officer for Prospanica, a nonprofit supporting the educational, economic and social success of Hispanic professionals, Bustillos encourages young adults to understand the value of education. She discovered her passion for mentoring students when volunteering in the Philadelphia public school system.

“A lot of kids feel like they can’t have big dreams or aspirations because their future is just set to what it is,” says Bustillos. Experiencing that response firsthand, Bustillos knew she needed to be a part of an organization that showed students the ways education could make their dreams a reality.

Bustillos works with local Philadelphia universities to foster relationships with students and transition them from campus life into career management through workshops on financial literacy, community service and personal branding. Bustillos serves on Prospanica’s board while working full time at Cigna as a risk and underwriting senior analyst. She also serves as a lead for Cigna’s Colleague Resource Group. She volunteers in a role that leverages cultural insights and connections to innovate approaches and solutions to increase engagement, performance and career mobility, while building enterprise capabilities to address the needs of diverse customers.

Bustillos continues to pursue opportunities in advocacy, and by investing in the next generation, she works to build the foundation for a smarter Philadelphia.

2. Studying the business of medicine

Nish Shailendra photo
Photo by Joe Labolito

For NISHANTH SHAILENDRA, MBA ’18, finding a career in analytics was a driving force throughout his time in the Fox Global MBA program, but he didn’t know which industry to enter—until he discovered healthcare through networking with classmates. “I was very curious how the industry operates because what surprises me in the U.S. is the high cost of healthcare,” says Shailendra. Originally from Bangalore, India—a country with drastically different medical costs, quality of care and infrastructure than the U.S.—Shailendra wanted to better understand healthcare here and its unique set of challenges. In his role as business analytics administrator for Cooper University Healthcare, Shailendra uses data to improve affordability and accessibility for patients.

“We are trying our best to make sure that any patient that comes in does not need to come back. By reducing readmission and improving access, such as not waiting long to get an appointment when you’re sick, we’re working toward a healthier community,” says Shailendra.

As for his personal life, Shailendra plans on translating his experience at Cooper University Healthcare to improve aspects that the healthcare system lacks in his native country. “I believe that the quality of care in the U.S. is one of the best, but there are cons—like the high costs. My goal is to take the ‘pros’ back to India and apply my experience to improve the health and wellness of the community there.”

3. Encouraging nonprofit work for all

Linda McAleer in office
Photo by Joe Labolito

 LINDA MCALEER, MBA ’74, is the president of The Meilor Group, a strategic marketing research and consulting firm in Center City. McAleer also serves on three nonprofit boards and advocates that her employees do the same. “Part of the mission of The Melior Group is to give back; it’s part of the culture. Each employee is active or involved in at least one mission-based organization,” says McAleer. She believes nonprofit work supports well-rounded professional growth and has an impressive track record to prove it.

McAleer came to her nonprofit role as chair of the Philadelphia-area National Multiple Sclerosis Society and board membership at both JEVS (formerly Jewish Employment and Vocational Service) and Career Wardrobe through understanding the needs of those around her. When her sister was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in the mid-90s, accessing information and resources was difficult. She joined the National MS Society and was immediately tasked with fundraising. “I didn’t know how to raise money, but I said I’ll figure it out—like we do as Temple grads. We figure it out and solve problems,” says McAleer.

Most recently, McAleer supports Philadelphia’s new MS Navigator Program that helps those newly diagnosed (and those with needs) by providing information about insurance, home modifications, support to live independently and other services. She also promotes the Bike MS: City to Shore Ride, one of the most successful fundraising events in the country that allows participants to have fun, raise money and see the difference the MS Society is making.

Virtual Reality in Charles Library
Virtual Reality in Charles Library

In 1966, Time magazine prophesied that “machines will be producing so much that everyone in the U.S. will, in effect, be independently wealthy.” Unfortunately for most of us, that prediction did not come to fruition and technology has not become the universal retirement plan. But more than ever before, the business world is focused on using technology to work smarter. 

Fox faculty share predictions about trends we are likely to see in 2020, so we can prepare to embrace the changes ahead.  

Big data will demystify consumer behavior 

“Big data and AI will continue to help us understand consumer psychology. However, if used as stand-alone tools, they can be misleading. The future of marketing is AI talking to consumers directly,” says Monica Wadhwa, associate professor in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management. Her research focuses on understanding the motivational and affective determinants of consumer decision making.

Tech-fin will change how consumers interact with their finances

“As the rise of quantum computing results in more effective AI and machine learning, we will likely see more tech-fin (instead of fin-tech) being used across the financial sector. Where fin-tech is used in the finance industry to do things like improve customer experiences, tech-fin solutions change how users interact with the industry overall. This will result in things like an increased push toward digital asset management,” says Bora Ozkan, assistant professor of finance and the academic director of the Fox Online MBA and Online BBA programs. Ozkan’s research interests are corporate finance, emerging markets real estate and business education.

Data will change the relationship between employers and employees 

“We will likely see continued growth in business law and the compliance sector related to cyber-security, predictive analytics, and sexual harassment and workplace culture,” says Leora Eisenstadt, assistant professor in the Department of Legal Studies. “As firms increasingly turn to data analytics to assist in all aspects of hiring and talent management; as employee and customer data becomes both essential and vulnerable; and as the #MeToo movement continues to drive new legal claims, compliance initiatives will continue to grow in both size and importance.” Eisenstadt’s areas of scholarship and interest include employment law, business law, law and linguistics, work-family conflict, sex discrimination, race and the law, and public policy.

Increased integration will strengthen Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management

“My prediction is that 2020 will bring further integration of Enterprise Risk Management and Alternative Risk Financing to address strategic and operational risk issues,” says M. Michael Zuckerman, associate professor in the Department of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management. “We [employees, customers, shareholders, regulators, etc.] will observe increased Organizational Board of Directors’ scrutiny over Risk Management. We will do this in order to gain assurance that the entity is resilient and able to manage threats that could disrupt its operations.” 

Zuckerman also serves as the academic director for the department’s Enterprise Risk Management initiative. 

Accountants will leverage big data to make better decisions 

“The continued acceleration of technology and digital innovation will change the accounting industry. Businesses will continue to leverage big data and analytics to provide more accurate information to make better decisions,” says Elizabeth A. Gordon, professor and chair of the Department of Accounting at the Fox School. “Automation and AI will become more pervasive and simplify and increase the efficiency of operations. Cloud computing will continue to grow.” 

Gordon specializes in the areas of financial reporting and international accounting investigating topics such as international financial reporting standards, corporate communications, executive compensation, related party transactions, accounting restatements, market development and corporate disclosure.

The Fox faculty informs the future of the business world. To learn more about that work and the future of the Fox School, visit the 2025 Strategic Planning website.

In this new section of the Fox School alumni magazine Fox Focus, the editorial team interviews Fox employees about what extra knowledge, credentials and support they offer students and alumni. Here, our faculty and staff share the ways in which they do everything they can to empower our students and alumni to reach their full potential and achieve personal and professional fulfillment.

Born, raised and educated in Philadelphia, Kamina Richardson, assistant program director and pre-law advisor for the Department of Legal Studies, has a strong desire to give back to the local community. Richardson is certified in American Sign Language (ASL), Safe Zone and Narcan/Overdose Reversal. She is committed to and passionate about providing knowledge, resources and services to meet the needs of Fox undergraduate students and alumni. 

Why did you pursue an ASL certification? 

Kamina Richardson headshot
Kamina Richardson

I grew up with a deaf brother, and I really came to understand his struggles. When I learned that Temple offered an ASL certification, I enrolled because I realized there is no ASL translator at Fox. I believe we need one in order to best support our efforts to be diverse and inclusive, and I would like to be an interpreter nationally and at Fox events. I started two years ago and completed the certification in May. I believe this will help our community because we have a large population of students with disabilities at the school.

What does your Safe Zone certification mean to you? 

I’m a minority and I understand the stereotypes and assumptions that people have. The LGBTQIA community suffers from this too. I am willing to listen and understand the different kinds of things they go through, especially in college. I want to open my door for advising and to offer a safe space to talk so that people can vent about the frustrations of coming out or figuring out who they are when it comes to gender identity. 

Safe Zone is a two-day training that involves looking at assumptions that we may have regarding LGBTQIA. The training highlighted the privileges of those outside of the community and how we can be more understanding to those inside it. Through the training, I learned that there are different ways to talk about gender identity that won’t discriminate against members of the LGBTQIA community. If people come to me with questions, I can speak to them about this and other topics.

What led you to pursue a Narcan/Overdose Reversal certification? 

I’m from North Philadelphia, which is one of the places impacted by drug issues. Drug addiction is intense, and students are often open to drugs without realizing the consequences of their choices. Some may need liquid courage or a pick-me-up for school and they don’t realize some substances can be deadly. I got this certification because I want to be there in a moment’s notice if a student is having an overdose on campus or in the community. It’s necessary, especially with young minds who are trying to figure out who they are.

What are your personal goals for your work at the Fox School? 

I understand what it is like to be a student and to feel lost. My goal is to be a resource for as much information and as many services as possible. I never want to be in a position where I don’t know something that would help a student. Next, I’m going to get certified in Spanish to better support the local Hispanic community.

The issue of food insecurity at college is one that often goes unnoticed. For most, the burden of paying tuition is undeniably overwhelming—but many do not realize that there are students who have to choose between lunch or textbooks. Luckily, groups at Temple University are working to bring more awareness and assistance to those in need.

Donated cans in the shape of an owl
Sculpture from Fox’s Business Communications office

Hunter Speakman, a freshman in the Temple University Management Consulting Program (TUMCP), heard a colleague mention “can sculptures” as a team-building exercise. Speakman, along with his peers and the program’s academic director Tony Seeton, assistant professor of strategic management, decided this could be a great opportunity for students to give back to their community. 

On Dec. 6, Speakman and his team organized a contest where Temple University community members made elaborate sculptures out of donated canned goods. The event aimed to raise awareness and gather food for the Cherry Pantry, a Temple program dedicated to providing students in need access to healthy and nutritious food. The Cherry Pantry, located on the second floor of the Howard Gittis Student Center, is the main source of emergency food for students on campus.

“There was a recent survey done in colleges in the United States that found 30% of college students are food insecure,” Speakman explains. “The pantry told us they typically get about 175 students a week. But with a campus of tens of thousands of students, there are definitely more than that who are in need.”

By hosting the event, Speakman was hoping to raise awareness and support the Cherry Pantry in their efforts. But the turnout was greater than he could have imagined.

Overall, nine major campus organizations competed in the event: Fox Graduate Admissions, Morgan Hall North, the international women’s music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota, Temple Towers, the Student Collaboration Center, Temple Ambler, the Fox Business Communications Center, the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Institute and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

The only rule of the competition was that the cans had to remain intact and with the labels on. Even so, that didn’t keep the competitors from coming up with some unique structures.

Bell Tower shaped can sculpture
Student Collaboration Center sculpture of the Bell Tower

“Each group made an entirely different structure. One built an owl, another one the Bell Tower. One group even made a space shuttle,” says Speakman. 

The Student Collaboration Center won the competition with their sculpture of the Bell Tower. The Fox Business Communication Center and Temple Ambler were runners up. The Fox School’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations, led by Assistant Dean James Hansen, sponsored prizes for the winners. 

The scale of the event was “much larger than we could’ve imagined,” says Speakman. Participants donated about 750 pounds of cans, plus 250 additional nonperishable goods. 

The impact of a fun, creative event like this goes way beyond just constructing with cans. It is a demonstration of the school’s commitment to an engaged community, a pillar of the Fox Strategic Plan. Speakman, along with the participants from across the university, recognizes that this sense of community and support is crucial to eliminating food insecurity at Temple. 

“There are so many students just coming to college that already have a lot of financial pressure put on them and their family,” says Speakman. “So to have access to a can of soup, some beans or pasta is a huge help so they don’t have to worry about what they’re eating.”

Speakman and the TUMCP team proved that a community that comes together ”can” make a change.

Support the Cherry Pantry by visiting their website.

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

“You don’t get the same effect when you are exclusively in a classroom,” says current Fellow Colin O’Shea.

Student running in race
Girls on the Run is one of the participating nonprofits in the Fox Board Fellows program. [Courtesy of Girls on the Run]
Learning by doing is the way Temple University’s Fox Board Fellows get things done. 

Since 2011, more than 95 nonprofit organizations in the Philadelphia area have benefitted from the work done by more than 180 graduate students at the Fox School of Business.

“This is a really rich relationship from our perspective,” Professor T.L. Hill, managing director of Fox Management Consulting (FMC), says. “It’s the best way for our students to learn as well as provide good service to the nonprofits.”

After an application and interview process, graduate students are placed on nonprofit boards as visiting, non-voting members. Fellows then work with their partner nonprofits on a higher-level project and produce a research report as part of the elective Non-Profit Governance graduate course taught by Hill.

In the latest cohort, 18 students in several programs were matched with 18 nonprofits serving a range of communities and interests in the Delaware Valley. The fellows work with their organization over the course of an academic year, allowing participants to gain an in-depth understanding of board governance and practice effective board membership.

“You don’t get the same effect when you are exclusively in a classroom,” says current fellow Colin O’Shea. “So being able to actually sit on the board of an organization is such a deep dive and a great opportunity and learning experience.”

O’Shea is now part of the effort at Philadelphia Youth Basketball, a sports-based youth development organization that works to create opportunities for young people to reach their potential as students, athletes and positive leaders.

“We are really looking forward to this opportunity,” says Diana Venezia, MS ’17, director of development at the organization. “These past few months have been a time of learning for all of us and we are really excited.”

Stressing that this experience goes deeper than an internship, Hill encourages nonprofit leaders to challenge their fellows by allowing them to delve into what he calls the “ownership and institutional pressures” required to meet an organization’s mission. 

Philadelphia Youth Basketball team
Philadelphia Youth Basketball is a nonprofit organization focused on empowering young people as students, athletes and positive leaders. [Courtesy Philadelphia Youth Basketball]
The ownership pressures have to do with whether or not a nonprofit has the assets and the foundation to do what the work it wants to do. The institutional pressures involve culture on both the board and within the organization and it stakeholders.

“These are areas where there might be really interesting, useful projects that will help the board and the organization move forward in a way that the nonprofit might not have the capacity to think about,” Hill says.

The program is structured around a series of four Saturday seminars at Temple’s Main Campus as well as time the fellows spend working directly with their nonprofit. The seminar topics cover the basic governance issues that many boards face including nonprofit economics, impact measurement, management of the executive director and finances. 

 “Depending on the projects the students are working on, special topics also emerge,” Hill says.

In the past there have been discussions about earned income streams, leadership succession and merger discussions.

“Throughout it all, the project and the research is the core piece,” Hill says, adding that the overall experience prepares the fellows for future board service.

Fellow Chris Barba, who has been paired with the Montgomery and Delaware County-based nonprofit Girls on the Run, will be working on several areas including program growth, fundraising and overall strategy.

The organization, with international headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, uses a curriculum-based program that creatively integrates running to deliver a social, emotional and motivational learning experience.

“I have, and will always have, a social sector top-of-mind focus and Fox Board Fellows allows me the opportunity to continue to do this work.” 

“I’m excited to really contribute to the goal of how to make growth happen for this organization,” Barba says.

Tracy Ashdale, founder and executive director of the local council, believes in the power of the experience the fellow has on both themselves and her organization.

“The fellows bring a level of curiosity and inquiry with them,” Ashdale, BSW ’92, MSW ’94,  says. “The experience offers the opportunity to see things differently from what we generally see. That often translates into innovation for our organization.”

Venezia adds the original project Philadelphia Youth Basketball had in mind went through some changes and evolved as O’Shea and the organization got to know each other better.

“Our original idea pivoted from an analysis of our donor database and email strategy to a new focus on volunteer engagement and streamlining that process,” she says. “There is a huge opportunity for growth for us and it can be a missed opportunity.

“But after our both our internal conversations and our meetings with Colin, we have a better idea now of what we need and where we need to go. Colin gets us and that’s great for everyone.”

For more information about the program, contact Maureen Cannon, maureen.cannon@temple.edu.

Dean Anderson being Interviewed

For more than a year, representatives of the Fox community have been working to pave the path for the school’s future. Since announcing the Fox Strategic Plan 2025 in October, Dean Ronald Anderson and the school’s leadership team have been planning ways to support the four pillars that outline our future.

As the Fox School works towards transforming student lives, developing leaders, and impacting our local and global communities through excellence and innovation in education and research, Dean Anderson elaborates on what a successful implementation plan means to him.

How will the Strategic Plan lead the Fox School into the future? 

When you examine what the workforce may look like over the next several decades, it is dramatically different from what it is today or was 20 years ago. The Strategic Plan will position the Fox School as one of the leading business schools of the 21st century by building on a solid foundation of our four pillars: Educational Innovation, Research Leadership, Inclusive Workplace Culture and a focus on Community Engagement. 

Educational Innovation is about delivering a curriculum and content that builds business leaders who will perform in the evolving marketplace over the next several decades. We strive to deliver educational experiences in a manner that best prepare our students for the future of work.

Being a research leader in business education means that we will commit to expanding research beyond the academic world. We will impact the way managers think about their business and the way industries operate. That requires translating research into impactful ideas that serve the business community. 

What is the Fox School doing to engage an inclusive and diverse community?

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) are important issues to us. The Fox School is creating DEI initiatives in several forms. We are in the process of identifying and will follow best practices and principles supported by DEI awareness events and training to mirror DEI advancements in industry. 

We will facilitate and support collaborative work between and among Fox faculty and staff, including formal recognition of impactful joint activities, and purposeful school-wide communication of activities and achievements. We need to continue to grow as a place where everyone feels welcome and where everyone believes they can make a difference and impact student outcomes. That is why we need to continue to cultivate an inclusive workplace where all of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, business and social partners and all of our stakeholders can thrive. 

How does the Strategic Plan increase students’ access to a business education?

Through a collaborative effort between the Fox School, the Freire Foundation and Build the Future Education Collaborative, we launched an initiative to recruit students from Freire and Freire Tech high schools to give students the tools and skills they need to succeed in college. The Fox School provides college mentors to the students in the classroom, as well as additional support to their originating high schools. The Fox School, with support from other Temple University offices, will provide these high schools and their students with workshops on career counseling, financial literacy and college admissions. 

This is one way we strive to empower Philadelphian residents. We also will emphasize collaboration with others at our school, our sister schools here at Temple, our neighborhood in North Philadelphia, the city of Philadelphia, the U.S. and the global business communities. We want to create a vibrant society where everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential. Part of that process is building a more robust relationship with our alumni and corporate partners—allowing them to have a role in serving our students, our colleagues and our neighbors. I look forward to sharing more updates on the activities and programs that support this effort in the future.

How does the plan impact the business world?

Each year, we graduate a class of future professionals for the business world. By creating quality education, we put businesses in a position to prosper by hiring students that increase productivity, engage in problem-solving and bring new, innovative ideas to the workplace. 

The Fox School has a tremendous experiential learning-focused curriculum that puts our students in a position to succeed. They learn how decisions are made, often in real-time through interaction with today’s business leaders. We want corporations and graduate schools to recognize that Fox students are the best in the marketplace. We want those corporations and graduate schools to line up to hire Fox students and alumni. 

How will the plan enhance school? 

We are evolving our culture to meet the demands of the business world, not just today, but for decades to come. If you look at this plan you will see the hands of numerous stakeholders, from students and faculty to staff administrators and alumni. 

What comes next for the implementation of the plan?

The planning process is almost complete. We are identifying the key performance indicators (KPIs) for initiatives, and the next steps are to execute those initiatives, measure these and report out to the Fox community. We want everyone to know where we are going so they can hold us accountable.

We are reinforcing our experiential-learning focus with the data-driven, emotionally intelligent insights that will serve our students and the business world for decades to come. The educational experiences we offer students are impactful, and we are looking at initiatives that will enhance those experiences to match the evolving market. 

We also want to reach the wider world with our research. We are taking steps to translate academic research through efforts like the Translational Research Center (TRC) and by prioritizing researchers’ capacity for writing and presenting their research to non-academic audiences. 

To learn more about this initiative and the vision for the future of Fox School of Business, visit the Fox Strategic Plan 2025 website.

Freire students
The first Freire class with Senior Vice Dean Debbie Campbell

Temple University’s Fox School of Business is expanding its partnership with the Freire Charter School System to offer Philadelphia high school students the opportunity to learn that they can thrive in higher education.

Two young men are playing “Connect Four” at the back of a room on the first floor of 1810 Liacouras Walk. They are not in a lecture hall or a high-tech computer lab. They want to start their own business, so naturally, they are eating cookies, downing small plastic cups of iced tea and dreaming big.

They are standing with a half-dozen other teens in the incubator at Temple University’s Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (IEI) late in the afternoon on Nov. 6 for an information session about the B4USoar program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. The teens are looking for inspiration, for mentorship and, more than anything, for something new to learn.

The B4USoar program started with a single course in the Spring of 2019, but now Temple University is quintupling its investment in the program. That first course, Create and Innovate, brought together 15 high school students from the Freire Charter School System and more than a dozen Temple undergraduate students. It was the brainchild of Debbie Campbell, senior vice dean at the Fox School, and Hilda Bacon, director of community partnerships and engagement at Build the Future Education Collaborative, a nonprofit that supports education opportunities at the Friere schools. 

The goal was to increase access to high-quality business education and show the Freire students they could thrive in higher education. By all accounts, that first course was a success, and as a result, the program is expanding. 

“Russell Conwell built Temple on the idea that there were people, diamonds, in this city, whom he could educate and in doing that, improve the lives of the entire community,” says Campbell. 

The Fox School will offer two courses in the Spring of 2020. Michelle Histand, director of innovation at Independence Blue Cross and an adjunct professor at the Fox School, is returning to teach the Create and Innovate course which was offered previously. Ellen Weber, executive director of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute, is teaching the new Empowerment through Entrepreneurship course. 

“The kids in that first Freire-Temple class were diamonds,” says Campbell. The class was fantastic and now we are adding a second business course and looking for more high school students to  prepare for college.”

Many of the Freire students come from financially-challenging backgrounds and for some, there are hurdles to achieving their dreams. In Philadelphia, about 37 percent of the city’s children live below the federal poverty line, according to a study by The Pew Charitable Trust. Of those Philadelphians living below the poverty line, 29 percent did not finish high school, 68 percent did not pursue higher education at all and 87 percent did not achieve a bachelor’s degree. 

According to a 2015 report by the Brookings Institute, low-income families are at a disadvantage in participating in their children’s success in post-secondary education. The institute pointed to a high rate of low-income students failing to complete their degrees. The institute cited several factors for these circumstances: poor preparation, limited funding and limited knowledge of the world of higher education.

B4USoar addresses the “limited knowledge of the world of higher education” and poor preparation challenges that confront many first-generation college students. 

The Freire students partner with Temple students who mentor them throughout the program. They plan projects together, study and create a network of support.

Campbell said the Fox School plans to add at least one more business course and would like to partner with other general education programs at other schools in the university as the program expands.

“The Freire Charter Schools and the Fox School opened these students’ eyes in a way that empowered them to see their potential and the potential in the world around them,” says Hilda Bacon, director of community partnerships and engagement for a nonprofit organization that works with the Freire schools. “They know they can make the world brighter. That might be the most important part of this program, showing kids that a high school student from Pennsylvania can change the world.”

As the informational session ended, 17-year-old Cameron Johnson, who has already taken the Create and Innovate course, said she was thinking of going to Temple University after graduation next year. 

The B4USoar program starts again in the Spring 2020 semester. The Freire students go through a rigorous selection process. Temple students are able to apply to the courses through the normal registration process. 

To learn more about this initiative and the vision for the future of Fox School of Business, visit the Fox Strategic Plan 2025 website.

TU_AMA Group
The American Marketing Association at Fox

Fox School students understand the importance of business and philanthropy working hand-in-hand. Amanda Carey, director of outreach for College Council, oversees all student professional organizations and serves as a liaison between organizations and the university. To celebrate National Philanthropy Day, she discusses student professional organizations (SPOs) at the Fox School and their commitment to building a philanthropic community from Fox students. 

Why is philanthropy important to the Fox SPOs? 

“Philanthropy provides opportunities to give back to those who are in need,” said Carey. “A prominent component in business is giving back. Here at the Fox School, we strive to allow students to become immersed in the city we call home through community service projects.”

How are students engaging with philanthropic opportunities?

Fox students are actively engaging with community service programs through blood and food drives happening throughout the city. 

“The popularity of the blood drive in partnership with American Red Cross is so large that last year we had to turn away people who wanted to donate because we didn’t have the resources to accommodate for so many donors,” said Carey. “To ensure the same issue wouldn’t arise this year, we raised our donor goal. The [Philabundance] food drive also attracts many students because of the prevalent food insecurity issue we have here in Philadelphia.” 

What new opportunities for philanthropy will College Council provide?

The Fox College Council is continuously looking for new ways to expand their outreach and get more students involved. “This year, we are introducing a clothing drive to benefit the Hub of Hope,” said Carey. “This drive is going to take place right before we leave for winter break. We look forward to helping keep our community members warm as the cold weather approaches!” 

Do you want to get involved with College Council or an SPO? Visit the SPO webpage for the full list of organizations. 

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Almost everyone who works has a boss. It’s no secret that the quality of this relationship can have a big impact on the lives of supervisors and employees alike. The best bosses provide mentorship, training and support for their direct reports, facilitating professional growth and success for their team. But is it possible for employees, through their actions on the job, to impact their bosses as well? 

Soonjung Han
Soonjung Han

Soojung Han, a PhD candidate in the Fox Department of Human Resource Management, thought so. During her five years as the first woman engineer at a South Korean petrochemical company, she had an outstanding relationship with her boss, who gave her an unusual amount of autonomy, respect and trust. 

“I knew it was out of the ordinary from talking with my friends about their jobs, and I also knew it was important,” says Han. Every time her supervisor acknowledged her work or granted her additional responsibilities, she wanted to do an even better job. The experience had such a profound impact on her that when Han decided to pursue her PhD, she chose to focus her research on just this style of empowering leadership. Her personal connection to the subject is perhaps one reason her scholarship had been so exceptional.

Han and her colleagues’ recent paper, “Examining why employee proactive personality influences empowering leadership: The roles of cognition- and affect-based trust,” explores this territory. The research was published in May in the prestigious Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology. A publication of that caliber is a rare achievement for someone who is still a student. This fall, Han assumed a faculty position at Cal State Los Angeles. 

Employee proactivity is often the catalyst for supervisors to grant workers greater autonomy and more responsibility, which increases employee engagement, productivity and job performance. Given the importance of these self-starters in the workplace, the proactive personality type is of great interest to researchers. However, to date, most of the research has focused on employee-centered outcomes, such as the relationship between proactive personality and career success. But the complex ways that an employee’s proactive style may affect his or her supervisor has been largely overlooked by scholars. That’s why Han decided to turn her attention to how these proactive employees affect their bosses. 

“The proactive personality type is defined as someone who makes changes in their environment, so we suspected that these employees might change their supervisors as well,” she says. She gathered more than 100 pairs of supervisors and employees and surveyed them to assess the qualities in question: proactive personality, empowering leadership and supervisor trust. Via questionnaires, employees rated their own proactive personality traits and their boss’s leadership style, while leaders scored their direct report’s level of trust in an employee. 

Han’s research examines two types of trust typical of work relationships: Cognition-based trust, which is based on logic and facts regarding an employee’s work responsibilities, and affect-based trust, which boils downs to whether or not a supervisor personally likes his or her direct report. 

To test their hypotheses, Han and her coauthors used statistical models, including hierarchical multiple regressions, to analyze the data. The team found that supervisors were more trusting of employees with proactive personalities and thus were more likely to empower them.

“It’s risky for leaders to let employees make decisions,” says Han. “What if they lack skills or, worse, what if they take advantage of less supervision and more autonomy?” 

Her work shows that, in spite of the risks, the payoff can be significant for an organization. Empowering leadership pays tangible dividends. “Previous research has supported that empowering leadership is associated with a host of positive outcomes, including increased psychological empowerment, task performance and citizenship behaviors for both individuals and teams,” says Han. She recommends that companies work on building both cognitive-based trust, through formal skill-building training, and affect-based trust, by taking the time to plan and invest in social events and team building. 

This specific research paper gives the edge to affect-based trust—likability. But Han cautions that the two types of trust are more interrelated than they may first appear. “Though it seems like affect-based trust shows a stronger effect, its impact on empowering leadership is less likely to occur when cognition-based trust is low,” says Han. “Therefore, both cognition- and affect- trust are important to induce leaders’ empowering behaviors. 

Her research also speaks to the importance of improved screening of prospective employees. It pays to be able to identify new hires who will consistently demonstrate proactive behaviors at work, not just say they will during a job interview. Han believes tools like personality tests and questionnaires that assess proactive traits specifically would be helpful as companies seek to fill their ranks with these go-getters. 

“As we can see, their proactive style benefits not only the employees themselves, but their supervisors, too,” says Han.

This article was originally published in On The Verge, the Fox School’s flagship research magazine. For more stories, visit www.fox.temple.edu/ontheverge.

Photo of computer servers Big data is a buzzword everywhere in the business world, but there are a few specific sectors where this revolution is making an especially big impact: information systems, operations management and healthcare. 

That’s why Subodha Kumar, the Paul R. Anderson Distinguished Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the Fox School, turned his attention to these areas. While big data experts across the board have breakthroughs in their individual fields, Kumar’s research focuses on the importance of sharing these advancements, as well as the data and systems that made them possible. Cross-pollination of ideas will be the key to future progress, according to Kumar.

The insights Kumar gleaned from his analysis of the existing academic research in these specific sectors informed his predictions and recommendations for how businesses might harness big data s in the future. “The whole idea is that there have been a lot of discussions and a lot of research about how big data is impacting the industry, but less attention has been paid to how all the different work in big data fits together, how it is connected,” says Kumar. 

For this research, Kumar picked three areas where some of the most interesting and innovative developments in big data are happening. These are areas where massive amounts of data aren’t simply being collected, but that data is also being analyzed and put to use. Take healthcare as an example: As entities across the healthcare space, such as hospital systems, begin to combine their data sets, you can create more intelligence and make better inferences.

“But whenever you have data from many sources, you need smarter systems to read all this data and make sense of it. How can we create algorithms to help doctors make better diagnoses? That requires new and different thinking,” says Kumar. 

As researchers learn how doctors use an enormous database of cancer patients worldwide to settle on effective treatment more quickly, experts in the information systems space are racing to find effective ways to work with the massive flood of data like text, photos and video generated by social media use. Meanwhile, operations management experts perfect the algorithms needed to detect fake online product reviews.

“In different industries, people are very siloed. Healthcare people are only worried about healthcare,” says Kumar. Competition has made firms secretive, reluctant to share and combine their data and methods, but this fear often does more harm than good, according to Kumar. “We really need to learn from each other. What would happen if Amazon were more open to learning from how hospital systems use big data and vice versa?”

To that end, his research synthesizes what is already known from research in these three key areas to create a framework for thinking about big data going forward and how these disparate learnings and datasets can be put together for the greater good. “Our research shows that even direct competitors can benefit from sharing data,” says Kumar. 

He points out that as data collection devices (including smartphones, smart speakers like Alexa and wearable devices like Fitbit) proliferate and more data-producing machines infiltrate everyday life, business opportunities and challenges will grow. It’s only a matter of time before people live with smart refrigerators that track your calories and driverless cars that know your daily routine and pinpoint your real-time location. 

Unless everyone interested in big data learns to share and solve problems together, missed opportunities will continue, costing firms time and money. “Right now a lot of the data being generated from social media and other sources is not being collected or analyzed in a way that makes it meaningful or useful,” says Kumar. His research could change that. 

Kumar outlines a proposed framework for mapping big data applications and insights across industries in his recent research paper, “Emergence of Big Data Research in Operations Management, Information Systems, and Healthcare: Past Contributions and Future Roadmap,” published in the journal Production and Operations Management. “The framework essentially provides a breakdown of different topics that have been investigated and what could emerge because of new advancements,” explains Kumar. 

Looking to the future, Kumar sees some specific sub-areas of the domains he studied where big data will make an even more significant impact and improvements in business. His proposed future roadmap points to cloud computing, the internet of things and smart cities, predictive manufacturing and 3D printing, and smart healthcare as the likely places big data will flourish most dramatically in the years to come. The possible developments have the potential to change the quality of life for people around the world. 

As boundaries between these once discrete domains continue to fade, big data emerges as a powerful common denominator. Up until now, the focus has been on how to get more and more data. But, according to Kumar, the focus must shift into how this data can be combined and analyzed to make sense of it. Without context, the data is little more than ones and zeroes.

“This research is about how can we generate value for the whole society from this data by collecting, analyzing and sharing data,” says Kumar.

Micro-Influencer illustration
Illustration by Scotty Reifsnyder

“Nano-marketing” is more than just a buzzword—it’s a way for companies to capitalize on the current trend of personalized and authentic marketing. 

As the millennial generation has grown—both in size and purchasing power—to be the largest demographic segment in the country, companies are trying hard to gain their attention. “As a whole, this group of 80 million prefers photos and mini-videos that are visually appealing and can be processed quickly,” says Jay I. Sinha, associate professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the Fox School. “That is part of the reason why we’ve seen a tremendous surge in the popularity of visual platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and YouTube, among others.” 

Together with Thomas Fung, assistant professor of instruction, Sinha advises the “Right Way to Market to Millennials.” 

Who are Micro-Influencers?

It may seem like everyone is “Insta-famous” these days. Micro-influencers are social media personalities who have cultivated their defined brand and fan base, typically between 1,000 and 100,000 people, with very specific areas of focus. 

For example, Melissa Alam, BBA ’10, a brand strategist, shares her recommendations for food and drink locations around Philadelphia. She has cultivated relationships with companies like Starr Restaurants and Drink Nation to arrange giveaways of gift cards and event tickets for her 11,000 followers on Instagram. “I’ve been hired as an influencer and worked with many large brands,” says Alam. “I share all sides of my life so that people can relate to me both online and offline if they meet me in person.” 

“Micro-influencers bring credibility and authenticity,” says Fung, “typically due to their extroverted nature, relatability, and genuine passion in some niche field.” In Alam’s case, her followers may see her as a real person with insider knowledge and honest advice. “The internet is full of people showing off lavish lifestyles or reaching unattainable goals for the average person,” says Alam. “It’s so important to stay genuine, authentic and true to yourself and your personal brand if you’re trying to attract an honest following.” The grassroots feeling of this kind of marketing allows companies to address the unique needs of individuals through their relationships with micro-influencers.

Advice to Companies 

So what do companies need to know to take advantage of this new kind of marketing? 

1. Micro-influencers have their own brands and followers with very specific interests. 

“They provide opportunities for companies, big and small, to reach out to narrow and often difficult-to-access sub-populations,” says Sinha. For example, he shares that GE used micro-influencers to help find and recruit female technology specialists for the company. 

2. Micro-influencers are accomplished and personable storytellers. 

Millennials relate well to storytelling. “The best micro-influencers bring in their own personal narratives that mesh well with the brands they endorse,” says Fung. Micro-influencers have been able to build up their own personal brand by leveraging this skill, so companies should encourage sponsored influencers to incorporate their products or services into their own authentic narrative. 

3. Micro-influencers are not direct marketers. 

Traditional marketers may feel that the sponsored content is not coming across in an obvious way. But with micro-influencers, their endorsements should never feel forced. “Micro-influencers have finessed the subtle ‘nudge’ into an art form,” says Sinha. He notes that many influencers will refuse to accept relationships with brands or companies that are contrary to their own beliefs or interests, which would damage their credibility with their followers. 

Beware of Inauthenticity 

The biggest pitfall companies should avoid is appearing inauthentic. Millennials are discerning and skeptical consumers who will turn away quickly from a brand or company that they feel are trying too hard or selling out. “Young, creative micro-influencers know their audience well,” says Sinha. “Let them guide the positioning of the product.” 

By diligently finding the right micro-influencer to sponsor, companies of all sizes can cultivate marketing relationships that are interactive, personalized and authentic with the millennial generation.

This article is a sneak peek of the next issue of On The Verge, the Fox School’s flagship research magazine. For more stories, visit www.fox.temple.edu/ontheverge.

Wine in vinyard

Wine is a product that exudes elegance, class and strict regulations. For many wine producers, centuries-old regulations continue to guide their production and marketing. The rise in New World wine industries like the U.S., Chile, Australia and others—which are subject to far fewer rules— is threatening the success of Old World wine industries in Europe.

Kevin Fandl, associate professor of Legal Studies in Business at the Fox School of Business, delved into this topic to uncover how regulation affects the wine market. His research was supported by Temple University’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).

The idea was to look at both sides of the regulatory coin. That is, what impact do regulations have, positive or negative, on innovation in the wine sector,” says Fandl. “On the other end, how do regulations affect what consumers have access to when they select their wines and how do those preferences drive demand?”

To answer these questions, Fandl reviewed decades of winemaking legislation.

Kevin Fandl
Kevin Fandl

So how do Old World wines and New World wines differ? According to Fandl, “The difference is the history. The New World hasn’t been making wine [for centuries]. So, it hasn’t needed to regulate it except in the last fifty years. The Old World is fighting against centuries of legislation meant to protect the quality of their wines—regulations that are now constraining their ability to effectively market their products.”

This history that European wine companies are battling comes in the form of hundreds of years of inhibiting policies. From specific labeling guidelines to mandatory classifications of grapes, the European Union (EU) enforces strict protocols for its wine manufacturers.

“The regulations are meant to maintain high prices and high quality,” Fandl says. “That protectionist view is limiting European producers to older generations of wine drinkers. It’s ignoring their ability to innovate and sell to millennials.”

As Fandl wrote in his paper, “Regulatory Policy and Innovation in the Current Wine Market,” published in the American University International Law Review journal, millennials are the largest generation to consume wine since the baby boomers. “They are consuming, on average, 3.1 glasses of wine per sitting.” 

To better understand what these average consumers of wine are looking for, Fandl conducted an online survey of 500 American wine-drinkers.

Millennials seem more interested in the story behind the wine. They also like innovation; for example, screw caps, interesting labels and descriptions, or new marketing techniques.”

New World wine industries like the U.S. and Chile are implementing these techniques, while Old World wine companies are locked into traditional production and marketing techniques, either due to

strict regulations or an unwillingness to adapt. From his research, Fandl determined that “innovation is something that consumers demand” and the regulations in the European wine sector are preventing that innovation.

So, what impact do these findings have on the wine market?

“I hope it speaks to governments to help them appreciate the flexibility that a loose regulatory structure gives to their wine sectors and how important those wine sectors are to their economic development,” Fandl explains.“I also hope it speaks to vineyards to show that you really need to innovate if you want to stay alive in the current wine market.” 

This isn’t the end of Fandl’s research, either. He will be continuing this analysis by bringing in other countries and identifying the specific policies they should focus on changing. 

If there’s any hope for this regulation reform, Fandl says Old World wine companies need to “push for change. They need to advocate for regulatory change through their government, to allow them more flexibility.”

From Fandl’s findings, it’s evident that the Old World wine industry needs some flexibility if they want to stay competitive. If consumer demand is changing, it’s crucial for the product to change with it.

“Let consumers make the decision on what they believe is quality,” says Fandl.

Learn more about Fox School Research.

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.