Fox School of Business alumnus Justin Rosenberg is returning to his roots.
The founder and CEO of honeygrow, Rosenberg announced that he plans to open a location of his Philadelphia-based, fast-casual restaurant on Temple University’s campus in the fall. The store would utilize commercial space within Morgan Hall, a residence hall located at the southeast corner of Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.
With seven stores currently and plans to open nine more by the end of 2016, honeygrow offers fresh-to-order salads and stir-fries that are made with seasonal, local ingredients.
“Temple University is on the rise, and it’s a location that I’m beyond confident will work,” said Rosenberg, who earned his Fox Global MBA in 2009. “I’m a Temple guy, I wrote a chunk of my business plan for honeygrow at Alter Hall, and the business is very much a #TempleMade concept. This makes perfect sense.”
The Temple University location would feature an innovative interior design, new ordering kiosks, and seating for up to 50 patrons, Rosenberg said.
For Rosenberg, honeygrow’s upward progression in the last 12 months has been “moving pretty quickly,” he said. In June 2015, honeygrow received $25 million in investment funding from Miller Investment Management to support further expansion of honeygrow and updates to the company’s technology platform. This spring, Rosenberg said honeygrow’s corporate headquarters will relocate from Center City Philadelphia to the city’s Fishtown neighborhood.
“We’ve renovated a warehouse where we’ll have 30 corporate employees to supplement the 300 employees we have in the field,” he said. “That’s where we’ll have our commissary, where our chef and culinary director David Katz will work on our sauces, dressings, and beyond. There has always been a deep passion for the product – inclusive of where we are sourcing it to how we are training our staff to prepare it, care for it, and work with it. Everything counts.
“For 2016, with stores opening from Washington, D.C. to the New York City metro area, I couldn’t be more excited about honeygrow’s future than I am right now.”
Even in shaking hands with Sheila Hess, she vibrates with positive energy. Framed by the Philadelphia skyline in the near distance, she’s off talking about the city with an infectious and genuine enthusiasm that only makes sense for Mayor Jim Kenney’s newly appointed City Representative.
“Philadelphia just energizes me,” said Hess, 46.
Hess earned her undergraduate degree from Temple University’s Fox School of Business in 1991, with a concentration in Human Resource Administration (now Human Resource Management).
Her enthusiasm and genuine love for helping others pushed her resume to the top of the pile at Independence Blue Cross, where she would spend the next 24 years of her career working in human resources and making her mark upon the organization and Philadelphia. She met Kenney more than 20 years ago at a volunteer fundraiser. Inspired by his goals for the city, she volunteered for his recent mayoral campaign. Impressed with her panache and grasp on the city’s pulse, Kenney wanted her to represent the city.
“Once he offered me the job, I didn’t hear anything else he said. It was such a dream come true,” Hess said.
In addition to being an ambassador and a leader of the city’s official welcome wagon, as City Representative, Hess participates in meet-and-greets with anyone – from international dignitaries to the millions of visitors the city attracts. Hess also steps in as the face of the city when the mayor cannot attend events, bestowing city proclamations, citations, and ceremonial gifts in recognition of community organizations. She also is a steward of special events, including Police Athletic League (PAL) Day at City Hall, the Police and Fire Memorial Service, and the Mayor’s Centenarians’ Celebration.
Hess is already looking forward to placing Philadelphia in the national and international spotlight, building upon its Lonely Planet designation in February as a top U.S. destination, its new title of World Heritage City, and its selection to host the Democratic National Convention this August.
“A good leader has a good ear, and though we can’t change everything, we can make it work on some level,” Hess said. “It’s all about seamless communication and working together.”
Hess originally hails from California, but her family relocated to her mother’s native South Philadelphia neighborhood so Hess could receive treatment for spina bifida, a spinal cord birth defect, at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. When asked of her disability, Hess considers it a gift – one that allowed her to become a Philadelphian.
“I’m Philadelphia’s biggest fan,” Hess said. “I root for all of our sports teams, win or lose, and I always will.”
Hess’ passion for Philadelphia kept her close to home when she chose Temple. Raised in the city’s Catholic school system, she was drawn to Temple’s reputation and its innovative and diverse campus life. Having been a mathlete in high school, she pursued her skill with numbers and enrolled in the Fox School as a Finance major. However, her path would deviate as she realized her talents didn’t align with her heart’s desire. After one human resource course, she knew what she was meant to pursue.
“I could just see HR in my personality. I love being the face of an organization. That’s just inside me,” Hess said.
Hess works with several non-profits, including Back on My Feet and Variety – The Children’s Charity — a charity assisting children and youth with physical and developmental disabilities. In her limited free time, Hess and her husband, Mike, enjoy gardening. Always a fan of bringing out the best in something, Hess likes to buy wilted plants and nurse them back to life.
“It’s just fun to watch things grow,” Hess said.
Much like Philadelphia’s reputation, as its new City Represenative.
For Rens Buchwaldt, leading a company through potential financial turmoil is just another day at the office.
The former Chief Financial Officer and interim CEO of FloraHolland, the Netherland’s premier flower auction, has spent more than 30 years navigating the financial pitfalls of the world’s leading companies and yanking them from the brink of economic disaster.
“Staying one step ahead gives me the ability to lead,” Buchwaldt said. “Quite often the conclusion is obvious, but changing circumstances can convolute that. My job is to see through the distractions.”
Buchwaldt received his MBA from the Fox School of Business in 1984. Since attaining his graduate degree, his highly analytical mind has allowed him to navigate changing workplace dynamics—including the merger of two of the Netherland’s largest flower auctions to create FloraHolland.
Tapped to become its interim CEO when the merger yielded insufficient results and failed to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing market, Buchwaldt leveraged the talent of his staff so that FloraHolland’s combined strength was both fiscally responsible and dedicated to a quality product. During his tenure as interim CEO and later as its CFO, the company restructured for the first time in 100 years and eliminated a deficit that plagued its ability produce the flowers that made it famous.
“I’ve never been in a position to do anything by myself, and it’s key to assemble a team that balances out each personality and expertise,” Buchwaldt said. “I try to be more of a coach than a boss.”
Managing expectations and boosting morale was essential in his ability to pull Icon Media Lab — an internet consulting company — out of a sudden nose dive when the dot-com bubble burst. The company, formed during the height of Internet business development, quickly felt the effects of the shaky medium when its services became both defunct and too easily duplicated.
“The company just went under,” Buchwaldt said. “We slimmed down from 2000 to 800 people. That’s a hard situation in which to motivate people.”
For Buchwaldt, the kind of nimble maneuvering required to keep Icon Media Lab afloat was a part of the education he had attained as a graduate student at the Fox School of Business. (Originally from Bussum, a town located just 10 minutes outside of Amsterdam, Buchwaldt attended the Nyenrode Business University to receive his undergraduate business degree.) With a passion for finance, Buchwaldt augmented his skills by throwing himself in to the Fox School curriculum, finding particular success using Michael Porter’s highly lauded book, Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors.
“Temple’s MBA offered me a lot of interesting options,” Buchwaldt said. “The students were very serious and brought real-life experience. From a business perspective, it was an eye-opener.”
Buchwaldt entered the industry eager to gain the same real-life experience, and joined the National Cash Register (NCR) Corporation, a global computer hardware and online technology firm in Dayton, Ohio. Sitting at the table with senior executives, Buchwaldt relied upon Porter’s principles of cost leadership, differentiation and focus to demonstrate his ability to resolve almost any problem. He spent 14 years at the company before moving on and eventually settling in at FloraHolland.
After spending a significant amount of time abroad, working for FloraHolland was Buchwaldt’s homecoming and he credits the company with helping him return to his roots.
“Tulips are about as Dutch as you can get,” Buchwaldt said, laughing. “(FloraHolland) is very technical and fast-paced, but it’s all about the beauty of nature, feelings, and action.”
At 54, Buchwaldt is preparing for his first break since 1984 and looks forward to spending time with his sons, 11-year-old Florian and 8-year-old Marnick, while examining his next steps in industry. As he figures it out for himself, he counsels those just jumping into their professional careers to be fearlessly original.
“Don’t follow in anyone’s footsteps, make your own,” Buchwaldt said. “If you look at my career, I’ve taken risks, but each leap has been a learning experience.”
For some, the decision would have created sleepless nights. For Joseph Green, it was a no-brainer.
While studying entrepreneurship at the Fox School of Business, Green had developed two business plans in completely different fields. Whichever one he chose to pursue, Green said, the risk of starting a business and forging into self-employment outweighed the security of a position in corporate America.
“To me it’s the same gamble,” Green said, “only the payoff is more direct and more beneficial to you because you’ve put in that sweat equity.”
The CEO of Affinity Confections, the bakery and confection company he launched in 2012 in Philadelphia, Green visited Fox’s Alter Hall Jan. 27 to participate in a panel discussion on being a young business owner. Joining Green, FOX ’12, on the panel were fellow Fox alums Dylan Baird, FOX ’12, the CEO of farm share Philly Food Works, and Rachel Furman, FOX ’12, the CEO of cosmetic company Mouth2Mouth Beauty.
Temple University’s Young Alumni Association organized the event, as part of its ongoing #TempleMade Entrepreneur Series, “to increase active student engagement and highlight the business successes of our young alumni,” according to TUYA vice president Latisha Brinson, FOX ’08.
The three 20-something CEOs provided snapshots of their careers and companies, lent insights into their respective startup experiences, and detailed how they sidestepped the inherent risks involved with entrepreneurship.
Furman admitted that she “spent more time playing sports than applying makeup” during her high school days. With Mouth2Mouth, she’s creating socially responsible cosmetic products, like eyeliner and lip stains, for the urban market. Her company and her career may not have come together without her experiences at Temple University.
“This was where I found someone other than my family and friends who could connect with my dreams,” she said.
Baird, whose Philly Food Works delivers high-quality food from farm to neighborhood, serves more than 900 people. In its earliest stages, he said he received poignant advice from a fellow entrepreneur, on pouring capital into the resources upon which a company depends – like a flat-bed truck or a cooler – and not on an office chair, for example.
Green launched Affinity Confections in 2014, believing consumers desired sweet treats in smaller portions, made with premium and natural ingredients. Green, who has 16 years of baking experience, credited Temple with motivating him to excel.
“Temple’s job is to listen to your business plan, then poke holes in it, and push you to find a better way to do it,” said Green.
Dwight Carey, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Fox School, closed the event by asking for a show of hands from the nearly 100 alums and current students in attendance, wondering how many wish to one day own a business.
“Why wait? Ask yourself you aren’t doing it already,” Carey said. “You can do it because the desire is within each of you.”
Added Tim Bennett, FOX ’09, the owner of Philadelphia-based Bennett Compost: “It was great to hear from this panel and see what paths other successful entrepreneurs took to achieve what they have. They make me wonder whether I’m putting enough time into marketing, for example, or into accounting, and it’s a way to be reflective on your own business, while also being inspired by others who are doing what you’re doing.”
The chance to appear on “Shark Tank” is the realization of a dream come true for Martin Dell’Arciprete.
“Growing up, every kid wanted to be like Mike,” said the Fox School of Business alumnus, referencing Hall of Fame basketball player Michael Jordan. “After I arrived at Fox and Temple University, and got a taste of entrepreneurship, it became, ‘I want to be like Mark (Cuban).’”
Dell’Arciprete will appear on “Shark Tank,” the popular ABC reality show, Friday, Feb. 12, to pitch SmartPlate, the signature product from Philadelphia-based company Fitly.
Believed to be the world’s first intelligent plate, SmartPlate uses load sensors and three digital cameras for image and weight recognition of the food a person is preparing to consume. SmartPlate analyzes the food on its surface, provides nutritional information, and logs calories with 99-percent accuracy.
Dell’Arciprete, Fitly’s former head of marketing, has left the company since representing the product during a September taping of the show. Dell’Arciprete, a Lansdowne, Pa., native who earned his Marketing degree from the Fox School in 2010, said it was “a gut-wrenching experience” to stand before the show’s five sharks.
“Preparing for the show was like studying for a final exam. You may have a general idea of the subject matter, but until you see that test, you just don’t know the direction your professors – or in this case, the sharks – are going to take,” said Dell’Arciprete, a senior account executive for Moroch Partners, a national marketing firm with an office located in Conshohocken, Pa.
“I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have been able to perform at such a high level in front of the sharks if not for the professors, public-speaking training, and diverse platform of opportunities I had at Fox.”
For Adam Ray, there’s nothing unsettling about the unknown.
“If anything,” said Ray, “it’s an opportunity to see what you’re made of.”
With minimal formal training, Ray moved to Hollywood to pursue an acting career. The Fox School of Business alumnus, who appeared in two seasons of the HBO medical comedy series “Getting On,” is looking to continue his path in the Entertainment Capital of the World as an actor and producer.
Ray earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with a focus in Marketing, in 2012. Along the way, the Phoenixville, Pa., native said he “took two theater electives,” stoking a deep-seeded interest. A few months after graduation, Ray put on hold his career plans and moved to Los Angeles.
“I at least had to see and experience the entertainment industry for myself,” he said. “I didn’t come to L.A. with the intention of staying here, but I knew that if I took a 9-to-5 job right after graduating, I’d never pursue acting.”
His early months in Los Angeles were what Ray termed “a testing time.” He had little in his savings account, so his living arrangements were constantly in flux. At times, he spent nights in a hostel. He had no West Coast friends or relatives to lean upon, either.
“It was isolating in a lot of ways,” Ray said, “so it became a matter of asking myself, ‘How badly do I really want this?’ Let’s be honest: You can spend months in L.A. without landing an audition.”
Without marketable experience or an acting-heavy resume, Ray bounced between talent agencies. He relied on his education at the Fox School to objectively view his professional predicament. He had to think clearly about his decision-making processes. He assembled a list of targeted agencies and identified a niche in his career – all skills he developed at Fox.
What Ray called “a last-minute opportunity” led to an audition for the writers/producers of “Getting On,” the HBO comedy series that follows the staffers of an extended care unit of a hospital set in Long Beach, Calif. Ray improv’ed with the producers, performing for them and with them during his audition, before landing the part.
Ray shared a first name with his character, Adam, who was an intern in the show’s first season and a resident in the second season. Additionally, his work on “Getting On” led a fellow actor to introduce Ray to her agent, who’s helped “push me into other rooms and secure other auditions that never would have been possible,” he said.
To expand his acting depth, Ray has studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in Los Angeles. Inspired on set by the show’s lead actor Laurie Metcalf, Ray started studying comedy at Lesly Kahn & Company in Hollywood. He also produced and co-produced two short films in 2015. Fellow Temple alumnus Alexander C. Fraser wrote and directed Ray’s first short, “Cabo,” which led to Ray meeting Al Pacino and Broadway director Robert Allan Ackerman.
Ray admits his Hollywood career is a journey and he’s continued learning along the way.
“Acting isn’t something you can study for four years and say, ‘I’ve perfected it,’” Ray said. “From that vantage point, I’m happy I got a business education and studied at Fox. It taught me to be confident, overcome self-consciousness and nervousness, command a room, be assertive, and how to communicate your clear idea to a room of strangers.”
“That last one is extremely helpful in L.A. because, like I said, it can be lonely out here.”
Will Cummings didn’t earn much playing time in his freshman season with the Temple men’s basketball team. As a sophomore, though he’d have to play behind a number of seniors, Owls coach Fran Dunphy viewed Cummings as a leader in the making.
“The summer before my sophomore year, Coach Dunphy said to me, ‘This is your time to step up,’” said Cummings, who in May graduated from the Fox School of Business. “I remember going home (to Jacksonville), working out three times a day, and watching it come together and make a difference.”
That summer, Cummings modeled a catchphrase around his newfound determination: “Self-Motivated Grind.” A capable web programmer who studied Management Information Systems at Fox, Cummings developed a website to promote his brand and create T-shirts with the slogan.
“I can’t explain why it took off so successfully,” he said. “I just Tweeted it one day and I started hearing from people who said they liked the message that it was sending.”
Cummings, who went on to earn First-Team All-American Athletic Conference honors in his senior year, is demonstrating his mettle on a different level these days. He’s suiting up for the Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League, the single-affiliate team of the NBA’s Houston Rockets.
As he hones his skills and works toward his dream, Cummings recently shared a few minutes of his time:
Q: You played with the Rockets’ summer-league team and with the team throughout training camp. After graduating from the Fox School, did you have offers to play professionally overseas, as well?
Cummings: “I did. I had plenty of offers overseas, but the goal was to make the NBA. My family, my agent, and I know it’s a process. Houston has shown a full commitment to me, and while there are no promises, I’m just playing hard and working every day, trying make my case to play in the NBA.”
Q: There was one moment from the preseason in which you made the top plays on ESPN’s SportsCenter. That must’ve been a nice surprise, right?
Cummings: “I had a lob pass to K.J. (McDaniels) and it ended up on Temple’s Facebook page. It was great to see the support.”
Q: If you weren’t playing basketball professionally, what career path would you have chosen?
Cummings: “Well, my degree is in MIS. I’m good at programming, so I probably would’ve pursued something in that field. I had an internship my senior year with The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia. It’s a non-profit, and I worked there as an information systems intern working on their website and building it from scratch. I was there six weeks and got a lot of experience. If I ever get injured, and knock on wood that I don’t, I know that’s a career path I’d probably pursue.”
Q: You built a website of your own, too, right?
Cummings: “It’s for my brand, Self-Motivated Grind. I built the site my junior year at Temple as a motivational page to connect with young kids looking for inspiration. I have Google Analytics for the site, and it’s reached 45 countries. I have an Instagram page for it, too. People send me photos of themselves wearing my T-shirts at Temple games. I haven’t put the time in lately, because of basketball, but it’s on the backburner. It’s something my sister (Ashley) and I work on together. She and my brother (Willie) work at Lockheed Martin.”
Q: Is it safe to assume there aren’t many basketball players who have that skill set?
Cummings: “That’s probably true. I’ve heard (Miami Heat forward) Chris Bosh knows how to program, but it’s rare, yes.”
Q: Has there been a major lifestyle adjustment following graduation from Fox?
Cummings: “You don’t realize how much time you have on your hands and how hard you work in college until you graduate. I’ve adapted pretty smoothly to life after college, but without classes, study halls, or anything like that, it can be slow.”
Q: What part of your Fox School education translates to the basketball court?
Cummings: “I would say it’s the critical thinking skills I learned when I was at Fox. There are a lot of classes, including a project management class, that teach you along the way how to think critically and to help you think about a solution to the problem you’re facing. That’s a valuable skill that I can use in everyday life and as it correlates to basketball, thinking about the current moment or one play ahead. I have Fox to thank for that.”
Bill Roth is a high-energy kind of guy. That’s why he doesn’t particularly like sitting behind a desk.
“I’ve always liked entertaining people,” Roth said.
The Fox School of Business alumnus is putting that energy to good use. In September, he and his wife, Christina, opened Roth’s Crosspoint Gymnastics, a 20,000-square foot facility for training gymnasts at all levels of expertise in Glen Mills, Pa., a Philadelphia suburb.
Prior to opening his gymnastics center, Roth’s career exploits revolved around his athleticism. Roth, who earned his Bachelor’s degree in Real Estate in 1993, remained at Temple University in order to train for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. A specialist in the high bar, Roth did not qualify for the Olympics, ending his career as a national and international competitor in 1996.
Next, Roth earned a job with the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks as their acrobatic mascot for one season. Around that time, Pat Croce took over as owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and decided to create Hip Hop, the team’s new mascot. Roth played the part of Hip Hop for nearly a decade, completing high-flying dunks and acrobatic jumps off of trampolines. Roth said this inspired him to continue working in the acrobatic and gymnastics worlds.
His mascot days behind him, Roth and his wife became part owners of a gym. “We were there for two years and decided to venture off on our own,” Roth said. A year-long process ensued, allowing the Roths to get their business in order, before they opened Crosspoint. The facility is ideal for youth gymnasts looking to enter the sport recreationally or to participate competitively. The couple also offer cheer-tumbling and work with local dance studios on acrobatics lessons.
Christina, a Temple University alumna who earned a degree in exercise physiology, handles most of the administrative aspects to the business, while Bill works within the gym itself.
“When we were dating at Temple and both on the gymnastics team, we would joke about owning a gym together when we were married because of how much we loved the sport of gymnastics,” Christina said. “I don’t think we ever really thought it would happen.”
The Roths’ vision since the beginning was to create an atmosphere where they could have an impact on the lives of young gymnasts and in the community. Their ultimate goal is to continue to expand the business.
“When we look at what we have now, gymnastics teaches so many life lessons,” said Bill, adding that gymnastics encourages athletes to set goals and overcome failure. “It is about using a sport as a platform to have a positive impact on kids.”
Bill Roth said his experience at the Fox School inspired his work today as a business owner and athletic coach.
“The leadership that I got was wonderful. Even to this day, it not only parlayed into where we are today, but where I was at Temple,” he said. “It helps train young leaders and in order to do what we did. You have to have some sort of step of faith to get out there, which was so much easier after seeing someone do it first.”
Dr. John Aloysius, who earned his doctoral degree from Temple University’s Fox School of Business, has been appointed the director of a major business research lab at the University of Arkansas.
John Aloysius, PhD ’96, was named interim director of the Sam M. Walton College of Business’ Behavioral Business Research Lab at University of Arkansas. He will hold this position for the remainder of the 2015-16 academic year, while colleague Cary Deck serves a one-year visiting professorship.
Arkansas’ Behavioral Business Research Lab is a unique, multi-user facility for economics, marketing, information systems and supply chain faculty, said Aloysius, who earned his Fox PhD in Operations Management. The center is an interdisciplinary resource geared toward the study of human behavior and decision making. It features state-of-the-art computer equipment that will assist in marketing- and retail-based experiments.
Aloysius, an associate professor of supply chain management at Arkansas, said he conducts a majority of his research within the lab. He examines how consumers use mobile technology in a retail context, looking into the use of coupons, product reviews and promotional activities in influencing shoppers. This research has been published in Management Information Systems Quarterly.
“If you entice them at the precise moment, consumers can go from being a browser to being a buyer,” Aloysius said.
Aloysius’ other research pursuits delve into privacy and security issues for shoppers and inventory management.
“Managers stand in front of monitors that have information about how much inventory there is and the distribution of demand,” he said. “They are trying to figure out what a company would need to order to put product on the shelf.”
Dr. Edward C. Rosenthal, Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the Fox School, served as Aloysius’ dissertation chair while he pursued his Fox PhD. Rosenthal said he encouraged Aloysius to conduct his research independently. In his dissertation, Aloysius applied game theory to cost-sharing problems in the telecommunications industry, which evolved into an interest in decision making and how people apply technology in the retail industry.
“He was a bright student who was motivated and great to work alongside,” Rosenthal said. “I think that John’s assuming of the directorship of the Behavioral Business Research Lab at the University of Arkansas had its origins while he was a graduate student here at Fox all of those years ago. “
Aloysius said he hopes to widen the lab’s horizons by working with external local firms and incorporating new technology.
“What is happening in retail blurs the line between physical stores and online shopping, and in the lab as well,” he said. “It is a natural extension.”
Aloysius plans to reconnect with his Fox School colleagues while visiting Philadelphia in November for the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science conference (INFORMS). He said he plans to meet with Rosenthal and current research colleague Dr. Misty Blessley, an Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Fox.
Aloysius and Blessley are collaborating on experimental research into switching behavior under various conditions of psychological contact breach. The experiment will move into the data-collection phase in November. “What I like about John is he challenges you to look over your research meticulously,” Blessley said.
“At Arkansas, John has become more deeply involved with the behavioral aspects of supply chain management research and leading their behavioral business research lab is a natural next step,” Rosenthal said.
The Fox School of Business at Temple University adds to its growing number of endowed chairs and professorships with the creation of the Jerome Fox Chair in Accounting, Taxation, and Financial Strategy.
This distinguished chair was created through a $2 million gift from Saul A. Fox, SMC ’75, in honor of his father, Jerome Fox. The late Jerome Fox was a World War II veteran, a certified public accountant, and the founder of the former Philadelphia accounting firm Gelrod Fox & Company. This chair is to be held by high-level practitioners of accounting, taxation and financial strategy, who hold the same zeal for these areas of academic focus as Fox did.
“My father was an accountant by trade, but he viewed a position as a high school history teacher as perhaps his highest calling,” Saul Fox said. “Though he chose a different career path, my father equally valued the accounting industry and the role of education in our society. The establishment of this distinguished chair at the Fox School of Business melds my father’s two lifelong passions and honors his memory as a successful accounting practitioner.”
Following an extensive global search, Dr. David E. Jones in July 2015 was appointed an Associate Professor of Accounting at the Fox School and the inaugural holder of the Jerome Fox Chair in Accounting, Taxation, and Financial Strategy.
With more than 35 years of public accounting experience, Jones has worked with Ernst & Young LLP as a tax partner in Atlanta, Orlando, Indianapolis and Cleveland. He became the U.S. National Tax Leader and Global CEO of the GEMS (Global Mobility) Tax Practice at Ernst & Young. He has significant Big Four managerial leadership and global tax experience at Ernst & Young in the U.S. Jones has served large SEC tax clients, individuals with high net worth and entrepreneurial ventures.
Jones, who has presented at regional or national conferences, conducts behavioral research on tax professionals, and legal tax research, especially on international and domestic tax topics. His research explores issues that impact taxpayers and tax professionals as well as tax policy matters of importance. He has published in academic and practice oriented journals.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Auburn University, a Master of Taxation degree from Georgia State University, and a Doctor of Management degree from Case Western Reserve University.
Saul Fox will visit Temple University’s Fox School of Business Wednesday, Nov. 18, for a Jerome Fox Chair Talk and Reception event, to be attended by Dr. Neil D. Theobald, Temple University President, and Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School.
An image of a lottery machine and its bouncing Ping-Pong balls appeared on the projection screen behind Yasmine Mustafa, as she spoke from the stage at Temple University’s Performing Arts Center, at TEDxPhiladelphia.
“Everyone gets a birth lottery ticket, and I was given the unique chance to transform mine,” Mustafa said, describing to the near-capacity gathering the concept of being born into a set of traits and circumstances that shape life’s opportunities and challenges. “Because while the birth lottery shapes who we become, it doesn’t define who we must be.”
Mustafa, a 2006 alumna of the Fox School of Business, was chosen as one of 14 featured speakers for TEDxPhiladelphia, an independent and not-for-profit one-day conference. TEDx brings together engaging speakers from various professions and community roles to build dialogue on topics of scientific, social awareness, and cultural significance. Among the invited speakers were Philadelphia Chief of Police Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia Daily News columnist Ronnie Polaneczky, and children’s rights lawyer Marsha Levick.
The theme of Mustafa’s talk – and those of her peers’ – was “…and justice for all,” the last four words of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Born in Kuwait, Mustafa witnessed the Gulf War during her formative childhood years. She opened her talk, roughly 15 minutes in length, with vivid descriptions of bombs being detonated near her family’s home. The randomness of her life’s starting point, she said, could be credited to the birth lottery, and how much of one’s life can be determined by outside factors.
Mustafa said it’s a concept she often ponders.
Had her mother not accompanied her father on a business trip to Philadelphia, Mustafa’s younger brother never would have been born in the United States. Had her brother not been born in Philadelphia, two men from the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait never would have rescued her family of eight from the Gulf War and promised them safe haven in America. Had they never emigrated to the U.S., Mustafa might have been forced to forgo her dreams of college and business ownership, for an arranged marriage and family.
“The birth lottery does not have to define who you are,” she said. “I’m living proof.”
Upon her arrival, Mustafa said, nothing was guaranteed. She eventually needed to work two under-the-table jobs, each paying an hourly wage of $5, to support her education. It took seven and a half years to complete her college education, earning an Associate’s degree at Montgomery County Community College and a Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship from the Fox School.
“And I haven’t stopped hustling,” Mustafa said.
A two-time winner of the Be Your Own Boss Bowl®, a Temple University-wide business plan competition. In 2010, she earned first place in the Upper Track, for alumni, graduate students and faculty, for her tech company, 123LinkIt. This past April, she won first place in the Social Track for ROAR for Good, LLC, a developer of wearable self-defense tech designed for women.
In September, Mustafa will celebrate the 25-year anniversary of her and her family’s emigration to the United States. She became a naturalized citizen in 2012.
“I threw a party to celebrate,” Mustafa said of earning her citizenship. “You don’t realize the privilege you have until you’ve either gained it, or you’ve lost it.”
“The opportunity to speak at TEDx was incredibly exciting because you’re surrounded by some of the greatest thinkers in the area, all with different perspectives and experiences and opinions. I was honored to have been nominated, and then chosen as one of the 14 speakers.”
Mustafa’s speech is available via TEDx’s website. Click here and scroll to the 1:13:00 mark.
The creators of an online financial marketplace aiming to improve the consumer’s buying power in financial transactions won the grand prize at the 17th annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl®, a Temple University-wide business plan competition.
RatesForUs.com, co-founded by CEO and Fox School of Business alumnus Ben Stucker, MBA ’13, and CTO Alec Baker, took home more than $60,000 in cash prizes, in addition to products and professional services, at the April 16 final presentations at the Fox School.
“If I could have burst out of my skin, I would have. This was one of the most rewarding and exciting moments of my life,” said Stucker, a longtime mortgage industry professional.
RatesForUs.com, which registered its website domain only two months prior to the final presentations, hopes to become the top online destination for mortgage shoppers, Stucker said. He and Baker first met in February to lay the foundation for their company and “then we wrote our business plan in three weeks,” Stucker said.
What sets apart RatesForUs from others in the marketplace, Stucker said, is that they have worked closely with consumers to understand and support their needs. From increased consumer privacy to allowing consumers to confidently obtain lower interest rates, Stucker said RatesForUs has taken steps to drastically improve the online shopping experience. With RatesForUs, Stucker said, personal information will only be shared when necessary and agreed to by the consumer, eliminating “the bombardment of calls and potential bias based on race, ethnicity or gender,” he said.
The cash and prizes from Be Your Own Boss Bowl® will support the continued development of the marketplace for RatesForUs, Stucker said.
“Our expenses to date have been minimal,” he said. “That’s intentional. We only take a step if we can measure the results for future decision-making purposes. First, we wanted to be sure consumers would value our service, so we talked to them. Then we took our survey results to the lenders that would be supplying the loans and they were interested. We’re going to continue using this lean methodology and complete the development of our marketplace. We are looking forward to continued interaction with those in our marketplace – lenders, consumers, and professionals.”
The annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl®, the flagship program of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI), is one of the most lucrative and comprehensive business plan competitions in the country. This year, 12 business plans representing five of Temple’s 17 schools and colleges were selected as finalists. They competed for more than $160,000 in cash prizes, plus related products, professional services, and incubation space.
The competition features three distinctly different tracks: the Undergraduate Track, open to current Temple undergraduate students; the Upper Track, open to Temple graduate students, alumni, faculty and staff; and the Social Innovation Track.
Winners from each track were:
- Upper Track: RatesForUs.com
- Social Innovation Track: ROAR for Good, LLC, a developer of wearable self-defense tech designed for women. (Yasmine Mustafa, FOX ’06; Anthony Gold; Peter Eisenhower, ENG ‘11; Charlotte Wells, CLA ’15; Hunter Vargas, FOX ’16; and Christina Kazakia)
- Undergraduate Track: Habitat LLC, a platform for students to buy and sell goods within their college communities. (Fox School students Andrew Nakkache, Michael Paskiewicz and Brandon Bahr, and Kathleen Chen)
For the sixth year, the IEI awarded the Chris Pavlides Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award to an undergraduate student who demonstrates a strong passion for entrepreneurship. This year’s recipient was junior entrepreneurship major Vincent Paolizzi.
Temple alumnus Christopher Wink, CLA ’08, received the 2015 Self-Made & Making Others Award. Wink is the co-founder and editor of Technical.ly, a network of local technology news sites and events.
Be Your Own Boss Bowl® participants benefit from coaching, mentoring and networking opportunities with the Philadelphia area’s leading business professionals, including members of GPSEG, the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group. Overall, the competition receives support from 300 executives and entrepreneurs.
–Christopher A. Vito
Be Your Own Boss Bowl® 2015, by the numbers
$200,000 Value of monetary, products, services and mentorship prizes awarded
300 Mentors and preliminary judges
143 Overall participants in BYOBB
64 Senior executive mentors
61 Registered company submissions
32 Participating finalist team members
13 Temple University schools and colleges represented in BYOBB
13 Presentation coaches
12 Finalist teams representing five Temple schools and colleges
6 Finalist judges