Kate Zipin knows what empowerment looks like. As the founder and director of Own Your Awesomeness, a program that uses summer camps to help high school girls take pride in who they are, she has seen empowerment in action.

“Last summer towards the end of camp I asked the girls to spend some time writing an introduction for themselves,” Zipin remembers. After several minutes, Zipin invited the women to present their introductions to the group.

“I thought that maybe two or three girls would want to share,” Zipin recalls. Instead, five girls immediately raised their hands.

“The first girl went up and talked about her family, and when she was done the room exploded in applause,” says Zipin. “Another talked about wanting to be the first in her family to go to college.” By the end of the session every girl but one had shared her story to affirming words and raucous applause.

“I was really proud of them,” Zipin says, “but maybe more importantly I could see that they were really proud of themselves and each other.”

Since she started Own Your Awesomeness three years ago, Zipin has watched teens find their voices. Through open dialogue about cultural issues impacting women, skills building workshops that teach girls how to change a tire or use power tools, and activities that keep the girls moving and having fun together, these young women create a sense of pride in each other and themselves.

Seeing the program’s impact is not an issue. The struggle for Zipin (and most nonprofits) is measuring that impact. More and more grants are requiring data as part of the application process, and even individual donors appreciate metrics as a way of ensuring their money makes a difference.

To help her address the need for data, Zipin reached out to the Fox Board Fellows program at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. Fox Board Fellows was created in 2000 to match skilled MBA students with non-profit boards for year-long partnerships supported by coursework.

“Fox Board Fellows is a win-win for its nonprofit partners and the Fellows,” says Program Director Maureen Cannon. “Nonprofit partners benefit from hosting an experienced, passionate MBA student as a non-voting, working board member. Fellows gain valuable insight and perspective on the realities of nonprofit management and are better prepared to be effective board leaders in the future.”

Own Your Awesomeness was matched with Fox Board Fellow Teena Bounpraseuth, a full-time student in the Global MBA program. A native of Philadelphia, Bounpraseuth says non-profit youth programs were a big part of her own childhood in the city.

“Growing up, I was part of the youth arts workshop program through the Asian Arts Initiative,” says Bounpraseuth. “It gave me an opportunity to learn more about my Asian American identity in a safe and inviting space and to see how art can be used in bridging communities. The Initiative was really important to me as a teenager and I see Own Your Awesomeness doing similar work with the summer camp. Kate and her team are amazing. They’re helping to build a network of strong, confident, and independent women.”

One of Bounpraseuth’s most vivid memories of that time was watching an Asian American spoken word duo. “Just to see the confidence in those women meant so much to me. Seeing them ooze confidence, knowing their history, embracing it, and that empowering them — It helped set an example for me.”

To help Own Your Awesomeness quantify their impact, Bounpraseuth interviewed leaders from several nonprofits throughout the city that work with youth. “Everyone measures impact differently,” she says. “The key is that your metrics are actionable, manageable and comparable, and most importantly that they align with your organization’s mission.”

Bounpraseuth also led the board through a logic model. This tool helps organizations think through how their resources and activities translate into the outputs and broader impact they hope to have.

“The Logic Model was helpful,” Zipin says, “because it gave us a chance to get on the same page about our goals. Now that we have those articulated, we can ask questions in our assessments that specifically apply to those goals.”

Bounpraseuth’s project helped Own Your Awesomeness define what metrics they should be tracking, and also highlighted that some things make better stories than charts. “One thing I’ve learned is that, even if people have a lot of numbers, there’s still a lot left up to interpretation,” she says. “Some things are just very difficult to calculate.”

This month as Zipin wraps up three weeks of camp she will distribute surveys about leadership and confidence, skills building, and plans for the future. Part of Zipin’s impact will make it onto those surveys.

But some of Zipin’s work, uncovering the intangible awesomeness of each of these women, can’t be relegated to a page. Women have laughed at themselves, talked about hard issues, played touch football, and changed tires. Some of that impact will just have to play out in the lives these women forge in the years to come.

Fox Board Fellows just matched another cohort of Fellows with nonprofits! To get a fellow at your nonprofit contact Maureen Cannon at Maureenc@temple.edu.

Fox alumnus Kevin Hong
Kevin Hong, PhD ’14

For the second time in a row, another successful alumnus of the Fox School, Kevin Hong, PhD ’14, won the prestigious 2018 Early Career Award by the Association for Information Systems. This award recognizes individuals in the early stages of their careers who have already made outstanding research, teaching and service contributions to the field of information systems. Last year Gordon Burtch, PhD ’13, was awarded this honor.

Hong is an associate professor of information systems, director of the IS PhD program, and co-director of the digital society initiative at the W. P. Carey School of Business of Arizona State University. “I feel really honored and lucky to have won this award,” Hong says. “I attribute who I am as a researcher today to my experiences and associations at the Fox School.”

We spoke with Hong to learn more about his journey.

Who were your mentors at the Fox School?

A lot of people at Fox have inspired me and taught me not just be a better researcher, but also a better person. Paul Pavlou was my advisor and mentor through the years. I learned so much from him, including how to write and publish papers.

If Dr. Pavlou is my research mentor, I’d say David Schuff is my teaching mentor. I watch all his videos and learn how to engage students while teaching. I also get ideas and examples to share with the students in the analytics class from him.

How did the Fox PhD program support you in achieving your degree?

The rigorous curriculum and training at Fox have helped me a lot. During the time I was a PhD student, Fox had recruited many world-class faculty members who were also high profile researchers from prestigious universities. They had solid training and the required expertise to teach the students state-of-the-art methodologies which I still use today.

What are some of the current research projects you’re working on?

My primary stream of research has been studying how to design and evaluate the efficiency of digital platforms. I also plan on taking a sabbatical next year to explore new technologies like artificial intelligence, and how humans and AI can collaborate better to develop newer streams of research.

What is your advice to current and prospective Fox PhD students?

What’s most important to be successful is to take initiative. Don’t merely do what the advisors ask you to do. Try to start your research early on. Discuss those ideas with your advisors and lead those projects. The environment created for research at Fox is truly amazing and you should take advantage of it, perform and deliver. For a doctoral student, the culture here teaches you to put research before everything and truly nurtures you to succeed in your academic career.

Read more about the previous Fox alumnus to win this award.

Learn more about Fox School Research.

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

Horns blare. A moped pushes its way into the visual anarchy of West Bengal traffic. The sun beats down through a thick haze of pollution. Meanwhile, four Fox School MBA students thread their way onto a side street.

The students stop at a small building in the heart of Kolkata, the international headquarters of Sari Bari. Through Fox Management Consulting they are here to help Sari Bari operate more efficiently and increase the revenues that fund their social mission of helping women who are stuck in, or at risk of entering, the sex trafficking industry in India.

“One of their biggest tasks is workforce development,” says Austin Litteral, an MBA student who worked on the project. “It can take a full year to help a woman rehabilitate physically and emotionally to the point where they can work.” Among other skills, the women often need basic reading and writing skills so they can sign their names and fill out standard forms.

When the women are ready, they are taught to sew to reshape second-hand Saris into brilliantly colored blankets and handbags. Younger women are employed to make the kanthas, traditional Indian blankets sewn from layers of retired saris.

Kantha blankets require long, straight lines of cutting and hand sewing which can be difficult for older women with less dexterous hands. To address this, Litteral explains, “Sari Bari introduced a new line of clutches years ago which required shorter cuts and were easier for the older women to sew.”

West Bengal has no shortage of the vibrant saris Sari Bari uses to make their popular kantha blankets.

Planning new products to better serve employee needs is one of the many adaptions Sari Bari has made in order to balance its social and financial priorities. For the MBA students accustomed to addressing only one bottom line, the project was a lesson in creating synergies.

Litteral recalls, “At one point we suggested to management that they restructure workflow for efficiency, and they responded, ‘If we do that, it will open up more warehouse space for us to hire more women.’ Those were the terms they were thinking in.”

Louis M. Tritton served as the project executive for the Fox MC team, utilizing her years of experience in ecological consulting to offer recommendations and support. She noted that, given the unique demands of Sari Bari’s work, her team couldn’t simply consult from home.

“The Fox team immediately recognized the value of visiting the production sites, talking with sewers and managers, and observing the business in person,” Tritton said. “The trip to Kolkata made their recommendations practical and feasible.”

The team provided Sari Bari with a model for tracking costs and managing outputs more effectively, as well as recommended pricing and process improvements that should allow Sari Bari to meet and grow the sizable demand for their products.

Litteral’s teammate, Dorie Heald, said the project utilized the breadth of her MBA training. “HR, production, marketing, logistics, managerial accounting—we got to use all of that in our project. Plus, it felt good to know our changes would ultimately help Sari Bari employ more women.”

Back in Kolkata, a door opens. The students step into a room filled with women’s voices and brightly colored cloth. Like the women themselves, the students are hopeful that each piece they pull together will help Sari Bari become a stronger, more cohesive whole.

Fox Management consulting has completed over a hundred projects for non-profits, start-ups, and businesses around the world. Connect with us to learn what we can do for you.
Learn more about Fox School MBA programs.
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While studying finance at the Fox School of Business, Tamika Boateng, BBA ’06, learned all about asset management and risk—she also learned the value of giving back to the community.

Boateng, now a management consultant for financial services at New York Price Warehouse Coopers (PwC), credits her commitment to volunteering for her professional success.

“While at Temple University, I discovered several new things that are meaningful in my life today, such as giving back,” Boateng says. “When I was 19, I applied with Big Brothers Big Sisters and was matched with an 8-year-old girl from North Philly. Every other week, I’d go to her house or bring her to campus. I tried to give her the college student experience and got to know her life. The experience made me realize the small things you do make a big impact on people’s lives.”

Boateng also joined the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), where she eventually served as the student professional organization’s vice president. In addition to helping jumpstart her career—namely through networking and securing internships with Johnson & Johnson and Vanguard—she was able to help other students achieve similar goals.

“We connected students with employers,” recalls Boateng. “We invited different companies and leaders to speak at our weekly meetings and we connected students from different schools in the Philadelph

ia area. We also had an annual conference with a career fair and professional development that helped students learn critical skills, such as networking, public speaking, and interviewing. It helped our NABA members prepare for internships and careers. Being part of NABA made me more career-focused and successful, and I know it had the same impact on others, too.”

Boateng’s commitment to volunteering continued beyond her time at the Fox School. After graduation, she was hired by Vanguard—which happened as a result of the internship she landed through NABA—and she eventually became the global head of bank strategy and relations. While there, she co-led a program in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America where 60 of her coworkers became mentors to students at a school in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia. The program cultivated relationships between students and professionals with the goal to increase the school’s graduation rate.

Her current volunteer activities include being a member of the board at the Settlement Music School Germantown Branch—one of the largest community arts schools in the country, alumni include Albert Einstein, Kevin Bacon, and Chubby Checker. Boateng connected with the school through Leadership Philadelphia, which matches the skills of professionals in the Philadelphia area to board opportunities with organizations in need. Boateng is passionate about music education (her twin sons both play piano), so it was a perfect match.

“My experiences in philanthropy made me the leader I am today,” says Boateng. “You gain so many skills through volunteering. While volunteering back at Temple, I did not fully grasp at the time all of the benefits. But I gained valuable communications skills and learned how to work with diverse groups of people from all different backgrounds; both these things would help me so much in the future. It’s so important to give back. I wouldn’t be where I am today without those experiences.”

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

Fox School alumnus working on a restoration in his shop
Chris Fullan working in his woodshop

 

With his business Forever Hung Wood Window Restoration, Chris Fullan, BBA ‘10, is working to preserve local Buck’s County history. Fullan urges owners of old homes: do not throw out your old, time-worn wooden windows! 

Why is it beneficial to restore these windows rather than get them replaced? Fullan has quite the informed response: “[The original wood frame windows] are far superior than any replacement you’re going to get,” he told The Bucks County Courier Times. “With proper restoration from any quality restoration professional, you’re going to be very happy with the product. When they were originally built, the craftsmen that made these windows put a lot of time and care into making them—and they were made for each individual’s home. So it’s unsettling to see them being thrown into the landfill and ripped out.”

Fullan began working in an office during his post-college career, but quickly realized his calling was of a more entrepreneurial nature. During a period of unemployment, he was doing work on his own home and decided to pursue working with his hands professionally.

After working at several professional firms, Fullan began contracting and then used his business acumen to start Forever Hung Wood Window Restoration in October 2018. Forever Hung specializes in windows from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

The oldest windows he ever worked on landed on his lap during his time as a lead carpenter for WMG Historic Restoration in New Jersey. He was responsible for restoring about 130 windows from the Lazaretto Quarantine Station, which is a historic site that guarded the city of Philadelphia from epidemic diseases.

Fullan finds inspiration researching the history of the buildings he helps restore, and is proud he can be a part of preserving the richness of his community.

Love alumni success stories? Check out our recent post about 3 Fox School alumnae shaking up their industries, and learn more about Fox School Research.

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

Consumers today are heavily dependent on online reviews to make informed choices about what to buy. In fact, studies show that as many as 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before making financial decisions, and nearly 70 percent trust these opinions.

Given their importance, how do you tell if the reviews are from genuine customers?

Subodha Kumar, director of the Center for Data Analytics and professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the Fox School, developed an approach to detect fake reviewers on online digital platforms. In his paper published in the Journal of Management Information Systems, Kumar proposes an algorithm that analyzes the behavior of reviewers on a set of key features to help differentiate between the real and the fake.

“A user who reads a negative review of a restaurant is likely to trust the message, even though it was written by a stranger,” Kumar says. “One convincing review can often persuade consumers to shift their brand loyalty or drive several extra miles to try a new sandwich shop.”

This gives firms a strong incentive to influence their online review ratings. “Business owners inject their public ratings with a positive bias,” says Kumar. “They use fake accounts or paid reviewers to either promote their offering or strategically denounce competitors’ products.”

In studying a dataset from Yelp, a popular restaurant review platform, Kumar observed a striking difference in the way spammers interact on online platforms. “Even though individual reviews by a spammer may look genuine, collectively we can capture anomalies in the review patterns,” Kumar says, “In fact, they are remarkably skewed.”

By analyzing this pattern of behaviors, Kumar’s approach to detecting review manipulation can not only improve the experience of consumers across industries but also increase the credibility of reviewing platforms like Yelp.

Kumar considers six distinct features of every review in the data set:

  1. Review gap: Spammers are usually not longtime members of a site, unlike genuine reviewers who use their accounts from time to time to post reviews. Thus, if reviews are posted over a relatively long timeframe, it suggests normal activity. But when all reviews are posted within a short burst, it indicates suspicious behavior.
  2. Review count: Paid users generally generate more reviews than unpaid users. In other cases to avoid being detected or blacklisted, a spammer could post very few reviews from one account and create a new account.
  3. Rating entropy: Spammers mostly post extreme reviews since their goal is either to artificially improve a particular company’s rating or to bring a bad reputation to its competitors. This results in high entropyor drastic randomnessin fake users’ ratings.
  4. Rating deviation: Spammers are likely to deviate from the general rating consensus. If genuine users fairly outnumber spammers, it is easy to detect instances where a user’s rating deviates greatly from the average ratings from other users.
  5. Timing of review: One strategy spammers may use is to post extremely early after a restaurant’s opening in order to maximize the impact of their review. Early reviews can greatly impact a consumers’ sentiment on a product and, in turn, impact sales.
  6. User tenure: Fake reviewers tend to have short-lived accounts characterized by a relatively large number of reviews and handles, usernames or aliases designed to avoid detection.

After considering these variables individually, the algorithm then looks into the way the variables interact with each other. It employs techniques like supervised machine learning and accounts for the overall review behavior of a user to provide a robust and accurate analysis.

Kumar’s methodology can also be deployed to post the information of the spammers in real-time. Digital platforms like Yelp could develop a spam score using these key features for each reviewer and share it with business owners and consumers, who can subsequently be tagged or filtered.

“The issue of opinion spamming in online reviews is not going away and detecting the perpetrators is not easy,” says Kumar. But developments in approaches like these, he says, “offer great insights to businesses, allowing them to create more effective marketing strategies based on the sheer volume of genuine, user-contributed consumer reviews.”

Interested in Marketing and Supply Chain topics? Check out our recent article “A Guide to Building an International Supply Chain” and learn more about Fox School Research

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

A roundup of media mentions featuring faculty, staff, and students from the Fox School of Business and the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Fox Smarts, Philly Heart

At the Fox School of Business, social responsibility is a guiding principle that the school has honored since it was founded a century ago, rooted in Russell H. Conwell’s notion that “your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.” Read more>>

Emotional Labor May Affect You at Work

Do you suppress your feelings at work and kowtow to the wishes of clients, patients or difficult supervisors? Deanna Geddes of Human Resources Management tells U.S. News how emotional labor can affect employees every day. Read more>>

Millenials Invest Money Through Apps

Bora Ozkan of Finance went on NBC 10 to share why millennials are considered the perfect demographic for mobile investment app. Automated systems, artificial intelligence, and affordability are all keys to attracting the millennial generation. Watch now>>

Philadelphia Business Journal | Dec. 20

Thomas Fung of Marketing and Supply Chain Management shares what the newly named CEO of Campbell Soup Co. should do to be successful. Read more>>

Business Times | Dec. 12

Why are online reviews so extreme? Paul Pavlou of MIS explains why consumers most often see the five- and one-star ratings on online platforms. Read more>>

Reporter Online | Dec. 7

Alumna Brianna Judge shares her musical talents with a debut eight-song album and performances at locations like Bourbon and Branch over the holidays. Read more>>

CBS 3 | Dec. 5

Digital sexual harassment, also known as cyber-flashing, is on the rise. The MIS Department’s Tony Vance provides insight into why this happens. Read more>>

Business Wire | Dec. 4

The Risk Management and Insurance Career Reception for graduating seniors was featured on an episode of AM Best TV. Read more>>

Introducing Matthew Coughlin

The Fox School and the School of Sport, Tourism, and Hospitality Management are pleased to welcome Matt Coughlin to the communications and marketing teams. As associate director of communications, Matt will be responsible for media relations for faculty, staff, students and alumni of both schools. You can reach Matt via email at matthew.coughlin@temple.edu.

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

In his new position as executive director of the Philadelphia Bar Association, Harvey Hurdle Jr., MBA ‘89, will blend personal with professional.

Hurdle spent his career leading various nonprofit and for profit organizations, including president and CEO of Leap Strategy LLC and COO and then CEO of Sellers Dorsey, a national healthcare consulting firm. He was also the COO of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest civil rights and public advocacy organization in America.

But his new appointment as executive director of the Philadelphia Bar Association is the first time he will directly serve the legal community, and it is a powerful change of pace for Hurdle. “I really value our legal institutions, because the ability to marry my husband and adopt my son were obtained by very smart lawyers and brave judges,” he says to The Legal Intelligencer. “I’m very excited about this job.”

Harvey Hurdle Jr.

 

As his first act of executive director, Hurdle will meet with bar members in order to identify their needs, and what issues should be a priority. However, he already has a few personal goals for the position. He hopes to increase access to justice for people who cannot afford it and to evolve the services the association provides to better assist attorney’s working in the changing legal market.

“The association’s leadership and staff look forward to working with Hurdle because of his passion for the association’s mission; his financial, managerial and operational skills and experience; his business acumen; and his strong interpersonal and communication skills,” Philadelphia Bar Chancellor Mary F. Platt says during the announcement of Hurdle’s appointment.

Prior to Hurdle’s appointment, Mark Tarasiewicz served as executive director for four years, and was a bar association member for more than two decades. After resigning in July of 2018, Tarasiewicz became executive director of administration for Spector Gadon & Rosen.

If you enjoy reading updates on Fox School alumni, read up on real estate mogul Jen Singley, who is using her business degree to help first time buyers find their dream homes in the City of Brotherly Love.

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

International Business Supply Chain

How does a firm looking to expand internationally build an effective global supply chain network from scratch?

Masaaki ‘Mike’ Kotabe, Washburn Chair Professor of International Business and Marketing at the Fox School, addresses this question by studying the strategies employed by Uniqlo, a Japanese apparel firm which successfully built a world-class global supply chain network in a relatively short period of time.

In his article, ”A Dynamic Process of Building Global Supply Chain Competence by New Ventures: The Case of Uniqlo,” which was published in the Journal of International Marketing, Kotabe proposes a dynamic model on how new firms can create a flexible supply chain network internationally. “By effectively developing partnering flexibility and exerting competitive pressure on partner suppliers,” Kotabe says, “new and small firms can overcome initial business challenges associated with the lack of local reputation, limited capacity for large orders and the presence of locally established competitors.”

Historically, major Japanese manufacturers invested significantly in manufacturing activities with advanced technologies and building close-knit suppliers. But with the rapidly changing global markets in the 1990s and 2000s, these relationships turned out to be a major financial burden with huge fixed costs.

Newly internationalizing Japanese firms began to develop more “asset-light” flexible relationships with local suppliers. But Kotabe says, “They still faced serious gaps due to the lack of initial large-scale production capability and bargaining power with local suppliers.”

However, Kotabe notes a transformational change in the strategy employed by new Japanese companies like Uniqlo. “They focus primarily on building relationships with their suppliers by providing them economic and technological rewards frequently,” Kotabe says. “They also maintain flexibility in their partnership by avoiding suppliers’ over dependence on the relationship.”

By examining Uniqlo’s successful supply chain development, Kotabe proposes a three-stage model that can serve as a guideline for small companies looking to build competitive advantages while expanding internationally.

In the first stage, building close relations with suppliers is crucial. “Suppliers are more cooperative when the partnering firm rewards them with large volume orders,” says Kotabe. By limiting not only the number of suppliers but also the variety of products to be manufactured, companies can ensure that every chosen supplier has a satisfactory share of the business, along with a large volume order per variant.

The second stage focuses on developing collaborative relationships with the suppliers by helping them build their competencies. Uniqlo hired a team of retired experts skilled in Japan’s textile industry to provide technical support to their suppliers’ factories. Kotabe says, “This move was key to Uniqlo’s success story as it helped in building trust and avoiding conflicts with its suppliers.”

“By receiving both economic and technological rewards continuously in the first and second stages of the process,” Kotabe notes, “the partners’ attitude toward the principal firm stays positive and cooperative.”

In the last stage, companies need to create flexibility in their supply chain by encouraging their suppliers to have other secondary customers. This allows them to grow their own business volumes independently and prevents excessive dependency on the partner. “Uniqlo enforced a compulsory non-exclusivity arrangement,” Kotabe says.”Therefore, even when Uniqlo canceled a transaction with a partner supplier, the supplier could easily find new clients.”

With more companies becoming involved in international markets to achieve better product quality and lower costs, it is important to effectively devise strategies to stay competitive. Kotabe’s study serves as detailed guidance for firms with limited international business experience to build a flexible global supply chain network from scratch.

For further reading on a similar topic, check out “What Is the Role of International Business Researchers?

Learn more about Fox School Research.

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In order to stay proactive rather than reactive to 21st century business risks, industries as diverse and exciting as cannabis, cyber security, finance and healthcare use enterprise risk management (ERM). Last year, emerging technology and new management disciplines were explored as the Department of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management hosted its first-ever ERM Conference at the Fox School of Business. A grant from the Spencer Educational Foundation made the event possible for over 80 attendees. Industry experts at the conference discussed recent discoveries, longer-term trends and shared their best practices along with pitfalls to avoid.

Michael Zuckerman, Temple University, Associate Professor and Academic Director for Enterprise Risk Management
Michael Zuckerman, Temple University, Associate Professor and Academic Director for Enterprise Risk Management

“Risk can surface in multiple forms—cybersecurity, supply chain, climate change, human capital, data analytics and beyond,” said M. Michael Zuckerman, Temple University, Associate Professor and Academic Director for Enterprise Risk Management, and one of the conference’s organizers.

Steven Schain, Senior Counsel at Hoban Law Group who works primarily with banks, shared insights from within the cannabis industry during his presentation. According to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. legal marijuana sales in 2018 were estimated at $10.2 billion. And while cannabis is a lucrative industry, less than .03% of banks are willing to serve marijuana related businesses (MRB). Since federal restrictions make it difficult for MRBs to make financial transactions, challenges abound. MRBs often conduct businesses without bank accounts, and must use cash for crucial functions like employee payroll, rent, taxes and paying vendors. Robbery and assault are also considered higher-risk in this field due to the extraordinary levels of cash.

“Insurance only covers up to $20,000 cash loss, and since many MRBs have $200,000 to $500,000 on hand, theft can be fatal,” says Schain.

Carol Fox, vice president of strategic initiatives at the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS), presented on cybersecurity. Although estimates vary, loss due to cybersecurity breaches is in the hundreds of billions of dollars per year. A 2016 report by Cybersecurity Ventures stated that cybercrime will cost more than $6 trillion worldwide by 2019.

“A disturbing percentage of risk professionals are unaware of disruptive technology prevalence,” she warns.

As a discipline, ERM has the ability to transcend any single industry. Kelly Botti, senior vice president, chief risk officer and corporate counsel at TruMark Financial Credit Union, shared her journey in guiding the TruMark Financial executive team to understand and value risk strategy.

“At its core, Enterprise Risk Management promotes two essential business concepts: informed decision-making and authentic conversation,” says Botti. “Its greatest value is the ability to spark curiosity. In approaching ERM from this angle, executive teams gain insight, as opposed to information, which aid in the development of corporate vision and strategy.”

Planning is already underway for the second annual conference in May 2019, hosted again by the Fox School, with no shortage of fascinating topics on the horizon.

“The opportunity ahead is to harness Big Data,” says Ian Waxman, Principal at Navigate. “How do we use it,? How can we do a better job of getting ahead of risk and being quicker in responding to it?”

For more information about the Fox School of Business and the Department of Risk, Insurance and Healthcare Management, click here.

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Happy holidays from the Fox School of Business!

Fox School of Business Snow globe with snowman, Porter the dog, Alter Hall and 1810

Everyone at the Fox School of Business wishes you a safe, happy and relaxing holiday. We look forward to a productive and innovative spring semester.

A roundup of media mentions featuring faculty, staff, and students from the Fox School of Business and the School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Eagles’ Odds of Defending the SuperBowl

George Diemer, assistant professor of instruction in the School of Sport, Tourism and Recreation Management, was interviewed by CBS 3 Philadelphia in regards to the Philadelphia Eagles’ chances of making the NFL Playoffs. Watch now>>

Ed Rendell Receives Musser Award

Last month, former Philadelphia mayor and Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell was honored with the Fox School’s prestigious Musser Award for his service to the city and the state. Read more>>

What is Anti-Marketing?

A new wireless provider “opened” two secret stores—and the mystery is stopping passersby in their tracks. Jay Sinha provides insight into the nontraditional marketing campaign that gets people talking. Read more>>

Lessons Learned from Amazon HQ2

Charles Dhanaraj speaks with Philadelphia Business Journal about the lessons the city can learn from its failed Amazon HQ2 bid. “We can’t be a reactive city,” he says. What can Philly do to encourage more corporate investment? Read more>>

Attracting International Students

Keya Sadeghipour, dean of the College of Engineering at Temple University, mentions the Fox Innovative Idea Competition as one of the many ways universities can take a global approach to recruiting new students. Read more>>

Temple News | Nov. 27

Fox student Alfonso Corona brought his company, Plug, into Research Professor Susan Mudambi’s classroom to learn how to create a successful marketing and communications strategy. Read more.

The Economist | Nov. 1

What is the future of education? James W. Hutchin, senior research fellow at the Fox School and advisor to Flinders University of Australia, shares his thoughts in a new report from The Economist and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Read more.

Economic Times India | Nov. 18

Subscription and streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Apple Music are all over the world, including India. Jay Sinha, associate professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, describes the appeal. Read more.

The Legal Intelligencer | Oct. 8

Do broken windows and doors impact a neighborhood’s safety or just the building’s aesthetic? James M. Lammendola, assistant professor of practice, and Harper J. Dimmerman, adjunct professor, both of Legal Studies, shed light on a recent decision by the PA Supreme Court. Read more.

U.S. News & World Report | Sept. 12

How can prospective students find ways to differentiate their college applications from the competition? David Kaiser shares his tips with U.S. News & World Report on how to make an application stand out. Read more.

For more stories and news, follow the Fox School on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

The season of giving has been productive for the Fox School of Business. In the spirit of the holidays, the Fox School faculty and staff came up with creative ways to give back to Philadelphia and the Temple community.

Filling “Purses of Hope” for Local Women’s Shelters  

For their annual We Give Back event, the Fox School and School of Sport, Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM) marketing and communications team donated to local charity Purses of Hope. This organization delivers purse donations to women’s shelters in the South Jersey/Philadelphia area housing women in poverty or seeking refuge from abusive partners and toxic households. Each purse is filled with female hygiene, beauty or clothing products. The team was able to donate 100 purses to women in need!

Bartending Deans and Student Scholarship Donations

On Dec. 10, the Fox School and STHM faculty and staff  came together to celebrate a successful fall semester and give back to Temple University students. From 5-7 p.m., Dean Anderson and the rest of the Fox School dean’s served as guest bartenders at Interstate Draft House in Fishtown. All tips and $1 of every draft beer was donated to the Temple student scholarship fund, which helps provide accessibility and excellent education for students across all walks of life.

Have a suggestion for a great nonprofit or charitable organization that should be on our radar? Contact us!

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Jen Singley helping clients

First-time home buyers take notice—after a five-year flurry to start her career at retailer-for-good United By Blue, Jen Singley (BBA ’13) decided to pivot towards real estate. Now, she’s slinging much more than exposed brick and herringbone tile kitchens. Singley has an idea, cultivated at UBB, that could change the way home buyers and sellers approach real estate in Philadelphia.

Singley’s path to real estate has not been straightforward. Born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania, she decided to major in marketing at the Fox School of Business with the idea of getting into retail after graduation. Four days after receiving her diploma, Singley did just that, having landed a job at the then retail start-up UBB, owned by fellow Fox alumni Brian Linton and Mike Cangi. Tasked with opening and managing their first storefront at 2nd street, she eventually oversaw the brand grow to include four locations, including one in New York.

“Brian and Mike taught me so much,” said Singley. “I received constructive feedback and was pushed to step outside of my comfort zone. They were a huge part of my career growth.”

Singley credits Fox with helping her prepare for such a huge opportunity immediately after college.

Four Skills Singley Sharpened At Fox

  1. Financial Management: “At Fox, I learned as much about numbers as I possibly could. Not everyone left college knowing how to manage income vs. debt and I’m glad I did.”
  2. Interviewing: “I overthink and get nervous before interviews. The mock interview nights at Fox really helped. As realtor, having a “script” ready for clients that answers potential questions comes in handy.”
  3. Independence: “Fox encouraged networking. Even if my friends couldn’t make it, I’d go by myself to networking nights.”  
  4. Negotiation: “Several of my classes had a focus on negotiation, which definitely translates into my job today. Every deal I work on involves negotiation for prices, rate, and timeline.”

When Singley decided to leave UBB in the summer of 2018, she had risen to title of Jen Singley unlocking one of her properties director of operations, but the burgeoning retail guru wasn’t happy anymore. Too busy with managing scores of new employees, she missed out on the litter clean-ups that UBB was well-known for, one of the reasons she liked her job.

“I thought about it for a year and a half,” she said. “I love everyone at United By Blue, but part of me wasn’t whole at that point. I saw my coworkers getting excited about a new product launch or an event, and I didn’t share in that same passion anymore.”

Hailing from a family of entrepreneurs and small business owners, Singley got her real estate license in 2017 while still at UBB and was selling homes part-time. The decision to leave her comfortable position at a growing company was tough, but she felt supported by her parents—her father owns a duct-cleaning and fire restoration company.

“I wanted to do something I was excited about everyday again,” she said. “Having flexible hours and helping young house buyers, that’s what’s motivating me right now.”

There are similarities between her old career and her new one. Singley is organizing neighborhood trash pickups to rally new buyers and current community residents. Her hope is that bringing together social enterprise and selling homes, she can help set a new standard for real estate agents in Philadelphia, one cigarette filter or cheesesteak wrapper at a time.

To get the word out about the places she loves, Singley has harnessed the power of social. She knows that people her age find aesthetically pleasing photos, tips on maintaining homes and defining real estate jargon more interesting than print mailers and cold calls. Her strategy has worked to engage potential home buyers. So far, Singley has sold 14 homes and counting—not bad for seven months on the job.

Singley’s Hot Neighborhoods

  • Francisville
  • Gray’s Ferry
  • Brewerytown

Follow Singley @:

Social Enterprises Singley Loves

Bennett Compost (waste pickup/compost drop-off subscription) [link https://www.bennettcompost.com/]

Learn more about Fox School Research.

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Seven alumni-owned food and beverage businesses taking taste buds to the next level

Some people say music is the one true universal language. But, let’s be honest, the one true universal language is food. Nobody knows this better than these Fox School alumni who have launched exciting businesses in the food space. From healthy stir-fries to mouthwatering donuts, fancy cocktails to salads-in-jars, learn more about these seven food and drink businesses owned and founded by Fox foodies.

1. FACTORY DONUTS

After studying finance at the Fox School, David Restituto, BBA ’96, ran Rita’s Italian Ice and Meineke franchises in the Philadelphia area. In 2017, the self-confessed “sweet tooth” opened Factory Donuts in Northeast Philly. The shop, which boasts a hip, industrial aesthetic, sells coffee and about two dozen different types of donuts, including the Maple Bacon Explosion and the Blueberry Bake. The business has already moved into its next phase: franchising. “We have so much positive interest from people,” Restituto says. “We’re ready to launch the franchise end of the business and we’re planning for future growth. It’s a very exciting time.”

2. HONEY GROW

Justin Rosenberg, MBA ’09, is no stranger to the pages of Fox Focus—when we caught up with him in the last issue, he told us all about how honeygrow uses virtual reality to onboard new employees. Rosenberg designed the business plan for honeygrow, the fast- casual salad and stir-fry restaurant, while working on his MBA at
the Fox School. Since opening the rst location in 2012, honeygrow has grown quite a bit. Now there are more than 24 locations in eight states and Washington, D.C. Not to mention three minigrow locations, honeygrow’s new build-your-own dish carryout concept.

3. PHILLY FOODWORKS

Dylan Baird, BBA ’13, worked with Urban Tree Connection, an urban farm in West Philadelphia, while studying entrepreneurship at the Fox School. His passion for the intersection of food and community development morphed into Philly Foodworks, which he co-founded in 2014. The mission? To create a platform for small, non-mainstream food producers—including local farmers, coffee roasters, chocolatiers, tofu makers, and bakeries—to deliver healthy, fresh foods to people. Thanks to Baird and Philly Foodworks, the farmers market now comes directly to your front door.

4. CONSHOHOCKEN ITALIAN BAKERY

Do you love pizza? Of course you do, everybody loves pizza. And if you’re a Philadelphian, you also likely love tomato pie. Conshohocken Italian Bakery has been serving up tomato pies (including a custom Philadelphia Eagles version following the team’s Super Bowl LII victory), pizzas, breads, desserts, and more since it was co-founded by Domenico Gambone in 1973. The family business is now run by sister and brother Christina Gambone, BBA ’92, and Michael Gambone, BBA ’91—Christina is the director of business operations, and Michael is the vice president.

“Mike and I have been working here since our early teens,” says Christina. “There’s no better way to learn the business than from the ground up. We’ve always been close siblings, so working together is very natural. And our dad is still very active in the business and our goal is to support him and his passion. We keep that in mind with every new avenue we pursue.”

5. COCKTAIL CULTURE CO.

Ever watched an episode of Mad Men and wondered how in the heck they make those delicious looking cocktails? Jungeun Park, BS ’16, knows the secrets and she’s here to
help you craft that perfect old fashioned. After completing her studies in marketing and being named a finalist in the Temple University Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute’s 2016 Be Your Own Boss Bowl® for the business concept, Park launched Cocktail Culture Co., which offers interactive cocktail and mixology workshops. They also host whiskey and wine tastings so you know what you’re talking about next time you step up to the bar.

6. SIMPLY GOOD JARS

Healthy food is oftentimes not the most convenient to find for lunch at work or on-the-go. That’s where Simply Good Jars, founded by Jared Cannon, MS ’16, comes in. Cannon, a chef, came up with the idea as a Fox School grad student studying innovation management and entrepreneurship. Each convenient plastic jar includes a healthy meal made with local ingredients while creating zero waste for the Philadelphia community.

7. ZEST CULINARY SERVICES

Melissa Wieczorek, BBA ’93, MBA ’02, always loved food, cooking, and entertaining. So, when she left her position as the director of the Fox School’s Executive MBA program in 2005, she knew exactly what to do: Zest Culinary Services, a personal chef and boutique catering company, was born. “There’s always something new to discover in food—a recipe, an ingredient, a technique, a favor combination, or even a new business model,” says Wieczorek when asked why she loves working with food. “The possibilities are endless and the food industry is constantly evolving so it never gets boring. And the ability to make a positive impact on people’s lives on a daily basis through food—whether it’s a meal, an educational talk, or a dining experience—is extremely gratifying.”