Dr. Xueming Luo

Dr. Xueming Luo, Charles Gilliland Distinguished Chair, director of the Global Center for Big Data and Mobile Analytics, and professor of marketing at the Fox School of Business, has been named by INFORMS as the conference organizer for the 40th Annual INFORMS ISMS Marketing Science Conference. It will be held June 13–16, 2018, at the Fox School. This annual event brings together leading marketing scholars, practitioners, and policy makers from around the globe with a shared interest in rigorous scientific research on marketing problems.

The conference falls under the auspices of the INFORMS Society for Marketing Science (ISMS) sub-branch, a society of scholars devoted to researching market phenomena at the interface of firms and consumers, and disseminating that knowledge to students, managers, public officials, and society at large.

The conference will be held at Alter Hall, home of the Fox School, which features state-of-the-art technology and ample room for concurrent sessions. This conference momentum is building and may become the largest academic conference that Temple University has ever hosted.

“We are very fortunate to host this prestigious conference,” says Dr. Luo. “It is the flagship annual event in the quantitative marketing areas with expected attendants of around 1,000 marketing professors and PhD students from the best business schools around the world, as well as industry executives and experts. It promises to further boost our Temple and Fox brand reputation and impact in the country and worldwide.”

Call for papers and registration dates are now open. Please visit the conference website for more information.

Learn more about the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management.
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Howard J. Weiss, a Fox School of Business professor of operations management in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management, will be retiring at the end of the academic year after 42 years of teaching, research, and service excellence.

“I’m going to relax, read more, winter in Florida, spend more time with my wife, travel to see my children and grandchildren more often, and continue to maintain my educational software packages with Pearson Publishing,” says Weiss about his retirement plans.

Weiss grew up in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia; he attended Philadelphia public schools, including Central High School (227). In 1972, he completed his undergraduate studies in applied mathematics and computer science at Washington University in St. Louis. In his senior year, he was torn between becoming a professor or a lawyer. He ultimately chose the former, and after completing his MS and PhD in industrial engineering and management science at Northwestern University, he took his first teaching position at Western Illinois University.

“It was out in the middle of cornfields,” he recalls of Western Illinois. “I’d previously been in Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Chicago, so it was a pleasant change to be able to leave our doors unlocked. But my wife and I ultimately wanted to live in a larger and more progressive city.”

The next year, in 1976, he took a job at Temple University, in what was then the Department of Management. His research, which has been published in leading journals, shed new light on waiting lines, inventory, and scheduling. In 1988, his first educational software package and textbook were released. He has since updated the software package, and developed new software for Pearson. “It’s exciting,” he says, “to know that my software has been used globally by so many students.”

Weiss has helped lead the Fox School through many critical evolutions over the last four decades; in 2006, to recognize his efforts and impact, he received Fox’s highest honor, the annual Musser Award for Service, and in 2013 he received the Temple University Outstanding Faculty Service Award. Weiss was a member of the steering committee that established the Online MBA program and, always one to integrate technology into the classroom, was one of the very first people to incorporate computers and Excel into the classroom and to teach an online course at Fox. He recently was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fox School. He also has served his professional organizations in multiple capacities, including editorial positions for several leading journals.

He served as the academic director of the Executive MBA program for 14 years, and academic director of the Part-Time MBA program for eight years. “I always envisioned myself as a quant person, so to have that kind of leadership and administrative opportunity was very rewarding,” says Weiss. “I’m very grateful to the dean for that.”

In addition to his many papers directly related to his field of operations management, Weiss has published several articles about professional sports. He has written on ice hockey, bias of schedules and playoff seeding, and ranking the greatest sports records of all time. Weiss, a big fan of both Philadelphia and Temple athletics, has had this most recent research noted in Sports Illustrated and The Wall Street Journal.

Weiss is part of a larger Temple family. His daughter, Lisa, received her undergraduate degree from Temple in religion. His wife, Lucia, received her degree in women’s studies from Temple and has recently retired as an associate professor of family medicine from the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine. Professors Weiss have been generous donors to the Fox School and to Temple over the years, including funding an endowed annual prize in women’s studies for graduating seniors. (Alas, his son, Ernie, has his degrees from non-Temple institutions.)

One of the things Weiss—who taught many different courses on operations management and quantitative methods—will miss the most after 42 years at the Fox School is his classroom interactions with students.

“We have some incredible, wonderful students at Fox,” he says. “It has always been a big thrill to see students’ eyes light up when they learn something new or relate what I teach in the classroom to their jobs. Today I gave a quiz and asked the students something I hadn’t taught before. I wasn’t expecting everybody to get it right, but it was really pleasing to see students come up with an idea on their own and try their best. That’s what I’ll miss most about teaching. In addition, I have had the most wonderful colleagues in the department, school, and university that anyone could ask for. They will be sorely missed.”

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Mitchell L. Morgan recalled driving along Broad Street more than 45 years ago. His future, he said, had as little direction as the car he was steering.

“Higher education wasn’t for me, or so I thought,” Morgan said. “I wanted to go into the world. I wanted to start a business. I wanted to see it grow. But that was before I got to Temple University.”

Temple University’s Fox School of Business honored Morgan as the recipient of the 21st annual Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership, the highest honor conferred by the school, during a Nov. 8 dinner and reception at Mitten Hall.

The evening paid homage to Morgan, a Temple graduate and member of the university’s Board of Trustees. Morgan is the founder and chairman of Morgan Properties, one of the largest owners of multi-family apartment communities in the country. He founded the company in 1985, and has grown it to more than 37,000 units in 139 apartment communities in 10 states.

He and his wife, through their Mitchell and Hilarie Morgan Family Foundation, remain committed to making a difference in the lives of others. In particular, the Morgans’ lifetime support of Temple helped erect the 27-story residence hall that bears their names.

From the podium, Morgan thanked his family. At times in his career, he said, he leaned upon their support as much as his education.

“Having a dream in business was not enough,” Morgan said. “I needed the skills. I needed to be Temple Made. That’s why I’m proud to give back to this great university.”

Morgan’s career in real estate spurred a lively opening to the festivities by the evening’s master of ceremonies, Tyler Mathisen, the managing editor of CNBC Business News and co-host of the network’s show, Power Lunch. Mathisen emerged from behind a door to greet attendees, shortly before a handful of Fox Real Estate majors knocked at another door on stage.

“Every year that I’m on campus, the students look younger and younger. That’s probably because I keep getting older!” Mathisen quipped.

The Musser Awards dinner and reception annually honors achievement in business and outstanding leadership and service to the Philadelphia community. Past top honorees in attendance included Warren V. “Pete” Musser, Robert Fox, and Steven Korman, and Temple Trustees Dennis Alter, Joseph F. Coradino, Chair Patrick J. O’Conner, Daniel H. Polett, and Jane Scaccetti.

“We are proud to honor Mitch, a driven leader who understands business principles as much as the value of giving back,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “He has committed himself to a lifetime of opening doors for people, from residents of his properties and colleagues of his company to the many beneficiaries of his charitable support.

“And this is worth mentioning,” Porat added. “While only one building on Temple’s campus is named for Mitch, he has led a campus renaissance and has placed his fingerprints on dozens of renovation projects. He is Temple University through and through.”

Even More Accolades

Faculty and staff at the Fox School joined Morgan as honorees at the 21st annual Musser Awards. Here are the winners:

  • Excellence in Teaching: Krupa Viswanathan, PhD, Associate Professor of Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management
  • Excellence in Research: In-Sue Oh, PhD, Charles Beury Professor of Human Resource Management
  • Excellence in Faculty Service: Susan M. Mudambi, PhD, Research Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management
  • Excellence in Administrative Service: Christine Kiely, Associate Vice Dean of MBA, MS, and International Programs
  • Excellence in Student Leadership: Megan Stoner, FOX ’17
  • Excellence in Alumni Achievement: Brett Kratchner, FOX ’83
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When looking for a restaurant, bakery, plumber, or lawyer, you’re likely to visit sites like Yelp or Angie’s List to help make a choice. In fact, recent research shows that 78 percent of consumers in the United States will read online reviews prior to making a purchase or decision. Meanwhile, businesses can use these review sites to interact more directly with their customers, through tools like new owner response features.

How does this online interaction translate into real-world performance? Dr. Subodha Kumar, professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at the Fox School, conducted a study to find out.

Kumar examines the impact of the adoption of the business owner response feature within online review platforms in his paper, “Exit, Voice, and Response in Digital Platforms: An Empirical Investigation of Online Management Response Strategies,” which was accepted for publication in the Information Systems Research, an A-level journal.

Businesses that use the response features saw an increased number of mobile “check-ins” through sites like FourSquare and Facebook. Although the feature has been beneficial for businesses that use it, the key to consistent success resides in the need for companies to stay up-to-date with ways to connect with their consumers, both present and future.

“Overall, the new features supported through digital platforms will help businesses develop the right engagement strategy, improve consumer experience, and generate more reviews and consumer traffic, which will ultimately open more revenue generating opportunities for both the digital platforms and businesses,” said Kumar. This strategy will essentially drive higher website traffic and, if done well, enhance customer relations.

The study also found that use of the online response feature impacted the performance of nearby businesses. For example, in analyzing the performance of nearby restaurants in direct competition, businesses that directly engaged with customers online increased their number of check-ins, while businesses that did not use the features saw a decrease. This spillover effect suggests that businesses must be aware of how their neighbors and competitors are engaging with customers online in order to optimize their own digital strategies.

With the growth of mobile check-ins, social media, and online reviews, the research possibilities are evolving as well. “A future research direction is to examine which types of online management responses are more likely to attract consumers and enhance business performance,” said Kumar.

Dr. Subodha Kumar recently joined the Fox School. He will be a part of the Data Science Institute, an interdisciplinary body that connects multiple disciplinary perspectives to increase collaboration in the fields of computer science, math and statistics, and business knowledge.

Learn more about Fox School Research.
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YPC Mentorship Breakfast
Becca Zinn and Cliff Tironi facilitate a session on productive conversations at a mentorship program hosted by The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.

On April 18, Becca Zinn, Assistant Professor of Practice, Marketing and Supply Chain Management and Marketing Director of Fox Management Consulting, and Cliff Tironi, Manager of Performance Analytics at Temple University’s Fox School of Business facilitated a session with business professionals on ways to have productive, growth-focused conversations. The event, hosted by The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, was the third and final session led by Fox School faculty as part of an eight-month-long mentorship program, “Pay it Forward: Mentoring our Future Leaders,” designed to help young professionals grow and develop through mentorship.

At the onset of the mentorship program in 2016, participants were tasked with working on a project together. During the breakfast session, they discussed how feedback-related conversations impacted their projects’ progress, and participated in a conversation about how to facilitate productive feedback conversations in the workplace.

The Chamber decided to pilot the mentorship program with its own Young Professionals Council (YPC) upon learning that employers were concerned about retention of young professionals in the area, according to Patty Day, project manager in the Leadership Councils business unit at the Chamber and organizer of the mentorship program. The program, designed to help root young professionals in Philadelphia, has received extremely positive feedback from both mentors and mentees, who felt it was a good use of their time, according to Day. “They’re all really busy people, and by their commitment to this, they’re showing how important it is to them,” she said. 

Christina Wong, vice president of ESM Productions, was paired with mentor Emily Bittenbender, founder and managing partner of Bittenbender Construction. The pair reflected on the positive experience the mentorship program provided. “I’ve been at my company for 11 years and have received mentorship, but being with Emily has given me a different perspective,” Wong said. “There’s no judgment here, and the trust factor is remarkable,” Bittenbender added. “The most incredible thing is that I have a new friend.”

Program participants included mentors who are current Chamber members and mentees participating in YPC. They represented a wide array of Philadelphia area companies such as KPMG, Comcast, PNC, Saul Ewing, the Kimmel Center, Wawa, and Vanguard, among others.

Through its consulting services, Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC) has worked with firms of varying sizes and functions on strategies to meaningfully engage young adults, both as customers and as employees. To learn more about these and other services Fox MC offers, contact us here.

Lauren Moreno
Lauren Moreno

Lauren Moreno’s undergraduate education spanned fine arts, journalism, and art history. In search of a graduate program that would enhance her sales and marketing career, Moreno chose Temple University’s Fox School of Business.

In February, Moreno earned a Master of Science degree in Digital Innovation in Marketing (DIM), as part of the online program’s first graduating class.

“I wanted a graduate program that offered the business school background that I didn’t get from my undergraduate degree, while complimenting my work experience,” said the 31-year-old Moreno. “I decided the DIM program was what I was really passionate about and thought that should be where I’d put my energy.”

Moreno co-founded Team 624 Communications, a digital branding, social media, and content marketing firm for which she serves as creative director. The Digital Innovation in Marketing program, which can be completed in 16 months, enables students like Moreno to flourish in a collaborative environment that fosters an understanding of the digital marketing industry.

“It’s always changing,” said Moreno. “As professionals, we need to keep learning and challenge the practices we’re using. If you’re not paying attention to where your engagement is coming from and what type of content is working, it won’t take long before marketing efforts are diminished.”

With the help of an advisory council comprised of digital innovators who are currently in the industry, students in the DIM program are offered a curriculum that coincides with what is part of the professional landscape.

“The overall mission of our program is to create the next generation of digital marketers,” said Amy Lavin, director of the Digital Innovation in Marketing program. “In today’s digital economy, it’s not enough to just be a marketer. It’s not enough to just be technical on the marketing side. We give the students in our program the ability to understand both sides.”

The MS in Digital Innovation in Marketing is managed jointly within the Fox School’s Management Information Systems (MIS) and Marketing and Supply Chain Management departments. In January, the MIS department’s graduate programs earned a No. 16 ranking in the country from U.S. News & World Report — a feat that Lavin said validated what the program has to offer.

“You can complete any kind of Google search right now, and you know this market is hot,” said Lavin. “In this program, we’ll give students the skills they need in order to be successful. As the marketplace opens up and people realize that they need this skill set, we’re going to continue to grow our MS in Digital Innovation in Marketing.”

Currently, Moreno remains focused on utilizing the tools she has taken from the program to grow Team 624, alongside her business partner, Kaitlin Cleary.

“We want to meet our next goals by identifying potential revenue streams,” Moreno said. “We’re looking at offering trainings, workshops, online courses, and like we learned in the program, really using technology to our advantage to reach more people.”

A team of Fox School undergraduate Marketing students worked with Alvin Little, fourth from left, founder of Group Cruises & Great Escapes, to provide digital marketing consultancy in Dr. Susan Mudambi’s Digital Marketing course.

Dressed in their finest business attire, four marketing students at Temple University’s Fox School of Business navigated a comprehensive, 25-minute digital marketing strategy.

They delivered a high-impact presentation with professional-grade recommendations for the future of a business. A real business. Not only had they earned the applause of their classmates, but also the handshakes of their client. A real client.

For this assignment, the students enrolled in Dr. Susan Mudambi’s three-credit Digital Marketing course put aside their notepads and textbooks. Mudambi’s course doubles as a platform for experiential learning. Each semester, her students form small teams and work as marketing consultants who deliver a final report at little to no charge for their clients in the Philadelphia region.

“The course gives the students a good foundation on theories and techniques, but the eye-opening experience is the rewarding challenge of applying these principles to help a business become more successful,” Mudambi said.

Dr. Susan Mudambi

Mudambi’s Digital Marketing course, since 2011, has provided consulting reports to 5 to 10 clients every semester – from clothiers and food vendors to car dealerships, dentists, and building contractors. Through a newly forged partnership with Temple’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Fall 2016, her students’ work benefited seven SBDC clients, as well as 13 other local businesses.

“When I started out, the students sometimes had to search to find an established business with which to work,” she said, “but increasingly, the clients are contacting me to ask for help. I really value the partnership with SBDC.”

The students operate under the banner of 5th Floor Analytics. (The Fox School’s Marketing and Supply Chain Management department is housed on the fifth floor of Alter Hall.) The group focuses on analyzing and creating digital value for the participating clients, providing expertise in Google AdWords and Google Analytics, as well as through popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The students also provide suggestions on email campaigns and the redesign of customers’ existing websites.

Mudambi welcomed the class’ clients to Alter Hall to hear the students deliver their digital strategy presentations. The students assessed areas that required immediate improvement, and implemented strategies to improve brand awareness, brand value, and digital reach. They offered immediate calls to action for the target audiences of each company, helped the client develop a uniform image and voice across all media, and supplied a marketing plan for the next 90 days.

Afterward, Alvin Little could hardly contain himself. The founder of Philadelphia-based travel company Group Cruises & Great Escapes excitedly walked to the front of the classroom to shake hands with each student who provided digital marketing consultancy.

“I realized a short while ago that, in order to grow my business, I needed a digital marketing strategy,” Little said, “and because my company is a part of the SBDC program, I had access to students could help me get this endeavor off the ground. I needed to add web traffic for my business. If you’re not properly utilizing means of digital marketing or social media, you’re not reaching your clientele. I am grateful for the work of these students, because it can be expensive to grow in this capacity.”

Margarita Faykina, one of the students assigned to Little’s company, said she and her classmates successfully increased brand awareness through social media, and incorporated customer testimonials into Little’s website to “improve relationships with existing customers, and to reach new ones.”

“It’s truly been a great experience to work with Mr. Little,” said Faykina, a senior Marketing major. “This has been a great learning experience, to see our input put forth, to help deliver a great product.”

The Fox School is renowned for providing its students with experiential learning opportunities. At the graduate level, the Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC) practice allows Fox MBA students a platform upon which to apply, integrate, and demonstrate business training by delivering strategic solutions to paying clients. For the clients, who stem from the private, public, and social sectors both locally and globally, Fox MC offers unmatched cost-effective, research-based consulting.

Mudambi’s Digital Marketing course has accomplished a similar outcome for marketing students at the undergraduate level – and at little to no expense for the client.

“Digital marketing analytics is a hot area, and our students are developing solid analytical skills through this course,” Mudambi said. “In addition, employers need people they can trust to interface with clients. The 5th Floor Analytics consulting experience opens many doors for Fox students.

“I often hear back from students who tell me that talking in a job interview about this experience got them their dream job. That makes my day. And I love it when former students return to speak to my classes about their successes. They inspire us all, and keep it real.”

–Christopher A. Vito

Dennis Paris co-led an interactive discussion for Fox and UTS MBA candidates about ways to reduce global demand of animal parts
Dennis Paris led an interactive discussion for Fox and UTS MBA candidates about ways to reduce global demand of animal parts

In efforts to expand the experiential learning opportunities offered to its MBA candidates, Temple University’s Fox School of Business (Fox) has partnered with two universities across the globe to tackle a pressing environmental issue–extinction of endangered species through poaching. Students from UTS Business School, part of the University of Technology, Sydney, arrived in Philadelphia on Nov. 13 to kick off the first of a three-part intercontinental MBA case study to reduce the demand for animal products.

On Nov. 17, Dennis Paris, Assistant Professor of Practice, Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Fox, along with Becca Zinn, Assistant Professor of Practice, Marketing and Supply Chain Management and Marketing Director of Fox MC, Arion Rochman, Principal/Creative Director at Opus Brand Strategies, and Adam Schreiber, COO at Schreiber & Paris, led an interactive discussion for Fox and UTS business students about ways to reduce, rather than drive global demand of animal parts 

“The goal of our session with UTS was to offer our market research, planning and tactical expertise to help with the development of a strategy framework that would ultimately lead to an international market reduction plan of animal parts,” Dennis Paris said. “After an energetic discussion, we concluded with next steps and a framework to better understand the beliefs and values of two target markets: those possessing or wearing for status, and those who consume for ritualistic or medical purposes.”   

The UTS students are focusing exclusively on the “demand” side of the problem and understanding the drivers of consumer behaviors in this illicit market in order to develop a strategy for market destruction or reduction. In the second phase of the project, Fox MBA students will leverage the research from UTS to develop a marketing strategy to reduce demand for products from poached animals as part of the Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC) capstone course. Lastly, MBA candidates from University of Cape Town will incorporate the first two pieces of the project to develop a financing model and social venture bond to fund the strategic plan.

“We’re not going to change the culture [of poaching] overnight. We first have to understand why people are using the product,” said Arion Rochman. “Then we can develop powerful, impactful messages that slowly plant seeds to demystify the idea and encourage a change in the way people think. These resources won’t be here forever” she said.

Other notable events in which the Fox and UTS students participated this week as part of the project included:

  • Design thinking session at LiquidHub
  • Visit to Philadelphia Zoo to learn about conservation
  • Visit to Adventure Aquarium to discuss shark and marine conservation
  • Meeting at Independence Blue Cross for Innovation session
  • Meeting at BDP International to discuss compliance
  • Visit to City of Philadelphia Innovation Lab

Through its consulting services, Fox MC has worked with firms of varying sizes and functions on strategies to protect economic tourism and natural resources. The three-university initiative is Fox MC’s latest effort to address this issue. To learn more about this and other services Fox MC offers, contact us here.

From one stage to another

November 16, 2016 //

tony-dibennedettoDr. Anthony Di Benedetto
Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec
Resides: Philadelphia

It’s been a few decades since Dr. Anthony Di Benedetto grabbed his bass, got on stage, and played music in front of big crowds. But the longtime Fox professor still harkens back to his rock-and-roll days in the 1970s whenever he gets to the front of a class and speaks to his students.

“I’m always conscious of being on stage,” he said. “It’s a little bit like doing theater or music. I still remember things like not turning your back on the audience. I really concentrate on not turning my back on my class. And as far as being engaging, the way you address the class is, in a sense, the way you would address an audience.

“I would say I’m better in a classroom because of what I’ve done in music.”

In other ways, music also helped Di Benedetto reach the stage where he is today — as one of the world’s leading research scholars in innovation and technology management. When he was a child growing up in Montreal, he had a tough time making friends. His parents spoke to a psychologist, who encouraged them to find an outlet for their son.

And so music it was.

“Sure enough, when I was in high school, I met a lot of people through music,” he said. “It was fun. And I stayed with it.”

Di Benedetto played in several bands in high school, college, and throughout his 20s, using his skills on the bass to become a valuable commodity because, as he put it, “everyone else wanted to play lead guitar.”

And he was good enough to make a little money at it, too, playing covers of The Beatles, The Who, and The Rolling Stones in clubs and hotels around Montreal for one popular band and what he called “oom-pah” music and pop songs in German clubs for another.

But when it came time to thinking about his future, he decided that the life of a professional musician just wasn’t for him.

“The short story is I gave up rock-and-roll to get my MBA,” said Di Benedetto, who earned his MBA and PhD at McGill University, before launching his career as a professor, joining the Temple University faculty in 1990, and remaining there ever since.
Di Benedetto is certainly happy with that choice, admitting that he seldom plays music and rarely even thinks about his days in a band. But it will always be an exciting, interesting and eye-opening time in his life.

When asked if he’d ever play again, he left the door slightly ajar.

“A musician never says that he’s unemployed,” he laughed. “He’s just between gigs.”


November 16, 2016 //

Businesses in today’s globally competitive and rapidly changing technological environment are increasingly resorting to multi-disciplinary approaches to problem solving.

Regardless of a student’s prospective career field, the Fox School of Business are fosters the development data analysis and creative-thinking skills at every level. makes the strongest employee.

As part of its efforts to support interdisciplinary studies, the Fox School lends support and faculty leadership to activities that are open to students from Temple University’s 17 schools and colleges: the Temple Analytics Challenge data competition, and the Temple Art of Business/Business of Art (AB/BA) student professional organization.

Visualizing data-based solutions

The Temple Analytics Challenge started in 2013 as an outlet for students at Temple to develop their data analysis, information visualization, and communication skills. It focuses on making sense of big data through visualization, a key component of data analytics cited by experts as a promising path to job opportunities.

Finalists from the 2016 Temple Analytics Challenge
Finalists from the 2016 Temple Analytics Challenge

Participants work on scenarios using data from corporate partners, analyzing the data and presenting their findings in a way that is meaningful and understandable to a wide audience. Not only do students have a chance to work with real-world data and problems — this year’s theme is “Improving Global Health” and corporate partners Merck, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, and AmerisourceBergen are participating — they also have an opportunity to win up to $2,500 from a total pool of $12,000 in prize money.

“The Temple Analytics Challenge, by integrating analytics, big data, and visualization with real-world important problems, provides students with valuable, employable skill sets,” said George Llado, SVP and CIO of Alexion. “We are very excited to see how the students tackle the challenges of world health.”

The competition is not exclusive to Fox students, and is open to entrants from all 17 of Temple’s schools and colleges. In the past, winners and finalists have come from the Tyler School of Art, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Engineering, the School of Media and Communications, the College of Public Health, and the Fox School.

This level of interdisciplinary competition doesn’t just benefit the participants. The corporate partners are looking for solutions to real-world problems. While the industry partners might be better versed with approaching the subject from a business-school perspective, they might not look at their data the same way an art or engineering student would.

The Fox School’s Institute of Business and Information Technology (IBIT) and the Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies sponsor the Temple Analytics Challenge, which is in its fourth year.

“A powerful aspect of the Analytics Challenge is that it gives all Temple students the opportunity to develop new data literacy skills,” said Laurel Miller, Assistant Professor of Management Information Systems (MIS) at Fox, and a co-organizer of the competition.

“There’s an empowering aspect to this,” said Dr. David Schuff, Professor of MIS, and the Challenge’s creator and co-organizer. “I’ll often have students come to me who are interested in participating but unsure whether they have enough data analysis skill. We infuse the competition with workshops and one-on-one counseling to make sure all students have the support they need and the sense that this is something they can do.”

Melding art and business

MESH 2016Beyond the Temple Analytics Challenge, the Fox School bridges the gap between students in the art and business communities through the Art of Business/Business of Art (AB/BA) student professional organization.

Each year AB/BA members host guest speakers, an art-and-business networking event, and a university-wide creativity showcase, MESH: Redefining Art at Temple.

Speakers include: George Ciukurescu, FOX ’15, who played bass for the band Valencia, and is an accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers; Conrad Benner, who founded popular Philly street art blog Streets Dept.; and Tiffica Benza, FOX ’01, and Ashley Peel-Pinkham, owners of Philadelphia Independents, an Old City shop that sells souvenirs made exclusively by Philly artists.

AB/BA members also help each other sell goods at Philly’s annual Punk Rock Flea Market, Tyler Alumni Art Market and Spruce Street Harbor Park.

By participating in AB/BA, Fox students with an art background can mentor Tyler students in business practices,” said Laurie Fitzpatrick, the organization’s faculty leader, and an Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Fox. “Together, they can be in touch with the art world. Just because you’re in business school, there’s no reason you should stop painting or stop writing. Your art is part of your life.”

Conversely, for art students, AB/BA is an opportunity to embrace the business world, which methodologies and practices that can seem intimidating, Fitzpatrick said.

“It’s been really fascinating to watch the business students in our group interact with the art students, and watch different ways of thinking come together,” said Fiona Fackler, a former president of AB/BA. “At meetings, we foster conversations and new friendships between students who may not normally interact on a daily basis.”

“It can be difficult to associate with people outside of your major, so it’s nice to step out of those boxes we build, to see people a little differently, or try to get to know people more deeply over shared interests.”

Professor Becca Zinn guides mentorship participants through a presentation on cultivating leadership opportunities within organizations
Becca Zinn guides mentorship participants through a presentation on cultivating leadership opportunities within organizations.

On Nov. 14, business professionals from the Philadelphia region gathered at KPMG to discuss ways young professionals can grow and develop through mentorship. The event, “Pay it Forward: Mentoring our Future Leaders,” hosted by The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia (the Chamber), kicked off a series of mentorship events designed to partner young professionals with area business executives. During the event, Rebecca Zinn, Assistant Professor of Practice, Marketing and Supply Chain Management and Director of Marketing for Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC) at Temple University’s Fox School of Business (Fox), guided attendees through a presentation on “Cultivating Leadership Opportunities Within the Organization” together with Dr. TL Hill, Associate Professor of Strategic Management at Fox and Managing Director of Fox MC.

During her presentation, Zinn pointed to research conducted by showing that a thriving job market is the most important quality in a city for young professionals, and that Philadelphia offers a majority of the qualities that young professionals cited as important. However, she also said that “sixty-four percent of young professionals expect to leave their job or city within five years” and highlighted the importance of investing in this population of the workforce and giving them a reason to stay. “As a business community, we have an opportunity to invest in the future by cultivating leadership,” Zinn said.

“Data show that young professionals aged 28-34 need to build relationships with mentors both outside of their sector and outside of their organization,” said Rob Wonderling, President and CEO of the Chamber. “That’s what we’re hoping to do with young professionals in our organization. There’s a lot of opportunity” he said.

The goal of the kickoff event was to develop a baseline for how mentors and mentees can understand each other’s challenges and help young leaders become better employees, leaders and colleagues, according to Ginny Susini, Chair of the Chamber’s Young Professionals Council (YPC), an arm of the Chamber that connects ambitious, visionary young people with a strong, diverse network of peers, mentors and regional business and civic leaders. Susini is also a mentee participating in the program.

“The Board has wanted to start this program for years to connect young professionals with business leaders in the region, and we’re excited that this program has finally launched,” Susini said. She expressed optimism this new program will provide young professionals with additional incentive to stay and establish roots in Philadelphia.

Mentorship program participants included mentors who are current Chamber members and mentees participating YPC. Participants represented a wide array of Philadelphia area companies, such as KPMG, Comcast, PNC, Saul Ewing, the Kimmel Center, Wawa, and Vanguard, among others. They broke out into small groups and addressed topics Professor Zinn prompted, including leadership development opportunities for young professionals in their organizations and potential changes in organizational dynamics.

“I hope the event formed a foundation for mentor relationships that will be developed over the next six to eight months,” Zinn said. “Through the discussion questions, I aimed to introduce topics that mentors and mentees can continue to discuss as they start meeting together.”

Program participants will reconvene as a group in January, April and June 2017.

Through its consulting services, Fox Management Consulting has worked with firms of varying sizes and functions on strategies to meaningfully engage young adults, both as customers and as employees. To learn more about these and other services Fox MC offers, contact us here.

Dr. Darin Kapanjie, Marcus Allen, and Richard Lewis discuss how their organizations respond to digital innovation.

On Oct. 20, Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC) at Temple University’s Fox School of Business partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) Independence Region to offer advice on how business owners, entrepreneurs and companies can keep their business models competitive. The event, “Business Model Innovation in a Rapidly Evolving Digital World,” brought together executives from diverse industries including healthcare, media, education and nonprofit to discuss how they have used digital innovation to build and retain a competitive advantage. It was part of Fox MC’s Executive Strategy Series, designed to present diverse perspectives on critical business questions.

Moderated by Dr. TL Hill, Associate Professor of Strategic Management and Managing Director of Fox MC, the event featured panelists Marcus Allen, President and CEO of BBBS Independence Region, Darin Kapanjie, Managing Director of Online Learning at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, Richard Lewis, Philadelphia Regional President of iHeartMedia, and Mike West, CEO of Rothman Institute.

“Technology affects everybody and every aspect of our life, be it personal or professional,” said iHeartMedia’s Philadelphia Regional President, Richard Lewis. “I hope people will walk away from this event with a different perspective than before.”

Marcus Allen, CEO of BBBS Independence Region, added, “if we don’t focus on how to leverage the technology and digital transformation space, we won’t be able to exist in the future. It’s extremely important to understand that space.” He expressed a desire for event attendees to learn how to incorporate technology innovation into their business models, and hoped the conversation would spark thought and motivation into helping entrepreneurs overcome those business challenges.

Victoria Chatman-Galloway, Director of Packaging R&D for Campbell Soup Company, attended the panel event to better understand how to leverage digital technology within the consumer packaged goods space. “I want to understand how daily changes to e-commerce are going to help improve my business, the impact of these changes on my business, and how we can build our foundation to fit into this change,” Chatman-Galloway said.  

Dr. Hill, who moderated the event, echoed Lewis and Allen’s sentiments about the importance of and need to adapt to changing technology, suggesting that while change is coming to all industries, the speed and severity of that change will widely vary.

“Digitally enabled business models require investment and cultural change,” Hill said

The Fox MC team chose to host a panel event on business model innovation as part of the Fox MC Executive Strategy Series because a number of existing clients have expressed a desire to evaluate and integrate digital components within their businesses, according to Becca Zinn, Assistant Professor of Practice, Marketing and Supply Chain Management and Director of Marketing for Fox MC. Zinn worked closely with Hill and the Fox MC team to organize the event and the series.

“Effective use of digital technology is pressing for organizations across all industries. Hearing from those who’ve managed cultural change to successfully implement a new model can inspire others to do the same,” Zinn said.

Fox MC launched the Executive Strategy Series earlier this year to provide thought-provoking content to the region’s business community. “We want to share the knowledge that resides within our network, both because of the amazing people and organizations involved, and because of the careful, creative, evidence-based strategy and marketing work our students, project executives, advisors and faculty have done for more than 350 clients,” Hill said.

The next Fox MC Executive Strategy Series event will take place in spring 2017 and will focus on using data to make business decisions.  

To view photos from the event, check out the album on our Facebook page, here. To learn more about the series or about the services Fox Management Consulting offers, contact us here.


AMA Speaker SeriesMarketing students from Temple University’s Fox School of Business hosted a panel of professionals from prominent national brands for a consumer insights-focused speaker series.

The students, from Temple’s chapter of the American Marketing Association, welcomed:

  • Naomi Grewal, PhD, Head of Consumer Insights, Facebook
  • Andy Smith, Director of Consumer Insights, The Hershey Company
  • Lana Busignani, Executive Vice President of Marketing Effectiveness, North America, Nielsen

The speakers addressed nearly 100 undergraduate- and graduate-level marketing students Oct. 7 in Alter Hall’s MBA Commons. A number of marketing and consumer insights professionals also attended in-person and remotely via WebEx.

“TU-AMA strives to provide students with professional development and networking opportunities,” said Temple AMA President Alex Brannan, a senior Marketing major. “The Consumer Insights panel aligned perfectly with that mission, as research is the foundation of marketing.”

Grewal shared how access to data, some of which are posted online to the company’s insights blog Facebook IQ, can shape Facebook’s understanding of its users’ demographics and interests. She mentioned a trend called “sharenting,” with parents exponentially more likely to post updates, photos, and videos.

Smith discussed the affect of culture on consumers, mentioning which products in The Hershey Company’s product line have worked – and which didn’t – in specific countries. Consumers are most attracted to “simple, familiar and safe” products, said Smith, who also shared insights about what eating habits say about an individual.

Busignani focused on Neilsen’s use of more-precise, first-party data to understand its targets and their behaviors in order to deliver relevant messaging. This is a contrast, she said, to the generalized approach of push marketing from the 1980s and 1990s. “We’re right at the beginning,” she said, “of a new journey in this digital age.”

Jim Thompson, a faculty advisor to the Temple AMA Chapter commented that this session was a testament to the growing influence of Fox’s Marketing and Supply Chain Management (MSCM) programs: “Very few universities could attract senior consumer insights executives from such high profile companies.”

Temple AMA Vice President Lily Tran, a senior Marketing major, said the organization first contacted the panelists during the Spring 2016 semester, using connections through Fox School’s MSCM department and Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making.

“We were happy to learn that each of our guest speakers was supportive of our initiative to highlight the importance of consumer insights and marketing research,” Tran said. “Naomi, our speaker from Facebook, even commented on how the consumer insights community is a close-knit, and the MSCM program will help provide access to this wide and diverse network, when recruiting top-level speakers for future events.”

Judges listen to business owner pitches at the Philadelphia Minority Enterprise Development Week Pitch Competition.

Fox Management Consulting offers strategy and marketing consulting and customized workshops to organizations across the globe. If you are interested in learning more about our services, contact us through this form.

On Sept. 29, Becca Zinn, Assistant Professor of Practice, Marketing and Supply Chain Management and Director of Marketing for Fox Management Consulting (Fox MC), served on a panel of judges at a pitch competition as part of Philly Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week, Fox MC’s latest effort to help support Philadelphia’s entrepreneurs and small-to-medium enterprises. During the competition, eight Philadelphia-area businesses owners pitched their products and services to a diverse group of panelists, including procurement specialists, leaders from the banking industry and marketing professionals. The event, sponsored by the Urban League of Philadelphia, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) of Pennsylvania and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, also provided business owners with the opportunity to mingle with other business owners, contestants, judges and exhibitors providing resources to small businesses.

“Small business owners pitching today have the opportunity to get in front of top individuals from key firms, such as SEPTA, Henkels & McCoy, Philadelphia Gas Works and others,” said Victoria Hosendorf, Director of the MBDA Business Center-Pennsylvania, a federal contract from the U.S. Department of Commerce operated by The Enterprise Center. “If they pitch well, they can walk away with a potential contract and approximately $1,000 worth of awards.”

Fox MC at Temple University’s Fox School of Business donated a one-hour consultation to each of the top three winners of the competition. Winners also received a complimentary ticket to the Urban League’s Whitney M. Young, Jr. Awards Luncheon on Dec. 2, and the grand-prize winner received a complimentary VIP Pass to The Enterprise Center’s “Lighting the Torch Awards” on Oct. 6.   

Keith Ellison, 
Program Manager of the Entrepreneurship Center for the Urban League of Philadelphia, which provides technical assistance, strategic planning and resources to help small businesses, helped to organize the pitch competition by recruiting contestants, identifying judges and exhibitors and overseeing logistics.

“It’s not easy to get in front of procurement and supplier diversity specialists at large companies,” Ellison said. “We want to give as much visibility as possible to the contestants. The pitch competition is a creative way for small business owners to promote their companies to judges in 90 seconds and answer questions.”

Victoria Tyson, owner of Victoria’s Kitchen & Catering and one of the contestants participating in the competition, hoped to obtain corporate catering contracts through the event, generate more awareness of her business, and garner assistance creating an operational plan.

“I’m looking for an outsider’s perspective on how to more effectively operate my day-to-day business operations,” Tyson said. “I want to be as efficient as possible as I try to expand within the Philadelphia area.”

For panelists, the pitch competition was a low-cost and uninterrupted way for them to learn about and find qualified businesses. They asked follow-up questions and provided business owners with feedback on their pitches.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to connect with such an impressive group of business owners and to learn more about their plans to grow,” Becca Zinn said. “At Fox MC, we seek to provide resources that will help participants achieve their goals.”

Now in its 33rd year, Philly Minority Enterprise Development Week strives to honor and promote minority-owned businesses in the Philadelphia area. It includes more than 40 events across the city aimed to help business owners grow by providing them with opportunities to learn about government and university procurement, network and effectively market their services.

Interested in learning more? Contact us here.

With an increased focus on climate change and sustainability efforts throughout the world, many people incorporate environmentally friendly behavior in their day-to-day lives. Marketers have taken notice and embraced green initiatives in their products, services, and brands. However, consumers have the power to decide whether they want to engage and invest in the green effort. Dr. Crystal Reeck examines their decision-making with her recent grant from the Environmental Defense Fund.

“Without the support of this grant we wouldn’t be able to undertake the scope of the research that we are currently facilitating,” said Reeck, an Assistant Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Temple University’s Fox School of Business. “We all experience emotions and influences that guide our decisions in lots of ways. Whether it’s the kinds of products to buy or whether you choose green energy over standard production energy, it is exciting to study how these decisions impact a host of real-world issues that customers and industries face.”

This is Reeck’s first grant that focuses heavily on clinical applications and targets the basic science of decision-making. “So often, we focus on how our research influences other academics, but this proposal in particular has at its core an issue that is critical for consumers,” said Reeck, who also serves as an Assistant Director of Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making (CNDM).

While various studies have explored behavioral responses to defaults and society’s attitude toward the environment, Reeck’s dynamic study incorporates that which shapes people’s decisions about energy plans and how they decide to respond. “One of the main goals of this research,” she said, “is to illuminate the underlying psychological processes, and by understanding those better, can we form regulations to try to help people make decisions that will match not only their own needs but some of the goals society has.”

Reeck said her study could offer more than simply decision-making tactics within the green initiative. And her role with Temple’s CNDM, which brings together interdisciplinary researchers who investigate the outcomes of various decision-making factors, will further support her research initiatives.

“This is an area that I think is ripe for a lot of research, and it doesn’t have just marketing implications,” Reeck said. “It has implications for other policies and regulations. It also has implications for communication and the right way to explain these risks.

“Having the kind of collaborative research environment we have at the Center for Neural Decision Making is valuable for bringing different methods and theories to the table. I’m fortunate to work in a great business school environment that exposes me to a multitude of interdisciplinary opportunities.”