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A Nance Benchmark Primer: Part II

Robert F. Scherer, Dean

In last month's UpFront, I focused on the increase in enrollment that the Nance College of Business is currently experiencing. This month, I want to expand on what I shared as it relates to our extended campuses. The Nance College realizes the importance of business education in enabling the success of individuals and businesses in our region. We partner with the Northeast Ohio business community and academic institutions worldwide to deliver courses, seminars, research and outreach programs that meet the changing needs of the business community. Here are some important numbers that reflect our extended campuses and corporate locations.

  • West Center: At the undergraduate level, we offer an accelerated BBA. In Fall 2008 there were 59 students, and in Fall 2009 there are 68. At the graduate level, we offer the MBA program. Fall 2008 enrollment was 117, while it is 136 in Fall 2009.
  • East Center: We offer the MBA program. In Fall 2008 there were 97 students, and this Fall we are at 90.
  • Progressive Insurance: We offer the MBA program. Fall 2008 enrollment was 89, while this Fall it stands at 71. This slight decrease is due to the ending of a cohort at Progressive.
  • Lakeland Community College: We offer a BBA degree completion program. There were 58 students at this location in Fall 2008, and in Fall 2009 it is 82, a 41% increase attributed to increased offerings and targeted recruiting efforts.
  • Brunswick: there are 14 students currently enrolled in the cohort that ends this month.
  • Cleveland Clinic, new for 2009: This is the first semester that we have offered the MBA program; open only to Clinic employees. There are 44 students enrolled.
  • DFAS (Defense Finance and Accounting Service), new for 2009: We are offering both the MBA and undergraduate accounting courses; open only to DFAS employees. At the graduate level, 30 students are enrolled, which is the maximum capacity of the class room; at the undergraduate level there are 17 students.

Overall, our graduate enrollment is up 22.1%, as of November 10, 2009, which accounts for the largest portion of enrollment outside our downtown campus. As you can see from the popularity of the programs at our extended campus and corporate locations, the programs offered there allow students to have access to an outstanding business education near where they live and work. Convenience, quality professors and the practicality of the programs contribute to this success. We continually strive to meet the needs of current and future students to prepare them for change and enhance managerial skills by keeping them informed of new ideas, trends and best practices.

Featured Alumni: Joseph Pease, CPA

President and CEO, Pease & Associates – BBA '79

Joseph Pease

As President and CEO, Joe Pease draws on more than 20 years experience as a business advisor to successfully direct Pease & Associates. Under his leadership, the firm was showcased for its success at the 2001 meeting of CPAmerica International, the largest association of independent accounting firms in the world. Before founding Pease & Associates, Pease was a partner with a large Cleveland-based accounting firm.

Pease founded Pease & Associates in 1999; it currently has 45 employees, including 38 accountants, making it one of the 25 largest accounting firms in Cleveland. The firm is family-oriented, leading to a very low turnover rate. The most fulfilling aspect of Pease's career is "being a part of his clients' successes" and "the contributions I am able to make to the families of my employees." Throughout his career, Pease has hired several Nance College of Business accounting alumni, including partners Kuno Bell, BBA '90, Mark Prusinski, BBA '79 and Chris Umerley, BBA '82.

During his undergraduate program, many professors were encouraging students to take internships with the larger accounting firms, Pease was urged to take an internship with a smaller firm. Pease credits this internship experience as the key factor that helped him land 3 job offers, even though he graduated during a recession.

With a thorough understanding of the needs of the firm's clients, Pease works closely with business owners, advising them on the acquisition and sale of businesses, succession planning, business valuation, corporate tax planning and executive pay plans. His clients describe Joe as a mentor, confidant, and necessary part of their team. They represent industries including manufacturing, distribution, construction, automobile dealers and service businesses. Because of his experience with hundreds of merger and acquisition projects, Pease is also regularly consulted on litigation issues.

Pease is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Ohio Society of CPAs. At 29, he was the youngest chairman of the Tax Division of CPAmerica International and currently serves as an advisory member of its board. He has authored and co-authored several articles for industry publications.

Pease graduated from Cleveland State University in 1979 with a BBA in accounting. He became a certified public accountant in 1980. He is a past president of the Cleveland State University Alumni Association and currently serves on its business alumni board. Pease and his wife of 30 years, have two sons and has one grandson.

Featured Student: Steve Kresnye

Steve Kresnye

Steve Kresnye, President of Beta Alpha Psi and current first year MBA student, is this month's featured student. A Shaker Heights native, Steve graduated this past May with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from Cleveland State University.

Steve actually began his career at CSU as a chemistry major. But after a couple semesters of molecules and labs, he decided that chemistry was not for him and enrolled in the Nance College of Business' Accounting program. He chose Nance College because of the professors and because of the opportunities that were available to him that might not be available at other colleges.

One of these opportunities was Steve's participation in the Entrepreneurship Immersion Week in the summer of 2008. Steve spent a week at John Carroll University, developing his business skills and confidence by coming up with a business plan as a part of a team. "It was a great experience for me. I think that more students should take advantage of the opportunities that Cleveland State provides."

Steve received the Timothy Wood's Accounting Scholarship in 2008 as well as the Ohio Society of CPA's Scholarship in 2009. He also had a chance to intern with a local accounting firm, Meaden & Moore. As part of the internship, Steve participated in the firm's software conversion and learned how an accounting firm operates.

Steve likes to workout and read in his free time. He is also an avid runner and has completed two half-marathons. After receiving his MBA in December of 2010, Steve plans on working for a regional accounting firm.

Nance Students Win Cleveland Clinic Case Competition

Participants At Clinic Solutions Case Competition

For the second year in a row, a team comprised of Nance College of Business students has won the annual Clinic Solutions Case Competition. Ana Curto, a DBA student, and Silvana Ochoa, a MBA student, along with a participant from Baldwin Wallace and a high school participant, teamed up to develop the best solution to the case presented to them by the Cleveland Clinic. Giorgina Ramirez, a Nance student on another team, also won third place.

The subject of this year's case was Health Care Reform: Building a Campaign to Support State Advocacy Efforts. Nearly 50 students from Cleveland State University, John Carroll, Case Western Reserve, Kent State and Akron worked as a part of 8 teams to put together their best solution for the case. The competition was held in two rounds, with the second and final round being judged by senior Cleveland Clinic employees Steve Glass, Chief Financial Officer, Mila Henn, Senior Director, Department of Operations, and Anthony Stallion, M.D., Chief Community Relations and Diversity Officer.

Silvana called the competition a "very good opportunity to show what you have learned as a MBA student." She found the competition very rewarding and liked being able to share what she has learned with other students.

The 3rd Annual Clinic Solutions case competition took place October 22-23 in Beachwood. Clinic Solutions is a think tank session for undergraduate and graduate students designed to exchange information on challenges and opportunities in health care that specifically impact the Cleveland Clinics' current and future patient base. Directed by the Office of Diversity at the Cleveland Clinic, Clinic Solutions is an opportunity for African American and Hispanic/Latino students to compete for scholarship dollars.

New Visiting Committee Members

The Nance College of Business is guided in part by a Visiting Committee which is made up of regional and national business leaders who represent key industries and economic sectors in the Northeast Ohio region and beyond. These professionals serve as advisors to and ambassadors for the Nance College to help create the conditions for success, both within Cleveland State University and the broader community. We have several new members whom we would like to feature this month:

Saji Daniel, President and CEO of Tradex International: Mr. Daniel earned a BBA from Nance College in 1990. Tradex International is a leading manufacturer and wholesale supplier of disposable gloves in the United States, and one of the fastest growing private companies nationwide. He has transformed Tradex from a struggling start-up to a thriving corporation approaching $100 million in sales. He was born in Kerala, India and came to Northeast Ohio in 1980.


Nancy Leizman, Chief Investment Officer of the DettelbachLeizman Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors: Ms. Leizman is a graduate of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with an A.B. in history and economics. Nancy, along with her partner, is directly responsible for managing over $250 million of client funds. She is married to Marc Leizman, and they have two children, Emily and Ryan.

Kenneth G. Wilkes, Vice President, General Manager International Operations of Libbey Glass, Inc: Mr. Wilkes earned his BBA from Nance College in 1980 and earned his MBA from DePaul University in 2006. During his tenure at Libbey, he has been a principal force in changing the business from a slow growth company of $250 million in sales to a global leader in its industry, with $810 million in sales (2008). Mr. Wilkes spearheaded Libbey's growth in emerging markets throughout the world, including acquisitions in the Netherlands, Portugal and Mexico.

Student Government Business Senators Advocate for Business Students

Student Government Business Senators
L to R: Steve Hong, Katja Bauer, Richard Thompson
and Salim Aftim

The Student Government Association (SGA) is an organization of elected students who represent the Cleveland State University Student Body. Engagement with the students and understanding their needs and concerns is an essential part of SGA. Every day decisions are made that affect students and their life on campus. The SGA ensures that students' voices are heard and respected in these decisions.

The Nance College of Business' representatives from the Student Government Association recently moved their office into BU 024 on the lower level of Monte Ahuja Hall. The office hours are Tuesday 2:30 - 3:30, Wednesday 12:00 - 3:00 p.m., Thursday 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. and Friday 2:00 - 4:00 p.m..

The Business Senators, comprised of Salim Aftim, Katja Bauer, Steve Hong and Richard Thompson, want to use their recent move to remind students that they are here for them. Whether it is advice students are seeking or an issue that needs to be addressed, the Senators are willing to help. They are the students' voice to staff and faculty. The Senators meet once a month with Dean Scherer to discuss current issues and meet bi-weekly with the entire SGA.

The current issues they are working on are:

  • Math 151-156 – Trying to make the content relate more to the business world.
  • Wheat Street Deli – Working on extending the hours of the cafe from 6:00 p.m., its current close time, to 9:00 p.m..
  • Class Scheduling – Addressing scheduling issues arising from double scheduling or having 3 sections of the same class all at night.
If you have an item for the Senators to address or you simply need some advice, contact them by stopping by the office in BU 024 or emailing them at

National Society of Hispanic MBA (NSHMBA) Conference

The Nance College of Business continues to strengthen its diversity outreach efforts among Hispanic students. The College recently collaborated with the Cleveland chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBA (NSHMBA) to host a Career Readiness Workshop at CSU on September 12, 2009.

The Career Readiness Workshop was open to all Nance College students and members of the Cleveland chapter of NSHMBA. The workshop covered the following topics:

  • Brand YOU Success – An interactive session on personal branding presented by Cynthia Klug, Executive Coach at Positive Edge Consulting.
  • Resume Building – A session on how to make the most professional resume presented by Karen Gurney, Career Strategist at
  • Behavior Based Interview – A session on how to conduct yourself in a job interview presented by John Scanlan, Assistant director at CSU's Career Services Center.

The workshop was attended by over 30 participants and concluded with a presentation regarding the NSHMBA Conference and Career Expo by Alexandra Vera, Vice President of Events for the Cleveland Chapter of NSHMBA.

Nance College also sponsored five MBA students to participate in the NSHMBA Conference and Career Expo at University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management on October 10, 2009. Robert Romero, Executive in Residence participated in the conference's Executive Forum. Over 6000 participants attended the conference from across the United States and Puerto Rico, with over 100 employers involved in the Career Fair portion.

Both events were coordinated by Romero in an effort to expand the Nance College's involvement with the community and its outreach to a diverse population. Romero expressed his appreciation to Dr. Robert Scherer, Dean of Nance College, for his leadership in this area and to Ken Dippong, Director of Student Services, for his continued support to partner with NSHMBA in hosting the Career Readiness Workshop.

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