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A Nance Benchmark Primer

Robert F. Scherer, Dean

It is hard to know where we are going, unless we know where we are right now. And right now, the Nance College of Business is in a good place. Let me share with you some telling statistics of our student enrollment, and outreach benchmarks.

  • Our overall headcount has increased by 387 students, which is a 12.9% change from last year at this time – the second largest headcount among colleges at Cleveland State University.
  • Enrollment has also increased 9.9% from last year at this time, with the undergraduate enrollment up 3% and the graduate enrollment up a staggering 23.4%.
  • The most popular major at the undergraduate level is Business Administration with 452 students, followed by Accounting with 387 students, Marketing, and Finance with 202 and 188 students respectively. Business Administration represents the second most popular undergraduate major at CSU.
  • The most popular graduate level focus is the MBA, which is also the most popular Master's degree program at CSU, with 672 students.
  • The College of Business serves 305 students at our East and West Center.

Our Outreach and Business Centers also continue to advance the capacity of our college to serve the regional business community:

  • The annual revenue generated by grants for the Outreach and Business Centers in 2009 is over $189,449. This does even not include revenue generated through programming fees and corporate sponsorships of these programs.
  • In 2009, The College has served more than 1,600 business practitioners in the region through our Executive Education programs and strategic collaborations.
  • In 2009, The Beachwood Business Development Center has attracted 7 new companies to the region, including one from the United Kingdom and Israel, creating 20 new jobs securing over 2.5M in equity investment, and generating $5M** in capital:

It truly is a very exciting time at the Nance College of Business. In last month's UpFront I discussed looking ahead with positive energy to what a new academic year can bring in the areas of our academic programs and our business community outreach activities. As you can see from this benchmark primer, our academic programs are succeeding and we are staying dedicated to community outreach. These successes can be attributed to our hard-working and committed faculty and staff and our drive to establish new and creative partnerships with the business community. Let's stay committed to our mission of "driving the global significance, economic vitality and sustainability of the northeast Ohio region through business education, research, innovation, leadership and collaboration."

*Enrollment figures taken from the Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, October 14, 2009.
** Projected through December 31, 2009.

Dr. Elad Granot Appointed New Director of Accelerated MBA and Executive MBA Programs

Dr. Elad Granot

Dr. Elad Granot has been appointed Program Director of the Accelerated MBA (AMBA) and the Executive MBA (EMBA) programs at The Nance College of Business. He has been teaching at CSU since 2006 as an assistant professor in the marketing department and has also been an integral part of the EMBA program. Dr. Granot brings to his new position a passion for teaching – especially graduate students – real world business experience, and a drive to see these programs reach new heights.

Dr. Granot received his Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Massachusetts (2006), his Master's in Management from Boston University (2000), and his B.A. from Tel Aviv University. He has been in business for over 20 years, working as a marketing executive in large multinational corporations in the Unites States, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. Using his trained expertise, he has spoken extensively to diverse groups of managers, companies, and industrial executive groups throughout the world on various marketing topics.

Even in his new expanded role at Nance, Dr. Granot will still be teaching. He is teaching two classes this fall, Marketing Management and Advertising/Promotion Management. He also plans on teaching the EMBA Integrated Business Practicum in the spring. During the spring semester 2009, Dr. Granot guided the EMBA class in completing three high caliber projects for organizations in the Greater Cleveland area. You can read more about it here.

The AMBA program is a fast-paced weekend program for management track professionals. The AMBA program offers the same courses as the traditional MBA, however its lockstep structure enables graduates with a recent bachelor's degree in Business-or those candidates with the necessary first – year MBA prerequisites – to complete the MBA degree in 11 months. The AMBA program that starts in March 2010 has a global business focus and includes an international study trip to Spain.

The EMBA program is a globally – focused 19-month program designed for seasoned professionals. This outstanding, affordable, weekend program focuses on leadership and team building through a contemporary curriculum, hands-on projects, and international travel.

For more information of how to expand your career opportunities by enrolling in the either of these great programs, contact Dr. Elad Granot at or 216.687.6925.

Featured Alumni: Ronald Unkefer, BBA '66

Ronald Unkefer

Ron Unkefer is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First Ventures Capital Partners, a boutique venture capital fund based in Dallas, TX that he founded 15 years ago.

Ron is a serial entrepreneur. He grew up in Euclid and worked for a local TV and appliance store throughout high school and college. He was a first generation college student and attended Fenn College while working full-time. For his co-op opportunity, Ron worked six months in California. He held a variety of often overlapping positions and believes it was an "excellent learning experience" that allowed him the "ability to mix theory with practice" in the fields of sales, buying, merchandising, wholesaling and marketing.

After graduation, Ron worked as a store manager at two appliance stores before moving to California in 1972. There he started as a floating manager for a San Francisco Bay Area retail electronics chain and quickly made an impact. When one location was losing money and the owner intended to close it, Ron bought the lease and some old inventory for a few thousand dollars, re-merchandised the store and renamed it The Good Guys! He immediately began a citywide advertising campaign to brand his new store and expand the customer base.

As a result of his innovative sales, merchandising and advertising strategies, Ron eventually opened 71 stores that blanketed the West Coast. Ron served as Chairman and CEO, took the company public in 1986 and built the company to become the West Coast's largest and most profitable specialty retailer of consumer electronics. Ron retired as CEO in 1993, but continued to serve as Chairman of The Good Guys! until 1996 when the chain peaked at almost one billion in annual sales. In 1999 he returned as Chairman and CEO of The Good Guys! for two and a half years to keep it out of bankruptcy, revitalize the brand and lay the groundwork for the sale of the company to CompUSA in 2003.

After leaving The Good Guys! Ron founded First Ventures Capital Partners to make active investments in Silicon Valley technology start-ups at the beginning of the tech boom in the mid-1990's. Ron also founded First Broadcasting in 1992 to own and operate San Francisco radio stations KSFO and KYA. Over a ten year period, First Broadcasting became the nation's leading developer of radio stations and the company successfully petitioned the FCC to make important changes to key broadcasting spectrum rules and regulations. Under Ron's leadership, First Broadcasting also developed SpectraMax, the industry's first true spectrum maximization software. This innovative and complex software suite was co-authored by Ron and is currently protected with ten pending patents. Ron lives in the Highland Park area of Dallas with his wife, Terry, and their two daughters; he also has a grown daughter in California. He currently serves as Chairman of the Unkefer Foundation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on helping underprivileged children and improving wellness and health care in Texas. He also still currently manages various First Ventures Capital Partners investments, owns and operates two radio stations, and is exploring ideas for his next major business venture. Once an entrepreneur, always an entrepreneur.

Featured Student: Maria Sedano

Maria Sedano

Maria Sedano, the Valedictorian of the Nance College of Business in May of 2009 and current first year MBA student, is this month's featured student. She graduated Summa Cum Laude, completing a double major in International Business and Accounting with a GPA of 3.96. Maria also recently received the Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award.

Maria, originally from Peru, came to Cleveland State University in August of 2004. Her cousins attended CSU and recommended it to her. She had never been to Cleveland before that time.

Things were not easy for Maria when she began her college career. "I spoke very little English when I first arrived, so it was a long process to learn the language," Maria said. She quickly adapted to the college life finishing her freshman year with a 4.0 GPA and receiving the Freshman Experience Award.

After starting out as an International Business major, Maria took ACT 221 with Professor Paul Lee. She performed so well in the class that Professor Lee encouraged her to add accounting as a major. Maria has a real passion for accounting. She served as treasurer for Beta Alpha Psi, the national accounting organization on campus and completed an internship at the Federal Reserve Bank focused on accounting. She worked in the statistics and analysis department analyzing data and using her accounting skills to tell business executives how to correct any mistakes they had made inputting the data. "Working at the Federal Reserve really helped to use my accounting knowledge. I also gained professional experience and learned to work as part of a team."

Maria was also a part of the Honors Program and is still a member of Beta Gamma Sigma and NSHMBA, the National Society of Hispanic MBAs.

Maria took the summer off after graduation, but still tutored part-time at CSU and studied for the GMAT test. She is planning to sit for the CPA at the end of the fall semester and plans to graduate with her MBA in December of 2010. She plans to attend law school after receiving her MBA.

New Professors at Nance

We have a number of new faculty who have joined the Nance College of Business this Fall, bringing with them an impressive body of knowledge and experience. The new faculty members include:

John Geekie, Assistant Professor, Accounting Department: John received his JD from The Thomas M. Cooley Law School (1999), his LLm (tax) from Georgetown University Law Center (2001) and his MAcc from CSU (2007). He has taught Business Law and several accounting courses at Nance and is currently teaching Introductory Accounting, Tax II, and Taxation of International Transactions. Prior to teaching, John practiced Law in the State of Georgia and Washington DC. He also was a Judicial Law Clerk in Whitfield County, Georgia from 1999 to 2000.

Christine Brown Mahoney, Assistant Professor, Health Care Administration: Chris received her PhD from the University of Minnesota (1991); she also holds an AA in nursing and an MS in quantitative genetics and statistics. She is currently teaching the Seminar in Health Policy & Quality. Chris has published on healthcare workers labor supply, organizational change in healthcare, healthcare outcomes and costs, technology changes and costs, and clinical trials. She has taught graduate courses in research methods, compensation, labor market analysis, healthcare policy, and organizational behavior and development. Previously she taught at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota and most recently spent two years on a research award at the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health.

Dalia Marciukaityte, Assistant Professor, Finance: Dalia received her PhD in Finance from Drexel University (2001) and her MS in Management from Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania (1994). She has taught courses in financial management, international finance, investment, and financial econometrics at the graduate and undergraduate level and is currently teaching International Financial Management and International Finance/Investment. Previously she taught at Drexel University and Louisiana Tech University and also worked briefly at Strategic Management Group, Inc. and Merrill Lynch.

Ken Misener, Executive-in-Residence in the Health Care Administration Program: Ken received his MS in Health Services Management and Policy from The Ohio Sate University. He has 35 plus years in acute health care, holding senior executive level positions at MetroHealth Medical Center, Fairview/Lutheran Hospitals, Akron General Medical Center and DentalCare Partners, Inc.

Lori Peterson

Lori Peterson, Assistant Professor, Health Care Administration- Lori received her MBA in International Management from University of Dallas and expects to receive her PhD in Management from Texas Tech University in May 2009. She has taught courses in organizational behavior, international management, and strategic management and is currently teaching Analysis of Health Care Market.

Chanda Sichinsambwe, Visiting Instructor, Operations & Supply Chain Management: Chanda received his MBA in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1994) and expects to receive his DBA from CSU in July 2009. He has taught courses related to business statistics and operations management and is currently teaching Project Management, Introduction to Project Management, and Business Statistics II.

Ludmila Zheltova, Visiting Instructor, Operations & Supply Chain Management: Ludmila received her MS, Applied Mathematics from the Russian Academy of Sciences and expects to receive her PhD in Operations Management from Case Western Reserve University in 2009. She has taught courses in operations management, probability and statistics for management and computer science and is currently teaching Business Statistics II, Management of Innovation/Technology and a Special Topics Seminar on Religion and Spirituality in the Workplace. (no photo available)

The Nance Business Major and Career Connection Series

The Business Advising Center has developed a new program to help educate, inspire and grow our first and second year Business undergraduate students, as well as students from other colleges on campus. The Nance Business Major and Career Connection Series is a series of one-hour workshops that focus on each of the Business majors and related career information. The CSU Career Service Center will also be providing additional career information. Business student clubs will also participate in these events.

Each event session will focus on a single business major and feature a panel discussion with career professionals and CSU alumni with academic backgrounds similar to the major featured. The sessions will provide undergraduate students the opportunity to learn more about their academic area of interest and related careers, plus provide an opportunity to network with professionals.

This program can provide valuable insight for undergraduate students regarding selecting an academic major in the Nance College of Business and moving toward graduation, as well as preparing for life after college.

Session dates and times are listed below. For more information, please contact Anne Nelson, Academic Advisor at or (216) 687-2579.

Tuesday, October 20:  Marketing
Thursday, October 22:  Information Systems
Tuesday, November 3:  Management & Labor Relations
Thursday, November 5:  Accounting
Tuesday, November 10: Operations & Supply Chain Management
Thursday, November 12:  Computer Information Science
Tuesday, November 17:  Finance
Thursday, November 19:  International Business

Meet the Nance Advancement Team

The Nance College of Business has three people working to help create awareness, build relationships and generate support for Nance's students and faculty. John McCreery, Tony Pasiak and Eric Stephens make up our Advancement Team. They work with alumni, friends, corporations and the community to engage and connect them, to garner support, and to secure funding that will allow theNance College to recruit the best students and provide a great classroom experience.

John McCreery

John McCreery has been at the University since 1997 and took on his new role as Director of Outreach and Engagement in April. He works with alumni chapters and groups to develop funding sources and build partnerships to sustain theNance College. John is currently working on his MBA and lives in Chardon with wife and two children.

Tony Pasiak just completed his first year as the Director of Development & Alumni Relations for the Nance College. His responsibilities include the planning and implementation of overall fundraising and event planning programs for the college. Previously, he was Associate Director of Leadership and Annual Giving at Gustavus Adolphus College in St.Peter, MN. Tony is currently enrolled in the MBA program and lives in Olmsted Falls with his wife Katie. They have one son, Jacob, and are expecting a daughter in December.

Eric Stephens is the first Development Associate for theNance College. He joined the team this past July. His responsibilities include the securing of annual gifts, Faculty & Staff contributions, and support of all fundraising efforts. Eric comes to us from Kent State where he was Assistant Program Manager of Annual Giving. He is in the process of moving to Lakewood.

Did you have a great experience at CSU and now want to show your thanks? The advancement staff can help. They can guide your philanthropic support to scholarships or programs that you feel would have an impact on students. Your help is especially vital at a time when the state is slashing higher education budgets and the economy makes it more difficult for students to attend college.

There are opportunities to be involved in alumni groups for networking, recruiting and guidance of the different chapters. The advancement group is also developing a list of alumni willing to devote time speaking to classes about relevant topics and real world experiences.

If you are interested in becoming involved at Nance College, contact John McCreery at 216-687-5481 or

Nance Faculty and Staff Kick-off the Year with a Visit to Mayfran International

Visit to Mayfran International

The Nance faculty and staff kicked-off the semester with a visit to Mayfran International in Mayfield, another international company with a Nance College of Business alumnus at the helm. Bill Centa, MBA '77, is Executive Vice President and co-founder of Mayfran holdings. Mr. Centa is also one of the first inductees into the Business Innovation Continuum at theNance College of Business.

Mayfran International is a multi-national manufacturing and engineering company that designs conveyor and filtration equipment used in the machine tool industry for metalworking and recycling applications. Mr. Centa and his executive team provided faculty and staff with an overview of what Mayfran does, the markets where their products are used, and the international presence they have. The faculty and staff toured the company and got to see an impressive manufacturing facility that produces equipment and systems that handle everything from paper and solid waste to automobiles that are crushed and moved by conveyers.

After the tour, Mr. Centa and his staff fielded questions and had discussions around what today's students need to know to be part of the manufacturing industry. The faculty also had ideas to share and questions about international marketing and sales. There were great ideas exchanged around improvement processes and how they are implemented in a company like Mayfran.

This was another great opportunity for exchanges between our alumni, faculty, and staff at theNance College that will be brought back to the classroom to help to enhance the learning experience for our students.

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