“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” -John Quincy Adams  
December 2008

Certificate program teaches business strategies in Russia

Doing Business in RussiaDespite recent economic turmoil, Russia has become and will remain a prime location for investment and business opportunities. For organizations or individuals wishing to enter this market, an understanding of Russian business practices and culture is key for success.

With this in mind, Thunderbird School of Global Management has launched “Doing Business in Russia,” a four-week online certificate program that started Nov. 1.

This is the third online instructor-led certificate course in Thunderbird’s Doing Business in Emerging Markets Series. Thunderbird previously launched Doing Business in India and Doing Business in China. A program for Latin America will start Jan. 1. For more information about the program or to enroll, call 800-605-5278.

Register now for 2009 Homecoming

2009 HomecomingHomecoming registration has started. Celebrate with your T-bird friends March 5-8 on the Glendale Campus and cheer for the alumni rugby players as they challenge the students for this year's title. The four-day event includes presentations from Thunderbird professors and the always-popular Regional Night. Alumni from all graduating class years are encouraged to return to campus. Graduating classes from 1949, ’59, ’69, ’79, ’89 and ’99 will have special recognition as reunion years. For a schedule of events or to register, click here.

Thunderbird launches Executive MBA in Geneva

Executive MBA in GenevaThunderbird School of Global Management and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies have announced a new strategic collaboration in executive education. Through this alliance, Thunderbird is taking its highly ranked Executive MBA program to Geneva, the European headquarters for Corporate Learning. Both institutions will expand their menu of offerings in executive education through collaborative open enrollment programs and the development of a joint certificate.

Thunderbird in the News

Want to know what others are saying about Thunderbird? Click here for Thunderbird in the News.

Innovation helps farmers fight pests without chemicals

John Benson '97John “Rick” Benson ’97 grew up on a family farm about 120 miles east of San Diego as a fourth-generation Californian. Farmers in the region still grows alfalfa, wheat, cotton, lettuce, onions and other crops. But now they use blasts of hot air instead of toxic chemicals to control pests in vegetable and fruit production.

Benson says his father and neighbors were among his first prospects after he helped launch Lazo TPC Global in 2007. The venture uses patented Thermal Pest Control technology to help farmers all over the world fight insects, mites and fungi with nontoxic hot air.

“There are a number of pests that have shown a weakness to heat,” Benson says. “And we are creating a more sustainable growth cycle.”

Benson, who works as chief financial officer and director of North American Operations for Lazo TPC, says he enjoys working for a company that helps the environment by eliminating the need for pesticides.

Lazo TPC has spread from its roots in Chile to places such as New Zealand, Spain, Brazil and the United States. Clients use tractor-pulled machines that blast air at more than 100 degrees Celsius onto their crops. The heat dissipates after a few seconds, which is enough to control pests but not long enough to harm the plants.

“We are doing good,” Benson says. “Doing well and doing good are not always the same thing. Our company does both.”

Gbemi Disu ’06Alumna returns to support Campaign Thunderbird

Gbemi Disu ’06 headed out of Arizona to start her career after graduation. She spent time as assistant vice president of Strategic Cost Initiatives for HSBC’s Global Projects & Operations group in Chicago. While she valued the corporate experience, she felt drawn back to the mystique of Thunderbird. The school had invested in her as a student and alumna, and she felt the need to give back in a personal way.

Disu returned to Glendale in November to take a position in Thunderbird’s Institutional Advancement Department supporting Campaign Thunderbird, the school’s $65 million capital campaign. As assistant director of leadership annual giving, she will focus on the Global Leadership Society and its members. This means she will travel to meet alumni around the globe.

Disu said she looks forward to connecting with Thunderbird’s vast network and welcomes questions from alumni regarding the Global Leadership Society. Her contact information is below:

Thunderbird, 1 Global Place, Glendale AZ 85306,
Office: 602.978.7080, Cell: 602.332.7607, Fax: 602.978.8238
Email:  gbemi.disu@thunderbird.edu

An American entrepreneur in Russia shares success story

Thunderbird alumnus Frederick Andresen ’58, author of Walking on Ice: An American Businessman in Russia, has joined the Thunderbird Knowledge Network as a regular columnist. He shares stories about launching a telecommunications enterprise in Russia and lessons learned over the next 17 years. Read the first installment in his nine-part series on the Thunderbird Knowledge Network.

Thunderbird Webcast: Shaping the Global Agenda

Dr. Angel CabreraThe Alumni Relations Office presented an alumni webcast Dec. 8 with Thunderbird President Ángel Cabrera, Ph.D. Thunderbird’s proven track record in the areas of corporate social responsibility and sustainability have garnered the attention of top global organizations, including the United Nations, the World Economic Forum and the Aspen Institute. Cabrera detailed the school’s activities and top-level participation in key global initiatives that will have lasting impact on global business, the school and the world.

If you were unable to watch this live broadcast, click here to view the recording.

For more about Thunderbird's role shaping the global agenda and developing global leaders, read Dr. Cabrera's blog on the Thunderbird Knowledge Network.

Thunderbird Global Private Equity Center launches quarterly newsletter

TPEC QuarterlyThe Thunderbird Global Private Equity Center launched its inaugural quarterly newsletter in mid-November. Written by industry experts, the TPEC Quarterly provides in-depth analyses of events affecting global private equity.

This issue explored the impact of the U.S. Presidential elections, the new regulatory environment and the credit freeze on global private equity. Authors included Robert Stewart, vice president of the Private Equity Council. The issue also included an interview with Christopher Bancroft Burnham, vice chairman and co-head of Climate Change Business for Deutsche Asset Management. In addition, Professor Richard Ettenson, Ph.D., discussed how private equity is increasingly targeting companies whose asset bases include significant amounts of intangible assets — primarily brands.

Click here to subscribe to the newsletter or to read the current edition.

Alumnus takes time to recruit

One way alumni can give back to Thunderbird is by helping new graduates find jobs. Thanks to the efforts of James Fleming ’82, his company now has two Thunderbirds on its payroll.

Fleming, a marketing manager for Stolt-Nielson USA in Norwalk, Conn., took time to screen potential job applicants while on campus for Homecoming 2008. That’s where he met Manish Sawlani ’08 of India, who now works two desks away from Fleming at the global shipping and maritime company.

“He forwarded my resume to the right people and helped me get an interview,” Sawlani says.

Prior to enrolling at Thunderbird, Sawlani worked for six years for Anglo-Eastern ship management company and sailed to more than 35 countries. The broad experience impressed Stolt-Nielson executives, who jumped at the chance to hire the recent MBA graduate. “It was a perfect match,” Sawlani says.

TFA Alumni mentoring project

The Thunderbird Finance Association (TFA), in cooperation with the Alumni Relations Office, is initiating an alumni mentoring project. The objective of this project is to match the background, skills, and interests of the alumni with a student of similar background. The alumni will advise the student on career development, networking, interview preparation, job leads, and much more. Please note: alumni will only serve as guides and are not expected to hand out a job. If you are working in Finance and are interested in helping students, please email Alicia Sutton in the Alumni Relations Office at alicia.sutton@thunderbird.edu by December 31, 2008. In the email, kindly include your name, work history, contact information, and any other applicable information. The TFA looks forward to your favorable responses.

March 5-8, 2009: Thunderbird Homecoming – Glendale Campus
March 9-12, 2009: Global Family Enterprise Program – Glendale Campus
March 26-27, 2009: Thunderbird Private Equity Conference – Glendale Campus

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