Innovative Wedding Registry Wins Spring 2014 Vol Court Session

From left: Myra Hamilton, UT Federal Credit Union; Christopher Saah, MyPTShop.com; David Morehous, Morehous Legal Group, PLLC; Dave Seeman, Willow List; Dave Williams, UT Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

From left: Myra Hamilton, UT Federal Credit Union; Christopher Saah, MyPTShop.com; David Morehous, Morehous Legal Group, PLLC; Dave Seeman, Willow List; Dave Williams, UT Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

KNOXVILLE—A business that simplifies wedding registries for couples is the winner of this semester’s Vol Court pitch competition.

Dave Seeman, senior in mechanical engineering and founder of Willow List, an innovative gift registry that uses crowd sourcing to fund gifts, won first place and received $1,000 to move his business forward. In addition to the cash prize, he also will receive space in the UT Research Foundation’s business incubator, consulting services from Pershing Yoakley and Associates, legal services from Morehous Legal Group PLLC, and mentoring from the College of Business Administration’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Vol Court is a speaker series and pitch competition presented by the College of Business Administration’s Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The goal of the program is to help people develop new business ideas and gain entrepreneurial skills. It is sponsored by the Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, UT Federal Credit Union, Morehous Legal Group, Launch Tennessee, Pershing Yoakley and Associates and the UT Research Foundation.

A second-place $500 prize went to Christopher Saah, junior in mechanical engineering, who founded MyPTshop.com, a web application that allows fitness professionals to start and manage an e-commerce fitness shop. Saah will receive space in the UT Research Foundation’s business incubator, legal support from Morehous Legal Group PLLC, and mentoring from Anderson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Recently engaged, Seeman created Willow List after dealing with frustrations of setting up wedding registries at various locations.

“Like many entrepreneurs, the idea for my business came from personal experience,” he said.

Couples using Willow List keep a registry of things they want, from kitchen goods to money for the honeymoon, and use crowd sourcing to fund it. Friends and family who visit a registry on Willow List can give money to a specific item or give to the general fund. As items become funded, they are sent directly to the couple’s residence at a time they specify. Willow List does this by offering their software as a service to retailers who want to sell more products by harnessing data analytics. More information can be found at http://www.willowlist.co.

Vol Court is offered every fall and spring semester and is open to students, faculty and the general public.

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UT Introduces MBA For Healthcare Leadership

MBA-MedicalThe University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is introducing a one-year Executive MBA in Healthcare Leadership program for healthcare professionals. The inaugural class begins January 2015.

Led by student requests, the program is a fusion of the College of Business Administration’s Physician Executive MBA program and its non-degree executive development programming. The Physician Executive MBA program has been ranked the No. 1 preferred MBA program exclusively for physicians by Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician magazine for more than ten years, and the non-degree executive development programming has improved patient outcomes and organizational efficiencies within healthcare enterprises worldwide.

Unlike the physicians-only Physician Executive MBA program, the Executive MBA in Healthcare Leadership program is for professionals in all healthcare arenas, including nurses, pharmacists, dentists, physical therapists, physician assistants, those involved in research and development, among others.

Kate Atchley, executive director of executive-level MBAs, said the program connects business acumen and transformational leadership with the issues and challenges facing today’s healthcare industry, giving healthcare professionals the tools and knowledge they need to make an impact on the healthcare industry.

“We want passionate professionals to learn the business of healthcare, and introduce them to the Washington, D.C., policy makers, so that they can revolutionize the industry,” Atchley said. “The curriculum focuses on elements essential to lead in the healthcare environment, specifically leadership, strategic thinking and planning, customer focus, measurement, analysis and knowledge management, workforce environment, change management, operations and results.”

The curriculum combines periodic distance learning sessions with four residency periods: three one-week sessions UT and a one-week healthcare policy immersion trip in Washington, D.C. The immersion trip serves as the program’s cornerstone where  students get to interact with government insiders, legislators, and officials involved in healthcare.

Students will also complete an Organizational Action Project, which integrates classwork with issues at their current organization. Bruce Behn, associate dean of graduate and executive education, believes the Organizational Action Project is not only a great hands-on experience, but it also offers students a return on their investment.

“In a time when healthcare is facing unprecedented pressures, the Organizational Action Project can improve outcomes for each student’s organization and clients,” Behn said. “The Organizational Action Project is a requirement in all of our executive-level MBAs. We’ve seen incredible organizational improvements and growth, including new service lines, increased patient flow, and new compensation structures that support organizational goals.”

The program also develops each student’s leadership skills through course content and a 360-degree analysis of each student’s personal leadership strengths and opportunities.

For more information about the Executive MBA in Healthcare Leadership program, visit  http://HealthcareEMBA.utk.edu.

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UT Business Alumna Establishes Endowment for Grads to Golf Program

NAWMBA members pose with Lady Vols Golf Head Coach Judi Pavon, Assistant Coach Erika Brennan, EWGA representatives LeAnn Finger, Tracey Courtney-Arnall, and Linda Hopkins, Amy Cathey, and Janet McKinley

NAWMBA members pose with Lady Vols Golf Head Coach Judi Pavon, Assistant Coach Erika Brennan, EWGA representatives LeAnn Finger, Tracey Courtney-Arnall, and Linda Hopkins, Amy Cathey, and Janet McKinley

Janet L. McKinley recently established the Janet McKinley MBA Golf Endowment in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, College of Business Administration. Earnings from the endowment will fund the newly established “Grads to Golf.”  The program promotes an interest in golf among National Association of Women MBA (NAWMBA) student members through golf lessons, tournaments and events, speakers, and “young professional” membership in the Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA). The program is a joint venture between the Lady Vols Golf program, the UT chapter of NAWMBA, the EWGA National Headquarters office, and the local Knoxville chapter of EWGA.

McKinley is a 1980 alumna of the UT College of Business Administration and former chief corporate auditor for BellSouth Corporation in Atlanta. She retired in 2007 after 28 years of service.

McKinley has also established the Robert and Janet McKinley Auditing Excellence Fund in the Department of Accounting and Information Management, the Bob and Barbara McKinley Student Enrichment Endowment in the UT Institute of Agriculture, and the Women in Business Endowment for student athletes enrolled in the College of Business Administration.

She has loyally served UT through the UT Development Council (including as chairwoman from 2011-2013), the UT Accounting Roundtable, the UT Alliance of Women Philanthropists, the UT Foundation Board, and the UT Alumni Association Board of Governors.

“My experience in business is that golf is an equalizer – it opens doors, helps you meet colleagues and work associates, and allows you to conduct business with clients and customers outside of the office,” said McKinley.  “But, throughout my career, I observed that women enter the game of golf too late in life – and they enter with a lot of apprehension about playing bad golf, not knowing the rules, and not understanding the etiquette of the game.

“This program is designed to bring young professional women into the sport early in their careers. It is my vision that after this program, the women in UT’s NAWMBA chapter will 1) understand of the value of golf in the business world, 2) be able to play the game of golf, and 3) use golf to enhance – and advance – their professional careers. Not only do the participants get hands-on golf instruction and mentoring from other women who play the game, they also hear from prominent businesswomen and golf industry leaders about the potential value of golf in their business careers.”

The program has had an outstanding impact on the MBAs, said Amy Cathey, director of the MBA program at UT.

“The Grads to Golf program has been an incredible opportunity for NAWMBA members to develop life skills that will benefit them both personally and professionally.  They have had excellent instruction from the Lady Vols golf coaches, alumnae, and golf professionals who have spoken to the group, and from Janet herself. The students are so appreciative.  In fact, they look forward to supporting the development of future Grads to Golf initiatives,” said Cathey.

McKinley hopes that the UT model will be used as the foundation for similar programs at other universities and colleges across the country.

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UT Alum Earns Award for Being Top CPA Examination Performer

MargaretSharpKNOXVILLE—A University of Tennessee, Knoxville, alumna has been honored for her outstanding performance on the CPA exam.

Margaret Sharp, of Knoxville, has received the prestigious 2013 American Institute of CPAs Elijah Watt Sells Award. Only 55 individuals out of 94,154 test takers, or .05 percent, received this distinction.

“This is an incredible accomplishment for Margaret, and we are so proud of her,” said Joe Carcello, head of the Department of Accounting and Information Management and Ernst & Young and Business Alumni Professor. “To be one of fifty five individuals across the country to attain this level of proficiency is stellar.”

Sharp graduated in 2012 from the Master of Accountancy program in the UT College of Business Administration.

The Sells award is earned by individuals who obtain a cumulative average score above 95.5 across all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination, completed testing during the 2013 calendar year and passed all four sections of the examination on their first attempt.

“The CPA examination is designed to protect the public interest and help ensure that only qualified individuals earn a CPA license,” said Michael Decker, AICPA director of examinations.

The Elijah Watt Sells Award program was established by the AICPA in 1923 to recognize outstanding performance on the CPA examination.

Sells was one of the country’s first CPAs. He was active in the establishment of the AICPA and played a key role helping to advance professional education in the profession.

For more information on the Uniform CPA Examination, visit http://www.aicpa.org/cpa-exam.

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UT Students Chronicle Their 2013 Barefoot Benefit Fundraiser

UT students chronicle their 2013 Barefoot Benefit fundraiser to raise funds for Samaritan Place, a Knoxville-area shelter specializing in the care of low-income senior citizens.

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UT College of Business Administration Rocks the Big Orange Friday Video!

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UT College of Business Administration Excels in Big Orange Family Campaign

A big shout-out to the UT College of Business Administration for its participation in the Big Orange Family Campaign. Over 90 percent of the college’s faculty and staff contributed in this campus-wide initiative, which lasted February 17-March 14, 2014, versus the campus-wide average of 47 percent.

Five departments or centers out of the 11 tracked in the college, or almost 50 percent, had 100 percent participation:

  • Center for Business & Economic Research
  • Construction Industry Research & Policy Center
  • Department of Accounting & Information Management
  • Department of Finance
  • Department of Management

thermometerAnother four departments or centers – Administration and IT Support and the Departments of Economics, Marketing & Supply Chain Management, and Statistics, Operations & Management Science–had over 90 percent participation.

“I am very proud of our giving and how it will change people’s lives,” said Steve Mangum, Stokely Foundation Leadership Chair and dean of the college. “It reflects a positive statement in support of the university and our journey to become a Top 25 public research university.”

Congratulations to all for making the Big Orange Family Campaign a big success!

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