The St. Louis Mosaic Project celebrates another milestone as Luis Fernando Campedelli, Executive Vice-President for Human Resources at MasterCard Operations & Technologies, becomes the Mosaic Ambassador Program’s 450th member. Mr. Campedelli’s broad international experience in the USA, Latin America, Europe,

Debbie Sterling graduated from Stanford in 2005, the year that Steve Jobs delivered his now famous commencement address, emphasizing the importance of following one’s passion. Jobs’ message combined with the encouragement of a high school teacher to study engineering, and a self described “itch” to change the world, sent Sterling on a mission to create toys to “get girls building.”

Sterling launched her award winning toy company GoldiBlox in 2013. She spoke at the Leadership Perspective Series: The Female Entrepreneur’s Guide to Raising Startup Capital, sponsored by Olin’s Executive MBA program and held at the Knight Center March 26. Sterling described her entrepreneurial journey and how she went about raising startup capital.

Sterling began raising funds first by saving up enough money to quit her job as a brand manager for a jewelry company. Next, she submitted an application for an elite capital accelerator program that rejected her idea. Then she tried friends and family, and finally Kickstarter, an online threshold pledge system for funding creative projects.

She said that in the beginning, she had absolutely no interest in asking family and friends for money. “But once I asked, I believed that GoldiBlox was a great investment, and anyone who got involved would be lucky to be a part of it.”

The accolades for Sterling and Sterling’s company have rolled in steadily since she got funded. For Sterling, Time’s “Person of the Moment” and Business Insider’s “30 Women Who Are Changing the World”.

Honors for GoldiBlox include:

  • Most Audacious Companies of 2014, Inc. Magazine
  • World’s Most Innovative Companies of 2014, Fast Company
  • Educational Toy of the Year 2014, Toy Industry Association
  • People’s Choice Toy of the Year 2014, Toy Industry Association

The session with Sterling also included a panel discussion on the topic of raising startup capital facilitated by Michelle Duguid, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at Olin, Maxine Clark, Founder of Build-A-Bear Workshop and Mary Jo Gorman, Lead Managing Partner of Prosper Capital.




The MBA Entrepreneurship Platform program invites recent alumni back to campus on a regular basis to share their experiences in all aspects of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Anton Gimmel, MBA’14, took part in a panel discussion recently. He pursued his MBA at Olin after working on Wall Street for 10 years in investment banking. He explains why in the video above.

After graduation, Anton joined Clayton-based RiverVest Venture Partners®. The firm focuses exclusively on innovations in life sciences and is one of the leading VC firms that invests in medical device and biotech companies. Established in 2000, RiverVest has $280+ million assets under management. It has funded 30 life science companies to date with 18 exits.


The International Business Association and Beta Alpha Psi invited three tax and auditing professionals from Ernst & Young (EY) to Washington University to speak to students about their experiences in the accounting field, February 17.

Ernst-Young-ahora-es-EYDuring this networking event, the speakers answered questions from the moderators and audience about their careers. Fan Tielking shared with audience members how she leverages her international background in her career, and how she rose to the position as a partner at EY.

The audience really benefited from Ms. Tielking’s career advice and insights. She is an inspiring example of how hard work leads to success.

The other speakers, Tiffany Liu, EY Tax Staff and Craig Dull, Manager EY Assurance Services, also brought with them their own views about the tax and auditing industry. The students enjoyed hearing their experiences of transitioning from an academic background to the professional workplace, and how their mentors at Olin helped them succeed in their careers. Craig Dull earned his BSBA  in Accounting, Entrepreneurship, and Marketing in  2008 and MACC  2009, both at Olin. Tiffany Liu earned her BA in Psychology and Marketing in 2011 and MACC  in 2013 at Olin.

Guest Blogger: Yuandi (Caroline) Ling, BA/BSBA 2016


When Executive MBA Class 43 convened in September of 2013, the room buzzed about one particular student: Robb-Davon Butler, Manager of Sales and Market Development for the Midwest region for PPG Aerospace, a division of PPG Industries. In his previous career he was a professional football player. A celebrity in our midst!

When the time came for introductions, Robb modestly began with, “I played some ball,” followed by appreciative laughter from the class. What followed his statement that day, and throughout our class meetings, has been much more surprising and interesting than we could have imagined.

Butler was a defensive back for the San Diego Chargers in 2004-05 and for the Baltimore Ravens in 2005-06, he also spent some time with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007. His career ended with injury–turf toe, a sprain of the ligaments and deterioration of the cartilage in the big toe–that bothers him to this day.

Other experiences as a player, however, left a more positive impression. “By and large, the discipline required to be a professional athlete is not dissimilar to being a professional at anything.  It’s a question of, how do you focus those energies? “He quoted his former coach, Coach James Lofton, as saying, “The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare.”

The main difference between the game of football and the game of business, Butler says, is that it is less of a physical game, more mental. With less severe consequences.  Butler leads his professional life with these thoughts in his head, and it shows.

Getting a business degree was always in the back of Butler’s mind, even as a kid.  “I always knew I wanted to play in the NFL. I was a little boy in inner city, living in the projects of Pittsburgh.  To get to football practice, at the ages of seven or eight I took two Port Authority transit buses–the first went downtown the second went to the practice field. When I changed buses downtown, I watched the guys in suits with briefcases going in and out of the big buildings, and I thought, ‘They have it figured out.’ I knew I wanted to go into business.”

After his football career ended, PPG–which is based in Pittsburgh–recruited Butler into the organization and he made a five year plan. “I wanted to learn our business and our products front line as a master salesman, from sales go into management. And that’s what happened–line by line, year by year. I was on schedule.”

An MBA was imperative for Butler to make his next career goal, which was to manage a much larger team. His experience has been transformative. “I knew I had to work on it from the inside out–gain competencies in business acumen, and also discover who I am as a leader. Those two things would give me the competence and confidence to go to the next level.”

Olin’s EMBA caught his attention from a billboard in the airport–the #2 program in the world.  “That caught my eye,” he said.  The curriculum was another draw. He liked the promise of a cohort of executives.  “I knew that the conversation would be so rich and couldn’t be duplicated in the part-time program.  I was right. Our dialog is unbelievable. It automatically had me thinking vice president or CEO instead of mid-level management.” Recently, and within a few months of graduating with his MBA, PPG promoted Butler to Regional Sales Manager of West Florida with P&L accountabilities and responsibility for twenty direct reports.  Right on schedule.

Being who he is, Butler already has his next move in his sites. “As we finish the program with the global theme, I’m thinking about a global role. “I’m considering my kids’ ages, and my wife’s wishes–so it may be a few years.”

Do not be surprised if in five years, we hear that Butler is managing a large operation overseas.


We’re rocking and rolling with our Operational Excellence Speaker Series! JoAnne Levy, VP of ROi, gave a wonderful presentation February 26, on “Building an Integrated Supply Chain in Health Care”. JoAnne shed light on challenges the health care industry is facing and walked us through ROi’s transformational journey to solve these issues.

JoAnne Levy

JoAnne Levy

To view the presentation that packed a full house, click here.

Wrapping up our series for the year on April 2 is Shaker Sadasivam, President and CEO of SunEdison SEMICONDUCTOR.

Dr. Shaker Sadasivam is a product and technology development specialist with a keen talent for generating positive return on invested capital and managing product profitability. Shaker’s influence in the semiconductor industry has been significant. Since 1993, he has played a key role developing proprietary crystal growth technologies and has substantially enhanced corporate operations, grown market share, and strengthened customer relations.

Shaker Sadasivam

Dr. Shaker Sadasivam

SunEdison Semiconductor customers have benefitted from his

industry knowledge and technological expertise, as well as his hands-on collaborative approach to critical product development. Shaker has held numerous positions within the company, including serving as Executive Vice President & President-Semiconductor Materials, Senior Vice President-Research & Development, President of Semi Japan, Director of U.S. Technology, Corporate Director for Operations Technology, and Director of Research & Development for Semiconductor Operations in Korea.

Shaker holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University and a M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, India. He earned his MBA from Olin.

To RSVP, contact Cindy Minor at 314-935-5577 or

We hope you will join us for another inspiring talk and intellectual conversation!


CATEGORY: Career, Global