Author: Dorothy Kittner


About Dorothy Kittner

I have been with Olin Business School as the Assistant Dean & Director of Corporate Relations since 2007. Prior to joining Olin, I spent 20 years in a variety of Business to Business Marketing & Sales Roles. I work closely with Dean Gupta, our faculty, and Program Directors to deepen our current corporate relationships as well as create new ones. Outside of work, I can be found hanging out with my husband, our teenage son, our triplet "tweeners" and our dogs.

Three top information technology experts – all Olin alumni – recently hosted more than 30 CEOs and CFOs at the Knight Center to discuss the future of IT and break down some of its mysteries for non-tech executives.

The expert alumni-in-residence for the day included:

  • Joe Blomker, EMBA’90, CEO & President, Maryville Technologies
  • Jerry Kent, BSBA’78 & MBA 1979, Chairman & CEO, TierPoint
  • Don Imholz, MS IT’79 & EMBA’91, retired EVP & CIO, Centene Corporation; currently  leading Don Imholz and Associates

IMG_3579 (002)All three alumni shared their insights on how to prepare for the future.

“Technology legacy is sunk costs,” according to Blomker.  “Legacy is currently consuming approximately 70% of IT resources to maintain functionality vs. investing in innovation and the future.”

Imholz remarked that organizations today need to be more flexible and ready to adapt to the changing landscape of both the future of IT in their organization as well as the talent that is providing the support for the newer technologies.

IMG_3578Afterward, John Herber, Chairman, Rubin Brown, who was in attendance, said it was great to get this group together to engage in this kind of dialogue. It is so important, he said, that we think about costs and its impact related to IT needs in the future.

This was the first in a series of conversations that Blomker, Kent, and Imholz plan to hold with executives interested in the role of information technology in business today.

Last Friday, students Ashley Johnson, Junting Wang, Mengran Wang, and Xin Zhou won the Leadership Communication Forum Case Competition as a part of a class taught by Sally Michael and Mark McLaren through Olin’s Management Communication Center. On the last day of the competition, the final four teams presented to the judges-Nick Bhambri, BSMA & EMBA alumnus; Louis York, Capital Partners; Jim Broadley, Wells Fargo Advisors; and Debbie Lakamp, Graybar.

The winners were students from the Masters of Science in Supply Chain Management. 12 teams competed from both the Masters of Science in Finance-Quant Track and Masters of Science in Supply Chain Management.

In 2012, Wells Fargo Advisors (WFA) made a transformative gift of $5.35 million to Washington University, the largest philanthropic gift to a single institution in the company’s history.  Two Olin Business School programs have been recipients of that financial support.  They were recently featured on March 3, 2015 when the leadership and alumni from Wells Fargo Advisors were on campus to join faculty, students and staff for a celebration of that gift half-way through provision of the funds.

Chancellor Wrighton and WFA's Mary Mack toast partnership.

Chancellor Wrighton and WFA’s Mary Mack toast partnership.

A TED talk-styled event with the theme of  “#Innovate #Transform #Accelerate… Investing in People, Businesses & Communities,” was co-hosted by Mary Mack, CEO, WFA  and Chancellor Mark Wrighton. Vanessa Cooksey, WFA SVP Community Relations was the mistress of ceremonies throughout the event. The program featured stories of how Wells Fargo Advisors’ support is making a substantial impact across the Washington University community and beyond.  Speakers/storytellers are listed here.

On behalf of the Wells Fargo Advisors Center for Finance & Accounting Research:

  • Jimmie Lenz, WFA SVP & Chief Risk & Credit Officer, WFA CFAR Board member & Olin DBA Candidate
  • Matt Ringgenberg, Olin Assistant Professor of Finance

On behalf of the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation & Entrepreneurship Summer Internship Program:

  • Emre Toker, Managing Director of the Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies
  • Michael Orlando, Entrepreneur & Founder, Lumate & CEO
  • Kumal Koppula, Olin BSBA student & Lumate Intern

On behalf of the Financial Capability & Asset Building Program (FCAP) Brown School of Social Work:

  • Mike Rochelle, Project Director, FCAP
  • Kim Downing, Elizabeth State University
  • Diana Cardenasa, Student from California State University

On behalf of the Olin United Way Board Fellows Program:

  • Al Kent, Adjunct Professor of Accounting & Director Olin United Way Board Fellows Program
  • Rhonda Gray, Executive Director, Almost Home
  • Lilly Leyh-Pierce , Olin MBA  & Almost Home Olin United Way Board Fellow

Preceding a celebratory group toast and balloon drop with over 200 in attendance, Mary Mack’s closing remarks expressed how much she appreciated all she had learned throughout the event and asked that we all get together more frequently to share stories about the progress of the partnership.

Images: Joe Angeles, WUSTL Photo Services

In collaboration with Deloitte, the sixth annual Leaders in Business Summit: “Conducting Business Locally and Globally” drew a crowd of over 150 attendees which included corporate friends, alumni, students, and faculty from all programs across the business school.

The event featured Wade Miquelon, MBA ’89, former CFO & President of International Business at Walgreens; a panel moderated by Gil Bickel, BSBA ’66, Chairman & CEO, Founder of St. Louis Arch Angels featuring Tim Fogerty, TI ’86, President & CEO, Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier; Alaina Macia, EN ’98 & MBA ’02, President & CEO, Medical Transportation Management Inc.; and Sharon Price John, CEO, Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Kathy Mazzarella, Chairman, President & CEO, Graybar provided the closing remarks.

On September 23, about 400 guests entered Knight Hall for an inspiring TEDx Gateway experience in the Emerson Auditorium and Frick Forum. There were seven speakers including Washington University Executive MBA alumna, Edie Varley.

EDie V 2

Edie Varley, fourth from left, surrounded by her TEDx fan club.

Wonderful accolades were given to Washington University throughout the evening by individuals like Ginger Imster, Executive Director of Arch Grants for our support of the emerging St. Louis entrepreneurship community. photo 3 (2)

Steve Sommers the curator of the TEDx Gateway Arch organization told the gathering that this chapter is “committed to creating awareness about the many cool ideas that exist in St. Louis.”