Tag: Executive MBA

FOCUS St. Louis® is pleased to announce the 34 young professionals selected for the Fall 2017 class of Emerging Leaders, including Angie Bauman, Director of Admissions Operations for Olin’s Executive MBA program.

The Emerging Leaders program offers a select group of St. Louis’ young and talented the opportunity to receive training to strengthen their leadership and management skills. This competitive program provides participants (ages 22-35) with an increased sense of engagement in the region, as well as the tools to take an active role as the next generation of St. Louis regional leaders.

Angela Bauman, Director of Admissions Operations, Executive MBA, Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School

Over the course of the three-month program, Emerging Leaders gain a better understanding of the inner workings of the St. Louis community, an opportunity to develop their personal, professional and civic leadership skills, a chance for personal growth and self-assessment and a diverse network of peers.

FOCUS St. Louis® is the region’s premier leadership organization. FOCUS prepares a diverse base of leaders to work cooperatively for a thriving St. Louis region through our experience-based leadership training, civic issue education and public engagement initiatives.

More than 10,000 people each year connect with FOCUS through our eight leadership programs, numerous civic engagement initiatives and active alumni network. There are multiple entry points into the organization offering varying degrees of opportunity to widen your sphere of influence, engage in authentic relationships with other leaders, learn about critical regional issues, and ultimately impact the quality of life in our region.

Fall 2017 Emerging Leaders Class

Paul Aten, Career Engineer, Ameren Missouri

Angela Bauman, Director of Admissions Operations, Executive MBA, Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School

Heather Benz, Environmental Scientist, AECOM

Andrea Billadeau, Global Regulatory Strategy & Operations Communications Specialist, Monsanto

Evita Caldwell, Freelancer

Lauren Campbell, Recruitment Manager, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri

Rebecca Corson, Associate Attorney, Hamilton Weber LLC

Jennifer DeRose, Green Dining Alliance Program Manager, St. Louis Earth Day

Alex Elmestad, Director of Learning & Engagement, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

Meredith Frey, Marketing & Brand Manager, Arcturis

Nadia Ghasedi, Associate University Librarian, Washington University in St. Louis

Ally Gramlich, Senior Digital Marketing Coordinator, Anders CPAs + Advisors

Galicia Guerrero, Manager, Community Relations, Youth Learning Center & The Biome School

Glennetta Haymon, Operations/Anti-Money Laundering Analyst, Citi

Troy Heumphreus, Senior Specialist – Key Account Support, MasterCard

Jermya Jackson, Operations Coordinator, SSM St. Louis University Hospital

Cami Kasmerchak, Beyond Jobs Operation Manager, Mission: St. Louis

John Kilper, Attorney, Hamilton Weber LLC

Amela Kuckovic, Assistant Project Manager, St. Louis Economic Development Partnership

Rebecca McBride, Membership & Annual Fund Manager, Missouri Historical Society

Sarah McCallion, Senior Account Executive, FleishmanHillard

Kei-Shae McCrary, Retention Specialist, Southeast Missouri State University

Diona Mills, Audit Team Leader, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Andrew Mitchell, Officer/AttorneyGreensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.

Aryka Moore, Attorney, Weathers Law

Ashley Morris, Trainer, Cognizant

Emma Morrow, Teen Outreach Program, SpecialistWyman Center

Katy Peace, Marketing & Digital Media, ManagerForest Park Forever

Justin Peters, Marketing Executive, J.W. Terrill, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC Company

Elise Puma, Associate, Thompson Coburn LLP

Brian Randazzo, Business Development Leader, Arcturis

Ellen Tisdale Brazelton, Project Specialist, MilliporeSigma

Tobias Wall, WriterGorilla 76, LLC

Justin M. Wilson, Assistant Director of Admission, Fontbonne University

Source: Focus St. Louis news release.

Business owners trying to keep the lights on likely place “instilling culture” among their lower priorities (that is, if it makes the “priority list” at all). Articulating the values of a company often comes second to growing the business—but largely, that is a false choice. Identifying which values to build your company upon is an integral part of determining the company’s mission, goals, and overall strategy.

An upcoming panel discussion, “The Value of Values for Founders and Entrepreneurs,” explores the challenges businesses face when articulating their values. I asked Stuart Bunderson, George & Carol Bauer Professor of Organizational Ethics & Governance and co-director of the Bauer Leadership Center, and the panel’s moderator, Cliff Holekamp, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship and director of the entrepreneurship platform, to shed light on why crafting values and a strong culture is critical to success.

Why is it important to articulate core values in the early stages of a venture?

Holekamp: While in the early stage, young ventures are evolving and still figuring out who they’re going to be when they grow up. It’s at this formative time when a leader has the most impact on instilling the values that will become part of company culture for years to come. If you aren’t purposeful about the values and culture of your early-stage venture, then you’ll end up with a later-stage venture whose values and culture are accidental.

Bunderson: In the earliest stages of a new business, every decision can set a precedent and become a statement on what the organization values and aspires to become. Those decisions should therefore be made with a clear sense of the values that founders would like their organization to embody.

What challenges do founders face in articulating and instilling these values?

Holekamp: Perhaps the biggest challenge is to remain authentic to yourself and to your business. There are lots of positive values in this world, but as a founder you need to emphasize those that are true to who you are. As a leader, you are influencing your business and its constituents with every unintended word and action. If you choose a company culture that is an honest extension of your own best self, then it will be much easier, and more likely, that your business will be consistently infused with those values.

Bunderson: Pressures to chase funding or make near-term performance goals can lead founders to compromise on values. When founders cling to their core values in spite of those pressures, those values become part of the organization’s fabric.

What role do entrepreneurial values play in family firms that may not be the case in corporate firms?

Bunderson: Family firms may explicitly pursue values that corporations would not, values related to things like promoting the family’s good name and broader impact, providing learning opportunities for family members, or encouraging family members’ self-reliance.

Why should founders prioritize values and culture?

Holekamp: Both employees and customers want to be a part of something that is greater than a mere transaction of money for goods or services. A company that honestly conveys values offers something more than those that don’t.

Bunderson: Founders should prioritize values for two reasons. Core values that are woven into the fabric of the company can be a key source of competitive advantage that is not easily replicated. But perhaps just as importantly, if not more importantly, many founders want to create a company that stands for something besides just profitability.

What do you hope business leaders take away from the upcoming panel discussion?

Holekamp: Entrepreneurs and small business owners have the special opportunity to leverage their own personal values as a strategic advantage in business—a competitive advantage that their corporate rivals should envy. My hope is that more entrepreneurs recognize this, and leverage it to their own business and personal advantage.

Bunderson: A reminder of why values should be top of mind as they work to create a new venture.

Register today for “The Value of Values for Founders and Entrepreneurs.” There is no cost to attend, but registration is required.

About Stuart Bunderson & Cliff Holekamp

Professor Bunderson is the co-director of the Bauer Leadership Center and the George and Carol Bauer Professor of Organizational Ethics and Governance. He is also an honorary professor with the faculty of economics and business at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. He holds a PhD degree in Strategic Management and Organization from the University of Minnesota and BS and MS degrees from Brigham Young University. His award-winning research on issues of leadership and meaningful work has been published in leading management journals.


Cliff Holekamp grew up in Los Angeles and worked as an account executive for IBM in Nashville before coming to Olin, first as a student. After developing the concept in Olin’s entrepreneurship program, he founded a chain of healthcare centers which he later sold to a private equity group. Prof. Holekamp was the founding director of the Entrepreneurship Platform, was the co-founder and architect of the social entrepreneurship programs at Olin and at the Brown School of Social Work, and has launched several new entrepreneurship courses including programs in Hungary and Israel. In addition to teaching, he is a co-founder and general partner at Cultivation Capital, an early stage venture capital firm.

Adam Stumpf, PMBA ’14, has defined a unique niche within the small-batch spirits category of the distilling industry. The ingredients for his brand, Stumpy’s Spirits, are sourced from the Illinois farm surrounding his craft distillery. And the farm has been in his family for eight generations.

Stumpy’s just celebrated its second anniversary in July and has released six products to date, including a single barrel bourbon, vodka, and four flavors of whiskey. And like so many great startups, Stumpy’s began to take shape while Adam Stumpf was a student at Olin.

Stumpy’s distillery and farm in Columbia, Illinois

Thanks to Adam, Stumpy’s self-described “Chief Everything-else Officer,” for taking time from his busy schedule to tell us about his company and entrepreneurial experience:

What were you doing when you were earning your PMBA degree?

I was working at AB-InBev while I was earning my PMBA. It was also while earning
my PMBA that we conceptualized and took the first steps to starting the distillery.
In fact, while I was in the Introduction to Entrepreneurship class with David
Poldoian, we secured funding and purchased our original distillation system.

How did your Olin experience affect your career?

The Olin experience was honestly the extra push we needed to get the distillery going. Olin changed my way of thinking, changed the way I approach problems, and it changed the way I view business and the industry in general.

Did Olin courses help to build and run your business?

Absolutely. Introduction to Entrepreneurship, Supply Chain Management,
Negotiation, Economics, and Power and Politics are the classes I find myself
referring to the most often! So many incredible nuggets of information buried in
those lectures. I also competed in and was a finalist in the Olin Cup (now the Skandalaris Cup). I remember it fondly. It was our first business case competition and it helped us really refine the business plan and our pitching skills!

Were you ahead of the small batch spirits trend?

I wouldn’t say we were on the cutting edge, but we were fairly early in the
movement. Looking at industry and category trends certainly helped make the case
for launching a distillery, but definitely wasn’t the deciding factor.

This was a project where we knew we could combine our skills, our passion, and our family history to create an incredibly unique and one-of-a-kind brand.

In terms of being ahead of a trend, we are definitely on the leading edge of farm distilleries. We are one of only a handful of distilleries in the country that grows EVERY kernel of grain that we put into our bottles.

What are the biggest challenges to starting a distillery from scratch?

Oh goodness…where to start? For us, I would say that there have been a few
challenges that really stick out; some which are certainly not exclusive to distilleries:

1. Funding

My wife and I 100% boot-strapped this thing ourselves and have not sold any
equity. That has obviously made access to capital a bit challenging.

Convincing a bank to believe in your dream when all you have is a homemade mason jar of moonshine can be a bit tricky! Luckily, we have a great partner in a local bank who is willing and able to keep up with our capital requirements as we build our barreled whiskey inventory.

A whiskey distillery is certainly a cash flow problem. Spend all of your money on day 1 to make the whiskey, roll it on the shelf, and hopefully you’ll be able to pull out an incredible product in a few years, or, what is left after evaporation! Our approach has always been quality in = quality out, and we’ve had tremendous success with our whiskey thus far.

2. The unknown

We walk into work in the morning with a blank slate. There is no one to give us
direction, tell us what needs to be done, etc. It’s definitely a blessing and a curse.
We set the production schedule, the marketing budget, do the accounting, sweep
the floors, and try to make a little booze along the way. Our approach has always
been and will continue to remain to be that we aim to do what is best for our
business, our family, and our community.

Laura and Adam Stumpf

3. The not-so-glamorous side of entrepreneurship

Laura and I are incredibly involved in our business every day. Sometimes that means
18-hour days (with the occasional all-nighter). The business is almost always on your
mind so it makes work/life separation challenging sometimes. Unfortunately, we
don’t get to spend as much time with friends and family or take as many trips as we
would like, but we love what we are doing and are incredibly passionate about it.
Sometimes that makes work feel like a vacation.

There is just a certain feeling that you get when you see that first drip of alcohol come off the still in the morning or pop the cork on a barrel that has been resting on a shelf for a couple of years, turning your hard work into some incredible whiskey.

How many employees work at Stumpy’s?

Right now, there are only four of us, with a TON of help from our incredible family and
friends. My wife Laura runs the front-of-house operations and sales at the distillery;
my brother Andrew helps a ton with production in the distillery; our awesome
Brand Ambassador Rachel visits the market and introduces our brand and story to
consumers; and I’m the Chief Everything-else Officer, but spend most of my time
distilling and running the day-to-day.

How many markets are you in?

Right now our products are distributed mostly in Southern Illinois and we just
started distribution in the St. Louis area. We try to keep the store locator on our website
updated as much as possible! We’ve recently increased our production capacity by 4 times in order to prepare for future distribution growth. Hopefully, in the not so distant future, our products will be widely available throughout all of Missouri and Illinois.

Do you give tours?

Absolutely. We love giving tours. We offer tours Thurs-Sun at 2, 3, and 4 p.m. We ask
that customers call in advance to make a reservation, because we want to make sure we are not over-booking. Tours are $10 per person and last about an hour, which includes a full tasting of our products, a cocktail, and a guided tour of our entire process from front to back, along with a complimentary tasting glass to take home. For more info, folks can visit our website.

What is your advice for current students dreaming of being entrepreneurs?

Industry and relevant experience are crucial to starting a business. If you don’t have
that experience, make sure to build a team with someone that does, because it
really is a situation where you don’t know what you don’t know on so many
different levels.

You don’t have to have a brand new idea or the next Google to start your own business. In the words of someone far more successful than me, “Ideas don’t make you rich. The correct execution of ideas does.” – Felix Dennis

The consideration of an Executive MBA is significant for both a prospective student and their organization alike.

When is the right time? What is the benefit to the executive student? What is the benefit to the organization?

When you ask prospective Executive MBA students about their biggest hurdles to applying, the answers are often “time and money.”

  • The Executive MBA tuition is an investment—an investment in yourself and your future.
  • The 20-month program includes about 50 days away from the office; including one Thursday and Friday per month and four residencies, two at WashU’s St. Louis campus, one in Washington, DC in partnership with The Brookings Institute, and one in China (Beijing and Shanghai).

Clearly, the student’s employer needs to be on board with the value proposition and the commitment required of the Executive MBA. How can this be a win-win?

Olin can suggest several strategies for starting the conversation with your employer. One of them even includes giving the boss a sampling of b-school—and a taste of how it can benefit both you and your company.

Demonstrate immediate added value to your company

You’ll need one Thursday and Friday off each month for class. Commit to returning to work the following Monday morning ready to share what you’ve learned with colleagues, team members, and the leadership team. Highlight the skills, tools, and ideas you’ll apply immediately to the job you already have. Finally, note the resources Olin can make available to your company because you’re a student: groundbreaking management research, professors who emphasize real-world application of business knowledge, and consulting resources that can tackle specific business challenges your company faces right now.

Remain an engaged leader—in the boardroom and the classroom

Unlike a full-time MBA program, students in the Executive MBA Program are still on the job and simultaneously engaged in both the MBA curriculum and work. Additionally, the cohort-based program encourages learning from classmates—often leaders in other companies or industries—who may face the same challenges and offer innovative solutions.

Align your EMBA to corporate values

Every good company has a vision, a mission, and a set of core strategic values. What are your company’s values? How will supporting your education tie into those values? Does your company value continuous improvement? Professional growth? Stewardship of its assets? A passion to achieve? Companies and students alike can advance real-world values by preparing leaders for business without blind spots. An Olin EMBA develops leaders who can bring analytical thinking to business problems, builds interpersonal skills that can foster collaboration and creativity, and can create bench strength to a company’s leadership team.

Know your tuition reimbursement policies

The truth is, corporate financial support for Executive MBA students has fallen nationwide over nearly 30 years. Some companies are reluctant to risk funding an MBA for an employee who could leave soon after graduation. Many companies also offer partial or full sponsorship policies for a contractual commitment. If you’re willing to commit to staying with your company after earning your degree, you may improve your shot at financial sponsorship.

Bring your boss to school

Olin is sponsoring a special EMBA preview day on Sept. 8, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. You’re encouraged to bring your boss (or your sponsor, partner, spouse, or colleague) to get a taste of the program, attend an EMBA class, and lunch with current students who can share how they balance the rigors of school with their professional responsibilities.

Guest blogger: Kurt Greenbaum

In the September-October issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR), Olin researchers identify four principles for designing executive compensation packages that encourage managers to deliver real, sustainable value. The recommendations for refining incentive-based plans stem from ground-breaking research that employed innovative data collection and advanced statistical techniques that revealed flaws and unintended consequences inherent in many pay-for-performance compensation plans.

The research was published in the Journal of Financial Economics earlier this year and received the Olin Award for research with the most potential to impact business in 2015.

Olin authors of the HBR article, “Comp Targets That Work,” include: Radhakrishnan Gopalan, Associate Professor of Finance; John Horn, Senior Lecturer in Economics; and Todd Milbourn,Vice Dean and the Hubert C. & Dorothy R. Moog Professor of Finance.

Harvard Business Review, September-October 2017, Volume 95, Number 5, pp. 102 – 107.

Journal of Financial Economics, 2017, vol. 124, issue 2, 307-330

Check out the Olin research on HBR.

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