Tag: Kansas City

The Executive MBA class 46 Leadership Residency literally kicked off on Super Bowl Sunday this year. The class, which includes cohorts from St. Louis and Kansas City, gathered for the first session of the week-long residency in the Knight Center. The popular “I-70 Connect” reception allows the Kansas City and St. Louis cohorts to get reacquainted and prepare for their next 10 months together. The first day’s capstone was a venture to the hip Malt House Cellar to watch the Denver Broncos hoist the Lombardi Trophy after a 24-10 Super Bowl victory.

IMG_3386After a little celebrating, it was back to class and courses on formal and informal leadership.

Special guest speaker Sharon Price John, CEO of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. told the class, “The definition of responsible is the ability to respond.” It was a meaningful beginning to an intensive week of learning and exploring the meaning of leadership.

Leadership Residency marks the halfway point of the WashU Executive MBA curriculum and is a hallmark of the program. During the ten months prior to Leadership Residency, executive students studied the core business competencies and now understand how they work together to solve problems. Following the residency, the cohort will concentrate on three essential themes that develop 360-degree thinking and the courage to dismantle organizational silos: growth, globalization, and innovation and entrepreneurship.

WashU’s Executive MBA is about Business Without Blind Spots.

Congratulations to Brad Li, EMBA-Kansas City Class 46, for being named Asian Entrepreneur of the Year by the Mid-America Asian Culture Association.  Brad will be honored at the Annual Award Dinner on September 2 in Kansas City.

Brad is Senior Vice President & General Manager at ZTE USA a subsidiary of ZTE Corporation, a global provider of mobile devices, telecommunication systems, and enterprise solutions.

The Executive MBA cohorts from St. Louis and Kansas City rejoined each other for the kickoff of Leadership Residency at the Charles F. Knight Executive Education Center on Sunday, February 8. Following an afternoon in the classroom, they set off to enjoy the sights and sounds of St. Louis as a collective cohort.

Leadership Residency is the hallmark of Olin’s Executive MBA program when midway through the 20-month curriculum, the cohorts come together for a week of assessments, peer feedback and internal and external reflection. Students through the years call Leadership Residency a transformative experience.

EMBA 44’s residency included a visit from Jerry Bowe, CEO of Vi-Jon. Jerry joined the executive students to share his path to leadership and what he learned along the way, including 15 tips to keep in your pocket as you increase your responsibility in an organization, a community or otherwise. Among the 15 tips were:

  • Don’t believe your own press or it will kill you
  • Stay grounded; stay humble
  • Get out of the office and embrace the people in your organization.
  • Always act with integrity
  • Learn from but forget your mistakes
  • Encourage debate
  • Too many priorities means there is no priority
  • Define key metrics and watch them
  • Be optimistic

Two members of Executive MBA 44 experience Jerry in action daily as members of the Vi-Jon team. Stephanie Truitt heads up Human Resources for the organization and Krista Whaley oversees the company’s quality control.

Following a thoughtful Q&A session with Jerry, the students headed to their breakout rooms for the continuation of Leadership Residency assessments, discussion and learning.

About Jerry Bowe
Jerry Bowe joined Vi-Jon in July 2011 as Chief Executive Officer. For the last twenty years, Jerry has been leading companies in manufacturing and service related businesses.

From 2008 to 2011, Jerry served as Chief Executive Officer of the holding company for Masterplan and ReMedPar, two businesses which service and supply parts for clinical engineering and diagnostic imaging devices in hospitals. Prior to his assignment at Masterplan, Jerry was the Chairman of Avery Weigh-Tronix, Inc. Jerry joined the company as Chief Executive Officer in May 2002 and was promoted to Chairman in 2007. Avery Weigh-Tronix is a leading manufacturer of electronic weighing components and systems for the industrial, commercial retail and consumer markets. Prior to joining Avery Weigh-Tronix, Jerry held a number of positions with Malden Mills Industries, Inc., a leading textile manufacturer, including Chief Operating Officer between 1981 and early 2002. Jerry was a consultant and manager at Bain & Company from 1983 to 1988; a consultant at Arthur D. Little Company, Inc. from 1981 to 1983; and a manager at International Paper Inc. from 1976 to 1978.

Jerry received his B.A. from Dartmouth College and his M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration.

Pictured above: Jerry Bowe, Vi-Jon CEO with Executive MBA students and Vi-Jon leaders, Stephanie Truitt and Krista Whaley, and Professor Stuart Bunderson



How does the bullwhip effect impact business? Fifteen Kansas City companies learned  via their participation in the largest ever “Beer Game” competition. Olin Business School’s Executive MBA program in Kansas City partnered with KC SmartPort and Boulevard Brewing for the second annual “Beer Game” competition, which tested the teams’ supply chain management skills.

Beer Game Team 2Professor Panos Kouvelis, Emerson Distinguished Professor of Operations and Manufacturing Management at Washington University’s Olin Business School, led the competition with representatives from American Eagle Outfitters, Bartlett & West, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, candid marketing + communications, Demdaco, Hallmark, Newmark Grubb Zimmer, Scarbrough, Sprint, Storage Solutions, U.S. Engineering, the United States Army, and UPS. Additionally, the Kansas City Economic Development Council and the Franklin County Development Council fielded teams from their constituents.

The “Beer Game” is an interactive and experiential learning simulation, allowing participants to experience typical supply chain problems by producing and delivering units of beer via a game format.Beer Game KC 1

“Companies make supply chain tradeoffs daily, and most of the time they are invisible to consumers,” Kouvelis said. “But when we do feel these tradeoffs, they can cause great pain. Small changes in the market create a rather chaotic environment in the supply chain with erratic orders, frequent inventory shortages, and profit loss. “Beer Game” participants experience this bullwhip phenomenon — a real-life situation that both manufacturing and service firms must effectively manage.”

IMG_6392“To meet global demands and remain competitive and opportunistic, businesses need access to the latest information on supply chain management,” said Chris Gutierrez, president of Kansas City SmartPort. “Mastering supply chain management is critical for a wide range of industries based in Kansas City, including engineering, IT, operations-logistics, procurement, and research and development. The ‘Beer Game’ is a unique and entertaining way for business people who are charged with managing numerous parts of the supply chain to gain invaluable strategies from Professor Kouvelis – a global leader in supply chain management.”

Following the “Beer Game” competition where the team from Newmark Grubb and Zimmer took home the gold, participants mingled and networked over Boulevard Beer.

Aligned with its Kansas City-based Executive MBA program, Olin Business School routinely partners with local groups, such as KC SmartPort, to share research-driven knowledge on topics such as entrepreneurship, design thinking and innovation, and leadership. The sixth Kansas City cohort is now forming with classes beginning in April.

After completing the first half of Olin’s Executive MBA program, members of the Kansas City EMBA 44 cohort said good-bye to the Kansas City campus in preparation for next month’s Leadership Residency at the Charles F. Knight Executive Education and Conference Center on the campus of Washington University. Leadership Residency is the second of three residencies in the 20-month curriculum and where the St. Louis and Kansas City cohorts join to complete the second half of the program together.

Leadership Residency begins on Sunday, Feb. 8 and features courses on formal and informal leadership. The week will also include special guest speakers, including Jerry Bowe, CEO of Vi-Jon, peer feedback sessions, social activities and more. Following Leadership Residency, the combined St. Louis/Kansas City cohort will resume once-a-month classes in St. Louis and prepare for their final residency in Shanghai, China this fall before graduating in December.

Congratulations to all of Executive MBA class 44 on completion of the first half of Olin’s EMBA program!