Tag: Leading Together

This blog post is excerpted the Washington Magazine Summer 2017 issue.

As the founder and owner of J. Wood & Associates, a ­successful management consulting firm, Emeritus Trustee Joyce (Wood) Buchheit, BSBA ’76, MBA ’77, believes in the power of philanthropy to change lives.

Buchheit has given generously to Washington University for nearly 20 years to express her gratitude for the scholarship support, mentorship and career guidance she received as a young mother entering Olin Business School in the 1970s.

“When I started at the business school, there were not many women and very few mothers. I chose Washington University because of the ­financial aid package I was offered,” she recalls.

Olin School Dean Robert Virgil and ­Professor Earl Spiller set her on a career path at Arthur ­Andersen & ­Company, at that time one of the “Big Eight” international accounting firms.

“Dean Virgil and Professor Spiller were outstanding teachers and mentors for their students. They encouraged Arthur Andersen to hire me in spite of the fact that I did not fit the normal age and ­gender profile for the position,” Buchheit says.

“And that scholarship changed my life,” she adds. “Without Washington University and the assistance of the dean and my professors, Arthur ­Andersen would never have hired me and provided me with excellent training and experience in the area of tax ­accounting.”

Giving back

After nearly four years at Arthur Andersen and a brief time at Mark Twain Bank, Buchheit founded J. Wood & Associates in St. Louis in 1984. Four years later, she moved the business to Bonne Terre, Missouri, where she began finding opportunities to give back.

“Christian Hospital had recently invested in the area by creating Parkland Health Center in Farmington, and they asked if I would sit on the board,” she says. Buchheit — who is now married to Chauncy Buchheit, executive director of the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning ­Commission — has served on the boards of several rural hospitals, as well as Missouri Baptist Hospital in St. Louis. She recently retired from the board of BJC HealthCare, where she chaired the hospital system’s audit committee.

“My service to these organizations allowed me to support the community,” she says. “I feel strongly that we need research on effective policies that improve public health, and we need to revise or delete policies that have had unintended negative consequences. Dissemination and implementation of proven best practices in health care should be our highest priority.”

Buchheit was elected to the Washington ­University Board of Trustees in 2011 and ­became an emeritus trustee in 2016. She also has chaired the School of Medicine’s finance committee and currently serves on the national councils of the medical school and the Institute for ­Public Health.

“Joyce is dedicated to improving the lives of people in our region,” says Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “We were proud to honor her with the Olin Business School Dean’s Medal in 2000 and the Robert S. Brookings Award in 2015. In addition to her extraordinary generosity, her ­dedicated service as an insightful leader, adviser and volunteer will have a lasting impact on faculty and students at Washington University.”

Buchheit considers her leadership role at the Institute for Public Health as an opportunity to advance the work of both the medical school and the Brown School. In 2012, she gave $2 million to establish the Joyce Wood Professorship, the university’s first endowed professorship in public health.

Overall, Buchheit believes that giving back to Washington University is an investment in the future.

“Because the chancellors and the deans of the business school have been long-term leaders, I’ve seen how they plan and execute over time,” she says. “The business school is growing, especially internationally. That’s the world students are entering today.”

Helping those students and the university continue to succeed is Buchheit’s primary motivation for giving to Washington University.

In 1998, she and her former husband ­Howard Wood established the Wood Fellows ­Program for MBA students. They endowed the Joyce and Howard Wood Distinguished ­Professorship in Business in 2004, added the Wood Leadership Scholars Program for Olin ­undergraduates in 2007, and made the lead gift for the Howard and Joyce Wood Simulation ­Center at the medical school in 2008.

As an Olin graduate and a former scholarship recipient, Buchheit finds supporting scholarships especially meaningful.

“I enjoy watching bright students progress through school and advance in their careers,” she says. “Their diverse backgrounds, their ­qualifications, their accomplishments — it all reinforces my drive to help them gain the ­education they need. It is exciting to see them succeed, open doors and hold them open for others.”

Photo above: Albert Ip, (third from left) BS ’73, at the dedication ceremony for the Albert and Pasy Ip Classroom in Olin’s in Simon Hall in March. ©Photo by Jerry Naunheim

Albert Ip, BS ’73, knows a lot about giving back. He has been volunteering with Washington University for more than 15 years. He is the honorary chairman of the Hong Kong Alumni Club and a member of the Alumni Board of Governors. Previously, he was a member of the International Advisory Council for Asia and of the Wells Fargo Advisors Center for Finance and Accounting Research. He is currently chairman of the International Regional Cabinet of Hong Kong.

An avid volunteer with other schools as well, Ip was recently inducted as an honoree of the Beta Gamma Sigma Society at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s School of Business. In his speech, Ip said: “You and I have been given and benefited from an excellent education. These opportunities were made possible by others who saw value in investing in your future.”

As a teenager in Macau, China, Ip needed someone to invest in him. He knew he wanted to go to university in the United States, and he knew he’d need a robust scholarship.

“I applied to 15 universities in the U.S.,” Ip says. He was paying all the application fees with cashier’s checks. “I still remember my dad saying, ‘Wow, Son, this must be the fiftieth cashier’s check I’ve bought for you.’” Ip recalls with a laugh.

Ip was admitted to several colleges, but Washington University gave him a full scholarship. He enrolled in the School of Engineering & Applied Science where he studied applied mathematics and computer science. Some semesters, Ip took six or seven courses, in addition to working on campus. His industriousness paid off, and he graduated in three years summa cum laude.

After Washington University, Ip enrolled in Cornell University’s applied mathematics PhD program. But after earning his master’s degree, he decided to pursue a career in business instead and earned a master’s degree in finance at Carnegie Mellon University. Both universities gave Ip fellowships, including a monthly stipend, but he regrets not finishing his PhD at Cornell.

Ip started working for Citibank in New York not long after graduating from Carnegie Mellon and moved to Hong Kong nearly 30 years ago. In 2007, he retired from Citibank and started working for Merrill Lynch. Ip retired from finance in 2011 and is currently chief executive officer of Langham Hospitality Investments, a listed company in Hong Kong. He is also on the board of six other listed companies in Hong Kong. Despite these obligations, Ip devotes a substantial amount of time to working in higher education — his passion.

“It’s something that I really enjoy,” he says before launching into a story about a top-listed real-estate company that interviewed a student Ip recommended. The head of human resources called Ip to get his final recommendation, and during the call, the student got the job. In an academic year, Ip counsels 50 to 60 students.

“It’s not work,” Ip says. “It’s like enjoying a good movie.” He sits on the Council of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, a McDonnell Academy Scholar partner, and was previously a council member of Lingnan University. He is an adjunct or honorary professor at five universities, including City University of Hong Kong, University of Macau and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Ip delivers talks at universities, both in Hong Kong and overseas. In 2016, he delivered 15 talks, including one at Washington University.

Recently, WashU named a classroom in Simon Hall after Ip. “Unbeknownst to me, Chancellor [Mark S.] Wrighton came,” Ip says. “I said, ‘Mark! I thought this was going to be just taking a few photos that I could take back to my wife.’ It turned out to be a naming ceremony, and I really appreciated that. It was a surprise and a warm welcome, to say the least.”

By Rosalind Early, originally published in WashU Asia Extra, Summer 2017

Before Cash Nickerson finished his MBA, he earned his law degree  (WashU JD’85), and accepted a position with the Union Pacific Railroad as an attorney focused on mergers and acquisitions. The company quickly moved him into business positions, including running Union Pacific ExpressAir in St. Louis, where he continued taking courses at the Olin Business School.

In 1990, Nickerson joined Jenner & Block in Chicago as an associate. He made partner in 1993 — the same year he earned his MBA — and ­soon began thinking about another career move. “Many people didn’t understand why I wanted to make a change after I made partner,” he says. “But I couldn’t imagine staying. I was like, what’s next?”

His answer involved founding a series of companies that provided specialized business services. He sold his first entrepreneurial venture, human resources outsourcing startup Workforce Strategies, for $8.5 million in 1995. “That will addict you to entrepreneurship,” he says. He took the online business portal company Mucho.com public through a reverse merger in 2000.

Nickerson joined PDS Tech in 2003. During his 12 years with the company, one of the nation’s largest temporary staffing firms, he has satisfied his urge to start new things by nurturing outside interests. He has written five books of essays, three of them focused on employment and the workplace. After the first book, he created his own publishing company to maximize profits.

This is an excerpt from story published in Washington Magazine and online The Source.

Link to complete article.

By Mary Lee, a senior writer in Development ­Communications. For a related video featuring Cash Nickerson,and Kelli Washington, BSBA’94 talking about the meaning of  scholarships they received to attend WashU visit together.wustl.edu/circle

Olin Alumni Board president Jim Gidcumb, EMBA’93, asks KaLeena Weaver Thomas, PMBA’12, why she donates time and treasure to their alma mater. Bottom line? “It’s an investment that’s going to pay back valuable dividends,” she says. (more…)

Students will be texting and Tweeting that message next Spring, when the doors open to Olin’s new Knight and Bauer Halls where the Frick Forum is located. The multi-purpose, three-story amphitheatre at the heart of the new building complex is being named in honor of generous benefactors, Robert and Barbara Frick. The Fricks have made a $5 million commitment to support the expansion project.

Fricks_044_primary_newThis gift and associated challenges to other donors are the most recent gifts from Bob, BS’60, MBA’62, and Barbara Frick to Washington University. Other important gifts from the Fricks include: the establishment of the Robert and Barbara Frick Professorship in Business, held by Todd R. Zenger, PhD, a specialist in organization and strategy; and named annual scholarships for Olin students. In addition, the Fricks are life patrons of the university’s William Greenleaf Eliot Society.

Bob Frick credits his many personal and professional successes in life in part to great teachers and mentors at his alma mater. The St. Louis native received a full scholarship and graduated in 1960 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Another full-tuition scholarship allowed him to earn his master’s in business administration two years later. While at WUSTL, he joined the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and Beta Theta Pi fraternity.

Read more about the Fricks and their support of Wash U in Olin News.