Snider Supports Entrepreneurial Research Center
Ed Snider, chairman of Comcast Spectacor, has donated $2 million to support the work of the Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Center, the world’s first and largest research center dedicated to studying entrepreneurship and business venturing.
Snider founded and endowed The Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Center in 1985 to honor his father, a Russian immigrant, who created a chain of supermarkets in Washington, D.C. The new gift will enable the Center to significantly expand its research agenda while enhancing its business outreach in the region.
Snider has been Philadelphia’s leader in sports and entertainment for more than 30 years. He founded the Philadelphia Flyers, developed the city’s two major arenas and created PRISM, a regional premium cable television channel. He also established Spectacor Management Group, the world’s largest manager of public assembly facilities. Comcast Spectacor was formed in 1996 by a merger of the Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers and the arenas with Comcast Corp.
“Entrepreneurship is truly the engine that drives economic growth,” says Snider. “Through the Sol C. Snider Center, Wharton can continue the important work of advancing knowledge and practice in this field around the world.”
The gift supports the School’s strategic plan to sustain its long-term leadership position in several key areas and is part of the University of Pennsylvania’s Agenda for Excellence — a five-year initiative that proposes a series of critical priorities and objectives for Penn.
“The Center studies and encourages entrepreneurial ventures that contribute to society at large — those which enable large-scale job creation and productivity and which enhance the quality of life on a global scale,” notes Ian MacMillan, George W. Taylor Professor of Management and director of the Center. “We are delighted that Ed Snider has provided the resources needed to understand the entrepreneurial enterprises that make these significant contributions to society.”
Thouron Scholars Head for the U.K.
Two of this year’s five Thouron awards — prestigious fellowships that allow Penn students to study and travel in the United Kingdom, and British students to study and travel in the U.S. — went to Wharton seniors.
Katinka Domotorffy, from Lakewood, Oh., and Billy Kung, from McLean, Va., both W’97, were chosen on the basis of their academic and personal qualifications, a meeting with members of the Thouron family and a presentation before the selection committee on a current events topic.
The Thouron fellowship was established in 1960 by Sir John Thouron and Lady Thouron to enhance awareness and understanding between the people of the U.S. and Great Britain. Recipients of the award work towards earning the equivalent of a master’s degree at a U.S. university. In addition to covering tuition, room and board for two years, the Thouron award grants the students sufficient funds to travel and experience British culture firsthand.
Domotorffy, who will participate in a one-year masters of science in finance program at the London School of Economics, graduated in May with a concentration in finance and a minor in math and English. This summer she is working as a math teacher at Choate-Rosemary Hall in Connecticut and traveling across Europe.
While at Wharton, Domotorffy worked in the finance department as a teaching assistant for speculative markets. She spent a summer as a programmer for NASA and also has worked as a market researcher in the School’s Huntsman Center for Global Competition and Innovation.
Kung, who graduated from the Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, has been accepted into a one-year master’s program in computer science at Oxford. Kung originally attended Boston University, where he was a member of the fencing team. His interests include creating virtual environments, fencing and theater.
Kung worked for one summer as a White House intern and as a consultant for Fuji Xerox. This summer he is in Guangzhou, China, in the U.S. Foreign Service’s political economic section.
New Initiative Launched to Study Chinese Business
As part of its efforts to better understand business practices in the Asia Pacific region, Wharton has established a new program called the Chinese Business and Entrepreneurship Initiative (CBEI).
CBEI will be directed by Ming-Jer Chen, who was a faculty member at the Columbia Business School for nine years and spent last year at Wharton as the Harry W. Reynolds Visiting International Professor. A native of Taiwan, Chen is an internationally recognized scholar in the field of strategic management.
CBEI will conduct studies and sponsor educational activities that address Chinese business on a global scale. Specific areas of interest include the inner workings of Chinese family businesses, managerial issues of multinational firms dealing with Chinese companies and the operations of multinationals within the People’s Republic of China and throughout Greater China.
The program, the first of its kind at a major U.S. institution, will operate under the auspices of Wharton’s Sol C. Snider Entrepreneurial Center.
Googles, Robots, and Snow-Making Equipment: Helping Israeli Companies Enter U.S. Markets
Brandon Watson, WG’97, worked this spring with an Israeli company that manufactures civil defense products, including goggles used by Israeli tank commanders. The company, $11 million Shalon Industries, is currently seeking to convert its product line for use in civilian markets. Watson and four teammates looked specifically at joint venture opportunities for selling modified goggles to a number of markets in the U.S., including extreme sports, skiing and snowboarding.
Chad Dick, WG’97, and his team linked up with the Slavin Division of Israel Military Industries, a leading manufacturer of sophisticated robotic equipment which intends to create a line of robots for firefighting. “At the moment, the firefighting market doesn’t exist,” says Dick. “So we talked to and surveyed municipal fire departments as well as commercial and industrial companies that handle hazardous materials (such as chemical plants and coal mines) in order to assess the market potential for robots.”
For Kate Bednarz, WG’97, the challenge was to find new applications for a technology developed by I.D.E. Technologies, a $50 million desalinization company that recently developed improved refrigeration systems. “We looked at potential uses in the snow and ice making business,” says Bednarz. “The current equipment works only at temperatures of 32 degrees or below. I.D.E.’s equipment can create snow in temperatures up to 80 degrees. That could mean extending ski seasons at winter resorts and/or establishing ski facilities in more moderate climates.”
The project teams are part of the Dosberg Wharton-Recanati Partnership located within Wharton’s Multinational Marketing and Management Program. The initiative, a joint venture between Wharton and Tel Aviv’s Recanati School of Business, links up selected Wharton students with Israeli companies that are seeking to enter the U.S. market. In 1992, York University of Toronto joined the program as a resource for those companies interested in the Canadian as well as U.S. markets. The partnership is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
After meeting with their assigned companies in Israel, Wharton students spend the spring semester conducting market research; interviewing potential product users, market intermediaries and partners, and then creating both strategic and tactical marketing plans to launch their company’s products in the U.S.
“It gives the students an opportunity not only to apply what they have learned in marketing but also to apply what they have learned in other areas of management, including finance, entrepreneurship, manufacturing and so forth,” says Leonard Lodish, Samuel R. Harrell Professor of Marketing and co-founder/director of the program.
This spring 35 Wharton students, divided into seven teams of five students each, were matched up with Israeli firms that, in addition to the three mentioned earlier, included: a producer of irrigation products looking to expand into the consumer irrigation market; a company seeking to convert military products, such as rugged laptop computers, for use in civilian industrial markets; the developer of a computerized valve for soft drink dispensing; and a dairy and cheese manufacturer.
In preparation for the spring match-ups, Israeli students from Recanati in Tel Aviv have already spent the previous fall semester compiling information on member companies’ objectives, management goals, strengths and weaknesses and the types of products that have potential for export to the U.S.
In May, Israeli executives, Wharton faculty and Recanati, Wharton and York students meet on campus for a final week of management and marketing meetings, including presentation of the students’ reports. Student teams frequently bring in consultants, distributors, industry contacts and/or potential product users to build support for their recommendations.
As an example of the program’s effectiveness, Lodish cites a recent $70 million contract secured by Tadiran’s Elisra Division to sell its communications terminals to Qualcomm, a provider of commercial wireless. The deal is based in part on the recommendations of a 1992 team of Wharton, Recanati and York University students.
More than 100 companies have participated in the Dosberg Wharton-Recanati Partnership since its beginning in 1978.
“We can point to at least $300 million in revenues generated for Israeli companies by this program over the past 20 years,” says Lodish.
Asian Conference Set for October
“The Changing Role of the Asian Financial Industry” is the theme of the third annual Wharton Asian Finance Conference scheduled for Friday, October 31, 1997.
The conference brings together leading industry professionals, faculty, alumni and students for a discussion of the role of Asian economies in the global financial marketplace. Conference topics will include investment banking, financial service consulting, commercial banking, fixed income capital markets and real estate finance, among others.
For information and/or to participate, e-mail conference chair Vanessah Ng at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Asian Finance Conference, c/o Wharton Graduate Association, 216 Vance Hall, 3733 Spruce St., Philadelphia, PA 19104-6362. Telephone: 215-573-4343; fax: 215-573-8999.
Grade A Teaching
Each spring, both undergraduate and graduate students at Wharton formally express their appreciation for excellent teaching by giving out awards to those professors with the highest teaching ratings.
On the undergraduate level, the 8th annual David W. Hauck Award for Outstanding Teaching, the most prestigious in the undergraduate division, is given to recipients for their ability to lead, simulate and challenge students, knowledge of the latest research in their field and a commitment to educational leadership.
The 1997 recipients are William S. Laufer, associate professor of legal studies, and Suleyman Basak, assistant professor of finance.
The Excellence in Teaching Awards are given in recognition of outstanding teaching and exceptional commitment to undergraduate students. The awards are based on student nominations and teaching evaluations.
Winners this year include Suleyman Basak (Finance), Gordon M. Bodnar (Finance), Neil A. Doherty (Insurance and Risk Management), William F. Hamilton (Management), Larry W. Hunter (Management), Aron Katsenelinboigen (Operations and Information Management), Olivia S. Mitchell (Insurance and Risk Management), Philip M. Nichols (Legal Studies) and Arnold J. Rosoff (Legal Studies).
The Marc and Sheri Rapaport Undergraduate Core Teaching Award is presented to a professor for teaching excellence in a core course. This year’s recipient is Georgette Poindexter, assistant professor of real estate, legal studies and law.
In the graduate division, the Helen Kardon Moss Anvil Award, created in 1969, recognizes exceptional teaching effort and ability, both inside and outside the classroom.
The 1997 recipient is Richard P. Waterman, assistant professor of statistics.
The Excellence in Teaching Awards are given to the eight professors with the highest ratings from the MBA student course evaluation forms.
The professor with the highest rating is also awarded the Class of 1984 Award. This year the recipient is Franklin Allen, professor of finance and economics.
The other Excellence in Teaching Award recipients include: Stuart Diamond (Legal Studies), Robert Inman (Finance), David Reibstein (Marketing), Jeremy J. Siegel (Finance), William C. Tyson (Legal Studies) and Karl Ulrich (Operations and Information Management).
The Miller-Sherrerd MBA Core Curriculum Teaching Awards are presented to eight professors with the highest overall ratings in core courses.
This year’s recipients include: Franklin Allen (Finance), Thomas Donaldson (Legal Studies), Ronald Goodstein (Marketing), G. Richard Shell (Legal Studies), Jeremy J. Siegel (Finance), Karl Ulrich (Operations and Information Management), Michael Useem (Management) and Richard P. Waterman (Statistics).
A Banner Year
The MBA class of 1997, led by class gift drive co-chairs Liz Connelly and Richard Nagy, raised $136,383.80 for their class gift. That is almost twice the amount raised last year, and doesn’t include a $35,000 challenge gift from the Graduate Executive Board. Total: $171,383.80.
More impressive figures: 536 students, 71 percent of the class, contributed to the gift; 120 of them qualified for the Young Franklin Society (gifts of $500-$999) and 18 qualified for the Benjamin Franklin Society (gifts of $1,000+).
The $171,383 will help fund an alumni web page called the Wharton Alumni Virtual Community. The project — which its supporters envision as a way to strengthen the Wharton community throughout the world — will include such features as job postings, career counseling, virtual reunions, a Dean’s Forum, regional club activities and announcements of interesting campus events.
Politics on the Side
It’s hard sometimes to remember that Eugene Huang, W’99, EAS’99, is a student. He took off the spring and fall semesters last year to work full-time for Mark Warner, a candidate for the U.S. Senate from the state of Virginia.
During the fall of 1995 he was a part-time student and full-time paid volunteer for Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell’s mayoral campaign. And during his senior year at Beverly Hills High School, as a way to “get involved in the political process,” he worked on candidate Mike Woo’s bid to be mayor of Los Angeles.
(For the record, Rendell won, Woo and Warner lost.)
Obviously, connections help. Huang met Rendell while he was doing a freshman year internship in the mayor’s constituent services department, a job he landed through a Penn student/former Woo campaigner. That led to his part-time work as a volunteer for Rendell’s reelection campaign. Mark Warner happened to come to a fundraiser for Rendell in Philadelphia, mentioned that his campaign needed a technology point person, interviewed Huang for 15 minutes and offered him the job. Three months later, Huang was a paid campaign staffer living in an apartment in Richmond, Va.
His title was director of technology. “I handled everything from setting up a corporate network to creating a campaign web page to strategizing about our media image to helping with the design of campaign publications. We were woefully understaffed,” notes Huang, who says if he ever ran for political office himself, it wouldn’t be for “20 to 30 years.”
He continues to do a few projects for Warner, who is head of a venture capital company that invests primarily in telecommunications and more recently in technology companies.
But for now, he is enjoying the idea of being a full-time student again. “Most people, when they leave school, talk about how much they miss it,” says Huang, who is in the Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology (M&T). “I’ve been out there and I truly did miss it. Now, for the first time in a long while, I don’t have a job while I’m in school. It’s a new sense of freedom. I’m really looking forward to doing schoolwork.”
Books for the Beach…and Beyond
Last spring, six Wharton professors were asked by members of WG’97 to give their views on management challenges over the next few years. They discussed, for example, the role of technology in a global marketplace; skills needed today that weren’t required a decade ago; “hot spots” for marketing and financial investing, and opportunities for international expansion.
The professors were also asked to recommend books they felt would offer valuable perspectives to students as they set out on new careers. Here are their suggestions:
Jeremy Siegel, finance: A Random Walk Down Wall Street, by Burton Malkiel; The General Theory of Employment, Interest & Money, by John Maynard Keynes; and Capitalism & Freedom, by Milton Friedman.
Michael Useem, management: Annapurna, A Woman’s Place, by Arlene Blum; Leading Minds: An Anatomy of Leadership, by Howard Gardner; Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13, by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger; and Young Men and Fire, by Norman Maclean.
Richard Shell, legal studies: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert Cialdini; The Mind of the Strategist, by Kenichi Ohmae; and The Tempest, by William Shakespeare.
David Reibstein, marketing: The Road Less Traveled, by Scott Peck, and Everything I Learned about Business I Learned at Microsoft, by Julie Bick.
Eric Clemons, operations and information management: Snow Crash, by Neil Stephenson; The Armchair Economist, by Steven Landsburg; and Voltaire’s Bastards, by John Ralston Saul.
Stuart Diamond, legal studies: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig, and The Prince, by Machiavelli.
– Laurence A. Tisch, WG’43, cochairman of the board and co-CEO of Loews Corp. and former chairman and CEO of CBS, spoke at Wharton’s MBA graduation on May 18.
Bill Cosby, a Philadelphia native and star of the 1984-92 series The Cosby Show, delivered this year’s Penn commencement address on May 19 to the class of 1997.
Loews Corp. today is a leader in five industries: hotel operations; property, casualty and life insurance; distribution and sale of watches and clocks; cigarette sales and production, and the operation of gas drilling rigs. Tisch served as chairman and CEO of CBS from 1986 to 1995, at which time the broadcasting company was sold to Westinghouse.
– As a result of a fundraising effort spearheaded by Wharton’s European Advisory Board, scholarships are now available to European students applying to the MBA program. A total of $60,000 was recently allocated to four second-year students and three first-year students.
The scholarships are part of an overall European fundraising effort led by Frederic Dubois, WG’73, in cooperation with Wharton’s Annual Fund. To date, more than $250,000 has been raised.
– Wharton’s Financial Institutions Center and The Brookings Institution are jointly launching an annual forum and journal on policy issues aimed at attracting key public and private sector participants.
“The collaboration is designed to bridge the gap between domestic and international policy makers, industry leaders and academics,” says Anthony M. Santomero, director of the Wharton Financial Institutions Center. “This is particularly important today with the merging of different components in what was once a highly segmented industry.”
The forum and the journal will examine issues in all relevant sectors of finance including banking, securities, insurance and mutual funds.
The first Wharton-Brookings conference will be held in Washington, D.C. on October 29-30.
– New York-based Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates PC has been selected as the architects for Wharton’s new management education facility, a 300,000 square-foot building that will incorporate graduate and undergraduate classrooms, study areas, an auditorium, student lounges, a café and student services.
The building, scheduled to be completed in 2000, will occupy a gateway site to the Penn campus at Walnut and 38th Streets.
– The Social Security system and the capital markets were the focus of two conferences this spring:
“Prospects for Social Security Reform” on May 12-13 discussed the need for reform of the U.S. social security system and outlined specific options for action. The conference was sponsored by the Wharton Pension Research Council.
The “Performance of Financial Institutions” on May 9-10 brought together scholars from around the world to explore the efficiency of institutions that operate in the capital markets. The conference was sponsored by Wharton’s Financial Institutions Center.