Monday, May 23, 2011

International conference to focus on relations between North America and Asia

Faculty from universities in North America and Asia will join WMU faculty and staff and Michigan business leaders for the Fifth Facing East Facing West Conference. This two-day multidisciplinary, multicultural conference provides a forum to discuss business, social, cultural, legal, economic, political and environmental issues concerning North America’s relations with Asian countries.

The conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fri., June 10, and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sat., June 11, at the Fetzer Center on the campus of Western Michigan University.

Highlights include the following events:

  • A keynote address on Friday, at 9 a.m., will feature Kenneth F. Davis, president, Vehicle Group for Eaton. Since joining Eaton in 1986, Davis has held management positions of increasing responsibility including president of the company’s Light and Medium-Duty Transmission business and vice president and general manager for its Clutch business. He has also held managerial, sales and marketing positions in the corporation.
  • The Friday luncheon address at 12:10 p.m. will feature Kuninori Matsuda, consul general of the Consulate General of Japan in Detroit. After graduating from Tokyo University, Matsuda joined Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he has held positions in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the Defense Policy Division at the Ministry of Defense, and the Division of General Management of the Foreign Minister’s office. He served as deputy director of the Russian Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as first secretary to the Embassy of Japan in Washington D.C. He has held several positions with the Embassy of Japan including his previous position of minister at the Embassy of Japan in Israel.
  • Over 40 concurrent sessions throughout the conference will focus on a wide variety of multidisciplinary topics and issues concerning North America’s relations with Asian countries, including the ASIAN region. The speakers represent the likes of North American universities such as Hofstra University, Indiana University, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota and the University of North Florida,

International faculty and administrators presenting at the conference include those representing universities such as Lahore University of Management Sciences, (Pakistan); Sun Yat-Sen University, (China); University of Warsaw, (Poland); Universidad de Burgos, (Spain); and the International Islamic University, (Malaysia).

Sponsored in part by the Department of Education, the conference is a major event in Project EDGE (Enhancing and Developing Global Expertise), a project designed to support initiatives to internationalize the curriculum, the faculty, and students and to develop an understanding of international business as it relates to the Association of South East Asian Nations region.

Directing the program and the conference are Dr. Mushtaq Luqmani, chair, Department of Marketing, Dr. Zahir Quraeshi, G.W. Haworth Chair of Global Business and director, Global Business Center, and Dr. Roger Tang, Upjohn Chair in Business Administration.

In addition to the U.S. Department of Education and WMU's Haworth College of Business Global Business Center, other sponsors are WMU's Haenicke Institute for Global Education, and Georgia State University Center for International Business Education and Research.

For more information, visit the conference website or contact Dr. Roger Tang (269) 387-5247.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

May Keystone Breakfast to feature Southwest Michigan First CEO

A local audience will have the chance to learn about the current state of the economy in Southwest Michigan at the May presentation of the Keystone Community Bank Breakfast Speaker Series at Western Michigan University.

Ron Kitchens, chief executive officer of Southwest Michigan First, will speak at 8 a.m. Friday, May 27, in the Dean’s Conference Room of Schneider Hall, home of the Haworth College of Business. Kitchens will provide an update on the local and state economy in his talk, which is free and open to the public.

The event begins with a continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Reservations are required and may be made by calling (269) 387-6059. Free parking is available in the Fetzer Center parking lot.

Kitchens is a graduate of Missouri State University and the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute. He completed the Harvard Business School's Negotiation and Managerial Decision-Making program; and holds the designation of Certified Economic Developer.

Throughout his career in economic development in Michigan, Texas and Missouri, Kitchens has worked with more than 200 Fortune 500, international or regional corporations as diverse as GE Capital, Aker, Celanese, Scholastic, Kiewit Offshore Services, Boeing, Exxon Mobil and Ryan Sanders Baseball.

Kitchens has been extensively featured in over 100 national and international media outlets, and he speaks to business and professional groups throughout the nation. He is the author of “Community Capitalism: Lessons from Kalamazoo and Beyond,” and is a regular contributor to economic development and leadership columns in local and national publications.

In addition to his position at Southwest Michigan First, Kitchens is the general partner of the Southwest Michigan First Life Science Fund.

The speaker series is underwritten by Keystone Community Bank.

Southwest Michigan First
Southwest Michigan First is the catalyst stimulating growth across the Kalamazoo Region. Nationally recognized for its groundbreaking "Community Capitalism" approach to economic development, Southwest Michigan First is a private, nonprofit corporation fully committed to its mission of jobs and wealth creation.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

WMU students place fourth in national marketing competition

The WMU team members pictured from left are River Karaba, Adam Parz, John Hebert, Kristina Kelly and Kara Hensley.

A team of five Western Michigan University students placed fourth overall in a national marketing competition.

Team members Kara Hensley of Woodhaven, Mich; John Hebert of Portage, Mich; River Karaba of Dewitt, Mich.; Kristina Kelly of Portage, Mich.; and Adam Parz of Lakeside, Mich., competed against 26 student teams from universities across the nation in the EdVenture Partners American Petroleum Institute National Case Study Competition in late April.

As part of the competition, the teams were challenged to consider and answer a number of analytical questions regarding a client’s brand positioning, a communication strategy or any other current strategic situation as identified by the sponsoring client. The team achieved 91 out of a possible 100 points, placing higher than teams from Wayne State University, Northwood University, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Texas at Arlington and San Diego State University.

WMU has participated in the EdVenture Partners National Case Study Competitions for the past eight years, placing in the top 10 nationally each year. The team, “Radio Adtive,” developed an integrated marketing communication campaign for the American Petroleum Institute with the goal of educating 18-25 year olds about national energy issues. The team developed a campaign using a variety of non-traditional consumer touch points and carried the tagline “It’s o.k. to be crude.”

Dr. JoAnn Atkin, associate professor of marketing and advisor to the team, uses the competition as the capstone project in the MKTG 4810 Integrated Marketing Communications Campaigns class for students majoring in advertising and promotion. The students won the “right” to represent WMU in the competition by beating out five other student teams in the class.

“This year, the competition was much more challenging than in previous years due to the nature of the client,” says Atkin. “I’m very proud of what the students accomplished. The team’s hard work was rewarded with another WMU top five placement.”

For more information on EdVenture Parters, visit .

Photo Caption
The WMU team members from left are River Karaba, Adam Parz, John Hebert, Kristina Kelly and Kara Hensley.