Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Michigan SBTDC Recognizes Davis as Outstanding Regional Director

The Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center has selected Tamara Davis as the 2011 Outstanding Regional Director of the Michigan SBTDC network.

Davis, regional director of the MI-SBTDC for Southwest Michigan, was chosen by the MI-SBTDC for being an outstanding performer, making major strides in developing the program in the region and showing a strong commitment to small business in Michigan.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to recognize Tamara Davis for her extraordinary work in serving Michigan's entrepreneurs and small business owners,” says Carol Lopucki, MI-SBTDC state director. “Tamara possesses tremendous business acumen, leadership skills and peer respect. She contributes in a dynamic way to the SBTDC network at large.”

Davis brings an extensive academic background to the MI-SBTDC as well as practical business experience from both the private and public sectors. As regional director, she has increased the visibility and awareness of the center throughout Southwest Michigan.

She has served on committees, engaged with regional partners and spoke at regional events to promote the awareness of the MI-SBTDC services. The Southwest Michigan region served over 350 clients in 2010 with a satisfaction rate of 96.8 percent. Its regional clients created 153 new jobs in 2010 and increased capital formation 14 percent to over $16 million.

Davis accepted the award at a special reception during the 2011 MI-SBTDC network conference in Traverse City.

The Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center is the “Feet on the Street” providing counseling, training and market research for Michigan’s new business ventures, existing small businesses, expanding new businesses, new technology companies and innovators.

The Southwest Michigan MI-SBTDC regional office is located at Western Michigan University in the Haworth College of Business, in Kalamazoo. Entrepreneurs and small business owners may access the services of the Southwest Michigan MI-SBTDC office by calling 269.387.6004 or visiting

Tamara Davis – Bio
Davis earned her bachelor's degree from the Haworth College of Business in 1988 with a concentration in advertising and marketing. She earned her MBA from WMU in 1999. After many years in advertising, she joined the Vermont Secretary of Administration's office under then-Gov. Howard Dean.

Upon returning to Michigan, Davis joined Kalamazoo College, serving in various capacities including director of operations of the L. Lee Stryker Center. She served as project manager of the economic development group regional EDGE and as a MI-SBTDC business consultant. In 2003, she joined Davenport University as the department coordinator of the Management, Marketing and Legal departments for the Battle Creek, Holland and Kalamazoo Davenport University locations.

Davis became the regional director of the MI-SBTDC at WMU in 2009.

WMU’s Integrated Supply Management program earns spot among top supply chain programs.

Earning its first ranking, WMU’s Integrated Supply Management program is named 12th among undergraduate supply chain programs, tied with the University of Maryland and Stanford University. (See complete list, below.) The ranking, by Gartner (AMR), is an important step in the development of this program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2012. In the last Gartner ranking, WMU’s ISM program received an “honorable mention.”
Dr. Bret Wagner, director,
integrated supply management program

“It's encouraging to see that the Gartner rankings recognize the quality of the ISM program,” says Dr. Bret Wagner, director of the
WMU program. “During its 20 year history, the ISM program has used the input from our executive council (the ISM program's industry advisory board) to drive changes in the program and curriculum so that it stays relevant. This continuous improvement philosophy will be the key for the ISM program to move up the rankings.”

Gartner’s ranking relied on evaluation of numerous factors, including Industry partnerships, additional training required of graduates, curriculum and integration of IT.

Chris Flum, BBA '86, is president of the
ISM Executive Council
"I have been part of the ISM Executive Council for over 10 years. The reason I and the other council members participate is we can see that our input is valued and results in changes in the program and the curriculum that produce graduates who are well prepared for careers in supply management,” says Chris Flum, BBA ’86, vice president, Global Indirect Supply & Procurement at Harman International.

“As an alum, it’s good to see that the hard work of the faculty and executive council members in producing a world-class supply management program is being recognized by organizations like Gartner."

In addition to industry input and continuous improvement, Wagner says that the program’s innovative curriculum and distinctive elements provide students with skills to begin supply management careers “Ready, Day One.”
· Joins coursework in business and engineering
· Incorporates extensive use of SAP ERP business software in courses
· Requires project courses where students apply process improvement tools to real company problems

In the last ranking by Gartner, WMU received an honorable mention for its extensive use of SAP ERP system in two classes, including a dedicated class.
Gartner (AMR), the definitive organization dealing with industry supply chains, announced the latest rankings in early June at its annual conference. 

The List:
1. Penn State
3. Georgia Tech, Arizona State, Rutgers
5. Michigan State
6. University of Texas-Austin
7. Ohio State and University of Wisconsin-Madison
9. Texas A & M and University of Tennessee
12. WMU, Maryland, Stanford
14. Lehigh University, University of Marquette
16. Syracuse University
20. University of Indiana, University South Carolina, Auburn University, Texas Christian University, University of Kansas and University of Nevada-Reno
23. North Texas
25. Iowa State and Rider

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Advertising student snags one of four statewide scholarships

An advertising student at Western Michigan University's Haworth College of Business was among four students statewide to win 2011-12 scholarships from the Adcraft Club of Detroit's Adcraft Foundation.

Rachel Plaster of Deerfield, Illi., a senior majoring in advertising and promotion, received a $2,500 scholarship. She is a member of the Lee Honors College, the WMU AdClub, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and Alpha Omicron Pi International Women’s Fraternity and was recently honored by Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges & Universities. She studied abroad at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia in fall, 2010.

"Rachel has a clear focus on her goals and is doing everything right to get to where she wants to go," says Dr. Karen Lancendorfer, associate professor of marketing, who has had Plaster as a student for two years and nominated her for the scholarship. "She is always looking for opportunities and her enthusiasm and energy set her apart from the crowd."

The Adcraft Club of Detroit is the nation's largest advertising club. Its foundation annually awards cash grants to advertising and marketing students from Michigan universities. Students are nominated by faculty members and must submit an application and transcript, along with an essay demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of the advertising business. Winners and their faculty advisors were honored at a luncheon reception in Troy, Mich. in May.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Professor is accounting expert for new book investigating financials of the Catholic Church

Dr. Jack Ruhl, associate dean and professor of accountancy in the Haworth College of Business, served as the accounting expert for a newly released book, “Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church.”

Written by novelist and documentary filmmaker Jason Berry, who also wrote “Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children,” the book provides insight into “the secrecy and deceit that run counter to the values of the Catholic Church,” says Berry.

The author examines the church’s financial practices and lack of accountability for billions of dollars channeled through the Catholic Church annually.

“I think the book is going to receive a lot of attention,” says Ruhl. “New York Times’ columnist Maureen Dowd mentioned it in her column a few weeks ago. When ‘Lead us Not Into Temptation’ was released, Berry appeared on television talk shows such as “Oprah”, “Phil Donahue” and “Geraldo Rivera”.

Ruhl was mentioned in the acknowledgements and identified several times in the book. He is scheduled to appear with the author at the American Catholic Conference in Detroit on June 10-11.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Students and businesses benefit from Monroe-Brown Internship Program

A program that provides career experience is benefitting both students and southwest Michigan businesses.

As part of the Monroe-Brown Foundation Internship Program, 29 WMU students are gaining valuable work experiences while Southwest Michigan businesses reap the benefits of the students’ work.

The Monroe-Brown Foundation Internship Program provides paid internships for full-time college students, while offering them scholarships in the fall to help defray the cost of schooling.

“We are pleased to learn that 83 percent of the internship/scholarship recipients are students from WMU,” says Linda Ickes, director, Career Center, Haworth College of Business. “We worked strategically to alert our students of this valuable opportunity.

The Monroe-Brown Foundation Internship Program is a result of the collaboration between Southwest Michigan First in partnership with the Monroe-Brown Foundation. The program was launched in 2007 as a way of helping to keep the region’s most talented students in Kalamazoo after graduation. The internships are offered by local companies to currently enrolled college students and are paid for and supported by the southwest Michigan business community. Positions encompass such areas as engineering, business, marketing, information technology, management, sales and graphic design.

The program requires that applicants are limited to incoming juniors, seniors or graduate students at WMU, Kalamazoo College, Michigan State University or the University of Michigan. Second-year students a Kalamazoo Valley Community College are also eligible. Student attending MSU and UM must have attended high school in the greater Kalamazoo area.

Once hired, interns typically work full time for 10 weeks and receive hourly wages, valuable networking opportunities and applied career experiences.

Upon successful completion of the program, as decided by the employing company and the Monroe-Brown Foundation, interns also may receive scholarships from the Monroe-Brown Foundation worth up to $5,500.

Congratulations to the following Western Michigan students who have accepted internships with one of the Monroe-Brown Internship Program employer participants.

First Name

Last Name




MBA - Masters of Business Administration



Computer Information Systems



Mechanical Engineering



Electrical and Computer Engineering



Mechanical Engineering






Graphic Design






Construction Engineering






Advertising & Promotion



Civil Engineering



Mechanical Engineering



Engineering Graphics & Design Technology






Civil Engineering



Civil Engineering



Sales & Business Marketing



Human Resource Management



Engineering Graphics & Design Technology



Mechanical Engineering



Sales & Business Marketing






Human Resource Management



Computer Science



Human Resource Management



Mechanical Engineering



Aeronautical Engineering

Participating employers

· American Village builders, Inc.

· Access Medical


· Borgess Health

· Bronson Healthcare Group

· Consumers Credit Union

· CSM Group

· Eaton Corporation

· Fabri-Kal

· Harold Zeigler Automotive Group

· Humphrey Products Company

· Jasper Clinical Research & Development, Inc.

· Kalamazoo Gazette

· Knight Watch, Inc.

· Landscape Forms

· Miller-Davis Company

· Mol-Son LLC

· Northwestern Mutual Financial Network

· Parker Hannifin-Fluid System Connectors Division

· Proteos, Inc.

· Schupan & Sons, Inc.

· Skanska USA Building, Inc.

· Southwest Michigan First

· Southwest Michigan Innovation Center

· Tekna, Inc.

· Treystar Holdings, Inc.

· Wolverine Pipe Line Company

· Workforce Strategies, Inc.

. For more information about the program, visit