Alumni Weekend Conference 2014

Conference 2014


Friday, May 2 | UCLA Anderson

8:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Alumni Conference
5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Networking Reception


The day-long Conference will deliver new ideas on the world of business and the opportunities that lie ahead. Featured highlights include:

    • Building a Legacy – J.C.Penney and Beyond with CEO Myron E. Ullman and SVP of Marketing Debra Berman (‘96)
    • Leadership On & Off the Court with Ann Meyers Drysdale, world-class athlete and VP of the Phoenix Suns & Mercury
    • Economic Forecast with Professor Ed Leamer
    • Crazy Kart: A Viral Phenomenon with Ali Kermani (’09)
    • Big Data: Changing the Business Equation
    • The Business of Sports Franchises 
8:00 AM Breakout Session #1

Personal Branding through Social Media

Sasha Strauss ('03), Founder & Managing Director of Innovation Protocol

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There is no question that social media plays an ever growing part in our daily lives. But what are your profile and updates on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter saying about you? More importantly, what can you do to improve your personal brand through existing social media channels? Sasha Strauss ('03), founder and managing director of Innovation Protocol, will discuss why social media matters and how to leverage it strategically to communicate your desired story to prospective employers, clients, and partners.


Current State of the Real Estate Market

Professor Eric Sussman, Senior Lecturer of Accounting & Real Estate

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The real estate market has experienced significant volatility in the past few years. However, while both residential and commercial property prices have rebounded sharply off their lows, more recent data suggests that prices have plateaued, perhaps due to increases in interest rates. What does that mean for the state of real estate and for you? Professor Eric Sussman, Senior Lecturer of accounting and real estate, will discuss current market trends and the potential opportunities that lie ahead for investors.

9:00 AM Breakout Session #2

Global Business: Volatility in Emerging Markets

Presented by: Center for Global Management

Moderator: Distinguished Professor Sebastian Edwards, Henry Ford II Chair in International Management, UCLA Anderson
Panelists: Joseph Barragan (‘79), Managing Director, Capital Advisory, J.P. Morgan Chase Bank N.A., Kevin Berryman (’87), Executive VP & CFO, International Flavors & Fragrances, Inc.

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From China to Turkey to Argentina to South Africa, volatility in emerging markets has been a hallmark of the start to 2014. Developed economies will not be unaffected by the ongoing events in emerging markets as ties between emerging and developed markets become stronger. Emerging markets, clawed by economic and political turmoil are likely to remain volatile for some time, but with that increased risk also comes more opportunity. Panelists will share perspectives from their respective industries – financial services and consumer good. How do they view the direction of emerging economies? Why it is important to look beyond the recent volatility of a region and try to identify countries that have better current fundamentals? Where do they see growth and sources of opportunities? How ara companies looking beyond the recent volatility and embracing it as the cost of doing business?

Entrepreneurship: How, What, and WHY?

Presented by: Harold & Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

Moderator: Greg Craig ('89), Chairman, Anahau Energy, LLC and Co-Founder, Head Coach Sports, LLC
Panelists: Paul Diamond (‘01), President, Lodis Accessories, Sunil Rajaraman ('08), Founder & CEO,

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Successful entrepreneurs will speak about their ventures and how they grew their businesses. What should you know before you start a company or pursue an entrepreneurial opportunity? What would they have done differently? How did their MBA help? What does it take to be successful? This breakout will address these issues and allow for Q&A.

Reaching and Engaging the Multi-platform Media Consumer

Presented by: Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment & Sports

Moderator: Karen Williams, Executive Director, MEMES
Panelists: Ginny Chien ('10), Director of Global Marketing and Multimedia, Smashbox Cosmetics, Jason Phipps, VP, Digital Media Marketing, FX Networks, Greg Isaacs ('99), VP, Digital Media, NFL

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The massive adoption of tablets, smart phones, mobile video has shifted traditional media consumption.  The new media viewing landscape is requiring advertisers and content providers to rethink traditional models and find new ways to reach and engage with their target consumer.  This session will explore: 1) How do brands deliver a cohesive message and create engagement across viewing touch points? 2) What do content providers need to deliver in terms of viewing experience and monetization? 3) How do you measure the effectiveness of advertising across different touch points?

10:15 AM Welcome and Opening Remarks
  Elaine Hagan (’91), Interim Associate Dean, Alumni Relations
10:25 AM Big Data: Changing the Business Equation

Presented by: Easton Technology Leadership Program

Moderator: Professor Dominique Hanssens, Bud Knapp Professor of Marketing
Panelists: Chitra Balasubramanian ('09), VP of Insights, Retail Next Inc., Mike Horowitz ('97), EVP Product Management, Live Nation Entertainment, Iván Markman ('02), COO, MarketShare

11:15 AM Leadership On and Off the Court

Ann Meyers Drysdale, VP, Phoenix Mercury and Phoenix Suns

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This legendary athlete has experienced all types of leadership. As an athlete she led women into new areas of opportunity. Ann was the first woman to receive a four year college athletic scholarship, first and only woman to try out for the NBA, first woman drafted in the WBL, a member of the first women's Olympic basketball team, and captain of the first and only UCLA Women's Basketball Championship. She has led in the sports and entertainment industries, as a sports broadcaster for more than 35 years. And she has led teams to greatness, acting as VP and GM of the Phoenix Mercury and Phoenix Suns, garnering two WNBA Championships. Come hear first-hand what she has discovered about motivating, inspiring and leading others.  

11:40 AM Crazy Cart: A Viral Phenomenon

Ali Kermani ('09), Founder, Crazy Cart,Vice President of Digital Media, Razor USA, LLC, President, Acoustic Productions

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Ali will share his experience launching the electronic go-kart "Crazy Cart" - a product he developed at Razor USA and a concept he refined while attending UCLA Anderson. Ali will address how he used resources from his own company Acoustic Productions to create two viral videos to help Razor successfully launch the toy, most recently awarded the 2014 Outdoor Toy of the Year by the Toy Industry Association. Learn also about what Ali is doing at Razor now to lead the charge in leveraging online video content to drive awareness and sales of products.

12:00 PM Lunch
1:30 PM Building a Legacy - J.C. Penney and Beyond

CEO Myron E. Ullman and Debra Berman (‘96) SVP of Marketing

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Learn about building a legacy as a leadership and management philosophy. Myron will discuss recent goals and work returning JCPenney to a leader in American retail, growth at LVMH, Macy's turnaround and his philanthropic work with Mercy Ships

2:00 PM State of the School
  Dean Judy Olian
2:20 PM The Business of Sports Franchises

Moderator: Dave Shore, Operations Manager, Lakers Pre-game Host, ESPN LA
Panelists: Thad Levine ('99), Assistant GM, Texas Rangers, Carter Westfall ('04), Associate VP, Global Marketing Partnerships, NBA,  Dennis Kuhl, Chairman at Angels Baseball, Erik Greupner, Senior Vice President, Business Administration & General Counsel, San Diego Padres

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Whether or not you are an avid fan, professional sports permeates our current culture. Present in all forms of media, merchandising, even through word of mouth - professional sports are omnipresent. And it is also a very big business. Experts representing the Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) will discuss strategies they employ to drive profitability for their respective professional franchises. They will address a broad range of functions that make up the business of sports franchises including general management, operations, and marketing.

3:30 PM Economic Forecast:
Is Anything Different a Year Later?
  Professor Ed Leamer, Chauncey J. Medberry Chair in Management, Director, UCLA Anderson Forecast
5:00 PM Alumni Award Recipient Recognition
5:20 PM Closing Remarks
  Professor Al Osborne, Senior Associate Dean
5:30 PM Alumni Weekend Networking Reception