Published quarterly by UCLA Anderson School of Management
First Class Graduation for Joint EMBA Program
There are distinct advantages to each of UCLA Anderson's MBA programs. But only the joint UCLA-NUS Executive MBA Program offers its graduates two degrees -- not to mention the opportunity to rack sup frequent flyer miles. Complete article>
|Professor Sanford M. Jacoby on Varieties of Capitalism
Not long ago, the impressive performance of the U.S. economy not only made it the envy of the rest of the world but also got it touted as the ideal that other nations ought to emulate. However, the corporate scandals of the past few years have rocked American business with repercussions felt throughout the global marketplace. Complete article>
There are myriad ways UCLA Anderson alumni choose to repay their debt for the world-class education they receive. Some support fundraising efforts. Others volunteer time at Anderson events. Still others recruit fellow alumni for their companies. Complete article>
Making It Their Business to Make a Difference
Pop music and social altruism have enjoyed a rich and thriving history together. Artists often use music as a platform to generate fan support for causes they espouse. And those dedicated to the cause - whatever that cause may be - have consistently looked to entertainers and musicians for promotion and support of their goals. Complete article>
First-Class Graduation for Joint EMBA Program
Students hold dual MBAs from UCLA Anderson and National University of Singapore
Students hold dual MBAs from UCLA Anderson and National University of Singapore
There are distinct advantages to each of UCLA Anderson's MBA programs. But only the joint UCLA-NUS Executive MBA Program offers its graduates two degrees -- not to mention the opportunity to rack up frequent flyer miles.
August 2005 marked the graduation of the first Executive MBA class from UCLA Anderson and the National University of Singapore. The 18 participants in the debut class hailed from a variety of Asian nations and the United States; they attended classes in six two-week residential segments in Singapore, Shanghai and Los Angeles over 15 months. EMBA candidates were exposed to the distinct business and intellectual cultures of each city, and faculty from Anderson and NUS promoted an interactive learning environment in which participants instructed and learned from one another.
"We prefer the term ‘participant' to ‘student,'" says Program Director and UCLA Anderson Professsor Chris Erickson, "because everyone involved is encouraged to bring their own insights and experience, and we all learn from each other."
Chong Men Lai ('05) is managing director of Brambles Asia Private Limited in Singapore. The company he runs employs 600 people and is involved in a wide range of services, from information management to waste management. While his position in business may seem more like the goal to which most MBA candidates aspire, Lai says continuing education is necessary for him to advance in the global economy.
"Business has changed a lot in the last several years and one motivation is to stay relevant," Lai says of his choice to pursue a curriculum customized for executives, many of whom manage multinational corporations. "You always need to upgrade and learn new ways to do old things," he says. "Also, I am grooming four general managers and I need to update myself to better prepare them."
For UCLA Anderson, partnering with the National University of Singapore opened the door to MBA candidates seeking a global education that synthesizes the East and West. (Future sessions are slated for Bangalore, India.) Lai, as well as Wujian Zhu ('05), a program manager for a college in Shanghai, and David Leonard ('05), an attorney and businessman from Honolulu, all agree that the multi-cultural viewpoint is one of the program's value adds. It's not just that the faculty and participants hail from different countries - it's that they approach business issues from a perspective infused with their own culture, Lai says.
"The U.S. faculty skews the context to the U.S. and the NUS faculty skews the context in their own individual direction," he says. "It's tremendous to see both sides. The knowledge base is the same, but the context is different."
The application deadline for the 2006 class is due December 31, 2005. More information on the program may be found at http://www.ucla.nus.edu.sg/home.html.
Not long ago, the impressive performance of the U.S. economy not only made it the envy of the rest of the world but also got it touted as the ideal that other nations ought to emulate. However, the corporate scandals of the past few years have rocked American business with repercussions felt throughout the global marketplace. Damaging the public's confidence in its institutions and generating a rash of regulations, the situation is prompting a re-evaluation of the way American companies are managed.
"The Embedded Corporation: Corporate Governance and Employment Relations in Japan and the United States" is the latest book by Sanford M. Jacoby, recently appointed vice chairman of the faculty and area chair of human resources and organizational behavior at UCLA Anderson School of Management. Reporting his recent research results, it contributes an understanding of how and why the U.S. system evolved as it did, through comparison of major models in America and Japan with historical and cultural contexts.
Jacoby has been a member of the Anderson faculty since 1980. Holder of the Howard Noble Chair in Management, he also has joint appointments as a professor of both history and public policy at UCLA. His teaching focus is international political economy and human resources. The combination makes him uniquely qualified to pursue research about globalization's impact on corporations and their employees. His work is based on the idea that history and society matter to business analysis, because corporations are products of their particular time and place.
"Economists tend to see markets as timeless entities without geographic grounding and so use the same set of tools to analyze them all," says Jacoby. "In fact, there are varieties of capitalism based on differently structured national business systems. A country produces distinctive ways of doing business because its economy is embedded in a national system that developed over time from a unique starting point and is deeply entwined with existing norms, laws and other interdependent institutions."
Decision Making and the Desire to Be Different
Jacoby considers how the pressures of globalization are pushing the world's disparate corporate systems closer together. While convergence is occurring in some areas, there is divergence in others, created by powerful counter forces, including the desire to preserve social standards and "a dawning realization that being different is an effective way to compete globally."
The vantage point Jacoby uses to view these issues is the human resource department at the headquarters of large American and Japanese corporations. Much of the book is devoted to details gleaned from a large-scale survey of the senior executives who craft personnel policies and link them to overall business strategy. This interrelationship of executive decision making, human resource practices and corporate governance is a key concept of the book.
"Studying the role of top-level human resource managers, and their power relative to others in the company, is a good way of understanding decisions that determine the working lives of millions of people," says Jacoby. "Since a corporate governance system holds management accountable to those with a legitimate stake in the enterprise, its rules (especially as to who qualifies as a stakeholder) also have enormous importance. Corporate decisions affect even the air we breathe, so they ultimately impact everyone."
Culture and Corporate Governance
Believing the only way to clarify what makes American companies "American" is to compare them to companies elsewhere in the world, Jacoby includes paired case studies of American and Japanese firms. The two countries currently have different approaches to employment relations and corporate governance, though they heavily influenced each other in the past. The direction of the flow of ideas has changed with the fluctuating fortunes of each nation.
Acknowledging that not all companies in either country are the same, Jacoby places them on a continuum between an internal and an external focus. Japan is more organization-oriented with long-term employment and business relations, a tendency to grow talent from within, coordination via tacit knowledge and stakeholder corporate governance. The United States is more market-oriented with higher turnover in employment, a tendency to purchase talent from the outside, financialized decision-making and shareholder corporate governance. In the United States, the executive HR function is relatively weak; in Japan, it wields clout.
Under Japan's stakeholder approach (similar to much of continental Europe), managers seek to balance the interests of employees, customers, suppliers, creditors and communities, along with shareholders. In the American-style shareholder approach (also in the United Kingdom and Canada), managers focus exclusively on the interests of shareholders and all-important stock prices.
"During the U.S. economic boom, when the Japanese economy was stagnant, the Japanese were pressured to adopt our system, which was viewed as innately superior," Jacoby says. "However, when the bubble burst and news of managerial self-dealing and ineffectual boards came to light, the shortcomings of shareholder sovereignty became clear. There were negative outcomes even for shareholders, including the worst U.S. stock market slump since the 1930s."
Jacoby further explains the difficulty of identifying which micro-level factors actually account for a country's macroeconomic success. Attributing American's growth in the 1990s to its governance system ignores the less stellar performance of Britain and Canada (which had similar systems at the same time). Conversely, Japan is now emerging from its long economic stagnation, having made only modest changes to its corporate governance system.
The restructurings of the 1980s and ‘90s were not only employed at troubled but also at profitable firms, which sought to shift income to owners and executives and away from workers and reinvestment. Accompanied by a lot of rhetoric about how the nation needed to be more competitive, they often failed to produce lasting value. For example, the majority of mergers and acquisitions from 1995 to 2001 resulted in a subsequent reduction in share-price value.
"Not a few journalists and even some respected academics argue that U.S.-style corporate governance promotes ‘rent extraction' - or ‘greed' in plain English," says Jacoby. "The share of wealth for America's top one percent (prime beneficiaries of institutional changes) doubled in 25 years. Average Japanese citizens don't want this inequality. In 2000, American chief executives at large public companies were paid 531 times more than their average employee, but in Japan, it was 10 times."
Redistribution of Risk
Along with wage inequity, risk associated with doing business has risen and been shifted to the workforce (or as in the case of pension and health plan terminations, to the U.S. taxpayer). Though there is lip service to the credo that intellectual capital is increasingly a company's most important asset, human resource management remains low-status in the corporate hierarchy, and American employees continue to be treated as costs to be minimized. There are exceptions, to be sure, especially at technology start-ups and in privately-held or family-controlled companies. Jacoby cites SAS, a private software company, as an example.
At one time, America shared a more stakeholder approach with Japan, and historical evidence suggests that a wide variety of economic institutions foster growth. Important questions facing advanced industrial societies require closer examination of the costs and benefits of different national systems. Despite their faults, current U.S. and Japanese models have particular advantages. Our country's choices are crucial, and Jacoby delineates our background as a nation to help us more effectively chart a future course. Like the United States, Japan, too, is at a crossroads as it considers how much of its distinctive postwar system should be retained.
Calling Jacoby "one of the leading experts on the subject," colleagues in the field have high praise for "The Embedded Corporation," including: "a persuasive and informed perspective on the reform of corporate governance and employment" and "a splendid book, lucid, cogent and written in a style that is a pleasure to read." Thomas A. Kochan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sums it up: "Anyone who seeks to change corporate practices in Japan or the United States, or who writes about these issues, should stop doing so until they read and absorb the lessons of this masterpiece in comparative research."
All Roads Lead to Anderson
Connecting Alumni Across the Globe
There are myriad ways UCLA Anderson alumni choose to repay their debt for the world-class education they receive. Some support fundraising efforts. Others volunteer time at Anderson events. Still others recruit fellow alumni for their companies.
In the grand scheme, the action taken doesn't really matter. It's the sense of connectedness -- the commitment to the institution and one's fellow alumni -- that makes for a thriving institution and effective worldwide network.
It may be easiest for California-based alumni to keep in touch -- some 70 percent of Anderson's 34,995 alumni live and work here. But Assets discovered a number of active alumni around the globe who remain firmly connected to the school, despite the thousands of miles that separate them from campus.
In the vignettes that follow, you'll meet alumni who hail from Los Angeles to New York, from Chile to Japan, and from India to Spain. Whether these Westwood expats are organizing alumni soccer games against b-school rivals in South America, entertaining potential admits in Tokyo, or returning to campus to judge a competition, they each play a vital role in the ongoing prosperity of the institution.
"It's so important to feel connected," says entrepreneurial consultant Gayle Goodman ('75). "If you feel that you are connected, you're more interested in staying connected."
Distance means nothing when a connection is strong. Navigation is simple when the destination is clear. For these alumni far and wide, all roads lead to Anderson.
Andres Chechilnitzky (‘03) does not like to hear the word no. Particularly when it comes from the mouth of a Chilean MBA candidate who's been offered admittance to UCLA Anderson.
Chechilnitzky is a portfolio manager at Santiago-based Cuprum AFP, one of the six major firms that manages funds for Chile's privatized social security system. He oversees two portfolios, one at $2 billion and one at $2.4 billion. When he's not investing time in the world of global equity, he's looking to build Anderson's equity in the local business community of his native country.
"Today, most good Chilean candidates apply to UCLA Anderson, but not enough of them accept the offers extended by our school," Chechilnitzky says. "Our goal is to improve that yield by advertising the school and the strength of the alumni network. Great candidates make for great alumni, which increases the value of the brand and the network."
Advertising the school takes many forms, he notes. As one of many Anderson alumni to hold a top-level position in Santiago's finance community, Chechilnitzky often is quoted in the press regarding economic matters. He and his comrades have an informal pact to reference Anderson in the press whenever they can. A recent business magazine even ran a full-length feature and large group photo showcasing a number of Anderson alumni. Some scenarios are virtually ready made for the alumni press book: when three of the principals in a high-profile IPO hailed from Anderson, the reporter was quick to make the connection in print.
The Chilean group is well organized, with such graduates as Jose Luis Jeria ('03) taking care to keep the local alumni database current. Jeria and Jorge Astaburuaga ('03) also put together an annual alumni dinner, attracting 50 Anderson graduates. Still other alumni stay busy arranging (and winning) soccer tournaments against local MBAs from Harvard, MIT and Wharton, while others host dinners for potential admits in which the main course is a heaping plate of Anderson pride.
"We call the dinners ‘Five on Five'," says Chechilnitzky. "We bring together five candidates with five alumni, and do our best to encourage these admits to accept the offer from Anderson. We make it very hard for them to say no."
Even when potential admits do decline, Chechilnitzky says he can tell they are impressed by the cohesiveness of the local Anderson network and the influence its members wield in global industry. Senior alumnus Guillermo Tagle ('91), managing director at Santiago's Santander Investment, is just one key player whose reputation lends credence to Anderson activities.
"Other schools may push some terrific list of alumni on paper," Chechilnitzky says, "but our efforts demonstrate that this is a network that cares, that participates."
He notes that his commitment to increase the yield of Chilean MBAs will benefit both the school and his country.
"For an emerging market, Chile has various peculiarities that make it very interesting," he says, citing the privatization of social security, among other things. "It is the only Latin American country achieving reasonable stability. Our students can bring a first-hand perspective to Anderson that could be of great benefit to anyone interested in emerging markets."
Regina Regazzi ('97) is the 2005 recipient of the UCLA Anderson Outstanding Alumni Service Award. Reggie - as she's known to just about everyone - follows Clayton Frech ('98) who was the first winner of the award last year. She was honored at a luncheon Oct. 14, 2005, during Alumni Weekend.
Regazzi's passion for all things Anderson is almost palpable. When congratulated on the honor, she expresses her gratitude, then explains her motivation:
"Hands down, it's just giving back," the native New Yorker relates. "I had such rewarding experiences at UCLA Anderson, similar to what people encounter at a small, private school. Anderson students are people who will give back, who bring something to the table and who want to make a lasting connection."
Upon graduation from Anderson, Regazzi moved to San Francisco where she served as president for the Bay Area Alumni Chapter. From there, she headed home and has since been an active member of the New York Chapter Alumni Board. When Constantine Malaxos ('96) was elected president of the chapter, she was quick to lend her support. "I told him I would be his right-hand woman," Regazzi says. "My role is to be in front of other business schools and promote UCLA Anderson."
She explains that Anderson is still sometimes viewed as a "regional school" in New York. So Regazzi became liaison to the New York Business School Club, an organization that brings together MBAs from top schools nationwide. Once in, she volunteered to chair the committee that organizes the "All MBA Soiree," an event co-sponsored by all of the member schools with more than 400 attendees.
"We blew the doors off," she enthuses. "Anderson ended up looking good and that was part of the goal. I'd like the school to become more appealing to New Yorkers and to get more people from the East Coast to go to UCLA." Regazzi has since taken on a VP role at the NYBSC, further enhancing Anderson's profile in the organization.
In addition to her New York duties, Regazzi recently was elected to the Anderson Alumni Board of Directors Executive Committee as chair of the Chapter Presidents' Council. She describes the Class of ‘97 as an enthusiastic and active group, to the point that three new members of the alumni board come from her class.
"In my sixth week at Anderson, I was in this big econ class with four sections being taught together," she recalls. "I was surrounded by all these people that I'd only known a short time and thought, ‘These are going to be my best friends for the rest of my life.' And it's true."
Regazzi acknowledges that not everyone is going to join committees or actively participate in alumni activities. But her hope is that every alumnus will find a way to contribute to Anderson's ongoing success -- through efforts big and small.
Masaru "Vic" Murai
When Masaru "Vic" Murai ('62) turned 60, he opted to retire after an impressive career that included three decades at IBM, plus seven years as founder/president of Japan's Compaq KK, a company he was recruited to create.
In retirement, Murai remains as busy as any full-time executive, serving as a board member or advisor to at least 20 different corporations including NEC, Sega, and Toyo Engineering. Meanwhile, he works with start-up companies seeking to invest in Japan - companies like Net Learning Corporation, Digital Design KK, and Business Café KK.
In his "spare time," Murai is chairman of the thriving UCLA Alumni Association in Japan. Members include all UCLA graduates, including those who attended Anderson.
"This year we are celebrating our 30th anniversary, and all of the chairmen in the past have been UCLA Anderson graduates," Murai says. "Among the Anderson alumni, we have some very established people such as Zuisho Hayashi ('62), president and chairman of the board of HUMAX Corporation, and Nobutada Saji ('71), president of Suntory." In addition, Akinobu Kanasugi ('67), CEO of NEC Corporation, was the keynote speaker at the group's Asian Leadership Conference, organized with UCLA.
One of the most significant contributions the Japanese alumni have made to Anderson is the endowment of the Japan Alumni Chair in Finance, held by Professor Richard Roll.
Murai explains members of the Japanese alumni share a sense of gratitude to UCLA and its faculty, and feel a responsibility to remain connected not only to the school but to one another. "All of us feel like we want to return some of the benefits we got from UCLA," he says. "We have done reasonably well in business, and our education is one of the primary reasons. Our friendship with each other also is important."
The Japan Alumni Association holds an annual meeting each November, with about 200 members in attendance; they use the time to set the forthcoming year's agenda and events. "This includes a lecture series where we invite UCLA alumni to speak," Murai says. "We also have a young alumni social gathering, which we call ‘Santa Monica Night,' where we remember all the enjoyment we had in Santa Monica." In addition, a group of 10-15 Anderson alumni meet regularly over lunch to discuss business, he says.
Murai recalls his time at UCLA - both in and out of the classroom -- with great fondness. "I liked sitting on the green, eating a hamburger in the sunshine," he says. "I also enjoyed utilizing all the libraries; it was sort of a luxury for a student from Japan to be able to use the study rooms in a library." In addition, he remembers his management professors as open, relaxed and willing to communicate with students.
All of these things have inspired Murai to maintain a lifelong relationship with UCLA Anderson. He makes it a point to share his experience with others, as he takes the time to interview potential Japanese students who are just now considering an application to UCLA.
Consultant Pavan Gandhok (‘95) describes himself as a "pracademic."
It's a term he favors to describe his role as a lecturer, mentor and liaison between Indian firms and Anderson MBAs. But that's just in his off-hours, when he is not otherwise occupied as vice president for the India operations of A.T. Kearney.
"The Anderson alumni network is not very dense in this part of the world, but I see a real opportunity to help the school's profile here," says Delhi-based Gandhok, who returned to his native India after stints in Australia, the U.S. and Singapore. "My interest is in building a connection with Indian companies and fostering some collaborative research opportunities between Anderson and other business schools in India."
It's an interest that grew out of Gandhok's own field study experience (currently known as the Applied Management Research program) while he was studying at Anderson. Now he is in talks with Victor Tabbush, associate dean and faculty director of the Fully Employed MBA Program (FEMBA), to create a bridge between Indian industry and Anderson's international field study, the Global Access Program (GAP).
"Field study was an influential experience that set the tone for the rest of my career," says Gandhok. He used this capstone experience at Anderson to help an American food company assess its entry strategy into India just as the country was beginning to liberalize. "I enjoyed the consulting aspect of the process, and it set me on course to help multinationals understand what it takes to create successful business models in emerging markets."
India's relevance as a strategic market and sourcing destination makes it an ideal "laboratory" for Anderson students to discover what is possible and not possible in a real-world, real-time setting, Gandhok says. And he is eager to make that happen.
"I know how western multinationals think and I also know how local Indian companies think," he says. "I hope to help Anderson students better understand what's happening in emerging markets. And I want to do whatever I can do to help Indian companies benefit from the input of Anderson students. It's also an opportunity to help American companies to enter the market."
And despite the many miles that separate him from the UCLA campus, Gandhok says his Anderson experience "made the world an oyster for me." When he travels, he says, he knows an alumnus in virtually every major city he visits.
"Anderson opened the world and gave me a broader perspective," he says. "That's what I wanted and that's what I got. My career since Anderson has been very international, and a lot of that stems from the sense of perspective and network of contacts that Anderson helped me develop."
"I feel a social responsibility to share my learning experience, specifically with students of color," says Stephen Torres ('94), executive vice president of the Corporation for Magnetek Inc. and a board member with UCLA Anderson's Riordan Programs. "I feel a commitment to those who have come after me, but who've experienced things similar to me. That's my focus: the diverse population of the school."
At Magnetek Inc., Torres oversees a group that builds power conditioners for renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, as well as auxiliary and back-up power units. At Anderson, he volunteers with students of diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds to encourage and prepare them to pursue management degrees and careers in business.
Torres' involvement with the Riordan Programs began when he was pursuing his MBA at Anderson; he mentored both a Riordan Scholar (high-school student) and a Riordan Fellow (college student) while keeping up his studies.
Post-graduation, Torres maintained his connection to the Riordan Fellows Program, participating in weekend sessions on management consulting. Recently, he served as a volunteer for the annual Stock Market Competition, in which Riordan Scholars research and make presentations on Fortune 500 companies.
"The time you give back has to do with your position in the business world and the responsibility you have as a person of color to increase the diversity of this world," Torres says. "I had the fortune - or misfortune - of going into consulting and having no Latino or even African American mentor to turn to. It would have been helpful to have had someone to guide you through the subtle dynamics that take place at a professional service firm."
The benefits to giving of one's time manifest in extraordinary ways, Torres says. He cites a relationship with Gilberto Vargas ('02), whom Torres first met while he was a Riordan Fellow. Today, Vargas works in corporate finance for Intel in the Bay Area.
"While at Anderson, we would do information sessions for members of the Latino Business Association, not necessarily thinking they would come to Anderson, but to make them aware that after they had some work experience they might consider business school," Torres says. "I saw Gilberto apply to Anderson, attend Anderson and graduate from Anderson."
Each year, Torres and his wife, Rosa Puma, host a diversity graduation dinner for incoming and current students, alumni and faculty. "We do it to say, ‘Do great things and have a lifelong relationship with Anderson,'" Torres says. "I'm just thrilled about the product (that is of the Riordan Programs). What it does so well is bring the experience of a business education to students in their junior and senior years of high school, and in college who otherwise would not get such exposure. I've never seen a program as successful as Riordan."
Torres also contributes financially to the Riordan Programs. He's been a continuous supporter at the Jacoby Associates level, and contributes at his reunions. He takes advantage of the chance to designate how his gifts will be used, with half to the school's general fund and half going to the Riordan Programs.
There is strength in numbers. And it's numbers that Juan Diaz-Andreu ('96) is going for as he looks to strengthen Anderson's alumni presence in Spain.
"We are not so many people, but we have fun when we get together," says Diaz-Andreu, a native of Spain currently based in Madrid. He is a project manager at Amadeus, a global distribution system/technology provider for the travel industry. For the past six years, Diaz-Andreu also has been drawing on his Anderson experience to teach courses on entrepreneurship and information systems at Madrid's Instituto de Empresa Business School (www.ie.edu).
"I try to use some of the ‘Cockrum methods,'" he says of his quest to bring Anderson energy to the European continent. And though he and fellow alumni are far from campus, he says they try to maintain the "play hard, work hard" spirit they discovered at UCLA years ago.
A current mission is to share that spirit with alumni of other MBA programs living in Spain. The burgeoning Ryders Club Espanna comprises members from some 30 alumni associations and clubs in Spain, including Anderson, Harvard, MIT, Kellog, INSEAD and Stanford, among others.
"It gives us a chance to share experiences and knowledge, improve the quality of the events and acquire critical mass for our activities," Diaz-Andreu says. "This is really fun and effective. We have access to a lot of interesting events of other alumni associations and the RCE works as a ‘people feeder' of the different clubs' events."
On a more intimate level, he says the Spanish alumni organize informal outings to welcome MBA candidates who've accepted offers from Anderson.
"We have some drinks with them so they get prepared for ‘Beer Bust,'" he says, with a chuckle. But the alumni in attendance also illuminate to candidates the ways in which the Anderson MBA influenced their professional course in global management and alumni networking.
Post-Anderson, Diaz-Andreu worked in banking for three years, then moved to a private equity firm that invested in telecommunications and Internet services. For the past four years, he has been with Amadeus, where he currently is doing project management in cost reduction and reorganization processes tied to a forthcoming LBO.
"My career is now clearly on an international path, and I have access to jobs and extracurricular activities that I would not be able to join without an international MBA," Diaz-Andreu says.
His goal is to widen that access for fellow graduates, while creating programs that will motivate senior alumni to hang onto their "Anderson fever" years after they have left UCLA.
Events featuring lectures by visiting Anderson professors are most appealing to international alumni, he says, and it's his hope to create a Pan-European body that would produce the needed critical mass to represent Anderson in forthcoming international forums.
"Everything we do in life contributes to who we are," says Gayle Goodman (‘75), an entrepreneurial consultant who's traveled to nearly 60 countries and worked in Sidney, Prague and Saratov (Russia). "And it's important to help maintain those institutions and programs that especially contribute to our success in life."
Holding herself to the same standards she expects of others, this graduate of 30 years maintains close ties, both financially and personally, to UCLA. She also received her BA from the school in 1973.
"For me it's real, real straightforward," says Goodman, who recently relocated to Buck's County, Pa., after 10 years in Manhattan. "I had a spectacular experience at GSM; it contributed to who I am as a person and therefore to some of my accomplishments. As a result, it's important for me to help the school grow and succeed for other students."
The students she speaks of are different today than they were three decades ago, Goodman reflects. "They seem more directed, focused and savvy about the business world," she says. "They tend to get more and more serious every year. And the competition gets serious too. We thought we had it tough, but I often wonder how we would fit in with today's graduate students."
In the mid-‘70s, Anderson had yet to develop the renowned program in entrepreneurship that is one of the school's flagship components today. But Goodman came to graduate school with entrepreneurialism in her veins and quickly developed a bond with Professor Al Osborne, which she still maintains. Recently, Goodman accepted Osborne's invitation on behalf of the Harold Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies to judge student business plans entered in the Knapp Venture Competition.
"The entrepreneurial classes are obviously working," Goodman says of Anderson students today. "It was great to evaluate the really good plans and to see how serious the students were about taking the plans to the next level - raising the money and building a viable business."
Goodman spent 20 years at Ernst & Young, most recently as a partner in charge of entrepreneurial services for the San Francisco Bay Area. She now does strategy consulting and executive coaching for entrepreneurial companies and individuals, runs a personal family foundation and invests in commercial real estate. She also is a generous donor to Anderson.
Goodman says one of her greatest hopes for Anderson is that alumni, faculty and the administration develop an increasingly cohesive network of one-to-one connections on both a personal and business level. A powerful alumni network of personal relationships not only benefits its members directly, but also benefits the school in the long run.
"It's so important to feel connected," she says. "If you feel that you are connected, you're more interested in staying connected. And if you stay connected you also want to be a donor, because you want to see the school achieve even more success."
Pop music and social altruism have enjoyed a rich and thriving history together. Artists often use music as a platform to generate fan support for causes they espouse. And those dedicated to the cause - whatever that cause may be - have consistently looked to entertainers and musicians for promotion and support of their goals.
That tradition is in full effect at New York-based RockCorps (www.rockcorps.com), where a number of UCLA Anderson alumni are making it their business to make a difference. RockCorps, founded in 2003, is a production company that offers concert tickets to people who log volunteer hours toward pro-social ends.
"We want to make RockCorps the ‘Lollapalooza' for volunteerism," says co-founder Stephen Greene ('01), alluding to the live music extravaganza known for melding activism with alternative rock.
One of the pro-social causes Greene and RockCorps co-founder Grady Lee ('01) have taken up to date is a recent a Malibu Creek "clean-up" with Los Angeles-based Heal the Bay in partnership with alternative radio station KROQ. Participants who helped clear some 15,000 square feet of invasive ground cover received a ticket to see alt rockers Jurassic 5, the Donnas, Ozomatli and more. RockCorps also worked with radio station Power 106; together they activated listeners to join LA Works in providing a much-needed facelift to a Southern California middle school. Some 30 gallons of paint later, those volunteers were enjoying a free show by hip-hop artist Mike Jones.
"We feel as though we are making an impact in young people's lives and in the communities we touch," Greene says of RockCorps, which evolved from Lee's pre-Anderson start-up, Greenbucks. That company also rewarded volunteer service.
Greene and Lee met during orientation as first-years, eventually landing together in Section A. As classes commenced, Greene says, he and Lee discovered similarities in their backgrounds in nonprofit, revealing shared values and a similar approach to business.
"We did a number of projects together at Anderson, starting with the Deloitte Case Competition," Greene recalls. "And we found that our styles really complemented each other. Grady creates a calm work atmosphere of careful analysis and confidence which juxtaposes well with my tendency toward all-night planning and scheming."
That combination has taken the RockCorps crew to concert venues in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Washington, DC. In some cases, concerts have played to audiences composed wholly of RockCorps volunteers. In September, MTV televised RockCorps' biggest production to date from NYC's Radio City Music Hall. The bill featured such popular acts as Fat Joe and the Transplants.
"Essentially, we are concert producers with a pro-social twist," Greene says, "and
all of our funding is provided by our sponsors, who in turn integrate us into their marketing campaigns."
One such sponsor is Boost Mobile, a subsidiary of Nextel. "As do we, Boost Mobile feels that young people are looking for ways to connect to their community," Greene says. "They believe kids today want to be involved and are looking for cool things to add meaning to their lives. With that in mind, Boost wants to position their brand as a company with similar ideals."
Radio partners enjoy the association, as well, Greene says. Working with RockCorps enables stations to transform daily contests, promotions and giveaways into activities that create value in the local community.
Identifying those activities is the job of Anderson alumna Lisa Lepson ('01), RockCorps' director of nonprofit services. "She has a long career in nonprofit management and is the expert at connecting us with partners all over the country who are doing amazing work," Greene says. "Lisa was the resident nonprofit guru on campus when we were at Anderson. She was one of the stalwarts of Net Impact. Her understanding of the nonprofit sector and her ability to relate RockCorps directly to our partner organizations' missions has been a critical success factor for the company."
The final piece to the alumni puzzle is RockCorp's director of marketing, Chrystal Parker, a 2003 grad who first interned for the firm during her second year at Anderson. "Chrystal has been key to keeping our messaging real and relevant to the young people we are reaching," says Greene. "She really gets this intersection of music and service."
As the company looks to the ultimate goal of producing annual concert tours dedicated solely to the work of RockCorps volunteers, Greene says he feels fortunate to be pursuing that goal with fellow alumni.
"It was natural to extend our working relationship after graduation," he says. "No doubt, the high degree of trust we have with each other in our current business is rooted in the work we first did together at Anderson."
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