Year In Review 2017

Legendary Leadership and Outstanding Fellows

The legendary leadership of Coach John Wooden was celebrated on the 10th anniversary of his namesake award, commemorated on the John and Nell Wooden Court at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion. Under Armour founder, CEO and chairman Kevin Plank received the 2017 John Wooden Global Leadership Award and four outstanding students earned 2017 John Wooden Global Leadership Fellowships: Sana Rahim (FEMBA ’19), Evan Barnes (EMBA ’18), Anna Goldberg (MBA ’18) and Brandon Scott (MBA/M.D. ’18). Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (B.A. ’69) spoke about his decades-long friendship with Coach.

Creating and Cultivating Community

TThis year’s LGBTQ Awareness Week united LGBTQ students and allies to address the big issues facing the community. Among events designed to foster dialogue and create change, panel discussions focused on intricate problems affecting the community, such as high rates of homelessness, challenges in public health, intersections of minority status and more. The steps leading to Anderson’s Gold Hall were decorated to highlight some of the more notable moments in LGBTQ history.

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Faculty Research Journal

Anderson launched UCLA Anderson Review, a window into the insightful and innovative research of our expert faculty, who examine crucial topics in business, the economy and the wider world of human existence. Each month, leading journalists report on UCLA Anderson faculty’s newly published research and most provocative working papers.

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Creating a More Inclusive Future

At our annual Embracing Diversity Conference, prospective students had the opportunity to learn about the value of inclusion from current Anderson MBAs and alumni from the Anderson Latino Management Association, Black Business Students Association and Out@Anderson. As Alexis Basaldu (’18) said, “Dedicated alumni and remarkable speakers gave honest accounts of what it feels like to encounter bias in the workplace, and they provided practical plans of action for how to confront it there.” Throughout the year, in an ongoing effort to put aside divisiveness and encourage a greater understanding and appreciation for inclusiveness, we hosted two conversation series, “Valuing Differences” and “Leading with Values.”

Continuing the Anderson Legacy

The passing of Marion Anderson last May was a tremendous loss for our community. Without the generosity, guidance and inspiration of Marion and John, our institution simply wouldn’t be what it is today. But their transformational legacy carries on. In October, we broke ground on Marion Anderson Hall, a state-of-the-art addition to the campus that will serve as our entry hall and bring together all student/graduate-facing services.

NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer Remembers Coach Wooden

Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (B.A. ’69) made a special appearance at the 10th anniversary John Wooden Global Leadership Awards to commemorate his lifelong friend and mentor. “Coach Wooden helped me to become a better person each day that I knew him. I’m glad I got the chance to play for this man, he was all about excellence. There was a lot more there than was obvious.”

Our Professors Change Lives through Teaching and Research

The impact of UCLA Anderson’s faculty resonates on campus and throughout the world at large. Professors Hershfield, Santikian, Roels, Shih (pictured right), Unzueta (pictured left) and Shu were all recognized with teaching, engagement and mentorship awards, while Michael Brennan and Chris Tang earned acknowledgements from a variety of professional societies and organizations.

A Milestone for Programs that Leave Indelible Impact

In 2017, the Riordan Programs celebrated 30 years of leadership and management training to first-generation college students. Nationally recognized as a model for mentoring programs, the Riordan Scholars Program boasts a 100 percent university attendance rate. More than 100 UCLA Anderson MBA students volunteer each year to help participants develop college action plans and learn about career opportunities.

The Evolution of Social Consciousness in Business

The 21st century calls for a holistic approach to business and social enterprise to help solve the most challenging social and enviornmental issues affecting future generations. This need inspires programming in our new social innovation concentration, Impact@Anderson. Among a wide range of impact-focused initaitives throughout the year, we held the largest student-led clean energy conference in California, an Architects of Change conversation between Maria Shriver and Seth Rogen about Alzheimer’s charitable support, and Social Innovation Week, where executives and entrepreneurs champion social impact.

Giving Our Service Men and Women a New Platform

Now in its 10th year at UCLA Anderson, the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans welcomed a new class of service men and women looking to launch their new businesses as they transition into civilian life. Kristina Iskander brought her business plan to explore job sharing in military support and found camaraderie and inspiration in her professors and fellow veteran students. “If you hear ‘no,’ it just means try again,” she said of the experience. “You can actually do this if you stick with it.”

The Future of AR and VR

In partnership with HTC Vive, UCLA Anderson’s Center for MEMES launched leVRage, a daylong conference and expo that brought together technical players and storytellers to look at the newest, most practical ways forward to monetize new VR and AR experiences. John D. Canning, the VP of interactive experiences for NBCUniversal, Zak Penn, the screenwriter of Spielberg’s upcoming Ready Player One, and multiple VR and AR exhibitors presented.

Big Data, Bigger Ideas

UCLA Anderson’s third annual Big Data Conference addressed the theme of innovation — in devices, data storage and analysis, new VR and AR experiences, educational, training and philanthropic applications, and the data-driven business initiatives transforming industries from entertainment to agriculture. Co-organized by the Easton Technology Management Center and Center for MEMES, the conference featured presentations by professionals in a range of sectors representing the expanded tech ecosystem.

Making the Best 40 Under 40 List

It was a record-breaking year for nominations to Poets & Quants40 Most Outstanding MBA Professors Under 40, and another two UCLA Anderson faculty received the accolades for the quality of their teaching and their ground-breaking research: Elisa Long integrates epidemiological modeling, economic analysis and decision making under uncertainty to help health policymakers allocate limited resources; Hal Hershfield studies how people become self-motivated to maximize well-being when it comes to looking out for their future selves.

An Expanded Commencement for 2017

In June, our full-time MBA, Fully Employed MBA, Executive MBA and Ph.D. classes of 2017 were celebrated in a keynote address from Amgen chairman and CEO Bob Bradway. Student representatives from each program also gave their own inspiring speeches. Kasey Morrison (’17) advised his FEMBA classmates, “You have been given the gift of an incredible education and, as one of my professors told me, you have an obligation to share that with the world.”

Insights from Industry Leaders

Our 2017 Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series included John Stankey (’91), senior EVP of AT&T/Time Warner merger integration planning, who shared insights to AT&T’s post-merger evolution, and Christine M. McCarthy (’81), senior EVP and CFO of the Walt Disney Company, who discussed Disney’s commitment to social responsibility, among other core objectives.

An Official Initiation to the UCLA Alumni Network

From Bejing to Westwood, Manila to Seattle, London to Hollywood — UCLA Anderson’s Office of Alumni Relations hosted events in cities across the globe to officially welcome the newest class of graduates to the UCLA Anderson Alumni Network. Attendees in Bangkok, Singapore, Shanghai and Manila garnered face time with Dean Olian, New Yorkers learned about influencer marketing with YouTube Music’s Gianfranco Cuoco (’14), and a standing-room-only group enjoyed tours of NPR West and a candid, captivating talk by NPR president and CEO Jarl Mohn.

Sharing Social Impact Wisdom

Impact@Anderson’s High Impact Tea series continues to feature heroic social change makers. Students connected with and learned from Aspen Institute fellow Max Schorr, co-founder of GOOD; Kate Cochran (’97), CEO of Upaya Social Ventures; and Blair Taylor (’90), former CEO of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance and former chief community officer of Starbucks.

The Most Prestigious Award for Business and Financial Journalism

For the past 44 years, UCLA Anderson has stewarded the Gerald Loeb Awards, established in 1957 to honor journalists who make significant contribuitons to the understanding of business, finance and the economy. The distinguished journalists recognized this year tackled subjects including Saudi oil, superbugs, Venezuela, painkillers and Libya’s Wall Street experiment. Walt Mossberg earned the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Nicholas Varchaver received the Lawrence Minard Editor Award.

Forecasting the Financial Future

The quarterly UCLA Anderson Forecast led by director Jerry Nickelsburg fulfills its mandate to offer accurate, unbiased and actionable economic forecasts for both California and the U.S. At the December conference, near-term optimism was tempered by predictions of potential economic slowing by 2019.

UCLA’s Inaugural Tech Summit Takes Flight

The debut of NextFest, UCLA’s new tech summit, was a rousing success that included presentations from visionary companies, along with UCLA Anderson faculty and students. Tim Papandreou (’04) of Google’s self-driving project Waymo took the spotlight with UCLA Professor of Urban Planning Brian Taylor. William Pomerantz of Virgin Galactic discussed the future of space flight, and Tracy Wright from Netflix spoke about consumer evolution. Even Tesla was there, showing its latest cars.

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Honoring a UCLA Teacher and Entertainment Icon

In December, Peter Guber, chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment, was presented with the UCLA Medal, the highest honor bestowed upon an individual by UCLA. A UC Regent whose leadership spans entertainment and sports, Peter was recognized for his four decades of teaching classes at Anderson and the School of Theater, Film and Television. He is also a founding member and chair of the board of advisors for UCLA Anderson’s Center for MEMES, and he served on UCLA Foundation’s board of trustees.

A Milestone for a Heavyweight

In November, Anderson legend Bill Cockrum turned 80, and his UCLA family turned out to celebrate his inestimable contribution to the school over 33 years. Cockrum, once CFO of Becker Paribas, became an instructor and a sage advisor to so many students and alumni as they turned business ideas into juggernauts. He gives his heart as much as his time to the school, and remains one of Anderson’s most valued donors.

Transcending Uncertainty, Finding Opportunity

Focusing on the theme of moving from uncertainty to opportunity, the 2017 Latin American Business Conference explored new regional developments and advancements enabled by government partnership with the private sector. Álvaro Uribe Vélez, former president of Colombia, delivered the keynote.

Fun with Fundraising for a Cause

As the largest charitable organization at UCLA Anderson, Challenge for Charity (C4C) raised over $47,000 and volunteered more than 5,000 hours to raise funds for its three select charities: Special Olympics, Junior Achievement and Project ECHO. Key initiatives included the C4C Casino Night and the pilgrimage to Stanford for the annual Sports Weekend in competition with other West Coast business schools to win the coveted Golden Briefcase.

Exploring the Next in Tech

January marked the return of CES@Anderson, presented in partnership with the Easton Technology Management Center and the Consumer Technology Association. Leading-edge tech pros presented the latest innovations in AI, machine learning and VR. CTA communications SVP Jeff Joseph said, “Our mission parallels that of UCLA Anderson in working to ‘Invest in the Next.’ CES at Anderson provides an opportunity to place a spotlight on the next great range of innovation, the next great generation of technological breakthroughs.”

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From Idea to Enterprise

The Entrepreneur Association’s 2018 CrEAte Conference focused on the milestones startups conquer on their way to profitability, defining business success from inception to creation, launch and beyond. Keynote speakers included Omaze founder and CEO Ryan Cummins (’11), and Natalie Hampton, founder and CEO of Sit With Us, the social networking app designed to promote kindness and inclusion in schools.

Gathering Speed in the Accelerator

Last year’s launch of the state-of-the-art 10,000-square-foot UCLA Anderson Venture Accelerator was followed this year with generous support by donors, including Jim Freedman (’78) and William Grabe (’63). And now, with the recent appointment of Trish Halamandaris (’92) as director, the co-working space has enjoyed a constant flow of guest speakers, topical seminars and “demo days” for resident companies.

Dipping Their Toes

Each spring at Anderson Days, we host a group of 300+ new full-time MBA admits over a weekend so they may get to know our school and community better. It’s an immersive experience that includes seminars, social events and a taste of what Los Angeles has to offer. Our high success rate in converting admits to “accepts” after A-Days is a testament to the MBA admissions team’s incredible commitment.

Fun — and Networking — in the Sun

More than 1,000 students and alumni gathered for the sixth annual FEMBApalooza to socialize, network and welcome the FEMBA class of 2020. This year, alumni from multiple degree programs joined the fun — with 200 kids in attendance. “Learning on the Lawn,” mini TEDx-style sessions with professors, were a huge hit. Brett Jellen (FEMBA ’20) won the afternoon’s grand prize of a Global Immersion Fellowship, which covers the program fee for the in-country component of a global immersion course.

Investing in the Future of Finance

Great speakers and hundreds of attendees made the sixth annual Fink Investing Conference the most successful yet. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis’ Neel Kashkari delivered a keynote address on his journey through investment banking, the treasury and, finally, the Fed, giving attendees insights into the organization’s inner workings. Tad Rivelle (’90), CIO at TCW, also delivered an incisive address on how active fixed income should be managed.

Face Time with Industry Titans and Entrepreneurs

Evolve, the West Coast’s only MBA-driven retail conference, focused in 2018 on the future of retail at a crucial moment when key industry trends include the (new) evolution of brick-and-mortar, sustainability in retail and game-changing startups. Anderson’s Retail Business Association invited Gap VP and CMO Craig Brommers (’02) and Leon Zekaria (’97), CEO of Windsor Fashions, to deliver the keynotes.

Investment, Growth and Collaboration

The 11th Wilbur K. Woo Greater China Business Conference connected U.S. and Chinese business leaders, investors and faculty to discuss the uncertainty and complexity of the world’s two largest economies. Participants included: Stephen Cheung, president of World Trade Center Los Angeles; Craig Dehmel (’98), EVP at IMAX Entertainment; Joseph Lee, SVP of wealth management for Cathay Bank; and Steve Tsai (’98), SVP of worldwide distribution analytics for Sony Pictures.

Making Sound Financial Picks

Justin Phillips (’18) and Jarrid Johnston (FEMBA ’19) of team J^2 Capital won this year’s Fink Stock Pitch Competition, which gathered MBA students from top schools across the nation for the seventh year of this eagerly anticipated event. Participating students demonstrated their analytical prowess in a bid to win $12,500 in cash prizes, presenting their pitches to a panel of judges that included representatives from numerous prestigious firms.

Real-World Experience on a Global Scale

The 2017 global immersion courses — managed through the Center for Global Management — involved some 275 students who visited ten countries. With immersions added for the first time in South Korea, Uruguay, Sweden and Finland, participants across all four of Anderson’s MBA programs benefited from the greater breadth of global offerings. From Mumbai to Helsinki, these students learned about business and entrepreneurship in vastly different economic, political and social environments.

Collaboration Breeds Innovative Solutions

Bud and Betsy Knapp established the annual Knapp Venture Competition to reward excellence in business planning and venture initiation — like 2017 first-place winner Mechanodontics, a startup aiming to revolutionize dental braces. The interdisciplinary team included Anderson’s Whitney Conroy (’18) and colleagues at UCLA Law and School of Dentistry. Sadly, our community lost angel investor Betsy Knapp last June, but we honor her through the achievements of our students who truly Think in the Next through ambitious cross-campus collaboration.

Three Days of Reconnection, Exploration and Entertainment

Seven decades of Anderson alumni gathered to kick off our annual Alumni Weekend, starting with the Alumni Conference, which featured presentations from Omaze co-founder Ryan Cummins (’11) and global marketing and sponsorships lead for Cisco Alexandra Rosen (’11), who spoke about the art and science of making an impact on tech. Later in the weekend, alumni celebrated at Santa Monica Beach and participated in a day of golf to benefit student fellowships.

Exploring the Future of Health Care

Now in its third year, the UCLA HBA Healthcare Conference attracted hundreds of students, professors, physicians and other health care professionals from California and beyond to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the industry. Keynote speeches and panel discussions explored current and future health care trends such as precision medicine, digital health and value-based care.