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News Roundup – Gies Online MBA Powers Illinois, Graziadio Professor on Women in the Age of AI, and More

Let’s take a look at some of the biggest stories from this week, including a Gies Online MBA helping power the state of Illinois.


Dr. Bernice Ledbetter Authors Opinion on Equipping Women with Opportunities to Thrive in Smart Machine AgePepperdine Graziadio Business School News

Dr. Bernice Ledbetter of the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School recently published her findings on the role of women in the age of AI.

A study by the McKinsey Global Institute found that smart machines will eventually perform the tasks performed by women in many business settings. Ledbetter’s research seeks to prompt lawmakers and policy makers to assist women in adapting their skill sets within this new landscape.

Dr. Ledbetter suggested three key guidelines to provide safeguards for women as work becomes automated—increase mentorship opportunities for women and outlets for women to hone leadership and utilize ‘soft skills;’ and to bolster investment in childcare and early childhood education. Women, according to research by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, account for 58 percent of the workforce that will be affected by automation.

As the Dean of Students and Alumni Affairs at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School and Director of the Pepperdine Center for Women in Leadership, Ledbetter works to inform and instruct on the issues faced by women in every sector of the economy. For more on her study and the future of AI in the workplace, read here.


Cardinal Health Partners with Vanderbilt Executive Education for Two Custom Leadership ProgramsVanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Business News

Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management has been leading a strategic partnership with Cardinal Health Partners to produce some of the best and brightest executives in the healthcare field.

The two programs, entitled INNOVATE and INSPIRE, are both nine months in duration. INNOVATE brings together thirty directors for assignments meant to help solve global healthcare issues. The directors, who reside at various international locations, meeting face-to-face six months into the program. At the end of the nine months, the team presents their projects to Cardinal executives who decide which ones they will implement.

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Vanderbilt’s partnership with Cardinal Health Partners has brought two new healthcare executive programs to the Owen Graduate School of Management.

INSPIRE is comprised of fifteen Cardinal Health vice presidents whose goal it is to hone skills in entrepreneurial thinking, organizational management, and trend spotting. After deciding upon one ‘mega trend’, teams analyze how the trend is active within their organization and how it can be maximized for the best impact.

The intent of each program is to help executives and leaders to shift focus from operational concerns into more strategic and creative thinking. Jerome Revish is a Cardinal Health Vice President for Services and a participant in the INSPIRE program.  He says:

“I’ve been at the VP level for a little over two years now. I would say as manager and director, you’re so focused on execution and driving results … It’s now, at this level and the next level, where more of your job is centered around framing the strategy of where we need to be going, versus ‘how do I execute what’s in front of me today.’”

For more on Owen’s executive education programs, read here.


iMBA Helps Power Windfree’s CEO to Power Illinois Homes and BusinessesGies College of Business News

The University of Illinois Gies College of Business’ iMBA program has helped one entrepreneur to help bring solar power to the Midwest.

Eric Heineman is CEO of Windfree, Illinois’ TOP installer of solar panels for homes and businesses in the state. The iMBA, Gies’ 100 percent online degree, was a perfect choice for Heineman as he juggled the responsibility of raising children and pursuing his goal of creating a socially responsible business.

Crediting the “solar boom” in Illinois for part of his success, Heineman says, ““I don’t know how I would be able to stay in a master’s program if I didn’t have the flexibility of the iMBA.  It’s something I’m very thankful for.” The iMBA has been a vital tool in Heineman’s advancement to CEO, as his business decisions are directly applicable to his online curriculum.

“It allows me to constructively second-guess everything I’m doing, and I have a great sounding board for my ideas,” he continues.  Windfree was founded in 2009, and it has become a leader in providing solar energy to schools and other non-profit organizations. Windfree is responsible for the installation of numerous solar power devices in the state, including the Illinois Governor’s Mansion.

Heineman will complete his MBA in 2020. You can read here for more on Heineman, Windfree, and the iMBA.


2019 Massachusetts Family Business of the Year Award WinnersNortheastern D’Amore McKim School of Business News

Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business honored some of the state’s leading family businesses during an awards program last month. For over a decade, a panel of judges has chosen businesses that exemplify success, specifically through multi-generational legacies of their organizations. Community involvement and innovation are two other criteria upon which the winners are chosen.

The Clark School received an award for medium sized businesses. Provo Wealth Management Group won the Marshall Paisner Award for Small Firms. The Hub Folding Box Company took home the large business award, and the Award for Community Involvement was presented to J. Calnan & Associates.

For the last thirteen years, recipients of the Massachusetts Family Business of the Year Awards have been selected by a panel of independent judges based on the following criteria: business success; positive business and family linkages; multi-generational family involvement; contributions to the community and industry; and innovative business practices or strategies.

You can read here for more on the Family Business of the Year awards.

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About the Author

Maggie Boccella
Maggie Boccella

Maggie Boccella, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is a freelance writer, artist and photographer. She has consulted on various film and multimedia projects, and she also serves as a juror for the city's annual LGBTQIA Film Festival.

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