Economics and Management Highlights

Throughout the year faculty and students from the International Business Administration department are engaged in collaborations within and beyond the university. These interactions allow them to delve into current research and practice, and further the context of our rich academic discourse. Here, we share highlights from recent activities.

Guest speaker series 2021

The Economics and Management Department is conducting a broad Curriculum Review and one of the projects is a potential new major that studies smaller for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, including start-ups, family businesses, mission based enterprises, cooperatives, etc. 

It is in this context that the department has developed a speaker series focusing on these areas.

Edvina Kapllani, Accenture

On October 26, we will be hosting Edvina Kapllani, a 2008 IBA/International Economics alumna who will speak to the BA 4050 Capstone class on banking and one of her Accenture projects studying SME (small and medium sized enterprises) needing bank and government support during the Covid pandemic. Her current position at Accenture is:

France and Benelux Accenture Research Lead, SME Banking Research Lead

  • Extensive experience in both quantitative and qualitative research in banking industry space (i.e., strategy, market analysis, benchmark, go to market).
  • Current area of focus is SME banking - how banks can deliver value, the opportunities created by embedded finance and other emerging trends in SME/commercial banking.
  • Corporate strategy class lecturer.
Social entrepreneur Alenka Banco

ALENKA BANCO is a veteran arts administrator, community activist and entrepreneur. Banco was an early pioneer of urban redevelopment when she purchased and renovated a former crack house in an inner city neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, where she opened the Eddie Moved Gallery (1995). The gallery was named after the crack dealer who moved from the space before she renovated it. Later she purchased and rehabbed the former St. Josaphat Catholic Church (33,000 sq.ft.) into a gallery, home and artist studio complex. She was recognized for her renovation of the Josaphat Church building with an award from the Cleveland chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the Cleveland Restoration Society for the adaptive re-use of a Sacred Structure. Her history in community development includes personal projects (like the recent renovation of a warehouse into her current home) as well as public projects while working for several City of Cleveland community development corporations (1996-2013). 

From 2013 through 2020, Banco served as executive director of Cleveland Arts Prize, the longest standing award of its kind in the United States. She is currently spearheading the capital campaign and renovation of the Wagner Museum in one of the region's poorest cities, East Cleveland.

Entrepreneur Alan Glazen

Alan Glazen is a veteran of the advertising and marketing industry and is a member of the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame. His innovative introduction of branding to the advertising arsenal earned him over 50 major industry awards, including EMMY, ADDY and TELLYs. His companies have generated over $100 Million in revenues for creative services and media over the past half century. In the 1990’s Glazen Advertising became Glazen Creative Studios, adding television production services to the usual ad agency offerings. And near the end of that decade, Glazen sold his companies and became a college student. He graduated from The New School University in New York City summa cum laude with a major in American Literature.

During the early 2000s, Glazen started an American company that acquired the exclusive rights to the subway advertising in the USSR, plus the rights to all the glacial ice in Greenland, which he packaged and sold in the USA. He sold the Russian subsidiary of his firm in early 2000.

Glazen’s post-retirement focus was inner-city entrepreneurs, and he financially backed a number of urban projects, resulting in him being cast as an investor on the CNBC television network show called “Cleveland Hustles”, a successor to the famous “Shark Tank.” There Glazen analyzed and provided consultation to hundreds of startups, and backed several.

Today, Glazen is still very involved in the urban startup business community, and he lectures on American Startup Entrepreneurship at a number of global universities including IESE in Barcelona and New York City, where he also serves as an advisory board member. In addition, he has lectured at The University of Reykjavík, Iceland, and at Julliard School of Music. Currently he is an adjunct professor at the Center for Creative Arts in Cleveland, Ohio. 

Now, at 71 years old, Glazen is an MBA candidate at Bowling Green State University and has earned certification in Diversity and Decision-Making at Harvard University.

Below is a link to a recent interview of Glazen on CNBC where he describes his business philosophy: https://www.cnbc.com/video/2016/08/18/cleveland-hustles-alan-glazen-profile.html

Family Business owner/operator Jack Mitchell

Jack Mitchell is Chairman of the Mitchell Stores (Mitchells/Richards/Wilkes/Marios), a three-generation family business that operates men’s and women’s specialty stores in Connecticut, New York, California, Washington and Oregon that are nationally renowned for their personal service touches and strong relationships. Jack himself has been recognized as one of the top ten retail visionaries of his time by the Women’s Wear Daily.

After completing a B.A. at Wesleyan University in 1961 and an M.A. at the University of California-Berkeley in Chinese History, Jack joined the family business, Ed Mitchell, Inc., which was founded by his parents, Ed and Norma, and later became Mitchells of Westport. In 1995, Mitchells acquired Richards, the leading men’s clothing store in Greenwich, Connecticut, and in 2005, added Marshs of Huntington, Long Island, to the group. In December of 2009, they also proudly acquired Wilkes Bashford in San Francisco and Palo Alto, California and in October of 2015 they partnered with Marios in Seattle and Portland.

Under his leadership, the Mitchell Stores have become well known for employee engagement and longevity and providing exceptional customer service and high quality merchandise in an exciting, friendly, and visually dynamic atmosphere. Jack is an active leader on the floor listening and learning along side his brother Bill, wife Linda, his three sons and three nephews. Mitchell Stores is a case study at Harvard Business School.

In 2003, Jack Mitchell launched a “second career” as a speaker and author. His first book, Hug Your Customers: The Proven Way to Personalize Sales and Achieve Astounding Results, was a Wall Street Journal best seller and received rave reviews in the New York Times. In addition, it was endorsed by Warren Buffet on the cover with the following quote: “It’s a gem. I wish everyone at Berkshire would follow his advice – we would own the world.” In April, 2015, a revised and updated version of Hug Your Customers was released. In 2008, Jack published his second book, Hug Your People: The Proven Way to Hire, Inspire, and Recognize Your Employees to Achieve Remarkable Results where he illustrates a business blueprint to personalize relationships to drive success and achieve greater satisfaction at work. In 2018, Jack published his third book, Selling the Hug Your Customers Way: The Proven Process for Becoming a Passionate and Successful Salesperson for Life which illustrates how to apply the proven principles of Hug Your Customers to refine selling techniques, boost sales and keep customers coming back for more.

Jack has become known as a passionate enthusiastic public speaker, keynoting at over 200 events for corporations including Merrill Lynch, Pitney Bowes, Morgan Stanley, Conde Nast, Nike, Starbucks, Wells Fargo, Luxottica, Merrill Lynch, FactSet and Harvard University addressing audiences of all sizes and reaching over 50,000 people globally with Hug Your Customers/Hug Your People presentations. Jack has appeared on The NBC Today Show, and Kudlow & Cramer TV show as well as numerous radio interviews and online and print articles. Jack has been quoted in national magazines as a customer service and management leadership expert. In April 2005, INC Magazine listed Jack as one of the 26 Entrepreneurs We Love. Jack also offers hugging workshops for corporations.

Jack shares with his family a number of Community leadership Awards from the Anti-Defamation league, The Menswear Division of UJA-Federation of New York, and Sacred Heart University. Jack is on the Yale Cancer Advisory Board, a Trustee at the Greenwich Hospital, and is an Executive in Residence at the Columbia University School of Business.

Jack has been happily married to Linda for over 50 years with four sons and seven grandchildren.

The link to Jack’s Today Show interview is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0MCdRb2sfY

AUP and Kent State University Collaborate on Study Abroad Program

In summer 2019, International Business Administration faculty member Gail Hamilton and former AUP staff member Emy Ritt welcomed Kent State University professors Dr. Shawn Rohlin and Dr. Tom Sahajdack, along with students taking KSU’s International Business Experience Study Abroad program, to Paris and to AUP. Prior to their week in Paris, the students had spent a week in Geneva visiting various companies and organizations. The AUP session started with a presentation by Ritt, who worked as the Paris 2018 Gay Games’ Director of International Relations. She discussed the overall mission and objectives of the Gay Games, along with questions of sponsorship and the event’s impact and legacy. Students then spent the rest of the morning conducting a field research study of Paris’s open markets, which concluded with a copious lunch, curated by the students themselves, sourced from markets across four different arrondissements.

This was not AUP’s first collaboration with KSU: in 2018, Hamilton and Ritt worked with Dr. Rohlin and Dr. Nessrine Omrani at the Paris School of Business on an economic impact study for the Paris Gay Games. An extensive dual-language survey on spending was administered to over 4,600 participants immediately following the August event. According to this analysis, the 2018 Gay Games had an impact of almost €66 million on the Paris economy. 

Learn More

Find out more about the Gay Games and Paris 2018.

Find out more about the economic impact study by reading: