All posts by Tanya Maki

Feb 22: Lunch Research Presentation with Jun Min

Assistant Professor in Marketing Jun Min

Join the School of Business and Economics and Assistant Professor in Marketing Junhong Min for a brown bag lunch presentation on Wednesday, February 22nd at Noon in Academic Office Building 101. The campus community is invited to attend.

His presentation is titled: “Practical Guidelines for Online Educators.”

Biography

Junhong Min earned his Ph.D. in Marketing from the State University of New York at Binghamton as well as a Master of Marketing Research (MMR) from the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Prior to entering the Binghamton Ph.D. program Junhong Min was a senior research executive at Nielsen, NY. He has also served as a marketing consultant for a variety of marketing research projects. He brings this practical background to both his research and teaching efforts.


Marty Richardson ’79 – Marketing Maverick and Sailing Enthusiast

Marty Richardson '79

Anchors aweigh, steady as she goes, and full speed ahead! These have been the hallmarks of Martha (Marty) Kresnak Richardson’s career. An expert in marketing and a sailing enthusiast, Richardson’s connection with Michigan Tech came about in a less traditional way.“I was actually the first professional that Michigan Tech ever hired to serve in a marketing capacity,” recalls Richardson, who first arrived at Tech in 1976 with a bachelor’s in communication arts from Michigan State. Her commitment to Tech remains strong, now as chair of the Board of Control.

While employed by Tech, Richardson pursued a master’s degree in the School of Business and Economics with a specialty in marketing. “Most of the students were engineers wanting to get more of a business acumen. So, I was a bit different from the usual student at that time. I worked full time and still managed a pretty heavy course load.” After graduating, Richardson found that women with a master’s in business were rare commodities. She was offered a number of great opportunities and chose to work for the international accounting and consulting firm Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) in the Detroit area.

This began a ten-year career with a variety of positions of ever-increasing responsibility. From marketing supervisor to marketing manager to marketing director, Richardson saw many different facets of the company. “I traveled across the country, working with top management for their ninety-eight offices. I really learned a lot—certainly a big expansion of my master’s education.”

While enjoying her work with Coopers & Lybrand, Richardson dreamed of starting her own business. The best advice she received was from another woman entrepreneur in New York where Richardson had an office at the time. Richardson recalls, “She said, ‘Are you sure you want to do this? This is going to be the most difficult thing you’ve ever done.’ And she was right. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. But, I’m proud of it and really wouldn’t change a thing.”

Richardson’s business, founded in 1989, was Services Marketing Specialists (SMS), a consulting firm providing full-service marketing and communications support to professional service firms and business-to-business organizations. Ironically, her first client was Coopers & Lybrand. Her portfolio grew into several hundred clients across the US and Canada, including those specializing in accounting, architecture, engineering, law, and health care.

However, another dream was waiting in the wings, or rather at the dock, for Richardson and her husband, Jerry, a former engineering manager for General Motors. Since leaving Detroit in September 2007, the Richard sons have logged nearly 12,000 nautical miles on a fifty-two foot trawler they named Monarch. They have traveled up and down the Atlantic Coast, to the Florida Keys, and the Bahamas. “We named our boat Monarch because she goes from Ontario and northern Michigan all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico just like the monarch butterfly,” says Richardson.

According to Richardson, after college it is important to find the right job, save prudently, and never give up on your dreams. “It’s surprising we’ve become so successful with such simple advice. Although not always easy, you just have to keep your eye on your vision and persevere. I can look back and say, ‘If it hadn’t been for my company and the good salaries our employees made, where they would be now?’ It feels good to know we made a difference.”

Making a difference continues to be a part of Richardson’s life. She has been a board member or officer of numerous professional and community organizations, including the Greater Detroit Foreign Trade Zone, Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, Women’s Economic Club of Detroit, International Institute of Detroit, Leadership Detroit, and the National Association of Women Business Owners. In 2002, she was named to the Crain’s Detroit “Most Influential Women” list.

Governor Jennifer Granholm appointed her to the Michigan Tech Board of Control in 2005. In July 2010, she took over the leadership of the Board.

“It was a real honor to be appointed to the Board of Control, and serving on it is a wonderful experience,” says Richardson. “The board is populated by extraordinarily intelligent and savvy people. They are all so competent in their areas and have such a deep love for the University and commitment to its interests.”

Richardson is also enthusiastic about the new MBA programs, especially the Tech MBA Online. “Who among our alums would not want an MBA from Tech? And if you can do it online around your schedule, it’s a real draw. It’s great knowing you can take the program at a set cost that you can budget for. And the quality—well, that just can’t be beat!”

Richardson is positive about the current goals for Tech. “Having a University-wide strategic plan is key. And, the School of Business and Economics plays an important part in the accomplishment of a number of University goals. The Board and administration are always focusing on how we can provide a world view for the students. Not only how to invent the technology but how to apply it to bettering mankind. The business school provides the critical link between technology and real-world applications.”

This article was originally published in Impact, the Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics magazine.


Join Us For Business After Hours in Marquette

Be our guest! Join the Lake Superior Community Partnership for Business After Hours on Monday, February 13, 2012, sponsored by Michigan Technological University School of Business and Economics from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at L’Attitude Cafe & Bistro, located at 105 E. Washington St. in Marquette.

Guests will be treated to hors d’oeuvres courtesy of L’Attitude Cafe & Bistro and a cash bar will be available.

By attending you will be eligible to win fabulous prizes, including:

  • An iPad 2
  • Unique copper items including: a copper paper weight, UP ornament, and UP wall hanging
  • Valentine’s prizes just in time for the holiday: Gift bag of sweets, gift certificate for flowers, and sweet strawberry wine
  • 20 x 30 inch northern lights print
Prizes for Business After Hours at L'Attitude in Marquette, MI on Monday, February 13!

What is a Business After Hours?
Business After Hours events are the area’s premier networking opportunities, offering guests the chance to meet fellow professionals and establish long-lasting relationships in a relaxed, yet festive social setting, held at some of Marquette County’s most interesting locations.

Business people are encouraged to attend and be prepared with a number of their business cards to pass.

This event is open to Partnership members and non-members alike.


The sun is shining on a new Upper Peninsula business

Dustin Denkins ('10) and Matt Miotke of Suburb Solar, Cooks, MI (Photo credit: Shawn Malone)

Alum Dustin Denkins and his wife Jill are growing their advanced technology business right here in the Upper Peninsula.  Suburb Solar, which was founded in 2009 during Dustin’s graduate work here at Michigan Tech, was formally incorporated in early 2011. Sam Eggleston of Upper Pennisula’s Second Wave, an online magazine devoted to reporting trends in technology, business, and growth in Michigan’s UP, featured the story in their January 2012 edition.

Suburb Solar builds portable solar generators, making it simple for anyone to use it in everyday applications. “Basically, when I decided to make this, I wanted to make something so easy that my grandmother could use it,” says Dustin Denkins of the EasySun Solar Generator.

While an MBA student at Michigan Tech, Denkins won first place in the first annual Business Plan Competition (founded by the late Bob Mark), and walked away with $4,100 in prize money and consulting services to help get the company off the ground. The Business Plan Competition, now the New Venture Competition, has partnered with Central Michigan University to offer a top prize of $30,000 on March 31st down in Mt. Pleasant. Michigan Tech expects to be well represented, learn more about the competition.

The solar generator–built right here in the Upper Peninsula and with many components constructed here as well–is portable, sporting two heavy-duty wheels that allows the 125-pound device to be transported wherever it needs to go.

The School of Business and Economics wishes Superb Solar future success and thanks Dustin for being a great inspiration to other students.

See full story here.


Jim Trethewey ’67 – A Different Route to Success

"A really good education is your ticket to opening up opportunities. When opportunities struck, I was well prepared to take advantage of them.” Jim Tretheway '67

Taking “the road less traveled” takes courage, especially for a college student. Many students come to Michigan Tech for engineering, but an elective can lead to a different career path. Such is the story of Jim Trethewey.

Trethewey, from Ironwood, began as a mechanical engineering major. Then he took an accounting elective from Professor Sam Tidwell. Because he did well in the course, Tidwell encouraged him to change majors. After some soul-searching, Trethewey switched to accounting.

As an undergraduate, Trethewey was involved in Theta Tau fraternity and intramural sports. His academic achievements led to the honorary accounting fraternity Kappa Sigma Iota. “I made many good friends and liked the students’ work ethic,” says Trethewey. “And, in my career, it turned out to be a very good thing to have a mix of business and technical courses.”

After graduating, Trethewey accepted a position as an auditor for Copper Range, a copper mining concern. He next joined Cleveland-Cliffs (now Cliffs Natural Resources), an iron ore mining company in an exciting growth period, as a financial analyst in its Ishpeming office.

Cleveland-Cliffs offered Trethewey a wide variety of opportunities. From Ishpeming to Ontario to Cleveland, Trethewey worked in positions of increasing responsibility and became vice president-controller and chief accounting officer. Along the way, he also earned his MBA from Baldwin- Wallace College.

In his final years with Cliffs, Trethewey was senior vice president of business development and worked with the senior corporate team in reshaping the company, adding international experience to his career. He retired in 2007.

Looking back, Trethewey says, “A really good education is your ticket to opening up opportunities. When opportunities struck, I was well prepared to take advantage of them.”

Being open to different types of jobs within a company is helpful, as many newly learned skills could be transferred to other areas, he says. “Mobility is also important. Don’t tie yourself down to one location.”

Being involved in both professional and community organizations has also been important to Trethewey. He networked with professionals in the American Mining Association, the Society of Mining Engineers, and other industry groups that gave him a broader understanding of his field.

“I worked with community organizations such as United Way and currently serve on the boards of two charities,” says Trethewey. “I was always looking for ways to give back to society. It’s important to stay active in other things besides work so you can expand yourself.”

Trethewey credits a lot of his success to family support, especially from his wife, Dee. The couple divides their time among a winter home in Florida, a summer home in Chautauqua, New York, and a townhouse in Cleveland, where three of their five children and five of their eight grandchildren live.

Trethewey has found time in his busy retirement to continue giving back to Tech. In 1994, he began serving on the School of Business and Economics advisory board, and since 2009 he has served as a trustee of the Michigan Tech Fund.

Trethewey reflects, “My newer role as a trustee lets me deal with the entire University. It gives me an opportunity to participate in activities with other devoted graduates who care where the University is going. We help raise funds for the University, network, and work to form corporate partnerships. These activities are important to maintain sound financial footing and ensure the University continues to advance.”

As an advisor to the School of Business and Economics, he has been involved in AACSB accreditation, which has been particularly gratifying for Trethewey. Providing input on curriculum and meeting with students and faculty have been valuable for him. He is excited about many School and University programs including the Applied Portfolio Management Program (APMP) and Enterprise.

“I like that the School is getting involved directly with corporations and the hands-on nature of these programs,” he says. In addition, Trethewey has started two endowed scholarships for business students from Gogebic County. Other possible contributions are in the planning stages.

“The School of Business and Economics was my foundation, my beginning on the road to success,” he says. “So it’s really important for me to have a part in its growth. The current direction of the School is right on track. Being involved has given me the opportunity to have a voice in where the School is going and ensure it’s constantly getting better. And that’s very fulfilling.”

This article was originally published in Impact, the Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics magazine.