Alumni participate in fourth annual Alumni Week

The Current, Summer 2003

Photo: Alumni Week panel

Other business leaders who volunteered their time to talk to students during Alumni Week include:

Andrew Acho (MBA 67) Ford Motor Company
Monica Barbour (75) Bank One
Joseph Berkowski
Richard Berschback
(75; MBA 77) Walsh College
Nathan Buza (01)
Joseph Callaghan, Ph.D. (78) Oakland University
Armando R. Cavazos (74) Credit Union One
Richard Damman (68; MBA 74) Damman Hardware
Dennis Drenikowski (82) Merrill Lynch
Patricia Earl-Cole Blue Cross Blue Shield
Jeffery Engalsbe (01) Ford Motor Company
Ina Fernandez (MBA 74) Munder Capital
Sam Gianino (71; MBA 76) National City Bank
William Harvey, CPA (66; MBA 67) Henry Ford Community College
Kathrine Horan (97) DaimlerChrysler
Thomas Kenny (89; MBA 95) Munder Capital
James Kirby (MBA 92) Absopure Water
Walter Koziol (69) BDO Siedman
Jerome Lubiarz (91) Little Caesars
Nikki Moss DTE Energy
Pius Oleh (MSCIS 96) Ford Motor Company
Gary Priestap (66; MBA 98) Lumigen, Inc.
Peter Prokop (CF 66) Raymond & Prokop, P.C.
Keith Rohland (MBA 01) Ford Motor Company
Jonathan Sanders ('02), DaimlerChrysler
Catherine Schmitt (MBA 76) Blue Cross Blue Shield
Edward Sprock (MBA 78) DaimlerChrysler
David Stelmaszek (94; MBA 00) Credit Union One
Roseann Stevens (81; MBA 00) Visteon
Patricia A. Stusek(MBA 94) Ford Motor Company
Joseph Walsh (69; MBA 71) Ford Motor Company




Forty alumni returned to campus to share their experiences about the business world with students at the fourth annual College of Business Administration Alumni Week, held March 17 - 22.

The topic of this year’s panel discussion, “Employment in an Unsure Economy,” reflected the anxiety surrounding new graduates as they head into an uncertain job market.

Moderated by Bruce Brorby, associate dean for the CBA, the panel included William Morrow (’68) [far right], executive vice president of Crain Communications, Inc., and UDM Board of Trustees member; Jill Pollock (MBA ’73), director of Human Resources and Payroll, Eastern Michigan University; and Dennis Sullivan (’67, MBA ’71) [far left], president of Sullivan and Associates. The panelists offered advice about building a resume, making a job transition, and evaluating career objectives.

Jill Pollock, a former director of UDM’s Human Resources and Payroll department, stressed the importance of building a resume with job skills and work experience, but also acknowledged that the resume isn’t everything.

“Volunteer activities and participation in non-profit projects show employers that you have a well-rounded background and are willing to get involved within the community,” says Pollock.

When discussing job transition and the importance of building job skills, William Morrow emphasized that skills learned from one job are often transferable to another job. He also stressed the importance of the basics, such a firm handshake and professional appearance.

As president of an executive-level recruiting firm, Dennis Sullivan spends a great deal of time reading resumes and noticing career tracks of individuals. Reminding students that “money isn’t everything,” Sullivan outlined 10 steps to evaluating a career opportunity, which includes criteria such as the company mission, industry, growth factor and effect of the move on family.

During the week, individual alumni also visited specific classes in the College to discuss their business experiences.

Richard Czarnecki (’53, GR ’57), recently retired from University of Michigan-Dearborn, spoke to students in Accounting 202. Czarnecki advises CPA hopefuls to get involved in student membership of the local professional association and commended the co-op program at UDM for providing students an excellent opportunity to gain hands-on knowledge and understanding of their chosen career.

“My knowledge of graduates of this institution is that they have been very successful,” says Czarnecki.

Jim Giordano (MBA ’85), CEO of CareTech Solutions, a mid-market company serving the health care industry, spoke to students in MBA 525 Organizational Processes and Leadership. Prior to his current position, Giordano worked at Fortune 500 companies as a chief financial officer. Moving to a leadership position in a smaller company was a “culture shock,” according to Giordano. However, he was ready to assume a leadership role with his MBA preparation from UDM and work experience in environments full of “ambiguity, change and complex relationships.”

Because relationships in business are so important, Giordano stressed the need for students to take courses in relationship–building. “You need to educate yourself in areas where you don’t have experience,” says Giordano. “Then you need to leverage the experience and knowledge of your employees.”

According to Giordano, most leadership decisions are made with inadequate data and within a brief time. “You have to be able to live with your decisions,” he stresses. “A lot of decisions you make affect people’s livelihoods.”

Although Giordano has had to make tough business decisions, including laying off people, he also has made some very satisfying decisions. “It’s most fun to give raises or bonuses,” he says. “But anyone can be a leader on the good days; it’s the tough days that test you.”