Moore School honors six
The annual Business Leadership Dinner put on by USC's Moore School of Business was held last Friday, April 24, inside The Zone above the end zone seats at Williams- Brice Stadium. The crowd had cocktails and conversation for the first hour, followed by comments by Dean Hildy Teegen.
Teegen shared her concerns over the reduced state support, now down to 17 percent of USC's annual budget, and the eroded investments portfolio that is needed to support promising students and productive faculty. On the other hand, Teegen is pleased with her comprehensive reorganization of the Moore School and her two new academic programs, all which leverage the school's stellar reputation in international business.
The next great leap forward is to match Darla Moore's $45 million challenge gift. For every dollar donated up to $45 million, Moore will match dollar for dollar. The challenge period ends this August 1, a little more than three months away.
Looming on the minds of just about everyone in the room of 350 diners was the prospect of a new physical plant. The renovation/expansion of the existing Moore School buildings, the Close and the Hipp, has been shelved in favor of a new building in the Vista. The existing building can be leased long- term to the next- door National Advocacy Center, and the lease revenue finances the Moore School's new building, at least in large part.
There is a spirited fund raising campaign to complement the lease revenues, enough to put up the new quarters. Possibly in the works is a new wing dedicated to a greatly expanded continuing education program, attracting the low maintenance adult students who make for a cash cow in the better graduate schools of business in the country.
The keynote speaker was Jill Griffin, Distinguished Alumna in 2003 and leader of the Austinbased Griffin Group, training companies to build fiercely loyal customers.
Klaus Kuehn (MIBS 89) was recognized with a Distinguished Alumnus Award. Kuehn is the chief financial officer of Bayer AG in Leverkusen, Germany, where he arrived in 1998 as the new head of the Finance Department. His first major task in the Finance Department was to manage the successful initial public offering of Bayer's then subsidiary Agfa. He has been on the company's Board of Management since 2002.
Second to be recognized with a Distinguished Alumnus Award was Columbia's Andy Lowrey (PMBA '90), president and CEO of AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, one of the five regional banks of the Farm Credit System. AgFirst and its affiliated entities serve 75,000 agriculturists and rural home owners in 15 states and Puerto Rico with combined assets of $32 billion.
José Salibi Neto, Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient, earned his BS in business administration in 1982 while he was the USC tennis team's top player and captain. In 1986, he earned his MIBS degree and won the MIBS 1986 Service Award. He is the co- founder and chief knowledge officer of the HSM Group, a leading international multimedia management organization with offices in six countries. Business author and guru Peter Drucker has publicly praised HSM as the best company in the business. Neto recognized his college tennis coach, Ron Smarr, in the audience, and he hung around with his tennis buddies after the dinner.
As the Georgia market president and U.S. specialty business head of RBC Bank in Atlanta, Moore School Distinguished Alumna Drew Atkinson Putt reports to the chairman and CEO of the fourth largest bank in North America, RBC of Toronto, Canada. She serves on its Operating Committee and the Enterprise Risk Committee. RBC is one of only seven banks worldwide that carry a Moody's triple- A credit rating. Putt graduated at Moore with a BS in business administration, and she first went to work for First Union National Bank, now Wachovia, part of Wells Fargo. Putt joined RBC five years ago, and, this summer, she and her family move to Atlanta.
The 2009 Young Alumna Award went to Eden Isbell, MHR '92. She is senior director of human resources at Genzyme Corporation in Cambridge, Mass. Genzyme has more than 11,000 employees and annual sales of $4.6 billion. In 2003, Isbell led the U.S. human resources efforts for Genzyme's acquisition of SangStat Corporation. Isbell leads a cross- functional human resources team, and she serves on the senior management team as senior director of human resources for Genzyme Biosurgery, Genzyme Transplant & Oncology, and Corporate Development.
The Moore School's 2009 Distinguished Service Award went to Dr. S. Travis Pritchett, a commissioner with the South Carolina Retirement System Investment Commission and a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the Moore School. Pritchett joined the Moore School in 1973 as an associate professor. He was promoted to full professor in 1976. Pritchett held the W. Frank Hipp Chair between 1983 and retirement in 2000. He was chair of the Banking, Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate Department for seven years. He is the former editor
and Insurance, and he was the associate editor of six other journals. In 1989, the Professional Insurance Agents' Insurance Foundation chose Pritchett as the first recipient of the National Insurance Educator of the Year Award.
Dean Teegen asked the audience to vote with their remotes their preference for the awards dinner next year. The majority agreed to return to The Zone.