Blog

  • 17 Oct 2016

    The Global Chamber® Dallas is pleased to announce that the BB&T team members Megan Nguyen-Trinh, Brad Timberlake and Jeremy Ivie will be accepting the "Global Bankers for Exporters of the Year" award at our first annual "Grow Globally Fair" on October 18th, in Dallas, Texas. 

    Jeremy, Megan and Brad were nominated by Global Chamber Advisory Board member Ben Clumeck, "I am pleased to nominate Jeremy, Megan, and Brad for the excellent work they do working with companies doing business internationally. They work with companies to help them find a solution whether it be export financing, letters of credit, or servicing a foreign company's U.S. business." - Ben Clumeck, President at Uber Trade Credit LLC

     

    Megan Nguyen-Trinh, Vice President BSO, BB&T

    Megan Nguyen-Trinh graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Management from the University of New Orleans.  Megan started her banking/financing career with Wells Fargo Bank and spent 10 years there in various roles, including Account Management, Credit Management, Sales Management, and Business Development.  In 2013, Megan joined Citibank as a Relationship Manager where she developed the International Banking & Financing skillset, then made her way to BB&T in 2015 when BB&T acquired Citibank’s Business Banking Portfolio.  Megan has helped numerous International Businesses grow and expand their business and continues to be their advocate. 

     

    Brad Timberlake, Vice President Commercial Banking, BB&T

    Brad Timberlake is a commercial banker with BB&T in Dallas / Ft. Worth.  After graduating from the University of Texas with a BBA in Accounting, Brad worked as an auditor in Austin with Peat Marwick Mitchell (now KPMG).  He went on to work as a commercial banker with Texas Commerce Bank (now Chase) and as a Chief Financial Officer for a chain of movie theaters in Austin.  He moved to Dallas in the early nineties and held various management positions with MBNA (now Bank of America) for close to twenty years.  Several years ago he got back into commercial banking with Citi and moved to BB&T through an acquisition almost two years ago.  He works with manufacturing, retail, healthcare, real estate, and service companies headquartered in the Metroplex.  In his spare time, Brad enjoys spending time with his family and friends, playing golf, and reading.

    Jeremy Ivie, Vice President Relationship Manager, BB&T

    Jeremy Ivie, Vice President at BB&T has been in the banking industry for over 10 years. He joined BB&T as a commercial banker through the acquisition of Citibank’s Business Banking portfolio. During his tenure at Citibank, he developed and managed relationships with international companies. At BB&T, he focuses on helping small to medium size businesses obtain financing through the SBA Export Working Capital and EXIM Bank programs. Jeremy graduated from the University of North Texas with a BBA in Finance. In his spare time he enjoys watching the Dallas Cowboys, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

     

    The Grow Globally Fair is an open event to all who are interested or involved in Global business.  It is hosted by Global Chamber, and is open for registration!  Global Chamber currently has a presence on every continent, and has 90 chapters world-wide that are either active and running, or have an Executive Director in training to launch their chapters. The vision is to expand into 525 metro areas by 2020. Global Chamber® is the only organization in the world with the mission to grow business from anywhere to anywhere while collaborating with every organization. We're a thriving and collaborating community of CEOs, executives and professionals in over 500 metros taking on the world of global business. Our millions of trusted resources, followers and connections in over 5,000 cities support members growing globally by filling in the gaps that happen across borders.

     

    Other awards to be presented during the Grow Globally Fair 2016 include:

    “Global Leader in Social Impact" Salah Boukadoum, Founder of Good Returns model

    "Global Elected Official of the Year" Mayor of Frisco, Maher Maso

    “Global Educator of the Year” Dr. Simon Mak, Ph.D, SMU's Cox School of Business

    “Global Startup Leader of the Year”  Jason Croft, Jason Croft Video/Marketing

    "Global Service Provider of the Year" Allal Alale, Small Business Administration

    "Global Bankers for Exporters of the Year" BB&T Team

    "Global Exporter of the Year"...  Lynn James-Mayer, CEO of BioSafeTech 

    “Global Attorney of the Year” Kevin Maher, Baker & McKenzie

  • 20 Oct 2016 by Global Chamber

    Global Chamber Dallas  is pleased to announce its latest member & Chairman Sponsor: Blue Marble Global Payroll!

    Founded in 2013, Blue Marble's mission is to help small and mid-sized companies streamline their international payroll processes. By forming partnerships with best-of-breed providers in every country that Blue Marble serves and linking them together with Blue Marble’s proprietary web-based technology, the company is able to provide industry-leading technology backed by exceptional service at a reasonable cost. From Argentina to the Zimbabwe, Blue Marble’s robust cloud-based payroll solution makes it easy for small- and mid-sized companies to manage international payroll in 135+ countries. For more information on Blue Marble Global Payroll, please visit here!  Blue Marble Payroll is also a sponsor at Global Chamber San Francisco, Global Chamber Chicago, Global Chamber New York and Global Chamber Miami and Global Chamber Los Angeles. We are thrilled to provide excellent exposure and introductions for this wonderful business!

  • 12 Oct 2016 by Global Chamber Dallas TX
    • "Global Startup Leader of the Year" goes to... Salah Boukadoum of Good Returns Model and Impact City

      10 Oct 2016 by Global Chamber Dallas TX

      The Global Chamber® Dallas is pleased to announce that Salah Boukadoum, Founder of Good Returns Model and Impact City Initiative will be accepting the "Global Social Impact Leader of the Year" award at our first annual "Grow Globally Fair" on October 18th, in Dallas, Texas. 

      Salah was nominated by Global Chamber Advisory Board members Dawson Williams and Brewster Waddell   "Salah's passion for impact and sustainable social business is so genuine that it's infectious.  I realized within 10 minutes of being around him that I was a part of something big and something real.  You could not ask for someone who embodies "Social Impact Leader of the Year" more that Salah" says Dawson Williams of Swearingen Realty Group.  

      "Salah is a very grounded and insightful entrepreneur and a socially responsible citizen.  He has visions of greatness for Dallas as THE incubator for social impact organizations.  When it comes to making Dallas and the world a better place, he gets it!” Brewster Waddell of Blackbaud.

      Salah Boukadoum is a Dallas entrepreneur with a big idea: to transform the city of Dallas into the center of the world for solving humanity's greatest challenges. He calls it Impact City.

      Now 48, Salah has been through three careers. His first ten years were as a classically trained concert pianist. For the next ten, he founded, grew and sold a tech company. The most recent ten have been as a social entrepreneur, harnessing business principles to solve humanitarian challenges. Salah co-founded Soap Hope, an online retailer that uses 100% of its profits to lift women from poverty around the globe.

      Now Salah is taking on his biggest project yet: to focus the North Texas region on a global purpose, the Impact City. Salah plans to attract top Impact Organizations to the heart of Dallas – groups focused on solving world problems in sustainable, scalable ways. Salah points out that we have centers for finance, technology, medicine, politics and culture – and now the world needs a center for Impact, sustainably addressing the great challenges of humanity like poverty, water, energy, conflict and other pressing global concerns. He sees Dallas as a city where everyone from individual social entrepreneurs to major international institutions will form a concentrated global impact ecosystem. His vision is for North Texas to become the “Silicon Valley of Impact.”

      The Grow Globally Fair is an open event to all who are interested or involved in Global business.  It is hosted by Global Chamber, and is open for registration!  Global Chamber currently has a presence on every continent, and has 90 chapters world-wide that are either active and running, or have an Executive Director in training to launch their chapters. The vision is to expand into 525 metro areas by 2020. Global Chamber® is the only organization in the world with the mission to grow business from anywhere to anywhere while collaborating with every organization. We're a thriving and collaborating community of CEOs, executives and professionals in over 500 metros taking on the world of global business. Our millions of trusted resources, followers and connections in over 5,000 cities support members growing globally by filling in the gaps that happen across borders.

       

      Other awards to be presented during the Grow Globally Fair 2016 include:

      “Global Leader in Social Impact" Salah Boukadoum, Founder of Good Returns model

      "Global Elected Official of the Year" Mayor of Frisco, Maher Maso

      “Global Educator of the Year” Dr. Simon Mak, Ph.D, SMU's Cox School of Business

      “Global Startup Leader of the Year”  Jason Croft, Jason Croft Video/Marketing

      "Global Service Provider of the Year" Allal Alale, Small Business Administration

      "Global Bankers for Exporters of the Year" BB&T Team

      "Global Exporter of the Year"...  Lynn James-Mayer, CEO of BioSafeTech 

      “Global Attorney of the Year” Kevin Maher, Baker & McKenzie

       

      Salah Boukadoum

       

     

     

  • 12 Oct 2016

    The Global Chamber® Dallas is pleased to announce that Lynn James-Meyer, founder and CEO of BioSafe Technologies, Inc., will be accepting the "Global Exporter of the Year" award at our first annual "Grow Globally Fair" on October 18th, in Dallas, Texas. 

    "I first met Lynn at our Global Chamber Dallas Exportant Leader Round Table event. I was immediately inspired by her story and leadership of developing a bio safe product which started from a humanitarian project in Brazil. She is quite the inspiration in her field and in the global trade and development community!" – Lisa Klugiewicz, Deputy Director of Global Chamber Dallas.  

    Her company has been manufacturing and exporting a specialized non toxic head lice shampoo since 2003 and exporting in bulk containers to several large European multinational companies where the formulation is further packaged and private labeled into branded lines of products for use on children. She is a graduate of American University in Washington DC with a major in Primary Education and minor in Biology and Psychology. In 1990 volunteered to work on a humanitarian project in Brazil. While in Brazil she joined a small research team seeking a method to control insects using non toxic compounds and became a co-researcher and coordinator for testing and development of several formulations. She participated in field trials testing non toxic insecticide compounds for use on humans, animals and plants and later applied and obtained 23 national and international patents and multiple trademarks; She later negotiated with a multi national chemical supplier to reformulate and purify a specialized raw material; initiated clinical trials in 4 countries; obtained marketing registration for its head lice shampoo kit in Europe as a Class I Medical Device; developed a working relationship with a research scientist from the University of Bristol in the UK who later became a Board Member and Scientific Advisor for BioSafe  and developed international supply contracts for exporting product to the Netherlands from 2003-2006, France 2007 to present, UK 2011-present.

    Presently, a new contract is under final negotiation in the UK for supply of non toxic flea shampoo and insect repellent for use on animals and humans. BioSafe formed a dba Schooltime Products to develop domestic sales and has been selling a lice line of products under its own branding in the US on Amazon since 2014. Expansion into a domestic chain of stores is expected in early 2017.

    The Grow Globally Fair is a signature event hosted by Global Chamber, and is open for registration! Global Chamber currently has about 90 chapters world-wide that are either active and running, or have an Executive Director in training to launch their chapters. The vision is to expand into 525 metro areas by 2020. Global Chamber® is the only organization in the world with the mission to grow business from anywhere to anywhere while collaborating with every organization. We're a thriving and collaborating community of CEOs, executives and professionals in over 500 metros taking on the world of global business. Our millions of trusted resources, followers and connections in over 5,000 cities support members growing globally by filling in the gaps that happen across borders.

    Other awards to be presented during the Grow Globally Fair 2016 include:

    “Global Leader in Social Impact" Salah Boukadoum, Founder of Good Returns model

    "Global Elected Official of the Year" Mayor of Frisco, Maher Maso

    “Global Educator of the Year” Dr. Simon Mak, Ph.D, SMU's Cox School of Business

    “Global Startup Leader of the Year”  Jason Croft, Jason Croft Video/Marketing

    "Global Service Provider of the Year" Allal Alale, Small Business Administration

    "Global Bankers for Exporters of the Year" BB&T Team

    "Global Exporter of the Year"...  Lynn James-Mayer, CEO of BioSafeTech 

    “Global Attorney of the Year” Kevin Maher, Baker & McKenzie

     

    Lynn James-Meyer

     

  • 12 Oct 2016 by Global Chamber Dallas TX

    "Global Startup Leader of the Year" goes to... Jason Croft of Croft Media

    10 Oct 2016 by Global Chamber Dallas TX

    The Global Chamber® Dallas is pleased to announce that Jason Croft, of Croft Media, will be accepting the "Global Startup Leader of the Year" award at our first annual "Grow Globally Fair" on October 18th, in Dallas, Texas. 

    Jason was nominated by Michael Sitarzweski, publisher of LaunchDFW, and the mastermind behind Dallas Startup Week, which united over 5,000 participants this year. .  “The Startup Community is such an important part of business culture in DFW.  Many startups have a global reach or goals to be global, so we wanted to recognize this significant group and give them resources to be successful internationally" Korina Smith, Executive Director of Global Chamber Dallas says. 

    With 24 years of media and creative marketing experience and a team of seasoned professionals behind him, Jason’s company, Croft Media, specializes in video marketing, corporate events, video production, and expert roundtable discussions. He helps companies drive sales and make more money with video. Jason also produces The Jason Croft Show where he interviews entrepreneurs and  sales and marketing rock stars to discuss cutting edge tactics.

    Jason’s first show, Startup Dallas, gave him the chance to shine a spotlight on this incredible community of startups in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.  Croft produced and hosted 80+ episodes of this interview show that was powered by Magic Production Group.

    The show has given the startups featured a platform to tell their company’s story and share it with the world.  Some of the amazing companies and organizations showcased on Startup Dallas include companies who have gone on to appear (and get funded) on Shark Tank, generate massive year over year growth, and unify this incredible community even further.

    With Startup Dallas and his new show, Jason is simply one of many people in the community shouting from the rooftops what incredible work is being created right here in our area.  Michael Sitarzewski and the site he runs, LaunchDFW.com, for example, is working day in and day out to make sure the world knows about our great startup successes.  The “Launched in DFW” sub-site is the perfect representation of this - http://launchedindfw.com/.

    The Grow Globally Fair is an open event to all who are interested or involved in Global business.  It is hosted by Global Chamber, and is open for registration!  Global Chamber currently has a presence on every continent, and has 90 chapters world-wide that are either active and running, or have an Executive Director in training to launch their chapters. The vision is to expand into 525 metro areas by 2020. Global Chamber® is the only organization in the world with the mission to grow business from anywhere to anywhere while collaborating with every organization. We're a thriving and collaborating community of CEOs, executives and professionals in over 500 metros taking on the world of global business. Our millions of trusted resources, followers and connections in over 5,000 cities support members growing globally by filling in the gaps that happen across borders.

    Other awards to be presented during the Grow Globally Fair 2016 include:

    “Global Leader in Social Impact" Salah Boukadoum, Founder of Good Returns model

    "Global Elected Official of the Year" Mayor of Frisco, Maher Maso

    “Global Educator of the Year” Dr. Simon Mak, Ph.D, SMU's Cox School of Business

    “Global Startup Leader of the Year”  Jason Croft, Jason Croft Video/Marketing

    "Global Service Provider of the Year" Allal Alale, Small Business Administration

    "Global Bankers for Exporters of the Year" BB&T Team

    "Global Exporter of the Year"...  Lynn James-Mayer, CEO of BioSafeTech 

    “Global Attorney of the Year” Kevin Maher, Baker & McKenzie

     

    Jason Croft

    Site 

    http://thejasoncroft.com/

    LinkedIn

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/thejasoncroft

    Twitter 

    @thejasoncroft

    YouTube

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTCCLN-ILay6NVioAkuGImA

  • 11 Oct 2016 by Global Chamber Dallas TX

    "Global Service Provider of the Year" goes to... Alale Allal of the U.S. Small Business Administration

    10 Oct 2016 by Global Chamber Dallas TX

    The Global Chamber® Dallas is pleased to announce that Alale Allal,Export Trade Finance Manager for the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of International Trade, will be accepting the "Global Service Provider of the Year" award at our first annual "Grow Globally Fair" on October 18th, in Dallas, Texas. 

    Alale was nominated by Global Chamber Dallas Advisory Board member, Ben Clumeck.  “I'm so glad the Ben nominated Alale.  He's committed to helping exporters grow and recently helped with a new grant program that is giving out $1.2Million to exporters in Texas to improve their businesses. He deserves to be acknowledged for his role in facilitating global trade." Korina Smith, Executive Director of Global Chamber Dallas says. 

    Alale is the Regional Export Trade Finance Manager for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of International Trade, covering most of Texas and all of Oklahoma.  Alale oversees the daily demands of both, lenders and small businesses for these markets.  The SBA provides a number of loan programs specifically designed to help develop or expand trade and export activities.  He is responsible for responding to export finance issues and for also being proactive in providing lender and small business training.  Alale has been in the financial services industry for 15 years.  He started his career at Wells Fargo Bank and was a Commercial lender for most of his time there.  He later joined Citigroup in Dallas as a Market Director with responsibilities for the Dallas and Houston Business Banking Commercial Team.  Alale received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and minored in Computer Science from Sam Houston State University.  Alale also earned his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Leadership and Management from Sam Houston State University.  Alale lives in Dallas and is involved in many local community organizations.  He enjoys spending time with family and friends.   

    The Grow Globally Fair is a signature event hosted by Global Chamber, and is open for registration! Global Chamber currently has about 90 chapters world-wide that are either active and running, or have an Executive Director in training to launch their chapters. The vision is to expand into 525 metro areas by 2020. Global Chamber® is the only organization in the world with the mission to grow business from anywhere to anywhere while collaborating with every organization. We're a thriving and collaborating community of CEOs, executives and professionals in over 500 metros taking on the world of global business. Our millions of trusted resources, followers and connections in over 5,000 cities support members growing globally by filling in the gaps that happen across borders.

    Other awards to be presented during the Grow Globally Fair 2016 include:

    “Global Leader in Social Impact" Salah Boukadoum, Founder of Good Returns model

    "Global Elected Official of the Year" Mayor of Frisco, Maher Maso

    “Global Educator of the Year” Dr. Simon Mak, Ph.D, SMU's Cox School of Business

    “Global Startup Leader of the Year”  Jason Croft, Jason Croft Video/Marketing

    "Global Service Provider of the Year" Allal Alale, Small Business Administration

    "Global Bankers for Exporters of the Year" BB&T Team

    "Global Exporter of the Year"...  Lynn James-Mayer, CEO of BioSafeTech 

    “Global Attorney of the Year” Kevin Maher, Baker & McKenzie

     

    Alale Allal

  • 10 Oct 2016 by Global Chamber Dallas TX
    • "Global Elected Official of the Year" goes to... Maher Maso, Mayor of Frisco!

      10 Oct 2016 by Global Chamber Dallas TX

      The Global Chamber® Dallas is pleased to announce that Maher Maso, Mayor of Frisco, will be accepting the "Global Attorney of the Year" award at our first annual "Grow Globally Fair" on October 18th, in Dallas, Texas. 

      Mr. Maso was nominated by Global Chamber Dallas Advisory Board member, Ben Clumeck.  “Frisco is at the forefront of one of the largest growing cities in Texas history.  Mayor Maso has led the initiative and is passionate about making the region more successful through foreign direct investment and international trade", Ben says.  Ben is the President at Uber Trade Credit, LLC.

       

      Maher Maso has been a proud citizen of Frisco since moving there in 1992. Maher serves on the Board of Directors and is the Vice President of the retail services firm Maso, Inc., and the investment firm CMTEX Corp. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the technology company Network Cybernetics Corporation.

      Maher, an Orthodox Christian, is committed to making a difference in our community. He was first elected to public office as a member of Frisco City Council in 2000 and was re-elected in 2002 and 2004. He was the longest serving Mayor Pro Tem in Frisco, appointed by his colleagues 5 times from 2003 to 2007.

      Maher was honored to be chosen as the Frisco Citizen of the Year in 2005. He was also selected as one of 21 people for 21st Century leaders in 2004, which is given to Collin County leaders who have demonstrated leadership in varied fields in the new millennium. Maher is the father of 3 children.

      The Grow Globally Fair is a signature event hosted by Global Chamber, and is open for registration! Global Chamber currently has about 90 chapters world-wide that are either active and running, or have an Executive Director in training to launch their chapters. The vision is to expand into 525 metro areas by 2020. Global Chamber® is the only organization in the world with the mission to grow business from anywhere to anywhere while collaborating with every organization. We're a thriving and collaborating community of CEOs, executives and professionals in over 500 metros taking on the world of global business. Our millions of trusted resources, followers and connections in over 5,000 cities support members growing globally by filling in the gaps that happen across borders.

      Other awards to be presented during the Grow Globally Fair 2016 include:

      “Global Leader in Social Impact" Salah Boukadoum, Founder of Good Returns model

      "Global Elected Official of the Year" Mayor of Frisco, Maher Maso

      “Global Educator of the Year” Dr. Simon Mak, Ph.D, SMU's Cox School of Business

      “Global Startup Leader of the Year”  Jason Croft, Jason Croft Video/Marketing

      "Global Service Provider of the Year" Allal Alale, Small Business Administration

      "Global Bankers for Exporters of the Year" BB&T Team

      "Global Exporter of the Year"... Lynn James-Mayer, BioSafeTech 

      “Global Attorney of the Year” Kevin Maher, Baker & McKenzie

       

     

  • 07 Oct 2016 by Global Chamber Dallas TX

    "Global Attorney of the Year" goes to... Kevin E. Maher of Baker & McKenzie LLP

    07 Oct 2016 by Global Chamber Dallas TX

    The Global Chamber® Dallas is pleased to announce that Kevin E. Maher will be accepting the "Global Attorney of the Year" award at our first annual "Grow Globally Fair" on October 18th, in Dallas, Texas. 

    Mr. Maher was nominated by his colleagues at Baker & McKenzie, Natalie Alhonte Braga and Mike Santa Maria

    “As soon as I learned about the work Kevin did, I knew it was important to recognize him.  Kevin’s work of helping businesses expand into new international markets is the epitome of what we do at Global Chamber” Korina Smith, Executive Director of Global Chamber Dallas.

    The Grow Globally Fair is a signature event hosted by Global Chamber, and is open for registration! Global Chamber currently has about 90 chapters world-wide that are either active and running, or have an Executive Director in training to launch their chapters. The vision is to expand into 525 metro areas by 2020. Global Chamber® is the only organization in the world with the mission to grow business from anywhere to anywhere while collaborating with every organization. We're a thriving and collaborating community of CEOs, executives and professionals in over 500 metros taking on the world of global business. Our millions of trusted resources, followers and connections in over 5,000 cities support members growing globally by filling in the gaps that happen across borders.

    Kevin has a broad-based business-transactional practice focusing on complex cross-border corporate and commercial contract matters, with a strong emphasis on global brand expansion and international business growth. His experience extends to cross-border joint venture transactions, international franchising, licensing and distribution transactions, international mergers and acquisitions, international regulatory compliance, multi-jurisdictional corporate reorganizations, international corporate formation and maintenance and international real estate and finance.

    Mr. Maher routinely advises and counsels clients in various industries with respect to the myriad challenges and opportunities presented by expanding, acquiring, selling, financing, franchising and licensing brands and businesses on an international level. Mr. Maher has been named as a Leading Lawyer by Who's Who Legal: Franchise, 2016. He graduated cum laude from University of Dallas and summa cum laude from the Texas Tech University.  He also speaks Spanish.

     

    Kevin Maher

     

  • 06 Oct 2016 by Global Chamber Dallas TX

    Global Chamber Dallas is pleased to announce that Dr. Simon Mak, Ph.D. will be accepting the "Global Educator of the Year" award at our first annual "Grow Globally Fair" on October 18th, in Dallas, Texas.  

    "I first met Dr. Mak at our Global Chamber Dallas launch event back in December, 2015.  I was immediately inspired by his love for teaching others.  He was about to lead a group of students to Switzerland, and was focused on teaching students to be entrepreneurs abroad.  I am thrilled that we get to highlight his work." - Korina Smith, Executive Director of Global Chamber Dallas. 

    The  Grow Globally Fair is a signature event hosted by Global Chamber that has been a huge success in Phoenix for several years.  Phoenix is home to the Global Chamber headquarters.  Global Chamber currently has about 90 chapters world-wide that are either active and running, or have an Executive Director in training to launch their chapters.  The vision is to expand into 525 metro areas by 2020.  Global Chamber® is the only organization in the world with the mission to grow business from anywhere to anywhere while collaborating with every organization. We're a thriving and collaborating community of CEOs, executives and professionals in over 500 metros taking on the world of global business. Our millions of trusted resources, followers and connections in over 5,000 cities support members growing globally by filling in the gaps that happen across borders.

    Dr. Simon Mak is Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship in the Department of Strategy, Entrepreneurship, and Business Economics and the Associate Director of the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship at the SMU Cox School of Business. He specializes in business model strategies, lean launch, startup business planning, and implementing innovation and entrepreneurial growth strategies within established organizations.

    Dr. Mak recently launched overseas educational travel tours (Israel and Switzerland) with his MBA entrepreneurship students to learn more about the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, and will begin teaching an SMU entrepreneurship course in London in the summer of 2017.

    Prior to joining SMU, Dr. Mak worked in engineering, manufacturing, sales and marketing for Fortune 500 companies Raytheon and Digital Equipment Corporation, and then joined a venture capital-backed software start-up Mercury Interactive in Silicon Valley that went IPO. He was involved in his own health-related dot.com startup and presented to top-tier venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, and then was the vice president of sales and marketing for a startup business magazine, and most recently he was vice president of marketing and business development for a small, private-equity backed software company in Dallas and led the sales expansion into the Japanese market and the eventual company sale to a large Japanese systems integration company.

    Dr. Mak earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, an MBA in Finance from the SMU Cox School of Business, and a Ph.D. in Applied Science (Systems Engineering focus) from the SMU Lyle School of Engineering.

    Dr. Simon Mak, Ph.D.

  • 05 Oct 2016

    UT Arlington’s Executive MBA Program

    Kim Carlson, a Global Chamber Advisory Board member and international trade attorney with Gardere in the Dallas Chapter, sat down with Chamber member John Laudenslager to discuss University of Texas, Arlington’s Executive MBA program. 

    Kim:  John, can you first help me understand the difference between a traditional MBA program versus an Executive MBA program?

    John:  The primary difference is the target audience.  If you go into a traditional MBA program, the student profile is going to be more of mid to late twenties on average, typically just a few years of professional experience.  Generally they have very little, if any, management experience, maybe some frontline managers.  So they’re really still pretty early in their career and they are still developing their technical expertise, whatever functional area that might be in.  So in the traditional MBA, it is a lot more of your traditional lecture – note taking – test, lecture – note taking – test.  Very academic.  And it’s a deep dive into the technical rigors of business analysis and decision making.  Really about the tools that are available.  You’re going to get a really big toolkit of things to help make smart business decisions even with complex information.  So that’s a traditional MBA.

    Now if you go to an Executive MBA program, your average class profile is going to be folks in their 30s and 40s.  The national average age is 37.  Our program is nearly 39 year old average, so a little more mature than the national average.  Typically our students have 10 plus years of some type of management or leadership experience and typically over 16 years professional experience.  So when you get a group like that into a classroom, it is very different from the traditional academic classroom dynamic where the professor is just spoonfeeding you information.  In an Executive MBA program, of course there are faculty and they do present academic theories and the models, but really that is to lay the groundwork for a collaborative discussion with the students.  And so what happens in an Executive MBA program is that traditional lecture – note taking format is really bent substantially towards lecture – classroom discussion, and then there is an awful lot of team-based exercises as well. 

    It is a cohort program.  In our program we change the teams for each class.  We very intentionally change it up because we want to have everyone work with everybody else in the room at least once.  That is part of the professional development.  That is learning to work with different types of people … all the different personalities.  You get a lot of strong personalities in an Executive MBA.  Folks getting an Executive MBA are typically very career-driven.  They are there because they want to be there.  They’re there to learn and sure, it’s for their career, but it’s much more about the learning. 

    Kim:  So they can take it back and apply it.

    John:  Exactly.  And that’s how it works because you’re learning in the classroom from different people in different industries in different roles.  You learn how their business model solution can be applied to a business problem you have that might be a completely different business model, completely different industry.  But you can pick and borrow from the other students in the classroom so you really have a classroom of consultants.  That’s where the huge value is of an Executive MBA because you go through a cohort with people over a 15 month period, spend two weeks in China with them,  you’re going to learn a lot about what everybody’s strengths are and what they do.

    Kim:  And you have that network when you graduate.

    John:  You have that network the rest of your life so when you have got a business problem, an IT problem, you go, “Oh man, I remember Rick, he is a real whiz-bang CIO over at XYZ Company, I’ll bet he can give me some recommendations.”  And you call him up, maybe take him to lunch, meet him for a couple of drinks, and boom, you know, you may have just saved yourself 60-70 thousand dollars in consulting fees.  And so that’s where the value really comes in. 

    Kim:  Once I’ve decided on an Executive MBA program over a traditional program, what are my choices in the area?

    John:  If you look at the AACSB accredited programs (and that is the gold standard) in the area, you essentially have two public schools and three private schools to choose from.  And they are all good programs.  They all have the same accreditation.  Those programs include UT Arlington, our sister school UT Dallas, Baylor, SMU (Southern Methodist University) and TCU (Texas Christian University). 

    Kim:  What sets UT Arlington apart from these other programs?

    John:  There are 3 factors that really make us unique:  our price point, our schedule, and our China program.  Private schools, like SMU, are priced very high.  It’s a great school but it’s a $130,000 degree.  That’s a mortgage.  From our perspective, that begins to make the return on investment equation very challenging.  That’s a huge up-front investment.  TCU, over in Fort Worth, is right at $100,000, a very similar school.  Good reputation.  Good academics.  Good faculty.  Still, six figures about.  That’s a hard return on investment equation.  Unless you’re looking out 15-20 years, that’s just a really big investment.  The others come in at different stages between there and our program pricing.  We’re the sort of program that is very focused.  We are not trying to be any type of a specialized program, with the exception of our China program.  As a 15 month program and being very focused, we were able to shave a semester off what most programs are running so we’re a four semester 15 month program, compared to a typical Executive MBA, which runs 22-24 months.   

    Kim:  Tell me about your schedule.

    John:  We meet from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and then 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. the following Saturday but it’s only two weekends per month, so it’s alternating weekends over a 15 month span.  It’s typically straight through.  Starting at 1 p.m. is a big deal for students.  It means only 8 hours per month out of the workplace.  It allows folks to go to the office for Friday morning meetings and still be there for class.  It means folks can commute in from other areas.  We’ve got folks from Austin, El Paso, and Oklahoma.  Sometimes teams will meet on campus in the morning before class.  That flexibility is pretty high value. 

    Kim:  I understand that a Graduate Certificate in Asian Business Studies is included in the UT Arlington Executive MBA program.  How did that come about?

    John:  China is probably the most unique aspect of our program.  In 2001, the College of Business at UT Arlington was taking a hard look at their budget due to funding cuts.  We had a very for-thinking Dean and we actually launched an Executive MBA program in mainland China.  He saw the opportunity.  They were growing and westernizing at an extremely fast pace.  And the demand for western education was very high because the Chinese people, they aspire to be educated by a western institution.  It has a much higher value than a Chinese institution.  So we were a first mover into that market and we were very successful right off the bat.  We established some strong partnerships with some local universities. 

    Kim:  And it has western teachers?

    John:  Absolutely.  Our teachers fly over there and they teach an entire 3 credit hour class in four straight days.  It’s a pretty brutal schedule for the faculty - they teach a class in China, and they’ll come back here and pick up their regular teaching schedule here.  Having been there for that long, it’s the largest program of its kind of any U.S. institution and it’s really a best kept secret in the DFW area.  There is no other school in the country that can deliver the immersion experience we offer our students as part of the program.  Our students, in their fourth semester, spend two weeks doing a China immersion.  It’s included as part of the program.  We absolutely leverage our network on the ground.  We have thousands of very well placed Chinese alumni.  The Chinese are a very different culture than us.  Educators are revered.  So when our faculty go over there, they’re treated like rock stars.  Students will come up at the end of class and ask the professor to sign their book literally.  So it’s very different.  And they’re honored and thrilled when we show up every year and bring our students. 

    Kim:  Where do you go in China?

    John:  We typically go through at least three cities.  The program has been delivered in several cities throughout China for years and Taiwan at one point.  We go through the main Chinese functional areas, business areas, of Shanghai being the financial capital, Beijing being the cultural and governmental capital, and Shenzhen down in south China which is across from Hong Kong, and that’s the manufacturing capital.  So in each of those cities we have an alumni network that hosts us and our class gets to network with them and gets to meet a lot of the students and alumni. 

    But even more importantly, our alumni give us access to their businesses and the companies they run.  We see everything from independently owned entrepreneurs that have pretty small manufacturing companies to major manufacturers.  Last year we went to the company that makes TCL TVs, which is a Chinese smart flat screen TV that just came to the market a couple years ago.  I’ve noticed it in the market because it’s the only one that has Roku built into it, the streaming service.  So I had noticed it because I was kind of shopping for TVs and I was like yeah I just don’t know the brand so I’m not sure but then we go to Shenzhen and go to their manufacturing plant.  It’s extremely high tech, very high tech manufacturing, and they’re a major operation so that’s a very interesting thing to see.  It very much puts things into perspective on how far reaching the tentacles of impact are that China has. 

    In the world economic dynamic, there is no more influential power right now than what is happening in China.  Just the simple demographics of China are creating markets that never existed.  Huge markets.  A lot of U.S. companies want to get a piece of that pie.  But if they go in thinking they can do what they’ve done here and be successful, they typically come home with their tails between their legs.  It can be a pretty expensive failure.  So our students get this incredible immersion.  They see these different business models.  They learn the business culture.  They learn the culture itself, the interpersonal culture.  They see everything from these entrepreneurships to major manufacturing all the way up to state owned enterprises. 

    The state owned enterprises are probably the most interesting because they’re, as you might imagine, very conservative.  When you walk in, it’s like walking into the UN or the politburo.  It’s a 30 foot conference table with name placards at each seating and microphones and they’re all on one side and we’re all on the other side and they’re all in dark blue suits and ties.  Once everyone is seated, these young women come around and serve you green tea.  That’s part of their tradition.  A lot of these aren’t fully state owned anymore.  The government has divested quite a bit of the ownership of many of these major organizations.  It’s kind of like a quasi-state owned enterprise because they can be publicly traded yet still majority owned by the government.  It’s very interesting to see these business models because it’s completely unlike anything we know in the U.S. 

    Kim:  This focus on China makes your program unique.

    John:  Having that as a feature, an asset, of our program, it’s unrivaled.  No other school can duplicate that so it’s a very strong competitive advantage.  There are some other schools in the area that used to go to China and they all pretty much gave up.  We own it.  They ceded China to us and they are in different places now because if somebody really wants to understand the Chinese market and culture and how to do business there, there’s no better program than ours.  Our students, when they graduate, they not only graduate with an Executive MBA diploma, they get a Graduate Certificate in Asian Business Studies.  That validates the competitive advantage and the learning that goes on.  The program curriculum is based on three pillars.  Leadership – leadership development.  How to build high productive work groups.  Innovation – tying into leadership.  How do you create and foster a positive environment for innovation because there’s risk that goes along with innovation so you have to accept a certain amount of risk and encourage your employees to do that.  It doesn’t just happen automatically.  It’s really something you have to work for and an environment you have to create.  That last pillar is globalization and the globalized business environment.  Other schools will touch on leadership, probably almost all of them.  Innovation is very commonly discussed now in business circles.

    Kim – And does innovation tie into the strategic thinking?

    John – Absolutely.  The globalization component, when you accept the fact that the biggest dynamic impacting the world economy is China, which it is, by many measures the Chinese economy has already outgrown the U.S. economy and there’s no way that it won’t continue to do so simply because of demographics.  Even slowing down to a relatively slow growth rate for them of 6% after years of 15%, which just was unsustainable.  The 6-7% growth rate is probably a sustainable growth rate for them and we’re growing, if we’re lucky, at 3%.  We’re a very mature economy.  They’re very adolescent and have lots of headroom for growth and a burgeoning middle class.  Our middle class is actually shrinking.  Theirs is exploding.  When you think about all that buying power that’s going to go along with that where you have city populations of 24 million.  I think New York City is 8 million.  Then you look at Shanghai, it’s three times New York.  24 million people and it’s not as compressed as you might think.  You walk down streets in Shanghai and if there weren’t the mandarin Chinese letters, and all the Chinese people walking around, you’d think it could be New York or London or any other major metropolitan city. 

    Kim:  What do you like about being a member of the Global Chamber? 

    John:  I came across the Global Chamber earlier this year and it was actually in conversations with a prospective student who had just joined the Global Chamber.  I explained to this young woman about our program and what makes us unique and she’s like, “Have you heard of the Global Chamber of Commerce?”  Once we learned about the unique aspects of our programs, it only made sense for us to partner together in some specific areas.  They’re focused on global business.  We’re focused on the global business environment.  We’re in the DFW metroplex, which is one of the hottest places in the country right now for job growth.  I think it’s probably the best place in the country to live right now.  With the Global Chamber coming here and us being established here, and globalization being a focus of both of us, it only made sense to partner. 

     

  • 05 Oct 2016

    I’m not surprised that our Global Chamber® Dallas event entitled “Women in Global Business” earlier this year has been our most popular event to date. I have the impression that many men are just as supportive and enthusiastic to see women thriving as global business leaders as their female counterparts. So it was interesting to see the recent “Women in Global Leadership” event by Global Chamber® Phoenix with eight dynamic women speakers, including moderator Jaime Daddona of Squire Patton Boggs, draw almost a hundred women attendees. The five men who attended this event were highly appreciated and were rewarded with great information valuable to them as well as to the women in the room.

    At the Dallas event, I remember the energy and laughter that filled the room as our powerhouse female panelists (including Suzy Batiz of PooPourri, Sarah Wilshaw of Consul General of Canada, Gemma Descoteaux of Polsinelli and Diane Divin previously of Mary Kay) told extraordinary stories about their global business experiences. They included some tough examples, like when some men refused to address them, or preferred to speak to their husbands in business transactions. And some of these examples are current.

    As a woman, I naturally support the success of other women. What really touches me, however, is seeing men who are just as strong of an advocate for the equality of women as any woman would be. In my experience, it takes a certain dose of humility to acknowledge the strengths of others, especially if the other person could be perceived as a competitor or a threat. I’ve met many men who aren’t being influenced by emotion, but know through their own experience and through studies that women often thrive in leadership. I’m continuously inspired by the “Good Returns" model here in Dallas, a social impact investment firm founded and led by men, which uses capital from business profits and donations to invest in micro loans for impoverished women who want to start businesses. This isn’t because impoverished men don’t have great business ideas, but statistics show that women invest back into their families and communities more frequently per capita than men do.

    The culture of Global Chamber sets a great example for other businesses. The team at our headquarters in Phoenix consists of a staff that is more than half female. Our founder and CEO, Doug Bruhnke, is an advocate for women, and he has brought on many women to the key executive director roles around the world, including me! We’re each leading our respective metro areas to prosperity around the world — from Dallas to New York City and London, to Nairobi and Islamabad, and back again to the U.S. That model is working for us.

    Many men are just fine with seeing women thrive as the natural leaders they are and can be. As women make progress in leadership roles in international business, I acknowledge the men who support us, recognize our strengths and want to see us thrive. Together we are stronger and more successful globally!

    Korina Smith is the Executive Director at Global Chamber® Dallas

    See article from inBusiness Magazine- Greater Phoenix HERE.