As a graduate of the first Executive MBA class, Robert Garcia (EMBA ’97) is no stranger to the College of Business Administration.
“I’m very familiar with what Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam, and Dean of the Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Graduate School of Business José de la Torre, have done to transform the college,” Garcia said. “Also, when I was working in human resources (HR), I sent some of my direct reports to certification programs in what was then called the Office of Professional Education, so I have long been aware of the caliber of the programs the college offers.”
Now, he’ll have a chance to make his own contribution to the college as the newly-appointed director of the renamed office of Executive and Professional Education (EPE). During his distinguished career, he has developed corporate and executive management programs and sees the opportunity with EPE as a natural extension of his corporate experience. And though he just started in the position in early May 6, 2006, this former senior vice president of global accounts at Lee Hecht Harrison already has been actively engaged with faculty and an outreach effort to the business community.
Establishing short- and long-term goals is Garcia’s priority.
“EPE’s goal is to provide the business community with top-notch professional and executive education,” he said. “To ensure that we continue to do so, I am meeting with all faculty members who create content and facilitate our programs to evaluate what we are doing currently and to hear their many ideas about ways to expand and develop new programs. I’m also soliciting input from all department chairs.”
In addition, Garcia has been meeting with business people to identify ways in which EPE can develop courses to meet—or exceed—their requirements. One area in which he sees many possibilities is in customized programs.
“There are national programs, but I think there is a great need for high-quality education offered locally for executive teams to help them become more productive and effective,” he said. “Given that South Florida is headquarters for regional offices to more than 750 multinationals, that our faculty has extensive international experience, and that we have an extraordinary network of partners in the region, we are particularly well-placed to offer regional solutions to management development needs and to help multinationals diagnose and implement organizational changes in their regional operations.”
Garcia boasts a wide-ranging background.
“Garcia brings a wealth of experience in the fields of sales and marketing, operations, human resources, training and development, leadership consulting, health care administration, and diversity,” Elam said. “He has worked with executive teams in the international banking, financial services, automotive, pharmaceutical, hospitality, medical, and transportation/logistics industries, and he is tenacious in securing customer loyalty and forging strong relationships with business partners throughout the United States, Latin America, and Europe.”
Garcia is interested in hearing from members of the local business community.
“If someone has suggestions, or requirements for a course, I hope he or she will contact me at 305-348-1144 or at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can arrange a personal meeting,” he said.