Classmates, colleagues, and faculty come together to celebrate tenth anniversary of Executive MBA program.

From left, co-founders of the college’s Executive MBA program, former management professor Sherry Moss and Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam, along with long-time program manager Steve Beste

More than 120 alumni, students, faculty, staff, and advisory board members gathered on April 14, 2007, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the College of Business Administration’s Executive MBA (EMBA) program. The dinner event was held at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami and was sponsored in part by Caterpillar Inc., AT&T, and Ryder System, Inc.

“The EMBA anniversary celebration not only marked an important milestone for the college but also provided our students and alumni with an excellent opportunity to renew friendships and to network with classmates, EMBA colleagues, and faculty,” said Sarah Perez, director of both the Executive MBA and Professional MBA programs. “We also took the time to thank those who have contributed so much to the growth and success of our EMBA program. And we raised a toast to the recent rankings by the Financial Times, which put us among the top 85 Executive MBAs in the world and best in Florida.”

One highlight of the event: the presentation given by guest speaker Stephen Lundin, author of Fish! A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results and Top Performer: A Bold Approach to Sales and Service. Lundin’s lively talk explored sales lessons to be learned from street performers’ ability to connect with their audiences.

Current program manager for the Executive MBA and Professional MBA programs Sarah Perez

Awards recognize ongoing contributions of EMBA alumni and faculty.

A number of special awards were handed out during the EMBA anniversary event.

Eduardo Marti (EMBA ’04) and Juan Plaza (EMBA ’04) received certificates of appreciation for their continuing support and for sharing their experiences at the information sessions held for prospective students.

Albert Santalo (EMBA ’97), member of the first EMBA class and founder, president, and CEO of Avisena, a Miami-based business supporting the office, billing, and collections side of health care organizations, was recognized for his company’s ongoing commitment to the program, best demonstrated by student sponsorships.

“Going through the EMBA program was a life-changing event for me—one that provided me with the core knowledge and skills that have enabled me to move ahead with my career and to start my own company.”
Albert Santalo (EMBA ’97), founder, president, CEO, Avisena, Inc.

Executive Dean Joyce J. Elam and alumnus of the first Executive MBA class Albert Santalo (EMBA ’97), founder, president, and CEO, Avisena, Inc.

“Going through the EMBA program was a life-changing event for me—one that provided me with the core knowledge and skills that have enabled me to move ahead with my career and to start my own company,” Santalo said. “I am pleased to offer my support and help whenever I can.”

José de la Torre, dean of the Chapman School, recognized several faculty members for their commitment to the EMBA program, including Christos Koulamas, chair, Department of Decision Sciences and Information Systems; Sumit Kundu, current EMBA program faculty director and associate professor, Department of Management and International Business; Clark Wheatley, associate professor, and John Wrieden, lecturer, School of Accounting; and John Zdanowicz, professor, Department of Finance.

In addition, Joyce J. Elam, executive dean, presented the Brian Frasier Scholarship to current student Juan Francisco Lopez, slated to graduate from the EMBA program in 2008. Established in honor of Frasier, a deceased member of the EMBA class of 1997, the scholarship is to be used for Lopez’s upcoming international trip.

To cap off the evening, program alumni, faculty, and staff presented a special award to Elam in appreciation of her leadership, vision, and initiative in founding and continuing to guide the EMBA program.

“We give her immense credit for the amazing job she has done for the business school and for the EMBA program in particular,” Santalo said.

To learn more about the EMBA program, visit

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