In February and March 2009, hundreds of people heard dozens of speakers address pressing challenges and significant opportunities in entrepreneurship, small businesses, international business, energy, and financial services—among other topics—thanks to a variety of seminars, lectures, and forums organized by the College of Business Administration and co-sponsors. Here’s a recap of four of them.
Entrepreneurs communicate secrets of success.
The Small Business Forum’s “Thriving in a Challenging Economy” drew about 300 people to FIU for an event sponsored by the college, the Eugenio Pino and Family Global Entrepreneurship Center, The Miami Herald, and the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE).
The daylong event of speakers and panels was enthusiastically received, including by the sponsors.
“Our community relies on small businesses and The Miami Herald is committed to providing small business owners with the resources they need to succeed,” said Christina Gomez-Pina, The Miami Herald’s marketing and events director. “Small business owners find the networking and information presented at these events refreshing and motivating. At the same time, this seminar gave us a chance to meet the business owners and help them identify the many challenges and risks all small business owners are facing today.”
Monique Catoggio (EMBA ’03), the college’s director of advancement and alumni relations, sees the seminar as just the first of many initiatives that will emerge from the relationships.
“The college was thrilled with the fruition of this project,” she said. “We had met with The Miami Herald on numerous occasions to align our efforts in entrepreneurship and other strategic areas. This was just one of the outcomes of our discussions. We also were pleased to work with NFTE on this event, as we understand the importance of teaching entrepreneurship skills as early as possible.”
Wertheim Lecture considers international trade.
According to Commissioner Natacha Seijas, District 13, Miami-Dade County Commissioners Office and chair, International Trade Consortium (ITC), trade at the Port of Miami and the Miami International Airport contributed to a trade growth of 14 percent over last year for the Miami Customs District, and a record-breaking trade surplus of $19.6 million.
The statistics were part of her talk, “The Role of International Trade in Miami-Dade County,” a Wertheim Lecture presented on February 27, 2009. The Herbert A. Wertheim Lecture Series has brought distinguished speakers and experts in business leadership and entrepreneurship to campus since 1993.
Among the fifty guests were Tony Ojeda and Ricardo Bran from the Jay Malina International Trade Consortium; Joyce J. Elam, executive dean; Modesto Maidique, FIU president; marketing students; and students in the Organization and Management course.
“I saw how impressed the students were with Seijas’s desire to come to the university to speak to them about international business and trade,” said Annabelle Rojas (MBA ’98, BBA ’87), assistant dean, advancement, alumni, and corporate relations.
Energy Business Forum looks at carbon reduction.
On March 13, 2009, 105 people attended “A Low-Carbon, Alternative Fuels Future,” a daylong conference of the Miami European Union Center of Excellence and the Energy Business Forum at FIU. Among the attendees were general consuls from France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Panelists from around the world shed light on public and private sector efforts to rein in carbon emissions.
Ed Glab, the Energy Business Forum co-director and director, Knight Ridder Center for Excellence in Management, set out some of the challenges in his remarks titled “Challenges to a Low Carbon, Alternative Fuels Future: Can They be Successfully Met?”
“The key question in my mind is whether or not a low-carbon future really awaits us, and how important a role, in terms of total energy demand, are alternative, cleaner burning fuels likely to play,” he said, before reviewing some of the data “as a kind of reality check of where we stand today in terms of the challenge we all face in achieving a clean fuels future.”
Consumer Banking Conference focuses on The Americas.
“Promoting Financial Stability in The Americas through Access to Banking” commanded the attention of 119 attendees throughout a full day of panels on March 18, 2009. Joyce J. Elam, executive dean, and Juan Sanchez, vice president and community affairs officer, Federal Reserve Bank-Atlanta welcomed the guests, who then heard fifteen experts discuss emerging market profiles; the role of financial education; product innovation: consumer protection versus consumer empowerment; business development models and products; and identifying gaps and how to address them.
“We have a close relationship with FIU,” said Ana Cruz-Taura (MBA ’94), regional community development director, FRB of Atlanta, Miami Branch. “Through our Americas Center, which we launched in 2005, we support financial institutions that provide services in Latin America and the Caribbean where a high percentage of the poor and rural population suffers from a systemic lack of access to financial services. Having the conference at FIU, with its focus on The Americas and on financial services, seemed like an ideal setting.”
The college’s Department of Advancement, Alumni, and Corporate Relations helped coordinate the event, and Emmanuel Roussakis, Department of Finance and Real Estate, served as one of the moderators.