Clark Gregor – Opus Magnum
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Clark Gregor

FTMBA, Local business, Newsroom, OCB Alumni, Student Life

New Mayo Innovation Scholars Named

In the Mayo Innovation Scholars Program, a select group of Minnesota students has the chance to participate in an extraordinary internship that places it at the intersection of science, business, medicine and ethics for five months of one academic year.

Every day, Mayo inventors share ideas with the Mayo Clinic Ventures office, and the full development of these ideas a challenge. This is where the Mayo Innovation Scholars come in.  Twelve teams made up of two undergraduate science students and two business students are each led by MBA students. These team leaders were responsible for overseeing the undergraduate teams, which includes ensuring the delivery of the project requirements, setting milestone goals, providing technical assistance, communicating with all stakeholders, and assisting with the final paper and presentation delivery.

In 2013, five of the 12 teams were led by then second-year UST MBA students, including Samantha Majkowski, Daniel Kolar, Karen Satterlie, Abbey Pieper and Boubakar Jalloh. UST MBA class of 2014 students Nana Yaa Dodi, Brianne Hamm, Sheng Lee Tomar and Pleasant Radford have been named Mayo Innovation Scholars team leaders for 2014.

Read more about Mayo Innovation Scholars Program in the Fall 2013 edition of B. Magazine, just out.

Entrepreneurship, Events, Newsroom

The Most Influential Fast Company Articles in the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship

The Social Lights Co-Founder & CEO Martha McCarthy reads Fast Company cover-to-cover.

The Social Lights Co-Founder & CEO Martha McCarthy reads Fast Company cover-to-cover.

Have you seen the annual list of the “Most Creative People in Business” or learned something interesting from a “30 Second MBA” video? Those are two notable features from Fast Company, introduced under the direction of its editor, Robert Safian. Please join us as we welcome Safian to the Opus College of Business as our 2013 Opus Distinguished Speaker, Thursday, November 14.

Fast Company has garnered a reputation for highlighting the “new” in business while honoring the “tried and true.” By presenting stories of the people behind innovative business thinking, the magazine gives hope to millions of workers, entrepreneurs and leaders that meaningful change is possible. Entrepreneurs in the Schulze School Lab often turn to the magazine for ideas, inspiration and guidance. We asked them and the entrepreneurship faculty to share some of their favorite Fast Company articles. Continue Reading

Entrepreneurship, Newsroom, OCB Commentary

3 Paths to Make It As An Entrepreneur

UST Photo by M JensenAnyone can opt to be an entrepreneur, but the real question is who will be successful.  At BeamPines we assessed many executives who, even when they were at the general manager level or higher, dreamed of leaving and running their own business. However, when given the opportunity, 90% of these executives opted instead to return to corporate life. Why? Since many of these executives had spouses, mortgages and children ready to enter or already in college, they worried about risk. So given an offer to take a high level job back in corporate with a good compensation package vs. the uncertainty of finding the right entrepreneurial opportunity, they usually chose the former.

The most famous entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg are unique. Brilliant, impatient and impervious to risk, they can’t even wait to graduate college before getting started. One of our clients, Bob Stiller of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, failed out of Syracuse twice before starting Easy Wider which became a big hit with people wanting to roll their own cigarettes. Once he sold this business, he took his profits and moved to Vermont where in 1981 he opened up a small cafe in Waitsfield, roasting and serving coffee. It was so good, demand for the coffee grew and local restaurants and inns asked to be supplied and Green Mountain Coffee came about. Doing very well, in 2006 he came up with the brilliant but risky idea to purchase Keurig, a manufacturer of single cup pods of coffee (the K cup). This gave GMCR a niche which enabled brought the company to new levels of success. The company’s stock is up 200% this year.

However, most executives don’t have the one “great idea.” To become successful entrepreneurs they need to either buy or start a business. They also need luck and the right timing. Here are three paths you might consider. Continue Reading

Events, leadership, Local business, Newsroom, real estate

She Paved the way for Women in Commercial Real Estate

Helen Brooks. Photo by David Sherman

Helen Brooks. Photo by David Sherman

As one of the first female leaders in the Twin Cities real estate community, Helen Brooks paved the way for women in commercial real estate.

When she first embarked on a career in commercial real estate, finding a company that would take a chance on hiring a woman was a challenge. At that time, women simply were not in the industry. Brooks got her feet wet at Premiere Realty when they hired her in 1965. She spent four years at the company before venturing out on her own and founding Brokers’ Exchange in 1969. After working for nine years on many successful deals with clients such as Pizza Hut, White Castle and McDonald’s, Bill Reiling and Fred Lamb of Towle Real Estate offered her a position. Brooks quickly became known industry-wide as “that woman at Towle,” successfully working with many satisfied clients while representing the industry exceptionally well.

Brooks is one of five inductees in The Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame this year. Leonard Bisanz (1918 – 2002), Thomas Crowley, M.A. Mortenson, Sr. (1905 – 1986) and Kenneth Stensby (1940 – 2013) will also be inducted this year. They will be honored at an event October 24, presented by The Shenehon Center for Real Estate at the Opus College of Business. Continue Reading

Events, Health Care MBA, Newsroom

ACA Exchanges Launch Tomorrow – Dig in at USTbusiness Events

If you hadn’t heard, the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) in beginning to be implemented and tomorrow marks one major step in that direction. Health insurance exchanges open around the country allowing people to enroll for coverage of one kind or another that takes effect January 1.

Here in Minnesota, our exchange, MNsure explains itself as “a new marketplace where Minnesotans can fins, compare, choose and get quality health care coverage that best fits their needs and budget. MNsure is for you, whether you currently by health insurance on your own or you are uninsured.”

Many people will be observing this launch—from ordinary citizens, to the media and politicians on both sides of the health care debate. Look for Opus College of Business faculty in the media this week and beyond explaining the issues. And on campus, we’re planning several events that are in one way or another related to the Affordable Care Act and health in business. Here’s details on a few: Continue Reading

FTMBA, Newsroom, Student Life

UST MBA Team Excels in NBMBAA Chrysler Case Competition

The Case competition team of Nigel Brown, Joelle Purvis Allen, Monica Ricard and Kamaj Bailey with Dean Puto, Left and Prof. Arnold, right.

The UST MBA case competition team of Nigel Brown, Joelle Purvis Allen, Monica Ricard and Kamaj Bailey with Dean Puto, Left and Prof. Arnold, right.

The NBMBAA/Chrysler Case Competition is one of the world’s most exciting business case challenges. Each year, a new case is written and judged by Chrysler executives and staff, and $50,000 in prize money for the top three teams is on the line. As a result, students from some of the country’s top MBA schools turn out to compete. This year, 30 teams from around the country have traveled to Houston to pursue recognition and prize money, along with an opportunity to network with Chrysler execs and corporate recruiters.

2013 is the second year that the University of St. Thomas has sent a team to the competition. The 2013 team includes Kamaj Bailey, Joelle Purvis Allen, and Monica Ricard (with Nigel Brown as the team alternate). They’ve been working just over a month, since August 8, when this year’s case first became available. The team was sponsored by GE Capital Fleet Services. Continue Reading

Environment, Faculty, Local business, Newsroom, OCB Commentary, UST MBC

Mankato Kasota Stone Closes – Helped Define the UST Brand

If you’re walking around in downtown Minneapolis it would be hard to miss the St. Thomas campus. Not because we have the biggest, or the tallest building downtown, but because each building has a distinctive look, thanks to their Kasota Limestone exterior. Sadly, it was reported last week in the Mankato Free Press that one of that city’s oldest businesses, Mankato Kasota Stone, “has closed as the recession-driven slowdown in construction hurt the market for local limestone.”

Photo by Mike Ekern.

Photo by Mike Ekern.

Mike Porter, director of the Master of Business Communication program noted that Kasota Limestone “certainly is a major element of the visual brand identity of the university.” He added that, “It facilitates the transfer of our brand to downtown.” True, especially when compared to the mostly metal and glass skyscrapers that make up the minneapolis skyline. Almost every building on the main campus in St. Paul is made with Kasota Limestone. Continue Reading

Local business, Newsroom, real estate

What’s Happening in Twin Cities Residential Real Estate? Double-digit Gains


The median sale price for all homes sold in the Twin Cities has been recording double digit year-over-year gains for the past 13 months according to the Residential Real Estate Price Report index. Many of the other market indicators are positive as well. When compared to last year, new listings are up 26 percent and pending sales are up 17.9 percent.

The continuing uptick in sale price is a good sign that the market is recovering, according to Herb Tousley, director of real estate programs here in the Opus College of Business. But should homeowners be concerned that another bubble is looming?

Tousley says there are two reasons that the housing market is not headed for another bubble.

Read more in the UST Newsroom or in the complete May 2013 Minneapolis St. Paul Residential Real Estate Index report. Additional media coverage of this month’s report included the Star Tribune and BusinessWeek Online.

Entrepreneurship, Newsroom, UST MBC

60 MPH by bike—How about that for a morning commute?


Would you bike to work if you could travel at highway speeds without breaking a sweat? Rich Kronfeld of Golden Valley would, and to do so he created a tricycle “sheathed in a carbon­-fiber pod and powered by a battery and electric motor that promise speeds of 80-90 miles per hour, though Kronfeld says he’s only taken it up to 45 mph.” The pedals turn a generator, rather than the wheels, enabling the faster speeds.

The start-up was profiled in the Star Tribune last week and Mike Porter, a marketing professor who researches entrepreneurship here at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business commented on the company’s prospects for getting additional investors and producing the bike-car-combo.