Students and leaders of the Applied Securities Analysis Program (ASAP). In the foreground is Jeff Van Harte '80 (left) and Mihaylo Finance Professor Michael Milligan (right). In the background, from left to right, are Steven Rodriguez '15, Kelsie Ornellas '15 and Eli Jaloul '15

Students and leaders of the Applied Securities Analysis Program (ASAP). In the foreground is Jeff Van Harte ’80 (left) and Mihaylo Finance Professor Michael Milligan (right). In the background, from left to right, are Steven Rodriguez ’15, Kelsie Ornellas ’15 and Eli Jaloul ’15

By Laurie McLaughlin

The gift will help establish a new investment management center at Mihaylo College and increase the existing student-managed investment fund.

For the last four years, Jeff Van Harte ’80 (finance) has worked side-by-side with students in the Applied Securities Analysis Program (ASAP) as they manage investment funds of more than $300,000. Van Harte took the program to a new level recently with a $1.5 million gift to Mihaylo College, which will both increase the students’ investment fund and establish a new investment management center.

The center will be called Titan Capital Management and will provide a space similar to trading floors of major financial institutions. Students will be able to study changes in the stock market as they happen, research companies and analyze the latest stock quotes, options and exchange-traded funds.

“The space will mirror the real world of an investment management operation with real-time experiential learning,” says Van Harte, chief investment officer of Jackson Square Partners. “This kind of learning environment is invaluable to both undergraduate and graduate students as they seek positions in the finance and investment industries.”

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Magic Johnson Shares Life Lessons with CSUF Students

Magic Johnson speaks at the Titan Gym, March 4, 2015.

Magic Johnson speaks at the Titan Gym, March 4, 2015.

Former NBA star Magic Johnson was the keynote speaker before an audience of thousands of CSUF students, alumni and guests at the Titan Gym on March 4. The event was sponsored in part by the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics and Business Inter-Club Council.

“Always remember, believe in yourself, your dreams and your goal,” NBA star and entrepreneur Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson told a crowd of CSUF students, alumni and guests at the Titan Gym on the evening of March 4, 2015. Johnson told the audience about his basketball career and entrepreneurial success and offered inspiration to the next generation of business leaders. “If you do right, if you have a great reputation, if you are a man or woman of your word, if you will be there on time, it will happen to you too,” he said.

Johnson recounted that he was born into a low-income family in Lansing, Mich., the son of a General Motors assembly worker. After playing basketball at Lansing’s Everett High School, Johnson was on the Michigan State University basketball team. “My goal and dream was to win the NCAA title,” he recalls. In 1979, he achieved his goal by leading his team to the NCAA Final Four victory in the most widely watched game in NCAA history.

Drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers later that year, Johnson was point guard for the franchise for 12 years. During his professional career, he contributed to his team’s nine NBA Finals appearances, won three NBA MVP awards and appeared in the NBA All-Star game 12 times.

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Steven G. Mihaylo to Speak to Business Students at Leadership Scholars Event

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Steven G. Mihaylo ’69, namesake of the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics and CEO of Crexendo Business Solutions, will speak to business students on March 20 in an event sponsored by the Leadership Scholars.

Steven G. Mihaylo ’69 has played a pivotal role in making the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics a premier business- education institution within the CSU system. A member of the Dean’s Advisory Board, Mihaylo led a 12-member Campaign Cabinet to build the $20 million state-of-the-art facility for the business college during the 2000s. In 2008, he provided a $30 million gift to fund the business college, the largest single alumni gift in CSUF history.

From 1969 to 2006, Mihaylo was chairman and CEO of Inter-Tel, which grew from a sole proprietorship to an international operation serving hundreds of thousands of corporate customers worldwide with managed services and software that enable businesses to communicate better and offer quality customer service. Since 2008, he has been chairman and CEO of Crexendo Inc., a provider of cutting-edge technological communication for startups and small-to medium-sized businesses.

Business students will have the opportunity to hear Mihaylo speak at the Leadership Scholars event on March 20. He will discuss his personal success and student strategies for a successful business career. The event, from 1:40 p.m. to 4 p.m. in SGMH 1560, is open to all business students, who are asked to RSVP online.

“This is a great opportunity to get to know someone who has gone above and beyond, coming from a position very similar to many of our students with limited financial resources and yet has succeeded in business and as a contributor to his alma mater,” says Alec Schaefer ’15, a marketing undergraduate student involved in the Leadership Scholars program. “Mihaylo is one of the main reasons our business college is able to offer a low-cost, yet high-quality business education.”

Leadership Scholars is the student branch of the Center for Leadership, which sponsors speakers, social events and internship opportunities for business students. “Our mission is to help students be ready to lead,” says Schaefer. Recent speakers include Joe Moderow ’70, an active member of the Mihaylo community with a long career at UPS, and Joe Hensley, the Orange County market president for U.S. Bank. “All of the executives are extremely encouraging and want to provide advice to students on what they wish they knew when they were in our position,” he says.

The Leadership Scholars also provide students the opportunity during the spring semesters to shadow an Orange County executive for one to two days providing a behind-the-scenes look at the corporate world. “It is about networking, seeing what the top-level position is like and how to reach it,” Schaefer says.

For more information on Leadership Scholars, visit their website or visit the Center for Leadership at SGMH 5357. Any business major or minors may complete the brief application to join the scholars.

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Mihaylo Professor Jeff Williamson ’03 Discusses Port Strike on PBS Television

Jeff Williamson '03 on "Nightly Business Report," Feb. 24, 2015

Jeff Williamson ’03 on “Nightly Business Report,” Feb. 24, 2015

Mihaylo alumnus and adjunct professor Jeff Williamson ’03 discusses the impact of the West Coast port strike on PBS’ “Nightly Business Report” on Feb. 24.

Jeff Williamson ’03, adjunct Mihaylo marketing professor and director of the Center for International Trade Development, appeared on “Nightly Business Report,” the daily business and economics news program carried nationwide on PBS, on Feb. 24 to discuss the impact of the West Coast ports strike.

The strike, involving more than 13,000 dock workers at ports along the West Coast, including Long Beach and San Diego, stemmed from a dispute between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). The association and the union reached a tentative five-year deal on Feb. 20 to end the slowdown, though the agreement is yet to be finalized. The impacted ports handle nearly a fourth of U.S. exports, much of it to East Asia and other regions along the Pacific Rim. The slowdown was the latest in a series of port labor conflicts over the past few decades. The latest dispute led the Obama Administration to consider invoking the Taft-Hartley Act, a 1947 law that permits federal intervention in strikes that threaten the nation’s economic health.

Williamson reports that California export-based businesses saw 10% to 50% declines over the past six months. “We are hearing that some companies are losing orders, and the impact of losing an order or a particular sale, it really depends on the situation,” he told “Nightly Business Report.” “If it’s a company that’s trying to land a new retailer, let’s say in Asia or another part of the world, and their initial shipment is delayed, that may not help them in the long run. They might have a lot of problems really securing that account for the long run.”

As an example of the impact, NBR reporter Kate Rogers demonstrated the impact of the nine-month port slowdown by speaking with Paul Cramer of Perris, Calif., based Star Milling Co., a pet and animal feed retailer that ships throughout the Pacific Rim. Cramer reported a loss of $60,000 per week during the slowdown and fears the permanent loss of customers.

A video clip of the Williamson segment, which appears near the end of the day’s broadcast, and the entire program are available for viewing online. You may read the transcript here.

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San Diego Content Marketer Speaks to Mihaylo Marketing Students

Jeremy Durant of Bop Design

Jeremy Durant of Bop Design

Jeremy Durant of the San Diego Web design content marketing firm, Bop Design, spoke to Mihaylo marketing students on Feb. 11 at an event sponsored by the on-campus chapter of the American Marketing Association. An associate vice president, Christopher Tyau ’15, discusses the guest speaker and the activities of the organization.

Realizing that traditional marketing models are no longer effective in an era of instant communication, content marketing seeks to engage its audience with ongoing targeted, relevant content with the ultimate goal of expanding a client or customer base.

In 2008, Jeremy Durant and his wife founded San Diego-based Bop Design, a content marketing business now serving San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties. The firm provides marketing consulting services and Web design, social media and search engine optimization (SEO) for corporate customers in a wide range of industries.

Mihaylo students had the opportunity to hear from Durant on Feb. 11 as a guest speaker sponsored by the on-campus chapter of the American Marketing Association, a professional organization that provides networking and business experience opportunities for interested students. Founded in 1967, the CSUF chapter is one of the university’s most enduring student associations. Durant’s presentation discussed content conversions, zeroing in on the introduction-to-purchase process.

“Jeremy is a great resource for our students,” says Christopher Tyau ’15, vice president of programming for the association. “Not only was it a professional presentation but it was also a great opportunity for our students to learn practical skills for their portfolios.”

The association hosts regular guest speakers and networking and professional development events to assist students interested in making marketing their careers. The association’s Networking Gala will be held on March 11 and will host its next speaker, Greg White ’93 of OC Product Managers, on March 25. Speaker events are open to all CSUF students, but one must become a member to continue attending events after attendance at one event. “While Mihaylo College business majors might be most interested in membership, the association is open to students of all majors,” Tyau says.

The association hosts various social events, such as its recent beach cleanup at Bolsa Chica State Beach and professional workshops to assist students in creating a versatile online personal presence. The association meets semimonthly on Wednesdays from 7 to 8 p.m. at TSU Hettebrink.

“The AMA at CSUF is doing a great job of providing future marketing professionals with the additional skills they need to add value to a marketing department or agency,” says Durant, in a press release for the event.

For more information on the association, visit their website or contact them at csufama@gmail.com.

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Will Commercial Drones Revolutionize the Business Supply Chain?

A futuristic-looking small unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone. Currently used by the military, law enforcement agencies, scientists and hobbyists for various purposes, companies such as Amazon envision a future in which drones will deliver packages to customers and be a major part of the business supply chain. Photo from USA Today.

A futuristic-looking small unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone. Currently used by the military, law enforcement agencies, scientists and hobbyists for various purposes, companies such as Amazon envision a future in which drones will deliver packages to customers and be a major part of the business supply chain. Photo from USA Today.

The commercial use of drones, remote-controlled unmanned aircraft, has become a possibility with advances in drone technology and plans by some retailers, most notably Amazon, to use the aircraft for deliveries. Yet regulatory and safety concerns remain, which currently limit the use of drones. Mihaylo ISDS Professor Ofir Turel discusses the possibilities for drones in the future and the potential headwinds preventing the widespread adoption of these aircrafts.

A customer places an online order, and within a short time, a small remote-controlled drone delivers the package to the customer’s doorstep. A business requests office supplies from a retailer, and a drone arrives with the requested products at the delivery section of company headquarters. While once the realm of science fiction, advances in drone technology and the increasing availability of these unmanned aircraft make these scenarios possible today. Companies such as the online retailer Amazon wish to use drones for personal deliveries within a few years and have already used the aircraft for experimental test flights.

“There are many potential applications,” Mihaylo ISDS Professor Ofir Turel explains. “This technology could be used by any retailer for delivery, could replace ambulances for emergency medical applications and could be used for investment or marketing research.” Turel suggests that drones might be used to monitor traffic at retail stores or malls, useful information for both marketers and investors.

Yet the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in charge of aviation in U.S. skies, dealt the commercial use of drones an apparent setback this month when it unveiled rules limiting the use of commercial drones. Among the proposed policies is a requirement that drones could only be flown within the sight of the remote-control operator during daylight hours, a restriction which would limit the widespread use of drones to deliver packages or play a major role in the supply chain, as Amazon and some other companies envision. The FAA policies are far from final, as hearings will be held on the proposed rules, which would take effect in 2017 at the earliest. Amazon has promised to lobby for its proposal to use drones for deliveries.

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Real Estate Association Helps Students Develop in One of the Southland’s Major Industries

Orange County tract housing. Real estate is one of the key industries of Southern California.

Orange County tract housing. Real estate is one of the key industries of Southern California.

Mihaylo’s Real Estate Association is a student club that offers networking, advice and professional extracurricular events for aspiring real estate professionals. Jonathan Russo ’17, the club’s president, discusses the association’s missions and activities.

“Our mission is to expose our members to the different parts of the real estate industry,” says Jonathan Russo ’17, student president of the Real Estate Association, a club for aspiring real estate professionals. “We provide our members with opportunities to network, host relevant speakers and undertake applicable activities involving the current market.”

The real estate industry is one of the key drivers of the Southern California economy. Hard-hit by the Great Recession of the late 2000s, the industry is now growing again as the housing market expands. The industry includes salespeople, as well as appraisers, property managers, real estate portfolio managers, real estate economists, analysts, commercial brokers, residential brokers, escrow officers and lenders.

Russo hopes that his club raises the profile of real estate studies on the CSU Fullerton campus and encourages the university to add more related classes. The club invites students to consider whether this industry is a good personal career path.

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CSUF ASI Elections Provide Opportunities for Student Leadership and Involvement

 

Election Commissioner Victoria Gomez ‘15 holds up a poster with the job description for the ASI board of directors. The candidate application period closes on Feb. 26.

Election Commissioner Victoria Gomez ‘15 holds up a poster with the job description for the ASI Board of Directors. The candidate application period closes on Feb. 26.

The annual CSUF ASI Elections for student president, vice president and board of directors will be held March 17 through 19. Elections Commissioner Victoria Gomez ’15 discusses the importance of participation, both for voters and candidates.

Each year, the CSUF ASI Elections provide an opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to participate in the governance of their campus. The elections are for student president, vice president and board of directors, comprising two representatives from each of the eight colleges on campus, determining the use of student fees, conducting advocacy programs and overseeing extracurricular events. Yet student participation in the elections, while increasing, is still under 10% of all students. “In order to represent the students, leaders need to be representative of the entire population,” says Victoria Gomez ’15, a political science/public administration major and election commissioner for this year’s election cycle.

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Student members of the 2015 ASI election team. From left to right, Jeanette Esquivel ’17, Victoria Gomez ’15, Ivan Zambrano ’15, Monserrat Jimenez ’15 and Monica Vu ’17

Along with Election Assistant Monserrat Jimenez and a team of three coalition members, Gomez is charged with increasing awareness, recruiting candidates and overseeing the elections, which will be held March 17 through 19. “We have two main focuses as a coalition: to increase candidate involvement and voter participation,” Gomez says.

Currently, the election team is taking applications for candidates for the president, vice president and board of director positions. The application period closes on Feb. 26. Students interested in running for office may attend one of the two upcoming information sessions. The first will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 17, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the TSU Alvarado AB, and the second session will be on Wednesday, Feb. 18, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at TSU Hetebrink AB. “The more people who run, the more likely it is to have higher-caliber candidates,” says Gomez.

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Commercial Real Estate Forum Examines Industry Outlook

Speakers and Mihaylo leaders at the commercial real estate event on Jan. 29. From left to right, Jim Sullivan of Green Street Advisors; Chris Graham of JP Morgan; Michael LaCour-Little, director of the Mihaylo Real Estate and Land Use Institute; Pat Donahue of the Donahue Schriber Realty Group; Anil Puri, dean of the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics; and Allen Staff of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch.

Speakers and Mihaylo leaders at the commercial real estate event on Jan. 29. From left to right, Jim Sullivan of Green Street Advisors; Chris Graham of JP Morgan; Michael LaCour-Little, director of the Mihaylo Real Estate and Land Use Institute; Pat Donahue of the Donahue Schriber Realty Group; Anil Puri, dean of the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics; and Allen Staff of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch.

Mihaylo’s Real Estate and Land Use Institute presented its annual industry outlook for the Southern California commercial real estate market on Jan. 29. The event featured a panel discussion with some of the top names in the industry.

The commercial real estate market in Southern California was hard-hit by the broader real estate downturn that accompanied the Great Recession of the late 2000s. Yet by 2014, vacancy rates had fallen to their lowest level since 2008 and the market was experiencing slow, but steady, recovery.

Mihaylo’s Real Estate and Land Use Institute held its annual commercial real estate forum on Jan. 29 at the Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. This event, cosponsored by Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, was entitled “Commercial Real Estate Outlook 2015: Clear Sailing or Pending Volatility.” The event featured a panel discussion with Allen Staff, the Orange County president of Bank of America; Jim Sullivan, managing director at Green Street Advisors; Pat Donahue, chairman and CEO of the Donahue Schriber Realty Group; and Chris Graham of JP Morgan Chase.

Donahue noted that the outlook for the real estate industry is, as always, uncertain. “Volatility is the way of the world going forward,” he said. “The speed of information creates more volatility.”

Staff is cautiously optimistic about 2015. “Generally speaking, the trend is positive,” he said, though with caution about the long-term outlook.

“The macroeconomic environment is not great, but good enough for real estate,” says Sullivan, adding that “operating fundamentals are good to great.” He notes that supply growth is near historical lows in most property types, which provides an opportunity for further growth. He is also optimistic about the demand for U.S. real estate from foreign investors, which is forcing prices higher. “Real estate in the United States is becoming the safety deposit box of the world, with respect to capital.”

“It is a great time to be an owner, but it is not a good time to be a developer,” says Donahue, noting that many retail companies are downsizing.

Donahue notes how the real estate industry has become increasingly capital-intensive, in a move away from speculative developments. The ease in availability of data during the last 20 years has made capital decisions the basis of the industry, says Sullivan.

The panelists noted a number of possible headwinds that could derail the industry’s recovery. Graham notes that supply in some markets is based on major technology employers, particularly in Seattle and the Silicon Valley. While not necessarily worrisome, it could signal unstable real estate markets, depending on company performance. “Do these companies need all this space?” he questions. Loss of capital discipline, including speculative development, could be a concern, as could possible rises in interest rates, particularly if not accompanied by strong economic growth, notes Sullivan. Still, there is general optimism on the market’s performance.

The entire discussion can be viewed online in this YouTube video.

The Real Estate and Land Use Institute is the CSU system’s real estate and urban land use education center. Its Mihaylo branch, founded in 1996, offers a real estate program for business students planning a career in the industry. The institute also provides scholarships and oversees the CSUF Real Estate Association, a student club offering networking opportunities and events related to real estate careers. For more information on the institute, visit them at SGMH 5163, call them at 657-278-4125 or visit them online.

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A Visit to the CSUF Startup Incubator in Placentia

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The courtyard of the CSUF Startup Incubator, 120 S. Bradford, Placentia, CA

The CSUF Startup Incubator, a CSUF collaborative effort to assist aspiring entrepreneurs has been in operation since January and is now providing assistance to four startups. Soheil S. Divani ’14 discusses the importance of the incubator in the development of his business.

About one mile east of the CSUF campus, the CSUF Startup Incubator is providing assistance for business startups developed by CSUF students and alumni. The business incubator, a collaborative effort with several colleges and departments on campus, including Mihaylo’s Center for Entrepreneurship, is currently assisting four startup businesses. These businesses are O₂ Free, which is designing a collapsible storage container for perishable fluids such as wine; OneMessageID, which seeks to provide email address to every residence and business in a community, permitting easy and effective municipal communication; Rescuewares, which is designing a heated, water-and wind-resistant jacket for first responders; and Allpocketz, which is designing a versatile multi-application, multi-pocketed bag.

“The four residents of the incubator are hoping to use the facility’s resources, including the mentors and the space itself, to take the next step and become a profitable business,” says Soheil S. Divani ’14, a CSUF civil and environmental engineering master’s graduate, who is working on 0₂ Free, along with his girlfriend, Maryam Kianjam, and Mihaylo MBA alumnus Munir Haddad ’14. Kianjam agrees on the importance of the incubator. “It has been a great catalyst and accelerator,” she says. “We have learned a lot more in one month of using the incubator than in our previous two years of planning.” Divani and Kianjam hope to be ready to sit in front of potential investors in six months.

The incubator offers a network of approximately 400 mentors, businesspeople and professionals in the community, providing lucrative networking opportunities. This has included advice on business taxes from local lawyers, who have provided monetary discounts for the startup business.

Divani explains that his business plan was the first to be accepted at the incubator. The application took several weeks to put together and included a business plan, business canvass, business concept and a short video highlighting the plan. “We were also required to read ‘Your Entrepreneurial Journey: 15 Guiding Principles,’ by Mihaylo Professors John Bradley Jackson and Michael Ames,” he says. The book, available via Amazon.com, provides tips to help startups develop successful business models.

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