New Business Incubator Program in Placentia to Assist Aspiring Entrepreneurs

The founders of the Center for Innovation at the new Placentia facility

The founders of the Center for Innovation at the new Placentia facility

Mihaylo’s Center for Entrepreneurship is preparing to open the Center for Innovation, the first CSUF business incubator, in Placentia. The business incubator will utilize entrepreneurs in residence and industry-experienced mentors affiliated with the Center for Entrepreneurship to guide aspiring business start-ups into viable business models.

Students at CSU Fullerton often aspire to start their own businesses, yet attaining the skills, resources and knowledge to succeed can be a daunting task.

“It is my observation that we have many outstanding entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas at CSUF; with proper support and coaching for the entrepreneurs, these ideas could become viable businesses, “John Bradley Jackson, director of Mihaylo’s Center for Entrepreneurship, says. Three years ago, he wrote the business plan for the Center for Innovation, an off-campus business incubator that will open in nearby Placentia by mid-November.

Established through a partnership with the City of Placentia, which provided the small building at 120 South Bradford, the center will be a “mixed-use incubator.” Jackson explains: “This means that we do not specialize in a certain type of industry. We are looking for innovative ideas that are scalable, meaning capable of growing to a large company. The scalability requirement favors companies that build repeatable products rather than direct labor businesses.”

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Mihaylo Welcomes Aire Rite to the Center for Family Business

airerite color logo (1)

Huntington Beach-based Aire Rite Air Conditioning and Refrigeration joins Mihaylo College’s Center for Family Business. The family-owned business has served Southern California since 1972.

The Center for Family Business announced Sept. 23 that Aire Rite Air Conditioning and Refrigeration is its newest member, welcoming proprietor Don Langston, his parents, Punky and Carol, and his brother, Dave, to the center’s network, which provides advice and training for Mihaylo students and local businesses.

Founded in 1972 as a commercial refrigeration service company, Aire Rite offers cost-effective and energy-efficient air conditioning, refrigeration, restaurant equipment and hardware/gasket services to a diverse commercial and industrial clientele. The company serves all of Southern California, including Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego counties, the Inland Empire, High Desert and Central Coast.

“The stronger and better equipped family businesses are to deal with the ever increasing complexities and challenges of today’s economic environments, the more successful our businesses and communities will be,” Langston says. “The challenges family businesses face can be more complex than traditional ownership and management models. The educational and peer network opportunities that the Center for Family Business offers will give our family more tools to utilize in the future. We look forward to being active participants and not just members in this great organization!”

The center’s director, Ed Hart, looks forward to Aire Rite’s participation in Mihaylo programs: “Don and his family are solid members of the community, run a high-class family business and will be great examples of customer service to all of our members,” says Hart. “They are in an interesting transition in their business, and they will see what many of our members have successfully accomplished, as well. It should be a very mutually beneficial relationship for Aire Rite, our members and the center.”

Aire Rite’s motto is “performance not just promises” and its mission statement is, “anticipate our customers’ needs and exceed their expectations at every opportunity.”

For more information about the Center for Family Business, call 657-278-4182 or visit them online.

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Gallup Leadership Workshop Helps Students Identify and Use Their Talents

Susan Shald, director of talent sourcing at Gallup

Susan Shald, director of talent sourcing at Gallup

Susan Shald, director of talent sourcing for public opinion pollsters Gallup, tells Mihaylo students how to identify their personal strengths and talents to succeed in the business world.

Shald discusses behavioral economics – the intersection of economics and psychology during her presentation to Mihaylo students Shald discusses behavioral economics – the intersection of economics and psychology during her presentation to Mihaylo students

Shald discusses behavioral economics – the intersection of economics and psychology during her presentation to Mihaylo students

Shald introduced her audience, many of them graduate students, to behavioral economics – the intersection of economics and psychology. The field helps employees and managers understand individual strengths and weaknesses, to establish a good fit for each person.“Our strengths, or themes, are the way we see the world – it is our lens,” Susan Shald, director of talent sourcing at Gallup, tells a gathering of about 40 Mihaylo and California State University Long Beach students at the Gallup Strength and Leadership Workshop on Oct. 3, 2014.

“You need to be in a role that justifies the talent you have and that helps you use it,” Shald says. Reminding students that the optimum opportunity for growth is in pre-existing strength areas, Shald encouraged students to utilize Gallup’s Strengths Finder tool, which involves a 180-question assessment that uncovers a person’s strengths, aptitudes and weaknesses, using 34 strength categories, such as achiever, activator or arranger.

While most people display the majority of traits on occasion when necessary, Shald notes the narrow definition of a strength. “A strength is a recurring pattern of thought, feeling or behavior that is productively applied to a desired outcome,” she says. “The optimum chance for growth is in the things you are already good at.”In a slide presentation, Shald previewed several of these categories. “Communicators talk to people everywhere, even on elevators and in public restrooms,” she says. “Do you organize your closet by color, style and design? If so, you are probably an arranger.”

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Professor Alali Provides a Retrospective on the Great Recession

Mihaylo Accounting Professor Fatima Alali discusses the financial and accounting causes behind the Great Recession, the worst economic downturn of the new millennium. She looks at the changes in the industry since that crisis and the lessons for the future.

Professor Fatima Alali

Professor Fatima Alali

In 2007, the U.S. economy plunged into a recession that would become the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Later dubbed the Great Recession, the crisis would send stock markets plunging, imperil the nation’s financial system, freeze the credit and real estate markets, send unemployment into double-digit levels both nationally and locally and cause tremendous economic disruption around the world and starting the Great Recession in the U.S.

Fatima Alali, a Mihaylo accounting professor, studied the effect of the crisis on public accounting practice and what could have been done to prevent it in a 2013 article, Opinion Shopping Revisited: Evidence from the Financial Crisis and the Great Recession Periods, which appeared in Internal Auditing. The study addresses new rules for audit firm rotation, designed to ensure accuracy and transparency in accounting practices. These rules were being discussed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board  and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board at the time of publication.

A comparison of the Great Recession to the Great Depression of the 1930s. IMAGE FROM: Visualizing Economics

A comparison of the Great Recession to the Great Depression of the 1930s. IMAGE CREDIT: Catherine Mulbrandon, Visualizing Economics

Prudent and transparent accounting procedures were necessary in the wake of the financial crisis, because the proliferation of bad loans created the crisis in the first place and a lack of transparency hurt investor confidence. “I believe internal controls play a significant role in preventing a crisis like the one we saw in 2008,” Alali says. “Giving loans should follow a rigid process.”

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Professor Huiran Pan Studies the Impact of the Housing Market on the Economy

house for sale

 

The housing market is a key component of the United States economy generally and the Southern California economy in particular. Mihaylo Professor Huiran Pan examines the key drivers of housing prices and their broader economic impact.

Housing prices are rising again in Southern California and across most of the United States, benefiting homeowners that saw what for most was their largest investment tumble in value during the downturn of the Great Recession.

Home prices are the key economic indicator for the real estate sector, which is an especially vital aspect of the local economy in Southern California. It was the rise in housing prices that stimulated the economic expansions of the 1980s and 2000s, for example, while the declines in the housing market in the early 1990s and late 2000s plunged the region into deep recessions.

Mihaylo Economics Professor Huiran Pan studied the changes in home prices and their relationship with the broader financial system in her 2013 study, House Prices, Bank Instability, and Economic Growth: Evidence from the Threshold Model, which appeared in the Journal of Banking and Finance. Pan found an important link between the performance of housing prices and the broader financial system. “The banking and financial systems, which function as mortgage lenders and frequently use real estate as collateral, link the housing market with the macro-economy,” she says. In the last housing downturn, “unemployment rates increased from 5.7% in 2005Q1 before the crisis to over 11% in 2009Q3 in California,” Pan notes.

Home prices are both a local and national phenomenon. According to Pan, “there is a common phenomenon in the national real estate market, while each state or Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) has its own characteristics in the local real estate market.” CSUF and Orange County are part of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim MSA, which is the second-largest such region in the United States. Pan sees personal income and unemployment rates as the chief drivers of home prices in Southern California. Both of these factors are also negatively affected when prices decline, thus creating a serious downward spiral most recently seen in the Great Recession.

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Mihaylo Event Offers Opportunity to Connect with Action Sports Industry

Snowboarding is considered an "action sport." PHOTO CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons

Snowboarding is considered an “action sport.” PHOTO CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons

Mihaylo College will host an Action Sports Industry Panel on Oct. 1, 2014, giving business students the opportunity to meet professionals in the action sports industry.

Are you interested in a career in the action sports industry? If so, be sure to attend the Action Sports Industry Panel on Oct. 1, 2014, at 5:30 p.m. The event, which will be held at SGMH 3230, will feature speakers from Oakley, Quicksilver  Inc. and Pacific Sunwear, who will discuss their respective careers, the industry outlook and how aspiring students can get involved.

Action sports include a variety of extreme sports and recreational activities, including surfing, snowboarding, mountain biking, in-line skating and dirt bike racing. According to a 2012 report by Global Industry Analysts Inc., worldwide spending on extreme sports is expected to surge, driven by increased participation and media coverage of the X-Games and other extreme sports events.

The Action Sports Industry Panel is open to all Mihaylo students, who are asked to register for the free event online. Speakers represent a diverse cross-section within the field, including Gabriela Cevallos, human resource business partner for Oakley; Gregg Garcia, talent acquisition manager for Quicksilver Inc.; and Shanielle Howa, women’s’ planning manager for Pacific Sunwear.

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Mihaylo Entrepreneurship Collaborates to Win $1 Million NSF Grant

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded CSUF a $1 million grant that combines engineering and entrepreneurship education in an innovative after-school program in Anaheim.

National Science Foundation logo

National Science Foundation logo

Entrepreneurship may be the lifeblood of the American economy, but many young people, particularly in low-income areas, know little about what it takes to start a business enterprise. To help meet this need in Orange County, four CSUF professors, including Mihaylo Entrepreneurship Professor John Bradley Jackson, have created a program,Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST), designed to expose middle school students in the Anaheim Unified High School District to entrepreneurship. The school district is located in one of the most dynamic economic regions of the United States, yet contains many underprivileged and low-income students that often have limited opportunities.

“The students will be challenged to create new business concepts within the domain of science and engineering using a ‘Lean Startup’ new venture process, getting the students out of the classroom to talk to prospective customers,” says Jackson.

Professor John Bradley Jackson

Professor John Bradley Jackson

The ITEST program is part of the broader effort of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to reverse the decade-long decline in student interest in the sciences, technology, mathematics and engineering, a worrisome trend for economists, who realize the importance of these skills in the contemporary knowledge economy. The program has a unique business emphasis, encouraging students to imagine science-based business ideas or products, such as robotics, computing innovations or electronics, all part of the STEM fields, an acronym that stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Jackson adds, “It is our hope to inspire middle school students to apply themselves to enter STEM related fields.” He particularly hopes young women will enter these fields.

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Mihaylo Alumnus and Professor Discusses Growing California’s Exports on CNBC

Jeff Williamson

Jeff Williamson

Mihaylo alumnus and adjunct professor of global marketing Jeff Williamson ‘03, director of California State Trade and Exports Promotion, appears on CNBC to discuss the outlook for California food exports.

California has the largest agricultural sector of any state in the United States, a position that enables it to feed millions of people around the world with fruit, vegetables, grains, dairy products and other commodities. Mihaylo alumnus Jeff Williamson ‘03, director of California State Trade and Exports Promotionappeared August 13 on the financial media channel CNBC to discuss the future of California’s agricultural exports and the effect of Russia’s food import ban.

Williamson said that he believes the largest growth market for California’s food exports are in Asia, based on an increase in consumption and the emergence of a large Asian middle class, coupled with the state’s geographic location. “California is the gateway to the Pacific Rim for North America, so a lot of our markets are in Asia, particularly in China and Hong Kong,” Williamson said. “We have seen about 10 consecutive years of double-digit growth in Hong Kong and China for California exports,” noting that last year, exports for food and agricultural products to Hong Kong increased 16 percent, while exports to Mainland China saw a 24 percent increase. This, said Williamson, helps to offset geopolitical pressures with Russia, which is no longer an export for California products.

California’s dynamic agricultural sector is currently suffering from one of the worst droughts in recorded state history. Four years of abnormally low precipitation have depleted reservoirs and groundwater and forced scarce water resources to be used for drinking water, rather than agricultural purposes.

Still, the state is in a favorable position, so far as its reputation goes. “California food products are well known around the world as quality products,” Williamson said, noting that the state is the leader in many product categories.

Williamson spoke to CNBC while at a food expo in Hong Kong, which he attended to promote California products abroad. “These trade expos are useful for us, particularly for small and medium-sized companies,” he said. These companies then share their contacts with other farmers and growers, helping to develop the California export network. The Asian-American community in California also aids in moving California agricultural products along the supply chain, he said.

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Electronic Customer Service: The Pros and Cons

Live-chat service has become a staple of modern communications. From universities like CSUF to auto companies like Toyota, consumers have grown accustomed to getting their questions answered in real-time via online chats. CSUF Professor Ofir Turel studies the positives and negatives of customer service using this media.

Professor Ofir Turel

Professor Ofir Turel

Ofir Turel, professor of information systems and decision sciences, has conducted extensive studies in the psychology of modern technology, particularly communication through electronic media, such as live chat and instant messaging (IM), as it relates to customer service in today’s business world.

In 2013, he co-authored a study, Service with an E-Smile: Employee Authenticity and Customer Use of Web-based Support Servicesabout the potential benefits and liabilities of electronic customer service. It is a subject that he has studied since 2009, when live-chat technology was in its infancy.

Turel says that live chat service has become ubiquitous in today’s business world because of the flexibility that it offers customers. “Most companies did not offer live chat instead of face-to-face customer service; they offered it as a supplementary service,” he says. As a generational shift in technological literacy has developed, today’s younger customers are more comfortable with online communication than face-to-face meetings.

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Keys to Being a Successful Business Communicator

Business-Communication-Skills-Teach-Your-Sales-Team-to-Sell-not-to-Offer-Discounts

Communication is arguably the most important factor to success in the contemporary economy. What do business students need to know about successful communication in the workplace? Mihaylo Advisory Council member Zack Swire and CSUF Business Communications Professor Jodi Jewell share tips from the pros for being a successful business communicator.  

New technologies and an increasingly diverse workplace have made communication the lifeblood of the professional world. Regardless of industry, the career outlook favors those who can communicate well through oral, written and technological mediums.

 

Zack Swire

Zack Swire

Zack Swire is a member of Mihaylo’s  Marketing Advisory Council and president and CEO of Swire, a Glendora-based advertising agency, and Jodi Jewell is a Mihaylo business communications professor. These two pros share some of their best tips on how to communicate more effectively.

Business communication courses are the best way to master the fundamentals. Swire says they are vital in developing communication skills. “Classes are certainly helpful as they provide a foundational element for effective communication,” he says. Swire has advised professors on incorporating new technologies to their coursework, including social posts, LinkedIn profiles, video chats and more. This has ensured that CSUF courses are accurately representing the contemporary business world.

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