Board Members’ Technical Knowledge: How Does It Impact Organizations?

Mihaylo ISDS Professor Ofir Turel

Mihaylo ISDS Professor Ofir Turel

Information technology (IT) is now one of the most important factors in organizational success across many fields and is increasingly viewed as a crucial management function. Mihaylo ISDS Professor Ofir Turel examines the importance of board of director-level IT governance on organizational performance in a study examining 171 board members.

“Getting the CEO of a company involved in technology oversight used to be quite an achievement,” says Mihaylo ISDS Professor Ofir Turel. Yet he notes that as technology becomes an increasingly vital aspect of corporate culture, IT has evolved from the 1970s and 1980s when it was largely separate from management decisions.  Today, the chief information officer (CIO) is part of the top management team in many organizations and CEOs care more about how technology might help or impact their businesses. “The trend over the last several years has been to push management involvement and oversight even further and get the board of directors involved in IT issues,” he says.

Turel notes that there are several factors encouraging boards of directors to take a more active role in IT oversight. These include the boards’ responsibility to shareholders, which expect reasonable assurances on the viability and accuracy of data in keeping with the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act; risk reduction; and considering new opportunities for technology use which may help companies gain or sustain competitive advantage.

“The board gets involved by asking management the right questions in meetings, thus triggering action within the organization,” he says. “For example, if the board asks the CEO and the CIO whether the organization has done enough to protect information assets, it may result in relevant IT security plans, purchases and procedures.

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Introducing Mike Daniel, Director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

Mike Daniel '99

Mike Daniel ’99

Mihaylo business administration alumnus Mike Daniel ’99 is the new director of the CSU Fullerton office of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which provides no-cost business advising to small business owners. He discusses his academic and professional background and the mission and activities of the SBDC.

For many business startups, Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) provide business advising and access to capital. Partially funded by the federal Small Business Administration (SBA),there are currently six SBDC offices in Orange County and the Inland Empire, which assist more than 5,000 business owners annually.

“Small Business Development Centers act as the economic development hub for the regions they serve and are the voice of the local small- business community,” says Mihaylo business administration alumnus Mike Daniel ’99, who took office as director of the Mihaylo College SBDC office on June 29. “Each SBDC has a team of experts who have real-world experience as small-business owners. They assist local entrepreneurs in business planning, access to capital, marketing, website creation, legal structures and accounting.”

In 2014, the Orange County/Inland Empire SBDC network assisted more than 120 business startup in accessing $275 million in capital.

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Learning is Global; Learning is Social

Mihaylo students at Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore

Mihaylo students at Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore

A group of 22 Mihaylo MBA students traveled to East Asia in January 2015, one of the highlights of Mihaylo Graduate Programs activities during the spring semester. The program offered an opportunity to develop both a global economic perspective and a chance for international networking.

A key component of learning is self-development. During spring 2015, Mihaylo Graduate Programs continued its commitment to providing students a global perspective to facilitate that development with a study tour to Singapore and Hong Kong, two of the four “Asian Tiger” economies that have led East Asia to become one of the world’s chief economic powerhouses. Students also had the opportunity to develop an international network through the visit.

Among the trip’s highlights was the visit to Singapore-based Standard Chartered Bank with a presentation by Sanjeev Paul, a senior company executive. In addition to discussing the company’s business and technical competencies, he stressed the importance of leadership development – having the conviction to take risks, the humility to learn continuously and recognize the importance of teamwork. Other notable visits included UPS and DHL.

The MBA group in Hong Kong

The MBA group in Hong Kong

MBA students learned more about the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a strategic initiative designed to support regional integration and cooperation – a challenging endeavor given the need for balance between highly developed and developing economies. “The unique characteristics of labor, improving infrastructures and global outreach have attracted a number of global corporations to invest heavily in these countries,” Mihaylo MBA student Vishal Aggarwal ’15 said.

In addition to networking opportunities with professionals in the region, students enjoyed the camaraderie of their fellow students as they visited regional landmarks and attractions with free time to enjoy both iconic cities.

Participation in the visit counted as an elective, as the students completed a marketing consulting project for companies such as Caffe D’Vita, a California-based enterprise interested in greater expansion to East Asia. Working in teams, the students delivered written and oral reports to the company on appropriate product and marketing strategies for the Hong Kong and Singapore markets, based on field research during the study tour.

“I can confidently say that this trip exceeded my expectations by leaps and bounds,” Mihaylo MBA student Mark Dy-Ragos ’15 wrote. “We learned so much from this experience that cannot be taught in the classroom. This trip is an invaluable learning opportunity, and I highly recommend it to all business-oriented students.”

For more on Mihaylo’s MBA program and other graduate programs, visit Mihaylo MBA and Graduate Programs online or at SGMH 4210.

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Startup Incubator Hosts Small Business Marketing and Sales Presentation

John Bradley Jackson

John Bradley Jackson

Mihaylo Center for Entrepreneurship director John Bradley Jackson discussed marketing and sales for startups at CSU Fullerton’s Startup Incubator in Placentia on the evening of June 24.

“New business development is critical to any startup, but it is inordinately complex,” Mihaylo Center for Entrepreneurship director John Bradley Jackson told entrepreneurs at the Small Business Development Strategy event at CSU Fullerton’s Startup Incubator in Placentia on June 24. “Any startup has a goal: to be remembered.”

Jackson’s presentation detailed how marketing and sales can be used to drive business to new startups. “It wasn’t that long ago that marketing was a major function, but sales did all the heavy lifting,” he said. “Today, marketing is increasingly important.”

While there is a great deal of overlap between marketing and sales, Jackson noted, “marketing is what makes the phone ring, while sales is what you do when you pick up the phone.” He noted that while sales are generally customer-focused, marketing concerns the entire market.

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Cuba and Vietnam: Transitioning from Command Economies to Free Market Systems


The streets of the Cuban capital, Havana

The streets of the Cuban capital, Havana

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and free market reforms in China that has enabled it to become the world’s second-largest economy, there are only a few nations that still retain command economies. Among these are Cuba and Vietnam, which are now transitioning to free market models. Mihaylo faculty discuss the outlook for these economies.

In December 2014, President Barack Obama announced a major foreign policy breakthrough with Cuba, including normalization in relations and efforts to lift the trade embargo in effect since 1961. With an aging Communist regime on the island nation and virtually no support from its former Soviet sponsors since the early 1990s, most observers believe the new Obama policy will pave the way for a transition from a staunchly Communist command economics model to a free enterprise system in the only Communist country in the Western Hemisphere.

“As Cuba begins to experiment with capitalism in the form of private business ventures in limited areas and as the government employee ranks diminish, individuals will begin to develop an entrepreneurial initiative that may develop into larger private businesses,” Mihaylo Marketing Lecturer William Hernandez Requejo says. “At this early stage in the Cuban experiment, all marketing is done by word of mouth.  It will be interesting to see how this develops over the next generation.”

Mihaylo Marketing Professor William Hernandez Requejo

Mihaylo Marketing Lecturer William Hernandez Requejo

While Hernandez Requejo believes the island nation has economic potential, he also contends the future is uncertain. “With a population of over 11 million, and with a very healthy and highly educated and literate consumer base with tremendous needs for modernization, Cuba represents a new market in the Caribbean,” he says. “Cuba desperately needs a wide variety of goods and services. While many think immediately of vacation resorts and tourism, others exist such as renewable energy, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, medicine, infrastructure development and construction and housing. How the U.S. approaches this neighbor to the south will be paramount as to whether it will succeed in becoming once again ‘the Pearl of the Antilles.’”

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Mihaylo ASAP Students Launch Careers with Goldman Sachs

Mihaylo finance alumna Francesca Cortazar '15 is one of four finance students and alumni currently working for Goldman Sachs

Mihaylo finance alumna Francesca Cortazar ’15 is one of four finance students and alumni currently working for Goldman Sachs

Four Mihaylo finance students who participated in the Applied Securities Analysis Program (ASAP) have obtained employment with the financial giant Goldman Sachs. Mihaylo finance professor and ASAP program director Michael Milligan discusses the opportunities available at Goldman Sachs.

“Goldman Sachs is considered the premier investment firm in the world, renowned for hiring and retaining only the best talent,” Mihaylo Finance Professor Michael Milligan says.

Four former and current Mihaylo finance students and participants in the Applied Securities Analysis Program (ASAP) are now working at the company. The first ASAP student to join the Goldman Sachs team was Irina Arora ’14. “Her performance was so good that Goldman Sachs chose to hire Kelsie Ornelas ’15 and Francesca Cortazar ’15 from this year’s class,” Milligan says.

Chris Harraka ’16, another ASAP student, is currently interning with the company as a summer analyst in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is the first ASAP student to intern for the company.

Harraka discusses his internship experience. “The investment knowledge that I gained in school is now being applied in a fast-paced corporate setting,” he says. “I am fortunate to be learning from incredibly smart individuals, meeting with senior management, and understanding how the firm functions both financially and operationally.”

Mihaylo Finance Professor Michael Milligan

Mihaylo Finance Professor Michael Milligan

“Goldman’s name and reputation in the finance industry will lead other investment firms to look at Fullerton for future employees,” Milligan says.

Cortazar, who was hired as a credit risk analyst at Goldman Sachs in Orange County, credits her Mihaylo education for her career opportunity. “ASAP not only deepened my knowledge and understanding of finance but has also provided me with the skills needed to succeed in the industry,” she says. “This program has made me even more passionate for finance, and it was truly one of the best experiences of my life.”

Founded in 1869 and headquartered in New York City’s Lower Manhattan, Goldman Sachs has been at the forefront of investment banking, commodities, mutual funds and other financial services, particularly for institutional clients. As of 2013, the company employed nearly 32,000 people worldwide. Two U.S. secretaries of the treasury, Robert Rubin under the Clinton Administration and Henry Paulson under the second Bush Administration, had careers in the company before holding public office. “A major advantage to working for Goldman is that having Goldman Sachs on your résumé will open doors if you decide to leave Goldman,” Milligan notes.

“I feel very fortunate to be working for such a prestigious firm,” Ornelas says. “None of this would be possible without the learning experience gained from ASAP and our program director Michael Milligan.”

For more on the ASAP program, visit online or contact Milligan at For more on career opportunities at Goldman Sachs at locations worldwide, visit the company’s careers site.

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Irene Lange: Marketing Professor Looks Back at 50 Years of Service to Mihaylo College

Mihaylo Marketing Professor and Department Chair Irene Lange. CREDIT: Matt Gush

Mihaylo Marketing Professor and Department Chair Irene Lange. CREDIT: Matt Gush

Mihaylo Marketing Professor Irene Lange has been involved with the CSUF business college for 50 years. She discusses her research during her career and the changes in the college and the industry.

“Over 50 years, the essence of marketing, which is providing value to the customer, has not changed,” says Marketing Professor Irene Lange, Mihaylo’s first faculty member to teach for five decades at the college. “However, technology has transformed the tools we use to communicate with the consumer. The emergent fields of Internet marketing, database marketing and social media marketing embody this shift to capturing big data through consumer technology interfaces on a one-to-one basis in real time.”

Lange was born in the Baltic State of Lithuania to German-Russian parents during World War II. Much of her childhood was spent in refugee camps while her father fought in the Lithuanian military. After the victorious Soviets sentenced her father to 20 years of hard labor, Lange immigrated with her mother to the United States, where she completed undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs in marketing at the University of Illinois.

Lange joined the CSU Fullerton staff in 1965, less than a decade after the university’s founding in 1957. For more than 20 years, she was the executive director of the International Marketing Association of Orange County, assisting small companies with export programs. Among her current community involvements are membership in the Southern California District Export Council, the International Committee of the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce and the International Business Advisory Committee of Fullerton College.

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Mihaylo Economics Professor Highlights the CSUF Budget Situation and How Students Can Get Involved

Mihaylo Economics Professor Robert Mead

Mihaylo Economics Professor Robert Mead

Mihaylo Economics Professor Robert W. Mead, chair of the university’s Planning, Resource and Budget Committee (PBRC) for 2014-2015, has presented the committee’s budget recommendations for the future. Mead discusses his proposals and how students can influence public officials to make funding a priority.

In its mission to educate the leaders of tomorrow, CSU Fullerton is heavily dependent on state resources. Yet current budget projections show stagnant funding for the university over the next two fiscal years at a level that is not representative of the institution’s size and impact.

“CSU Fullerton receives the least per-student funding in the CSU system,” Mihaylo Economics Professor Robert Mead, chair of the university’s Planning, Resource and Budget Committee, says. “Over the years, the shortfall has become sizeable, amounting to $400 per student per year.”

The committee Mead chairs is not responsible for funding but makes recommendations to CSUF President Mildred Garcia for budgets as an Academic Senate committee reviews proposals for new majors, colleges and schools on campus.

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What Cities are Best and Worst for Starting a Business?

John Bradley Jackson advises Mihaylo business students on an entrepreneurial project.

John Bradley Jackson advises Mihaylo business students on an entrepreneurial project.

John Bradley Jackson, director of Mihaylo’s Center for Entrepreneurship, has contributed to “2015’s Best Cities to Start a Business” on WalletHub, a finance-based social media site. Jackson discusses the study and the importance of location for entrepreneurship.

Location may be one of the most important factors in entrepreneurial success – and is one of the key reasons why many startups fail in their first few years. The “2015’s Best Cities to Start a Business” study on WalletHub, a finance-based social media site, identifies the best and worst municipalities for entrepreneurship among the 150 most populated cities in the United States.

“In order to help aspiring entrepreneurs — from restaurant owners to high-tech movers and shakers — maximize their chances for long-term prosperity, WalletHub analyzed the relative start-up opportunities that exist in the 150 most populated U.S. cities,” the report says. “We did so using 13 unique metrics, ranging from five-year survival rate and the affordability of office space to the educational attainment of the local labor force.” Leading the ranking is Shreveport, La., while Newark, N.J., held the worst ranking.

Southern California cities ranked as follows:

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Finance Students Present $5,000 From Their Investment Profits to Tutoring Center

Mihaylo Tutoring Center Director Emeline Yong (left) receives a $5,000 check from students in the ASAP investment program on May 1.

Mihaylo Tutoring Center Director Emeline Yong (left) receives a $5,000 check from students in the ASAP investment program on May 1.

The Mihaylo Applied Securities Analysis Program (ASAP), which provides real-world investment portfolio opportunities for finance students, presented their second annual $5,000 gift to the Mihaylo Tutoring Center on May 1.

For Mihaylo finance undergraduate and graduate students, the ASAP program provides an opportunity to manage real-world investment portfolios. The program’s investment returns resulted in a $5,000 gift to the Mihaylo Tutoring Center, which offers free peer tutoring and breakout sessions for student study.

Mihaylo Finance Professor Michael Milligan, instructor and managing director of the ASAP program, notes that the concept of benefiting the Tutoring Center grew out of  a $1.5 million gift from investor and alumnus Jeff Van Harte ’80 to expand the student investment fund. “Van Harte wanted a way to fund the tutoring center on an ongoing basis,” Milligan explains. “He and Mihaylo Dean Anil Puri agreed that having the students manage the funds with the profits going to the tutoring center would allow the ASAP students to learn while helping the tutoring center reap tangible benefits.” The ASAP program hopes to provide a donation to the tutoring center each year.

“We plan to use the ASAP gift to provide additional hours of tutoring service to our students,” Mihaylo Tutoring Center Director Emeline Yong says.

For more on the ASAP program, visit them online or contact Milligan at

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