A letter from Steve Wolf, Alumni Council Chair
Our November 2012 meeting began by welcoming a whopping five new members! By expanding the Council to 23 members – all whom are leaders in their field and keenly devoted to UNC Kenan-Flagler – we benefit through more voices on issues we tackle, and ensure that more diverse perspectives are represented (e.g., newly-minted graduates). New to the Council are:
- Joi Corrothers (BSBA 1998, Brooklyn NY) – the 2011 Kenan-Flagler Young Alumni Award recipient
- Tara Flickinger (MBA 2011, Atlanta GA)
- Scott Jones (BSBA 1985 and MBA 1990, Nashville TN)
- James LaVela (BSBA 2011, New York NY)
- Mark Scullion (EMBA 2007, Chapel Hill NC) – a returning member following a hiatus in the U.K.
Next, marketing professor Andrew Petersen introduced his very robust research – using data from UNC – on giving trends. His sometimes surprising findings (for example, the benefit of limiting and targeting outbound phone solicitations) are already impacting decisions by the school’s Advancement team. It’s exciting to see research being put boldly into action. Joined by Kara Kooken, Director of Annual Giving, we discussed the opportunity to create new donor circles, how to encourage more giving among engaged alumni, and the potential of social media and new technology channels.
The school’s new Chief Marketing Officer, Michael Schinelli previewed the school’s new brand positioning campaign, which creatively features an ampersand (“&”) to pair related sets of benefits (“Knowledge & Courage”, “Teamwork & Network”). Visit UNC Kenan-Flagler’s home page to see it in action. We’re really enthusiastic about the work Michael is doing to bring our re-energized brand into the digital age.
Later, Dean Jim Dean and the school’s Associate Dean for Advancement, Brad Shafer, updated us on major events. The school’s partnership with China’s leading university – Tsinghua – to offer a joint business/engineering master’s degree will enhance our global presence and brand. The school continues to be a pioneer in remote learning by participating in a new for-credit consortium, “Semester Online”. We’re confident that Jim’s foresight in ensuring we lead in online education will have tremendously positive brand and reach implications for Kenan-Flagler. And we learned about the school’s planned expansion of the Rizzo Center, for which the Council may pool our contributions.
On the topic of fundraising, I'm pleased to announce that the Alumni Council again achieved 100% participation in donating to Kenan-Flagler, giving a Council-record total of $62,000 in 2011-12.
We encourage all alumni to donate to UNC Kenan-Flagler. With state funding continuing to decline, alumni support is even more critical to sustain the school’s momentum. Believe it or not, just 14% of Kenan-Flagler graduates give to the school. We can do better! Think about how your trajectory has been affected by UNC Kenan-Flagler. Please give what you can – even a small amount – to help ensure that the school continues to educate leaders and innovate for the future.
The Council also discussed how we can be a stronger resource for KFBS between our semi-annual meetings. We agreed to pilot a virtual advisory program to assist Marketing and Development with their hot-button issues.
Lastly, we bid a fond farewell to three outgoing members - Jan Davis, Mackie Horton and Jeff Tucker. While we’ll will miss their passion and wisdom, they each continue serving the school tremendously in other capacities.
I am thrilled to serve as this year’s Alumni Council Chair. I’ve found the Council to be an incredible opportunity to give back, and enjoy working with such a committed, enthusiastic and perceptive group of fellow alums. And it’s clear that the School has tremendous momentum under Dean Dean and his team – from the budding MBA@UNC program to our expanding global footprint to our ongoing innovation in leadership development.
As always, we on the Council welcome any thoughts or questions from fellow alumni.
Steve Wolf (MBA 2000)
Alumni Council Chair 2012-2013