PLNU Takes The Big Apple!

By: Professor Randy Ataide

It has been a great couple of weeks for our Institute, with major announcements on consulting contracts on important projects, Lynn Reaser’s elevation to Chief Economist for the Controller of the State of California, and many other things as well. These are cause for celebration not only in the Institute and the Fermanian School of Business, but for PLNU in its entirety. I have always sincerely believed that positive news for any element of the University is a very good thing for all of us, regardless of our areas, discipines, interests and responsibilities. But behind the headlines are the many untold and often unknown elements that inevitably help propel an organization, company or team towards success.

I am reminded of this truth as I have been in New York City for the past six days, joining with members of our staff as we escort a large group of PLNU MBA’s through several days of Wall Street visits as well as the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) annual conference. This is an especially significant and symbolic conference for NABE as the last time they were in New York, it was September 11, 2001 and the Marriott Hotel that they were all in was wedged in between the two towers of the World Trade Center, and collapsed in the tragedy of that awful day. Our own Lynn Reaser was there at the time and shared with the PLNU group in a very personal and moving story of the painful memories she holds. While I was not here on 9/11, the last time I was I stood and admired the massive World Trade Center, and I must admit it was strange and melancholy to see them no longer here. I can only imagine how it must feel for those present during the attacks.

But it has been more than just a time of revisiting old memories but making new ones as well. As the end of the trip approaches and we all prepare to head home to San Diego, the many meetings, events, dinners, and seminars tend to blur together. Whether we were walking the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, or swapping ideas and opinions with executives of Bloomberg News, Black Rock, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and many others has made for a great trip.

But what stands out in my mind is the incredible organizational work and preparation that the FBEI staff did to make this successful trip happen. Full credit belongs to Cathy Gallagher, the Director of the FBEI, who singlehandedly arranged much of this trip for a large group of 18. Things have run smoothly and it is a credit to her professionalism and attention to detail, and has allowed all of us from PLNU and our great MBA Program to fully enjoy this time in the spotlight. Feel free to talk to any of them for their own views and opinions. Mark Undesser, Bryan Pridmore, Erik Reindfleisch, Douglas Nunez and many others have spoken openly of the positive impact of this trip and extended time together in the enhancement of their own executive development.

Early next year we head back to Washington D.C. for the NABE annual economic policy conference. Start thinking about joining us in D.C. for this trip. We would love to have you there!


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