Muito Obrigado Querido Amigo…

By: Cathy L. Gallagher

In August of 2005, after working at PLNU for 2 years, I was recruited by Randy Ataide to join him as he began his work as the Director of the Fermanian Business Center.

Although I had met Randy, I did not know him well, had no idea why he would be recruiting me since I didn’t think he even knew who I was… (ask him to tell you that story sometime!)… and was a bit reluctant to “jump ship” to join a team of 1, other than myself.  It has been 8 ½ years since we began that journey together… a journey where I have never looked back and learned much along the way… We often joke that in those early days, after setting up our phones and computers, we waited for students to stop by and business professionals to return our call… but that only lasted about 2 weeks and the rest… as they say… is history.

It has been a pleasure and a joy working “with”… not… “for” Randy… as he affectionately reminded me many times over the years. We have been blessed with growth and now have a full time staff of 6, 2 part time staff (economist and analyst), 8 student employees (60 + student

employees over the years…), and several MBA researchers. Our staff are family… we love, admire, and care for each other deeply.

It is impossible to sum up these last 8+ years in a word or a phrase, or to simply say thank you… but rather a few things that come to mind…

Time Passages… a song by Al Stewart that I have always enjoyed… came to mind as I began to think through the years… the words of the song don’t necessarily all ring true, but it puts me in a state of mind of recollecting moments, events, milestones that we experienced along the way…

Invigorating * Exhausting * Exhilarating * Fun
Staff meetings… our work… the team… the growth… the ride.

Inspirational – Transformational * Motivational * Dedicated
These words are modeled in Randy’s teaching, management style, and leadership. Although I had been a teacher, manager, and leader in a past role and for most of my professional career, Randy has refined those skills in me, both in the classroom and in the office and I am ever thankful. It has also been a pleasure to watch him, and at times sit with him, with students, alums, young (and old) professionals, friends, and colleagues as he shares his mind, his expertise, his wisdom… It energizes, feeds, and sustains him in many ways…

Transition – a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another.

Although the work of the FBEI will continue, it is important for me to acknowledge the incredible work, outstanding leadership, dedication, vision, energy, and passion that Randy poured into his students, our staff, and the work of our Institute. We have been successful under his leadership and are fortunate to have his continued support and counsel as needed in the days ahead of the Institute, and perhaps even more fortunate are those new MBA students whose education and lives will be strengthened by his knowledge and expertise in the classroom.

Para me… Randy, my colleague, boss, teacher, advisor, and most importantly my friend, the investment that you have made in me over the last 8 ½ years as all of these, has made me a better person… personally and professionally… stronger, wiser, and ever appreciative. Your encouragement, affirmation, and support… (not to mention the size 10 EE shoe…) …has motivated and uplifted me through even the most challenging times, and left me in a much better place. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I would not be where I am without you.

The foundation for the work ahead is firm thanks to you, and I look forward to continuing the great work that we started and am ever so grateful to work with such an incredible team.

A wild ride indeed!
Muito Obrigado Querido Amigo… Thank you very much my dear friend.


Inspiring Greatness

By: Cathy Gallagher
IvanI recently read an article in Inc. Magazine entitled, “How to Inspire Greatness: Stop Leading”. It’s a great reminder to those of us in leadership positions or who aspire to be, to move beyond the stereotypical leader to one who inspires greatness by “giving control and creating leaders.” In my 30 years as a working professional I have been fortunate to work with a few men and women who exhibit that leadership style, the most recent one being former FSB Dean, Dr. Ivan Filby.

Today Randy and I have the pleasure of representing the Fermanian School of Business and PLNU at Ivan’s inauguration as the 12th President of Greenville College, in Greenville, Illinois. Randy is a guest speaker in the ceremony and I will be marching as a representative of PLNU in the processional of colleges and universities. When Ivan first shared his wonderful news with us several months ago, I must admit my heart sank and the word “wonderful” didn’t come to mind as I thought of what this meant to our team, the FSB, and to PLNU… but my moment of selfishness gave way to the knowledge and comfort of what he had done in his time with us…and I was excited at the great plans that The Lord had for his future. What an honor it is to share in the joy of this day, but not nearly the honor it has been to have known Ivan and to work under his leadership.

During his time as Dean of the FSB (12/13), Ivan inspired those around him on a daily basis. His charm, sense of humor, candor, sensitivity, and love for The Lord complement the “gift of erosion” that he freely admits to be perhaps his greatest gift. He touched those around him with his authentic nature and is one of those rare people who ask how you are and truly wants to know. Ivan’s daily visits to our office to say hi, to pray together, or just to talk and have coffee were welcomed and appreciated by Randy and me, and by our staff. The interest and energy that he poured into his work as well as in students, colleagues, peers, and business leaders in our community was genuine and endless.

Ivan was successful in many areas as our Dean, establishing new majors, implementing a 5th year MBA program, and creating long standing relationships in the community among other things…but his greatest success was not necessarily visible or tangible, but rather one that was felt deeply and personally to those who knew him well, it was his success in transforming those around him by empowering, affirming, and supporting with his words, actions, and advocacy.


            Thank you Ivan, for being so true to who you are, and for truly and deeply caring for those around you. The sacrifice that you all made to spend a year with us while Kathie, Sam, and Katie stayed in Illinois was great, and did not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Your shoes will be difficult to fill but I am confident in our future as you left us in a much better place and with hope of continued growth and success…

… today my dear friend, may God be with you and your family in this joyful time of celebration. I am honored and thrilled to be a part of it. You have been an unbelievable blessing and gift to me and I look forward to a continued friendship with you and Kathie.

Thank you as well for being a transformational leader and inspiring me in many ways to do great things for and with our team and with those around me. Congratulations!! We are so very proud of you, love you, and wish you even greater success!

FBEI Commencement Farewell: Part 2 – A Landmark for a New Chapter

By Dr. Lynn Reaser

ImageMay 4, Graduation Day at PLNU, of 2013 will forever be burnished in my mind as a glorious day but also as one of some regret.  I am so proud of Cathy Gallagher on completing her BA, of Dieter Mauerman with his MBA, the 60 MBAS, James Garcia, and the others earning their degrees.

I had anxiously anticipated being part of the academic procession and hugging all of my students and friends on that wonderful day.  But, alas, God had other plans and I remained in the hospital until late that day.  Please know, however, that my heart and spirit were with all of the students that day and I pictured them vividly in my mind.

It has been only a short while that I have been teaching an MBA class at PLNU but it has been such a joy to see students embrace the power of economics and how it provides a prism to help view the world.  I treasure my students and my colleagues as dear friends and hope those friendships will continue throughout our lives.

And so, although May  4, 2013, was a bittersweet day for me, much more importantly, it was a landmark for our students as they begin new chapters in their lives.  I am so very proud of all of them and only offer whatever I can do to support them and their followers in the future.

Image Credit: 2013 PLNU Commencement by Marcus Emerson

FBEI Commencement Farewell: Part 1 – “It was a very good day!”

By Randy Ataide

8717106729_08184b3ed5This past Saturday May 4 was a day that dawned cool and gray but as events unfolded rich clouds were punctuated by blasts of warm sun. But the weather was really the least important thing of this date, as it was the 2013 commencement ceremonies for PLNU!

I have reflected several times in past blogs of my mixed feelings of commencement day—the fulfillment of so much work, effort and commitment by young people towards a personal goal of a college degree brings to family and friends great pride and joy in the celebration of a goal now achieved. It is fun to participate in some small way in this journey for both our undergraduates and our MBA’s. But the closing of this chapter of life, a season at PLNU now completed as the graduates now focus on other people, places and things, often to the far corners of the earth, inevitably brings a touch of sadness and pain even in the midst of celebration.

But it was a very good day at PLNU! With my teaching now focused only upon MBA’s, greeting my last group of undergraduate entrepreneur students I have taught this past year was very rewarding, as I thought back to the hundreds of students who have taken BUS 382 and 486 from me since in the years 2006-2012. And this year, the enormous group of over 60 PLNU MBA’s successfully finishing our rigorous program undoubtedly gives any of us associated with the MBA fulfillment (if not some exhaustion as well!) Joined by other programs and majors from PLNU’s several campuses provided a jolt of energy to the day at each of the three ceremonies.

There is even more to celebrate. For our own Institute office, the great accomplishment of our Director Cathy Gallagher achieving her B.A. in Business Administration only serves to burnish her outstanding business credentials, and our Economic Researcher Dieter Mauerman joined the ranks of PLNU MBA’s, class of 2013. With Lynn Reaser and I each serving as teacher and advisor to them, and Emily Gallentine as chief encourager, our team celebrates together in their milestones. Institute student employee James Garcia also earned his B.A. in Business Administration, and we wished him “bon voyage” as he embarks on his new quests in life.

Long ago, Winston Churchill uttered a short phrase which seems to fit the day as well anything else:

“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

So congratulations to all. Yes indeed, it was a very good day!

Image Credit: 2013 PLNU Commencement by Marcus Emerson

A Bittersweet Goodbye from the FBEI


As graduation arrives in a mere 3 days, I have spoken to many undergraduate and MBA students who are experiencing a strange mixture of joy at their accomplishments but also anxiety, concern and fear. Certainly, they enter into this next chapter of their lives in a challenging business, economic, and political era, but the source of this anxiety is something much more personal and touching.

Many conversations with graduating students have focused on the great relationship built up over these past years in school, either at our lovely ocean front campus or at Mission Valley. The rhythm and routine of the certainty created by an academic schedule is now being replaced, and often with something far less certain. For some, it means a move away and the knowledge that we will see each other again only if circumstances allow.

The first year I sat as a faculty member in graduation, I was profoundly moved by watching the festivities around me but even more so by the embraces, photos, and introductions to families and friends who were there to celebrate a great accomplishment. Those are great memories and for those whom I stay in contact with, across many industries and parts of the world, these relationships have grown even deeper. Ultimately, graduation proves to be a very bittersweet experience for us all.

So to all of our pending graduates I say to each of you ‘well done!’ Finish strong in these final days and know that many of us are praying, supporting, and hoping the best for you both now and in the future.

Randy Ataide
Executive Director

Cathy Gallagher – Director
Commencement truly is a bittersweet moment for us as we have been blessed to get to know many of you in different settings and on varying levels. We are so excited at what the future has in store for each of you, yet saddened by the thought that life may somehow get in the way of continuing the relationship we have worked so hard to build. Please know nothing give us greater joy at the FBEI then when we reconnect with our alums, whether it be a week, month, or year after they graduate. We want to maintain contact with you, have coffee, lunch, take a moment to catch up on what is going in your life, and celebrate accomplishments with you. We want you coming back to give a bit of yourself, share your experiences with those who are following behind you, and provide connections within your own network, or tap back into our network. So as you go on your way, wherever life is taking you beyond PLNU, take a moment to look over your shoulder now and again and say hello to those who remember you, brag about you, pray for you, and wish you well.

Lynn Reaser – PLNU Chief Economist
You are entering a world that holds both unprecedented opportunities and challenges.  Stay true to your values and you will never go astray.  Strive for excellence and work for a better world.  We are extremely proud of you.  Stay in touch and know that we will be here for you.

Dieter Mauerman – Economic Research Assistant
We are proud of each of you. In your future careers make the most of each opportunity you are presented with.  Don’t be afraid to go against the norm and be yourself.  Relationships made in school are often times the most rewarding, so come visit us and don’t forget to stay in touch.

Emily Gallentine – Manager
Over the past year as Manager of the FBEI, I have gotten the sincere pleasure of walking with many of you through opportunities, successes, trials, stresses, fears, and professional growth. At the FBEI, we get the distinct joy of completely understanding what our business partners mean when they say to us, “There’s just something about those PLNU students.” “That something” they are speaking of will take you far in life. We are proud of you and are honored to know you. Although this time is bittersweet for us all, we continue to be your biggest fans and will be here to support you today and in the future. Best of luck and congratulations PLNU Class of 2012!

Report by Fermanian Business & Economic Institute determines San Diego County must diversify water sources


(San Diego, Calif. – July 26, 2010) –A new and independent study on San Diego’s water sources was presented in a report researched and produced by the Fermanian Business & Economic Institute (FBEI) at Point Loma Nazarene University.  The report, titled San Diego’s Water Sources: Assessing the Options, addresses the urgency to develop more local, reliable, and sustainable sources of water for the region, and in addition, provides economic analysis in order to establish options for different water sources.

Dr. Lynn Reaser, chief economist at PLNU and the primary author of the report said, “Water represents probably the biggest resource challenge faced throughout the world, including San Diego. Our study is an attempt to objectively compare the different water options, ranging from desalination and recycled water to conservation, to help guide policymakers and the public in decisions vital to our future.”

Main factors that the report examines are the different possible water sources for San Diego County, and projections for 2020 and 2030.  The report also analyzes the energy intensity of the different sources in order to capture the impact on energy supplies and significance of the “carbon footprint.” It offers a feasibility analysis of the different water solutions based on legal, technical, safety, social and environmental factors.

A total of seven solutions are offered, and of the seven, conservation appears to be the most attractive of the solutions. 

 “The final research report was done with the intention to provide decision makers and the San Diego community with a written document that is clear and understandable,” said Randy M Ataide, executive director of the FBEI. “This is what we refer to as ‘actionable economics,’ and Dr. Reaser and the FBEI staff did a remarkable job researching, analyzing and presenting such a complex and potentially controversial topic.”

The report was sponsored and published by the Equinox Center, a San Diego-based research group that seeks find solutions to balance San Diego’s regional growth with sustainable natural resources.

For further information or for a copy of the report, contact Marion Paul at the Equinox Center at or Cathy Gallagher at the FBEI at or (619) 849-2564. 

The feature story has run in local news coverage including Channel 10 News ( ) and KPBS radio (

Randy Ataide Named a San Diego Top Influential

Congratulations to Prof Randy Ataide, Director of the Fermanian Business Center and Professor of Entrepreneurship.  

The Daily Transcript named PLNU’s Randy Ataide as one of San Diego’s Top Influentials for 2010. Ataide is the director of PLNU’s Fermanian Business Center and a professor of entrepreneurship in the MBA program.

According to the Transcript, “San Diego’s Top Influentials highlights the Who’s Who in San Diego business, profiling the top newsmakers of 2009. This year we focus on the leaders in Finance; Business Services & Law; Biotech, Tech & Defense; Construction and Real Estate; and Health, Education & Hospitality.”

In addition to being recognized in print and online, Ataide and the other winners will be recognized at a special reception and will be turned to as experts by the Transcript’s editorial staff in the coming year.

View the San Diego Daily Transcript Announcement!