Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ken Shotts Dean's Convocation

In this presentation, Dr. Ken Shotts discusses how moral psychology might be able to provide some answers as to why corporate scandals happen. He suggests that self-serving biases and situational factors may offer some explanation of corporate wrong-doing. Dr. Shotts points to studies in human psychology and applies them to HealthSouth’s accounting and Libor’s rate-fixing scandals. He also gives some ideas on how social pressures can work for good for individuals and organizations through setting up the right incentives, legitimizing dissent within organizations, and planning in advance what social pressures may exist and how to handle them. Dr. Shotts closes with the following:

“Context around us has a powerful effect. It’s hard to expect that the context is not going to shape me in really foundational ways, therefore, be careful about choosing the path of our lives so that we put ourselves in situations that will help us be the good and virtuous people that we aspire to be rather than the not-so-good and not-so-virtuous people that we maybe are all capable of being.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Vooray Case Competition Kickoff

By Derek Saraiva

Vooray was started in 2009 by Todd Nyman in his parent's basement. Todd had a passion for sports and wanted to create clothing that matched the energy of the outdoors.

One of Todd's first brand launches was "SUP", short for Superb Under Pressure. In order to get the brand launched, Todd was faced with the challenge of accumulating the capital needed to establish some sort of storefront. Unfortunately opening retail stores can be very expensive, so Todd chose to start out with a small pure play online storefront instead of a brick-and-mortar shop. He started out online with an amazingly small inventory of only 12 t-shirts.
Todd Nyman presenting to the HMA club

To cut down on marketing costs, but still get the name out there, Todd partnered up with YouTube channels featuring extreme sports such as barefoot skiing. YouTube featured 15-30 second ads that

Todd attributes part of this success to the Vooray demographic, which consists of 12-28-year-old males. Most of them are active and into at least one of the three major outdoor sports: skiing, surfing, and/or skating.

Another key to Vooray's success came from sponsoring athletes involved in extreme yet less-known sports. In the past barefoot skiers had been forgotten as far as sponsorships goes. By partnering with these athletes, Vooray created a win-win situation - the athletes get a sponsor, and Vooray gets a major brand ambassador.

Vooray wants to focus on what Todd calls "The Vooray Project", a social mission launch aimed at the demographic to help facilitate community service. Todd thinks that if done right it could become the next cool new thing.

The case competition objective is to accomplish one of the these three key objectives:
would run prior to the video; this strategy helped spread his brand's message at a relatively low cost.

1. Create uniqueness in a very competitive retail market

2. Gain increased exposure by using low cost methods

3. Generate a creative way to launch the social mission (the Vooray project).

Good Luck to all the competitors!

Monday, November 3, 2014

LEED Revisited

Last week we had a special meeting to review the status of where our new building is with regard to LEED status. I blogged about this once before in my May 28, 2012 blog. At that point, we were still working on the design of the new building, but we had not started construction.

The State of Utah, and USU, expect new buildings to meet certain environment-friendly standards when it comes to design, operations and maintenance. These standards are set by an independent, internationally-recognized organization called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED. This private organization offers a list of specific green building standards and award points to organizations that meet those standards. Depending on how many points are earned, a project could win a silver, gold or platinum medal. The state and the university require our project to qualify for at least a silver medal. About half of the points are based on the design of the building, and about half are based on the method of construction. Since we are now well into construction, it was time to do a formal review of where we stand on LEED points.

I am pleased to report that we are still in good shape to qualify for silver, and we might still qualify for gold.

In some cases, reaching certain levels can increase costs, so we have to be strategic as we decide where to invest our limited resources. As we have said from the beginning, it is unrealistic for us to reach platinum – the cost to reach platinum is beyond our budget. This LEED review gives me some peace of mind. A few weeks ago we faced a decision of pursuing a LEED point, but the additional cost to the building would have been about $130,000. I chose to save the $130,000. However, we are still in good shape despite sacrificing a point.

Ken Snyder

Thursday, October 30, 2014

USU Delta Omega Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi Sets World Record

This month the USU Delta Omega Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi achieved the prestigious Superior status, which makes them the longest concurrent superior chapter in the world. The Utah State chapter has achieved this status every year since 1977. Worldwide there are 298 active chapters representing over 17,000 members.

The chapter will be recognized at Beta Alpha Psi’s Annual Meeting and receive $275, which mostly covers chapter maintenance fees or dues for the year. Superior chapters are also recognized as such with a ribbon on their nametags when they attend the annual meeting and on the executive website.

The recognition is designed to:

• Encourage chapters to fulfill the objectives of Beta Alpha Psi and prepare members for careers as financial information professionals,

• Identify chapters needing assistance from Chapter Advocates and Professional Partners, and

• Recognize chapters that excel in serving their members, campus, community, and/or profession.

“We are an ambitious group with superior students, caring faculty, and engaged alumni,” Bonnie Villarreal, Beta Alpha Psi Faculty Advisor, said.

The club has set “to add value to the experience at the School of Accountancy at USU” by:

• Holding a leadership role and strong visual presence in the school’s activities

• Participating in all competitions and nominations that will represent and enhance the reputation of the USU SOA

• Continuing to build a “two-way bridge” between the academic and professional community enabling placement of students and opportunities for alumni to give back and stay involved

• Improving interaction and thus improving the educational experience

· Student to student – encouraging study groups and collaboration

· Student to faculty – encouraging academic pursuit/postgrad work/better classroom engagement

· Student to professionals – lifetime networking for Aggies

A Beta Alpha Psi chapter can be a Mission Based, Distinguished, or Superior chapter depending on the requirements they attempt and fulfill. Currently, to be a Superior chapter the following must be completed and timely reported to the executive office:

1. Beginning of the Year report (plan of operations for chapter activities)

2. Initiation ceremony for candidates meeting all qualifications for membership

3. Officer elections

4. End of year report including financial statements and tax reporting

5. Minimum of six professional activities including at least one “essential skills” session. Such as hosting a visiting professional speaker, mock interviews, joint meetings with other professional organizations, etc - Each involving at least 25 percent of the chapter membership.

6. Minimum of one service activity involving at least 25 percent of the chapter. Our chapter helps run the Juvenile Diabetes Walk for a Cure, Stokes Nature Center Auction, Child and Family Support Center Santa’s Workshop project, and has presented merit badge workshops for Boy Scouts and other community service events.

7. Minimum of eight “reaching out activities” such as attendance at regional and annual meetings, hosting of regional meeting, presenting in an information session at a regional or annual meeting, mentoring a developing chapter, alumni events, and other specifically identified events.

There are also requirements of at least 12 professional activity hours and 12 service hours per chapter member with a total of at least 32 hours of combined professional and service activities per chapter member.

Monday, October 27, 2014

HMA Stukent Internet Marketing Competition: Round Five and Awards Lecture

By Jason Porter

Congrats to the winners! Round five of the competition had me making gains again. My email marketing campaign went really well, but I didn't learn the ads fast enough to really be competitive. It was interesting to see my statistics of the campaigns I was running climb steadily as I learned more about targeting ads. Overall, my stats weren't bad, and considering I have had little training, they were pretty good.

I think this is an opportunity more people should explore. How often do you get to throw around $25,000 of someone’s (fake) money to see what it does? The awards lecture by Chad Heath, from was really interesting. He gave a rundown of how to “bootstrap” your business idea and get it running with little or no capital. Advice like this from someone of his background is pure gold. He also reached out to help those in attendance. One more great opportunity I got to participate in thanks to the Huntsman Marketing Association. Thanks to our sponsors, Utah Mattress Outlet, and Stukent!

Friday, October 24, 2014

HMA Stukent Internet Marketing Competition: Round Four

By Jason Porter

Round four I am seeing the results of my ad experiments and research. All my statistics are going up again. A/B testing works out slowly for me, but it does work. I can see where one ad boosts click through rates compared to the other. Perhaps if I had started this testing in the practice round I might have been able to boost my conversions higher by now. As it is my statistics aren't bad for someone with little formal training. I like seeing what effect my decisions have without sacrificing my money to see it.

On a bright note I am making the email marketing part work well for me. One of the campaigns has nearly a 100 percent open rate (nearly unheard of in the industry) and is converting 50 percent of my leads into buys (also extremely high). Just one more round to go! Thanks to our sponsors, Utah Mattress Outlet, and Stukent!

HMA Stukent Internet Marketing Competition: Round Three

by Jason Porter

*Sigh* Lesson learned. I changed horses in midstream and allowed the competition room to wiggle. I am learning what makes ads work and what doesn't. It also is very clear I need different strategies for my UK products. If it works in the UK it might not work in the US. One would think I would know that after an International Business class and a Cultures class.

I am finding that pinpointing the proper key words in my ads is harder than I thought. Posting tons of different ads with different keywords is helping narrow it down, but I might have given over too much of an advantage to the competition to recover. Maybe luck will be on my side for the last two rounds! Thanks to our sponsors, Utah Mattress Outlet, and Stukent!