What Were They Thinking? How honest people go bad…a little at a time

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business & Economics and the Allegheny Law & Policy program will welcome Allegheny alumnus Mike Young, class of ’78.  Mr. Young has spent 38 years as a Wall Street attorney investigating corporate wrongdoing.  He returns to Allegheny to share his experiences of how good, decent, honorable individuals end up breaking the law – often without even realizing it.  He will give concrete suggestions to aspiring business leaders about avoiding the pitfalls that have entrapped so many others.

The Allegheny Community is invited to Quigley auditorium on Thursday, October 17, 12:15 – 1:15 pm for this enlightening presentation; lunch will be provided.

Michael R. Young

Named by Accounting Today as one of the “top 100 most influential people in accounting,” Michael R. Young is a litigation partner at New York’s Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP where he chairs the firm’s securities litigation practice. Mike advises and defends boards of directors, audit committees, accounting firms, public companies, and company officers on issues of corporate governance and financial reporting.

His trial victories include the landmark jury verdict for the defense in the first class action tried to a jury pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  He has served as a member of FASB’s Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council, as chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Financial Reporting Committee, and as counsel to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Center for Audit Quality.

A prolific author on the subjects of financial reporting, audit committee effectiveness and the role and responsibilities of the independent auditor, Mike’s books include The Financial Reporting Handbook (Wolters Kluwer 2003), Accounting Irregularities and Financial Fraud (Harcourt 2000) and, most recently, Financial Fraud Prevention and Detection:  Governance and Effective Practices (Wiley 2014).

Mike is a much sought after speaker and commentator on financial reporting issues, and has been regularly quoted in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, Forbes, USA Today, The Washington Post, and The National Law Journal.  He has also appeared as an invited guest on Fox Business News, CNBC, MSNBC, CNN, and BNN (Canada). Mike is a graduate of Allegheny College and the Duke University School of Law, where he was Research and Managing Editor of the Duke Law Journal.


Welcome Alumna Diane Sutter, 2019 Executive in Residence

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business & Economics welcomes our 2019 Executive in Residence, Alumna Diane Sutter to the Allegheny College Campus September 30 – October 2.  Ms. Sutter is the President and CEO of ShootingStar Inc., a consulting company that provides operational and consulting services to radio and television broadcasters, media companies, and financial institutions. She has owned and/or managed several broadcast stations, both radio and TV. While on campus, she will hold two public events, participate in this year’s Economics short course in executive leadership and meet with Allegheny students, faculty and staff.

Executive in Residence Public Events

Monday, September 30, 12:15 – 1:15 PM, Quigley Auditorium:
So you want to own a TV Station? The Path from Allegheny to Capitol Hill to Broadcasting

Tuesday, October 1, 12:15 – 1:15 PM, Quigley Auditorium: Management, Leadership & Teams

Lunch will be provided at both sessions

Allegheny students may visit Ms. Sutter during office hours on Monday, Sept. 30 and Tuesday, Oct. 1 from 2:30 until 4:30 PM in Quigley 219, students may follow this link to schedule an appointment.

The Executive in Residence program is an event is designed to connect Allegheny students and faculty with prominent business executives who spend several days on the Allegheny campus speaking about their life experiences in business, paths to success and lessons learned.

Alumna Diane Sutter

Diane Sutter’s career has included radio and television station management, overseeing a television and radio station group, and owning and operating television stations. She currently consults for radio and television stations, media companies, financial institutions and other organizations. In addition, she conducts management training and development for companies and organizations as a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach. Sutter also works with organizations to implement Conscious Capitalism and “Purpose” in their company.

ShootingStar Broadcasting is the media company she formed to acquire and operate television and radio stations. The company owned the CBS affiliate in Abilene, TX (KTAB) and MyTV New England (WZMY-TV) in the Boston, MA market.

Ms. Sutter also served as the Trustee for the KFWB Asset Trust (The Beast 980-All Sports Radio) in Los Angeles, CA and facilitated the sale of the station. Sutter currently sits on the Advisory Board of Media Vista Broadcasting, Naples, FL.  She was a member of the Advisory Board of Futuri Media, LLC, Cleveland, OH.  Previously, she was a member of the Board of Directors of JW Broadcasting and consulted for the four station TV group in Columbia, MO until it was sold.

Ms. Sutter served as the President of Shamrock Television, in Burbank, CA, a division of Shamrock Holdings, Inc., owned by the Roy Disney family. Sutter oversaw three network affiliates for Shamrock and was responsible for station operations and acquisitions.

Prior to that, Ms. Sutter served as Executive Vice President of Operations for Shamrock Broadcasting, which operated 23 major market radio stations as well as three network television stations. She came to the corporate offices in Burbank, CA from Lexington, KY where she was the Vice President and General Manager of Shamrock’s ABC Television Affiliate there.

Her radio broadcasting career began in Pittsburgh, PA where she held numerous positions in radio, rising from newsroom producer through sales to sales manager, station manager, and general manager. She joined Shamrock Broadcasting and served as Vice President and General Manager of Shamrock’s AM/FM combination in Pittsburgh, PA.

Previously, Ms. Sutter worked on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. in various capacities for members of both the House and Senate. Her last position was as the Press Secretary for a congressman from Chicago, IL.

Industry/Community Associations

Ms. Sutter is actively engaged in both her industry and community. She recently served as the Chair of the FCC Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment. In 2008, she was appointed to the FCC Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age and was ​​​​re-appointed in 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2017 by multiple FCC Chairmen.  Sutter also is a member of the Advisory Board of Multicultural Media, Telcom and Internet Council (MMTC).  Sutter is also a member of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)

Diversity and Inclusion Council

She served as the National Chair of the Alliance for Women in Media (AWM) and on their National Board. In addition, she served on the Entrepreneurial Leadership Council of Suffolk University’s Sawyer School of Business, and as a member of the Emerson College National Advisory Committee on Diversity in Boston, MA.

Ms. Sutter is a member of Conscious Capitalism LA and the All Star for Kids Council of the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. She also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council for the American University School of Communications, Washington, DC. Previously she was a member of the Alumni Advisory Council for Allegheny College, Meadville, PA.

 Broadcast Leadership Training Program

Ms. Sutter created and developed the Broadcast Leadership Training (BLT) Program for women and people of color sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation (NABLF). She serves as the “Dean” of the executive-MBA style, 10-month program to train women and minorities to become broadcast owners and group heads and teaches many of the sessions. The program is celebrating its 20th Anniversary year and has 325 graduates, many of whom have gone on to ownership or have been promoted to “C” suite level positions in the industry.

Awards and Recognition

Radio Ink magazine named Sutter one of The Most Influential Women in Radio in 2017 and 2018 and 2019.  She was also named one of the 20 Top Leaders in Radio by Radio Ink Magazine. Radio and Television Business Magazine recently named Sutter as one of the top Television Executives.  The Broadcasters Foundation of America honored Ms. Sutter as a 2017 Ward Quall Leadership Award recipient in recognition of her career contributions to the broadcast industry and the community at large.

In 2014, Sutter received the Trailblazer Award, from the Mentoring and Inspiring Women (MIW’s) at the NAB Radio Convention, recognizing her efforts to create and serve as the Dean of the Broadcast Leadership Training Program and mentor women and others in the industry. In 2011, she was chosen by the Alliance for Women in Media to be recognized for her contributions to the industry for the organization’s 60th Anniversary.

The NAB honored Ms. Sutter as the recipient of their Leadership Award at their national convention in 2009. Sutter was the 2008 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council.

The Alliance for Women in Media has also honored Ms. Sutter with their National Achievement Award. In addition, she was the first radio industry recipient of the Alliance’s Genii Award from the Los Angeles Chapter.


Ms. Sutter received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, and her graduate degree in Public Relations from American University, School of Communications, in Washington, DC. She is also a certified Gallup Strengths Coach.


Gators in Economic Development

Christian Walker ’20 and Ethan Graubard ’20 each interned this summer at different organizations pursuing the same interest – economic development.

Sales, Service and Economic Development

Ethan Graubard
Ethan Graubard ’20 did double duty this summer working for Enterprise Rental as a customer assistance representative, and as a business liaison at the Bergen County Economic Development office.

Ethan Graubard did double duty this summer working for Enterprise Rental as a customer assistance representative, and as a business liaison at the Bergen County Economic Development office.  “It was a hustle all summer,” commented Graubard.

Ethan interned in 2018 at Enterprise as a management trainee, then advanced in 2019 to a Customer Assistance Representative where he gained experience in sales, customer service, management and logistics.  “I have always been interested in urban planning and economic revitalization,” he said, “in fact, I did my senior project on public/private non-profit organizations.”  He then earned a position at the Bergen County, NJ economic development office team whose goal is to attract business and promote tourism in the county, completing both internships in one summer.

Ethan is an Economics major with minors in Political Science and Community & Justice Studies, a student-athlete (varsity football), and a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Organization.

Entrepreneurship in Hermitage, PA

Christian "Dubs" Walker
2019 Big Idea Winner, Christian Walker ’20 (right side, second from the end) interned for the second year at the eCenter @ LindenPointe, a non-profit business incubator dedicated to helping early-stage startups.

Christian Walker interned for the second year at the eCenter @ LindenPointe, a non-profit business incubator dedicated to helping early-stage startups. He participated along with other interns and entrepreneurs both teaching and attending seminars designed to improve the group’s skills at creating new business start-ups and growing existing businesses.

Christian owns and operates animatr, a brand that destigmatizes the negative misconceptions surrounding Japanese “anime” animation fans with aesthetic streetwear.

“I learned that it’s not just about having a good idea,” said Walker, “it’s about how you implement it.” He added, “My business revenue increased by 350% thanks to the accelerator and hard work.”

Christian is an Applied Computer Science major with a minor in Economics, a Bonner Scholar, and the 2019 Winner of the Big Idea Competition, Allegheny’s annual contest that emulates the experiences seen on the popular CNBC broadcast, Shark Tank.

Allegheny College is grateful for the many opportunities extended to our students through organizations like the eCenter @Linden Point, Enterprise and the Bergen County Economic Development office. The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business & Economics works in partnership with Allegheny Career Education to mentor students on how to locate and apply for internships, secure housing and apply for funding sources to defray costs.

Project Management in the Medical Device Industry

Do you think it’s hard to juggle priorities as a college student? Meet Eric Jones

J. Eric Jones, Operations ManagerImagine what it would be like to be the site manager for a 172,000 square foot manufacturing facility and lead a team of 6 managers, over 300+ labor assemblers and 3 tactical buyers – that’s just another day in the life of Eric Jones.

Attend this presentation to learn more about how Eric approaches project management, leadership and strategy to contribute to $750 million in annual revenue as the man responsible to oversee the assembly, testing and packaging of 1.2 million CPAP devices, 91,000 communicators and 275,000 personal help buttons.

The Allegheny community is welcome to attend the first in the series of Lunchtime Learning presentations on September 10 at 12:15 pm in the Henderson Auditorium, Quigley Hall. Don’t miss this chance for a free lunch and the opportunity to meet this key advisor and thought leader in the medical device industry.

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business & Economics sponsors this series to provide students with opportunities to gain valuable information on topics and industries related to internships and careers in business and economics.  Speakers often choose one of two broad areas to discuss with students. The first is career oriented, and the second is issue oriented. Both topics enable students to navigate and explore job options, understand the steps necessary to pursue opportunities and learn how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.

Ryan Clydesdale ’20 Wins the Prestigious Cornerstones Summer Analyst position

Ryan Clydesdale ’20 Wins the Prestigious Cornerstones Summer Analyst positionMathematics major with a double minor in Economics and Chemistry, Ryan Clydesdale ’20, was awarded the prestigious Cornerstone Research summer internship experience.  According to Clydesdale, “and I had a great ten weeks as a Summer Analyst at Cornerstone Research. From gaining an understanding of the daily workflow of economic and litigation consulting, to acquiring some of the skills that come along with the job, and developing as a professional in general, I benefited immensely from this experience. I am now comfortable with coding in multiple programming languages, using Microsoft Office at a more sophisticated level, and collaborating with others to function as a productive member of a project team.”

Navigating the Application Process

To apply for this position, Ryan submitted his resume, transcript, and a cover letter to Cornerstone through Allegheny’s Career Education office. He was then called back for a phone interview, where he further discussed his interest and qualifications. The next step was a Skype interview, where he took part in two mock case studies. During the latter he was given background information on mock cases and the interviewers asked questions about his approach to investigation and analysis. As part of the process, Ryan was interviewed by multiple Cornerstone employees at various levels of management.

Cornerstone Research

Cornerstone Research is a leading economic and financial consulting firm specializing in the analysis of complex economic, financial, accounting, and marketing issues that arise in the context of various kinds of litigation. Cornerstone Research has 700 staff and offices in Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Washington.

Cornerstone Research values the professional growth of its summer analysts and recognizes their contributions to clients and the firm. Consequently, many summer analysts choose to join Cornerstone Research full-time upon graduation. The analytical depth of assignments, the breadth of industry exposure, and experience working in case teams offer outstanding preparation for analysts applying to top graduate programs in business, economics, and law, and for ensuing careers in consulting, finance industry, and academia.

Allegheny College is grateful for the many opportunities extended to our students by Cornerstone Research and their continued support of undergraduate experiential learning. The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business & Economics works in partnership with  Allegheny Career Education to mentor students on how to locate and apply for internships, secure housing and apply for funding sources to defray costs.

Tech Intern Jerfenson Cerda Mejia ’20 Excels at Startup

Jerfenson Cerda Mejia
Jerfenson Cerda Mejia (third from the left) standing with Arin CEO, VP and Lead Software developer

Jerfenson Cerda Mejia ’20 Computer Science Major, Economics minor interned this summer at Arin, a technology startup in Pittsburgh that builds solutions for industry 4.0 by providing location awareness capabilities to vast networks of sensor, machines and workers.

What is it like to work in a technology startup?

Accord to Mejia, “I was a business and marketing associate intern. The overall experience was amazing. Since it was a startup, there were many things to do. I helped generate leads to help the company find potential distributors to sell their product. From the leads I generated, the startup is currently in talks with 5 of them to sign on as distributors. I redesigned and reworked their websites and worked on search engine optimization. I created a marketing plan and gathered content to post on their social networks. The internship was a great experience because the work I was doing was really helping the company.”

Benefits of Student Internships at a Startup

According to Forbes, “If you’re a particularly entrepreneurial student—you like to problem solve, ask questions, and work in a more flexible environment—then an internship at a startup may be of real benefit to you. Any student with entrepreneurial interest should seriously consider working at a startup for a summer during college. You’ll have more flexibility than you would in a large company. It will also move faster, and you’ll have more exposure to real problems.”

Entrepreneurship @Allegheny College

The Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics offers beginning and advanced studies in microeconomics and entrepreneurship.  Students are inspired to experience entrepreneurship by participating in the Zingale Big Idea Competition in April, a funding request presentation contest where student teams propose business models for profit, non-profit or social venture companies. The contest emulates the experiences seen on the popular CNBC broadcast, Shark Tank. Unlike Shark Tank, the Zingale Big Idea distinguished panel of judges do more than evaluate the student team’s business models – they offer constructive feedback, coach and encourage students. Students are welcome to take classes, workshops and discuss ideas with Entrepreneur in Residence, Chris Allison ’83.


Meet Dr. Kathryn Bender, Professor of Environmental Economics

Dr. Kathryn Bender, Professor of Environmental EconomicsThe field of Economics is filled with a wide variety of sub-disciplines, one of the most fascinating is Environmental Economics – the area of economics dealing with the relationship between the economy and the environment. Dr. Bender joins the Allegheny College Center for Business and Economics this fall to help students discover the economics of natural resources.

Dr. Bender commented, “I’m excited to start at Allegheny this fall! I’m involved in several projects on consumer food waste behavior and hopes to find new avenues to explore at Allegheny around this topic.”

Dr. Bender earned a Ph.D. in Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics from The Ohio State University. Dr. Bender’s research interests are in the area of agricultural, environmental, and development economics. Dr. Bender’s dissertation, “Date Labels and Food Waste: A study of the effect of label characteristics on food waste in the United States,” studies the confluence of environmental science, economics, and marketing in the food distribution ecosystem in the United States. She is also interested in exploring the effect of feminine hygiene programs in developing countries on the environment along with women’s empowerment, health, and education.

In her free time, Dr. Bender enjoys playing soccer, riding horses, and hanging out with her two dogs, Huck and Nala.

Experiencing Ethiopia’s Encounters with Globalization, Sustainability, and Empowerment

Dr. Onyeiwu with students visiting the African Union. The imposing and magnificent building in the background was donated by the Chinese government to the African Union.
Dr. Onyeiwu with students visiting the African Union. The imposing and magnificent building in the background was donated by the Chinese government to the African Union.


Globalization, Sustainability, and Empowerment:
A Case Study of Ethiopia

From May 14 to June 1 this summer, Professor Steve Onyeiwu, Economics Department Chair and Lucinda Morgan, the Director of International Education, led a group of Allegheny students to Ethiopia in eastern Africa.

This EL experience, entitled “Globalization, Sustainability, and Empowerment: A Case Study of Ethiopia,” was an exploration of how Ethiopia has developed from a state-controlled economy in the 1980s and 1990s to impressive economic growth rates in the past decade. Regarded as one of Africa’s success stories, Ethiopia has done so on the basis of an agricultural development strategy, rather than on reliance on minerals.

The pre-departure sessions and site visits in Ethiopia enabled students to observe and consider the impact of economic growth. What did the group discover?  Professor Onyeiwu shared these reflections:

Has economic growth been inclusive and poverty-alleviating? “We were shocked to observe how inequitable Ethiopia’s spectacular economic growth has been. The capital city, Addis Ababa, has many exquisite hotels, restaurants, and mansions. The roads in the city are replete with expensive imported cars. But driving about 30 miles outside of the city, one is confronted with abject poverty, and a lack of basic amenities (decent housing, schools, health centers, clean water, etc.).

Has growth empowered women and youth?  “Women and youths are the most marginalized groups in Ethiopia. Women have limited access to education, and their roles are seen as primarily focused on child-bearing and work in the agricultural sector. Ethiopian youths lack employment opportunities. We met some youths with college degrees who were having difficulties finding jobs. Many youths with education have resorted to doing menial jobs that are unsuited to their skills and training.”

 Is Ethiopia’s economic performance sustainable? “Ethiopia has done well with the development of agro-processing firms, from wineries to meat processing, cut flowers, leather products and handcrafts. Environmental students in our group also observed evidence of significant loss of biodiversity in Ethiopia. Thus, the sustainability of Ethiopia’s economic growth is very contentious.”

Experiential Learning Seminars (ELs) are short-term, faculty-led courses conducted in partnership with the International Education Office in the Allegheny Gateway to help students gain real-world experiences to achieve their ultimate career and life goals.


Summer Research Project Supports Local Community

Altay Baskan, sitting in the center with the Cambridge Springs, PA Borough Board Members after the July 15th presentation.
Altay Baskan, sitting in the center with the Cambridge Springs, PA Borough Council Members after the July 15th presentation.

This summer, Allegheny business student Altay Baskan ’20 participated in the Gateway Network program as a student researcher working on behalf of the Mayor’s office of the Borough of Cambridge Springs, PA to support and research possible methods that can be utilized by the Borough to increase and expand business development in the community. Baskan presented  a five point strategy for the borough to achieve their goals and begin to build a Master Plan for each step of the journey at their July 15, 2019 Board meeting.

Cambridge Springs Mayor Randy Gorske commented, “As Mayor of the Borough of Cambridge Springs, working with Allegheny College has provided me with a youthful sounding board dedicated to assisting in the plan to revitalize the community. The research generated ideas crucial to the creation of a master plan for the borough.”

The Gateway Network organizes summer project opportunities for student-faculty partnerships with local organizations. This program serves supports students working on research projects requested by community partners. Faculty and students selected for the program benefit from all summer URSCA programming, including the ACRoSS lunch series and the Reach ACRoSS professional development workshops.

Special thanks to Mayor Gorske, Sandy Pude, Borough Manager, and the entire Borough Council along with the Office of Civic Engagement in the Allegheny College Gateway. Beth Ryan, Program Coordinator for the Bruce R. Thompson Center for Business and Economics, served as staff liaison for the Cambridge Springs project.

Gator Intern Trio Trevor Day ’20, Brendon Urso ’20 and Taylor Renk ’20 @Hefren-Tillotson

Hefren-Tillotson 2019 Summer InternsThis summer three Economics students are working for Hefren-Tillotson in their summer internship program.  Trevor Day ’20, Brendon Urso ’20 and Taylor Renk ’20 are among the student group attending a presentation by the Investment Advisory Team where they learned about the different ways the company looks at investment opportunities.

According to CBE Fellow Trevor Day, “Hefren-Tillotson is a great place to intern for a summer because they encourage you to find projects that interest you. Hefren-Tillotson always encourages you to find a learning opportunity.”

Hefren-Tillotson is home to many Allegheny College alumni, and actively supports Allegheny students and programs.  Today, with over $12 billion in client assets, Hefren-Tillotson is one of the oldest and largest full-service wealth management firms headquartered in Western Pennsylvania. They were recently named among the “Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania” by the Pittsburgh Business Times.

Our special thanks to Kim Tillotson Fleming, Chairman and CEO of Hefren-Tillotson, 2017 Executive in Residence, and Don Belt ’93 Hefren-Tillotson President, for their continued service and support of Allegheny students.