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Executive-in-Residence program brings real-world expertise to students


Kenny Koblitz (left) and Thomas Dujenski (right)

The School of Business recruited two top-tier professionals to its Executive-in-Residence program.

Kenny Koblitz, a retired vice president of sales in industrial cleaning products, will deliver specialized sales management training to students enrolled in the BUAD 446 Senior Seminar this fall. Thomas Dujenski, in the spring term, guided select students in the ECON 450 Senior Seminar, taught by Economics Professor Amar K. Parai, in studying impacts of new financial regulations on regional community banks and financial institutions.

Both executives have ties to Fredonia. Mr. Koblitz is a generous supporter of the Friends of Rockefeller Arts Center. Mr. Dujenski earned a Finance degree at Fredonia in 1981.

In Koblitz’s seminar, students will examine how modern sales managers employ state-of-the-art technology to identify, process and solve sales management problems. Class assignments and discussions will cover new and existing territory development, product launches and brand management and also reveal contradictory perspectives to complex marketing problems.

So engaging was the sales talk Koblitz gave to over 100 students in February that School of Business Dean Russ Boisjoly asked him on the spot if he’d like to join the Executive-in-Residence program.

“They all cheered when he said he would be honored to do that,” Dean Boisjoly recalled of the students’ reaction to Koblitz’s acceptance.

Fredonia seniors will benefit by gaining specialized sales training, which Boisjoly says is an underserved area in business schools. Koblitz, of Cleveland, will be on campus each week to work with students.

Now an independent marketing consultant, Koblitz retired as a senior vice president of sales at Zep Manufacturing, which makes industrial cleaning products. He earned a degree from Ohio State University and is a U.S. Air Force veteran.

In presentations to students last fall, Dujenski examined the impact of federal regulations on regional banks since the 2008 financial crisis. He indicated that community banks, which dominate the banking industry in Western New York, are struggling with the volume of regulations, and some may merge due to the heavy burden of regulations that make it impossible for them to compete with larger institutions.

Two juniors, Heather Pandich and Kevin Federation, worked as a team to analyze benefits of creating a regulatory structure comprised of two branches – one for community banks and another for large banks – for their capstone research project.

Dujenski conducted weekly Skype meetings with the pair, corresponded through email and telephone calls and reviewed their draft reports. He also gave a talk to the full class on job opportunities in financial services.

“Students liked the whole experience a lot and some of them had successfully established a working relationship with him for networking opportunities in their future career path,” said Dr. Parai.

“All in all, the seminar was extremely helpful and eye-opening to me personally,” said Ms. Pandich, a Business Administration/Finance and Economics major from Endwell. “It encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone and pick up a phone, but also opened my eyes to the world of banking. That will definitely be a path that I will consider when I graduate next May because of this project.”

Dujenski brought impressive credentials to the seminar, having worked in all regions of the FDIC and also as regional director of its Atlanta and Dallas operations. He has extensive knowledge of bank regulation, strategic planning, program management and business performance improvement.

Following a 31-year career with the FDIC, Dujenski became managing director of the Financial Industry Advisory Services division of Alvarez and Marsal, a prominent global professional services firm, in Atlanta.

In addition to his Fredonia degree, Dujenski earned an M.B.A. from St. Bonaventure University and graduated with distinction from the University of Delaware’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking.

posted @ Friday, August 21, 2015 3:39 PM by Jonathan Woolson

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