Eastern Michigan University
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Executives in Residence "open doors of opportunity" for EMU College of Business

Published April 29, 2015

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Chad Wiebesick, Director of Social Media and Interactive Marketing Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Chad Wiebesick, Director of Social Media and
Interactive Marketing Michigan Economic
Development Corporation

One-on-one meetings with world renowned executives. Advice on cutting edge strategies. A wealth of connections. These are among benefits that Executives in Residence (EiR) bring to College of Business students, faculty and staff at Eastern Michigan University.

“Executives in Residence open doors of opportunity,” says Bud Gibson, an EMU professor and director of The Center for Digital Engagement, which was launched by the COB in January 2015. “Not only do these executives serve as resources for learning; their social connections are vital.”

The Center’s inaugural EiR, Chad Wiebesick, is the social media director of the popular Pure Michigan tourism campaign. Wiebesick is well known among business, tourism and government leaders and is a recipient of Online Media & Marketing Magazine’s “America’s Top 20 Interactive Media Rising Stars.”

“Mr. Wiebesick has played a significant role in a new collaboration with Ann Arbor Spark, where students will staff a digital engagement clinic serving companies in Spark’s business incubator,” says Gibson of the local economic development agency. “Business partners tell us students who work in the clinic will be highly sought after.”

Weibesick, who will be available to COB students, faculty and staff through December, also was the leadoff speaker in The Center for Digital Engagement’s monthly breakfast series featuring various experts in the digital community, and he has helped the COB source several other high profile speakers, Gibson adds.

EMU senior Ryan Dixon, who heard Weibesick’s lecture and has met with him one-on-one, says the executive helped him gain insights into the analytics of digital marketing, gave him valuable tips on career preparation, and told him about promising internships.

John Fovenesi, managing director of Lexington Capital Group, has served as the EiR for EMU’s department of accounting and finance during the 2014-15 year. Fovenesi, the former partner of Deloitte & Touche, one of the Big Four professional services firms, has shared research on the top 20 cyber security firms with EMU faculty, advised department heads on current trends, and shared insights and stories from his career in public and corporate accounting, among services, says Zafar Khan, department head and professor of accounting.

Fovenesi also has personally advised over 100 students on professional development and career opportunities. Brett Bird, a fifth-year master’s student in accounting, says Fovenesi gave him helpful advice about pursuing a career in IT auditing, emailed him links to relevant e-books, and spoke at campus organizations and associations.

“In Mr. Fovenesi’s Beta Alpha Psi and IMA-EMU student chapter lectures, he gave great advice about maintaining a positive attitude and knowing who you are and what you bring to the table in your career,” says Bird, who holds positions in both student organizations.

Allan Newman, the EiR for the Center for Entrepreneurship and department of management since Fall 2014, was sought by other universities, but he chose to serve as EiR at Eastern because of his personal connections with several Eagles, he says.

“It’s been extremely rewarding to partner with students and share the step-by-step process of transforming a great idea into a successful business,” said Newman, an entrepreneur since starting his first company in 1971.

Companies founded by Newman include Recellular, the world’s largest recycler of cellular phones; CompuMart, the first retail computer store in Michigan; and Rent-A-Byte, the first computer rental store in the U.S. He also founded Dexpo, a trade show; and the Digital Dealers Association, a trade association.

Newman has provided guidance and direction for faculty and staff; participated in meetings; spoken at events; assisted with fund raising efforts and outreach activities; and has mentored dozens of students, among services. The University of Michigan alumnus says his stay at Eastern has been so rewarding, he is considering future opportunities for service at the COB.

For more information, "Like" the Center for Digital Engagement's Facebook Page.

College of Business
473 Gary Owen Building
300 W. Michigan Ave.
Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197

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