How to succeed in business: EMU alumni to offer vital lessons to students

Professional Development Conference set for Sept. 19

by Geoff Larcom, Published August 01, 2013

YPSILANTI – An education at Eastern Michigan University helped send Rick Neu on to a successful career in accounting, along with a variety of crucial board positions that require deep expertise.

Now Neu, a 1977 graduate of the EMU College of Business, will be among a selection of top Eastern Michigan alumni to share their experience and perspective with students during a special conference aimed at showing the elements needed for success in today's competitive, global business world.

The first annual EMU Professional Development Business Conference, to be held at the Eastern Michigan University College of Business on Sept. 19, will offer crucial, real-world lessons during sessions conducted by prominent alumni on what it means to be a professional in today's complex business environment.

"The conference is part of our larger effort to focus on the professional development for our students," says Michael Tidwell, dean of the College of Business. "We recognize that success for today's graduates hinges on their level of technical proficiency and professional polish in the first few months of a new career.  Connecting our alumni with our students helps students build these skill sets while broadening their professional network."

The conference will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with EMU business alumni conducting talks during four separate time blocks.

Tidwell noted that EMU will have more than 30 alumni speaking at the conference, and that students will have the opportunity to attend multiple sessions. Sessions will start at 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Neu's session is entitled "Control Your Own Destiny; Define Your Own Success."

Neu, who majored in accounting at Eastern, is a Certified Public Accountant. He serves as chairman of the board for MCG Capital Corp. The Virginia-based commercial finance company offers capital and advisory services to middle-market companies throughout the U.S. 

Other notable alumni speaking at the conference include:

  • Jim Webb, Chairman, AON Risk Solutions: "Ethos, Pathos, Logos: The Things They Don't Teach You In College."
  • Robert Chapman, President and Chief Executive Officer of United Bancorp, Inc: "Keys to Creating Your Value Proposition."
  • Grace Lee, CFO, Logic Solutions: "From Corporate Peon to Entrepreneur: A Bean Counter's Journey."

The conference aligns with the mission of the EMU College of Business, which seeks to offer a distinctive curriculum for tomorrow's leaders in our global business environment. In addition, the COB offers numerous programs that interact with the business community, giving students practical experience working on current issues.

For more about the College of Business, visit




Geoff Larcom


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