The real Jerry Maguire and the $5,000 1st Place Prize: Meet the winners of the Game Day Sports Case Competition

Last weekend, three FEMBAs won the 4th annual Game Day Sports Case Competition at Villanova University. Congratulations to Thomas Crutchley ’19, Keenan Long ’19 and Doug Paulus 19.  And special thanks to Thomas for this interview.

Dylan: So first, Thomas, thanks for bringing me the good news. And second, tell me all about the Game Day Sports Case Competition.

Thomas: My pleasure Dylan. Well we all flew to Pennsylvania last weekend. A cool thing was that MEMES paid for our plane tickets to go compete. We won from a field of nine teams including Penn, U Connecticut, another UCLA team, USC and Villanova.

Dylan: Congratulations! Tell me more.

Thomas: Well, this was the 4th annual for this case competition. It goes back and forth between UCLA Anderson and Villanova. UCLA hosted 1 and 3, and Villanova hosted 2 and 4. It comes back to UCLA next year I believe.

Dylan: That’s great. So our new FEMBA 2020 students reading this, pay attention, maybe you can participate next year. And you won’t have to fly to Pennsylvania.

Thomas: Yeah, they’ll save a flight, but they’ll miss out on the Philly cheesesteaks!

Dylan: Life is full of difficult choices for sure. How did you hear about the competition?

Thomas: Keenan got an email from the SBA [the Sports Business Association] and we looked into it. The hardest part honestly was that this competition requires both MBA and Law School students be on every team.

Dylan: Cool. So how’d you get a law student on your team?

Thomas: All internal networking. We reached out to Dean Freixes. We just started asking around. We ultimately connected with Ilan Issacs, a 3L here at UCLA Law. He crushed the legal part. He’s going into entertainment law after graduation.

Dylan: And how about Doug and Keenan, your fellow FEMBAs? How all do you know each other.

Thomas: Well first we’re all in Section 3. Go section 3! And second, we’re all just a bunch of sports lovers.

Dylan: And was this your first case competition?

Thomas: For sure. First case competition for all of us. Turns out all four of us have a sports connection. Ilan walked on to the soccer team at Brown. Keenan played semi-professional Major League baseball. I played college baseball at UCSD. And Doug self-describes as the “ultimate intermural athlete.”

20170408 Game Day Sports Case Competition L-R Ilan Isaacs 3L Law School Prof Jeffrey Moorad host Keenan Long 19 Doug Paulus 10 and Thomas Crutchley 19 best

Above: 2017 Game Day Sports Case Competition (L-R) Ilan Isaacs 3L UCLA Law School, host and professor Jeffrey Moorad, Keenan Long 19, Doug Paulus 19 and Thomas Crutchley 19.

Dylan: Nice. And how about Jeffrey Moorad, professor and founder of the Game Day Sports Case Competition?  [Shown in the photo above.]

Thomas: That’s one of the coolest parts. So he’s amazing. He’s a former sports agent, as well as the former CEO and former minority owner of both the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball (MLB).

And, he’s part of the inspiration of the Jerry Maguire character in the movie.

Dylan: No way. That’s awesome. I didn’t know that?

Thomas: When he teaches sports business at UCLA, he brings in all kinds of big names, A-Rod, like that. He represented Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, Manny Ramirez. That’s where they got all the perspective that became the Jerry Maguire character.

Dylan: Oh yeah. That’s right. In my Drive Time podcast interview with our FEMBA Olympic Gold medal winner Ed Moses last year, Ed mentioned being in that class.

Thomas: Professor Moorad is amazing. He created this case competition. He put up the prize money.

Dylan: I’m looking him up online right now. Looks like he’s an alum of both UCLA and also Villanova, and that in 2012 he donated $5 million to the Villanova Law School for the creation of a new Center for the Study of Sports Law.

Thomas: Exactly. And when we met him at first we didn’t recognize him. We were all mingling around and one of asked, “So what’s your role here?” Later, when he went up on stage and we realized the whole thing revolves around him. You know. It was a moment.

Dylan: Love it. Well what were your other take-aways? Was it worth your time and effort?

Thomas: For sure. I think for all of us, what was really exceptional was the interaction with the judges. I mean, these were some real big names in sports management, like Joe Banner, former president of the Phildelphia Eagles. He was a judge. People like that.

And we were hanging out with them, listening to them talk about their careers.

It was eye-opening. It’s not just an old boys network. The way they described their career paths, you can see it. You can see that you can take an MBA, or a law degree, and you can really make a career in sports management.

Dylan: How great is that? We all know sports is a huge business and it’s only going to grow.

Thomas: Yes. And these guys were telling us how to get started. I mean, they all gave us their business cards. It was great.

Dylan: Oh very good. Hold on to those. And follow up. Send ’em a ping now and again to keep them posted on how your MBA is going.

Thomas: We will for sure.

Dylan: Well thanks for this. You made my week with your story. Congratulations again Thomas (and Doug, Ilan and Keenan!).

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Thomas Crutchley, FEMBA 2019, with the winning check. Congrats!

FEMBA Section Wars 2017

Got to check out the first couple hours of Section Wars today. Great turnout from all three class years. 

Meet one of our Global Rock Stars: Mark E. Lee 2017

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We thought about titling this interview “Are you kidding me? Where did you find the time?” Mark E. Lee, FEMBA 2017, Founding Partner of Halo Media Group, FEMBA Council Executive Board Member, is a high-participation leader here at UCLA Anderson. Enjoy this interview and hear about Mark’s global, FEMBA rock star experience, including:

  • Going on 5 Global Immersions:
    Greece, Vietnam, and South Africa (all three as a student);
    Thailand/Myanmar and Japan (as a teaching assistant)
  • Founding and Owning Halo Media Group
  • Being married with two kids; how FEMBA was/is a family choice/experience
  • Going from Harvard (archeology/pre-med) to Los Angeles (Entertainment / Entrepreneurship and FEMBA Rock Star!)
  • Serving on FEMBA Council Executive Board, VP of Marketing
  • Being Entertainment & Media Association, VP
  • Experiencing the Global Access Program with an Australian firm
  • Teaching Assistant this Spring 2017 to UCLA Anderson Dean Judy Olian and Professor Peter Guber (Chairman & CEO of Mandalay Entertainment; Co-Owner of the Golden State Warriors, and more) and their leadership class
  • “Mamer-isms” from first quarter statistics with Professor John Mamer
  • Creating a “no one left behind” philosophy in FEMBA study groups
  • Describing the unique impact of FEMBA Council here at UCLA Anderson
  • Being in the Entertainment Media Association
    Inviting Joss Whedon (Director of “The Avengers” to speak at Korn Convocation Hall (along with MEMES and Professor Sanjay Sood)
  • Specializing in both Global Management and also Entertainment Management
  • “Paying FEMBA Forward” to my kids
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Mark Lee, FEMBA 2017, Founding Partner of Halo Media Group, with his lovely family at FEMBA Appreciation Day, February 25, 2017.

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First-ever UCLA Anderson Global Immersion to Thailand/Myanmar, December 2016.

Above, left to right: Mike Fetterman 2017, Larry Eng 2018, Victor Gebhardt 2018, Margaret Chang 2018, Jason Davenport 2017, Audrey Barker 2018, Chris Ferruzzi 2017, Susan Francia 2018, Yvonne Tran 2017, Ekta Talwar 2017, and Mason Wang 2017.

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Mark Lee and FEMBA friends in Greece on the 2015 Global Immersion. This is my favorite foto!

Above, left to right: Victor Shyu 16, Mark Reidy 17, Ray Obico 16, Christopher Ferruzzi 17, Brittany Blackamore 16, Mark Lee 17, Caitlin Cassidy 17, and Jonathan Driscoll 17.

Enjoy the podcast with Mark!

International Keynote Speaker, Tech-Futurist, FEMBApalooza Fan: Meet Dwight Holcomb ’11

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UCLA Anderson Dean Judy Olian–when introducing Dwight Holcomb at the 2016 GEMBA commencement ceremony–used these words: “Dwight has been the model alumnus-for-life and we love him.”

It’s my pleasure to share this Drive Time podcast interview of Dwight Holcomb, GEMBA 2011, President of the UCLA Anderson Board of Directors, and President & CEO of HC Development, Inc.

  • International Keynote Speaker
  • Tech-Futurist
  • Author of “The Lean CMO”
  • Multi-FEMBApalooza attendee
  • Super-interesting UCLA Anderson alum

In this podcast, you’ll hear how UCLA Anderson Professor Chris Erickson recruited Dwight from an encounter at Ralph’s in Pasadena! Dwight gives you an insiders view of the UCLA Anderson Board of Directors to hire Anderson (Shout-out to Alum Frank Herrera who’s hired over 50 Anderson grads!), promote Anderson, and tell the stories of Anderson. We cover the Anderson CEO Forum (a la Vistage). You’ll also learn about a great opportunity every year, the UCLA Anderson Golf Tournament. And we end the podcast with some great, great productivity hacks that you can use today.

Dwight is a great servant-leader and I know you’ll enjoy this interview. As Dwight states at 26:43-28:22, “…You can’t out-give Anderson…Anderson completely changed my life…I thought the pinnacle had been reached when I was handed that diploma, but that was just the beginning. When I started in this network, that’s when things really took off…”

Rebranding, The Power of No, Leaning In, Good-to-Great, & Hamilton! Meet Amber Jackson ’15

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  • Causing a career to go from “Good to Great”
  • Practicing the Power of No
  • Leaning In
  • Rebranding through B-school
  • Transforming “GAP anxiety” into “A Promotion for Me”
  • Using the best professional productivity tips
  • Loving Hamilton in all its intrinsic American-ness and modern storytelling impact, and more!

Meet marketing wonder Amber Jackson, FEMBA 2015, and Senior Manager, Marketing Strategy at The Walt Disney Studios. Amber grew up back east, attended Carnegie-Mellon, and entered the work world with Johnson & Johnson. She then came west, landing at KPMG initially before moving to Warner Bros., both career moves prior to UCLA Anderson, FEMBA and now Disney.

For this Drive Time interview, Amber was back on campus supporting one of our Women’s Breakfasts and she generously donated another hour for us to record this interview. It was her first time back on campus in the 18 months since she’d graduated.

Amber’s story is definitely a good-to-great UCLA Anderson outcome. Her career outcomes are exactly the type you’d expect from your MBA investment.

Learn about specific faculty who taught her here (including Professors Shapiro, Sussman and Ullmen), enjoy some of her productivity tips for professional success, and lastly, her love of Hamilton, a great American story that we love to hear.

Enjoy!

Be Authentic, Be Yourself – Meet Grace Chang ’13

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From FEMBA Council President to Anderson Alumni Board to Winning at TechCrunch Disrupt, we catch up with Grace Chang, FEMBA 2013 to hear about her very busy career trajectory post-graduation.

Grace launched Events Sorbet during FEMBA with two fellow FEMBA Council leaders, quickly growing from 3 to 26 people with operations in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York before they brokered off the business. Grace then went to a mobile chat company, getting her feet wet in a more seasoned start-up and successfully riding through an acquisition, ending up with 6 different offers.

UnifyID was the most intriguing of the 6 offers Grace was considering and she signed with UnifyID as both their first-ever product manager and their first non-technical hire. Launched at TechCrunch Disrupt, UnifyID won battlefield runner-up winner (#2 out of 1,000 start-ups competing).

Coincidentally, Phillip Chang 17, Head of Information Security at Boingo Wireless, and Drive Time podcast editor, was attending the RSA Conference last month where UnifyID was again one of ten finalists in an innovation competition and won the “RSAC Most Innovative Startup 2017”!). Today, 3/10/17, as we post, Grace’s whole team is headed to SXSW!

Back during FEMBA, as FEMBA Council President, Grace was the organizer of the first ever “Opportunity/Enterpreneurship/Club Zone” at the very ever first FEMBApalooza in the summer of 2012. She reflects on taking on leadership roles during FEMBAs that were not offered at work, and how she grew from the opportunity.

Learn about all of this and more from Grace Chang ’13 in this episode of our Drive Time podcast.

Nobel Prizes and South El Monte’s First Microbrewery: Meet Diego Benitez ’19

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What’s it like to have TWO Nobel Prize winners in your professional circle? (Robert Grubbs and Sir Fraser Stoddart) (As a follow up, Diego sent me this link of an interview with Sir Fraser Stoddart, about life after winning the Nobel Prize.)

What’s it like to successfully found Progress Brewing, now be opening a wine bar, and already be changing management style due to Professor Bendersky’s Organizational Behavior course first quarter?

What’s it like to come to the United States with no undergraduate degree, earn a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech, have over 45 peer-reviewed publications and 4,000 citations, an h-index of 35, and then begin FEMBA?

What’s it like to donate four kegs to FEMBApalooza, plus 12 cases of beer to the Craft Beer Club, and serve on FEMBA Council?

You’ll learn all this and more in this Drive Time Podcast with Diego Benitez ’19, including his favorite time management tips.

“FEMBA is one of the best decisions of my life.” –Diego Benitez.  That is high praise from any FEMBA, but especially from Diego.

Enjoy! This is one of our richest, most interesting podcasts yet!

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@Fembapalooza 5, July 24, 2016, l-r, Marty Zhu 18, Dylan Stafford, Diego Benitez 19 and Raymond Morada