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For the second consecutive year, the Carlson Global Institute collaborated with the Carlson School’s Alumni Relations office, the China Executive MBA team, the University of Minnesota Beijing office, and the University of Minnesota alumni chapter in Shanghai to host alumni events in conjunction with Carlson School student programs traveling to Shanghai and Guangzhou this January. The events provide an opportunity for current Carlson School students and alumni to connect and interact in meaningful ways, establish new relationships, and share mutual interests.

“During the Alumni Reception Dinner, I met several individuals from the Vienna Executive MBA program who gave us a different perspective on managing businesses in addition to our first-hand experiences,” says Joe Bostrom, a Part-Time MBA student who participated in the Guangzhou event. “One gentleman I met is currently working in an industry that I would like to be involved in. He gave me some good advice on the industry, and I hope to stay in contact with him in the future.”

If you are a Carlson School graduate, join the Carlson Global LinkedIn group to connect with other alumni interested in global issues.


When you look at business schools, you notice a lot of them are better known by a person’s name than by their identifying institution—Wharton, Kellogg, Anderson. While these are recognized as prestigious business schools, they are also the names of accomplished entrepreneurs. Moreover, they are entrepreneurs who sought to give back, to help instill that business acumen they possessed into future generations of students.

We owe our name to legendary Minnesota entrepreneur Curt Carlson, who said he hoped that the institution bearing his name would become a mecca for would-be entrepreneurs from all over the country. Thanks to Carlson and to others such as Gary Holmes and Robert Buuck, the Carlson School lives to bring their entrepreneurial spirit to the front lines of business education.

The hub for entrepreneurial studies at the Carlson School is the Gary S. Holmes Center for Entrepreneurship. In the following pages, you will learn about the center and how it fosters the interaction between hundreds of alumni supporters and our students to advance their education, career development, and entrepreneurial efforts.

Classroom activity is only part of how our students engage in entrepreneurial activities. The Entrepreneurship Club draws students not only from the Carlson School, but from all across campus. Local start-ups engage our students through our Deluxe E-ternship program. Carlson School alumni Caryl and Larry Abdo host the Abdo Dinner Conversation Series, a semi-annual get-together with entrepreneurs and students at the Abdos’ historic Nicollet Island Inn in Minneapolis.

Of course, no discussion on entrepreneurship is complete without mentioning the Minnesota Cup, the annual competition featuring the best and brightest business ideas in the state. Vying for $200,000 in prize money, participants have a chance to see their business plans take root and grow. In this issue, we will meet Julie Gilbert Newrai, the 2012 winner and a proud Carlson School graduate.

Like any other business topic, entrepreneurship is a rich area for research. In these pages you will learn what some of our faculty are working on in terms of entrepreneurial studies, such as the roles of angel investors and examining how to stimulate the entrepreneurial energies of older, larger companies.

We also will hear from alumni who have gone on from the Carlson School to launch successful enterprises. They will share their passions and drives and bring us up close to that “a-ha” moment when the idea for their new business was born.

And whether they own a dog hotel or have created a unique mobile application, one common theme unites all of our entrepreneurs—a desire to continue their relationship with the Carlson School and to somehow give back. Be it by mentoring, volunteering, or classroom speaking, Carlson School graduates are bringing Curt Carlson’s legacy and spirit full circle.

Sri Zaheer, Dean
Elmer L. Andersen Chair in Global Corporate Social Responsibility



June 14, 2013


August 6, 2013


August 16, 2013


May 7, 2013
Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO,

June 4, 2013
Jennifer Ford-Reedy, President,
Bush Foundation

August 6, 2013
Julie Gilbert Newrai, Founder/Principal,
Wolf Means Business and PreciouStatus

More 1st Tuesday information can be found at carlsonschool.umn.edu/firsttuesday

For all alumni events
Visit carlsonschool.umn.edu/alumni/events.html


Carlson School alumni clubs are active around the country. Here are some updates:

First regional club development meeting held recently. A Meet the Dean event took place in February at the Musical Instrument Museum.

San Francisco
First regional club development meeting held in January. A slate of 2013-14 events is in development. Stay tuned!

New York City
A speakers series has begun. Confirmed speakers include Thomson Reuters Chief People Officer Peter Warwick, Standard & Poors Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Catherine Mathis, and Deloitte Global Regulatory and Public Policy Senior Partner Robert Kueppers.

Denver and Boston: Regional clubs are in development.

Interested in getting involved and connecting with alumni in your area? Contact Stephanie Hagel in Alumni Relations at shagel@umn.edu.


The Carlson School has had a long tradition of fostering relationships with the parents of undergraduate students. A recent success from the last few years is the annual Parent Reception in the fall, which draws more than 250 moms and dads at each event.

“Given our past success working with parents, we are committed to continuing this momentum with other initiatives,” says Assistant Undergraduate Program Director Linda Millington.

Therefore, this past November, the school hosted its first Parents Holiday Party at TCF Bank Stadium. More than 100 parents attended to meet with Dean Sri Zaheer, Undergraduate Program Associate and Assistant Deans Ian Maitland and Mary Maus Kosir, and staff representatives from the Undergraduate Program and the Alumni Relations offices.

“We will do it again next year,” says Institutional Advancement Director of Development Scott Persons. “We were very pleasantly surprised by such a strong turnout for a first-time event. Parents were very enthusiastic to have some time to meet the dean and some key staff people to ask questions and learn about the latest news at the Carlson School.”

At the event, a sign-up sheet was on hand for parents who want to be involved on a more regular basis. In January, these interested parents met to discuss ways they could be more connected to the school while their children were here. Some ideas include having more communication resources for parents, hosting joint student/parent/staff events throughout the year, and creating regional events in cities such as Chicago or Milwaukee which have large concentrations of parents.
“I’ve been thrilled in the energy and enthusiasm among parents in wanting to get engaged with the Carlson School,” says Dean Zaheer.

For more information on participating in a parents’ group, contact Linda Millington at l-shep@umn.edu or Scott Persons at spersons@umn.edu.


Since being named Dean just one year ago, enhancing the connections between alumni and the school has been a priority for Sri Zaheer. In addition to her outreach in the Twin Cities, Dean Zaheer has connected with alumni in many cities around the world, including:
Los Angeles
New York City
Palm Springs
San Francisco
Fort Lauderdale



Commencement ceremonies for the Carlson School’s Class of 2013 are taking place Monday, May 20, at Mariucci Arena. The graduate ceremony is taking place from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., followed by the undergraduate commencement from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. A reception follows each ceremony in the DQ Club Room at TCF Bank Stadium.

The Carlson School is pleased to welcome Peter McCormick, ’91 BSB, ’99 MBA, as our commencement speaker. He is one of the founders of ExactTarget, a cross-channel interactive marketing software company. Since its founding in December 2000, ExactTarget has grown to span four continents with 1,500 employees. McCormick has held several executive positions at ExactTarget, with responsibilities ranging from expanding global marketing to product development. He currently is the senior vice president of corporate development.

Prior to co-founding ExactTarget, McCormick held sales and development leadership positions at Divine, Inc.; Target, Inc.; and Steelcase, Inc. He was profiled in the Carlson School issue on social media in fall 2012.

More information about the Carlson School’s commencement ceremonies can be found at carlsonschool.umn.edu/commencement.