Message from the Academic Director - Prof. Israel Zang
Dear Kellogg Recanati family:
This message is written to you from the Allen Center in Evanston, Illinois - home of the Kellogg Executive MBA programs. Here, our continuing class, KR10 is taking courses on negotiations, strategic crisis management, strategic alliances and a marketing strategy simulation. This is done together with students from our sister programs in the China, Germany and the US and is considered to be an apex of the Kellogg network programs and the Kellogg Recanati International EMBA in particular.
This year we have continued with what has become a routine: to offer and maintain the top management program in our area. Still, we continue to innovate and during the next academic year we will offer a new mandatory course on international management that will include a field trip abroad, as well as a new course on venture capital. This year also marks the departure and forthcoming graduation of our ninth class, KR09, and the celebration of the ten years anniversary of Kellogg Recanati.
All of the above shows that we are proceeding with our routine activities despite the recent traumatic wartime experience. During the war, the Kellogg Recanati alumni club initiated and implemented a remarkable "aid to the north" operation, which brought relief to many of those who were unable to take care of themselves. This comes on top of the KR cares operation, helping underprivileged schools, and it marks another level of achievement in the community involvement of the Kellogg Recanati alumni and student bodies.
You should all be blessed for that!
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Friends in need… - David Partesana (KR09)
A story about how Ido Cohen from KR09 asked for some help from his friends
(and then got much more than he had hoped for)
If a single picture is indeed worth more than a thousand words, then take a close look at this one:
What you see is a group of volunteers - some of them KR alumni (from KR02 through KR10), others friends and relatives – all of them standing patiently in line to be assigned to load up their cars with goods and supplies destined for shelters in the north of Israel. These people – and many, many more like them – volunteered their time, money, and even took real risks to reach out and help a very needy population in some of the hardest hit areas in the north, specifically people living in miserable conditions, mainly Ethiopian immigrants.
For me it all started late one Tuesday evening, when Ido Cohen called me up and asked if I could spare him an hour or two (silly question, I said, what are friends for?). Two weeks later, we are still working hard to help Ido on his mission, and have no intention of stopping as long as there are people still sitting in shelters and who need our help.
Ido's initiative has reached out and touched many people in all walks of life. Utilizing both mobile phones and viral e-mail distribution lists, the aid project was very soon literally inundated by hundreds of respondents. KR alumni were coming out of the woodwork to help, people were offering food, supplies, cars and companies were pitching in to. It was a heartening response.
Take the example of Einat – a young student working at the IDC in Herzliya, who received a copy of Ido's e-mail, and felt that she simply had to help. So she took a bus and arrived at the distribution center, and went around asking the volunteer drivers if there was room for her to help. Turned down but unfazed, she was happy to take one of the fully laden commercial vehicles by herself up to a shelter in Haifa, and came back a few hours later full of stories of how grateful the kids at the center had been to receive the supplies. And that is just one of the many selfless and inspiring stories that I have witnessed over the past few days.
Einat receiving her assignment at the distribution center
It is said that adversity brings out the best in people, and I believe that holds true in this case. I have written this note mainly in order to thank Ido for providing all of us with an opportunity to help others, for reminding us of what friends (and alumni) are really for, and for inspiring us to do more and to make that extra effort.
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KR09 Experiences China First Hand - Michael Baron (KR09)
KR09 students explored the ins and outs of doing business in China during a one-week visit to Shanghai this past March. The international module employed a new format focusing on experiential learning, with numerous company visits and a wide variety of speakers, rather than the traditional structure of academic instruction in the confines of a Hong Kong classroom. Judging from the reactions of our class, this new format is sure to be the model for future KR international experiences.
The kick-off event for the Shanghai week was a joint dinner with students from the Washington University/Fudan University EMBA-04. This was the first of many opportunities to converse with fellow EMBA students from the prestigious Fudan University, which is ranked as one of the top three universities in China. Networking with these very successful high-ranking executives became a focus of the trip, and it underscores a major theme of the week: face-to-face encounters with a cross-section of leaders within China's booming economy.
The process of understanding the Chinese business environment began one month earlier, while in Tel Aviv, with a course taught by Professor Wilfried Vanhonacker. However, nothing we read or were lectured on can equal the exceptional experience of visiting China itself. "You cannot begin to understand what is happening in China until you actually come here", said KR09 student, Ido Cohen, during his stay.
During the course of the week, KR09 met with executives of 16 different companies, including 7 company visits, and various government officials. The companies ranged from international firms such as Shering-Plough and Nike, to Israeli firms, such as Rad Data and Israel Chemicals.
The experience also revealed a tension lurking beneath the surface of China's booming economy. There was a constant juxtaposition between the optimism of economic expansion and the constraints of a weak legal system and a strained social order.
Our visit to Suzhou Industrial Park is a case in point. The park's managing director, Barry Yang, made an outstanding presentation promoting investments in Suzhou. As Suzhou tries to move up the chain of production from its current manufacturing focus into R&D, he exuded confidence in Suzhou's ability to independently protect the intellectual property of a foreign company.
Despite Mr. Yang's keen awareness of the issues and the pro-active policies of Suzhou Park, in reality, much work still needs to be done with regards to protecting intellectual property. Immediately after the meeting, KR09 visited an Israeli company with operations in Suzhou, Kulicke and Soffa, and spoke with their local manager, Shay Torton, a Vice President at Kulicke. Mr. Torton is very positive on high-tech manufacturing in China. He mentioned the educated, smart and hard-working local employees. However, he is not yet ready to locate high level R&D in China.
Clearly, China will have to deal with many pressing legal and social issues in the near future. KR09's personal encounters with extremely competent managers and government officials, such as Mr. Yang, create a sense of confidence in China's ability to handle the enormous challenges that lie ahead.
One theme consistently illustrated throughout the trip is the close affinity that the Chinese have towards Israelis. "The cultural differences between Chinese and Israelis are not that deep", says Nimrod Golan, a KR09 student. Indeed, it seems that Chinese and Israelis think very much alike. They are both action oriented, creative and take pride in their rich ancient heritages. The respect that KR09 felt from the many Chinese business officials added to the notion that China is a land of great opportunities for us.
True to KR tradition, students heartily indulged in the city's burgeoning nightlife. From the Bund to the Xin Tian Di, until the early morning hours Shanghai is "happening" with live music, hopping bars and many excellent restaurants. This was a great opportunity to not only become acquainted with the locals, but also to get to know our fellow KR09 classmates even better.
Most impressively, the week progressed almost without a hitch. Many thanks are to be attributed to the local coordinator of our trip, Patrick Moreton, of Washington University/Fudan University EMBA and, of course, to our own, Orit Mendelson.
On the last morning of our scheduled activities, as we were winding down and preparing for an afternoon of sightseeing and shopping, we were pleasantly surprised by what turned out to be for many us to be the highlight of the trip, a visit to the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai's most prominent landmark standing at 468 meters. Our host for the event was a fellow EMBA student from Fudan University, Bruce Cao. Mr. Cao, a Vice President at the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group, informed us of the broad range of his organization's activities and of the many business opportunities open to us as foreigners in China and specifically in alliance with the Pearl Group.
Following this, Mr. Cao honored KR09 with a VIP tour of the Pearl Tower, including: a private red carpet entrance combined with the announcement of our arrival by a colorful 30 member brass band, expedited access to all parts of the crowded tourist attraction and a private lunch at the tower's 270 meter high restaurant with an amazing view of all Shanghai.
It was a fanciful moment, a memory most of us will never forget, and a perfect ending to the week. As we dined together for the last time before our return to Tel Aviv, the message being sent to us was clear: 'Look out the window, see the dynamic expanding economy, and if you so desire, become a part of it.'
And if you choose not to be a part of it, enjoy the shopping!
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President's Message - Stuart Ballan (KR04)
Before summarizing the last few months and discussing plans for the next few months, I'd like to start with the most recent past. Initiated by KR09's Ido Cohen, KR's "Aid for the North" initiative rapidly identified the needs of thousands of people living in miserable conditions in the north, found the donors to supply the needs, and via several major shipments to the north, sent the needed supplies directly to the 40+ shelters.
Click here to read more about this project. This project clearly demonstrates what can be achieved with the assistance of a strong network, in this case, KR It's unthinkable that so much could have been achieved so quickly, without such a network being in place. Even though donations came from the public and companies, in addition to KR, I was delighted and proud to see so many KR faces at HTMS, donating goods, unloading and loading cars, and personally transporting goods to the north using their own vehicles.
The first half of 2006 kept the Board of the KR Alumni Club busy, and the second half is already even busier.
First, the past ….. Over the last months, KR Alumni have attended 2 events driven by the Chicago/Israel Chamber of Commerce, in which the Chamber turned to the KR Alumni Club to invite guests to meet Chicago delegations, visiting Israel, including a delegation lead by the Mayor of Chicago and another of Chicago businessmen. It's a clear sign of how the Chamber perceives the quality of our alumni.
February saw the first major meeting of Palestinian KR Alumni, and we hope to work with the leaders to build on the momentum.
KR Cares continues to go from strength to strength, expanding its activities to a second school in May. This project has such a great story to tell, and as a result, we decided to tell the story by publishing weekly progress and activities under the name "KR Cares Diaries" on the KR Alumni Club's website. The secret to the success of this community project is it asks for just a small amount of time from volunteers, and as a result, has been able to secure a lot of volunteers. We can learn from that approach!
In May, we also presented the KR Alumni Club to the senior KR student class, KR09, so that they are aware of the opportunities ahead of them, following graduation in October. We look forward to welcoming KR09 to our Club at the Deans Dinner, the day after graduation.
Early July saw our third joint event with the Recanati Executive MBA Club, in which Professor Theo Peridis was guest speaker, presenting Mergers & Acquisitions.
The KR Women's forum enjoys new momentum. The team organized a speaker event for 11th September, with Ofra Strauss as the keynote speaker. You should have already received an email invitation. Details, including "how to register", are also available on our website.
Over the years, we've produced and distributed many KR branded products, because you, the KR Alumni, told the Board you want us to help improve KR Branding. In June, we announced the
KR Branding Photo Competition, with a first prize of 2 nights at the prestigious Hilton Queen of Sheba Hotel, Eilat. We've already received some great photos, and many more have been promised. There's still time for you to participate!
Looking forwards, for the go-karting enthusiasts within our Club, a third Go-Karting event will be scheduled in Q3. Whatever else we do this year, there's no doubt that the largest event will be the annual Deans Dinner, to be held on 23 rd October. A team from the KR Alumni Board is planning the event, which will celebrate 10 completed years of the KR program. More details will be announced soon, but in the meantime, please save the date of 23rd October. We're also very busy securing the funds for the event via sponsorship opportunities. If you'd like to consider being a co-sponsor, please contact me directly.
Many of you are already aware that for the last year, the KR Alumni Club works on both a local and global level, with the latter focusing on creating and driving projects that will benefit Kellogg Alumni, worldwide. I am driving the global "Best Practices" project, aimed at enabling the majority of the 100 Kellogg Alumni Club Presidents around the world benefit from what the minority have learned over the years, thereby increasing the total global value of the Kellogg Alumni Clubs. We prepared a 5-minute movie on the project that was shown to an audience of 120 at Kellogg, in May, and secured all the support we needed. The next step will be in November, when I present the project at Kellogg at the annual Kellogg Alumni Club Leaders conference. It's a project that I hope will "go live" during summer 2007.
Over the last months, we've strengthened the KR Alumni Board, welcoming new active members, to help drive new projects. As a result, the Board is involved in nurturing many new activities, and I hope to announce more details, as the projects develop.
Our website at http://kelloggalumni.northwestern.edu is now extremely content rich, and I encourage you to visit it in order to learn more about what's been happening and what's planned. If you have any ideas for building additional value, please let me know. In the meantime, I hope many of you will continue to support the club by attending events.
Kellogg-Recanati Alumni Club
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KR women forum - Sharon Schreiber (KR08)
Despite the consistent efforts to increase gender diversity in Kellogg-Recanati program, only 10%-15% of the alumni are women, comparing to 30% at Kellogg. Typically, many female applicants seem to find it difficult to juggle between career, parenthood and demanding MBA. Thus, many of the female candidates apply for the program prior to starting up a family. The relatively high tuition fee required creates additional difficulty for women who regularly earn less the men. However, in the extremely competitive business world where networks can doom one's career, Kellogg-Recanati network seems crucial for talented women whom are lacked of the career-supportive military service network. Furthermore, diversity of genders, nations, professions and experiences has always been one of the key program characters for both the staff and the alumni.
The potential impact of women forum was salient to everybody. Although no formal forum has been established until this year, the actual implications began to materialize. Last year, a group of Kellogg Recanati female graduates decided to play an active role in increasing the number of women in the program, and hence conducted phone calls to all the female applicants to support, encourage and drive the applicants' inherent ambitions. The results were tremendous: the number of female students tripled itself comparing to previous years.
This year, efforts and plans have gradually elevated when a brand new Kellogg-Recanati women forum (KRW) has been established, aimed to increase the number of female applicants as well as to enhance the women network within the alumni. The forum, which includes women of various ages from initial and recent classes, came up with few initiatives:
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Professional Updates and Career Moves
KR in the press
Executives and Graduates reach the Northern shelters
NFC, July 27, 2006 (Hebrew)
TheMarker, June 30, 2006 (Hebrew)
Kellogg-Recanati Initiation at Rogozin School
Channel 1, May 30, 2006 (Hebrew)
Chinese for Businessmen
NFC, April 23, 2006 (Hebrew)
How to jump on the Chinese Wagon
Yediot Ahronot - "Mammon", January 17, 2006 (Hebrew)
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