On Campus

Management Conference Educates Executives the BYU Way


By Lisa Ann Jackson

After BYU graduates have gone forth to serve, the spirit of the Y seems to call them back. At least that was the experience of the Marriott School of Management with their wildly successful Management Conference last June. And with a few changes and improvements, the school is gearing up for its second conference this summer.

With expectations of only a few hundred participants, the Marriott School of Management and its alumni board organized a conference last summer designed specifically for BYU alumni and their families, says Norm Nemrow, former president of the alumni board for the school and an instructor of accountancy and information systems.

What they ended up with, however, was more than 800 participants from both within and without the United States–graduates both from BYU and other universities who were interested in a business conference held in the unique BYU setting.

“There is a constituency out there of BYU alumni, and other LDS people who may not have attended BYU, who have said to us, ‘We’d like BYU to offer a business-oriented educational experience with a gospel foundation,’ ” says Kim Cameron, associate dean of the Marriott School of Management. With the now-annual Management Conference, the Marriott School of Management hopes to oVer such an educational experience.

In keeping with BYU’s specific goals and mission, the conference addresses not only intellectual, but also moral and ethical education.

“In business there are a lot of issues relative to ethics and morality,” Nemrow says. “Part of what makes this conference unique is that a lot of business people face the same kinds of conflicts. And if they can come together and talk about those issues freely, with a foundation of the gospel as the underpinning to it all, it really creates a unique setting.”

The Management Conference, however, does not focus solely on moral and ethical issues in business. Such topics are weaved into practical management advice and applications to round out the conference, making it both informative and uplifting.

Presenters at last year’s conference included David Checketts, president of the New York Knicks, New York Rangers, and Madison Square Garden; Steven R. Covey, best-selling author and lecturer; and Steve Young, San Francisco ’49ers quarterback. This year’s program will include Times Mirror chief Mark Willes, Microsoft vice president Mike Murray, and Mitt Romney, managing general partner of Bain Capital. Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the LDS Church’s Quorum of the Twelve and former Atlanta Braves star Dale Murphy will also be featured.

“All of our conference presenters come on a noncompensated volunteer basis,” says Nemrow, a member of the conference advisory committee. “This becomes a neat opportunity to serve one another–alumni and friends of BYU serving alumni and friends.”

The presenters are all noted experts and bring a real-world perspective to a variety of management issues. Checketts had been involved with negotiations between NBA players and owners the day he was scheduled to speak last year, but he flew into Provo just in time to give his presentation: “Negotiating with DiYcult People.” Immediately after finishing his presentation, he hopped a flight back to New York for more meetings that day.

Along with dynamic speakers, the conference oVers Continuing Professional Educational (CPE) credit in various areas. For the 1996 conference, organizers have expanded the number of classes that will count for CPE credit.

Conference organizers have also beefed up the spouses’ and children’s programs to encourage families to attend together.

“We are trying to service families as well as professionals,” Cameron says. “It’s designed so that an executive need not leave his or her family one more time to come to a conference.”

This year’s conference will be June 20-22 and is open to anyone wishing to attend. For information, including costs, reduced hotel rates and airfare, CPE credit, and registration, call (801) 378-4853.

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