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Want to start a family business? Take this new MTSU course

MTSU students can gain first-hand insight into what it takes to run a family business through a new course being offered by the Jennings A. Jones College of Business beginning in the spring.

Assistant professor Jerry Kudlats in the Business Communication and Entrepreneurship Department will be teaching BCEN 4100 — Family Business.Family Business logo

According to Kudlats, family businesses are the predominant form of business in the world, with almost 80 percent of new ventures “born as family firms.”

“In these firms, family members significantly influence the business, including its creation, continuity, mode and extent of growth, and exit,” Kudlats says. “This course will prepare students to work effectively and professionally in and with family firms, and to launch and create cross-generational wealth in family firms.”

Several local family business owners will enhance the classroom experience by sharing their personal involvement in their own family businesses, Kudlats added.

The course will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 2:25 p.m. in Room S338 of the Business and Aerospace Building.

For more information, call the Business Communication and Entrepreneurship Department at 615-898-2902.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Dining at Chili’s can again help restock MTSU Raiders’ Closet

Patrons dining at a Murfreesboro restaurant could mean more good news for a worthy MTSU student service.

The Chili’s restaurant at 755 N.W. Broad St. in Murfreesboro will donate 10 percent of its Tuesday, Nov. 18, sales to Raiders’ Closet.

The restaurant conducted a similar successful Raiders’ Closet fundraiser last month.

Created by Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb, a professor in MTSU’s Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship, the operation is located in Room 327 of the Keathley University Center.

It provides gently used professional attire for students who need appropriate clothing for job interviews, internships and other professional endeavors.

Students may try on clothing and keep the items they choose. The closet relies on donations to stock suits, blouses, dresses, skirts, shoes, ties and accessories.

The Raiders’ Closet also has an MTSU foundation account, which enables it to collect money to restock its inventory and to find special clothing sizes.

The Nov. 18 giveback is good only at the Northwest Broad Street Chili’s location from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. It’s valid for all food and nonalcoholic beverage sales.

For more information, contact Hemby-Grubb at 615-898-2369 or virginia.hemby-grubb@mtsu.edu or Jaye Kiblinger at 615-898-2902 or jaye.kiblinger@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb displays some of the items available for students preparing for job interviews and new jobs at the MTSU Raiders’ Closet. (file photo)

Chili’s supports Raiders’ Closet with Oct. 20 MTSU benefit

A major restaurant franchise is giving back some of its profits to fund a service for job-seeking MTSU students.

For each special flier presented Monday, Oct. 20, at the Chili’s restaurant at 755 N.W. Broad St. in Murfreesboro, the restaurant will donate 10 percent of the proceeds to Raiders’ Closet.

The Raiders’ Closet founder, Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb, will be at the restaurant to hand out fliers to customers as they walk in.

Hemby-Grubb, a professor in the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship, created Raiders’ Closet to provide students with gently used professional attire to wear on job interviews.

“Raiders’ Closet will always be in need of gently used professional suits, accessories and monetary donations, because each time a student secures a suit from our inventory, we must replace it with another suit,” Hemby-Grubb said.

“The ‘give back’ event with Chili’s on Oct. 20 will ensure that Raiders’ Closet has funds available with which to replenish our inventory.”

Raiders’ Closet, which is located in Room 327 of the Keathley University Center, allows students to try on professional clothing items and keep them, free. It depends on donations of both clothing and money to operate.

The Oct. 20 fundraiser is good only at the Northwest Broad Street Chili’s location from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and is good for all food and nonalcoholic beverage sales.

For more information, contact Hemby-Grubb at 615-898-2369 or virginia.hemby-grubb@mtsu.edu or Jaye Kiblinger at 615-898-2902 or jaye.kiblinger@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb displays some of the items available for students preparing for job interviews and new jobs at the newly relocated Raiders’ Closet. (file photo submitted)

Raiders’ Closet to celebrate grand reopening in KUC Oct. 1

The proprietors of Raiders’ Closet are flinging the doors open wide for a grand Oct. 1 reopening in its new MTSU location.

The repository of gently used business clothing for students to wear for job interviews and other professional activities will welcome all visitors from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 1, in Room 327 of the Keathley University Center, next door to the Career Development Center.

Racks of suits and dress shirts await students who need professional attire at Raiders’ Closet’s new location in Room 327 of the Keathley University Center. (Photos submitted )

“Bill Fletcher and his crew in the CDC are always willing to help students,” Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb, a professor in the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship, said of the Career Center’s director.

“And now that Raiders’ Closet is right next door, we can ensure that every student puts his or her best foot forward in those first few seconds of a face-to-face interview for that first job.”

Raiders Closet logo webAll items in the Raiders’ Closet are free to students. They can keep the clothing and accessories.

The operation had been located in the Business and Aerospace Building since it opened in January 2013, but it was open only from 2 to 4 p.m. on Fridays.

From now on, Raiders’ Closet will be open Monday through Friday from 2 to 4 p.m. A graduate student will be on hand to help students Monday through Thursday, and Hemby-Grubb will staff the Raiders’ Closet on Fridays.

Hemby-Grubb and her husband, Dr. Skip Grubb, have put in hours of labor preparing the closet for the grand opening. They shopped for racks and accessories to display and store the items, and her husband spent the better part of a week, as well as Saturdays, putting racks on the walls.

“Now that we have completed our tasks, I am working to get all of the clothing items arranged by size for both men and women and to ensure that our display in the front area is visually attractive,” Hemby-Grubb said.

Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb displays some of the items available for students preparing for job interviews and new jobs at the newly relocated Raiders’ Closet.

The closet currently has about 120 women’s suits and 70 men’s dress shirts, but shoes and accessories are in short supply. Men’s black dress shoes and women’s dress pumps with closed toes and heels no higher than one to one-and-one-half inches are needed.

Monetary donations also are welcome through an MTSU Foundation account. Gift-in-kind donations may be made through the university’s Development and Foundation Office. Instructions are available here.

“We have had several instances where students needed an interview suit and our inventory did not have the needed size,” said Hemby-Grubb.

“Access to monetary funds through the Raiders’ Closet (MTSU) Foundation account allows us to immediately purchase a suit for a student in the specific size he/she needs from a consignment shop in the local area or the Goodwill stores.”

Monetary and clothing donations may be made to Jaye Kiblinger in the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship office, located in Room N429 of the Business and Aerospace Building, weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

To arrange for clothes to be picked up at the north side of the building, call Kiblinger in advance at 615-898-2902.

For more information, contact Hemby-Grubb at 615-898-1369 or Virginia.Hemby-Grubb@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Raiders’ Closet founder honored as student service gets new site

Beginning next academic year, the service that makes sure MTSU students look their best when interviewing for jobs will have a permanent location.

Raiders’ Closet, the collection of donated gently used professional attire, will move into the former testing center next to the Career Development Center on the third floor of the Keathley University Center.

“I’m hopeful that, by the time school resumes for the fall, everything will be in place,” said Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb, a professor in the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship and the founder of the service.

Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb stands in front of racks of business clothing in the Raiders’ Closet with her 2014 Collegiate Teacher of the Year award from the National Business Education Association. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb stands in front of racks of business clothing in the Raiders’ Closet with her 2014 Collegiate Teacher of the Year award from the National Business Education Association. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Hemby-Grubb has used Room S130A, a classroom in the Business and Aerospace Building, as a repository for the suits, dresses, shoes and accessories. They have been accessible to students only from 2 to 4 p.m. on Fridays, but Hemby-Grubb hopes to change that after the move.

“The move will help with visibility,” Hemby-Grubb said. “It will also make it easier to open more frequently to students during the week and not just on Fridays.”

She said she believes the closet’s new proximity to the Career Development Center will benefit both offices, because students who go to the center for counseling can be sent next door for professional apparel, and students who go to the closet for apparel can be sent next door for counseling.

Hemby-Grubb said she also hopes that relocating Raiders’ Closet will help MTSU students take full advantage of the resources available to them to secure both internships and full-time jobs.

The new location will have more space to store more clothing, including the closet’s line of business casual attire that students might want to wear for classroom presentations, internships or student teaching sessions.

Hemby-Grubb’s concern for students has been validated by the National Business Education Association, which recently honored her with its 2014 Collegiate Teacher of the Year Award at the group’s annual conference in Los Angeles.

Along with her teaching philosophy, her students’ evaluations of her and the recognition she has brought to the discipline of business education, the judges cited Raiders’ Closet as a major reason for choosing Hemby-Grubb.

“I felt I was giving back to the students through this project,” Hemby-Grubb said. “I knew we had students who didn’t have suits or the money to buy suits.”

The closet currently needs more items, especially men’s dress shoes and men’s suits in extra-small and extra-large sizes.

Click on the flier above for a printable PDF with more details on donating clothing and funds.

Click on the flier above for a printable PDF with more details on donating clothing and funds.

Hemby-Grubb frequently scurries to local stores after hours when students contact her with emergencies. Last fall, for example, a student who had a job interview on a Monday approached Hemby-Grubb on a Friday after realizing he didn’t have a suit.

Raiders’ Closet didn’t have his size, a 50 long.

After frantically calling consignment stores and finally locating a suit, Hemby-Grubb sent her husband to pick it up.

“I took one look at the suit and was totally impressed with the quality, as it was an impeccably maintained chocolate brown Jones of New York men’s suit in a 50,” she said.

She couldn’t tell whether it was long or regular until the student tried it on and found it a perfect fit. Raiders’ Closet provided his accessories.

He went to the interview and got the job.

To ease the strain on Hemby-Grubb’s wallet, Raiders’ Closet has an MTSU Foundation account that enables donors to contribute money to the cause.

“I’ve spent money out of pocket this year that I’m not getting reimbursed for because we don’t have funds,” Hemby-Grubb chuckled. “I can only do that for so long before I have to start looking for donations.”

For more information about Raiders’ Closet, including how to donate clothing, accessories and/or the funds to buy them, contact Hemby-Grubb at 615-898-2369 or virginia.hemby-grubb@mtsu.edu or Jaye Kiblinger in the Office of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship at 615-898-2902 or jaye.kiblinger@mtsu.edu.

Gina K. Logue (Gina.Logue@mtsu.edu)

High-school business leaders compete for prizes at MTSU Feb. 6

America’s future business leaders will test their mettle against their peers in a competition at MTSU this week.

Maria Kirstiens of Summertown (Tenn.) High School accepts her prize, a Samsung Galaxy 2 tablet, from MTSU professor K. Virginia Hemby-Grubb at the 2013 Future Business Leaders of America Region 4 Conference competition at MTSU. (File photo by MTSU News and Media Relations)

The Future Business Leaders of America’s Region 4 Conference is slated for Thursday, Feb. 6, in the Student Union ballroom.

Some 150 youngsters from nine counties will vie all morning long for top prizes in categories such as business ethics, global business, management decision-making, entrepreneurship, marketing, client service, impromptu speaking, job interviews and public speaking.

“This is an opportunity for these students to learn about business in high school, see what business is all about and determine if they’d like to enter the business world,” said Kay Blasingame-Boike, lecturer in the MTSU Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship.

Dr. David Urban, dean of the Jones College of Business, will address the students at 1 p.m. Following Urban’s speech, there will be a drawing for two Samsung tablets and a number of Walmart gift cards for students. All teachers who attend also will receive Walmart gift cards.

For more information, contact Blasingame-Boike at 615-898-5687 or kay.blasingame-boike@mtsu.edu or Dr. Martha Balachandran, professor in the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship, at 615-898-2036 or martha.balachandran@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)

Global Entrepreneurship Week at MTSU: Living the American Dream (VIDEO)

Sparking the ingenuity of budding Midstate entrepreneurs is the goal of the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Week celebration at Middle Tennessee State University.

The Nov. 15-22 series of events features a series of guest speakers sharing expertise on topics ranging from how to glean commercial ideas from research to pursuing entrepreneurship following a corporate career.

On Nov. 18, “Living the American Dream” featured Dr. R. Wilburn Clouse, an MTSU visiting professor, founder and president of The Clouse-Elrod Foundation Inc. and professor emeritus at Vanderbilt University, and Arthur R. “Butch” Hutcherson, founder and partner of Sumner Point TN LLC, Sumner 2000 LLC, Arcadia Holdings LLC and Music City USA Inc.

http://youtu.be/A5oq6UsOMW8

On Nov. 22, Elliott Wahle, former president of Babies “R” Us, chairman and CEO of Rykom Enterprises, former chairman and CEO of Rustique Home Furnishings and founder and CEO of Generation Capital Inc., was scheduled to speak on “Entrepreneurship After a Corporate Career.”

Hosted by the Jones College of Business and the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, all activities are free and open to the public. The event is being held in conjunction with the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week, an international celebration of innovators and job creators held each November.

To learn more about the Tennessee Small Business Development Centers, visit www.tsbdc.org.

‘Anybody can be an entrepreneur’ during MTSU Global Entrepreneurship Week

Sparking the ingenuity of budding Midstate entrepreneurs is the goal of the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Week celebration at Middle Tennessee State University.

The Nov. 15-22 event will feature a series of guest speakers coming to campus to share expertise on topics ranging from how to glean commercial ideas from research to pursuing entrepreneurship following a corporate career.

Hosted by the Jones College of Business and the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, all activities are free and open to the public. The event is being held in conjunction with the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week, an international celebration of innovators and job creators held each November.GEW_Logo

Dr. Patrick Geho

Dr. Patrick Geho

Dr. Rachel Wilson

Dr. Rachel Wilson

Patrick Geho, state executive director of MTSU-Tennessee Small Business Development Center, encourages students from across the campus and anyone in the surrounding community interested in starting their own business to attend the week’s events.

“The purpose is to let everybody know that anybody can be an entrepreneur. You’re not born that way. It’s a state of mind and has to be cultivated,” he said. “We’re trying to get these students and others in the community to think entrepreneurial regardless of their discipline.”

While the lineup of expert speakers and panels will mostly take place on campus, the public is also encouraged to attend a kickoff event from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, at the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce on Medical Center Parkway, where TSBDC offices are located.

TSBDC logo

Click to learn more.

The TSBDC offers expert counseling, training and database resources and professional referrals to small business owners and prospective owners at offices throughout the state, at no cost to its clients, Geho said.

“The kickoff is designed to highlight the resources available in Middle Tennessee,” said Rachel Wilson, an MTSU professor of entrepreneurship and a panelist for one of the week’s sessions. “I believe that there are students and folks out in the community that have entrepreneurial thoughts and ideas, but they don’t act on them.

“We want to get these concepts on how to be more entrepreneurial out to the average person or average student, who is not a business student or business owner,” Wilson added. “We want to help show them how to transform that idea into an actual enterprise.”

Featured speakers and events for the week include:

• Friday, Nov. 15, deadline for full-time MTSU students to register for the Student Business Idea Competition. Sponsored by the Wright Travel Chair in Entrepreneurship, the competition offers $2,500 in cash prizes. Students may register and learn details at www.mtsu.edu/businessidea.

• 2 to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15, in the Business and Aerospace Building, Room S336: “Commercializing Ideas from Research at the University of Memphis” by Dr. Kevin P. Boggs, assistant vice president of tech transfer, University of Memphis;WordmarkJonesCollege

• 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, in the College of Education Building, Room 145: “Living the American Dream” by Dr. R. Wilburn Clouse, MTSU visiting professor, founder and president of The Clouse-Elrod Foundation Inc., and professor emeritus at Vanderbilt University; and Arthur R. “Butch” Hutcherson, founder and partner of Sumner Point TN LLC, Sumner 2000 LLC, Arcadia Holdings LLC, and Music City USA Inc.;

• 2 to 4 p.m., Monday, Nov. 18, at the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce Building, 3050 Medical Center Parkway: Global Entrepreneurship Week kickoff event with informational tables, networking and refreshments.

Includes Q-and-A panel, “Resources for Entrepreneurs in Middle Tennessee,” featuring Dr. Patrick Geho, state executive director, MTSU-Tennessee Small Business Development Center; Dr. Jim Stefansic, Launch TN; Jack Sisk, Southern Middle Tennessee Entrepreneur Center; and Mary Sedrick, Women’s Business Center at Brightbridge;

• 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the MTSU Student Union, Room 224: “Winemaking and International Entrepreneurship — Study Abroad: Argentina” by Dr. Tony Johnston, MTSU associate professor of food science and agribusiness and an enology consultant; and Dr. Rachel Wilson, MTSU associate professor of entrepreneurship;

• 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 22: MTSU Business Idea Competition finalist presentations (open only to finalists). Judging Panel: Dr. Pat Geho, state executive director, MTSU-TSBDC; Dr. John Mullane, professor; and Ralph Williams, instructor, MTSU;

• 1 to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, at the Business and Aerospace Building, State Farm Room 102: “Entrepreneurship After a Corporate Career” by Elliott Wahle, former president of Babies “R” Us; chairman and CEO of Rykom Enterprises; former chairman and CEO of Rustique Home Furnishings; and founder and CEO of Generation Capital Inc.

A printable campus map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap13-14 and visitor parking passes are available at the Parking Services Building off East Main Street.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Attention MTSU students: Win cash for your great business idea!

Business-minded MTSU students of any discipline looking for start-up cash have until Friday, Nov. 15, to register online for the first Student Business Idea Competition.

The competition offers $2,500 in cash prizes to the winners — $1,200 for first place, $800 for second and $500 for third. Students may register at www.mtsu.edu/businessidea. Students can enter multiple ideas, but all ideas must be submitted online by the Friday deadline.

Click the image to enter.

Click the image to enter.

The Wright Travel Chair in Entrepreneurship in the Jones College of Business and the MTSU-Tennessee Small Business Development Center are sponsoring the competition, which is part of the university’s Global Entrepreneurship Week activities.

Dr. Patrick Geho

Dr. Patrick Geho

Dr. Patrick Geho, state executive director of MTSU-Tennessee Small Business Development Center, said the purpose was to “get the juices flowing” within the entire student body about pursuing entrepreneurship. The plan is to hold the competition each year.

“This is not intended for just the College of Business,” Geho said. “We’re engaging all students. We want to introduce them to the concept of ‘It starts with an idea.’”

Full-time students age 18 and older are asked to develop and submit original ideas for any type of business or social entrepreneurship venture. The only exception is that the ideas can’t be franchises or an existing business.

Students will be asked to state the reason you think you’ve got a great business idea. They will also be asked to propose a name for the business, its location, brief description of the business, who the customers will be and how they will be reached.

“We’re trying to raise student awareness of all the opportunities to take their discipline, once they graduate, and learn how to convert their degree into an entrepreneurial opportunity,” Geho said.

A group of finalists will be picked from the online entries, with those finalists given the chance to make five-minute business pitches to a small panel of judges between 10 and 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 22. The top three ideas will be selected.

The top winner may eventually become a client of the Tennessee Small Business Development Center, which offers expert counseling, training resources and professional referrals to small business owners and prospective owners at offices throughout the state.

Next year, Geho said his office will offer training earlier in the semester for students wishing to enter the competition but are not familiar with giving such business pitches.

— Jimmy Hart (jimmy.hart@mtsu.edu)

Company ‘pays it forward’ with donations to Raiders’ Closet

One of the nation’s most prominent pharmaceutical corporations is making an investment in the future with a donation to MTSU’s Raiders’ Closet.

AstraZeneca contributed professional outfits to the racks of gently used items available at the closet, which is located in Room 130A of the university’s Business and Aerospace Building.

Members of the AstraZeneca Leadership and Selling Team pose with their donations to the MTSU Raiders’ Closet at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Murfreesboro. From left are Joni Moore, Chris Duncan, Shannon Hogan, John O’Neal, Scott Larson, MTSU’s Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb, Latarsher White, Melanie Hughes, Jennifer Davis, AstraZeneca Executive Sales Specialist Mecole Vaughn Springer, Gretchen Smith and Tracy Reynolds. (Photo submitted)

Raiders’ Closet houses free suits, ties, dresses, blouses, skirts and accessories suitable for job interviews. Students may keep the items they choose.

The project is the brainchild of Dr. Virginia Hemby-Grubb, a professor in the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship. She discovered that many students are misinformed about the type of clothing they need to make a good impression on a prospective employer, while others simply can’t afford appropriate work clothes.

Hemby-Grubb delivered a presentation Sept. 26 about Raiders’ Closet to AstraZeneca’s Leadership and Selling Team at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Murfreesboro.

“These individuals truly care about the mission of Raiders’ Closet and believe in the ‘pay it forward’ concept we use as part of the closet’s philosophy,” said Hemby-Grubb.

The presentation was made possible with the help of Mecole Vaughn Springer, an MTSU alumna and AstraZeneca executive sales specialist.

“AstraZeneca’s Nashville District was compelled to donate to Raiders’ Closet because we understand that a need exists, and Raiders’ Closet is making a direct impact on the future success of young professionals,” Springer said.

Click on the flier above for a printable PDF with more details on donating clothing and funds to Raiders’ Closet.

Springer, a Murfreesboro native, earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1994 and her master’s degree in educational leadership in 1996. She currently is pursuing a certification in health care management at MTSU.

Raiders’ Closet “is an extraordinary example of the opportunities available to students at MTSU,” Springer said.

“It is important for students to be prepared when entering the workforce. Proper professional attire can be just as important as the knowledge you possess when making an impression on a potential employer.”

Others can make donations to Raiders’ Closet each Friday or in the Business Communication and Entrepreneurship office in Room 429N of the Business and Aerospace Building between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, contact Hemby-Grubb at 615-898-2369 or virginia.hemby-grubb@mtsu.edu, or Jaye Kiblinger at 615-898-2902 or jaye.kiblinger@mtsu.edu.

For a campus map, visit http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParkingMap13-14.

—Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)