In April of 2014 The Richmond MBA invited graduates of other leading MBA programs living in the Richmond area to the Ukrop Auditorium for an evening of learning and networking. Attendees listened to the night’s guest speaker, Matt Williams, CEO of The Martin Agency, and afterwards, mingled in a networking reception.

Melissa Sorbello, ’01 and GB ’07, director of workforce technology services at Capital One, shared her experience of the evening. “The goal of the event was to bring area MBA alumni from several top-notch institutions together to share in mutual learning and networking. Matt Williams was a phenomenal, thought-provoking speaker, and the opportunity to network after his talk was a great chance to make new connections and friends. The event was certainly a success.”

Iryna Butler, GB ’09, marketing and product manager at Alstom, attended the event to deepen her ties to the MBA community. “I came to meet alumni from other top-tier business schools living and working in Richmond as well as to learn about their professional and personal achievements, aspirations and goals. I was also curious to see how we might tap into each other’s alumni networks to cross-market alumni events in the future.”

Sanjay Srinivasan, a 2000 Fuqua graduate who heads a global business management consulting firm, came to the event “to learn, network, share and contribute. I had a wonderful time. The Richmond MBA is doing a great job of initiating relevant, valuable events that bring people together. I hope to see this event become a regular feature on the events calendar.  I would like to offer my sincere thanks to the Robins School of Business and The Richmond MBA for hosting this event and making us feel so welcome.”

Jeff Horton, a 2001 Fuqua graduate working in the nuclear engineering group at Dominion Resources Inc., reflected on Matt Williams’ presentation. “He was a great speaker. His remarks focused on the challenges of dealing with change while maintaining core company culture in the context of a creativity-based business. For example The Martin Agency company culture is embodied by the phrase, ‘Good to each other, tough on the work.’ His talk was fascinating and broadly applicable.”

Debbie Fisher, associate director of the MBA program, added, “Matt Williams did an incredible job as speaker. His message to remain true to your values was simple and inspiring.”

Robin ten Kate, a 2003 Fuqua alumnus who is currently working to build his own business, mentioned the talk was his favorite part of the event. “He was an excellent speaker, and he spoke very openly about The Martin Agency sharing insights into the culture of the company that helped make them so successful. The information he shared with us is something everyone who attended can use to progress their own companies’ cultures. 

Several years ago Horton approached Senior Associate Dean Richard Coughlan, director of the Richard S. Reynolds Graduate School of Business, to hold the first Richmond-area event of this kind.

“The Richmond MBA graciously offered to host the event, and Dr. Coughlan invited Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, to speak. I appreciate Dr. Coughlan’s reaching out to us for this second joint MBA event. As a leader in the local Fuqua alumni group I fully support efforts to bring local MBA alumni together,” he said. 

Sorbello, president of The Richmond MBA Alumni Society, looks forward to building and reinforcing ties within the MBA community. “I hope we continue to sponsor joint events with other alumni groups. The MBA alumni community is a small and distinguished group of people, and we have a wonderful opportunity to build our community into a better-networked, closer-knit group of professionals.”

View An Evening of Learning and Networking Photo Album

Photo: Matt Williams, CEO of The Martin Agency