In its quest to pursue the highest standard of education for MBA students, in 2017, Dr. Randy Raggio, director of The Richmond MBA, commissioned a team of external business leaders and alumni to meet with executives from prominent regional businesses representing a diverse spectrum of industries, to gain deeper insights on the changing needs for business leaders, and to develop a consensus on the potential implications for The Richmond MBA program. In the resulting Voice of Industry Report (VOI), the exploratory team distilled executive responses into the following themes:

  1. Integrated Data Analytics and Technology
  2. Tactical Management and Leadership
  3. Applied Strategy

In order to ensure Richmond MBA students are experiencing these themes and applying them to their studies, Debbie Fisher, associate director of The Richmond MBA, created the 2018-19 VOI Professional Development Workshop Series.

The objective of the series is to build upon the rigorous classroom experience students have and to provide co-curricular programming to supplement their learning. The series will help empower students and alumni to be effective leaders and have the ability to influence organizational change.

“Every year we offer professional development programming, but this year, we wanted to show employers that we listened and that we are implementing their ideas in our program,” Fisher said.

The sessions include:

Evidence Based Management
Tuesday, November 13
Joel Mier, Managing Partner, The Mier Practice

Innovation Strategy
Thursday, December 6
Rick Ainsworth, Director and Columbus Office Lead, CapTech Ventures Inc.

Experience Innovation
Tuesday, January 22
Micah Kessel, Behavioral Designer

The Idea Pitch
Monday, February 4
James Wasilewski, Haha to Aha, Facilitator, Coach, Comedian

How to Get in Front of the Right People
Tuesday, February 19
Kelley Powell, Founding Partner and CEO, MacLaurin Group

Moving from Idea to Execution
Tuesday, March 19
Rick DeJarnette, Consultant at CapTech, Owner, CapRock Venture Guides

Spectacular Failure is The Key to Success
Tuesday, April 9
Danessa Knaupp, Founder and CEO, Executive Coach – Avenue 8 Advisors

The series is open to current Richmond MBA students and alumni. Each session builds on the previous one, and participants are encouraged to attend all sessions. For more information, contact Debbie Fisher at