School of Business
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New Changes are coming at SBTDC

In 2011 the MSSU Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) went through many changes. In May 2011, Jim Krudwig retired as the Director of the MSSU SBTDC. On Friday, May 20, 2011 Lisa Robinson accepted the Director position. And then the unthinkable happened in Joplin, MO. Following the events of May 22, 2011 tornado, a disaster grant was given to the MSSU SBTDC office to hire more staff and open more opportunities to the Joplin area business community.

The fall of 2011 introduced two new business consultants to the SBTDC team: Ken Surbrugg and Shawn Wininger as well as another office location to better serve the public. The new office was opened in October 2011 in The Joseph Newman Innovation Center in part through a partnership with the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce. In early 2012, the final staff addition was made when Sherry Noller joined the staff as Research Associate.

In addition to three new staff members, the SBTDC has updated the conference room to serve as a training room with technology to assist the instructors and make learning more interactive for workshop participants. The small business library has been updated and expanded to include books on how to start a small business in an array of industries. Currently, three key workshops are being offered at no cost to participants. These workshops are: Starting a Small Business: The First Steps, How to Write a Successful Business Plan, and Making Better Business Decisions Using Your Financial Statements. The entire staff has had opportunities to attend numerous training seminars to expand their knowledge base to assist more small businesses.

The MSSU SBTDC has had reason to celebrate in 2012. In April of this year, a ribbon cutting and reception was held celebrating 25 years on the MSSU campus. During the past fiscal year, the SBTDC staff consulted 321 businesses during 904 counseling sessions. Those businesses created 179 jobs while retaining 143 existing jobs. SBTDC clients opened 21 new businesses with assistance from the SBTDC. The staff held 55 training events with 566 participants.   

The MSSU SBTDC invites you to visit their campus location in Plaster Hall, room 107, to check out the new training room and small business library.

Dr. Agee speaks at Annual Payroll Conference

October 5, 2012 Dr. Terri Agee spoke at the 9th Annual JOMO Regional Payroll Conference. This year’s conference theme was “Payroll Strong.” Joplin YMCA and MSSU Small Business Development Center sponsored the conference. The focus of the all-day event was to assist practicing payroll professionals with legal compliance under the federal and state wage and hours laws, tax laws, child support enforcement laws, workers compensation laws and prevailing wage laws.

 In attendance were over 50 payroll professionals, CPA’s and more. Agee was selected to share from an employer’s perspective the effective ways to respond to a Department of Labor audit through the Wage and Hour Division. After speaking she also participated in a Q&A panel. She answered questions about leave policies under the Family and Medical Leave Act and general employee relations issues. With her employment law background and administrative experience she was able to relate to the question. Also having dealt with government agency audits and investigations she could present examples to the audience.

Agee was honored to interact with such knowledgeable professionals. She explains, “They play a critical role in the success of a business and I value and appreciate their expertise in payroll and compliance matters." Debbie Cash, President of the JOMO Chapter held a very professional and informative event for everyone in attendance. Agee said, “She did an outstanding job in planning, coordinating and facilitating this event.” 

MSSU Small Business Development Center and the Joplin YMCA sponsored the conference. For more information about the event and next year’s conference contact the Joplin Chapter of Southwest Missouri.

PBL/C-DECA hosts Merit Badge University

PBL/C-DECA club sponsored by the Robert W. Plaster School of Business (PSB) hosted the first annual Merit Badge University (MBU) on Saturday, December 1, 2012. The MBU provided Nih-Ka-Ga-Hah District of the Ozark Trails Boys Scouts of America an opportunity for scouts to earn six different merit badges. Professors and MSSU alumni with assistance from PBL/C-DECA members provided instruction for the scouts to guide them through the requirements of obtaining these merit badges. Total attendance for the day was 66 scouts.

In conjunction with the MBU, the Nih-Ka-Ga-Hah District also held training sessions for over 20 adult leaders in the Robert W. Plaster School of Business Administration. The event began at 9:00 with a welcome from Dr. John Groesbeck, Dean of Business and continued until 3:30 in the afternoon. The PSB building was selected to host both of these events due to the ability of PSB to provide technology support necessary to meet the needs of the scouts and their leaders.

Instructors and MSSU Alumni who provided counseling support were:

Dr. Beverly Block, Business Education Professor; Megan Douglas, Management Instructor; Angels Vorhees, Business Law Instructor; Tanya Yantis, Marketing Instructor; Ali O’Dell, MSSU alum and salesperson for Pearson-Kelly Office Products; Dani Henkle, financial analyst, J.M. Smucker Company; A.J. Whistler, staff accountant, Mense, Churchwell, and Mense

PBL/C-DECA members who provided assistance for the MBU were:

Tricia Coleman, management major, Carthage, MO; Andrew Frost, marketing major, Joplin, MO; Cara Gooch, management/marketing major, Bolivar, MO; Whitney Koch, marketing major, Carl Junction, MO; Kyle Prisock, undeclared, Joplin, MO; Ryan Prisock, finance major, Joplin, MO; Curtis Shields, accounting major, Crane MO; Cassie Smith, management major, Savannah, MO; Raycee Thompson, accounting major, Joplin, MO

Dr. Huffman presents at Ethics Seminar

Dr. William Huffman, professor of accounting, was invited to present during an Ethics seminar held on September 20, 2012 in Springfield, Mo. The conference was held by The Heartland Regional Council of the Institute of Management Accountants Education. Members present during the conference came from Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and part of Illinois.

The President of the Heartland Regional Council asked Huffman to speak on the topic of ethics. From previous experience of speaking the President knew Huffman would be a professional and well informed speaker. Huffman spoke about creating an ethical work environment and developing a personal ethics statement. For Certified Public Accountants (CPA) and Certified Management Accountants (CMA) to maintain their certifications are required to earn two hours of Continuing Professional Education (CPE) in ethics.

The number one concept Huffman wanted to members to take from his presentation is to remember to work ethically. It is better off in the long-run and much better off for their organization if ethics are emphasized. In all the presentations was a success and the audience received Huffman well and left positive feedback. Not only did the members gain from this conference but also did Huffman. He said, “I enjoy getting to meet people and to hear their stories.”

PBL Members Earn International Awards

The MSSU PBL (Phi Beta Lambda) club sponsored by the Robert W. Plaster School of Business earned several national honors at the National Leadership Conference held in San Antonio, TX, June 24-27, 2012. PBL, the collegiate equivalent of Future Business Leaders of America, is an educational association of postsecondary student members preparing for careers in business. There are over 11,000 active members in the United States including nearly 400 members with 22 chapters in Missouri.

Along with leadership training and the election of national officers for the coming year, the conference featured competitive events for individuals and teams. The MSSU PBL was represented by 8 students competing in 14 different events. The club garnered 8 top 10 places highlighted by Ryan Prisock (junior, Joplin) winning the national championship in Marketing Analysis and Decision Making. The MSSU PBL top 10 award winners were:

National Champion: Ryan Prisock (junior, Joplin)—Marketing Analysis and Decision Making

2nd Place: Tyler Brown (senior, Joplin)—Retail Management; Ethan Powell (senior, Bixby, OK)—Sports Management and Marketing; Ryan Prisock (junior, Joplin)—Financial Analysis and Decision Making

3rd place: Andrew Frost (junior, Joplin)—Information Management

5th place: Tyler Brown (senior, Joplin)—Marketing Concepts; Sushant Karki (junior, Kathmandu, Nepal)—Computer Concepts 

7th Place: Ethan Powell (senior, Bixby, OK)—Contemporary Sports Issues

Also, state award winners, Shawna Alkire (senior, Nevada), Cara Gooch (sophomore, Bolivar), Krysti Hines (senior, Lincoln, NE) and Natascha Lord (junior, Waynesville) attended and competed at the PBL National Leadership Conference. The MSSU PBL club is advised by marketing instructor Stu Dunlop.

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