Cornell University Johnson at Cornell University



Decoding messages from the heart

John Kallassy, MBA '03
John Kallassy, MBA '03
Zargis Medical, a company headed by CEO John Kallassy, MBA '03, was a runner-up in the Medical Devices category of the Wall Street Journal's 2006 Technology Innovation Awards. Zargis Medical was recognized for Cardioscan, the world's first computer-aided stethoscope designed to help physicians identify and evaluate heart murmurs and other sounds that may be indicative of cardiovascular disease. The awards honor breakthrough technologies from around the world in several categories. In selecting award winners, the Wall Street Journal's panel of judges considered whether the submitted innovations represented breakthroughs from conventional methods, as opposed to incremental improvements.

Zargis Medical also recently announced summary results of the clinical study it conducted in 2005 in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The study assessed the impact of the Cardioscan system on referral

Cardioscan, the world's first computer-aided stethoscope
decisions made by primary-care physicians regarding heart murmurs. It found that use of the Cardioscan leads to a 41 percent reduction of unnecessary cardiac referrals by physicians, and also improves detection of murmurs associated with potentially harmful heart disease by 46 percent.

MBA grads drive retail strategy
A growing number of retailers are hiring MBAs to help lead and direct their organizations, according to the Wall Street Journal's Sept. 18 article, "More Retailers Shop Business Schools for Talent." Two members of the Johnson School community were highlighted in the article. Janet Carr, MBA '90, a former Gap Inc. executive, was hired by Coach to head a new consumer-insights and strategic-planning group. In addition, Joshua Fine, MBA '07, spent his summer internship at Coach and made several recommendations to senior management about ways to improve MBA recruiting.

Keys to a chef's success: Consistency in quality and cost

Dori Berlin, MBA '97, MMH '98, was featured in a Sept. 20 Wall Street Journal article on chefs with MBAs, "The Main Course: Schools cook up business classes for chefs and restaurant owners." Berlin's joint degrees – a Johnson School MBA combined with a master's of management in hospitality from Cornell's School of Hotel Administration – have served her well.

Dori Berlin, MBA '97, MMH '98
Dori Berlin, MBA '97, MMH '98
She's now the executive chef and food and beverage manager for Wood Ranch restaurants in southern California. Wood Ranch ( is a privately held chain of 10 restaurants specializing in grilling over live wood fires.

Stressing the importance of her MBA training, Berlin comments, "Although the final product in front of you may appear simple, there is a tremendous amount of effort that goes into producing that one item consistently, correctly and at a reasonable cost. The devil is in the details. Chefs not only need to understand how to produce quality food, but they need to be aware of costs, contracts, labor, trends, legal issues etc. From linen to litigation, employees to equipment, plate ware to profits, a chef has to be on top of it all. They need to be able to read P&L's and understand what the numbers are telling them. The restaurant business is very complex. To be successful, a chef needs to always be mindful of the bottom line."

Berlin believes the negotiation skills she gained at the Johnson School have been instrumental in her success. Nearly everything she does involves negotiation. Whether it's trying to get cooks to prepare meals in a consistent way, driving down the price on shrimp, or convincing owners to take a chance on new wines, she's always negotiating. "The concept of 'kinship' really stuck with me," says Berlin in the article. "There are definitely times to play hardball, but I find that, in general, people are much more willing to give you what you want when you establish 'kinship' with them through relationships and trust."

Asian Markets

Professor Maureen O'Hara at the Tokyo Stock Exchange
Professor Maureen O'Hara at the Tokyo Stock Exchange
Maureen O'Hara, Robert W. Purcell Professorship in Management, professor of finance, and acting director of graduate studies, took her expertise on the road on a trip to Asia. She spoke at the Kinzai Institute for Financial Affairs about the challenges facing the world's exchanges. In conjunction with that discussion, an interview appeared in the Nikkei Financial Daily (the Nikkei Kinyu Shimbun), Japan's leading financial newspaper. O'Hara also met with the CEO and top executives of the Tokyo Stock Exchange to discuss problems affecting stock exchanges.

Making sense of cents

Sanjeev Bhojraj, associate professor of accounting and faculty director of the Parker Center for Investment Research, is quoted in a September 29 Reuters article, "Analysts miss mark on Wall St. brokerage profits," that appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money, and several other publications. Firms that marginally miss analysts' estimates are better off in the long run than companies that beat estimates by managing their earnings, according to research Bhojraj has conducted. Why? "Companies that massage their earnings may cut discretionary expense items, for example, hurting their chances for future growth, " notes the article. "As an investor, you hope (beating estimates) is sustainable," Bhojraj says in the article. "The question to ask is, 'Will it unravel?'"

Ringing the bell

Dean Swieringa ringing the closing bell at Nasdaq
The Johnson School recently had an opportunity to ring the closing bell for the NASDAQ and the NYSE. On Friday, July 14, Dean Swieringa presided over the closing bell ceremony at NASDAQ. More than 50 Executive MBA and MBA students, alumni, and guests were on hand for the ceremony, which was broadcast on CNBC and Bloomberg. A 30-second Johnson School video also ran on NASDAQ's seven-story-tall video screen in Times Square. Together with many of his classmates, Jeff Anderson, EMBA '08, broker and member of the NYSE with Deutsche Bank Securities, rang the closing bell for the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, September 15.

Innate passion

James Goldman, MBA '85, president of Godiva Chocolatier Worldwide, was the featured author for the Oct. 22 edition of the popular New York Times' Sunday column, "The Boss." In his story, "When Retailing Is In the DNA," Goldman shares the personal, academic, and professional experiences that led him to where he is today, and specifically mentions how the Johnson School's student-led Marketing Association influenced his career choices: " . . . in my second year, I discovered the marketing club, and things clicked."

Back from duty

Philip Haar, MBA '08
Philip Haar, MBA '08
U.S. Air Force veteran Philip Haar, and U.S. Army veteran Mark Hartman, both first-year students at the Johnson School, were featured in a front-page article in the Veterans Day issue (Nov. 11) of the Ithaca Journal, "Back from duty: New veterans join the circle with pride."

Haar, 32, was in the U.S. Air Force for eight years as a pilot of the E-3, also known as an Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft or AWACS. Mark Hartman, 27, spent 17 months in the Middle East between 2002 and 2004. He left the U. S. Army as a captain in May, after five years of service.

In the article, Hartman cited the importance of his military service in providing him with the leadership roles and responsibilities he knew he would need to pursue his long-term goals. Both men also noted that their military experience enhanced their view of the world. "'It's just so eye-opening to go to all of these different places and see what life is like for them, " Haar said. "Being on a vacation someplace is a whole lot different than really serving a country; trying to find out what's valuable to them and what you know about the way things can be that will change their lives for the better."