October 26, 2020

Cabot Creamery Executive Shares How to Dance Among Giants

Alumna Roberta MacDonald credits the University of Mary Washington with giving her the tools it took to help launch her extraordinary 40-year marketing career. She’s served as Vermont’s first marketing director and worked for such heavy-hitters as the San Francisco Opera, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, American Express and the Vietnam […]

Sports Marketer Urges Students to Make Passion a Goal

Kyle Ragsdale was on his honeymoon when – as if his life weren’t about to change enough already – he had an “a-ha” moment. Gazing out at the beautiful French Riviera with his new wife, he made another pledge to his future. “I decided I would never do a job again unless I loved it,” […]

UMW Alumnus Donates Hollywood Memorabilia for Auction

The University of Mary Washington Marketing Club is teaming up with the 2014 Executive-in-Residence, Dan Wolfe, to auction off a number of unique Hollywood memorabilia.   $_57 Donated by Wolfe, the auctioned items include a 25-movie box set of NBC Universal’s greatest hits, as well as T-shirts from many popular movies, including the recent box office smashes “Neighbors” and “Pitch Perfect.” The auction is being conducted through the eBay account of Professor Kashef Majid, the faculty advisor to the marketing club. The club is using these donations as an opportunity to practice marketing skills, and club president Lauren Strayhorn said they plan to promote the auction on their website and Facebook page. The auction ends Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. The collaboration is a part of the university’s Executive-in-Residence program, which unites students with career experts in business in order to gain knowledge and skills by interacting and working with professionals. Funds raised will go toward a club field trip in the spring to visit a Washington, D.C., ad agency. A 1984 UMW alumnus, Wolfe is currently the executive vice president of NBC Universal’s Worldwide Creative Operations, where he works to market the company’s movies in worldwide campaigns.

Movie Executive Shares Expertise As UMW’s Executive-in-Residence

NBC Universal executive Daniel R. Wolfe urged local community leaders and students at the University of Mary Washington to strive for innovation in their businesses and their careers. Wolfe, a 1984 alumnus and executive vice president of NBC Universal’s Worldwide Creative Operations, spent two days this week at UMW as the 2014-14 Executive-in-Residence.

Dan Wolfe '84 talks with UMW students.

Dan Wolfe ’84 talks with UMW students.

“Maintaining the status quo is not a strategy,” said Wolfe, sharing his motto for business and a concept he strives to live by. According to Wolfe, businesses can either hold onto their success model until it becomes irrelevant, or continuously look to change and innovate.

What is the secret to innovation? Wolfe encourages business leaders to look to their consumers for answers.

“The biggest thing is – are we listening to our consumer?” asked Wolfe. “The ability to ask questions, the ability to let your guard down and say ‘let me ask what would be a better way to do this’ is so important for any business and for any individual to keep growing,” said Wolfe.

After graduating from UMW, Wolfe said he moved back home to Virginia Beach with his parents. A few years later, his college roommate, a movie fanatic, died in a car accident. The incident got Wolfe thinking about his passions and purpose, and he ended up moving to Boston for grad school before heading out to Los Angeles.

With all his success, Wolfe still credits his time as Mary Washington for the balance he is able to keep in the Hollywood industry.

College is “really where you build your foundation,” he said. “And I think that’s what’s really served me well.”

UMW to Host Executive-In-Residence

The University of Mary Washington will host the 2014-15 Executive-in-Residence featuring Daniel R. Wolfe ’84 beginning Wednesday, Oct. 15.

Dan Wolfe

Dan Wolfe

The two-day program, “The Future of Movie Business,” will feature a presentation and reception by Wolfe on Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. in the North Building on the Stafford campus. The session is open to the public, but space is limited and registration is encouraged.

Wolfe is a 1984 graduate of Mary Washington, which honored him with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2004 and as the Distinguished Graduate in Residence in 2007. He currently serves on the College of Business Advisory Board.

As the executive vice president of Worldwide Creative Operations at NBC Universal, Wolfe oversees a staff of more than 100  in Los Angeles and London who provide creative, post production, technical and other support worldwide for the marketing campaigns of all Universal’s motion picture releases. His department is responsible for the development and execution of a film’s marketing message for theatrical trailers, television commercials, print advertising, new media, radio, theme park placement and home entertainment including sell thru, pay-per-view and video-on-demand.

In his long career at Universal Pictures, Wolfe has been involved in more than 400 films, including “Jurassic Park,” “Fast and Furious,” “Bourne” and “American Pie” franchises. Wolfe has been a part of 15 films that were nominated for Best Picture by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and four that won Oscars® for Best Picture including “Schindler’s List,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “Gladiator” and “A Beautiful Mind.” Before joining Universal in 1990, he was a manager of creative advertising at New Line Cinema and prior to that, Orion Pictures.  While at Orion Pictures, Wolfe worked on campaigns for the Academy Award® winning films “Dances with Wolves” and “Silence of the Lambs.”

He has a postgraduate degree in communication industries management from Emerson College and is a member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences.

For more information or to register for the presentation and reception, call (540) 654-1242 or visit business.umw.edu/eir.

UMW Executive-in-Residence Talks Entrepreneurship and Startups

Matt Ernst, the University of Mary Washington’s 2013 Executive-in-Residence, has a few tricks up his sleeve when it comes to entrepreneurship and startup companies.

Matt Ernst '94 (center) talks with business leaders during the Executive-in-Residence breakfast on Feb. 27.

Matt Ernst ’94 (center) talks with business leaders during the Executive-in-Residence breakfast on Feb. 27.

The 1994 UMW graduate shared his tips with regional business leaders and community members during a breakfast on Thursday, Feb. 27 at the Jepson Alumni Executive Center.

“Without calculated risk there are no innovations,” said Ernst, who started his first business, a lawn care company, as a teenager.

After college, Ernst founded Amentra, a company that provided systems integration services. He started the company in 2000 during the dot-com boom and two weeks before the dot-com bust. Under Ernst’s guidance and leadership Amentra became one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the country, and he was named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007. He sold the company in 2008 to Red Hat, one of the world’s leading providers of open source solutions.

His other pieces of advice included having a diversity of experience, remembering that change is constant, having a vision and having a strong appetite for risk.

During the two-day Executive-in-Residence program, Ernst gave presentations to faculty, staff and students. He talked with students and answered questions about his experiences at UMW and his first job out of college.

“Get a job and be a sponge and really learn as much as you can,” Ernst said. “Every conversation you have in life, take something away from it.”

His latest venture is Walnut Grove Holdings, LLC, an investment company focusing on early stage technology companies. Ernst is married to fellow UMW graduate Amy Henderson Ernst. They have three children and live in Richmond.

Since its inception in 1989, the Executive-in-Residence program has brought more than 40 well-known and established business leaders to the university. The program is coordinated through the UMW College of Business and the Division of Advancement and University Relations.

Entrepreneur to Serve as UMW’s Executive-in-Residence, Feb. 26-27

Matt Ernst ’94, chairman of Walnut Grove Holdings, LLC, will serve as the University of Mary Washington’s Executive-in-Residence for 2013-2014. He will visit his alma mater on Wednesday, Feb. 26 and Thursday, Feb. 27.

Matt Ernst '94

Matt Ernst ’94

During his two-day trip, Ernst will speak to regional business leaders about the risks and lessons of entrepreneurship and will meet with students and alumni in the College of Business. He also will lead discussions on Thursday, Feb. 27 for faculty, staff and students. For a full schedule of events, visit http://business.umw.edu/eir/schedule/.

Ernst founded Amentra, a provider of systems integration services, in early 2000 and served as the company’s chief executive officer until shortly after its sale in 2008 to Red Hat, one of the world’s leading provider of open source solutions. Under Ernst’s guidance and leadership Amentra became one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the country. Ernst was named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007. He currently serves as chairman of Walnut Grove Holdings, LLC, an investment company focusing on early stage technology companies. He received a bachelor’s degree from Mary Washington in 1994.

Established in 1989, the Executive-in-Residence program is coordinated through the UMW College of Business and the Division of Advancement and University Relations.  Since its inception, the program has brought more than 40 well-known and established business leaders to the university.

Executive-in-Residence, Feb. 26-27

Matt Ernst ’94 is UMW’s 2013-2014 Executive-in-Residence. He founded Amentra in early 2000 and served as the company’s Chief Executive Officer until shortly after its sale to Red Hat in March of 2008. Under his guidance and leadership Amentra became one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the country. Mr. Ernst was also named the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2007. He currently serves as Chairman of Walnut Grove Holdings, LLC, an investment company focusing on early stage technology companies.

Mr. Ernst will be on campus in Stafford and Fredericksburg Feb. 26 and 27. Throughout the two-day Executive-in-Residence program, he will interact with UMW students interested in various career paths.

During an invitation-only breakfast program, Ernst will speak to regional business leaders. His presentation, “Entrepreneurialism:  Taking Risks and Lessons in Leadership,” will focus on his experience as an entrepreneur and business leader.

Students, friends, and alumni are invited to attend a presentation by Ernst on the Stafford campus Wednesday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. A reception with refreshments and light fare will follow in the North Building. Space is limited for the Wednesday evening event in Stafford and registration is encouraged.

Following the Wednesday evening presentation, Ernst will visit the Fredericksburg campus on Thursday, Feb. 27.  All UMW students are invited to attend one of three presentations scheduled in Dodd Auditorium at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., or 2 p.m. Registration is not required.

For more information or questions please contact Andrea Cordray at acordray@umw.edu.

 

CEO Doug Dolton ’78 Shares Business Philosophy

Doug Dolton ’78 shared his perspectives on leadership, business and the economy with hundreds of regional leaders on Thursday, March 21, as part of the University of Mary Washington’s annual Executive-in-Residence program.

Doug Dolton ’78 (left) is UMW’s Executive-in-Residence for 2012-2013.

Dolton, founder, chairman and CEO of San Francisco Motor Sports and UMW’s Executive-in-Residence for 2012-2013, emphasized inspirational leadership through boosting employee morale and increasing customer satisfaction.

“In order to make a success out of anything you do, it is critical that you understand how to interact effectively with people,” he said.

During his two-day visit to UMW, he used examples from his decades in business and finance in his meetings with students, faculty and alumni.

“See people as people, not as objects,” he said, stressing that successful business leaders foster cultures of empathy in their organizations.

Dolton has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services and banking industries and has served as president and CEO of Servus Financial Corporation, now owned by Wells Fargo; Chela Education Financing, now owned by Nelnet; and Zopa, a U.K.-based peer-to-peer online lending marketplace. He founded San Francisco Motorsports, a luxury automotive retailer based out of Northern California, in April 2010 and has served as chairman and CEO of the company for almost three years. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Mary Washington in 1978.

Established in 1989, the Executive-in-Residence program is coordinated through the UMW College of Business and the Division of Advancement and University Relations.  Since its inception, the program has brought more than 40 well-known and established business leaders to the university.

Click here to view the embedded video.

 

Executive-in-Residence on Campus 3/20 and 3/21

doltonDoug Dolton ’78, founder, chairman, and CEO of San Francisco Motorsports will be on campus March 20 and 21. During his two days at the University of Mary Washington, he will speak to regional business leaders and meet with students in the College of Business. Classes on the Stafford and Fredericksburg campuses are open to all UMW faculty and students. See the complete EIR schedule, and contact Kimberley Kinsley (kkinsley@umw.edu) for more information about topics or EIR class schedules.