CIMBA Newsletter


October 2009
In This Issue
CIMBA Undergraduate
Executive Programs
Al's Book Club
CIMBA Calendar of Events
Meet the Alumni

Simone Bigolin, CIMBA Alumn
Simone Bigolin

After a successful career in various food industries, Simone Bigolin has recently joined CIMBA as an undergraduate Professor of Operations Management and as a CIMBA Business Analysis Consultant, a position through which he organizes the yearly MBA Consulting Projects. He is also the President of the CIMBA Alumni Association.

When did you graduate from CIMBA? 

I was a part-time student, and started attending the MBA in Fall 2000. I was able to pass all required exams during the two-year plan, but then I postponed my final graduation for one year. Basically two reasons led me to such a decision: the first reason is that the company I was working with purchased a new company, and I was sent by the CEO to lead the change and improvement at the new site. The second reason was my big fear of flying, and, in fact, I finally decided to reach New York via the wonderful cruise ship Queen Elisabeth II of the Cunard Line, crossing the Atlantic Ocean in one week, starting from Southampton.
How has CIMBA affected your life, both professionally and personally? 

My life has been greatly and positively affected by CIMBA. My first university degree was a Master of Biological Sciences, which provided me scientific competences. While I was working as Quality Manager, I realized that I also needed business and managerial competencies. For that, CIMBA has been the perfect program for me. I loved attending the MBA, and my enthusiasm was so openly clear that I was named "Smile" by my teammates during the first year.

My life has been enriched by the experiences I have lived and by the fantastic people I have met (classmates and professors) thanks to CIMBA. I gained a much greater confidence level, which allowed me to negotiate better contracts, positions and wages. In particular, I was also able to lead companies to achieve their business goals.

People know I have loved CIMBA since the beginning. And, in fact, even after the MBA graduation, I participated in further courses and activities: for example, the amazing High Rope experience in Slovenia in Fall 2003 (where I achieved my first mini-flight jumping from a tree), and the unique experience of the LIFE Program in Spring 2006.

Thanks to CIMBA, I was then able to work abroad (I was hired by the Cranfield University for an eighteen-month contract). I am well aware that without my knowledge of Kepner-Tregoe, I would not have been able to pass the one-day assessment test for receiving the contract by that British university. In the U.K., I then won the prize (as best student in job-hunting) of a flying lesson at the campus airfield, and, so, with courage, I overcame my fear of flying: I piloted a Cessna for 45 minutes!

Finally, a little and unexpected dream has recently become a reality. On the day of my 40th birthday, thanks to the support of Cristina Turchet, I sent my application to work with CIMBA and the University of Iowa, and it was successfully accepted. I am now enjoying life both at the campus in Asolo, where I collaborate with the CIMBA staff for MBA activities, and at the Paderno undergraduate campus, where I give lectures on Operations Management.
If you had to describe your best memory at CIMBA, what would it be?

I'm sure all my classmates remember my speech at the final graduation dinner. I had received a gift from Dr. Ringleb for my past collaboration with CIMBA, and I was so happy and honored that I was nearly crying. But then I made a funny speech to the audience, talking about all my fantastic experiences in U.S. (since I arrived at the campus by ship, and one month in advance!) and everyone was laughing a lot--I had so much fun!
What advice can you give current CIMBA students?

Simply live and enjoy the unique experience provided by the CIMBA program to the fullest; it is a learning experience that will improve your personal skills and your professional background. The program has continuously improved over the years and now provides all that a manager needs to be a successful leader. Of course, I always advise part-time students in particular to wisely plan and use their resources (time, energy, and so on) in order to manage their attendance and get good grades. This can also be good advice for full-time students.
What else?

I have to be honest in admitting that, as President of the CIMBA Alumni Association since Spring 2007 I have not been able to produce the great results I have wanted. I have provided and published several job opportunities and have advertised the CIMBA brand to hundreds of recruiting agencies and headhunters. I am actually in contact with more than 400 recruiters at an international level and I keep supporting CIMBA graduates who need advice regarding job searches, or simply new contacts. I am specialized in job-hunting and I am always available to help anyone.

In the near future, I am confident that good news will be announced for the CAA thanks to the new energy and collaboration of some CIMBA alumni. So, I would like to take the chance to invite all CIMBA graduates to get in touch with us, both by entering the CIMBA Alumni group on and also by joining the new CIMBA Alumni website:

We have to keep in touch! My best to all CIMBA alums!
Alumni Updates

On the 12th of September, Claire Rossi of the MBA Class of 2009 married James Parker McClelland.

On the 10th of October, Marjorie Davis of the MBA Class 2008 married Ben Parker, of the CIMBA Undergraduate Class of Fall 2003.
On the 16th of October,  Lindsay Turner of the CIMBA Undergraduate Class of Fall 2005 married Patrick Drake of the CIMBA MBA Class of 2007.

Congratulations, newlyweds!
New job? Moving somewhere new? Getting married? Other life changes? Keep your fellow alums in the loop! Send your news items to and they will appear here the following month.
Quick Links
CIMBA Website
Tippie School of Management
CIMBA Alumni Association
CIMBA Alumni on LinkedIn
Undergraduate Blogs
Contact Us/Feedback


Past Issues

Join Our Mailing List!
Fall is here at last, and the CIMBA MBA and undergraduate classes, as well as their professors, have safely arrived in Italy and begun their course loads.

As is characteristic of any semesters' commencement here at CIMBA, Fall 2009 has been brimming with activities already. So far, CIMBA has hosted three LIFE Programs, five Kepner-Tregoe PSDM Workshops, two DaVinci Challenges (Low Ropes Courses for the undergraduate students), a High Ropes Course for the MBA students in Slovenia, the first of three gourmet dinners for the undergraduate class, and seminars that have included such guests as David Rock and Michael Saletta.

Beyond this whirlwind of activity is a genuine sense of excitement in the air. Everyone here at CIMBA is looking forward to a spectacular year!
Between the LIFE Program, the High Ropes Course in Slovenia, a Neuroscience of Leadership seminar with David Rock, Kepner-Tregoe Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Seminars, the completion of nearly half of their first MBA course in Statistical Analysis of Business Operations (as well as having begun their second course in Business and Financial Accounting), the CIMBA MBAs have certainly leapt into the routine of their year of study in Asolo.

There's also something to be said about the diversity, both academic and cultural, of the CIMBA MBA Class of 2010. With students from Italy, the United States, Canada, Slovenia, Jamaica, India, and Taiwan, the environment at the CIMBA campus is unquestionably distinct; and, what's more, the array of backgrounds--fields this year include Accounting, Anthropology, International Business, Chinese Language, Economics, Chemical and Mechanical Engineering, Finance, Marketing, Philosophy, and Piano Performance--provides for a particularly stimulating classroom environment.
The launch of the year has generated quite a great deal of excitement among these individuals. "In Slovenia, we all enjoyed doing completely new things, even if some of us were more scared than others. We're coming together as a team, and having a lot of fun in the process," says CIMBA MBA Elisa Montuori.

"CIMBA is providing me with the opportunity to build leadership skills, expand my global network, and have fun doing so," says fellow MBA Chris Ziemba. "Definitely an experience I will never forget."

Look forward to more articles involving the CIMBA MBAs in future issues of this newsletter, where you will be getting to know many of them a bit better, and where you will get a look into the unique activities they will be a part of during the following year!
CIMBA Undergraduate

The CIMBA Undergraduate Program has hit the ground running this fall semester! Seventy-eight students representing fifteen different American universities all made their way to Paderno del Grappa in September to begin their studies with CIMBA.

So far, many of the undergrads have gone through Kepner-Tregoe PSDM Workshops, DaVinci Challenges, a gourmet dinner (with another coming up on the 22nd of this month), and some of CIMBA's largest LIFE programs yet. Michael Brock, a Resident Assistant on the undergraduate campus, had the opportunity not only to participate in the LIFE program as a student, but, for the Executive LIFE Program that took place earlier this month, to return to LIFE as an Assistant Trainer. Regarding this experience, Michael says, "Going through the LIFE program as a student opened my eyes to the world.  Having the chance to become a LIFE Assistant Trainer gave me the unique opportunity to revisit the emotional moments of LIFE while viewing the program from another angle.  Reliving the experience and helping others to grow allowed me to bring my leadership skills to the next level, and has empowered me to strive harder to succeed in my life."

The Fall 2009 CIMBA Undergraduate Class

Additionally, CIMBA is delighted to welcome four new members to its undergraduate staff this semester: Mr. Uros Bizjak, Ms. Katy Jo Brown, Dr. Milan Pagon, and Mr. Jayme Ringleb. Uros and Katy Jo have taken on their roles as the new wave of Campus Life Coordinators; Jayme has begun his work as the LEAP Coordinator and as a coach for the undergraduate campus; and, after several years of work as a professor for the CIMBA MBA program--as well as the instructor for the Da Vinci Challenge and the MBA High Ropes Course--Dr. Milan Pagon is now the Academic Director for the CIMBA Undergraduate Program. You'll have more in-depth interviews with each of these individuals to look forward to in upcoming issues of the CIMBA Newsletter!
CIMBA Executive Programs
Executive Certificate In International Management and Strategy - 8th Edition 
Last days to apply!
The eight edition of the Executive Certificate in International Management and Strategy  will start on November 6th.
The Certificate provides a broad general management education from a strategic perspective with the intent to prepare participants for leadership roles in their companies. The Program focuses on providing young entrepreneurs with the practical business tools and personal characteristics required to allow them to advance to higher levels of responsibility within their companies or to create and build their own businesses.

The Program is designed to best fit the needs of working professionals: it is structured in eight weekends (Friday and Saturday) held at the CIMBA campus in Asolo, Italy, once per month from November 2009 to June 2010 and finishes with a one-week intensive course in July at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, USA. 
There are some scholarships available. Please contact for more info and applications.
Only few days to apply: enrollment will close on November 4th.
LIFE Leadership Program
The LIFE Program is going global! We are proud to announce that due to the success of past editions, we will start to offer LIFE in other countries. The next editions (in English) of the program will be:    
20, 21, & 22 Nov. 2009
in Ljubljana,Slovenia.
We will soon also offer the LIFE Program in Italian! For information, e-mail  Seats are very limited!
Graduates of the LIFE Program, Oct. 11, 2009

In-Company Training & Coaching
Several companies are getting tangible benefits thanks to CIMBA in-company leadership development training and coaching. If you are interested give us a call or send us an e-mail and we will show you what your ROI could be.
A-B-C: Al's Book Club 

From the very beginning of this column, you and I have taken a fragmented trip through the literary world that has to this moment defined NeuroLeadership. I have suggested books that individually cover an aspect of one of the four principal domains that make up the field: (1) decision making and problem solving; (2) collaborating with and influencing others; (3) emotional regulation; and, (4) driving change. When someone has come to me and expressed an interest in becoming better informed on the neuroscience and social psychology applications to leadership and leadership development, the list of books I have recommended exceeds 50 titles--and, not surprisingly, most find that overwhelming. What was clearly needed was a book that pulled in and explained all four domains, listed references to the research upon which the applications to leadership were based, and provided a narrative that would hold our attention, keep us engaged, and assist us in learning. I am pleased to inform you that such book now exists: David Rock's Your Brain at Work: Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long.
As most of the readers of this column know, David has been actively involved with CIMBA for several years. You will recall that David was instrumental in working with us to create the first NeuroLeadership Summit here in Asolo in 2007. He and I co-founded the NeuroLeadership Institute and we are the co-editors of the NeuroLeadership Journal. Both our undergraduate and MBA students have the pleasure of getting to know David personally as he frequents the CIMBA campus on a regular basis, lending credibility to our "brain-based" leadership development process.
One of the principals of CIMBA educational and instructional philosophy is putting content in context. In his book, David builds the neuroscience of leadership information around and through the lives of family members--Emily, Paul, and their two young children--as they go about their busy, stressful days. Emily is a newly-promoted executive in a large corporation, while Paul is a private business consultant. David takes us inside their brains as they think--gathering, sorting, organizing, analyzing and confirming the vast quantities of information with which they are presented. David navigates us through their thinking, carefully and thoroughly explaining how the brain works--and, more specifically, how it works in a work setting.
MBA students who have had an opportunity to review draft copies of the book have likened it to Goldratt and Cox's The Goal, a book that has successfully placed content in context in the area of production management and process improvement. Those students were very quick to add that it greatly assisted them in better linking together the four domains making up the NeuroLeadership field--something that had been more difficult when it needed to be extracted from multiple books on multiple topics written by multiple authors. It is clear that Your Brain at Work is going to become a staple of CIMBA's leadership development program reading list. Not surprisingly, the book has been favorably reviewed by two of our most noted leadership theorists and practitioners: Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business and University Professor at the University of Southern California and the author of On Becoming a Leader.
The next big challenge? Developing an in-depth leadership textbook that incorporates much of the new research on neuroscience and social psychology applications to leadership. Until then, CIMBA is very content to finally have in its possession a book that brings together all four domains, explains the research upon which it is based, and guides our learning in this important field.
Those of you interested in exploring some of the topics from Your Brain at Work in more detail will find the book's reference site helpful and informative. It will also give you an opportunity to "meet" some of the scientists referenced in the book. To access this website, go to:
CIMBA Calendar of Events: October 2009

10, 11 Oct.: Statistics (Dr. Al Ringleb)
13, 15, 17-18 Oct.: Accounting (Dr. Roy Pettibone)
16 Oct.: Coaching Skills Workshop
20, 23 Oct.: Consulting Projects Orientation
21 Oct.: Statistics, Exam I
24 Oct. to 1 Nov.: Fall Break

2-11 Oct.: Travel Break
20 Oct.: Expatriate Panel Discussion
21 Oct.: 1st "Add a Seat to the Table" Event
22 Oct.: 2nd Gourmet Dinner
9-11 Oct.: LIFE Leadership Development Program
15 Oct.: Strengths Workshop (in Italian)
16 Oct.: Coaching Skills for Managers & Entrepreneurs
23 Oct.: International Management and Strategy
24, 25 Oct.: Kepner-Tregoe PSDM Seminar
Neuroleadership Summit
We are pleased to announce that in cooperation with Results Coaching System, CIMBA will sponsor the next NeuroLeadership Summit in Los Angeles from October 27 through the 29th. You may recall that the very first NeuroLeadership Summit was held here in Asolo in 2007. Featured speakers at this year's Summit include Warren Bennis, one of our most recognized leadership scholars; Daniel Siegel, the author of the bestseller "The Developing Mind" and co-director of UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center; Werner Erhard, the founding father of transformational leadership; Jonah Lehrer, author of several best sellers on neuroscience and its applications including his most recent work "How We Decide;" Marco Iacoboni, a neuroscientist considered to be the world's most preeminent mirror neuron scholar and researcher; Matt Lieberman, a social neuroscientist whose work has significantly influenced the CIMBA leadership development model; David Rock whose most recent work is "Your Brain at Work;" and several others. More than 200 have already registered to attend. Dr. Ringleb, who along with David Rock founded the NeuroLeadership Institute, will be there and present the most recent CIMBA leadership development research. To find out more about the Summit, we encourage you to download the Summit program and/or pre-order the Summit recordings at the NeuroLeadership Institute website ( ). We also encourage all CIMBA friends and graduates to become a member of the NLI - we now have more than 500 members worldwide!