Alumni Newsletter: September 2014 
Dr. Dan Siegel Comes to CIMBA!
Dr. Siegel's most recent visit to campus coincided with the release of his new book, No-Drama Discipline: The Whole-Brain Way to Calm the Chaos and Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind. This makes us especially fortunate to hear this world-renown psychiatrist discuss the value of self-regulation, integration, and mindfulness and how we can apply these concepts now to positively affect how we interact with ourselves and others.        

Vadim Denisov

Vadim recently graduated with his MBA in July 2014 and was named the Class of 2014's Student of the Year.

Vadim receiving his degree from Dr. Al in Iowa.

Tell us about your background and career:

I was born in a small rural town in the Republic of Moldova. After graduation in my home country, I decided to continue my education abroad and enrolled in a master program at the University of Padua. In the final year of the program, I started working in Italy at a Vicenza-based company in the export/import business. Subsequently, I was hired as a junior accountant at Ferriera Valsider SpA and have enjoyed a rewarding career there. I currently serve as the Plant Controller.


Why did you choose to attend the Part-time MBA Program?

Simply put, my answer doesn't sparkle with originality but personal development and better career opportunities were the driving forces. From a more detailed perspective, the reasons behind the choice of attending an MBA program will vary greatly with the individual. In my case, "personal development" meant enhancing my leadership capabilities through a formal and very rigid training led by highly qualified instructors, whereas "better career opportunities" meant developing a wide range of business expertise through undertaking an interdisciplinary curriculum drawing from all areas of business including psychology, marketing, accounting, finance, and many others.


What benefits did you gain from attending the MBA?

First of all - time, meaning that the MBA course helped me to gain a wide range of general business knowledge in just two years, as opposed to ten years of long trial-and-error processes that characterize on-the-job learning. Second, a really practical and broadly-based business toolkit that helped me to improve my workplace performance from the very first day I enrolled in the CIMBA MBA program. Third and the most important aspect, I shared truly unique in-class experiences with my fellow students who came from very different cultural and educational backgrounds and this not only inspired me, but also helped me to increase my network of business relationships.


How do you see the world differently after your MBA experience?

Well, you might have heard how many business leaders complain that due to current economic downturn their companies struggle with credit crunch, high taxation, and competitive pressure from low labor cost countries and troubles alike. The MBA training made me realize that although in the short-run external factors might have some impact on the overall level of efficiency at which a business operates, in the long run internal factors outweigh any exogenous influences by far. The most important internal factor, the one that truly makes the difference between the prosperous life and painful death of a business, is the leadership ability of its managers.


In your opinion, what skills make a successful manager?

To elaborate on my previous answer, I'd like to take the liberty to reiterate my ideas and emphasize their relevance. Good managers, through self-discipline and broad technical skills, know how to achieve a business goal in the most effective and efficient fashion. Great managers know how to set clear goals, motivate, and inspire by personal example in order to organize an effective teamwork.  An outstanding MBA program, such as the one of the University of Iowa offered through CIMBA, will teach you how to do both of these.


What's the best class you attended? The best professor?

For me, it's nearly impossible to single out the best class or the best professor, as I had the honor of being taught by professors who were all outstanding and did an exceptional job at sharing their business wisdom with us.


Would you mind sharing a dream or a future goal?

Like probably each and every manager, I still hope, one sunny day, to come up with such an incredibly inspiring business idea that will enable me to establish my own company.


What inspires you?

In the business setting, curiosity. When I look at a business process, I'm always curious - could I improve it, could I make it even more efficient?


How was combining your job, studying and attending the MBA program?

I guess it wouldn't come as surprise if I say it was quite challenging. It's funny how at some point after stress peaks, one develops a sort of adrenaline dependence and starts being depressed by the perspective that the workload will decline. But seriously speaking, good self-discipline,  upportive teammates, and a sympathetic family is all that you need to make it through any apparently insurmountable MBA-related difficulties.


What about your experience in the USA?

Definitely beyond and above my already very high expectations. It was amazing and by far the most intense learning experience in my life I've had up until now. A truly unique blend of in-depth cultural immersion, high-profile guest speakers, company tours, the capstone strategy course was designed to integrate the prior coursework of the whole MBA program and also included a computer-based business simulation game creating an almost real-life business environment, a real venture capitalist fair, and tough negotiations... I really could go on and on describing this once-in-a-life-time experience, but I'll stop here and just say that one thing that I have read and heard about before enrolling in the MBA program, but never fully understood until I experienced it first-hand, is that after what you go through with your classmates and professors, many of the important relationships you develop during your MBA are for life, forming probably one of the most invaluable assets that an MBA program can offer.

Alumni Updates

Welcome to the world Isaac Sebastian! Michael Heinley, a full time MBA 2007 graduate, and Paola Bucciol are the proud parents of this 
adorable little boy. Isaac Sebastian Heinley was born on June 21st. Mike and Paola, we are all looking forward to meeting Isaac and you in Italy!

Wonderful wedding this summer for Fabio Domevscek, MBA Class of 2006. Fabio and his beautiful wife Mary were married on August 30th. Here is a picture of the newlyweds with a few MBA classmates: Massimiliano and Tabita from Italy, Karl from the US and Dejan from Macedonia.

Little Francesca holds her newborn brother Renzo James, born on July 31st. Congratulations, Heidi and Andres Sandate, former CLC and MBA Class of 2004: your children are beautiful!

New job? Moving somewhere? Getting married? Other life changes? Want to volunteer your profile for the Meet the Alumni section?   

Keep your fellow alums in the loop! Send your news items to and they will appear here the following month!

Dear ,  


We hope the summer months treated you well! After a rejuvenating holiday, we at CIMBA are back refreshed-- just take a look above at the new logo!  


In this month's issue, we'll be recapping an exciting visit by psychiatrist, Dr. Dan Siegel, and fellow Mindsight Institute Co-director Caroline Welch in addition to catching up with an energetic crop of semester study abroad students and an incredibly well-rounded class of full-time MBA students. Read on to learn what they shared with us about the power of self-regulation and healthy integration.  


MBA alumni and Class of 2014 Student of the Year Vadim Denisov also tells us about the benefits of his CIMBA MBA education and how it has propelled him to think differently.  


While we at CIMBA are always excited to work with new students, we are especially thrilled to be working with an array of new technology not only in CIMBA Advantage Program activities but also during class as a way to encourage students to experiment independently.


Lastly, be sure to catch what special moments CIMBA alumni have celebrated recently. We look forward to hearing about your milestones as well!


See you next month,


CIMBA Undergraduate
On September 15th, we welcomed 54 undergraduate students from 19 universities across the US to the CIMBA campus! In the midst of a busy two weeks of CIMBA Advantage Program (CAP) activities such as the DaVinci Challenge (DVC), LIFE, and seminars, many students summitted Mount Grappa and spent a weekend soaking up the sun in Cinque Terre together.

CIMBA Fall 2014 Students Climb Monte Grappa
CIMBA Fall 2014 Students
Climb Monte Grappa

This year students are receiving an introduction to new CIMBA Bio-Feedback technology during their CAP Experiences.

Most of you are already familiar with CIMBA's use of heart rate monitors for measuring stress based on heart rate variability. Now these are being used during LIFE and the daVinci Challenge (DVC).

This year we have introduced MITs Sociometric badge which allows the measuring of wearer activity, interactions, and vocal participation in group settings and is being introduced in our DVC and KT training.

Our use of skin conductance has been updated to wireless devices capable of not only measuring individual, but group stress levels which is also being introduced during KT.

Additionally, we are improving our EEGs to a device designed specifically with CIMBA in mind to be used alongside MyBrainSolutions brain training games as well as to assess brain power biases.

We look forward to continue progressing in Data Driven Coaching for our students and providing them with the best and most current technology to support all around self-awareness.  Just take a look at the tools in the photo below!


On September 22nd, the full-time MBA program returned to CIMBA as we welcomed 14 full-time MBA students from five countries to Paderno del Grappa for the first time!

Upon their arrival, CIMBA hosted a welcome dinner for the full-time students with special guests Dr. Dan Siegel and Caroline Welch.

The full-time MBAs then kicked off their CIMBA experience with introductory orientations, KT, and the low-ropes course, also known as the DaVinci Challenge. A number of new and returning part-time MBAs joined in during both of the latter activities, enabling the entire group of new students to bond and take on the fun team-building challenges together.

The full-time students recently began classes (Stats with Dr.Al so you know they are suffering) and will finish this week with the intensive leadership training program LIFE (Leadership Institute for Excellence).

Any previous LIFE graduates should feel free to attend either or both of the graduation events.

Graduation will be Sunday, Oct. 5th. The 
Projection test will be held at 1:30 and the graduation ceremony will be held at 2:30.
CIMBA Executive 

Congratulations, ECIMS Class of 2014!

Managers, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and professionals with different backgrounds and expertise attended the final session of the Executive Certificate in International Management and Strategy program at the University of Iowa in July.

Below is the ECIMS Class of 2014 at their graduation ceremony.

Valentino Girardi, Altevie Technologies partner, was part of the ECIMS group. "A very positive and formative experience" he said.  
"Nowadays, competition is commonplace among both businesses and professionals. CIMBA's value stems from fostering an international network of professionals as well as from its ability to offer a new perspective on business management". He also added: "the classes give you ideas and tools that can be immediately applied and actualized into results. This course has enabled me to become an actor of change, bringing a new approach into my company."


Calendar of Events:

October 11-12, 18-19
MBA Accounting Classes
Professor Tim Shaftel, University of Kansas 

October 3-5
LIFE - Leadership Experience
International Edition in English

October 24-26
First ECIMS Weekend for 2014/2015 Year
Low Ropes training and PSDM

November 21-23
LIFE - Leadership Experience
Italian Edition 
Quick Links 

Dr. Dan Siegel Speaks to CIMBA Students


The business of the future is kind.


To create a career and a life at the top, you have to begin with the practice of kindness. Taught by mindfulness experts, kindness is part of the great revolution of thought at the start of this third millennium.


After decades of rationality, "business oriented" managers pressured to sacrifice everything for their careers, now at Harvard, and in the best universities in the world professors talk about integration between body and mind, between meaning and thought, and awareness, presence and harmony as tools to develop the career they want, improve the quality of life, health status and professional performance; all based on scientific research in the field of neuroscience. A good manager, to make a difference, is therefore capable of kindness and compassion, which can be developed thanks to the daily practice of Mindfulness.


Caroline Welch, a lawyer in California, and Daniel Siegel, psychiatrist and director at the Mindsight Institute, were recently guests at CIMBA. A room full of undergraduate students who are spending a semester in Italy, MBA students from all over the world, and alumni from the CIMBA network followed the lesson of the two Mindfulness experts guests. Both praised the value of CIMBA's training courses, which lead to more holistic personal and managerial development with skills that go beyond rationality and content knowledge. Dr. Siegel also emphasized the ability to perceive and feel which should ideally be balanced to relate well with people and life events. 


"The key lies in the balance between career and private life," says Caroline Welch, "and the practice of mindfulness helps to build a happy life, helping to improve the integration that creates well-being and becoming a sort of protective blanket against stress."  She elaborated, "Mindfulness is learned by practice, it is the ability to be present and open, with no expectations or judgments. In particular, it is useful to find personal meaning in what we mean by "success", to deal with the new (technological, organizational, etc.), to decide transfers (home, work) and to better collaborate with partners (in life and work), accepting and valuing diversity and reducing conflicts."


Dr. Siegel followed that up, explaining, "The quality of life depends in large part on how we handle emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in addition to the ability to adjust the processes that occur within us and in relation to others." Indeed, one student mentioned that his main takeaway from the talk was the five main traits of mindfulness - being non-judgmental, being non-reactive, being aware of what's happening when it's happening, being self-aware, and using words to label the internal world.


"At CIMBA, you learn to be managers, and especially learn to know yourselves better, learn how to act with awareness, regulating what is happening within yourselves and in relation to others," related Dr. Siegel. He clarified that Mindfulness is a tool that creates neuroal integration, which is a deep connection between brain, body, and people around us. This allows us to have intense emotions without reacting impulsively. This integration is the result of a process that begins with compassion, with a sense of tenderness that develops initially towards others, and then turns toward others, starting with our intimate acquaintances, then to strangers, and finally to people with whom we are in conflict. A tool as simple to use as it is effective can really create the life and business you want and deserve.


Both of the evening's speakers certainly motivated the students to explore mindfulness, self-regulation, and integration this semester and beyond. We look forward not only to observing the students' progress but also to hearing about what the Mindsight Institute dives into next!   


To find out more about Dr. Siegel visit