Ciao a Tutti, 

March is here and spring is in the air. With fair weather comes fair times here at CIMBA.

We have been keeping ourselves busy this past month hosting events across the Veneto and conducting company tours for both our undergraduate and MBA classes. Recently we had a chance to catch up with MBA Alumni Martina Franzini, class of '02, who is doing well for herself in Milano and who had some words of advice and reflection to share in this month's CIMBA Spotlight.

Along with Martina's reflections, in this issue we invite you to join our students on one of their many company tours, check in on recent news from your fellow alumni, read how to break bad habits in Dr.Al's ABC, and take a moment to remember an important friend of the CIMBA family, Dr. Charles Kepner, who passed away earlier this week.

As always, we encourage you to connect with each other and share with us your good news. We look forward to hearing from you!

Buon Marzo, 
CIMBA Brain Awareness Week!
Brain Awareness Week (BAW) is the global campaign that takes place every March to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research the world over. With our passion for researching and developing our understanding and application of neuroleadership, CIMBA is proud to once again join in BAW this year to spread the word and get people engaged in this most fascinating and crucial field of study.
As a one of the international partners for Brain Awareness Week our recent LIFE course was tapped as one of the events designed to expand people's understanding of the brain and how its study can be utilized to help us in our professional lives.
If you are interested in learning more about our LIFE programs, please contact Katiuscia Baggio at

Spring Company Tours

Four companies, four eye-opening experiences into the unique world of Veneto manufacturing.

Over this past month CIMBA partnered with local multinational manufacturers: Bifrangi, Diadora, Galdi, and Head, to introduce our Undergraduate and MBA students to these companies and to tour their local production facilities to see how the magic happens on the production floor.  

Diadora Introducing themselves to our students.
At the start of each tour students were treated to a short presentation by company representatives to teach them about the rich history of the company and how their roots in the Veneto have helped them grow into the huge and successful names they are today.

Professor Bigolin charming the tvAVICENZA news team.
Following a short Q and A session each group was then taken on a guided tour of the facilities and operations to see what life is like on the ground floor. One of our groups was even accompanied by a team from the local news, TVA VICENZA, and had a chance to speak about their experience as part of the television program.

Many thanks to Bifrangi, Diadora, Galdi, and Head for hosting our students and answering their many questions about your processes. This was a truly wonderful experience for them to learn about the veneto entrepreneurial model and see what it takes to grow and thrive in today's competitive, international marketplace. Mille grazie and we look forward to working with you and other Veneto companies in the near future!
March Madness has Struck the Class of 2016!
With the spring comes a quickening of pace and pressure for the class of 2016.  In addition to classes, they have been hunkering down with their consultancy projects - working long and hard to ensure that their clients receive the best service. 
All this said, it has not been all work and no play for the MBAs as they have still found time to fill out brackets and get pumped for this year's March Madness NCAA basketball tournament taking place in the United States right now.

To some, March means nature reawakening to budding flowers and chirping birds. To others, it means rooting for their favorite American university basketball team. Naturally, a few of the American MBAs could nott wait to fill out their bracket and to coerce their Italian compatriots to join in the madness.
MBA candidate Grant Humphries took the helm in organizing the class' bracket pool and eagerly recruited everyone to join in and come watch the opening games at his apartment, now christened the Thunderdome.
Carlo Napoli, originally from Salento, had never heard about the competition before and had this to say after joining in and watching the first games, "We don't have anything like this in Italy, but even if you don't know about the teams, it's still fun to watch and cheer." Carlo enjoyed cheering on his soon-to-be Alma mater, the University of Iowa, as they took on Temple University in the first round of the tournament.
While the Hawkeyes got knocked out of the tournament early this year in their second game following Temple University, the games are not over as the tournament continues on into April. Once the tournament ends life should calm down for the MBA class for a time before they need to pack and head out to Iowa to finish up with their final cornerstone class.
Left to right: Cristina Turchet, Dr. Chuck Kepner, Susan Kepner, Al Ringleb

It is with heavy hearts that we share with everyone the news of the passing of our dear friend Dr. Charles Kepner, co-founder and cre
ator of the Kepner-Tregoe Decision Making Model, who passed away peacefully in his sleep this past Easter Sunday at the age of 94. His wife Susan was by his side when he passed away. 
Throughout his life, Chuck led the way in corporate decision making and training by living his commitment to developing innovative processes for strategic thinking. For many years we have been committed to teaching the Kepner-Tregoe Decision Making Model as a core aspect of both our MBA and Undergraduate Programs.

Many of you may remember Chuck with fond memories from the time he visited us in 2004; such as how your first impression of him may have come from his knuckles that he had tattooed with the phrase "Hold Fast" from his days in the US Navy.

Thank you Dr. Kepner for all you have taught us and for inspiring us to look deeper and more critically at how we make decisions in our personal and professional lives. We wish Susan and the rest of your family the best and will keep them in our hearts, minds, and prayers in your time of passing. We will always remember you for your brilliant mind and remarkable gift for bring forth new insights in every conversation. Your legacy shall live on in the countless lives you touched and the cognitive processes you pioneered.

Martina Franzini, MBA Class of 2002 
Since the inauguration of our CIMBA Alumni Association last fall we have had the opportunity to get back in touch with a number of our Alumni from past classes. Recently we had the wonderful opportunity to get back in touch with Martina Franzini who has been doing exceptionally well since she graduated back in 2002.
We asked her if she had any advice for future CIMBians and she was kind enough to share her experiences and reflections with us in this month's CIMBA Spotlight.
Ciao Martina, could you please share with us a brief introduction of yourself? Where do you call home?

Hello everyone, my name is Martina Franzini and I am from Bassano del Grappa, a town located close to Asolo in Northern Italy. Today I actually live and work in Milan as I have for the past 7 years. I am a Marketing Manager at Galderma, a multinational company belonging to the Nestlè Group. Within Galderma I have held many different positions, managed different projects, and overseen large groups of people. For instance, over the years I have been a sales manager, team leader, and business unit head. Moreover, Galderma has given me the opportunity, as a high potential, to be part of an international development program.
After earning your MBA with CIMBA in 2002, what impact has the program had on your life and career?

Taking part in the CIMBA program was the key to achieving my career goals. Working on projects with colleagues coming from different countries reinforced my mindset for later working internationally as a Marketing Manager. Studying, in a very practical manner, how the different departments of a company interact with each other gave me a overarching vision and understanding that has provided me with the ability to negotiate effectively with colleagues of different backgrounds. Moreover, having obtained my CIMBA degree after a challenging year helped to reinforce my self-confidence which is, in my opinion, one of the most important factors for success and the key to pursuing our career goals.
What advise would you give to a current or perspective students?
Approach your experience in the CIMBA classroom as a type of gym which reflects what you will experience in a company and in a role of responsibility. Take this opportunity to network with your classmates, share with them your experiences and dreams, and embrace the pressure of the MBA as something which will strengthen you. Do your best in the program and live your passion in what you do.
What inspires you?
I am inspired every time I see someone who is able to reach an objective by combining their brain and heart. Most of the time this allows you to express yourself, see things from another point of view, and give value to what you do and to the people you interact with.
Thank you Martina for your advice and time! We wish you the best as you continue on with Galderma and we look forward to watching as your career continues to blossom in the future!
We are overjoyed to introduce everyone to the first daughter of Megan Buckley, class 2006, Marion Ruth "Mimi" Buckley born March 15th weighing 8 lbs 6 oz. and 21 inches long. Congratulations Megan and little baby Marion!
Congratulations to Michele Martinello, MBA class of 2005, on the birth of his second baby on January 11! Annabelle Rosalie Monique Martinello, welcome to the CIMBA family!

If you are not a member of our CIMBA Alumni LinkedIn group, please join now! You will gain valuable career connections created by alumni, recruiters, companies, partners, and our powerful Consortium of more than 35 U.S. universities.  


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In contrast to past ABC's, I would like to begin with a short overview of a book we are likely to review in the future. My intent is to use its core premise as the rationale for why this month's book, Rewire, is so relevant and important. That book is Geoff Colvin's Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know That Brilliant Machines Never Will. Those of you familiar with CIMBA's core philosophy know that it is based on an individual's combined abilities in three core areas we see as being crucial to effectiveness: Knowledge, Process, and Behavior. CIMBA has long placed emphasis on developing critical thinking (Process) and behavioral skills. While we clearly recog nize the importance of axioms, theorems, formulas, and principles -- we certainly appreciate the importance of technical competence - we have been arguing for more than 20 years that our educational system has all but ignored the importance and relevance of developing critical thinking and behavior skills and attributes. Colvin's basic premise is simple and straightforward: In the workplace of the future, knowledge - axioms, theorems, formulas, and principles will largely be the responsibility of machines, robots if you will. The abilities that will prove most crucial to effectiveness will no longer be those technical, knowledge-based skills; rather, we will need high-level decision-makers with significant interpersonal skills - "empathy, creativity, social sensitivity, storytelling, humor, building relationships, and expressing ourselves with greater power than the machine mind can ever achieve." So, given our current emphasis on knowledge-based personal development, how will we go about developing those "high-level decision-makers with significant interpersonal skills"? Dr. Richard O'Connor's book, Rewire, provides us with some very interesting insights.
To begin, Dr. O'Connor is a practicing psychotherapist. At CIMBA, we are very sensitive to the line that separates personal development coaching and therapy. As such, an important criterion in deciding whether to invest in a book is the contribution it is likely to make to our various coaches, trainers, and facilitators. In this regard, I was particularly pleased to see that Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz was among those supporting this book. Important aspects of our development model are based on his work. Still, the book sat on my desk for more than a year as I considered whether it was a good candidate for review. Those of you familiar with CIMBA's approach to personal development know that we rely on our internally-developed 6-Columns Personal Development Accelerator (To download a copy, click here). Based on neuroscience, the 6-Columns has proved to be effective in assisting individuals in understanding their personal development needs and in assisting them in developing more productive, constructive, and healthy habits. I was pleased to find that Rewire offers very interesting and provocative insights into why it is effective, and how our coaches can better guide coachees through their personal development journeys.
For those unfamiliar with our 6-Columns tool, let me quickly review it

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