Forward Together Webinar Series
Bringing interesting topics and people to our global community of students, alumni, and leaders in business and government to empower, educate and inspire.
In each webinar we will bring experts from industry to our community with the purpose of sparking thought, connecting people, and stimulating engaging discussions.
2022-2023 Webinar Series:
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
12:30pm - 1:30pm
Anna Wikland has been the Country Director for Google Sweden for 7 years and is also part of the management team for Google in Northern Europe. In addition to this, she sits on the board of ICC Sweden and Spiideo and is an advisor to some other tech scale-ups. Anna has 20 years of experience from leading positions in the online world and works actively to support companies and individuals to succeed through the rapid digital transformation that is taking place. Prior to Google, Anna worked as the CEO of the digital marketing agency Keybroker and before that she worked in the US for several years with marketing and sales. Moreover, Anna has been listed by Dagens Industri (the main daily business publication in Sweden) as one of the 125 most powerful business women in Sweden for three years in a row. She was also awarded the title of "Sweden's most powerful woman in Tech" in March 2017 by Veckans Affärer and received the "Future Leader" award at Chefsgalan 2015.
Managing Your Presence: Showing up Strong
Wednesday, November 30, 2022
We invited Paul Rosenberg, Award-winning and sought-after leadership coach, business developer, and speaker, to be our next speaker in our webinar series speaking on Managing Your Presence: Showing Up Strong.
With over 25 years of extensive experience across multiple industries and continents, he has established a unique track record that ties leadership development to tangible performance improvement. Working with front-line supervision to the C-Suite, he brings depth and experience in skill development and execution. Featured in Huff Post and Thrive Global. Paul has an MBA from California Lutheran University, where he was on the Student Life staff, and a member of the Alumni Board.
Ethical Finance and Handling Crises -
examples from Islamic financial
Thursday, February 17, 2022
We invited Saif Khan, Account Director at Cognizant Technology in Saudi Arabia, to speak in our Forward Together webinar series.
Saif Khan has over 20 years working in the technology industry in a variety of roles like strategic sales and account management, P&L management, and global business development. He has garnered experience across the globe with work stints in India, Europe, and the Middle East and is able to work seamlessly across cultures and national boundaries as well as is adept at managing global business units and teams. Saif's areas of interest are the application of technology to Social Finance, Islamic Economics & Finance, Fintech and Islamic Capital Markets. Saif has completed an Executive Masters in Islamic Finance from International Center for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Kualalumpur, Malaysia, a university set up by Bank Negara Malaysia - the central bank of Malaysia in order to enable capacity building in the Islamic Finance space. INCEIF is the only AACSB accredited Islamic Finance university in the world focused on Islamic Finance courses and is a leader in this space.
- ethical financial practices
- why appreciate the need for alternative financial systems
- existing models of growth and understand how Islamic finance works
After his presentation, Saif answered questions moderated by Gerhard Apfelthaler, Dean of the School of Management.
Being Successful as a Latina in a
German company in the United States
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
We invited Judith Sanchez Lopez, SVP General Manager at Jafra USA to speak in our Forward Together webinar series. Judith is an international leader with more than 28 years in the beauty and cosmetics industry. She is a visionary with a strategic mindset and a focus on developing high-potential teams to achieve results and ensure business profit and growth. She has deep experience in launching and driving business growth in a variety of LATAM countries, South America, the USA, and Asia.
In this interactive presentation, Judith discussed:
- The impact of cultural behaviors when you are doing business with Germans, Americans, and Hispanics
- How to build an inclusive culture
- Leadership as a matter of flexibility and adaptability with curiosity and tolerance to ambiguity
- How being a leader of a diverse organization requires respect, humility, love, with clear goals, a strong vision, purpose, and is results-driven
- The importance of being grateful, brave, and believing in yourself
After her presentation, Judith took questions that were moderated by Gerhard Apfelthaler, Dean of the School of Management.
Sustainability, Resilience and the Bottomline
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
We invited Marika Stocker, Senior Manager Sustainable Finance Solutions, from Sustainalytics to speak in our Forward Together webinar series. Marika is an international business professional with a focus on sustainable finance. She joined us from her home base, Singapore, for an engaging discussion.
- Becoming a sustainability leader can require big changes, but the effort is worth it— in both environmental and economic terms
- What is the future business value of Sustainability and how ESG practices are linked to companies bottom line
- See how Sustainable Finance can be more cost efficient and making companies more resilient vs conventional debt/equity raising
- Understanding a company’s material Sustainability Issues
Analysis a company’s ESG Risk Rating report to identify their sustainability gaps
Marika took questions that were moderated by Gerhard Apfelthaler, Dean of the School of Management.
Surviving Crises - Lessons Learned from Japan
Wednesday, May 26, 2021
Parissa Haghirian is a Professor of International Management at Sophia University, Tokyo. She has lived and worked in Japan since 2004 and is an internationally renowned expert in international management, specializing in Japanese management. In this webinar, Parissa presented Japanese strategies to deal with challenges and crises.
Parissa Haghirian is Professor of International Management at Sophia University, Tokyo. She has lived and worked in Japan since 2004 and is an internationally renowned expert in international management with a focus on Japanese management.
Ms. Haghirian studied Japanese Studies at the University of Vienna (MA 1999) and holds
a master’s degree (2000) and Ph.D. in Business Administration (2003) from the Vienna
University of Economics and Business Administration. She is also a visiting professor
at Aalto University, HEC Paris, Keio University, Waseda University, and the University
of Vienna. From 2011 to 2012 she held a professorship in Japanese Management at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität
She has published several books and articles on the topic of Japanese management and
is the author of Understanding Japanese Management Practices (Business Expert Press,
2010), Multinationals and Cross-Cultural Management: The Transfer of Knowledge Within
Multinational Corporations (Routledge, 2010) and Successful Cross-cultural Management:
a Guide for International Managers (Business Expert Press, 2011). She is also the
editor of Japanese Consumer Dynamics (Palgrave Macmillan 2011), Case Studies in Japanese
Management (World Scientific Publishing Company, 2011), the Routledge Handbook of
Japanese Business and Management (Routledge, 2016) and Business Development, Merger
and Crisis Management of International Firms in Japan: Featuring Case Studies from
Fortune 500 Companies (World Scientific Publishing Company, 2018). In 2019 she edited
the free e-book "Japanese Business Concepts You Should Know".
Professor Haghirian advises companies on intercultural cooperation, and coaches top-level
managers searching for new perspectives and the potential for success. She regularly
gives keynote lectures at conferences and corporate events across Europe and Asia.
She currently lives between Tokyo and Vienna.
Cryptocurrency and - a Very Personal Story - Behind The Crypto Company
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
We were thrilled to invite MBA alumnus Mike Poutre ‘13, Managing Partner at Terraform Capital and Ex-CEO and founder of The Crypto Company, to be a speaker in our Forward Together webinar series. Mike is one of the foremost experts on Bitcoin and has been featured in media outlets such as Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and others. Bitcoin made him (briefly) one of the richest people in America.
Mr. Poutre is a Managing Partner at Terraform Capital, a hedge fund with an emphasis on Blockchain Infrastructure and cutting edge technologies surrounding the evolving blockchain ecosystem. Prior to founding Terraform Capital, Mike was the CEO of The Redwood Fund, a boutique hedge fund that invested in publicly traded small and micro cap securities. He developed the investment strategy for both of these funds during his studies at CLU. Mike has been the CEO of three publicly traded companies, the last of which was The Crypto Company. Under his tenure, The Crypto Company became the first fully reporting publicly traded company whose sole focus was digital currencies and the infrastructure supporting this new field of technology. Mike is the first CEO in the history of the US to file an annual report (Form 10k) with an audited portfolio of over 30 digital currencies and is also the first CEO to accept digital currencies in consideration for stock in a PIPE transaction. His career in corporate finance and investment banking over the past 25 years has seen him go from managing portfolios to advising politicians and government officials, as well foreign governments.
Mr. Poutre holds an MBA from the California Lutheran University and a BA from Whittier College where he was a Whittier Scholar. He served on the Santa Monica Mounted Posse, a volunteer reserve unit of the Santa Monica Police Department - for over 10 years, having stepped down from that role in 2017. Mike also donated his time to CLU as a board member of the school’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting (CERF). He has also served on boards for several charities, including Head to Hollywood, a charity founded by celebrity Carmen Electra for the benefit of children afflicted by brain tumors. This charity was successfully built up and merged into Make a Wish Foundation.
A native of Vermont, Mike is an avid traveler, having traveled to over 50+ countries and speaks several languages. He lives in Westlake Village with his two children, and when he is not making deals, he can be found racing cars, skiing, playing hockey, riding horses, scuba diving, and generally living life to the fullest.
Covid-19 Pandemic and Restaurant Recovery in the City of Pasadena
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
This webinar brought together experts in the area of local economic development. The participants shared their insights on the public policy changes that can be made, discussed gaps that exist, to offered tips in helping restaurants recover.
- The role of local government in invigorating local businesses/ local economy
- The synergies of government- private sector in the LA/ Ventura County areas
Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC)
In her role as Vice President of Economic and Workforce Development, Jessica Ku Kim provides strategic direction and leads LAEDC’s collaborative efforts with business, education, and the workforce ecosystem to support a growing, equitable, sustainable and resilient economy. Leveraging her expertise in convening and engaging businesses leaders to understand and meet their operations and labor needs, Jessica leads one of the most effective small business assistance teams in the nation that has attracted, retained or helped create more than 245,000 direct jobs for LA County residents in firms directly assisted by LAEDC.
Connect with Jessica on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-ku-kim-3796b33/
City Manager, Pasadena
Mr. Mermell was appointed City Manager by unanimous vote of the City Council and assumed his duties February 15, 2016. As City Manager he is the Chief Administrative Officer of the City and is charged with supervising, coordinating, and administering the various functions of the City. He has direct responsibility for all departments, divisions, and offices of the City with the exception of the City Attorney/Prosecutor and City Clerk which are separately appointed by the City Council.
Connect with Steve on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/steve-mermell-42273814/
Director of Institute for Applied Economics, LAEDC
Shannon Sedgwick is Director of the LAEDC Institute for Applied Economics. In this capacity, Ms. Sedgwick oversees and executes the planning and design of economic research projects and develops subject-specific information and data interpretation for economic impact, demographic, workforce development, transportation, and industry and issue studies. She performs research, data collection and organization, analysis and report preparation in addition to managing a team of economists. Her work focuses on demographics, industry clusters and contribution analysis, and occupational analysis. She is also proficient at conducting geospatial analysis and working with IMPLAN. Ms. Sedgwick is a principal contributor to the Center for a Competitive Workforce reports prepared for the California Community Colleges and local Workforce Development Boards (WDB). Other notable works include, Aerospace: The Changing Face of Aerospace in Southern California, The Path Forward: Economic and Workforce Intelligence for Northeast Los Angeles, and Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980 which quantified the economic impact of the series of exhibitions held across Southern California.
Ms. Sedgwick joined the LAEDC in June of 2008, serving in both Economic Research and the Consulting Practice of the LAEDC with data collection and research, managing multiple data sets covering the State of California, Southern California, its counties and their sub-regions.
Before joining the LAEDC, Ms. Sedgwick managed an industrial and steel supply company located in the Inland Empire. There she identified and targeted a diverse customer base, and analyzed product and customer patterns in the local industrial market to successfully increase revenues.
A Southern California native, Ms. Sedgwick received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Southern California (USC) with a minor in Architecture. She is a member of the national chapter of National Association for Business Economics (NABE) and the American Economic Association (AEA). In her free time, she is actively involved with local animal rescue organizations as a foster and volunteers annually as a mentor to undergraduate students selected for the USC Dornsife Gateway Internship Program.
MPPA student, California Lutheran University
Current MPPA student who finished a capstone project on the restaurant industry recovery in Pasadena. Sefain is also currently an Education Associate with the US National Archives and Records Administration.
Connect with Greg on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregory-sefain-4bb56b51/
The Power of Brand and Digital Marketing and the Value of Marketing to The U.S. Latino Cohort
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Andrea Trujillo, Director, Brand and Digital Marketing, L’ATTITUDE
In this webinar, Andrea will discuss the key role that brand and digital marketing play in business strategy and success. Learn how authenticity is the key factor in driving impact, and how directing your marketing campaigns toward the U.S. Latino Cohort will enhance the bottom line. Andrea’s strength is in creating unique experiences that provide value for the brand and the consumer alike. You’ll learn how and why; plus, you’ll leave with fun marketing tips, new ideas, and powerful facts and data about The New Mainstream Economy and why the future of marketing should center around the Latinx Cohort.
Creative Ventures in Art, Design and Luxury Watchmaking
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. (PST) on ZOOM
Robert will talk about the emotional rollercoaster rides and key learnings when starting a contemporary art space in Mexico City, building an artificial island on a river with New York artist Vito Acconci and relaunching Carl Suchy & Söhne, the most important luxury watchmaker of the former Austro-Hungarian empire.
Finding Purpose the Japanese Way - IKIGAI for Leaders
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Frank Brueck, Director, The Ikigai Corporation; Honorary Professor, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa
Yes, it is possible to have a working life that’s enjoyable, meaningful and successful, all at the same time. The Japanese even have a word for it: Ikigai – sometimes referred to as the reason why we get up in the morning. In other words the purpose of your (working) life. In this presentation you will learn about the 4 main dimensions of Ikigai which are also believed to be the main reason for longevity of the people in Okinawa. In his latest book Frank Brueck transferred this ancient Asian concept to modern business and developed a model that helps leaders to find their way towards their own purpose in life. Find out which of 8 different leader types you belong to and how to develop towards your own Ikigai. Most importantly you can’t achieve it on your own, you will always need to consider how to integrate “What the World Needs” in what you do. Embracing the concept of Ikigai in your work will change what type of leader you already are – or you want to become. Although the term Ikigai is mostly used on an individual level only, you will learn that it can be applied a collective organisational level as well - with 8 different Ikigai Business Types.
Reference: Brueck, Frank (2020): IKIGAI for Leaders and Organisations – the way to individual and collective purpose and meaning. USA: lulu.
Watch the webinar
Aviation in the Age of COVID-19
Wednesday, January 13th, 2021
Kevin Bumen, Chief Commercial Officer for San Francisco International Airport (SFO) gave an overview of SFO’s Recovery to Resilience Framework and lessons learned through COVID time (positives and challenges). Also, he gave an update on the air bridge development concept and challenges for SFO in the next 3-5 years.
WATCH the webinar
Reinventing an Award-Winning Magazine and Live Events Business Due to Pandemic
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
How did a 13-year-old print publishing and live events business shift its business model to address demand in a COVID economy, when print and live events revenue were already declining by 90%? Listen as David L. Wurth, founder and CEO of C-Suite Media, Inc. led his company through the pandemic. After six months of adapting to changing circumstances, CSQ identified both the importance of being digitally relevant and that human connectivity was in even higher demand than before. As a result, the need for new strategies in business development has allowed for CSQ to further expand on and develop new products.
WATCH the webinar
How Corporations Adjust During a Global Pandemic
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Nissan, one of the largest automakers in the world, was undergoing a comprehensive restructuring and brand revitalization initiative under new global leadership when the coronavirus pandemic struck. Listen as Cal Lutheran alumnus, Mike Colleran, Senior Vice President Marketing & Sales, and Corporate Officer, Nissan North America at Nissan Motor Corporatio shares key learnings on navigating the pandemic while also pointing the Nissan brand toward a successful future. Hear firsthand how Nissan addressed the pandemic head-on by prioritizing safety while implementing cost control, and adjusting to new business realities and consumer behavior. Mike also discussed the effort to bring a global manufacturing organization back online safely while preparing for Nissan’s largest product launch offensive in a decade.
"Back to the Future" with the School of Management
Friday, October 23, 2020
We held a special edition of our Forward Together webinar series for virtual Homecoming 2020. We invited back an older alumnus, Jeff Brouelette ‘91 and a younger alumna, Giselle Lopez ‘19, pairing them in contrast to our second longest serving faculty member (40 years!), Ed Julius and a more recent faculty member, Ran Lu-Andrews. Through a panel discussion, moderated by Henry Dubroff, editor of the Pacific Coast Business Times, the four discussed where SOM has been and where we are headed, looked at how business career paths have evolved and where they are going, how culture/society has shaped the school and what the future looks like. It was inspiring, geniune, insightful and hopeful. A reception followed the panel discussion, moderated by alumnus, Cory Stigile '98.
WATCH the webinar
Quantitative Strategic Decision Making During a Crisis
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
It is expected from a leader to make decisions continuously, but not any decision. Decisions ought to be right and strategic. Both of these attributes are subjective and varied as time passes. Obviously, more time exposes us to more facts and information which affect the quality of the decision. But time is the element most in demand, especially during crises. In this talk, it is intended to discuss fundamentals of human psychology in respect to decision making, and how to utilize some tools and develop some skills to be able to reach a decision with enough confidence to execute during the crisis and achieve the desired outcome within acceptable range of deviation.
The webinar includes a short presentation by Hamed Khalkhali, Vice President, Engineering, AeroVironment, with an open, interactive Q&A session, moderated by Mike Panesis, Executive Director, Center for Entrepreneurship.
WATCH the webinar
Global Supply Chain Risk Management during Uncertain Times:
Strategies and techniques for managing in the new normal
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
As COVID-19 spread, countries on every continent went into lock down, and global supply chains came to a complete halt. Uncertainty is the new normal for supply chain managers, and there is no silver bullet. Based on his article, “Risk Management in an Era of Extreme Uncertainty”, published in Supply Chain Management Review (July/Aug 2020), Sumantra will addressed strategies and techniques that may provide a template for managing in uncertain times.
The webinar includes a short presentation by Sumantra Sengupta, managing director of EVM Partners, LLC., followed by an open, interactive Q&A session, moderated by Dean Apfelthaler.
Managing the Unimaginable: Crisis as an Opportunity
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
In this webinar, Kelly Kimball, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman at Vitu shared some perspectives on how managing the unimaginable can turn a crisis into an opportunity. The webinar is informative, insightful and will offers viewers a new perspective, from an experienced entrepreneur, leader and visionary.
Responses to COVID-19 in Asia: Healthcare and Economy
Monday, June 22, 2020
In this webinar, Dr. Rafiq Dossani, Director, Center for Asia Pacific Policy at RAND shared some perspectives on how countries in Asia continue to grapple with COVID-19 and tackle the challenges to healthcare sector in particular and the broader economy, in general. The webinar is informative and insightful and offers participants insights into public policies in one of the most populous regions in the world.
Leadership and Innovation in Crisis
Friday, June 12, 2020
Featuring Larry Clark, Managing Director of Global Learning Solutions and Mary Anne Amato, Director of Learning & Development, Global Sales at Harvard Business Publishing Corporate Learning.
History has shown that crisis creates opportunity for innovation. In this session, Larry Clark and Mary Anne Amato shared insights into four key shifts that occur in times of crisis that foster the conditions for new thinking and doing. They also shared Harvard’s research on key ways that leaders can maintain the effect of these shifts beyond a crisis so an innovation mindset becomes embedded in the culture of their organizations.
The Federal Legislative Response to COVID-19: Public Policies to Assist Frontline Health Care Providers
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Featuring Richard Mereu, Chief Governmental Relations Officer, Emergency Nurses Association
Moderated by Sabith Kahn, Program Director, Master in Public Policy and Administration
The federal government has taken unprecedented steps in response to the coronavirus pandemic. As part of this effort, Congress passed four major pieces of legislation related to COVID-19 in less than two months. These bills included initiatives to protect the safety of frontline health care workers and provide them with the resources to properly care for their patients.
This presentation provided an overview of these extraordinary efforts and insights on the critical role of advocacy in the passage of coronavirus-related legislation. It also focused on the importance of public service in promoting effective policies during this crisis.
Our guest speaker was Richard Mereu, chief government relations officer for the Emergency Nurses Association, a 46,000-member trade association based in the Chicago metropolitan area.
Watch the webinar - Coming Soon
Design Thinking: Pre- and Post- COVID-19
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Featuring Ravi Sawhney, Founder and CEO, RKS Design
Moderated by Gerhard Apfelthaler, Dean, School of Management
Learn how RKS Design, a globally recognized design and innovation consulting firm whose mission is to move people through design, is working through the COVID-19 crisis. Our guest speaker was Ravi Sawhney, founder and CEO of RKS Design and member of the Dean’s Executive Council at California Lutheran University’s School of Management. Mr. Sawhney discussed personal and organizational strategies that have been employed, due to the crisis, at RKS Design.
Covid-19 – Crisis management & Recovery Scenarios: An example in the Multinational Beauty/Haircare Industry
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Featuring Stefan L. Mund, Regional Head, Henkel Beauty CareHair Professional North
Moderated by Gerhard Apfelthaler, Dean, School of Management
Learn how a multinational beauty and haircare corporation is working through the COVID-19 crisis. Stefan Mund, VP and Regional Head North America at Henkel and member of the Dean’s Executive Council at California Lutheran University School of Management, will discuss personal and organizational strategies to navigate challenging times. Henkel, a German-based multinational corporation successfully markets beauty brands such as Dial, Schwarzkopf, Sexy Hair, DevaCurl, and others.
Career Entry and Advancement in Time of Crisis
Wednesday, April 17, 2020
Monica Tobin, Associate Director, Executive Search, Century Group
Becky Bruno, President, Bruno Recruiting Group
Nate Corte, Director, Head of Strategy & Operations, Global Engineering, Amgen
Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire, CEO, Berkhemer Clayton Retained Executive Search and 2020 Women on Boards
Industry experts discuss how to manage your job search through this COVID-19 pandemic. Our panelists weigh in on how you can focus your online presence, virtual interviews, and networking. We know students are looking for guidance on how to approach the job market and move forward in their career paths. Remember, we are all in this together and we want to help you get through this global crisis.