NORTH CANTON What better way to celebrate a 50th anniversary than invite three alumni to speak about the future? That’s what the Walsh University Business Club did to celebrate their 50th luncheon on Nov. 17.
The Barrette Business and Community Center was filled with 370 local professionals, students and many alumni. They came to hear the three alumni present on the topic of "The Digital Transformation."
Walsh University President Richard Jusseaume gave opening remarks about the significance of the 50th luncheon and about each of the featured speakers.
"The School of Business is 56 years old and my goodness have we evolved over the years to where we are integrating technology into learning and teaching," Jusseaume said. "Walsh University has grown to over 3,000 students this year from 34 countries around the world and from 40 states. All of our speakers today are Walsh alumni. We hope that all Walsh students go onto make a difference in the world such as these three have."
Ged Tarpey (2003 graduate) was the first speaker. He’s now based in Los Angeles and serves as the head of Media and Entertainment West at Twitter. He’s worked closely with all the major movie studios and TV networks on innovative ways to market a movie or TV show using Twitter. He talked about how Twitter has contributed to the digital transformation.
"Twitter came from a simple idea of building a platform to allow one person to speak to many," Tarpey said. "The U.S. Airways crash into the Hudson River in 2009 was one of the first times Twitter was used to inform the world. A Twitter user tweeted a photo of the plane sitting on the river. The Pope tweeted for the first time in 2012. Almost all of the news, sports and talks shows have tweets embedded in them. And, Twitter has been a communications tools in U.S. presidential races."
Robert "Bobby" Morrison (2005 graduate) is head of the Digital Operations at Verizon Wireless, he spoke about the internal workings of business during the digital transformation process.
"There are four elements to most digital transformations including the digital experience optimization foundation, new experiences, promotions and media," Morrison said. "Companies usually come at the transformation in one of three stages. They are either implementing a slight tweek in what’s in place, or they are in the in-between stage or they are at the end of the curve where the market shifted and they missed it," he said.
Carol Miller (1993 graduate) was the last speaker of the day. She is vice president of Corporate Innovation with American Greetings. She shared several stories about how a paper greeting card company has made the digital transformation.
"We have several products and programs that combine traditional with digital," Miller said. "One of our products is the ecard experience where three million members have sent ecards at amerciangreetings.com. We also have a program called Celebrity Smashups where you can customize a greeting online using a celebrity. We are also creating content for the Apple watch so that people can send a card from watch to watch," she said.
In addition to the speakers, the DeVille School of Business awarded scholarships to two business students, Josh Ippolito and John Horvath.
The Business Club is one of the oldest organizations on the Walsh Campus. It was founded in 1966 to promote an integrated approach to business and to increase student understanding of stable business strategies using connections between the Walsh community and the business world. Today, it has 60 members and Patricia Berg is the faculty advisor.