ILTM Celebrates 10th Year

by Keith W. Buffinton and Elise M. Barrella


On October 17th, the core faculty (Keith Buffinton, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Tim Sweeney, Professor of Management, and Steve Stamos, Professor of International Relations) hosted a reunion and celebration of the Institute for Leadership in Technology and Management (ILTM). The ILTM program which enrolled its first class of summer students in 1993 has now offered challenging and exciting learning opportunities for students majoring in engineering and management for 10 years. Over 220 ILTM alumni and current students were invited back to campus for the day to participate in afternoon panel discussions and a celebratory evening dinner. The panel discussions focused on the central themes of the ILTM: Leadership and Ethics, Technology Management, and Entrepreneurship. The Leadership and Ethics panel was led by Frank Brown '78, Global Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, who was joined by Prof. Joseph Pastore of the Lubin School of Business in discussing the corporate ethics scandals that have arisen in recent years as well as legislation, specifically Sarbanes-Oxley, enacted to tighten financial reporting procedures. The Technology Management panel was lead by Mark Ronald '63, CEO of BAE SYSTEMS North America, who was joined by Prof. Mike Toole '83 of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Bucknell and Mike O'Donnell '00 Senior Engineering Planner at Lockheed Martin. In response to questions about how students could best prepare for careers in technology management, panelists in general, and Mr. Ronald in particular, stressed the need for broad-based education, both in and out of the classroom. The Entrepreneurship panel was led by Doug Lebda '92 CEO of LendingTree.com, who was supported by Prof. Mark Ciavarella of the Department of Management and Yoshi Maisami '01, Founder and President of SayAh.com. Panelists offered numerous points of advice based on their own experiences, with Doug Lebda entreating those with an entrepreneurial spirit to "succeed despite obstacles, which are just opportunities to get around and accomplish something."

The evening dinner, which followed the ground-breaking ceremony for the Breakiron Engineering Building, offered special recognition and gratitude to Larry and Margit Breakiron for their foresight and generosity as founding benefactors of the ILTM program. Remarks were offered by Gary Sojka, who was President of Bucknell when the ILTM was founded, as well as by Leah Simonetta, management major and ILTM student of the class of '05, Michelle Beardslee, ILTM alumna of the class of '03 and currently an Analyst in the Manufacturing Management Development Program at Merck & Co., and John Hoffman, ILTM alumnus of the class of '95 and Sales Marketing Manager at GE Medical Systems Information Technologies. Mr. Breakrion also offered his own comments about the origins of the idea that grew to become ILTM and praised the faculty who developed the program and continue to be responsible for its success.

A special highlight of the dinner was the awarding of the very first ILTM Distinguished Service Award to Bill Gruver, Distinguished Executive-in-Residence and Adjunct Professor of Management, for his many contributions to the program as one of the original core faculty. The award was presented by Prof. Stamos who described Prof. Gruver's many accomplishments (including retired general partner at Goldman Sachs, board member at Berea College, Geisinger Health System Foundation, and the Johnson School Park Leadership Program at Cornell, and current mayor of Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania) and credited his insights and work ethic as a major contributing factor in helping to make the ILTM program the success it has become. Prof. Gruver responded in his own remarks by stressing the importance of a liberal education and by thanking Larry Breakiron and the ILTM core faculty for honoring him with the award and for their continued efforts in making the program so successful.

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