Thunderbird helping Valley businesses navigate market conditions

October 13, 2008

In an effort to build on and strengthen its economic impact in the Valley, Thunderbird School of Global Management is hosting a panel discussion aimed at helping local businesses and entrepreneurs successfully navigate current market conditions.

“A country must continually develop and guard its innovation and support the entrepreneurs who take the resulting new products and services to the market. This reaches its highest level of importance in difficult financial times like these when new sources of income and new jobs are seriously needed,” said Robert Hisrich, Ph.D., Garvin Professor of Global Entrepreneurship and Director of Thunderbird’s Walker Center for Global Entrepreneurship. Hisrich will facilitate the discussion from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Wells Fargo Center in downtown Phoenix.

The event, which will connect entrepreneurs, executives and global business experts from throughout the state, will feature Thunderbird President Ángel Cabrera; Greater Phoenix Economic Council President and CEO Barry Broome; and Oxford Learning Executive Director Jan Belt.

As president of Thunderbird, Cabrera guides a truly global institution with operations in the United States, Latin America, Asia and Europe, including Russia. He is a world-renowned global leader and management educator whose work and expertise has been recognized and tapped by top global organizations such as the World Economic Forum and the United Nations.

He was recently appointed to the Greater Phoenix Economic Council Board of Directors, something he says will strengthen Thunderbird’s efforts to help drive economic development in the Valley through its global management expertise and global connections.

“We are active members of organizations like GPEC, Greater Phoenix Leadership and other important educational and global initiatives launched by the governor because we know we are a valuable resource to the state and to companies considering investing here,” he said. “We bring executives and students from around the globe to live and study here, and some of those students stay in Arizona, create new businesses or help companies in Arizona compete internationally. Those who relocate throughout the globe have long-standing connections to the state that often translate into business opportunities for companies in Arizona.”

“Thunderbird is a world-class educational institution,” said GPEC president and CEO, Barry Broome. “The school’s international connectivity will help GPEC with its efforts to create additional foreign direct investment to the state.”

Under Broome’s leadership, GPEC and Greater Phoenix have achieved notable wins, including the launch of a statewide international program to attract foreign investment and the commission of a fact-based analysis that led to the enactment of an 80 percent sales factor, enabling Arizona to better compete for multistate corporations. Broome also serves on the board of the Arizona Economic Resource Organization (AERO) and is part of the AERO Solar Task Force, a group charged with developing the strategic framework to establish Arizona as a leading location for the solar industry.

Joining the discussion with Cabrera and Broome is Jan Belt, who along with her work at Oxford Learning, also serves as the CEO of Learn and Succeed Solutions, an online curriculum development company. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, she worked for 25 years in Information Technology at Fortune 100 companies, including General Motors, IBM and American Express.

She led the first Internet strategy and development team at American Express in the 1990s and has managed organizations with more than 1,000 employees and $1 billion budgets. Belt holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and an Ed.D. from Pepperdine University.

The Entrepreneurship Panel is an annual event organized by the Thunderbird Phoenix Chapter Alumni Board to share experience and knowledge on entrepreneurship on a global level. This year’s event is being hosted, in part, with contributions from Alden Ulrich and Kim Kubsch from

The Entrepreneurship Panel event raises money through raffle ticket sales as well as its entry fee to offer a $5,000 scholarship to an outstanding Thunderbird student. The cost is $10 for Phoenix Alumni Chapter members and $20 for the public.

For more information about the event, please contact Sebastien Verstraet at