UWG’s Innovation in Business and Beyond Encourages Creative Thinking

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The University of West Georgia Alumni Association and the Richards College of Business hosted a panel discussion titled “Innovation in Business and Beyond” on Tuesday, August 6, at the Buckhead Club in Atlanta. UWG alumni were in attendance to exchange ideas with the panel members, including Missy Dugan, UWG alumna and the president and CEO for Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta; Tim Houlne, CEO of Working Solutions; Greg Schulenburg, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Greenway Medical Technologies, Inc.; and Stuart Thorn, president and CEO of Southwire Company.

The panelists shared ideas and experiences that represented what it means to be innovative in business and how it can be a catalyst for success. Social media, the transformation of technology, including the use of the Cloud, and encouragement to step outside of conventional thinking were running themes throughout the event. The panelists also pointed to unlikely opportunities for innovation, such as being faced with adversity of some nature, and provided personal experiences to explain the necessity for innovation. At the end of the presentations, guests were given the opportunity to ask the panelists questions.

More about the Panelists

As president and CEO, Dugan oversees the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta including 24 clubs in 10 countries. She joined BGCMA as Vice President of Marketing and Development in January of 2007. Prior to BGCMA, Dugan worked with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Virginia Peninsula and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Chattahoochee Valley. She also served as vice president for DNS Associates, a for-profit organization specializing in Capital and Endowment Campaigns to non-profit organizations, and she was a Congressional Aide to two members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Dugan graduated from the University of West Georgia in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business.

Houlne is the chief executive officer of Working Solutions, a premier virtual agent and technology solutions provider in Dallas, Texas. He recognizes and understands trends and uses that unique knowledge to transform industries across the business landscape. Houlne is chairman of the board of The Movie Institute, a non-profit organization committed to the character growth and career development of young people, and also serves on the board of directors of Vision Bank of Texas and the advisory board for TelCoa. Houlne has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in management and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Dallas. He also received an Associate of Science in Business Administration degree from Missouri Western State University and has an international residency from Ecole School of Management and Grenoble Graduate School of Business. Houlne is also the author of The New World of Work: From the Cube to the Cloud.

As executive vice president and chief operating officer, Schulenburg oversees and manages the day-to-day operations of Greenway. Prior to joining Greenway, Schulenburg worked at NationsBank in Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C., where he managed testing and development teams for the nationwide platform development project and the support and projects development group for national support. He also previously managed the development/system projects for Prudential Bank in Atlanta. Schulenburg received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Georgia.

Thorn is the president and chief executive officer of Southwire Company, headquartered in Carrollton, Ga. Southwire is one of the world’s largest producers of electrical cables. Before joining Southwire, Thorn spent 15 years with S.C. Johnson and three years with Campbell Soup Company. He also spent five years with Beaulieu of America, the world’s largest privately owned flooring company. Thorn graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1978 and a Master of Business Administration degree in 1979.

For a complete list of upcoming events, please visit www.westga.edu/alumni.

Photo: From left to right - Missy Dugan, Stuart Thorn, Greg Schulenburg Tim Houlne and Dr. Faye S. McIntyre, dean of the Richards College of Business and Sewell Chair of Private Enterprise