A Rich Meeting Ground: RD Gras in Prague

Dear Friends, Our company vision is a lofty concept: to enhance global understanding through travel and education. Once a year, I see the manifestation of all that we do and aspire to do become tangible. We call it “RD Gras,” a playful term coined by none other than one of our RDs (Resident Directors) years … Continue reading

The Resilience of the Travel Industry

Dear Friends, Reading the daily news has become an increasingly depressing exercise of late. We, in the travel industry, have our fair share of woes, as discretionary spending slows, retirement funds are halved, and consumer confidence wavers.  So it was a surprise and comfort to me when I attended a meeting in Savannah last week … Continue reading

NAFSA 2008

Hello, Friends of ATA! It’s been a while since I last posted anything.  I received wise advice–don’t blog unless you have something to say.  Since my return from Harvard, I have been immersed in day to day management, while applying some strategic lessons learned from HBS to better lead the company toward a strong and … Continue reading

Back From Harvard

On April 17, the OPM37 class of over 150 graduated. It was a gorgeous spring day in Boston and we were thrilled to have our friends and family in attendance.  One of the highlights of the ceremonies was our key-note speaker, Robert Kaplan, interim CEO of the Harvard Management Company and our class Leadership professor for … Continue reading

At Harvard: Part 8

I admit I have escaped back home on weekends to get a dose of husband and children during this 3-week stint.  It does one good after living the life of a student–studying until all hours, discussing hot topics with classmates in and out of class, and generally feeling disconnected from the real world, cooped up on … Continue reading

At Harvard: Part 7

We’ve arrived at our final week.  We “graduate” Thursday in a full ceremony with Robert Kaplan as our guest speaker (currently Acting President and Chief Executive Officer of Harvard Management Company and formerly our OPM Leadership professor). One classmate will speak on behalf of the Americans and one on behalf of those from other countries.  … Continue reading

At Harvard: Part 5

Since my last entry, it’s been busy!  If you recall, we had voted for the winning strategies and 20 classmates had risen to the top.  These winning strategies were critiqued during 3-hour sessions by assigned groups, then the next day each winner presented their strategy in class before their classmates, and was followed by the prepared critique … Continue reading

At Harvard: Part 4

After some very late nights working on our “OAS” (Objective, Advantage, Scope) statements, we met in groups of 8 at 8:30am to review each company’s OAS, comment, question and challenge the strategy declared. In my group, we had a software provider who works with logistics companies Down Under, a Nigerian mobile bank and payment system, … Continue reading

At Harvard: Part 3

Today, we explored the case of Mid-Missouri Energy’s ethanol production and decisions they faced in late 2007. Frankly, the case was 17 dense pages of grueling facts and 16 pages of graphs and data charts. I know more than I ever thought I would on the issues confronting this energy form and the challenges inherent … Continue reading

At Harvard: Part 2

In our Negotiation class, we studied the case of the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players’ Association confrontation of 2004-2005 which resulted in the NHL canceling the season. Here we see how strong egos, water under the bridge, and distrust can lead to stalemate and a lose-lose scenario. The NHL and NHLPA … Continue reading