Tag Archives: executive education

Aerospace Industry Manufacturing Seminar benefits 3,000 and counting

Adapted from a Boeing publication

Aerospace Industry Manufacturing Seminar's (AIMS) 50th AnniversaryManagement theories and approaches fall in and out of favor, as any experienced manager can tell you. That’s a fact of life in the business world, and one that makes the half-century staying power of the Aerospace Industry Manufacturing Seminar, or AIMS, all the more impressive.

AIMS is a two-week residential leadership development program created and administered in partnership by Boeing and Executive Education at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business. Over the years more than 3,000 Boeing employees have gone through the program. All have benefited from the program’s focus on such topics as improving the global supply chain, increasing efficiencies and productivity in operations management, boosting business performance, and becoming effective leaders of change management.

AIMS celebrated its 50th anniversary in July 2012, and students of Class 97 currently in the program joined some of the past graduates and UW representatives in mid-July for a dinner and reception at the Foster School of Business to honor this milestone and celebrate the program’s many accomplishments.

Aerospace Industry Manufacturing Seminar's (AIMS) 50th Anniversary“AIMS is a great program and a wonderful partnership with Boeing and the University of Washington said Bill Schnettgoeke, vice president of Supply and Operations Chain for Boeing Defense, Space & Security and Lean+ Enterprise Initiative Leader, who spoke at the event. “Its success is due to its ability to evolve from a focus on manufacturing to encompass Engineering, Supplier Management, Quality, among other areas – all the better to support the businesses. As we work across the value stream, it brings a cross section of people together.”

Tim Copes, vice president of Manufacturing and Safety for Commercial Airplanes, also spoke at the July 19 dinner at the University of Washington in Seattle.

“As an AIMS graduate myself, I can attest to how well the program prepared me to take on the challenges I’ve faced throughout my career,” said Copes, who completed the program in 1993. “The program’s endurance speaks volumes about its ability to give managers the skills they need to contribute to Boeing’s growth and profitability, and about the company’s commitment to developing the strengths of its leaders.”

The AIMS program is a nomination program for managers and executives from across Boeing who have at least three years of experience with the company.

Learn more about the Foster School’s Executive Education programs.

Snoqualmie Ice Cream owner builds a sustainable business via executive education

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Snoqualmie Ice Cream Owner Builds a Sustainable Business via Executive Education

Barry Bettinger and his wife always wanted to work together. Coming from upstate New York, Bettinger managed a large dairy plant for years. When he and his wife bought Snoqualmie Ice Cream 15 years ago, they were able to both live their dream of running a company together and create a Pacific Northwest sustainable competitor to Ben & Jerry’s and Haagen Dazs.

How? In part, through Foster School’s Executive Development Program.

Snoqualmie Ice Cream was growing, but Bettinger knew he needed to understand more fundamentals about running and growing a business. Wanting all the substance of an MBA but without the 2-year time commitment, he opted for the UW nine-month executive certificate program to gain new skills and grow his small business.

“I always reached out to the professors outside of class. I really got a lot out of it. I was totally absorbed for nine months,” says Bettinger.

Small business finance and strategy

“Finance professor Jennifer Koski met with me three times outside of class to discuss dividing a company into three segments—marketing strategy, financial management and operations. Each segment has its own strategy and she helped me separate that out in our own company and then tie it all back together.”

Management professor Charles Hill’s strategy classes also applied directly to running his business. “…the direction to go, how to price, even how to position ourselves in the marketplace. We use the Toyota system for pricing, so we compete right against Haagen Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s in the grocery store. That’s how I’ve designed it. Then we’ll make profits on the efficiency of operations.

“The other thing I got from Charles Hill was the realization that everything with a company comes from the mission and values. Our mission and values are based around two parts: whatever we make should be as perfect as possible and we have a responsibility to our customers, employees and community.”

Do they make perfect ice cream?

With flavors like Mukilteo Mudd (their top seller) blending four unique chocolates developed by world-renowned Belgian chocolatier Barry Callebautor or Raspberry Pomegranate sorbet, another best seller, you be the judge. Bettinger says some competitors pump over 50% air into their ice cream, but with each bite of Snoqualmie Ice Cream’s frozen dessert, you eat only 8% air. The thick, richness makes it a creamy, dreamy delight.

Sustainability and green practices are at the heart of Snoqualmie Ice Cream

Snoqualmie Ice CreamBettinger and his wife built a small farm next to the ice cream factory that grows ingredients for their ice cream. 800 lavender plants and 100 blueberry bushes sit among fruit trees and a modern chicken coop. Beehives will be installed in 2013 to collect honey. Cream and milk are purchased from a single dairy farm in Washington state to ensure quality and reduce fossil fuel costs during transport. They bake nearly all of their ingredients that go into popular flavors such as gingerbread in their on-site kitchen. Solar panels are installed on their ice cream factory. A clean energy kiosk in the ice cream parlor in Maltby, WA educates customers about the benefits of green roofs, local farming and more.

The “go local” movement has been growing nationwide and Snoqualmie Ice Cream offers a mostly organic, locally produced and sourced alternative to gourmet ice cream.

How did they become one of the top sustainable and local dessert makers in the Northwest? And why build a small farm next to their core business—the factory?

“The ingredients we were getting came in with oils and preservatives, so we hired a couple of pastry chefs to teach us how to make things in house. All the cookie dough, the caramel fudge. Pretty much everything that goes into the ice cream is made here. For us, it was a natural step on the path to start growing everything that we use,” says Bettinger.

“Sustainability is not just adding a piece of equipment. It’s more of a process, more of a journey.”

Cupcake Royale founder boosts business via Foster’s Executive Education

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Cupcake Royale founder serves up community sweets—and boosts business via Foster’s Executive Education

It takes a neighborhood to raise a cupcake business. That’s the way Jody Hall (Executive Development Program 2010) sees it. Hall is founder and owner of Cupcake Royale, the Seattle region’s innovative cupcake bakery and coffee house.

For Hall, it wasn’t enough to offer customers great coffee and delightful cupcakes. Her entrepreneurial desire was to also create a business where neighbors would come together to cook up ideas, learn something new and inspire each other in conversations about the arts, society and politics.

“The heritage of a coffee house is the penny university,” she said of her inspiration. “You got this penny, you get a cup of coffee in this gathering place and you talk with the business merchants, artists, poets, musicians and get an education about what is going on in your society.”

From Starbucks to cupcake start-up

Cupcake Royale wears its style of business with charm. Slogans such as “Ask me about my cupcakes” and “Legalize frostitution” (also the company blog name) are common. It’s run by an entrepreneur whose professional marketing and branding experience stemmed from a part-time barista gig at Starbucks in 1989 that led to a position in marketing when Starbucks revolutionized how Americans drink coffee.

That combination of coffee, specialty cupcakes and community has been a big success.

The first Cupcake Royale opened in the Madrona neighborhood of Seattle in 2003. In 2010, Hall opened her fifth location in Bellevue. Cupcakes range from the Classic, Red Velvet and Salted Caramel to monthly specials such as Bacon Whiskey Maple and Deathcake Royale.

“When people come in and look at that cupcake case, from one to 91 years old, they just flap their arms and are like (dramatic gasp). Little kids almost launch they are so excited,” she said.

Locally grown, locally sourced

When Hall launched Cupcake Royale, you’d have to trek to New York to find a cupcake of substance, let alone one crafted with high-quality, local and seasonal ingredients. “We can tell you with every bag flour, this is from farmer Fred and this is from farmer Carl. We know these guys and have driven their combines. We know about the wheat,” she said.

However, the reality of business is that any store as successful as Cupcake Royale will attract voracious competitors. “Everybody sells cupcakes now,” she said, “not to mention the other cupcake bakeries that are opening up at a pretty hefty clip around here.”

While Hall built a successful foundation for her business, she felt that to grow and succeed in this new competitive landscape she needed to bolster her understanding of finance, operations, management and leadership.

Foster and the competitive edge

To give herself that advantage and engage in the kinds of high-level conversations about strategy and marketing she had when she worked at Starbucks and REI, Hall enrolled in the UW Foster School of Business Executive Development Program (EDP). The nine-month, part-time Foster executive education program helps busy senior managers, executives and other professionals explore each facet of business from an executive’s top-level view.

“I wanted to sharpen my own skills and validate them, and EDP was great,” she said. “After every class I literally would download with my managers: Here’s what I learned and how I think we can apply that to what we are doing here.”

What’s next for Cupcake Royale and Jody Hall?

Hall is building a strong three-year plan that takes the new fierce cupcake competition into account. “One of my strategies has come directly out of the EDP class.”