Missouri State University
Finance and General Business Blog

Former FGB Department Head Selected for MSU Wall of Fame

FGB is delighted and humbled to have another of our faculty elected to MSU’s “Wall of Fame.” Former Department Head and Professor Dr. George Swales will be inducted in a ceremony to be held this October during Homecoming Week.

Dr. George Swales led by example. He was not only the department head of finance and general business, but he was a prolific published researcher, brilliant teacher and esteemed advisor while serving on the Executive Board of MBAA             International and helping the College of Business gain AACSB reaccreditation.


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Dr. James Philpot article featured in Springfield News-Leader

Dr. James Philpot recently wrote an article for the Springfield News-Leader.

Financial Planner shopping? Sort out the certifications

A professional financial planner can be very helpful with investing, insurance, retirement and other financial decisions. Good planners offer expertise, experience and an objective perspective. So how do we know if a planner will suit our needs? Many financial professionals advertise certifications to distinguish themselves, but what do those mean?

Read the article at the Springfield News-Leader website.


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An Accomplishment Worth Recognizing

RIMS students
Pictured from left to right: Dr. Stanley Adamson, Jennifer Richey, Sarah Shelton, Hillary Rice, and Casey Cornelius

A big congratulations goes out to a four risk management and insurance students here at Missouri State University.

Every year the Risk Management and Insurance Society (RIMS) hosts an Annual Conference. The conference is one of the biggest events for all risk management and insurance professionals with as many as 10,000 registered attendees. This year, the conference will be held from April 26-May 1 in Denver, Colorado, and we are proud to say that some of our fellow students will be attending.

Sarah Shelton, Jennifer Richey, Hillary Rice, and Casey Cornelius, all executive members of Gamma Iota Sigma,the Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science Fraternity at MSU entered into the 2014 Spencer RIMS Risk Management Challenge in which they had to act as a broker and develop a risk proposal for Snap-On, Inc. They finished in the top 10 of all teams, which qualified them to be sponsored to attend the conference and present in front of a group of risk management professionals as well as the Risk Manager of Snap-On, Inc.

While they are attending this conference, not only will they be competing against other teams with their risk proposal, but they will be attending student educational sessions, exploring career fairs, and meeting with countless employers! This is an opportunity of a life-time for this group. We wish them the best of luck!

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Alumni Profile: Scott Senteney

Scott Senteney


Scott Senteney has certainly gone far since graduating from Missouri State University with a degree in Finance in 2011, both geographically and in his career. Scott, a native of Willard, is now a Relationship Banker and Small Business Specialist with J.P. Morgan Chase Bank in Austin, Texas. Scott started working for Chase in Springfield when he was a high school student. A bright self-starter, Scott began his rise in the Card Services organization in card activation and progressed to handling Chase’s most elite card clients.

Upon graduation, Scott received several offers, but chose to stay with J.P. Morgan Chase, transitioning over to the firm’s retail banking operations. Scott started out as a Personal Banker and, within 10 months, had earned his Series 6, Series 63, and Texas Life and Health Insurance licenses. A few months after receiving these licenses and consistently being a top performer in his market, he was promoted to Small Business Specialist. He is currently ranked number four in all of Southwest Texas for 2013 and is transitioning to Chase Private Client, where he will serve Chase’s most affluent customers.

When asked about what he likes about his job, Scott says, “I really enjoy meeting with clients, getting to know them with an eye towards uncovering their financial needs and working with them to help them reach their financial goals. It’s a very rewarding job, whether it is helping a home buyer get into their first home, helping a local business open their doors, or helping our most affluent clients earn a better rate of return using the expertise of J.P. Morgan.”

Senteney says his time at Missouri State prepared him well for his current role. “MSU helped me in numerous ways, providing me with skills I thought I’d never use, which I now use all the time. My primary niche is investments, and being able to speak with CEOs, retired senior executives, successful entrepreneurs, and other wealthy individuals about what is happening in the markets during unprecedented times is quite challenging. Having learned the fundamentals at Missouri State has enabled me to speak with confidence to my clients.” Secondly, Scott credits his Business Law, Management, Accounting, and Corporate Finance classes for his understanding of business classifications from sole proprietorships to S-corporations along with his understanding of business cash flows, all of which serve him well in his work with small businesses.

Senteney specifically mentions three professors, Dr. James Philpot, Dr. Susan Crain and Dr. Stephen Haggard, when discussing his preparation at MSU, not just for the technical skills they taught him, but also for their assistance in helping him plan his next step after college. When asked for his advice to current FGB students, Scott stresses the importance of taking the time to meet with professors outside of class; getting help with concepts, preparing for exams, reviewing resumes, practicing interview questions, and planning a career. Scott also stresses the importance of being a life-long learner. “I cannot express how important it is to keep moving forward and progressing after you graduate.” Senteney furthers his own learning, in part, through reading. He recommends the following books to FGB students and graduates: The Noticer and Mastering the Seven Decisions by Andy Andrews, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, and The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss.



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Student Profile: Kolina Hill

Kolina Hill


In this edition of the FGB Times, our student spotlight turns to Kolina Hill, an MBA student from Granby, Missouri. Kolina is currently pursuing an MBA with finance specialization after graduating earlier this year with a B.S. in marketing.

Kolina grew up in Granby, Missouri and graduated from East Newton High School. Her interest in business was literally “cultivated” from growing up on a farm. She says, “I’m very motivated and entrepreneurial. During junior high and high school I had a roadside pumpkin and produce stand and loved having a job where I could make the business decisions and enjoy what I was doing.” During high school Kolina was also involved in DECA, an international association of high school and college students and teachers of marketing and other business disciplines. “In DECA I went to the international competition twice and my experiences led me to pursue an undergraduate marketing degree. I was drawn to MSU because of the quality of the business school.”

Currently, Kolina is also a graduate assistant working as a tutor for the Stats Lab in the Marketing Department. Helping students better understand statistics is something that she really enjoys and the experience has led her to consider teaching in the future, a job she had previously sought to avoid. Helping to guide Kolina’s future is Dr. Richard Keith. “Dr. Keith in the Marketing Department really helped me to plan out my college path and encouraged me to complete the accelerated MBA program here.” Although Kolina stays very busy, in the spare time she has she enjoys reading, gardening, playing the piano and running.

Kolina’s future has many potential paths. She plans to graduate with her MBA in August 2013. After that, she would like to start a career in banking or business analysis. Kolina is also considering a marketing career with a local hospice provider she currently works for part-time as an administrative assistant. Regardless of the path her career takes, Kolina is determined not to stray far from her farm roots. “I hope to one day run my own business. I would like to own a greenhouse and plant nursery. My fiancée and I would also like to one day start a small farm with the livestock we currently own.” That’s right, when we asked Kolina what people would be most surprised to know about her, she replied, “I am the proud owner of three cows.”



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Alumni Profile: Laura Noble

Laura Noble


Laura Noble, originally from St. Louis, has had quite an eventful life since graduating from Missouri State with a finance degree in 2009. Two weeks after graduation, she went to work for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City as part of their Management Leadership Development Program. During her time in the program, she was able to rotate through different analyst roles at the Bank. Apparently she made quite a positive impression on her superiors, as she was promoted to Staff Supervisor in the Technology Solutions Business Unit (TSBU) in January 2012.

In her role as Staff Supervisor at the TSBU, Laura oversees the general and project analysts who support the Application Delivery Services (ADS) area of the Bank. Noble’s group is responsible for budget development, cost and metric analysis, documenting and updating policies and procedures, and additional ad hoc analytical support.

When asked what she likes about her current position, Laura says “I enjoy several aspects of my job. Many of the standard tasks assigned to a general analyst require strong problem solving and analytical ability. I have always enjoyed performing research and solving puzzles, so this aspect strongly appeals to me. In addition to the standard tasks, I’ve had the opportunity to work on several ad hoc projects, such as coordinating the bi-annual Employee Perspective survey and implementing/configuring new recruiting software for the (Federal Reserve) System. With the many ad hoc tasks that are assigned to me, I am constantly challenged. As I’ve moved in to supervision, I’ve greatly enjoyed the challenge of motivating my team and sharing the strategic vision with them. Helping my staff develop in their careers has also been very rewarding. Through all my roles at the Bank, I can honestly say I have enjoyed coming to work every day since I started.”

Noble says that many aspects of her MSU training have proven extremely valuable in her career thus far; most notably the complex assignments without definitive answers. “The business world doesn’t have a definitive right or wrong answer, and I felt well prepared for that as a result of my MSU training. At the Bank, I am often tasked with researching and analyzing data in order to make a recommendation; completing many complex assignments through my coursework was excellent preparation,” says Laura.

When asked about MSU professors that helped and mentored her during her time at MSU, Noble named Associate Professor Stephen Haggard. “He was the one who recommended I apply with the Bank. His classes were also very challenging which prepared me well for my career after graduation.” Laura also mentions Professor Kent Ragan, who is also the FGB Department Head. “I was able to participate in the first ‘revived’ New York Study group with Dr. Ragan; I really enjoyed the experience of visiting several NYC firms and learning more about the city.” When asked for what piece of advice she would give current FGB students, Noble says, “Work hard and make the most of your time at MSU. Get as much experience as you can in working on complex assignments, working on teams, and taking part in extracurricular activities (or a job).”


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Student Profile: Collin Geringer

Collin Geringer


Hailing from the Bootheel town of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Collin Geringer is our featured student in this edition of the FGB Times. Collin is a senior finance major with plans to pursue an accelerated MBA degree at Missouri State. He was born in Saint Louis, but grew up on a farm in Poplar Bluff, helping raise rice and soybeans for his uncle.

Collin graduated from Poplar Bluff High School and was a 3-year letterman in football. He graduated in the top 5 in his class of about 260 students, and chose Missouri State after receiving a Board of Governors Scholarship. “The business school is one of the best in the region. It’s a good distance from home, not too far and not too close.” Collin chose to major in finance because, “I’ve always been good with numbers and have an interest in banking and investments. I enjoy working with financial statements and determining the meaning behind the numbers.”

Collin currently works as a teller for Great Southern Bank. When it comes to a career, “Five years from now I will have graduated with my MBA. The ideal job for me would be with the Federal Reserve given that it would blend my interest in banking and the economy with my desire to do analysis and research. However, I could see myself working for Great Southern since I am with them now or doing analysis and valuation work for an investment company. I want to have responsibility and do problem solving every day.”

This fall, Collin will be a graduate assistant in the Finance and General Business Department, working for professors Susan Crain and James Simmerman. Of Professor Simmerman, whom Collin lists as one of his mentors, he says, “I have enjoyed the classes I have had with him; he keeps class fun and entertaining and does a very good job of explaining the material.” Coincidentally, Collin’s toughest finance class was taught by the other professor he will be working for this fall. “Finance 390 with Dr. Crain was difficult because of the amount of detail and the complexity of the financial systems and ideas we explored. But she was a great teacher and I really enjoyed the challenge and the course.”

In his spare time, Collin is an avid reader of the classics. He also likes to stay active through running and lifting weights. Best of luck to Collin in fitting in a workout this fall when 20 hours a week will be spent in the spacious and inviting GA cubicles of the FGB department. Welcome aboard!


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Alumni Profile: Kevin Miquelon

Kevin Miquelon at Rams game


Kevin Miquelon, originally from Brentwood, Missouri, has led quite an interesting life since graduating with his bachelor’s degree in finance (minor in economics) from then Southwest Missouri State University in 1983. He married his high school sweetheart (fellow MSU alum Laura Pearce), started a family, worked several jobs (though none in finance) and became an entrepreneur.

Kevin’s current position is President and Partner at Pfoodman, a St. Louis-based foodservice management company that serves higher education, K-12 schools and senior living facilities. His primary role at Pfoodman is business development, but he also guides the company’s organizational and leadership development, and strategic planning and execution. Additionally, he is heavily involved in customer satisfaction and continuous improvement in all areas of the company. “Being a small business, we all wear a number of hats,” says Miquelon of his role at Pfoodman.

Of course, Kevin did not start his professional career in such a lofty position. Upon graduation from MSU, he started in a sales role with an office supply distributor. Shortly thereafter, he went into foodservice distribution for a family owned company, Craig Distributing. “We were a fast growing company and were acquired by Kraft in the late ‘80s. It was a very special time and the company grew rapidly and many on our executive team had a number of opportunities for growth and promotion.” After leaving Kraft, Kevin started his own consulting firm in 1998 and sold that business to a partner in 2003. After spending several years as a V.P. of Sales and Marketing in print distribution, Miquelon joined Pfoodman and bought into the company in 2007. When asked what he likes about his current job, Miquelon replies, “Every day is different and we continue to learn and grow. There are many challenges, but being an entrepreneur is something that gets in your system and is hard to ignore. I always look at the ‘opportunities’ for growth and get excited about making that happen.”

When asked about his time at (then) SMSU, Miquelon remembers several professors fondly. Dr. Bernice Warren was “an amazing woman” who kept him on the straight and narrow. Dr. Robert Bitter, who taught investments, was “one of the best finance professors” Kevin had at MSU. Dr. Larry Cox, economics, hammered home to Miquelon that there is no such thing as a free lunch. And Professor Ralph Manley, real estate, was “a very charismatic and inspirational teacher that pulled lessons from the real world.” Kevin worked in food distribution for Mike Duggan, fellow MSU alum and previous Chair of the Board of Governors, and is thankful that Mike has been an “amazing mentor and friend to me.”

Miquelon mentions a surprising skill he improved at MSU that has served him well over the years, in addition to the normal business disciplines. “I had typing in high school and learned to type very fast, but thought I would never use it. I then had typing in business school at MSU and once again, wondered what I would ever use it for. Then, we experienced the explosion of the PC and, lo and behold, I could type fast. That skill has served me very well in today’s technology laden world.” When not practicing his typing, Kevin was quite active on campus. He was a “founding father” of the Kappa Omicron chapter of Delta Sigma Pi and served as the Senior Vice President. He was also a Sigma Sigma Sigma ‘Big Brother’ and a Resident Assistant in Freudenberger (Freddy) Hall. Additionally, he was heavily involved in intramural sports including flag football, ultimate Frisbee, track and field, basketball and softball. His intramural track team won the championship his senior year.

Miquelon has the following advice for current FGB students: “Seize every opportunity you can get to learn, grow and lead. Be willing to push yourself and fail occasionally. The mistakes you make are only failures if you don’t learn from them. Be the best you can be…make a difference in the lives of others…and dream big!”

When Kevin isn’t working to grow the business at Pfoodman, he enjoys spending time at home in Ballwin, Missouri, with Laura, his wife of 26 years, and their children. Kevin Jr. (age 23) is an investment banker for HSBC on Wall Street. Emily (age 19) is a freshman at the University of Arkansas, Peter (age 17) is a junior in high school, and Grace (age 14) is in the 8th grade. He is also an avid outdoorsman who enjoys trout fishing.


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