Business Advisory Council chairman meets with students and faculty

Over this past week, Perry Barnett, chairman of the College’s Business Advisory Council and Partner at Rushton & Company met with various constituents of the Mike Cottrell College of Business to gain their feedback on the Mike Cottrell College of Business and its efforts. Barnett met with faculty and both undergraduate and graduate students starting Monday on the Cumming, Dahlonega and Gainesville campuses.

These events allow the Business Advisory Council to engage with the Mike Cottrell College of Business, provide direct feedback about our programming and to share the skills that businesses expect students to have following their graduation.

“We are very thankful to have such an active Business Advisory Council,” said Donna Mayo, dean of the Mike Cottrell College of Business at the University of North Georgia (UNG).  “They sincerely care about our faculty, staff and students and want to ensure that we are educating and preparing students with the knowledge and skills that they will need to be successful as business professionals and leaders.”

Another successful Accounting Career Reception

18 employers and 65 students gathered at the Achasta clubhouse in Dahlonega on Wednesday night to participate in the Mike Cottrell College of Business’s annual Accounting Career Reception.  Career receptions provide opportunities for students practice their communication skills while obtaining valuable contacts with regional organizations.

Clay Pilgrim of Rushton and Company discusses accounting careers with a Mike Cottrell College of Business student.

In order to participate, students are required to attend a preparation session where they discuss proper etiquette in a business environment and to go through a resume review with the university’s career services team.

“While students may find an internship or even a future employer through this event, that’s not the primary reason this event is held,” said Dr. Ruben Boling, director of the Center for the Future of North Georgia. “This event provides an opportunity for students to work on their professional skills, generating conversation with business leaders and learning the intangible qualities that are required for individuals entering today’s workforce.”

“Participation in the event is significant for our students in the development of professionalism and networking,” said Martha Merritt, assistant professor of accounting in the Mike Cottrell College of Business. “I am so appreciative of the support of our accounting program at UNG from the professional business community.  It is an absolute joy to work daily with excellent students and successful, caring business leaders.”

A second event for undergraduate students majoring in all disciplines will be held in mid-October.

Businesses participating in this year’s Accounting Career Reception include Arnold Gallivan Levesque, Bates Carter, Becker, CRI CPAs and Advisors, Dawson County, Forsyth County, Georgia Mountains YMCA, Gold Creek Foods, KC Fuller & Associates, Lanier Color, Mansfield Oil, Mauldin & Jenkins, Novogradac & Company, RL Jennings & Associates, Rushton & Company, Sheer Imagination, Tillman, Bailey, Samples and Associates, and Shubert & Company.

Business Advisory Council Board Member Highlight

Mike Cottrell School of Business
Business Advisory Council

Steven Leibel, chairman of the Business Advisory Council (BAC) and a successful trials lawyer, is an outstanding supporter of the Mike Cottrell School of Business and of North Georgia College & State University. He has directly contributed to the stature of MCSB through his generous donations and time investments.

“I feel it is my responsibility to work with members of the business community to generate an atmosphere of interest amongst them, so that they will support and adopt MCSB as if they had attended it themselves,” Leibel said.

Leibel’s vision is to create more than a group of fundraisers—he wishes to form a group of supporters that gets involved with initiatives such as helping the school reach toward the business community and students.

“I would like to see members sharing their expertise with the school,” Leibel said.

Leibel is a trial lawyer and business owner who gets involved with many types of legal issues, including business-based issues. He wants to be a resource to those in the business school who are interested in legal issues concerning business ethics, and wants other community members to do the same.

“Although I did not attend North Georgia, I have always looked it as a sort of alma mater,” Leibel said.“I do my best to support the university and MCSB. By funding and supporting programs in the school, we have been successful in initiatives such as helping the MBA program become accredited and recognized.”

Leibel has often been a participant in school-based panel discussions, and has supported MCSB in giving community business owners opportunities to work with students in many capacities, such as internships. He wants to eventually expand the role of the BAC as a supporter of MCSB, and to focus on shepherding opportunities into the school.

“The BAC is also looking forward to helping in the implementation of the BB&T Center for Ethical Business Leadership,” Leibel said. “North Georgia College & State University is an integral part of the fabric of the north Georgia area, and the center will be an excellent opportunity to weave others into the tapestry.”

Steven Leibel graduated from Emory Law in 1980, and currently has law offices in Dahlonega and Cleveland, with one moreto open soon in North Forsyth. His mission is to “work with both businesses and individuals.” Leibel was a partner at a law firm in Atlanta before opening his own firm. He is also a columnist for 400 Edition.