MBA Students Learn Leadership, Business Excellence and Best Practices at Luncheon Series

“Leadership must be demonstrated, not announced,” said Tim Haahs, P.E., founder, president and CEO of TimHaahs Engineers and Architects in Blue Bell, Pa.

“Find your passion and follow it, but more important have fun,” said Judy Spires, president of Acme Markets Division of Supervalue Stores.

These are just two of the many pieces of advice One-Year MBA students at Philadelphia University are gaining this semester during the Leadership Luncheon Lecture series.

Structured to provide students with real-world learning experiences from successful business leaders in the Philadelphia region, the Leadership Luncheon Lecture series brings executives to campus from a variety of industries.

Recipient of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2006, Haahs has consulted, managed and supervised the design efforts of over 300 facilities, including mixed-use structures with a related parking component, as well as retail, office and residential elements. 

His company has found a niche in the parking design business, placing parking design at the forefront of a design concept instead of it being an afterthought. His successful business venture, which started in the garage of his house, has grown in the past 15 years of existence to include offices in Blue Bell, Atlanta and Miami.

The most important advice Haahs gave to the MBA students at his lecture on Thursday, Oct. 23 was how he treats his business, employees, customers and the greater community. This is best expressed in the TimHaahs mission statement, “We exist to help those in need.”

“There is power in being honest and staying true to your values,” Haahs noted. He believes that his company produces the best results because he empowers his employees and respects their ideas, beliefs and the values that are they bring to the firm.

Spires has spent her career in the Acme Market business, starting at in high school as a cashier and moving through the ranks to become president of an Acme Market division.

“I had a passion for the [retail] business as soon as I started working as a cashier,” Spires told students at her Oct. 30 lecture. After graduating from college, Spires entered the management training program at Acme and has never looked back.

“Always say yes to opportunities that come your way,” Spires explained. She knew from the start she was going to run Acme Markets and took advantage of every project, every challenge and every opportunity to learn the organization and advance her knowledge of the food market business.

Lee Tabas, executive-in-residence for the School of Business Administration, has coordinated this dynamic speaker series for the past six years.

The One-Year MBA program will host two more Leadership Lectures this semester. Steve Kalafer of Flemington Car and Truck Country Family Dealers, and Steven Silverstein, CEO of Spencer Gifts, will be on campus Thursday, Nov. 13 and Thursday, Nov. 20, respectively. Both lectures will take place at 11 a.m. in The Tuttleman Center Room 109. 

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