New Faculty at Fisher College of Business

The Fisher community welcomed a number of new faculty in 2015. In addition to their achievements, research interests and thoughts on the classroom experience, they have offered to share why they came to Fisher and a little bit about their lives outside work.

Todd Barnum, Management and Human Resources

Todd BarnumTodd Barnum is a senior lecturer in the Department of Management and Human Resources. Mr. Barnum teaches both graduate and undergraduate courses in the subjects of new business creation and entrepreneurship.

After graduating from Michigan State University with a BA in business he began his business career as a department store buyer with F&R Lazarus in Columbus. Mr. Barnum left Lazarus after six years and teamed with a local entrepreneur to buy a small bar in German Village. In 1970, they converted the bar into a successful restaurant named Max & Erma’s. Mr. Barnum assumed the title of President in 1977 and took the company public in 1983. He became CEO and Chairman in 1986 when the company had 13 restaurants. He and his team began an aggressive growth and, in 2006, he sold the chain. At that time system-wide sales were $225,000,000 with 77 corporate restaurants and 20 franchise locations.

Rafael Corredoira, Management and Human Resources

Rafael Corredoira Rafael A. Corredoira is an assistant professor in the Department of Management and Human Resources. His research focuses on embedded exploration: how networks that originate from social ties, market dynamics, and institutional arrangements constrain and enable firms’ entrepreneurial search for innovative solutions. Corredoira has authored articles published in many leading journals including Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Journal, Harvard Business Review, Journal of International Business Studies, and Research Policy, and his research received the 2007 International Management Division Best Paper Award at the Academy of Management Meeting.

Corredoira received his PhD in Strategy and International Management from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Before embarking on his doctoral studies, he completed an MBA at Drexel University. He has 10 years of business experience at Compañía Bão, the largest and oldest household product firm in Uruguay, where, as CEO and COO, he led the firm in its technological reconversion, organizational restructuring, M&A and foreign market expansion during the creation of MERCOSUR.

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Steve DeNunzio, Marketing and Logistics

Steve DenunzioSteve joins the Department of Marketing and Logistics as a senior lecturer and Director of the Master in Business Logistics Engineering (MBLE) program. He has served as adjunct faculty since 2012. DeNunzio comes to Ohio State having served as Technical Program Manager for lululemon athletica, a Vancouver-based exercise and lifestyle apparel company.

Prior to lululemon, Steve served as Senior Project Manager for Bob Evans Foods, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bob Evans Farms, Inc. Bob Evans Foods provides a variety of refrigerated and frozen grocery products to retailers in 49 states and Canada. Before joining Bob Evans in 2011, DeNunzio worked as Project Manager at DSW Inc.

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Bill Diffenderffer, Management and Human Resources

Bill DiffenderfferBill joins the Department of Management and Human Resources as a senior lecturer. He has been an attorney who has led billion-dollar financial transactions; a partner in IBM’s Business Consulting Services Group, where he was a leader of its global travel and transportation practice; and the CEO of two travel technology companies, one of which was then the world’s third largest provider of computer reservation systems for the travel industry. In 1998 he started Xtra OnLine, a provider of web-based travel technology products. Xtra OnLine product and services are still provided today.

In 2005, as CEO, he started up the ultra low-cost Skybus Airlines. Then in 2011, he started Silvercar, a car rental company now growing across the US. He also is the author of The Samurai Leader: Winning Business Battles with the Wisdom, Honor and Courage of the Samurai Code.

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Rob Fuller, Finance

Rob FullerRob Fuller joined the Department of Finance as a senior lecturer. His industry experience is in commercial banking, having started in corporate lending with Bank of America, with 10 years in Asia (Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and Seoul). He was a senior vice president and area manager for Bank of America’s branches in downtown San Francisco. After leaving BoA, he formed an investment group to purchase a community bank in San Francisco, where he served as chairman and CEO for 10 years until the bank was sold. Since then, he has been a president, founder of a new bank and regional manager of regional community banks.

Rob has a BA in economics from Stanford University and an MBA from New York University. He also spent a year working for the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress on loan from Bank of America

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Steffen Hitzemann, Finance


Hitzemann Steffen Hitzemann joins the Department of Finance as a visiting assistant professor. Before coming to Fisher, he spent one year at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania as a visiting scholar. Hitzemann received his PhD from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany, and did parts of his PhD work at Princeton University.

His research interests include macroeconomics, asset pricing, and derivatives markets. Hitzemann’s most recent work especially focuses on energy markets, including energy commodities as well as environmental markets for climate protection.

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Zhi Li, Finance

Zhi LiZhi Li received a PhD in finance from Arizona State University in 2008 and then worked as assistant professor at Tulane University before joining Fisher as a visiting assistant professor. Li’s research interests include empirical corporate finance, capital market efficiency and behavioral finance. Li has published in The Journal of Financial Economics and the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis. Currently Li’s research projects cover executive compensation design, CEO turnovers, information asymmetry and market efficiency, and the impact of financial distress.

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Taner Pirim, Finance

Taner PirimQ&A

1.  What do you think makes for a great classroom experience for students?
The teaching philosophy I follow is to support knowledge and information with actual examples from my corporate life experiences and case studies. Business school students with diversified majors are still obligated to take couple of mandatory courses. As they may find the content of my course unexciting and uninteresting, it is my job to make it interesting by sharing the challenges and conflicts I faced in corporate life and how I approached to resolve each case. Furthermore, I make it my responsibility to guide them in the right direction to quickly advance in their professional career and to find jobs best suited to their character and ambitions.

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Ty Shepfer, Management and Human Resources

Tyler ShepferTy Shepfer joins the Department of Management and Human Resources as a senior lecturer. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Labor and Human Resources at Fisher, where he was a two-time Pace Setter Award recipient. Prior to his return in 2015, Ty worked at Royal Dutch Shell where he held a variety of positions in Houston, Texas; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and most recently New Orleans, Louisiana.

Ty has done Organizational Effectiveness consulting for the United Way and enjoys giving back to his local community. His areas of interest/expertise include diversity and inclusion, high performance work systems, HR strategy, business ethics and corporate social responsibility.

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Brad Skousen, Management and Human Resources

Brad SkousenBrad Skousen is a visiting assistant professor of management and human resources. He joins Fisher from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he taught courses on entrepreneurship and international business. He earned a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University with an emphasis in international finance and policy with an area specialization in Brazil. He earned his BA in accounting from Utah State University and has several years of industry experience in accounting and finance and is a licensed CPA in California.

Brad is a Lemann Fellow of the Lemann Foundation based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, which is dedicated to advancing economic, political and social development in Brazil.

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Mark Sullivan, Management and Human Resources

Mark SullivanMark Sullivan joins the Department of Management and Human Resources as a senior lecturer. Sullivan is an organizational psychologist, McKinsey Distribution Partner and Founder of APEX – a cross-industry, motivational speaking and performance development firm. He has spent more than 30 years working in Corporate Universities, Incubators and Global-1000 companies in key senior leadership roles. This includes positions as VP of Talent Management at Battelle Memorial Institute; a P&L Human Capital Executive at Accenture Consulting; and a Chief Learning Officer and Director of the Strategy and Growth Lab at Honeywell International.

He was an ex-patriot in the Pacific Rim for several years co-leading a large-scale, global post-merger integration effort between United Airlines and Pan Am. Additionally, he was on special assignment with the U.S. State Department to help facilitate the post-USSR transition from a command- to a free-market economy.

Earlier in his career, Dr. Sullivan was a former British Outward Bound Survival School Instructor and also on the United Airlines Flight Faculty where he taught emergency procedures, ditching and hostage negotiating to flight crews. Additionally, he co-led the United Airlines Family Relations Crisis Management Team for three major commercial airline accidents.

Sullivan earned his PhD in organizational behavior from Case Western Reserve University; his MA in education, with a concentration in organizational development, from Harvard University; and his BS in special education from Fitchburg State University. He is a Kauffman Foundation scholar and a post-doctoral Gestalt fellow, concentrating in accelerating capability and resilience in high change environments. His research interest is in leveraging adversity for growth and opportunity.

Dr. Sullivan is recipient of numerous professional, academic and industry awards and a frequent motivational speaker and keynoter.

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