Highlighting the relationship between theory and practice, Fisher College of Business teamed up with the American Marketing Association (AMA) for the 2018 AMA Marketing and Public Policy Conference in Columbus.

The event explored the intersection of marketing and public policy by fostering discussions between marketers, academics and public policy makers from industries and organizations around the world.

Fisher sponsored a workshop and doctoral consortium that was held in conjunction with the conference. The consortium brought dozens of academic thought leaders together for discussions on a range of topics that included using research to advance policy-relevant initiatives, how to conduct qualitative research for public policy, and integrating policy into marketing education, among others.

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Participants in the American Marketing Association's academic workshop and doctoral consortium, which was held at Fisher.

Faculty participants included Fisher’s Rebecca Walker Reczek, associate professor and holder of the Dr. H. Lee “Buck” Matthews Designated Professorship in Marketing; associate professor Xiaoyan Deng; assistant professors Joe Goodman and Rob Smith; and PhD students John Costello, Sunny Hasija and Lei Jia.

“The theme of the workshop and conference this year was ‘Rigorous Science, Public Good,’” said Reczek, who served as a conference co-chair along with Cait Lamberton, associate professor from the University of Pittsburgh, and Karthik Easwar (PhD '13) , clinical assistant professor at Georgetown University. “The workshop and doctoral consortium held at Fisher this year fit with this theme by providing training for the next generation of scholars on how to conduct rigorous research with the goal of informing policy and improving consumer well-being.”

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Fisher's Rebecca Walker Reczek (middle) and AMA conference co-chairs Karthik Easwar (PhD '13) and Cait Lamberton.

The AMA conference also had strong ties to Fisher, as a number of alumni and friends participated in a panel discussion about policy issues and consumer concerns in an area that is thriving in central Ohio: the restaurant industry.

Russ Klein (BSBA ’79), CEO of the AMA, moderated a conversation that included Todd Mills (MBA ’14), founder of Acre, and John Lowe (JD ’98), CEO of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Sara Rosenberg Bittorf, chief marketing officer of Bob Evans Restaurants, and Jamie T. Richardson, vice president of White Castle Management Co. and chair of the Ohio Restaurant Association, also took part in the panel.

“This community of scholars cares a great deal about doing relevant research that can impact the lives of consumers,” Reczek said. “To do that, we need to understand how real companies are dealing with issues like providing nutrition information to their customers, food waste, and their impact on the environment. Columbus is the perfect city to hear about these issues straight from the business leaders who are dealing with them every day.”

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The AMA conference featured a a panel discussion featuring, from left, Russ Klein (BSBA ’79), CEO of the AMA, John Lowe (JD ’98), CEO of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Todd Mills (MBA ’14), founder of Acre, Sara Rosenberg Bittorf, chief marketing officer of Bob Evans Restaurants, and Jamie T. Richardson, vice president of White Castle Management Co. and chair of the Ohio Restaurant Association (not pictured).

The event’s featured keynote was delivered by renowned researcher George Loewenstein, the ​Herbert A. Simon University Professor of Economics and Psychology at the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University. Loewenstein is one of the founders of the field of behavioral economics, the study of human decision making.