Cameron School of Business

Cameron Insider: The Quarterly Newsletter for Cameron School of Business Alumni

Cameron Insider: The Quarterly Update for CSB Alumni

In This Issue (May 2020):

Dean150.jpgMessage from the Dean

On behalf of the Cameron School of Business and the Business Week Committee, I am pleased to welcome you to the Spring 2020 edition of the Cameron Insider. First things first, I want to state my sincere appreciation for your hard work in these very strange days of COVID-19. All of you are wrestling with working from home, uncertainty, connection to your friends and co-workers, staying up-beat, simply paying the bills, and seeing an end to all of this. I salute all of you for your efforts, and I want to encourage you that things will improve and that our entrepreneurial spirit will take flight after things settle down. Our current Insider edition will explore the impacts of this pandemic from economic, entrepreneurial, and analytics perspective. 

From an education perspective, the CSB has transitioned nearly a half semester of face-to-face content to online learning. This was a stretch given that we only had one week to get it all done and we were all working from home. Our faculty and staff have been drinking from a fire hose in learning Zoom, Canvas, and how to interact with each other, but we believe that the semester has been rescued with the excellence you expect of the Cameron School. We continue to give our very best effort to produce competitive graduates. Sadly, the CSB was forced to cancel Business Week and WITX for this year, but we hope to back in full force in 2021. 

There are bright spots! The CSB has just today received word that our accreditation has been extended by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This accreditation is the gold standard with fewer than five percent of business schools worldwide holding this distinction. Achieving this prestigious validation means that Cameron has met and surpassed rigorous standards for quality in all of our programs, that our programs are highlighted by experiential learning, and that students learn material most relevant to their field of study and to today’s workforce. In addition, AACSB schools interact with more employer recruiters and place graduates with excellent salaries. 

AACSB accreditation also validates that our alumni are plugged into their alma mater in providing of their time, talent, and treasure. You are all so very faithful in attempting to hire our graduates, in providing guest lectures, in planning alumni events, and in giving financially, and we are very thankful for your vivacious support. Currently, we have many needs related to our students being impacted by COVID-19, so if you would like to give back to the CSB, please click here. 

Other bright spots include a team of students who placed as finalists in the Southeastern Hedge Fund Competition, new options in Marketing and Supply Chain Management in our online MBA programs, and our first ever top 60 undergraduate ranking in Poets and Quants. Our programs, students, faculty and staff continue to make a difference in providing top-notch business education to the State of North Carolina. 

So, please take a moment and read through this issue. Know that we are pulling for you to persevere during these moments and keep looking forward to the day that our communities will bounce back from these tough days. We miss all of you!

Go Seahawks!


Rob Burrus

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Simpson.jpgIs There a “V” in the Corona Virus Shock?

Contributed by Dr. Thomas D. Simpson, Executive in Residence at the UNCW Cameron School of Business. Dr. Simpson joined the Department of Economics & Finance after his retirement from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, DC. 

The Corona Virus pandemic has been a shock to the global economy, precipitating a global recession. For the United States, the news of a 3 million surge in workers filing for unemployment insurance in just one week has sent a clear message that we are not immune to the downturn. The only question remaining has to do with the type of recession that we are entering.  Is it a “V,” a “U,” or a rotated “L”? A “V” describes a quick downturn and an equally quick snapback. A “U” describes a more prolonged bottom, before the recovery takes hold. A rotated “L” characterizes the 2008 recession, with a long period of weakness before the recovery got traction. 

The current recession is unlike any other that we have experienced, meaning we cannot get many clues from the past. Demand for many things—airline travel, restaurant meals, hotels, and hair salons—has collapsed, while demand for other things—ventilators, store-bought food, and hand sanitizer—has soared. But the net effect has not been neutral. Total demand in the economy has contracted at a time when numerous bottlenecks have developed in the course of redirecting production toward those items in greater demand. 

The policies that have been put in place in Washington are focused on the numerous sectors that have been hit hard by the shutdown. Businesses in these sectors are facing huge shortfalls of revenue from unavoidable costs. To limit their losses, they have let workers go, forcing some of their shortfalls onto their employees.  

There are basically three ways businesses and households can deal with such shortfalls: draw down assets; borrow; or receive a grant. A large number find themselves with insufficient assets to cover the shortfall or there are obstacles to selling the assets they own because of markets that have dried up or stiff penalties on IRA and 401(k) withdrawals. Many also have discovered that affordable loans have disappeared. In these circumstances, they are faced with missing lease or utility payments or defaulting on current loans and, in so doing, digging a hole for themselves that would force austerity for many years ahead.  

The recent fiscal rescue package and other extraordinary programs are intended to address household and business shortfalls. Relief payments from the Treasury are going out to households and unemployment insurance benefits have been boosted (both of which fall into the category of grants). Federal loan guarantees have been provided to numerous businesses, encouraging lenders to assist in covering shortfalls. Bank regulatory agencies also have eased regulations on lending and have encouraged forbearance in an effort to get credit flowing. The Federal Reserve (Fed) has initiated various programs aimed at improving the functioning of markets so that assets can be sold more easily and at more favorable prices. Moreover, the Treasury has authorized penalty-free drawdowns of 401(k)s and other retirement plans and has shifted back the date for making tax payments by three months.  Meanwhile, the Fed lowered its policy interest rate to near-zero and ramped up its purchases of Treasury and certain other securities in an effort to support aggregate demand.  

These measures are likely to foster a snapback in the economy as restrictions are lifted and people and businesses return to more normal activities. When this will take place depends on when public health policies prove effective in bringing us through the epidemic, but the snapback will not happen overnight. Moreover, scars will be left and households and businesses are likely to be cautious in resuming spending for postponable things. In such conditions, the Fed will extend its aggressive monetary policy for another year or even longer. Nonetheless, looking in the rear-view mirror several years from now, the recession of 2020 will resemble a “V.” Looking ahead, though, the legacy of servicing an additional $2 trillion of national debt from the 2020 fiscal rescue package will be compounding strains on public finances.         

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CSB Makes Poets & Quants' 2020 Best Undergraduate Business Schools List


Poets & Quants has again included the UNCW Cameron School of Business (CSB) on their list of the top undergraduate business schools in the nation for 2020. CSB ranked 59 out of 97 schools in the country. When this organization performs the rankings, they take many different factors into consideration admissions, the academic experience and placement data including the number of internships, salary after graduation, and signing bonuses. In other words, this is a rigorous process of evaluation based on actual data.

The three areas that were considered for this ranking were quality of students, the learning experience that was offered by the CSB (as viewed by alums from 2017), and the quality of jobs received by our 2019 graduates. A great business school matches excellent faculty and staff with quality students, gives the students a great learning experience not only in the classroom but beyond, and then works diligently to place students in high-paying jobs,” said Dean Rob Burrus. 

Most often, the value of an education from a business school is noticed post-graduation. Monitoring preparedness for the job market and salary levels helps show the accomplishment of the school’s overall goal of setting students up for success. Businesses seem to love our graduates for their market-ready knowledge base and humble attitude. This past year our placement rate and our starting salaries were the highest they’ve ever been,” said Burrus. 

A business school of high prestige takes years of hard work, development, and devotion to the vision and mission of the school. The Cameron School of Business is built from key elements that shape the story of the school. The three emphases in the CSB vision statement are: competitive graduates, innovative scholars, and global recognition. This ranking is a validation of each one of these points and is ultimately a testimony to the quality of our students, faculty, and staff,” said Burrus. 

The Cameron School of Business continues to put in the effort to improve and grow as a school. We always strive for excellence, and it is extremely nice to be recognized in this context, said Burrus. For more information on the ranking, visit Poets & Quants. Learn more about CSB's undergraduate degrees here. 

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CENheader.jpg The CEN Continuum

Creighton Hayworth is an Associate Financial Advisor with Carolina Capital Advisors, a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial, LLC. He specializes in providing comprehensive goal-based financial advice. Carolina Capital Advisors has two office locations in eastern NC, one of which is in Wilmington, NC. 

Hayworth graduated from the UNCW Cameron School of Business in 2013, with a bachelor’s degree, concentrating in management and leadership.  As a student, he became a mentee in the Cameron Executive Network (CEN) in 2011, a program that links current and retired executive professionals in the Wilmington area with undergraduate Cameron School business students. Together, the pairs build a professional mentoring relationship, where mentors guide students through their education with supportive experiences in interview coaching, resume building, networking practice, personalized career planning, and more. Sometimes, these relationships extend well past graduation.

“As I reflect on my experience, particularly with my mentor Bob Pious, it has exceeded all expectations. We have a unique bond and it has been a pleasure to continue my relationship with Bob. 

The CEN program offers two opportunities per year for new mentees to be matched with available mentors in the network; a network that now has over 250 mentors. The CEN office hosts two “mixer” events each year. Students who have applied to and been accepted into the program use this opportunity to network and meet with mentors in the program. At the completion of the mixer evening, the CEN office works to pair each student with a mentor. Hayworth went to a mixer in the fall of 2011, but he didn’t meet a mentor that he felt he “hit it off with.”   Instead, the CEN office paired Hayworth with a mentor who was unable to attend the mixer, Bob Pious, and they set up an initial meeting at the Student Union.

“Early on it became evident that we were connecting well. The [meeting] content was about resume building and skills, and looking for internships and summer jobs. We met about two more times that first semester and the relationship took a big step forward after I graduated.”

Hayworth and Pioumet regularly twice a month for about an hour and a half.  Discussion topics included current course work, internship plans, career aspirations, and longer-term professional goals. These discussions helped contribute toward Hayworth graduating magna cum laude from UNCW in 2013 and securing a job as a Commercial Analyst with PPD. When Hayworth graduated from UNCW, Pious extended his congratulations and offered his presence as a mentor to Hayworth in the future, should he need it. Hayworth willingly accepted.

I worked for PPD, so I stayed in Wilmington and was able to keep in contact. It was good to have real, professional conversationsThe perspective [of our mentor/mentee relationship] changed once I got into the job market. The conversations switched from “this is what to expect [after graduation]” to “here’s how you can manage this situation you’re facing in your current job.

Through all the transitions in Hayworth’s career, he would turn to Pious for an unbiased focal point; particularly when Hayworth considered a career change. In the years since Hayworth has graduated, the relationship has become a crossroad of a friendship and a consulting relationship. Invitations to lunch evolved into an invitation to a wedding. Hayworth continues to turn to Pious for sound advice, even as he approaches his 30th birthday and welcomes his first child to the world.

Hayworth and Pious agree that the Cameron Executive Network has been instrumental in the personal and professional development they both have experienced since joining.

“CEN is a value-added service that the Cameron School of Business offers. To make it even better, you can continue your “free” mentor relationship post-graduation, and not have to go out into the professional world without someone to lean on or hire a consultant or life coach.

“More than that, Bob is center-point that I can always come back to. A strong mentor is the center of a professional network. He has been genuine throughout the whole process – I never questioned that Bob cared for me, Creighton, as a person.”

Pious, who now co-chairs the Cameron Executive Network, frequently reminds participants that this is a mutually beneficial opportunity, citing, “mentors learn just as much!”

Creighton has helped loosen me up. He broke me out of my New York, white shirt, buttoned down culture, and slowed me downWe found genuine human connection despite different backgrounds –common ground in values, breaking barriers, and foodHe taught me how to find great Southeastern NC BBQ!  Our relationship bloomed from Creighton’s initiative and I appreciate his enthusiasm in keeping this alive.

Creighton calendars quarterly meetings still, and it’s an event that they both look forward toAmid the COVID-19 outbreak, they’ve still managed to make the get-togethers work – only this time, they toast a glass through their webcams.

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SEHFCHeader.jpg An Unlikely Trio Emerges Victorious

A team of three CSB online graduate students placed among the finalists in the Southeastern Hedge Fund Competition, held at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Dr. Nivine Richie, CFA, Professor of Finance and Associate Dean of Graduate and International Programs, served as the facilitator for this team of three that included Dawn Murray, Justin Peek, and Tyler Yaw. Due to COVID-19, the competition was canceled before the final winner could be selected. The team’s placement among the finalists is an achievement that all of Cameron is proud to celebrate.

This competition was created to challenge aspiring finance and investment management students from any college or university in the world. The overall objective of the competition is for teams to propose an investment strategy that is attractive to a hedge fund. Teams must provide an economic hypothesis that predicts how the proposed investment strategy will perform. The finalists are rewarded for their efforts in the form of scholarship prizes.

The Cameron School of Business team was formed, despite these students having no previous experience collaborating with each other. The three quickly formed a bond that allowed them to highlight their strengths and develop the teamwork necessary to approach the task at hand. Tyler Yaw (MSFDec ’20) tells us “I chose to enter the SEHFC to hone in my knowledge of the markets and to exploit inefficiencies that may be present. Being able to join Dawn and Justin on this project was extremely invaluable and all of our strengths is what got us to the finals.

The team developed a strategy that ultimately led to their success. According to Dawn Murray (MBA, May ’20), For our strategy, we developed a 10-point scoring system (low of 0, high of 10) that looked at 10 different fundamental criteria from the quarterly financial statements, and that score determined if we entered a long or short position on the day of earnings. From there we had 4 different technical indicators, along with other criteria when the technical indicators did not provide an exit signal, to determine our exit dates. Overall, we learned our strategy works best in a down market, and in that type of market beat the S&P.

The team hopes to bring their developments to market. “Our journey will not end here as we are continuing to improve our strategy and hope to take it to the next level,” said Yaw. Even with the conclusion of the competition, the team is still hard at work. We are working on several strategies currently and plan on using them in a holistic hedge fund strategy this upcoming year,” said Justin Peek (MBA, Dec ’20). 

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HeatherHeader.jpg Coronavirus Relief Package – What does it mean for Small Business?

The 890,000+ small businesses in North Carolina employ 1.6 million people and account for 60% of the private sector workforce and 45% of the Gross State Product. Like other employers, small businesses are concerned about the immediate and long-term business impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated social distancing requirements. In fact, a national study conducted between March 27-29 by America’s Small Business Development Center (ASBDC) and Thryv, Inc. showed that 79 percent of small businesses are "extremely concerned" about the current business environment. Looking out one year from now, roughly 60 percent of the survey respondents are concerned about long-term recovery and 3 percent of the respondents did not believe that their business would survive.

There are steps that small business owners can take to minimize long-term impactsFirst, small business owners should know that COVID-19 and related social distancing requirements are out of their control. They should focus on what they have control over, such as having a good attitude and a sense of community, taking care of their business and employees, and having confidence that they built a good business.

Business owners should set aside time to analyze their business. Decisions about businesses need to be made with solid analysis and information. If customers are still in need of the product or service: 

1) What level of sales will continue? 

2) What is the minimum staff and materials needed to supply these customers? 

3) Will these sales be enough to continue operations? 

4) Is it worth turning on the lights to make these sales?

The answers to these questions will lead to more questions, such as: 

1) Is enough cash (working capital) available to make this happen? 

2) How long will this cash support some level of operations? 

3) Can cash be created by selling equipment, vehicles, etc. not being used? 

4) How much is the business owner personally willing to invest or put at risk to make this happen? 

5) Is the business owner’s family in agreement on investing more family assets (cash) into the business?

Next, small business owners should consider disaster loans and other available recovery incentives. Most programs are first-come, first served so timing is criticalFinalized, verified programs currently available for NC small businesses are listed on the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) website at is a business advisory resource for businesses with highly skilled professionals at UNC campuses. I am going to specifically address programs that resulted from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in this article: SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Note: specifics about these programs may change and are accurate as of April 6, 2020.

The CARES Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, allocates $349 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the current circumstances they are encountering related to Coronavirus. The CARES Act modifies the existing Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, provides funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, and provides immediate loan payment relief for current SBA 7(a) borrowers.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) EIDL is a standard, but modified, disaster recovery loan that was provided to small businesses after disasters such as Hurricane Florence. Up to $2 million can be provided by SBA at 3.75% interest rate for small businessLoans can be made based on solely on credit score. Payments will be deferred for the first 12 months and will not be due until one year after original dispersement. Interest will not accrue during this time. Terms may be up to 30 years. Eligible entities have 500 or fewer employees and/or meet SBA size standards.

A $10,000 advance may be requested as part of the EIDL. The advance does not need to be repaid, even if the EIDL is denied. Uses of EIDL include payroll, paying sick employees, increased production costs due to supply chain disruption, and paying business obligations, including debt, rent, and mortgage payments. Advances are available to small businesses, sole proprietors, independent contractors, tribal businesses, as well as cooperatives and employee-owned businesses in operation on January 31, 2020.

Unlike the EIDL, which is a loan from the federal government, the new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a private-public partnership with the lending community, including approved banks and credit unions. This program became available on Friday, April 3. The loan amount is based on recent payroll costs and compensation paid to individuals, including the self-employed, and may be up to $10 million at a 1% interest rate. To calculate the loan amount to request, calculate the average monthly payroll costs and multiply by 2.5. Employees that make more than $100,000 must be excluded from this calculation. PPP loan payments will be deferred for a minimum of six and up to 12 months. The business must certify that the loan will be used to retain workers, maintain payroll, make mortgage or lease payments, and pay utilities. Loans may be forgiven, up to an amount equaling eligible payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs, incurred during the 8-week period starting from loan origination. Non-payroll costs cannot make up more than 25% of the loan forgiveness amount; loan forgiveness is reduced by layoffs or pay reductions in excess of 25%. Compensation in excess of $100,000 a year to any individual, independent contractor or sole proprietor will not qualify for forgiveness. Loan forgiveness is not treated as taxable income. Eligible entities are small businesses as defined by SBA size standards, generally up to 500 employees, but up to 1,500 employees depending on the sector as certain sectors are based on revenue. Additionally, sole proprietors, the self-employed, and independent contractors are eligible.

The UNCW SBTDC, which is affiliated with the UNCW Cameron School of Business, is “Open for Business” and our staff is available to work with you via video conferencing (Zoom), email, or by phone. We can provide assistance with continuity planning, disaster capital, and other resources to help your business manage during the current crisis. To request assistance, contact us at or sign up as a client at Our assistance is free of charge and is confidential. 

Reference: SBTDC Disaster website at

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