HBS-NEO Harvard Business School Club of Northeastern Ohio HBS-NEO

Membership: Member Interviews

Joan McCarthy

(Interview continued from e-mail newsletter.)

Q. What do you think the club needs to do over the next five years to ensure continued success?
A. The club needs to maintain its strong tradition of quality programming and to keep bringing young people on board early.
Q. What HBS event stands out as your personal favorite among all the ones in which you've been involved?

The HBS Global Conference was a phenomenal event to be involved with. Working with Don Hastings and the committee on the conference was a life-altering experience—to watch his leadership, his support and the cooperation of everyone involved was a truly unique opportunity.

My favorite speaker was Pat Parker, Chairman of Parker-Hannifin and an alumnus, when he spoke in 1987 or 1988. His energy, enthusiasm, and vision were contagious.

Probably the best overall regular programming event was when the club visited the Marysville Honda plant when they first started making Japanese cars in Ohio, around 1985. It was a very cutting-edge type of experience. We took a whole busload down for a full day, watched a car being built, had lunch in the cafeteria, listened to the general manager (Scott Whitlock) speak, got a Honda hat, and chatted constantly about the experience the entire ride back.

From a fun standpoint, Dave & Busters just a few months ago was just a hoot.

Q. How about events that weren’t so good?
A. We rented a speaker system at Hornblowers in the early 1990s. When the rental company set it up, they had the speaker system on battery power, so, by time the speaker got up to speak, the battery had worn down. There was electric power available, but only where the fishtank was plugged in. So, I unplugged the fishtank and prayed the fishies wouldn't die. I don't think they died, but we left before we ever found out. The speech went brilliantly, anyhow.
Q. Are HBS grads a tough lot to manage?
A. No. No. No.
Q. How do they compare to the Stanford and Wharton grads that you also work with?
A. HBS grads are more focused. Wharton is not all MBAs, since it has undergrads as well, and Stanford is more scattered geographically because the club includes all of Northern Ohio.
Q. So, what you're really trying to say that HBS grads are smarter, funner, & better looking than the Wharton and Stanford Business School grads you work with?
A. Ummmm, yes, sure. What I'm saying, actually, is that it's a relatively easy group for which to put together programs that are well attended and well received.
Q. Is there anything you'd like to say to HBS-NEO'ers out there?
A. It's just a fabulous group of people, and every year I'm more proud to be associated with them. A lot of the referrals I've gotten for new clients have come through my relationships with HBS alumni over 21 years. I have met some fabulous people and have learned a lot from the speakers and the alums, the type & quality of leadership, and the professional approach that 95-99% of alums take to everything.

See other Member Interviews.