GGU’s Innovation in Practice Seminars Feature Experts in Leadership, Negotiation, Presentations, Psychology, Taxation, and More

The Ageno School of Business is offering an interdisciplinary seminar series that covers timely topics relevant to the real world of business. Held at Golden Gate University’s San Francisco campus, the free Innovation in Practice seminars are open to students, alumni, and the community.

All currently registered Ageno School of Business graduate students who take at least one in-person class are required to register for, and participate in-person, one seminar. Graduate students have priority for registrations, but space is limited for each seminar. Students may register for more than one seminar. Online students are welcome to attend online seminars and most are through ZOOM online conferencing.

You can register for any seminar here.

Seminar Schedule

Fundamentals of Negotiation Workshop with Tom Cushing

Monday, August 13, 9-11:30 am, Room 5210 and online

Have you ever worried that you’ve been shortchanged by business associates or friends?  Have you left value on the table?  Do you wonder if there really Is an ‘Art of The Deal?’

Well, there is some art – but there’s a lot of ‘science’ too.  And there’s no question that an understanding of deal-making processes and techniques will improve your ability to get results through others.  We’ll look at the several approaches to bargaining, their pluses and minuses, when each is most effective, and how to recognize what your counterpart is really up to.  We’ll also talk about effective preparation as a key to success and common mistakes to which negotiators are prone.

This workshop is part theory, but we’ll also pair-up and work through some case examples and exercises for a practical touch.

Tom Cushing, JD, MBA worked on an array of legal and business assignments for DuPont  Conoco, including as Regional Manager for a $20 million unit of DuPont’s environmental consulting and clean-up subsidiary. He later founded the Cushing Group Recruiters, a Bay Area legal search firm. He has lectured nationally on Legal Negotiation and Settlement for INR-Lexcomm and is an active adjunct at GGU teaching EMBA, DBA, MBA, and law courses. He is also active in animal welfare matters which earned him a nomination in GQ magazine’s ‘Better Men, Better World’ Award in 2009.

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Meet the Author: “Thriving in the Gig Economy” by Marion McGovern

Monday, August 13, Noon-2 pm, Room 5210 and online

Join us for our first book review:  Thriving in the Gig Economy by Marion McGovern, founder and CEO of M Squared, one of the first ever gig economy companies.

Her new book is an actionable handbook outlining ways to maneuver in the new world of independent work to create a path that optimizes success.

You will learn:

  • The differences between the gig economy and the sharing and on-demand economies.
  • The best ways to work with digital talent platforms and traditional consulting intermediaries.
  • Commonsense logistics around digital branding, contracts, and employment issues.

McGovern sold  M Squared Consulting to an international conglomerate in 2005.  This is Marion’s second book;  She is also the author of A New Brand of Expertise. A gig worker herself, she is a Chair of the Board of CPP Inc., a corporate director, consultant, former adjunct professor, and mentor. Marion was recently named Chair of CPP,  (the owners of the Myers-Briggs® assessment.). Check out for her latest podcasts and articles.

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Common Factors of Psychotherapy with Dr. Joseph Zamaria

Monday, August 13, 6:30-8 pm, Room 6208 and online

In this seminar, we will examine the common factors of effective psychotherapy, including relationship factors and therapist factors.  An understanding of these mechanisms of effective therapy will help equip therapists with the tools to maximize the therapeutic alliance for successful psychotherapy outcomes.

Dr. Joseph Zamaria is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UCSF, where he provides clinical services at Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute and teaches and supervises psychiatry residents. He also teaches in the Master’s in Counseling Psychology program at GGU and in the pre-doctoral psychology internship at California Pacific Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry.

Dr. Zamaria is interested in brief and open-ended psychodynamic psychotherapy, integration of psychotherapy models, and mindfulness-based interventions. He has also published in the area of research into the use of psychedelics as an adjunct to psychotherapy and is a Founding Member of the American Arab, Middle Eastern, and North African Psychological Association (AMENA-PSY).

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Meet the Author: “Conquering Cold Calling Fear” by Don Surath

Tuesday, August 14, Noon-1 pm, Rm. 5215

Using his guide to Conquering Cold Calling Fear, Don will discuss techniques for reaching the decision maker. The seminar will feature steps you should take to reach ultimate decision makers (UDMs) that separate you from the pack.

You will learn the proper way to have people want to help you when you contact them and how to encourage your UDM to take a meeting.

In addition, you’ll find out how to prepare for the face to face and what to look for during the meeting to instantly learn how it is going for you.

  1. P.A.C.T. (Patience, Acting, Courage, Technique)
  2. Proper greeting/request
  3. Mirroring
  4. Get Personal
  5. LinkedIn research and SSI rank
  6. What you say when the UDM responds

Don Surath is an expert sales trainer and former Multimedia Sales Consultant, Business Development for CBS 360/CBS Local Media. He is also an adjunct at GGU teaching  Sales Management in the MBA program and Personal Selling at SFSU.

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Intellectual Property (IP) and Technology with David Franklyn

August 14, 2-4 pm, Room 5224 and online

This presentation will focus on tech and various branding, advertising and marketing issues, including the use of non-traditional and non-verbal symbols to market brands – such as repetitive sounds, scents, and moving images. It will also cover legal issues relating to so-called native ads – that is, ads that look like actual non-advertising editorial content, sponsored and funded tweets, and editorials that are in fact paid ads. Finally, we will briefly discuss the ways in which consumer demand/consumer choice research (developed for product marketing strategy) can be used as a valuation device in intellectual property law.

David Franklyn, a prominent law professor who is considered one of the nation’s preeminent experts on intellectual property and technology law, is joining the faculty of Golden Gate University in a joint appointment between its School of Law and the Ageno School of Business. GGU School of Law is a leader in IP Law and hosts the Intellectual Property Law Center (IPLC), which is led by Professor William Gallagher. The IPLC publishes The IP Law Book Review and convenes regular conferences on the subject. Since 2000, Franklyn has been the Director of the McCarthy Institute for IP and Technology Law at the USF. He consults with some of the world’s leading companies and serves as an expert witness in trademark and IP cases.

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Keiretsu Forum: What’s New Under the New Tax Law

Tuesday, August 14, 3:00 pm, Room 6208 and online

The recent tax reforms mean big changes across the entire economy, in this country and abroad. This is especially true for private equity, where the tax impact of an investment can be a major driver of the investment decision. Hear from a distinguished panel of experts on the recent changes to the tax law and how they affect foreign-derived intangible income, the choice of legal entity for a company, and qualified small business stock (QSBS).

retirement-planner-bay-areaDan Harding

CEO of Retirement Administration, Inc., a third-party administrator of corporate retirement programs, Mr. Harding has worked in the banking industry for 12 years and has extensive experience with investing and tax management.


Christopher KarachaleChristopher Karachale, JD

Partner at Hanson Bridgett LLP, a Bay Area law firm, Mr. Karachale is a specialist in tax law, working with small and midsized companies on Federal and State tax impacts of partnership structure, M&A, and other issues.



Marc Armstrong, CPA, CFA, MBT

Tax Principal at the accounting firm of Shea Labagh Dobberstein, Mr. Armstrong has nearly 20 years of experience in tax, working with clients in the private and public sectors, as well as individuals.




Moderator: Fred Sroka, JD, CPA

Dr. Sroka Dean of Golden Gate University’s School of Accounting & Bruce F. Braden School of Taxation. In addition, he teaches the class TA-328 Federal Income Taxation of Partners & Partnerships. He has 18 years of experience in the field of taxation.


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Speechless: “Improv” Your Way to Great Presentations!

Tuesday, August 14, 4:00-6:00pm, Rm. 5200

Speechless, San Francisco’s renowned improv performance group, offers interactive, on-your-feet training combines improv, stand-up comedy, and storytelling to fuel its PowerPoint show. The Speechless mission is to make public speaking more fun and less scary for everyone — and also train corporate presenters to be more creative and persuasive in delivering presentations. The Presenter-as-Performer Philosophy and improvisation techniques encourage participants to find their voice, tell their story, and go public! This seminar will conclude with Speechless’ hilarious signature PowerPoint contest that will leave you laughing and thinking about your newly acquired skills. Speechless has trained some of the biggest and brightest companies in the world including Google, Adobe, LinkedIn, eBay, Microsoft, Salesforce, Zynga, and Twitter.

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Storytelling Techniques for Interviews and Networking with Dave Collins

Tuesday, August 14, 6:30-8:30 pm, Room 5200

Award-winning coach, improviser, and strategist Dave Collins will guide you in how to apply the art of storytelling techniques to create lasting, positive impressions for interviews and networking. This interactive workshop will use improv and experiential skill-building to develop best practices for talking about yourself, your skills, and engage any audience in any circumstance.

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Meet the Author: “Learn, Laugh, Lead” by Brian Harman”

Wednesday, August 15, Noon-1:00 pm, Rm. 5210 and online

Organization across the globe are struggling to find strong leaders and it’s impacting today’s business students and young professionals. Where have our role models gone? We are in desperate need of a fresh, new kind of leader. You!
Learn, Laugh, Lead is a short and fun leadership development story. This book teaches you how to maximize your career through storytelling, humor, and optimism, leaving you with golden nuggets of life lessons from today’s best executives and entrepreneurs.

Writer and CalArts MFA, Stephanie M. Taglianetti teams up with professor/businessman, Brian M. Harman for a unique right brain/left brain approach to leadership development that will leave you laughing hysterically. They will supply you with a diverse toolkit filled with the best behaviors and most valuable skills to help you become a future-proof leader.

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Using StoryBoarding and StoryTelling to Explain the Activities and Opportunities of Supply Chain Management in the e-Tailing Era

Wednesday, August 15, 4:00-6:00 pm, Room 6208 and online

Want to be the hero of your next meeting? Truly dynamic and stimulating storytelling & storyboarding are actually quite rare; but, in this seminar, you will learn proven and research-driven techniques that will allow you to deliver unparalleled messages. Mastery of both of these methods is a required skill in strategic leadership, although everyone will benefit from improving their communication skills. The sooner you learn this, the sooner you will advance your career. Learn how to develop your key messages into clear stories that transform audiences and initiate action. In our exciting seminar, we will provide a supply chain management example that everyone can relate to – the future of e-tail delivery to yourself.

Dr. Richard Dawe is the Director of Global Supply Chain Management Program and Center of Operations & Supply Chain Management Excellence at GGU. His background includes experience in management and consulting for the U.S. Air Force, Colgate-Palmolive, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Genentech and more.

Douglas Carlberg has been an Adjunct Professor since 2011 and teaches two courses Global Supply Chain Management Applications and Analytics and Supply Chain Logistics Management. He has nearly 30 years of professional experience and has spent the last 20 years at DHL Worldwide Express (DPDHL) in various roles in a global environment. He supports Fortunate 100 Customers across different industry sectors. He holds a BS degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and an MS from GGU in Logistics & Procurement. He is also six sigma certified and certified Project Manager. He is involved in the Supply Chain community attending ISM, CSCMP & WIL events. He has also led webinars and does ad-hoc guest lectures.

Brian M. Harman completed his MBA at Pepperdine University and then traveled abroad to study global enterprise management at the University of Oxford. Currently, Brian is working on his PhD in Global Leadership and Change. He spent the last 15 years in strategic operations, global supply chain management, and organizational development. He has worked in North America, Peru, China, India, and the UK. Lately, Brian has been working for a leading genetic therapeutics company in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, he believes that personal leadership, work quality, and process excellence are pillars to success. Professor Harman also teaches locally at UC Berkeley and abroad at Universidad ESAN in Lima, Peru.

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Meet the Author: “Decoding the New Consumer Mind” by Kit Yarrow, Ph.D.

Thursday, August 16, Noon-1:00pm, Rm. 5224

A decade of swift and stunning change has reconfigured consumer needs and consequently the marketplace. As a result, we’ve witnessed the demise of established businesses, brands, retailers and organizations that lacked the foresight to see and act upon shifting consumer expectations. Meanwhile, for those who understand the new consumer mind, there has never been a better time to excel, grow and capture market share. GGU Professor Emerita and Consumer Psychologist, Kit Yarrow, will draw upon her best-selling book, Decoding the New Consumer Mind, to explain how three socio-cultural shifts have changed our psychology and offer six essential strategies for connecting with today’s consumers.

Kit Yarrow, Ph.D. chaired the psychology department of GGU for more than two decades. She’s a contributor to Time and Money, and author of Decoding the New Consumer Mind and Gen Buy: How Teens, Tweens and Twenty-Somethings are Revolutionizing Retail. ​As a ​recognized expert on consumer behavior, Kit is frequently quoted by the media including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CBS News, and NPR. She’s a popular keynote speaker and has consulted to companies including Westfield Malls, Del Monte, and General Electric.

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