01 Aug 1998

High Honors

In May, the School's annual Alumni Achievement Award was conferred upon six alumni, while two faculty members received the HBS Distinguished Service Award. Profiles of the honorees follow.


Alumni Achievement Awards

Ralph M. Barford (MBA '52)
President, Valleydene Corporation Limited Chairman, GSW Inc.

Despite occupying diverse industry sectors, several of Canada's best-known blue-chip companies have one thing in common - they all include Ralph Barford on their boards of directors. It's a tribute to his years of experience as a corporate and community leader and to his stature as one of Canada's most distinguished executives.

Barford graduated from the University of Toronto at the age of twenty, entered Harvard Business School, and graduated as a Baker Scholar. After spending a year at HBS as assistant to the legendary Professor Georges F. Doriot, Barford moved on to work as a financial analyst at Doriot's American Research & Development Corporation, one of the first U.S. venture capital firms. Before long, Barford himself was eager to become an entrepreneur. With several other HBS graduates, he undertook a decidedly low-tech startup: plastic phone book covers to carry local advertisements in Massachusetts. The company, the National Merchandising Corporation, was such a success that over the next six years, the Barford-led enterprise expanded into other parts of the country, added four production facilities, and saw sales top $7 million.

In 1960, Barford sold his share of the business to his partners and returned home with his family to Toronto. The following year, he purchased Beatty Brothers, a small Ontario manufacturer that made a wide assortment of consumer durables. Two years later, Barford took Beatty into the big time, buying up a larger competitor, General Steel Wares, Inc. (GSW).

As head of the new concern, Barford reorganized GSW and developed it into the largest appliance maker in Canada. Remaining chairman of GSW after it was reconfigured following a merger, Barford then took up the reins of Valleydene Corporation Limited, a family-run holding company that has a majority interest in GSW and also oversees warehouse facilities, oil and gas businesses, and a portfolio of real-estate investments. The move to Valleydene provided Barford with the flexibility he needed to spend more time with his ailing wife (who died in 1991 after a long struggle with multiple sclerosis) and six children.

Beyond the boardroom, Barford has been associated in various capacities with causes such as the Toronto Hospital, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Toronto School of Theology, Victoria College, and the University of Toronto. In addition, he has served on numerous federal and provincial committees and chaired the advisory board of the University of Western Ontario's Ivey School of Business.

Barford's ties to Soldiers Field remain strong. From 1994 to 1997, he headed the HBS Canadian Initiative, a program conceived by former HBS Dean John H. McArthur in part to enable a geographically and culturally diverse group of qualified Canadian students to attend the School. Under Barford's leadership, the first phase of the Initiative ended last December with the announcement that HBS graduates from across Canada had raised $20 million (Canadian) to create the Canadian Financial Aid Program. Barford continues to work with the School as chairman of the Canadian Alumni Advisory Committee.

Frank Batten (MBA '52)
Former Chairman Landmark Communications, Inc.

Frank Batten has delivered hundreds of speeches on the media, philanthropy, and education. The fact that most of these talks were given after his larynx had been removed is a testament to his courage and perseverance. In 1979 Batten, a nonsmoker, had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in his throat. Stripped of his voice box and vocal cords, he had to learn to speak using his esophagus.

Batten, an entrepreneur who thrives on difficult challenges, says that coping with cancer was one of the biggest hurdles he has ever faced. A former president of the Associated Press, he spent 43 years building Norfolk, VirginiaÐbased Landmark Communications, Inc. (and its earlier incarnations), from an $8 million family business to a multimedia enterprise with close to five thousand employees.

Batten's career at Landmark began as a copyboy for Norfolk's Virginian-Pilot, a daily newspaper owned by his uncle. After graduating from the University of Virginia (UVA), serving in the Merchant Marine, and earning a Harvard MBA in 1952, he took a job as a reporter and ad salesman for his uncle's media company. In 1954, at 27, he was appointed publisher of the Norfolk Ledger-Dispatch and the Virginian-Pilot. Despite his youth, Batten gained the respect and admiration of his colleagues. He made ethical, careful reporting a top priority, strongly supported school desegregation, and encouraged civic involvement among his employees.

In 1964 Batten made the first in a series of significant acquisitions, purchasing a small cable television station. During the next few decades, Landmark's TeleCable division bought dozens of cable stations around the country before selling them to Tele-Communications Inc. (TCI) in 1994 for more than a billion dollars. He made further investments in the newspaper, television, and radio realms, combining them all under the name Landmark in 1967.

In 1982, amid considerable skepticism from industry experts, Batten created The Weather Channel, a 24-hour cable network that carries national and local weather reports. For the first five years the channel lost money, but Batten stuck with it, ultimately convincing cable providers and advertisers that it was a viable service. Today, The Weather Channel reaches over 70 million subscribers in all fifty states.

At the end of last year, Batten stepped down as the chairman of privately held Landmark, but he remains head of the Landmark Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the business that has helped many charitable and educational organizations. Over the years, his contributions to his community have been enormous, from helping to build Norfolk's Old Dominion University into a high-quality urban institution, to serving on the Virginia Council of Higher Education, to funding the Batten Center for Entrepreneurship at UVA's Darden School of Business. Batten's biggest challenge these days, he says, is to "continue to help create opportunities for others."

David J. Dunn (MBA '61)
Founder and Managing Partner Idanta Partners Ltd.

Each year a host of bright-eyed entrepreneurs make their way to San Diego to explain their dreams to Dave Dunn, one of the nation's leading venture capitalists. For every seven hundred deals he and his four colleagues at Idanta Partners Ltd. consider, however, only one will win their support.

For the select few startups that pass through Idanta's screen - some thirty companies that have created more than 40,000 jobs since Dunn founded the firm in 1971- there are significant benefits. Positioning itself as a "value-added venture partner," Idanta works closely with entrepreneurs to build major businesses with a potential for sales of a half-billion dollars or more. Dunn has made long-term commitments - an average of twelve to fifteen years - a bulwark of his firm's philosophy.

Dunn's first big deal took place soon after he opened for business. An eight-year veteran with the prominent New York venture capital firm of J.H. Whitney & Company, he launched his own shop backed by $8 million from the Bass brothers. Seven Honeywell engineers in Boston had come up with a design for a minicomputer that was unbeatable in terms of price and performance. Putting in $300,000 for 60 percent of the equity, Dunn helped launch Prime Computer in 1972 and served as its chairman for the next seventeen years. With his hands-on help, Prime became an early high-tech success story, and Dunn's VC firm grew and prospered.

For young Dave Dunn growing up poor in a single-parent home in Brooklyn during the Great Depression, such success could not have seemed within reach. After graduating from a vocational high school, Dunn went to work for the Pennsylvania Railroad. In 1947, he joined the Marine Corps Reserves and was called to active duty three years later with the outbreak of the Korean War. Making the most of an unexpected opportunity to attend Annapolis, he entered the Naval Academy in 1951, graduating four years later with a degree in engineering and a commission as a Marine lieutenant.

While stationed in Hawaii, Dunn met a naval supply officer who was an HBS alumnus and who lent him copies of the Harvard Business Review. With a wife and children to support, Dunn decided that HBS would be a good choice when his tour of duty ended in 1959. Admitted to the Class of 1961, he earned his MBA as a Baker Scholar with high distinction. After a year at an investment bank, Dunn began his venture capital career at J.H. Whitney.

Having earned his education the hard way, Dunn is particularly interested in improving educational opportunities for new generations of students from disadvantaged and minority backgrounds and has provided funds to support them. As these students search for role models, they would do well to look to their benefactor, who worked his way up from the streets of Brooklyn to the top of the business world.

Ann M. Fudge (MBA '77)
Executive Vice President, Kraft Foods, Inc. President, Maxwell House Coffee Company and Post Cereals

Last September, Ann Fudge took a sledgehammer to a boarded-up brownstone in Harlem. The building was slated to come down as part of an affordable-housing campaign - one hundred new homes in one hundred weeks for one hundred families - that she had initiated as Maxwell House's president. Pounding away steadily, Fudge eventually broke through.

The scene couldn't have been more symbolic of Fudge's life. As an African-American woman, she has been breaking down walls since she was a child, quietly dismantling the racial and gender barriers she's faced with a mix of hard work, determination, strength, and grace that has made her one of the most influential and noteworthy leaders in corporate America today.

For the past 21 years, Fudge has demonstrated a remarkable ability to lead teams, reposition products, and increase the bottom line. She climbed from marketing assistant to marketing director at General Mills from 1977 to 1986, when Philip Morris scooped her up for its General Foods division (which later merged with Kraft Foods). There she served in marketing posts and ultimately as a general manager. In 1994, she was put in charge of Maxwell House's $1.4 billion coffee business, and last September she took charge of Post Cereals as well - a $1.3 billion operation. Not surprisingly, the New York Times calls Fudge one of "the top twenty women in American industry."

It's the confidence instilled in her by her parents, Fudge says, that has allowed her to surmount the many career obstacles faced by African Americans, who still represent less than 5 percent of the Fortune 1000's senior managers. Fudge says she also received encouragement from the nuns in the Catholic schools she attended throughout grade school and high school in Washington, D.C. Charles A. Coverdale (MBA '71) and Margaret M. Hennig (MBA '64), who were faculty members at Simmons College where Fudge was an undergraduate, encouraged her to apply to HBS.

Fudge's achievements are all the more remarkable given that by her junior year in college, she was already a wife and mother. She deferred admission to HBS for two years while she worked in human resources for General Electric. She eventually matriculated at HBS, deftly juggling classes and childcare for her two young children.

Fudge has spent a significant amount of time working with nonprofits such as Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and the United Way. She has also encouraged good citizenship at Maxwell House, initiating its community home-building effort last year in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. Not only have Maxwell House's profits doubled since Fudge took the helm, the company has also helped build scores of homes for low-income families across the country. Recognizing Fudge's many accomplishments, the HBS Network of Women Alumnae honored her last November with its own Alumna Achievement Award.

Ellen R. Marram (MBA '70)
President and CEO, Tropicana Beverage Group Executive Vice President,The Seagram Company Ltd.

During Ellen Marram's distinguished 28-year career in the packaged-goods industry, "growth" has always been the operative word. Whether she has focused on growing profits, expanding businesses, or developing employees, this energetic executive with innovative ideas and excellent instincts has demonstrated a knack for revitalizing the old and cultivating the new. Assuming leadership of Seagram-owned Tropicana in 1993, Marram presided over an organizational restructuring that has earned the unit worldwide sales of more than $2 billion and double-digit quarterly profit increases for the past three years. In addition to traveling the globe looking for ways to produce and market an array of Tropicana juices, as well as expand Seagram's nonalcoholic and low-alcohol beverage business, she spends long days in her Park Avenue office attending to corporate and strategic matters.

Under Marram's leadership, the company has attained a prominent position in the worldwide premium juice business. Her skill in promoting growth without losing sight of her company's core competencies has put Tropicana on solid footing. (As the Bulletin went to press, Seagram announced it had agreed to sell Tropicana to Pepsico, Inc. for over $3 billion. Asked by Pepsico to stay on, Marram had not yet made her plans public.)

One of Business Week's "Top 25 Managers" of 1998, Marram graduated from Wellesley College in 1968 with a degree in economics and immediately went on to HBS at a time when few women were considering business school. Driven by a desire "to run a business of some kind" and discerning that one route to upper-level management was through consumer packaged-goods marketing, she took a position at Lever Brothers after earning her MBA.

Marram moved to Johnson & Johnson in 1973 and in 1977 joined Standard Brands Incorporated. There she rose to become vice president of marketing for the margarine division. Standard merged with Nabisco in 1981, and in 1987 she was named president of Nabisco's grocery division. Earning a reputation as a visionary executive, she was promoted in 1988 to president of the Nabisco Biscuit Company, the largest operating unit of the Nabisco Foods Group.

It was at Nabisco that Marram's creative business sense came into full bloom. In 1989, the first year after the widely publicized LBO of parent company RJR Nabisco, she increased Nabisco Biscuit's profits by more than 50 percent. Astutely observing the public's growing concern about nutrition and health, she then led the 1992 launch of SnackWell's line of cookies and crackers, which pioneered low-fat snacking and became one of the most successful new products of the 1990s.

Not surprisingly, Marram's advice is sought by a number of other organizations, too. She serves on the boards of the Ford Motor Company, The New York and Presbyterian Hospital, Lincoln Center Theater, The Conference Board, and the Advertising Council, and she was recently elected a director of the New York Times Company.

Robert F. McDermott (MBA '50)
Brigadier General, U.S. Air Force (Retired) Chairman Emeritus, USAA

In 1993, after a 25-year tenure at the United Services Automobile Association (USAA), General Robert McDermott stepped down from the helm of this highly diversified insurance conglomerate. He left a legacy of openness to new technologies, a commitment to employee training, and a collaborative style of leadership that had transformed the company.

His success at USAA followed an equally impressive and lengthy military career. At 39 he was appointed general, thus becoming the youngest person in the armed forces to attain that rank at the time. In 1958 he was named the first permanent academic dean of the U.S. Air Force Academy, where his decade of service was characterized byquality and innovation.

When McDermott first joined USAA, the company was a respected but relatively unknown organization with assets of $200 million. The firm was drowning in paperwork, and its employee turnover rate was 43 percent. McDermott changed all that, successfully diversifying USAA into areas such as mutual funds, banking, and credit cards; building assets to some $30 billion; and reducing employee turnover to 7 percent. Fortune magazine consistently ranked USAA first among the country's most admired insurers.

Upon retirement, McDermott, summarizing his philosophy, asserted that success had flowed from his application of the Golden Rule to the world of business: "Serve others as you would have them serve you." When he announced his plans to step down, McDermott reminded his colleagues, "We've made customer service our primary goal, and we've encouraged other corporations to do the same." A year later, he was named to the National Business Hall of Fame.

A native of the Boston area who graduated from West Point in 1943, McDermott became a fighter-bomber pilot in World War II. He then served on General Dwight D. Eisenhower's staff before being sent to HBS to learn the management skills needed to meet the postwar challenge of modernizing the military.

With MBA in hand in 1950, McDermott returned to West Point to teach economics. In an environment that valued conformity, he introduced assignments in his courses that appealed to each cadet's strengths and interests. In 1954 he began to apply this approach on a larger scale at the newly founded Air Force Academy, enriching the curriculum by introducing academic majors, electives, and master's degree programs in conjunction with graduate schools at leading civilian institutions. As the other service academies gradually began to adopt these changes, he was hailed as "the father of modern military education."

McDermott hasn't slowed down in retirement, concentrating his energy and vision on an array of community-related projects. Among them is the Texas Research and Technology Foundation, which he established in 1984 to develop San Antonio's Texas Research Park, now a center for biotechnology research. He is also active in efforts to reform public education through the Texas Public Policy Foundation, an organization he cofounded several years ago and now chairs.

Distinguished Service Awards

Martin V. Marshall (MBA '47, DCS '53)
Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus

In 1943, when Martin V. ("Marty") Marshall arrived at Harvard Business School for wartime training to become a naval supply officer, he had no idea that he was beginning an association with HBS - as a student, academic, and administrator - that would span some fifty years. Although he is perhaps most closely identified with the Owner/President Management Program (OPM), Marshall's career was varied and full, both at HBS and beyond. He taught in almost every program at the School, helped set up management institutions overseas, and headed several key HBS policy-making committees. In addition, he found the time to take an active role in the operations of several companies in diverse industries, including helping to run one of New England's largest local advertising agencies.

Marshall grew up in Kansas City during the Depression and worked his way through the University of Missouri before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He was subsequently posted to HBS, where he completed the first year of the MBA Program before going on active duty from 1944 to 1946. His management experience in military logistics and supply convinced him to return to Harvard. Upon completing his MBA, he was asked to stay on at the School as a marketing casewriter, in which capacity he worked with legendary HBS marketing faculty members such as Melvin Copeland and Malcolm McNair.

From 1953, when he earned a doctorate, until 1974, Marshall developed courses and taught marketing to MBA students. In addition, he initiated three major Executive Education programs in marketing management and sought to expand his global view of business by working with management schools in Europe, Japan, India, Mexico, and Australia. Marshall led several important policy-making committees at HBS and spearheaded the effort in the 1960s to make the MBA Program coeducational.

In 1974, Marshall became a faculty member in the Advanced Management Program and turned his attention to Executive Education. Several years later, he was tapped to teach in the Smaller Company Management Program (SCMP), an innovative offering geared to entrepreneurial ventures and family businesses. Asked to head SCMP in 1981, he shifted the program's focus toward the interests and needs of owner/managers. He devised a unique schedule spread over three years and changed the program's name to Owner/President Management Program in 1985. He helped establish biannual, participant-organized OPM reunions, events that he often still attends. Marshall headed OPM until his retirement from HBS in 1993. All the while, he remained a popular classroom figure. Among OPM participants, his "Marketing Yellow Sheets" - concise notes and observations on marketing - became highly prized for their insights.

The former Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration, Marshall is the author of nearly two hundred cases and notes as well as the casebook Cases in Advertising Management. He continues to write and consult, while enjoying travel and other activities with his extended family and staying in touch with OPM graduates.

Arthur N. Turner (MBA '50)
Professor of Business Administration, Emeritus

As young man, Art Turner was drawn to literature and "to helping people learn." As a result, he planned to be an English teacher. But during his junior year at Yale, Pearl Harbor and his subsequent service as a U.S. Navy pilot interrupted his plans.

Following the war, he returned to Yale to complete his bachelor's degree and launched his academic career teaching ninth-grade English in Honolulu. At the time, however, intense labor disputes rocked the islands, catching Turner's attention and, ultimately, landing him at Harvard Business School, where he decided to pursue his newfound interest in industrial relations. A course in Human Relations taught by Professor Fritz J. Roethlisberger marked the beginning of Turner's nearly fifty-year foray into organizational behavior, including pioneering efforts in the field of quality of work life.

Earning his MBA in 1950, Turner joined the Technology Project at Yale's Institute of Human Relations, where his work with Charles R. Walker and Robert H. Guest led to landmark research on work design and satisfaction. In the mid-1950s their studies culminated with the publication of The Foreman and the Assembly Line and Turner's influential Harvard Business Review article, "Management and the Assembly Line." Both these works demonstrated how assembly-line technology, with its mechanical pacing, repetitiveness, and impersonality, caused worker morale to suffer.

After completing a doctorate in human relations in industry at Cornell University in 1958, Turner joined the HBS faculty and, with colleague Paul R. Lawrence, opened up a new line of research on work teams and job design. Their book, Industrial Jobs and the Worker, challenged management theories then in vogue by suggesting that jobs should be designed around people's needs, an idea that has gained popularity in recent years.

Turner's greatest rewards, however, have come from teaching. As a young professor, he taught Interpersonal Behavior, an acclaimed course designed to improve students' ability to understand and work with others. In 1968 the Ford Foundation granted Turner a visiting professorship at the Indian Institute of Management, where he advised faculty on course development and consulting projects. On returning to HBS, he designed an innovative field-study course called Consulting and Management Practice. The course provided student teams with intensive faculty coaching on projects with actual clients. Turner cites the course as his "most rewarding experience at HBS."

His year in India kindled Turner's interests in management education and consulting in emerging countries. He later returned to India to work on a major training and development program for a government planning commission. He also became involved in management development projects in Nigeria, Kenya, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Cyprus, and Pakistan, among other countries.

Turner retired from the active HBS faculty in 1984 to spend more time working overseas, which included a Fulbright fellowship in New Zealand. He has served as an advisor to the Harvard University Extension School's certificate program in administration and management and taught a popular Extension course in organizational behavior. In 1996 the Extension School honored him with its Exemplary Service Award.


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