On October 12, over 300 Eberly College of Business and IT students and students from the Communications Media Department attended the Stover Speaker Series, a program funded by alumni Dennis Stover ’76 and Regina Stover ’75 to bring prominent speakers
to share their experiences and insight about their respective fields to future business professionals at IUP.
speaker was Bill Capodagli with the topic of “If Walt Ran Your Organization.” Capodagli is best-selling author of The Disney Way and Innovate the Pixar Way. Capodagli possesses over three decades of management consulting and corporate
research expertise. His experiences in leadership, innovation, and customer service have spurred an evolution of positive cultural changes throughout many organizations.
The event commenced with welcome remarks by both Michael Driscoll, president of IUP, and Cynthia Strittmatter, assistant dean at Eberly. Regina Stover addressed the students and stressed the importance of philanthropy by volunteering and giving back to
Capodagli’s presentation focused on strategies to develop yourself into who you want to become, as well as management techniques. The primary emphasis was on the “Dream, Believe, Dare, Do” philosophy that was used for the foundation of the $92-billion
conglomerate: The Walt Disney Company. This philosophy allowed Disney to achieve great success economically, while maintaining happy, valued employees and customers.
“Mr. Capodagli provided great insight regarding setting and pursuing goals. The four keys to successful management (mentioned above) are essential tools when acquiring good leadership” said Julia Nitchman, sophomore marketing student at IUP.
Capodagli believes that “love” fosters a successful business with satisfied employees. Love for yourself, the product, the customer, and your employees all effect the internal efforts within an organization. Love for one another is achieved by providing
clear and honest communication to both your customers and team. He mentioned process that help foster well-being, such as Gallup Healthway’s “Well-Being Index,” and Buddha’s “The Steps to Loving Oneself.” These concepts shared by Capodagli encouraged
students to believe in themselves, and stressed the importance of employers and organizations encouraging engagement from their team.
Capodagli made it evident that every student has the capacity
to achieve their dreams. Success comes from more than an idea; Capodagli urged students to pursue ideas, and push themselves to see what may not be obvious on the surface. He summarized these ideas by saying, “Don’t consider yourself a commodity.
Make it special.” Being realistic and practical are good traits, but they should not stand in the way of what we envision the big picture of our lives to look like. Putting a plan in place and setting goals is crucial to achieving what you believe
“Mr. Capodagli stressed the importance of not becoming complacent by being average and to always pursue the biggest dreams that we have, which, I think, really hits home with students who are pursuing their first jobs or internships” added Anthony Maticic,
sophomore accounting and economics student at IUP.
After the presentation ended, Capodagli took the time to talk with students about the concepts that he discussed during his presentation.
Strittmatter coordinated the Stover Speaker Series. “We are very fortunate to have the Stover’s support in bringing outstanding speakers to the campus” said Strittmatter. “Bill’s presentation was motivational and provided students with real-world examples
of a number of businesses that adopted strategies from Disney to create an environment that is both successful and positive for employees and customers. I am confident that this is a presentation that students will remember as they interact with businesses
now and as they enter and become leaders in the workforce.”