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.
The keynote speaker was Mr.
Bill Capodagli with the topic of “If Walt Ran Your Organization.” Capdagli is best-selling
author of The Disney Way, and Innovate the Pixar Way. Mr. 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
The event commenced with
welcome remarks by both Dr. Michael Driscoll, President of IUP and Dr. Cynthia
Strittmatter, Assistant Dean at Eberly. Regina Stover addressed the students
and stressed the importance of philanthropy by volunteering and giving back to
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”
says Julia Nitchman, sophomore marketing student at IUP.
Mr. 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 Mr. Capodagli encouraged students to believe in themselves, and stressed the
importance of employers and organizations encouraging engagement from their
Mr. Capodagli made it
evident that every student has the capacity to achieve their dreams. Success
comes from more than an idea; Mr. 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 you
“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, Mr. Capodagli took the time to talk with students about the concepts
that he discussed during his presentation.
assistant dean for the Eberly College, 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.”