The Winonan

Steven Blue introduced as CEO in Residence

Erin Jones, News Reporter

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Winona State University’s College of Business has announced its new CEO in Residence, Steven Blue.

Blue, who is the CEO of Miller Ingenuity, will visit Winona State once a month to provide students and faculty valuable information on learning and teaching business.

As the CEO in Residence of Winona State’s College of Business, Blue will have a number of duties including advising students and staff, giving public presentations and allowing students to shadow him in his role as Miller Ingenuity’s CEO.

“Once a month I’ll spend about three hours here and make appointments for any students who want to come in and talk to me,” Blue said.

Blue said that students are free to come in and talk to him about anything they want.

“Their resume, their career aspirations, their curriculum,” Blue said. “I’ll give them advice from a CEO perspective as to whether I think it’s a good thing to do or not.”

As a part of his duties at Winona State, Blue is also available to help faculty members develop their course curriculums to provide the best learning for students.

“I’ll be able to help them sharpen their focus on curriculum development,” Blue said.

In addition, Blue said that he will also be able to take students out of the classroom, so they can learn more about business through experience.

“The third major platform is to take students with me every now and then to industry symposiums, conferences and trade shows so they can get experiential learning versus a classroom lecture,” Blue said.

Although Blue’s primary duty is CEO of Miller Ingenuity, which makes high-tech life safety systems, he stated that he is looking forward to dedicating time to the students and staff of Winona State.

“I am just thrilled,” Blue said. “I want to help people anyway that I can.”

Hamid Akbari, the dean of the college of business at Winona State, also expressed his enthusiasm in having Blue as the new CEO in Residence.

“I think he can provide inspiration,” Akbari said. “He’s a role model for students.”

Akbari stated that the goal of hiring Blue was part of the college of business’s strategic plan to provide the best learning for students.

“Four years ago, when I came here, we resolved with the faculty that we were going to pursue a distinct college of business known for its brand of innovative teaching and learning,” Akbari said.

To do this, the faculty of the college of business came up with the idea of CEO in residence.

“Most of the executives in residence are often retired and on-campus more often because they are not holding a job,” Akbari said. “The difference is that the CEO in residence is a practicing CEO.”

In addition to the firsthand experience that Blue can provide students, Akbari said that Blue has other qualities that make him a valuable part of the college of business.

“What is unique about Mr. Blue is that he is not only a CEO,” Akbari said. “But he is also is a sought-after speaker for management and leadership throughout the United States as well as internationally.”

Akbari also stated that the hiring of Blue was not only part of a strategy, but also to reinforce the college of business brand, “Create Your More.”

“We hired him because of our strategy, because of our brand,” Akbari said. “Because we have innovative and engaged teaching and learning and we’ve captured this idea of ‘Create Your More.’”

Akbari said with Blue as a part of their team, the college of business can uphold their brand.

“Mr. Blue is one more resource we have to actually reinforce that brand,” Akbari said. “He helps our students create their more.”

Blue began his duties at Winona State at the end of January and will visit monthly, for three hours each time and students are allowed half-hour time slots.

Appointments can be made with Kim Vogen, assistant to the dean of college of business.

Though Blue has limited time to visit Winona State, he is still looking forward to the time he does get to spend here.

“The most important thing I’m looking forward to is to shape the lives of young people so they can be successful, not only in business, but also in their lives,” Blue said. “I’m looking forward to shaping a whole new generation of business leaders.”     

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Steven Blue introduced as CEO in Residence