Profile: Marcia Rusche Soule

MARCIA RUSCHE SOULE
Bachelor of Science in psychology, 1974
Policy Analyst,  Innovations Insitute at the University of Maryland
School of Medicine
Ocean City, Md.

Basketball Beginnings | Soulé was on Xavier’s first women’s basketball team, formed just three years after women started at the University. In 1971 she and a few classmates went to Dean of Women Mary Louise Faeth and asked if they could launch volleyball and basketball teams. At her suggestion, they circulated petitions and met with University officials. “Faeth called intramural director Tony Brueneman and said, ‘We’ve got some girls here who want to form intercollegiate athletic teams,’ and he said, ‘Send them over.’ He did everything. He opened his arms to us.”

Humble Start | The University supplied shirts but the women wore their own shorts, and Soulé’s mother sewed numbers on the uniforms. “We were so grateful to get on the court, to have some organization. You didn’t have to make the team back then—we’d drag our friends to play, tell them, ‘Really, you’re good enough.’ ” Soulé was the leading scorer all three years she played and the leading rebounder two years. The team went 1-6 its first year, 3-3 its second and had its first winning season, 7-6, during Soulé’s senior year. “Everything we did was a first. We started the basketball team and our friends were the first women on the swimming team. Everything was new, so it was a very fun time.”

A Fan Now | Soulé watched with satisfaction as the Xavier women’s basketball team reached the Elite Eight this year. “We didn’t do it with the intention of starting something grand; we just wanted to play. But to see what we left, it’s very gratifying. When I see it now—the equipment, the access, the fact that they were in the NCAA Tournament. And the conditioning—we ran up and down the stairs at the Armory.”

Chosen Field | Soulé graduated with a degree in psychology and earned a master’s degree in counseling from Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. Her first job was screening prospective foster-care parents and counseling children in foster care. She’s been involved in the field of children’s mental health ever since, and has seen great progress. “A lot of the stigma is gone; more families are willing to say, ‘We’ve got a problem that we need to address.’ There are a lot more resources available, and families are a lot more involved in treatment plans.”

Technical Assistance | Soulé now works for the Innovations Institute, which is affiliated with the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. As a policy analyst, she helps various agencies with their strategic planning and helps implement and evaluate programs for children with emotional and behavioral issues. She’s now working to introduce coordinated networks of community-based services for foster kids with emotional problems in rural Maryland. Soulé finds that she prefers administrative work to delivering direct care. “I’m a big-picture person, and I like to help people do their specific activities to achieve outcomes. It’s fun to put all the pieces together.”

Family Matters | Soulé’s athletic activities now include golf and cycling. She’s been married for 32 years to Steve Soulé, and they have two children: Brian, a golf pro on the faculty of the Professional Golf Management Program at Penn State University; and Katie, a presidential management fellow with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Profile: Matthew Kendrick

MATTHEW KENDRICK
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, 1984
General Counsel, Mercedes-Benz U.S. International
Hoover, Ala.

Jack of All Trades | Kendrick is the only attorney employed by Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. and is based at the automaker’s plant in Alabama. While outside law firms assist, Kendrick is involved in everything from employee relations and immigration to product liability and patents. “It changes every day, which is exciting.”

Bridging the Divide | Kendrick says his degree in business administration helps him navigate the traditional divide between executives and attorneys. “Legal departments are historically an impediment to business. That’s a matter of personality and strategic thinking, but business decision-makers are savvy. They understand risk and they want it clearly explained so it can be minimized.”

Heavy Metal | While Mercedes-Benz is one of the best-known brands in the world, Kendrick says he sought his current job because it fit well with his previous experience. “Manufacturing printing presses is different than manufacturing cars, but it’s all heavy metal and the issues are the same,” he says.

State of the Industry | About half his time is spent on employment issues, which, in today’s economy, often means buyouts and staff reductions. Parts suppliers in financial trouble are another big responsibility. The factory builds each model “just-in-time,” with only two to three hours worth of inventory stocked. That avoids having to stockpile large amounts of inventory, but it means that “we have to move fast when a parts supplier is in trouble.”

Changing Market | The Alabama plant manufactures the M-, R- and GL-Class Mercedes, the automakers’ sport utility and crossover vehicles. It’s the only place in the world Mercedes builds SUVs. About half stay in the U.S. and the others ship to 138 countries. “With declining interest in SUVs, we’ve had to make roughly a 25 percent negative change in our personnel here.” But the plant will start making all the C-Class entry-level luxury sedans for the North American market in 2014. Kendrick hopes that will take the current staff size of 3,000 back up to its previous level of 4,000.

A Car-Dealing Family | Kendrick’s father owned a dealership in Lafayette, Ind., and his brother eventually took it over. The dealership used to sell Buicks and Cadillacs but now sells only Nissans and used cars. Family members debate the issue of foreign vs. American cars, but Kendrick says the lines aren’t as clear as they used to be. “The cars we build here are built in America and they provide a decent living for American citizens,” he says. “But those discussions are lively.”

And a Xavier Family | Kendrick’s siblings all attended Xavier, and three of the four met their spouses at Xavier. Kendrick met his wife, Lori (Harkins), a 1985 graduate, the first day of school. They have two daughters, Caroline, 14, and Olivia, 12.
His Ride | Kendrick drives a future model of the R-Class crossover vehicle, and offers feedback to colleagues on the test car.

Alumni Profile: Michael Phillips

MICHAEL PHILLIPS
Master of Education, 1973
Retired powerboat-industry executive
Benton, Ill.

Interest to Industry | Phillips made a career as a school teacher and administrator, and in the home-renovation business. But as a lifelong boating enthusiast, when his brother-in-law launched Celebrity Boats three decades ago and asked Phillips to join as director of sales and marketing, Phillips couldn’t resist. “It seemed like a pretty fun business,” he says. “I was a little naïve about it.”

Growth and Offers | The company went from $8 million to $60 million in business over an eight-year period, enough to earn the attention of larger boat builders and an investment firm that eventually bought the company. “We probably turned them away six or eight times, and they came back every time with a better offer until they finally hit the button,” he says. Phillips stayed with the new owners for a while but left in 1989 to help a former colleague launch Maria Boats.

A Third Company | Phillips knew Maria would be a short-term gig, and in 1991 his brother-in-law again convinced him to help start a new boat business: Crownline Boats. “He said, ‘I’ve got the urge to start one more,’ ” Phillips says. “I said, ‘All right, let’s go.’ ”

Instant Hit | In five years, Crownline was the fourth-largest boat builder in the world, success that Phillips attributes to the relationships they built in the industry. “When we built the first prototype and I got on the road and started calling dealers, they knew us and knew how we had dealt with them in the past,” he says. “The thing I am most proud of is that the dealers would look me in the eye and say, ‘I believe you.’ ”

Typical Buyer | Owning a boat, long a province of the wealthy, began to appeal to middle-income enthusiasts about 25 years ago, and all three of Phillips’ companies targeted those consumers with all-purpose boats ranging from 17 to 34 feet. “One good thing about boaters—once they get a boat you usually have them for life,” Phillips says. “We call it one-foot-itis. Whenever you get a boat, in a few years you want one a little bit bigger.”

Harder Sell | Despite the industry’s efforts to market to women, men still make up the majority of boat buyers. “When I see that gleam in the guy’s eye, I don’t have to sell him,” he says. “I have to sell his wife.”

Discretionary Purchase | Boating is an expensive hobby and easy to cut out when times are tough. Things have been especially difficult in the current recession, and Phillips, who worked as a consultant after leaving Crownline, left the industry for good in 2008.

His Craft | Phillips has a 23-foot Crownline 230 BR, “a big, open boat with a big engine and all the bells and whistles,” that he keeps on Lake Freeman in Monticello, Ind. “The thing I like most about boating is the serenity, the quiet and the escape, family and friends, the sun on you and you get hot and jump in the lake,” he says. “It’s a tremendous lifestyle that you can’t get any other way.”

The American Dream

From his 35-year career in politics, Michael Ford knows that talking about the American Dream is a sure way to get a roomful of people to nod their heads, no matter what their politics, age or income level. So when Ford—a 1970 Xavier graduate who’s worked for candidates such as Walter Mondale, Ted Kennedy and Jerry Brown—set out to launch a political institute at Xavier, he wanted to focus on what the American Dream means to the people who dream it.

Xavier’s Institute for Politics and the American Dream launched its inaugural national survey earlier this year. It found that the American Dream is harder to achieve now than in the past and will be even more difficult to attain for future generations. Coming in

the midst of a severe recession, the pessimism didn’t surprise Ford, but the emotions behind the pessimism did surprise him.

“It’s the first time I went to a focus group where the participants wept. I was totally shocked. I’ve done a thousand of these things all over the place,” Ford says. He recalls a woman in a Dayton focus group who said she was reluctant to speak because she feared her emotions would overtake her. “She said, ‘We did everything we could to do right by our kids. My daughter graduated from college with $170,000 in debt and she can’t get a job here because General Motors left and National Cash Register left. What did we do wrong?’ She felt betrayed and also guilty; she felt like they must have done something wrong.”

The American Dream Survey is being repeated annually, and there are plans to conduct it in other countries to gauge how people outside the United States perceive the American Dream.

For this inaugural survey, the firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates conducted 1,022 telephone interviews with adults across the U.S. Among the survey’s most significant findings:

• Measuring the current condition of the American Dream on a scale of 1 to 10, nearly half of Americans rated the Dream lower

than a 5, with nearly a quarter assigning it the lowest possible rating. Only 5 percent awarded the highest possible mark.

• Sixty percent of those surveyed believe it is now harder to reach the American Dream than it was for their parents’ generation, while 68 percent say it will be harder still for their children to reach the Dream, and 45 percent believe it will be much harder. “The core of the Dream has always been that the legacy will improve, and now that’s not the case,” Ford says.

• A majority of Americans think the United States is now in decline and the world no longer looks up to it. Only 32 percent believe America is on the rise.

While the American Dream can be a vague concept, survey respondents defined it primarily in four ways: opportunity, freedom, family and financial security. Different groups emphasized different aspects of it, and those who defined it in terms of financial security gave the most negative assessments of the Dream. Middle-aged white women and Midwesterners also had a bleaker outlook than most.

The survey did find some unexpectedly bright spots: African-Americans, Latinos and immigrants consistently view the American Dream in a more positive light than white, native-born Americans. “Those who have the least had the most when it came to hope,” Ford says. “The only group to have a net positive impression of the American Dream was African-Americans. That stunned me.”

And while Americans believe the idea of the American Dream is suffering, they also view their individual prospects more optimistically. Most Americans believe the Dream can be reached through hard work, rather than luck or circumstances, and two-thirds are at least fairly confident that they will achieve it.

For Ford, the creation of the institute and the launch of its signature survey represent the achievement of his own dream, one he credits his alma mater with helping to achieve. “I graduated from Xavier and I launched a political career in Cincinnati after graduation. I then went off and did that for 30-plus years all over the country. I wanted to come home and give something back, as they say,” Ford says.

The Ultimate Feat

As a child, Kim (King) Andriole spent several hours in front of her television one Saturday afternoon, amazed at what she was watching: the Ironman triathlon from Hawaii.

She was mesmerized and inspired by the strength, challenge and passion of those competing in the endurance race: a 2.4-mile swim followed by a 112-mile bike ride followed by a 26.2-mile marathon, back to back to back. As she grew, Andriole went on to accomplish plenty of athletic feats of her own—she became captain of the Xavier volleyball team, still holds the record for most kills in a season, and she began running marathons at age 30.

But she could never escape the memory of the Ironman. It was the ultimate athletic feat. So in 2008, she grabbed her family and went to watch the Ironman event in her hometown of Louisville, Ky. Her competitive juices started flowing, and she decided that in 2009 she would be on the course competing and not on the sidelines watching. She hired a coach to help her train and began running, swimming and biking up to 25 hours a week. She made it through setbacks that included tears in her calf and knee, three bouts of strep throat and a fear of swimming in open water (the 2.4-mile swim is in the Ohio River).

In the end, it paid off. In August, she finished the 140.6-mile race in 14 hours and 19 minutes. “I believe that the human mind and spirit has no limits,” says Andriole. “I wanted to show my children that you can set a goal and achieve it, that you can do anything you set your mind to.”

There was one hurdle she almost couldn’t overcome, though. During her training, she learned her family—husband Michael and two sons, ages 2 and 7—was moving to England for Michael’s job. The movers arrived the day after the race to pack up their house. She also had help during the race to keep moving. Nearly 50 supporters were there in matching “Team Kim” T-shirts encouraging her. “I was so overwhelmed by the support,” Andriole says. “It’s kind of like giving birth. You forget about all the pain because of what you have in the end.”

Sustaining Life

As his friends and family in the U.S. were celebrating Christmas, Ben Krause was in the tiny Ethiopian town of Kalala, rolling out two things that most of the residents had never seen: a map and a plan.

Krause, a 2003 honors graduate with degrees in Spanish and philosophy, works for Catholic Relief Services in Ethiopia, a country that has been and will continue to be hard-hit by climate change. To help the country move past emergency aid and toward sustainable livelihoods, CRS is helping them create a plan to better manage their natural resources through concepts such as terracing, rehabilitating gullies, preventing erosion and recharging the water table. Hence the maps—giant vinyl satellite printouts from Google Earth.

“After carefully explaining what the maps were and where they came from, we put the farmers to work drawing in the existing water sources, schools, markets, rivers, land uses, degraded areas and other features that truly make this land their own,” Krause says. “Though most of them had never seen a map before, they quickly moved from utter confusion to crawling all over the maps, markers in one hand and shepherd staffs in the other, arguing over exactly where a river bends and how big the plot of irrigated land should be drawn.”

CRS then sent the community’s efforts back into Google Earth to serve as both a baseline and a guide for the next five years of work, while the maps stayed with the residents to help them manage their own futures. It’s a long-term project, though, meaning they are still dependent upon aid. In fact, a month earlier, Krause was at the Port of Djibouti helping guide the delivery of more than 30,000 metric tons of grain—the equivalent of 1,000 semis—brought to the country to help Ethiopians survive their third year of brutal drought. CRS feeds about 2 million people a month in Ethiopia.

In the meantime, more projects are underway: new irrigation and agricultural techniques that preserve crops; modern beehives that increase production 700 percent; and “arborloo” latrines that are used by people for six months and then filled in with fruit trees. It’s good to give a man a fish, and better to teach him how to fish, but enabling him to fertilize his own fruit tree every day might just be the best lesson of all.

Survival Mode

From hurricanes to blizzards to flu pandemics, disasters can strike anytime, anywhere. Many people fail to plan for emergencies, but Richard Harris is ready to help. Harris is CEO and “sustenance guru” of P3 Secure, which supplies self-heating meals, shelf-stable water and other products required for survival in emergencies.

Relief organizations urge people to have a three-day supply of food and water on hand in case of an emergency. Only half of Americans have any supplies, though, and many of those are insufficient. For instance, most water in plastic bottles can grow bacteria and is only good for about a year. P3 Secure’s water comes in aseptic packaging that’s good for five years. The meals, which can be heated in eight to 10 minutes with an included heating element, can last for at least three years. The company also produces hygiene kits with items such as hand sanitizer, toothpaste and self-heating washcloths.

Harris, a 1986 business graduate and former member of the men’s basketball team, founded P3 Secure in 2007 after working with a defense contractor in disaster areas. While MREs (meals ready to eat) existed for soldiers, he noted that average citizens in a disaster had different needs and would want meals that resembled something they’d eat every day.

“When disruption occurs, the meal is the most important thing of the day, so we wanted it to be as normal as possible,” Harris says.

The company, based in West Chester, Ohio, sells its disaster-response kits to government agencies, corporations, relief organizations and individuals. In 2008, it sent half a million meals and products to victims of Hurricane Ike, and the company donated to Haiti earthquake relief efforts. Many businesses are clients, Harris says, because they understand the need to take care of employees who might be stranded in an emergency, but individual consumers are harder to convince.

Events like the winter’s fierce storms on the East Coast, as well as earthquakes and the H1N1 scare, “make it easier to talk about disaster preparedness,” Harris says, “but the inclination of most people is to think about it but not to act.”

Prison Time

As he transitioned back to working in the family business in western New York, Tom Briody decided to take some time off and immerse himself in a grassroots ministry. While he searched for the right opportunity, a friend mentioned a prison ministry at nearby Attica State Prison, the site of an infamous 1971 uprising that left 39 people dead. Curious, Briody went for a visit. He was imme diately hooked.

“Clearly prison ministry is not one of those things that many people get interested in. It’s an overwhelming feeling to put a face to the concept of prisoner, see the humanity behind it and realize that we’re not that different,” says Briody, a 1980 graduate whose daughter and son now attend Xavier. “The differences often come from how we’re brought up; they’re often coming from poverty and single-parent families, and obviously they’ve made bad decisions, but a lot of the contributing factors are beyond their control.”

Briody threw himself into the ministry, called Cephas, and began travelling to Attica two days a week to help lead discussion groups in which prisoners laid bare their emotions, regrets, past hurts and hopes for the future. When Briody began his current position as managing partner of the Pinegrove Estates retirement community, he could no longer be at the prison twice a week. Instead, he became board chairman of Cephas and used his administrative background to help develop its strategic vision and secure funding. He also helped guide Cephas through a merger last year with another prisoner-outreach program. The resulting PeacePrints Prison Ministries operates three re-entry residences as well as the support groups and assistance to prisoners’ families.

Briody’s day job has ministerial aspects as well. He is passionate about educating people on successful aging and seeing older adulthood as a chance for growth instead of a period of decline. “We have so much control over the aging process,” he says. “It’s important to stay socially connected, physically active, keeping the mind and the spirit engaged. It’s knowing what touches your heart and then having the opportunity to actually engage in it.” Even if it takes you to prison.

One Sweet Ride

As a student in Xavier’s entrepreneurial studies program, Tim Glockner vividly saw the relationship between academia and the real world: Glockner’s father, Andy, would send him the financial statements from the family business, and Glockner and his roommates would pore over them as case studies.

Though his father urged the Glockner children to do what they wanted, Tim Glockner knew early on that he’d head back to Portsmouth, Ohio, after graduation to work for the family business, which includes the Toyota and Honda dealerships that Tim runs as well as a General Motors dealership, a motor-oil distributor, a leasing company and an insurance agency.

He’s the sixth generation to work for Glockner Enterprises, which began as a hardware and sundry store in 1846 and later expanded to transportation—first selling the buggies that attached to horses and later automobiles. Tim, a 1998 graduate, had planned on spending six months at each of the family’s businesses to learn them better, but after starting at the Toyota and Honda dealerships, he decided to stay.

“The Japanese companies are just notorious for continuous improvement,” he says. “They drill that into you all the time, and their representatives, when they come in, they’re partners with you instead of telling you what to do. I completely bought into that.”

Glockner takes care to honor the family legacy; he wears the Xavier class ring of his grandfather, Edward “Ebb” Glockner, who graduated from the University in 1948, and he volunteers his time with the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, Shawnee State University and the Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center.

But that legacy has not prevented Glockner from innovating whenever and wherever he can. A few years after taking over the dealerships, he knocked the buildings down and built new ones with an emphasis on family-friendly comfort. Last year the company introduced an iPhone application to let customers browse inventory and schedule service appointments. Glockner Toyota won a 2009 Toyota President’s Award for outstanding customer satisfaction.

“Everyone’s looking for something new and different, and we’re continually trying to stand out,” he says. “This business is so competitive and we’ve got to work to make it easy for people to do business with us.”

One More Time

Jenny Vonasek’s interest in sustainability and the environment goes back further than most: she and her husband spent their honeymoon in 1982 at the World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tenn., where she was intrigued by the exhibits on solar energy. In the ensuing years, Vonasek worked in several different industries, but she always wanted to own her own business and work in a field related to conservation.

Now she’s doing both. As co-owner (with husband John) of Tava Energy, Vonasek is selling products made of recycled and environmentally responsible materials to customers online. The couple launched their web site, www.tavaenergy.com, in 2008 to take advantage of the growing interest consumers have in green goods. Tava Energy’s product line includes cards made out of junk mail, biodegradable dinnerware, recycled rubber doormats, bamboo cutting boards and handbags made from recycled magazines.

And the couple’s business, which they run out of their suburban Cincinnati home, is building thanks to online advertising, social networking and word of mouth. “It really is a big undertaking,” says Vonasek, a 2000 MBA graduate who based her business model on two of her previous employers, Great American Insurance and Frontgate catalog. Next up: Tava Home, with a greater selection of products for the home, as well as an increase in solar items. Trade shows focusing on the green industry are also on the horizon, along with participation in the first Cincinnati Fashion Week. After all, it is fashionable to be environmentally friendly these days.