Marriott Alumni Magazine

Summer 2015

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Alumni News Business on the Bucket List “Deciding to be a full-time mom over working full-time is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make,” says Marie Nielson Canaday. In fact, it’s a decision she still struggles with. While tending to two active boys keeps her very busy, Canaday is nurturing both her sons and her thriving love of all things business. At age sixteen, Canaday scribbled “get an MBA” on her bucket list. When she came across that list ten years later, she knew it was time to cross off that goal. She returned to school and received her MBA from Weber State University in April 2014, furthering the education she received in the Marriott School as a 2010 business management grad. “It was a great experience and very fulfilling,” she says. “I loved being able to study and learn more—with hopes of owning my own successful business someday.” That day may not be too far off. Canaday has already set off on several small ventures. While living in Ogden, Utah, she began a small garden. Finding herself with, as she says, “peppers and tomatoes coming out of my ears,” she began selling fresh salsa and produce at the local farmer’s market. Her special recipe? Cherry tomatoes for texture and fresh-squeezed lime juice. Canaday’s husband, James, is in the air force, so the family recently relocated to the Los Angeles area. Though her garden has drastically downsized, her proximity to the ocean has opened up another business opportunity: last winter she started an Etsy shop, Oceanwood Creation, selling home décor fashioned from driftwood. “I love trying to find the perfect thing to make out of each unique piece,” she says. “It works great from a business perspective because of the very little material cost. It’s fun experimenting with different ways to build a microbusiness with little to lose if it fails.” As for the rest of her bucket list, she’s not quite through yet. “Fortunately,” she jokes, “most things left on my bucket list aren’t so expensive and time consuming.” Management Society Management Society Breaks Ground with New Chapters The BYU Management Society’s expansive influence now includes nine new chapters, bringing the total to more than ninety chapters across thirty countries. Four domestic chapters—Indiana, Central Indiana; Florida, Miami; Arizona, Phoenix West; and Oregon, Eugene—were formed in the last eighteen months. International chapters sprouted in India, Ivory Coast, and Liberia. Rounding out the list, South Africa introduced chapters in Johannesburg and Durbin. “These professionals want to be a part of the Management Society because they want to help others,” explains Rixa Oman, Management Society executive director. “They see a need and feel like they can fill it.” While the desire to give back persuades many leaders to get involved with the organization’s employment workshops, mentoring, and community service, it takes a special type of person to launch a new chapter. After connecting with Oman, would-be chapter members must decide on a focus and choose leadership, then make other logistical decisions such as basic rules and price of membership. Forms are filled out and the group is assigned a regional director. The tricky part, Miami chapter president Karin Alfaro says, is finding the workforce necessary to help the chapter get going. “Look for people who are passionate about the idea and have the time to commit to the group,” she says. “It takes patience and dedication to build something that will last, and the out-of-pocket costs are your own sweat and effort.” Alfaro says the new Miami chapter will benefit the region’s business environment, a dual-focused culture of entrepreneurship and international trade involved with many foreign investors. “We want to bring together those in the international business community who value ethics and are interested in forming trusted connections worldwide, especially in Latin America,” she says. “We hope to rely on our association’s chapters for connections and partner with local business groups for growth. In doing so, we want to represent the good that comes from a great university such as BYU.”

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