Executive MBA

Distinguished Speaker Series - October 17, 2020

EMBA Distinguished Speaker Series - October 17 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​

Date: Saturday, October 17, 2020
Time: 12:00 noon to 1:00 PM

In this virtual, lunch and learn style event entitled "Lemons to Lemonade: How to Move from Stress to Opportunity" hear from Dr. Rachel Talton (MBA alumna) and Megan Bush (Executive MBA alumna) on how you can harness these stressful times and create positive change. Executive MBA alumnus Fred Hawk (Executive MBA alumnus) will moderate the discussion and take questions.

In addition to our current Executive MBA cohort, members of the Executive MBA Alumni Association, faculty and staff will be in attendance. Alumni, prospective students and community members are welcome to attend!

Registration is required here.

Dr. Rachel Talton

About Dr. Rachel Talton:

Dr. Rachel-Yvonne Talton is CEO of the award-winning firm Synergy International Limited, Inc.  Synergy’s purpose is to help organizations inspire, connect, and engage with employees and customers to flourish and grow. Synergy uses a unique combination of expertise in research, leadership and diversity, equity and inclusion to better understand consumer, employee and community behaviors and leverage opportunities for growth. In addition to Dr. Rachel’s success as an entrepreneur, she is an award-winning published scholar and keynote speaker in the areas of leadership, diversity, employee and consumer engagement and trust.  

“Dr. Rachel,” as she is affectionately called, is also CTO (Chief Transformation Officer) of Flourish Leadership, LLC and the Flourish Conference for Women in Leadership, which provides high-achieving female executives and entrepreneurs with executive coaching, masterminding cohorts, and the company’s signature offering: Transformation Immersion™.  Transformation Immersion Retreats are scalable strategic leadership and diversity events. These sessions provide in-depth analysis and mentoring to help executives flourish in their professional careers, and personal lives. Flourish is also engaged in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion workshops where we help create business strategies to help companies create inclusive leaders, an inclusive culture and execute inclusive policies.

Dr. Rachel serves on the Board of Directors of the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation, the Akron Community Foundation, as well as JumpStart Inc.  She also served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Destination Cleveland, where she chaired the Marketing Committee for six years.

Dr. Rachel is a member of the Cleveland Bridge Builders Class of 2002, as well as the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2005.  Recognized by several organizations, Dr. Rachel was recognized as a 2016 Cascade Capital Business Growth Awardee, a  2015 Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of America, a 2015 Women Who Excels by Smart Business Magazine; a 2014 Young Professional of the Year (STAR Award) by the Women of Color Foundation. Her firm, Synergy, was also selected as winner of the prestigious 2014 Medical Mutual Pillar Awardee for Community Service.

Dr. Rachel was selected as the 2020 Woman of Vision by the National Coalition of 100 Black Woman and as a finalist for the 2010 Northeast Ohio ATHENA® International Award, a global award recognizing exceptional leaders who seek to inspire others to pursue excellence in their professional and personal lives. She has also received the NAWBO “Top 10 Women Business Owners” Award, Crain’s Cleveland Business “Top Forty Under 40” Award, Kaleidoscope Magazine’s “Top 40-Under-Forty Leaders in Northeastern Ohio” Award, a Who’s Who in Black Cleveland commendation. In addition to her awards in economic and social development, Dr. Rachel is also a proud member of the Links, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc and the Ph.D. Project. 

Dr. Rachel also belongs to several professional organizations including the Market Research Association, the American Marketing Association, and the Academy of Management.  She has been featured as an expert in brand strategy and market research on ABC News, Fox News, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Crain’s and MBA Magazine, amongst many others. She has authored several practitioner and academic articles, including “Dare to Build Trust in Times of Distrust” and “Trust Payoffs in Distrust Dominated Environments.” Her #1 Amazon bestseller in Leadership, Flourish: Have it All Without Losing Your Self  was published in January 2016.

Dr. Rachel earned her Doctorate in Management from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, where she has served as Adjunct Professor of Marketing. She also holds a Diversity & Inclusion Training Certificate from Cornell University.  Her research is focused on the impact of perceptions of trust, satisfaction, and value on consumer loyalty in dynamic-industry environments. She holds an MBA with a concentration in Finance from Cleveland State University, as well as a BA in Psychology. She is a lifetime member of the Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society.

Rachel-Yvonne’s personal passions include international travel, community service, public speaking, writing, art, and music.


Megan BushAbout Megan Bush:

Megan Bush is currently the Director of Behavioral Health at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center and a 2016 alumna of Cleveland State University's Executive MBA program. Drawing on expertise in both Psychology and Business to function as a highly effective health care administrator, Megan is capable of integrating clinical and operational acumen in settings associated with a rapidly evolving field.

Prior to her work at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, Megan was the Chief Officer at Coleman Professional Services and Solutions Behavioral Healthcare. She has also taught as an adjunct professor at Lorain Community College. In addition to her Executive MBA from CSU, Megan holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Neuroscience from Miami University and a Master of Social Science Administration with a concentration in Mental Health from Case Western Reserve University.


Fred Hawk​​​​​​​About Fred Hawk:

Fred Hawk is currently the Director of Design and Construction for Huntington Bank. In his current role, he manages the Design and Implementation of corporate and retail capital projects within the 8.5 million SF real estate portfolio of this financial services company, setting the Design and Construction Management vision and realizing Workplace Strategy.

An architect, problem solver and lifelong learner, Fred has a special appreciation for the creative potential that exists when architecture, corporate real estate and business come together to create great spaces for people and organizations to thrive.

Prior to his role at Huntington, Fred worked for First Merit Bank, Jones Lang La Salle, KeyBank and for other architecture firms. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree from Kent State. In 2004, he went on to earn a graduate certificate in Real Estate Development and Finance from the Levin College of Urban Affairs and in 2016 completed his Executive MBA at Cleveland State University.