My memories of Kenan-Flagler are filled with late night study groups, quick coffee breaks in Café McColl, early morning presentations with team members, fighting for parking during basketball games and regular attendance to the Dean’s Speaker Series. We worked with enthusiasm and shared a mutual respect for our fellow classmates.
Reflecting upon my first year in the “working world,” I could not be more thankful for Professor Lynn Setzer’s encouragement of my presentation skills or Professor Travis Day’s Excel instruction on pivot tables (which has proved to be surprisingly beneficial). The class that has had the most evident impact on my career and life story, however, is the Family Business mod with Steve Miller and Cooper Biersach. In half a semester, this dynamic duo led a blended room of BSBA and MBA students through a vigorous, balanced approach to family business structure and continuity. Our final project was a written Life Plan that approached each angle of our lives, including short- and long-term goals. The guidance provided by these two professors, inside and outside of the classroom, gave light and clarity as my life took a surprising turn post graduation.
My mother and father, Charles and Anne Winters, founded National League of Junior Cotillions in 1979 (www.nljc.com and www.facebook.com/thenljc). NLJC is the nation’s only organization to license and train directors to teach etiquette and ballroom dance in their communities. Boasting over 400 cotillion chapters throughout the country, the company mission statement is “to learn to treat others with honor, dignity and respect.” In the fall of October 2009, my mother lost a short battle with cancer. The Kenan-Flagler community quickly showed the commitment we have to each other. Miller and Biersach offered counsel as our family’s business continuity plan was quickly put in place. In November 2009, under the direction of James Holloway (BSBA 1994), I joined EMC Consulting in Charlotte.
After my mother’s death last year, I made a commitment to ensure the continuity of her company and allow her legacy of etiquette and grace to live. With the help of a well-known New York publishing company, I gave a fresh face to her Official Book of Electronic Etiquette and had it republished in the fall of this year. It is currently available for sale at all major bookstores nationwide including Borders, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com. Its success has opened doors for publicity in Forbes.com, ABC News and CNN.
I am continuing to serve as a consultant at EMC while working as the National Director of the NLJC. I’ve seen that what sets Kenan-Flagler alumni apart from any other community is our commitment to one another. I’m thankful for the time that I had as an undergraduate and for the opportunity to serve and work alongside UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School to make the world a better, more well-mannered place.
Elizabeth Anne Winters (BSBA ’09)