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The Executive Team

The Executive Team

Admin Office

Dr. Vas Taras
Project Coordinator

Dr. Vas Taras is an Associate Professor of International Business at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is the founder and coordinator of the X-Culture Project which he launched in 2010. He received his PhD in Human Resource Management and Organizational Dynamics from the University of Calgary, Canada and his Master’s in Political Economy from the University of Texas at Dallas. He teaches International Business at the Bryan School of Business and Economics at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His research revolves around cross-cultural and global virtual teams and experiential approaches to international business education. His research team is particularly interested in the potential of large and diverse crowds of amateurs in solving complex business problems. He is an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management, and the Editorial Board member of Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business, Journal of International Management, and Management Research Review. He is a recipient of numerous research and teaching awards for his work in International Business. He has lived, worked and studied in half a dozen countries and has experience as a manager, businessman, and business consultant.

Karen Lynden
XCAB Coordinator

Karen Lynden serves as Lecturer within the Department of Management at the Bryan School of Business and Economics, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. With 15 years of undergraduate teaching experience and over 10 years of professional work experience, Karen’s teaching philosophy is centered on experiential and project-based learning. She is an active X-Culture faculty participant (2014-ongoing). Karen began her role as X-Culture Coaching Program Director in 2019. She serves on the leadership team for X-Culture Global Business Week, with a role in faculty professional development programming for the annual symposium. She also serves as XCAB as Coordinator. Karen is a member of the Academy of International Business (AIB), member of the Editorial Review Board for the Cross Cultural & Strategic Management Journal, and an executive committee member of the Academy of International Business Teaching and Education Shared Interest Group (T&ESIG).

Volodymyr Onofriichuk

Special Projects

Yevheniy Frankiv

Active member and participant of state-based and international NGO’s, programmes and projects for civic engagement, urbanism, education and so on, leads few of them. Have experience in mentoring and consulting businesses, NGO’s, worked in the areas of franchising, project management, video-audio production, design, marketing.

XCAB: X-Culture Advisory Board 2019-2020

XCAB is comprised of academics and business leaders who have the experience and wisdom to help us become more effective at accomplishing our mission of preparing the new generation of tomorrow’s global leaders by providing today’s students with opportunities to learn through cross-cultural collaboration and business consulting experience.

The XCAB members receive regular updates on X-Culture’s progress, accomplishments, new initiatives and plans, as well as on the challenges and difficulties we may be experiencing. They are asked to provide their comments, insights and recommendations for how we can accomplish our mission more effectively.

Alejtin Berisha
Universum U College

Alejtin Berisha Universum U College Alejtin Berisha
Chairman at Finnish Schools International, CEO at Universum College
Alejtin Berisha Is a serial entrepreneur, educator and investor; the Founder of Finnish Schools International, an innovative and disruptive K-12 school network and concept and Co-Founder and CEO of Universum College, Kosovo’s most entrepreneurial and innovative College. He also co-founded iziSurvey, an offline and online surveying platform mainly catering to Academia and Kosovo Business Angels Network (KOSBAN), the winner of the most promising Business Angel Network in SEE (WBAF 2014). Berisha taught entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation in several universities around the world and is the former National Team Leader for Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). He produced ‘The Young Manager’ and “Startups Battle” TV Shows, aired prime-time at National TV. Berisha is a community activist and the Co-Chair of KOSICT Conference (2016, 2017, 2018) the biggest tech festival in the Balkans with 2,000 participants and the Founding Curator of Prishtina Hub at World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community. He is a fellow at New York University and a former Executive Board Member at EAIR – the European Higher Education Society. He has studied at Universities of Bath and Sussex (UK) and South East European University in Macedonia.

Alexander Assouad
Public Relations and Funding Officers

Dr. Assouad has over 20 years of business and academic experience in the international environment. Having lived and worked in three continents and in particular emerging markets, Dr. Assouad deeply understand the need to facilitate cross-cultural understanding for our new generations. Dr. Assouad’s academic expertise draw on the role of institutions in understanding the wide and varied similarities and differences between countries. An avid follower of all things technology, Dr. Assouad also sees the significance and importance of harnessing emergent technologies to improve and facilitate new ways of doing business. In particular Dr. Assouad sees that Global Virtual Teams are of particular importance, consequently Dr. Assouad has supported and enjoyed a pivotal role in the development of the X-Culture project. Dr. Assouad is also an active researcher in the International business and strategies fields, a professor at Belmont University in Nashville, and himself a collaborator on a number of global virtual research teams.

Alfredo Jimenez

Dr. Jiménez holds a Master degree in Business Economy Research and a PhD in Business Economy. He is currently an Associate Professor at Kedge Business School in Bordeaux. Previously he was Associate Professor at the University of Burgos in Spain. His research interests are focused on the process and the determinants of success in the internationalization strategy of firms. His current lines of research include the impact of institutional variables, political risk, cultural and psychic distance and corruption on foreign direct investment and entrepreneurship. In addition, he is also working on a research line devoted to virtual team and multi-cultural team management and dynamics. He has previously published several papers in international relevant journals, including Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business, Management International Review, International Business Review and European Journal of International Management. He has also been a visiting scholar in different institutions in Norway, Germany, Australia, Italy, Ecuador and Mexico. He also participates in the X-Culture Project as an instructor.

Amit Arora
Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management, University of the District of Columbia Washington, D.C

Amit Arora, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management (SCM) in the School of Business and Public Administration at University of the District of Columbia (UDC). Prior to joining UDC, he was an Associate Professor and Co-Director of Nicholas Giuffre Center for SCM at Bloomsburg University. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor and Director of Global Logistics & International Business Center at Savannah State University. Amit earned his Ph.D. from Georgia Southern University in 2014. He earned his SCOR (Supply Chain Operations Reference) certification by Supply Chain Council in 2013. He is the special issue editor for International Journal of Emerging Markets for “Value Chain Innovations in Digital, Social Media, and Mobile Commerce”. He has 10 years of experience in the auto industry in India with Hyundai and Honda. Dr. Amit Arora has published more than 25 research papers in national and international journals of repute, and has presented about 20 papers in national and international conferences. His research interests and expertise include logistics and supply chain management, global value chains, international business strategies, social media strategy mix and social media measurement, innovative experiential learning models in logistics / supply chain management, relational supply chain strategy relationships, and relational SCM

Anne Marie Zwerg

Anne Marie Zwerg is the Director of the Master in International Management at Universidad de La Sabana. She previously directed the undergraduate program in Business Administration at La Sabana and the Master of International Business at Universidad EAFIT in Medellín. She is a Ph.D candidate in Administration with emphasis in Organization Studies at EAFIT and has completed a doctoral diploma in International Business at Uppsala. She holds a Master in International Management from Baylor University and a degree in Economics from Virginia Tech. Her research interests include intercultural and international teams, diversity and inclusion, and team satisfaction. She has published in Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS) and the Journal of Business Research (JBR) amongst others. Prior to academia, she worked in Citibank in Manhattan, New York and Wyndham Hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Anshu Arora
Wilkes University

Anshu Saxena Arora, Ph.D., PMP is Associate Professor of Marketing in the School of Business and Public Administration at the University of the District of Columbia. Previously, she worked as the Associate Professor of Marketing at the Jay S. Sidhu School of Business and Leadership, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA. Before joining Wilkes University, Dr. Arora was Associate Professor of Marketing and Chairperson of Department of Business (Management, Marketing and Supporting Areas) in the College of Business Administration, Savannah State University, Savannah, Georgia, USA. She is a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) from Project Management Institute (PMI), USA and holds a Foundation Certificate in IT Service Management from Information Systems Examination Board (ISEB), UK. Dr. Arora has been a Visiting Professor at ISC Paris Business School in France, University of California, Davis, and Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. She has more than a decade of industrial and academic experience. She has worked in companies like Hyundai Motors India Limited, Lufthansa German Airlines, and Siemens India.
In July 2019, Dr. Arora received the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for establishing the Logistics & International Trade (LIT) Analytics Center of Excellence and developing STEM-Business focused LIT concentration program at the University of the District of Columbia. She is the Senior Editor of Marketing for the International Journal of Emerging Markets (IJoEM) published by Emerald Publications. She is the Special Issue Editor for two 2020 IJoEM special issues on: Global Value Chains, International Trade, and Markets: The Role of Emerging Economies, and Value Chain Innovations in Digital, Social Media, and Mobile (DSMM) Commerce. Dr. Arora is the Series Editor for International Marketing and Management Research published by Palgrave Macmillan Publications, UK, and she has published six volumes with the recent book titled Sustainable Innovation: Trends in Marketing and Management to be published in November 2019 . She has published more than 40 research papers in national and international journals of repute, and has presented about 50 papers in national and international conferences. Her research interests and expertise include digital / DSMM marketing, marketing analytics, social media strategy mix and social media measurement, stereotypical advertising polysemy, consumer behavior, ambient advertising, innovative experiential learning models in marketing and logistics / supply chain management, relational supply chain strategy relationships, and project management.

Daniel Rottig

Dr. Daniel Rottig is an Associate Professor of International Business and Strategic Management in the Management Department of the Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University, USA. He has published in such journals as Thunderbird International Business Review, Management International Review, Decision Sciences Journal, the Academy of Management Learning and Education and other respected outlets and has received several awards and award-nominations for his scholarly work from leading academic institutions, including the Academy of International Business and the Academy of Management. Daniel is a passionate educator whose goal is to help students understand the global business environment and how to strategically manage firms in international markets. He teaches in the undergraduate, graduate and Executive MBA programs of the Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University, in the Executive MBA program at Florida Atlantic University and he has taught in the graduate and executive programs at California State University, Long Beach, in the post-graduate program at the at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) as a visiting faculty, and in the doctoral program at Abu Dhabi University in the UAE as an external reviewer and dissertation advisor.

He is an early adopter and long-time contributor to the X-Culture project and his students consistently rank among the top performers in the world. He had a student each on the winning team of the 2013 X-Culture Home Deport Challenge at Georgia Tech in Atlanta and the 2014 X-Culture Louis Vuitton Challenge at FIU in Miami, a student on the top 10 teams in the 2015 X-Culture JCB Challenge at Savannah State in Georgia as well as a student on the #1 ranked team out of more than 4,000 students from around the world in the most recent, 2015 X-Culture season. As conference and chapter chair of the Academy of International Business Southeast USA (AIB-SE), Daniel has started the X-Culture involvement in the annual AIB-SE conferences in 2012, which have since become a key annual event for X-Culture activities and the annual X-Culture competition of the best students from around the globe. Daniel has further worked with corporate partners to get them involved in the X-Culture project, such as Forcier Consulting from Africa.

David S. Baker
Hesse/Borsf Endowed Associate Professor of International Business, Acadiana Bottling/Borsf Endowed Associate Professor of Marketing Moody College of Business, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

David Baker, DBA is an Associate Professor of International Business and Marketing at The University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He received his Doctorate in Business Administration from Grenoble Ecole De Management in Grenoble, France and his Master’s degree in International Business from The Thunderbird School of Global Management. Prior to academia, he worked for 17 years in international corporate marketing and sales management living in the United States, Germany, Poland, and The United Kingdom. His research and publication interests include strategic international sales management in cross-cultural environments, cultural values and cognition related to technology utilization, and adaptive learning behavior in business management experiential pedagogy such as X-Culture.

Ernesto Tavoletti

Ernesto Tavoletti is Associate Professor of Economics and Management of Enterprises, International Marketing and Public Management at the University of Macerata. He received a degree in Economics and Commerce cum laude at the University of Bologna in 1997 and PhD in Economics and Management of Enterprises and Local Systems at the University of Firenze in 2004. He has been a board member of the PhD in Management at the University of Rome Tor Vergata from 2011 to 2013. He is a member of the European Academy of Management and the Academy of International Business. He has served in the Council of Directors of the Master in Relations with Eastern Countries from 2004 to 2011, as Co-director from 2009 and as Director in 2011. From 2011 he has been coordinating the Master’s Degree in International Economic and Trade Relations. From 2014 he serves in the Council of Directors of the Master in Innovation in Public Management. His research interests focus on international business, innovation management and higher education management.

Gordon Perchthold
Singapore Management University

Gordon Perchthold has been an Associate Professor of Strategic Management (Practice) at Singapore Management University since June 2017. Gordon teaches and is the Course Co-ordinator of the Business School’s two SMU-X Business Capstone courses, Management of Multinationals Across Asia, and The Design of Business. Both courses entail student experiential learning by applying knowledge taught in class with the initiatives of real companies, who are pursuing either internationalization (integrating X-Culture in the case of Management of Multinationals); or transformation of their product-service offerings/business operations (applying Design Thinking approaches). These courses leverage Gordon’s research (and continuing interests) on Western internationalisation towards Asia conducted for his PhD conferred by the University of Sydney in May 2017; together with his prior 25 years of industry experience, primarily, as a Global Partner of Deloitte Consulting, followed by his own Hong Kong-based entrepreneurial practice, Managing Across Asia. Although a Canadian-Australian with management consulting assignments throughout North America, Europe, and Africa; since 1998, Gordon has worked and resided throughout Asia supporting over 40 Western multinationals with their global/regional/subsidiary business strategies, or the configuration/performance of their multi-country operations across the region. His passion in pursuing this ‘second act’ of his career in academia is to ‘give back’, and contribute through research and teaching, to the development of the next generation of international business managers. X-Culture is a program whose outcomes for students are consistent with that passion.

Leighton Wilks
University of Calgary

Leighton Wilks is a Senior Instructor in Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary. He teaches courses on negotiation, cross-cultural management, organizational behaviour, and runs a yearly short-term study abroad program to Japan. Leighton has a significant consulting background in diverse areas including real estate development, strategic planning, and cross-cultural training, while his research interests include corporate social responsibility, ethics, and the study of teaching and learning (SoTL). Leighton has received several awards for his contributions to education, and is a member of the Teaching Hall of Fame at the University of Calgary.

Leilani Baumanis
Executive Director of Global Symposium

Professor at Johnson and Wales University, Miami, FL. A member of the X-Culture Executive team since 2016. Professor Baumanis has taught courses in Principles of Management, Foundations of Business, International Business, International Culture and Protocol, Foreign Country Studies (India & China); Export Practices and Procedures; Human Resource Management, Human Resource Training and Development, Human Resource Strategy and Organizational Behavior.

Longzhu Dong
Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin in Eau Claire. Longzhu Dong started participating in the project in 2013 and has been involved in several research papers based on the X-Culture dataset.

Mahesh (Michael) S. Raisinghani
Texas Woman's U, School of Management, Executive MBA Program

Dr. Mahesh S. Raisinghani, Ph.D, MBA, MSc is the President and CEO of RGI, Inc. and a tenured management professor in the Executive MBA program at the TWU School of Management. He has earned his leadership certificate from the Center for Creative Leadership and is a Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified E-Commerce Consultant (CEC), and a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM). He recently completed a digital innovation project in Asia in January 2017 as a Fulbright scholar; and was the invited speaker on Innovation at the EU-Russia Summit held in Finland in May 2011, and the Project Management Institute’s annual conference in Mexico in June 2011.

Dr. Raisinghani was awarded the 2017 Innovation in Academia award, the 2017 National Engaged Leader award, the 2015 Distinction in Distance Education award, the 2008 Excellence in Research & Scholarship award and the 2007 G. Ann Uhlir Endowed Fellowship in Higher Education Administration. He was also the recipient of TWU School of Management’s 2005 Best Professor Award for the Most Innovative Teaching Methods; 2002 research award; 2001 King/Haggar Award for excellence in teaching, research and service; and a 1999 UD-GSM Presidential Award.

He has taught graduate courses at the European University in Switzerland, Turku School of Economics in Finland and Purdue University’s German International School of Management and Administration in Germany. Dr. Raisinghani is an enthusiastic and high energy presenter using active learning techniques. His research has been published in several peer-reviewed academic journals, including IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, International Journal of Innovation and Learning, and Journal of Global IT Management, to name a few. He has edited/co-edited seven books and is the editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Web-based Learning and Teaching Technologies. He has over 20 years of consulting experience and provides management and technical consulting and training. He serves on the board of Global IT Management Association and on the education task force of the World Affairs Council. He also serves as a Member of the Board of Advisors of Ability Connection, Coscend Communications Solutions and CRMG, Inc.

Peter Magnusson

Peter Magnusson is an associate professor of international marketing at the Culverhouse College of Commerce at the University of Alabama. Dr. Magnusson grew up in Sweden, earned his Ph.D. in Marketing and International Business from Saint Louis University. Prior to Alabama, he was a professor at Florida International University and Northern Illinois University.
His research specializes in the areas of international marketing strategy and international consumer behavior, with a particular interest in the influence of culture and institutional factors on cross-cultural differences in consumer behavior and international marketing strategy. His research has been published in, among others, the Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of International Marketing, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, International Business Review, and International Marketing Review. He also serves as an editorial board member of Journal of International Marketing and on the editorial board and as special issue editor of International Marketing Review.
Dr. Magnusson has served on the leadership team of the southeast USA chapter of the Academy of International Business since 2013. This includes coordinating the x-culture meetings at AIB-SE in Atlanta (2013), Miami (2014), and Savannah, GA (2015).

Reccia Charles
Professor, St. George’s University, Grenada

Rob Warmenhoven

Robert W. Warmenhoven is a senior lecturer International business at the Arnhem Business School in the Netherlands and a visiting lecturer at Plekhanov University, Russia. He obtained his master in Business Administration at the Radboud University, the Netherlands. In his school years, he was an exchange student at the Copenhagen Business School. Currently, he is doing a DBA at the Glasgow Caledonian University His primary teaching interests include International Business, Marketing, Consumer Behaviour and Intercultural Management. His major research interests are Cross-cultural Management, International Business, Global Virtual Teams and Export Management. He also participates in X-culture for the last couple of years with great enthusiasm.

Srdan Zdravkovic
Professor of Marketing at Bryant University Smithfield, Rhode Island

Stephan Gerschewski

Stephan Gerschewski is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in International Marketing at Kent Business School, University of Kent, UK. After completing his PhD in International Business at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, Dr. Gerschewski worked as an Assistant Professor of International Business at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and Hannam University in South Korea. Prior to moving to the University of Kent, Dr. Gerschewski worked as a Lecturer in International Business & Strategy at Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK.

Dr. Gerschewski has published numerous articles in leading international business journals, including the Journal of World Business, International Business Review, International Small Business Journal, Multinational Business Review, and Thunderbird International Business Review. Dr. Gerschewski’s publications have received various reputable accolades and awards, including the ‘Best Track Paper Award’ at the 2012 Academy of International Business (AIB) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, USA, and the ‘2016 Most Outstanding Paper Award (Emerald Literati Award)’ for the paper entitled ‘Advancing the entrepreneurial orientation construct: The role of passion and perseverance’, which was published in the academic journal Review of International Business and Strategy.

Timothy Muth
Conflict and Tricky Situation Resolution Officer

Timothy Muth teaches International Business and is the Director of Student & Program at the Florida Institute of Technology. He has over 25 years senior management experience in the semiconductor industry with Intersil Corporation, Harris Corporation, and Conexant Systems Inc. He has extensive international experience and a broad business background managing marketing, business development, and supply management organizations. At the beginning of his professional career, Tim was a Certified Public Accountant with a large multinational accounting firm. He is active in numerous non-profit organizations and is currently, on the board of directors of the Women’s Business Center at Florida Tech and several other organizations. Tim has been teaching Junior Achievement courses in local elementary, middle, and high schools for over 20 years. For the past several years, he has served as a judge for the high school Ethics and Business Plan competitions held at Florida Tech. He travels to Haiti frequently to perform educational related volunteer work in several remote Haitian villages.

Tom Robinson

Tom is Executive Vice President of ERD Ltd., Inc. ERD is an engineer owned and operated industrial electronics repair “think tank” with a customer base nearing 6,000 and growing with over 1,000 international customers in 80 countries. Bringing innovative thinking and marketing to a new level is why Tom is the recipient of the prestigious U.S. Presidential “E” Award. The “E” Award is the highest honor given to government and industry individuals for outstanding contributions to U.S. exporting.
Tom is a guest speaker for the University of North Carolina Greensboro Bryan School of Business, District Export Council (DEC) Export University, U.S. Commercial Service Discover Global Markets, the Certified Global Business Professional training program and Forsyth Tech Community College. He is also featured in articles by Global Trade Magazine, National Public Radio, and Tradeology, the official blog of U.S. Trade Administration.
Tom is chair of the Global Opportunities Center (GO-Center) and Triad Regional Export Initiative (TREI), a combined nonprofit driven by a Brookings Institution model to strengthen communities on several levels. He is a board member of the state’s Small Business Technology Development Center (SBTDC), and School of Education at the University of North Carolina Greensboro (2014-2017). Tom is a member of the North Carolina District Export Council, Advisory Board. He has been active for several years with the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).
His global travels include an invitation by the Chinese Government to attend the first ever 2016 International Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Kunshan, China.