DIVA Dinner

Distinguished International Visiting Academic (DIVA) Dinner

The Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Newcastle recently hosted its first Distinguished International Visiting Academic (DIVA) Dinner at Longworth House in Newcastle.

Fifty guests including the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Andrew Parfitt, and newly arrived Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Advancement), Ms Winnie Eley, joined Professor Dunford, Professor Dean, Professor Gopalan, Professor Bray, other members of Faculty staff, and representatives from the region’s leading businesses and industries at this inaugural event.

The focus area for the 2013 Business Engagement Dinner was marketing, and the faculty welcomed internationally renowned Professor Christian Gronroos from Hanken University, Finland as the keynote speaker. Professor Gronroos delivered a presentation titled In the marketplace there is only service! – How should we react?

“One of the central themes of Professor Gronroos’ address was about the importance of all businesses building relationships with their customers,” said Assistant Dean (External Engagement), Professor Mark Bray. “This brilliantly describes one of the purposes of the dinner – to bring the Faculty’s scholars together with local business leaders in order to better understand each other’s interests.”

Professor Gronroos has been a pioneer in the field of service management and marketing. Recently he was commended as a ‘Legend in Marketing’ – the first outside North America, and his research will be compiled and featured in the forthcoming Legends in Marketing series published by Sage Publications.

In addition to his presentation at the DIVA Dinner, Professor Gronroos is facilitating at the Faculty’s Co-Creation in Service Symposium held this week in the Hunter Valley. This invitation only Symposium initiated by the Newcastle Business School aims to initiate dialogue and share experience in areas related to co-creation.

DIVA will become an annual event on the Faculty’s external engagement calendar as a forum for Faculty staff to gather, connect, and share their expertise with the region’s business and wider communities. Lecturer in Marketing, Dr Tom Chen, was instrumental in developing the DIVA concept. Whilst the focus for the launch was the Newcastle Business School’s marketing discipline, future DIVA dinners will highlight other areas of expertise in the Faculty.

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