Associate Professor of Business
Having done business with corporations all over the world, Associate Professor of Business Dr. Gregory Kivenzor knows firsthand about the international business climate. With more than three decades in the fields of marketing and business development, he has seen how business has changed in recent years, especially in the high tech industries. For the last seven years as a business administration professor, he has brought the realities of the modern business world to the classroom so that his students can become promising business leaders of tomorrow. “My business experience helps me to share with my students an understanding of contemporary business issues,” he says. “I do my best to have my students prepared for successful careers in the competitive environment.”
Dr. Kivenzor worked in the field of high-tech product development, specifically with nanotechnology, “long before it became a household word,” he says. He worked in the semiconductor industry, serving clients such as Intel, IBM, Samsung, Hyundai, and Texas Instruments. During his career in the industry, he earned 15 patents for innovations such as precise measurements of the positions of objects in a nanoscale, and applications of semiconductor lasers in preprint processes for color printing. In addition to being a full-time professor, he is also an active player in the international business community, running his own consulting company. Bi-Focal Strategies, LLC helps clients achieve business growth and development. Specifically, the company, which serves clients as far away as Austria, Russia, and China, focuses on environmentally-friendly products and alternative energy industries.
Dr. Kivenzor has lived, worked in and traveled to more than 30 countries around the world. While working for multinational corporations, he began teaching at the college level, first as an adjunct and eventually as a full-time professor. “At a certain point, I decided it would be interesting to go back to school and teach full time,” Dr. Kivenzor says. “My personal philosophy is that we are meant to teach, to pass on our knowledge and expertise to future generations,” he says. “If we did not share our knowledge with those around us, we would still live in caves.”
Prior to joining the Rivier faculty, Dr. Kivenzor held a position of Associate Professor at Oregon State University. He had what he says (laughing) was “a very long commute,” flying from his home in New Hampshire to Portland, Ore. and then driving nearly 90 miles to the Corvallis - a university town. Teaching business courses in a hybrid format, he made such a trip a few times per semester to teach graduate students in person.
Since joining the Division of Business Administration at Rivier, he teaches both graduate and undergraduate students, engaging them in hands-on projects so his students get exposed the realities of the business world. Among the many job-related skills he teaches in his Senior Business Seminar (BUS449) is dining etiquette by hosting a business luncheon for his students. “Nowadays, job candidates are taken to breakfast or lunch as part of the vetting process,” he notes. “Many times, they don’t realize this is an interview. But their behavior is noticed by the people interviewing them.” Students taking his International Business (BUS315) and International Entrepreneurship (BUS324) course conduct research of emerging markets to better understand different cultures, economic and political systems, and get prepared engage in business in a diverse global environment. All those skills are then further refined in the capstone undergraduate course Strategic Management (BUS479) – a quintessence of the business education – the most advanced and challenging course for undergrads.
In his Marketing and New Product Development (BUS523) graduate level course, students develop and defend marketing plans for new products targeting different audiences and applications.He composed and edited a textbook, Marketing and New Product Development, for this course. The book contains relevant chapters from two existing advanced textbooks, in addition to a chapter titled “New Ideas, New Products, and New Ways to Market Them,” which Dr. Kivenzor wrote specifically for this book. The course attracted international attention, and, upon a personal invitation, he traveled to Plekhanov Russian University of Economics - the oldest business school in Russia. There he taught this course to the second-year master’s business students from Russia, Germany, and France.
Students in his capstone Strategic Management of Innovations (BUS779) class are exposed to the realities of conducting business overseas by working in teams and "making their hands dirty"- managing competing enterprises in the LINKS business simulation. Students run fictitious companies managing realistic budgets, product development, manufacturing, and sales in the United States, Europe, and Asia. In addition, they provide customer service, and hire and fire employees. “Teams compete in the same marketplace,” he says. “Whether they win or not, they still succeed. They learn from overcoming hurdles, which is quite a learning experience."
Dr. Kivenzor wants his students to enjoy his classes, saying they learn more when they are involved in the material. “In my classes, I try to make sure that learning and fun go hand in hand. If they find the class dry and dull, there is very little learning,” he says. In addition to being market savvy, Dr. Kivenzor also makes sure his students are aware of the business ethics that should guide their decisions. He notes the fact that, as a Catholic school, Rivier has an opportunity to emphasize ethical behavior in the professional arena. “It is in line with our mission and vision, and the Catholic intellectual tradition,” he says.
Dr. Kivenzor’s scholarly interests lie in international business, notably marketing and cross-cultural research of the BRICS markets—Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa—the largest growing economies in the world. He chaired tracks and special sessions at the World Marketing Congresses held in 2010, 2012 and 2014, which attracted scholars from 14 countries and five continents. As an active member of the Academy of Marketing Science, Academy of International Business and Association for Consumer Research, Kivenzor developed and presented research papers at various international conferences and symposia. Kivenzor won multiple speaking contests at Toastmasters International where he holds qualifications of Advanced Communicator and Competent Leader (ACS/CL).