The Erdman Center 20th Anniversary Celebration

(Notes by second-year student Ridhima Choubey)

Erdman Anniversary Banner

The year 2015 was a very important year for the Erdman Center. It turned 20 this year, passing a huge milestone in its history. Marking the 20th anniversary, the center hosted a 3-day long celebration. The event was attended by Erdman Center Advisory board members, former board members, alumni, current students, faculty and staff of the School of Business, and esteemed members of the Erdman family.

This year marked a monumental achievement by Professor Wemmerlöv. He was the brainchild behind establishing Erdman Center, the MTM program, and the OTM program. For 20 years, Professor Wemmerlöv has shaped many students' lives by making them better professionals and more importantly, better individuals. He has decided to step down from the role of Executive Director of the center starting January 2016 and focus his energies and time on doing research.

The anniversary celebrations lasted over three days, from November 12 through November 14. The event was packed: A session on 3-D printing by Professor Enno Siemsen, Professor Wemmerlöv's successor, the advisory board meeting, a celebration luncheon, alumni and students meeting, a dinner, and social gatherings. It was a fun-filled anniversary celebration, enjoyed by all. At the same time, it was an emotional time for all of us to bid farewell to our beloved Executive Director, Professor Urban Wemmerlöv but, as he has always preached, "Change Happens, you better make the best out of it." We all at the Erdman Center embrace and salute our fearless leader and welcome Professor Siemsen to take this above average group forward, together!


  • Thursday: Talk on data security , by board member John Kreul, followed by a social at The Great Dane
  • Friday: Executive advisory board meeting, twentieth anniversary luncheon, talk on 3-D printing by professor Enno Siemsen and professor Rudolph, and a reception
  • Saturday: Student/alumni breakfast meeting, and anniversary dinner.

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

John Kreul Presentation

On November 12th, 2015, John Kreul shared his experiences on implementing Bemis’ Evolving Cyber Security approach with Erdman Center students, former students, current Board members and former Board members.

Erdman Social

On November 12th, 2015, during the Erdman Center Social at Great Dane, OTM’16 and OTM’17 students enjoyed networking with board members and former students. From Left: Sid Seshadri (OTM’16), Ridhima Choubey (OTM’16) and Professor Urban Wemmerlöv (Executive Director, Erdman Center).

Friday, November 13th, 2015

Executive Advisory Board

On November 13th, 2015, the Erdman Center Executive Advisory Board gathered to discuss students’ career updates, placement statistics and the Center’s future strategy. Professor Urban Wemmerlöv (Executive Director of the Erdman Center) presented to the board.

Leah Wetzel

On November 13th, 2015, Class of 2017 introduced themselves to the Erdman Center Board members. Leah Wetzel (OTM’17) sharing her On Wisconsin experience.

Erdman Anniversary Luncheon

On Nov 13th, 2015, during the Twentieth Anniversary luncheon Professor Urban Wemmerlöv (Executive Director of the Erdman Center) sharing Erdman Center’s history.

Erdman Anniversary Luncheon

On Nov 13th, 2015, Professor Urban Wemmerlöv reminisced over old alumni photos.

Luncheon Kathy McCord

On Nov 13th, 2015, during the Twentieth Anniversary luncheon, Professor Urban Wemmerlöv (Executive Director of the Erdman Center) thanked the Mother Supreme of the Erdman Center - Kathy McCord - for being such a great help over the last 20 years!

Patrick Koppa

On Nov 13th, 2015, during the Anniversary luncheon, Patrick Koppa (MTM '97) shared his experiences at and after the Erdman Center.

Michael Johnstone

On Nov 13th, 2015, during Anniversary luncheon, Michael Johnstone (MTM '99 and Board member) sharing his Erdman Center experiences.

Dean Ortalo-Magne

On November 13th, 2015, Dean François Ortalo-Magné bid farewell to Professor Urban Wemmerlöv as Executive Director of the Erdman Center and welcomed Professor Enno Siemsen as his successor.

Dan Erdman

On November 13th, 2015, members from the Erdman family attended the Anniversary luncheon. Here, Dan Erdman addresses the attendees and wishes good luck to the Erdman Center for the next 20 years.

Enno Siemsen

On November 13th, 2015, after the luncheon, Professor Enno Siemsen (and Professor Natalie Rudolph from Engineering) gave a talk on 3-D printing and its implications for business.

Erdman Center Reception

On November 13th, 2015, faculty, Erdman Center students, alumni, and current and emeritus board members enjoying a reception at Grainger Hall.

Saturday, November 14th, 2015

Students and Alumni Breakfast

On November 14th, 2015, students and alumni participating in the Erdman Center breakfast meeting.

Students and Alumni

On November 14th, 2015, a group photo outside the Erdman Center taken after the student-alumni breakfast meeting.

Erdman Anniversary

On November 14th, 2015, Erdman Center students, staff, faculty, alumni, current and emeritus board members enjoyed an Anniversary dinner. From left: Professor Urban Wemmerlöv, Kathy McCord, former dean Andy Policano, and Mary Beth Schmalz (Urban’s wife).

Steve Cretney

On November 14th, 2015, during the Anniversary dinner, Erdman Center board member Steve Cretney shared a few words of wisdom. (Board member Brian Grabowski also spoke.)

Vincent Vereen

On November 14th, 2015, during the Anniversary dinner, Vincent Vereen (MTM '04) shared his memories as a student at the Erdman Center. (Fellow alumnus Agustin Malet Raga (MTM ’06) also spoke.)

Erdman Anniversary Urban Presentation

On November 14th, 2015, at the Anniversary dinner, Professor Urban Wemmerlöv shared an abbreviated history of the Erdman Center, and recognized both Marshall and Joyce Erdman (next photo).

Erdman Anniversary Urban Presentation Erdman Anniversary

At the November 14th dinner, Professor Urban Wemmerlöv was awarded a diploma by Kathy McCord.

Erdman Anniversary

On November 14th, during the Anniversary dinner, Professor Urban Wemmerlöv shared memories with alumni Shyam Bhaskar (MTM '99 & Ph.D. Industrial Engineering '99) and Puneet Arora (OTM '08).

Erdman Center Executive Director’s Note

Marshall Erdman and Urban

Marshall Erdman and Urban Wemmerlöv in 1993

The Erdman Center and its OTM program ended the 2014-2015 academic year with a bang. Our program had the highest number of applications among all the school's MBA specializations and our graduates had the highest average starting salary! Also, 100% were placed in full-time positions within four months. The employers include some well-known companies: Intuit, Google, Nordic Consulting, Dish, Lands' End, Kurt Salmon Consulting, and ServiceSource. Furthermore, we placed all first-year students in summer internships, also with brand-name organizations: Amazon, Hewlett-Packard, Intuit, Bemis, Lands' End, One Consulting, NorthAmerican Bancard, and UW Health.
The popularity of the OTM degree, I believe, can be traced not just to our placement record, but also to the fact that our four tracks inside the degree - especially the Technology Program Management and the Healthcare Management tracks - are very popular right now. All in all, the future looks good!

As you may know by now, I will step down as leader of the Erdman Center at the end of 2015, and my hand-picked successor - Professor Enno Siemsen (recruited from the University of Minnesota) - will assume that role on January 1, 2016. After two decades of developing and operating the Center, I will return to research and teaching full-time. I am honored to have been given the privilege to start the Erdman Center, and there are many, many people to thank for helping me making this endeavor successful. Most importantly, I want to express my gratitude to the Erdman Family (Marshall, Deborah, Tim, Rusty, and Dan), former Dean Andy Policano, and our Administrative Assistant Kathy McCord who has tirelessly worked with me for the last two decades. To you, and to numerous others - board members, alumni, faculty, and staff - many, many thanks!

Stay in touch! And Go OTM!
Urban Wemmerlöv
Kress Family Professor of Productivity and Quality
Founder and Emeritus Executive Director, Erdman Center

Erdman Center Advisory Board

Welcome to a new member of the Industry Advisory Board!

John Kreul

John Kreul joined Bemis Company in August 2011 as Vice President and Chief Information Officer. Bemis Company, Inc. is a multinational company and a major supplier of flexible packaging used by leading food, consumer products, medical and pharmaceutical companies worldwide.

Prior to joining Bemis Company, John held a number of senior level information technology positions in PepsiCo, including CIO of Quaker Foods and Snacks (PepsiCo), VP of Global Business Applications (Pepsi Beverages Company), and Director and Manager of Business Applications (PepsiAmericas). John’s specialties are in the areas of team leadership and development, strategic planning, merger and acquisitions, change management, enterprise system design and implementation, vendor management and procurement, project and program management, and business process transformations.

John lives in Appleton, WI with his wife, Kerri and their 4 teenage boys.