Reaching Out

 

Cumberland University is reaching out. Educating students with a cutting-edge liberal arts curriculum, the institution is molding leaders that set the standard in their chosen professions. The winners of Cumberland’s 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards are a testament to that mission. Leading and achieving in the local community, in national business, and in universal innovation, those alumni and others are transforming the Cumberland spirit into success in a multitude of fields.

Mitchel Bone

For Mitchel Bone, the winner of Cumberland’s 2012 Service to Community/Cumberland Award, that success has come through local business and community involvement. A leading figure in Wilson County’s automotive community, Bone is the general manager and a partner at Wilson County Chevrolet Buick GMC and a partner at Wilson County Hyundai, two family-owned car dealerships in Lebanon, Tennessee. On a daily basis, Bone oversees all of his dealership’s operations, from long-term forecasting to day-to-day operations.

But before he became a leader in Wilson County, Bone was a student at Cumberland. Bone came to the University in the late 1990s to resume his education after a tour with the U.S. Navy, eventually earning a Bachelor of Arts in History and a Master of Business Administration from Cumberland. Bone also honed his skills as a young professional at Cumberland, serving the University for nine years as webmaster and chief information officer. Even today, Bone draws on the lessons he learned at the University.

“Almost everything that I learned in the MBA program at Cumberland is something that I still use daily,” Bone said.

After leaving Cumberland, Bone put that knowledge to use when he joined his family’s car dealerships. Today, Bone is not only a successful businessman but a well-known community philanthropist. A member of the Boy Scouts of America’s Middle Tennessee Council Board, Bone is a former graduate and board member of Leadership Wilson and a member of the Wilson County Chapter of the Nashville Symphony Council, amongst other organizations. Bone is also a board member and former president of the Wilson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), an organization dedicated to providing a voice for children in the court system.

To Bone, whose parents instilled in him a strong sense of community involvement, giving back to the local community is a duty.

“I’ve been blessed in many ways,” Bone said. “I feel that it’s my obligation and my honor to give back to the community in any way I can.”

Bone has also come full circle to his alma mater in his role as a member of the Labry School of Business and Technology Advisory Board. Through his business activities and support for local organizations, Bone has become a strong community leader in Wilson County.

Karen Amundson

Karen Amundson, the recipient of Cumberland’s 2012 Young Alumni Award, has also become a leader, but in the realm of national business advertising. As a senior media manager at the digital marketing agency iCrossing in California, Amundson helps execute multi-million dollar search and marketing campaigns for Fortune 500 companies.

It is a career path that Amundson first discovered at an on-campus event at Cumberland University. Amundson came to the University in 2007, rapidly establishing herself as a driven student and cyclist. Before graduating in 2010 with a Bachelor of Business Administration, Amundson served on Cumberland’s delegation to the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature, where she founded a student media organization. Amundson also participated in Phi Beta Lambda, a business student leadership group.

It was for that group that Amundson would organize a fateful speaking engagement.

“I invited a speaker who owned her own digital marketing agency in Nashville to come speak to us, and it was the first time I’d heard anything about the field,” Amundson said. “I realized how measurable digital marketing is and how you can truly see its impact. That appealed to me.”

Networking and job searching with skills she developed in part as a member of Cumberland’s Women’s Council for Leadership, Amundson pursued the field, landing a job as a media analyst at iCrossing shortly after graduation. Since joining iCrossing in 2010, Amundson rapidly worked her way up, earning three promotions in two years.

Now serving as a senior media manager at iCrossing, Amundson is responsible for directing an eight-person team handling marketing accounts for businesses ranging from telecom giants to technology and automotive companies.

“I have a twofold role,” Amundson said. “I manage professional accounts and client relationships, and I also manage the day-to-day progress and career development of the individuals on my team.”

Amundson has already made a powerful impact in international marketing as well. Working on accounts in Latin America and Europe, Amundson served as a media liaison between media teams in the United States and Latin America and Spain. That role would eventually lead Amundson to Santiago, Chile, where she provided orientation for one of iCrossing’s newly acquired international agencies.

“I got to work in Santiago for two weeks getting the team set up with a training program,” Amundson said. “It was a challenge, but it was very fun.”

John Britt

If Amundson is trailblazing in national and international marketing, John Britt, the winner of Cumberland’s 2012 Outstanding Professional Achievement Award, is forging a new path in the field of universal business innovation. A celebrated business consultant and author, Britt is a principal partner at the Kentucky-based accounting firm Mountjoy Chilton Medley, where he leads the healthcare consulting division and management advisory services.

A leading voice in change management, Britt has co-authored two enormously successful books, including Who Killed Change?, co-written with Ken Blanchard, which has sold publishing rights in 17 languages.

Britt approaches every project with a strong motivation—one that he cultivated as a baseball player and student at Cumberland. Coming to the University in the 1980s on a baseball scholarship, Britt would learn powerful lessons from his professors and his head coach, Woody Hunt.

“I learned as much on the baseball field as I did in the classroom,” Britt said. “I wasn’t the best first baseman on Cumberland’s team, but I started every game that I was there because I worked my butt off. Early on, that motivation came from Coach Hunt, but some time later, that motivation became my own. I wasn’t doing it for someone else then. I was doing it for myself.”

That motivation has fueled Britt’s career ever since. After graduating from Cumberland in 1982 with an associate’s degree, Britt continued to pursue his education, eventually earning a master’s degree in organizational management. Rapidly advancing in the healthcare field, Britt became a business consultant, a profession he continues in to this day.

In the past 13 years alone, Britt has consulted with over 400 businesses from across the United States.

“As a consultant, I am able to merge my clinical experience with my business education to give insight to clinicians and help them marry their practice to strong business principles,” Britt said.

Britt is an extremely successful consultant, but he may be best known as the co-author of two seminal books, Who Killed Change? and Who Pardoned Accountability? In the two books, and in his upcoming work Who Kidnapped Excellence?, Britt and his co-authors distill the lessons of many years of consulting experience into approachable narratives explaining concepts in organizational and change management.

“The books allow people to talk about very tough subjects while laughing at themselves,” Britt said. “They have real learning points that can help any organization.”

Those works—and Britt’s consulting—have resonated with leaders in multiple industries, earning him a reputation as a noted thinker in business administration.

Britt is but one of many Cumberland alumni who are reaching out to lead and succeed in any number of fields both locally and internationally. Every day, Cumberland’s graduates are putting their liberal arts education to use as leaders, thinkers, and entrepreneurs. Online and on-campus, on the field and in the classroom, Cumberland University is shaping the people who are shaping our world.