Mentors and Mentees Mull Manners at Quarterly Gathering


As a former Kellogg family vacation home and current site for weddings along with similar special events, the Kellogg House Pomona has hosted numerous dinners where successfully navigating through a sea of silverware and crystal glasses seems like it should require a survival guide.

A group of College of Business Administration students participating in the Executive Mentor Program and the community leaders that guide them gathered at the historical mansion for a crash course on business dinner etiquette on March 7.

Emceeing the evening was Rachel Isgar of Please Pass the Manners, an etiquette consultant who has been featured on CNBC, NPR and Yahoo. Her advice ranged from proper handshakes to the correct way to butter bread.

“Manners in general are a forgotten art,” program coordinator and international business and marketing chair Debbora Whitson says. “When I plan these Executive Mentor events, I try to make it something everyone benefits from.”

While the Executive Mentor Program runs throughout the academic year, Whitson arranges some sort of instructional social once a quarter where all participants gather. The program that provides additional guidance outside of the classroom is made possible with the support of distinguished alumnus A. Barry Hirschfeld.

The Please Pass the Manners event was the first time technology and operations management student Heather Hernandez met her mentor face to face.

“I wanted to be paired up with somebody that has experience in supply chain because mine is limited,” Hernandez says. “My mentor owns 10 site locations for Jack in the Box and manages supply chain for those stores.”

Hernandez’s mentor is Northstar Food Service’s CEO Greg Gribble. He attended the dinner with his wife and gave Hernandez a book called, “The Five Principles to Success,” at the night’s conclusion.

Following their introduction at the dinner, Gribble has already started explaining to Hernandez how he joined with other franchise owners to form their own supply chain that saved nearly 60 percent over what Jack in the Box had available.

“Giving students the opportunity to pair up with someone that’s been there and done that is extremely valuable,” Hernandez says. “Even if it’s just networking, that alone has been priceless.”

A photo album from the event is available here.