Richard Branson Adds Business Book to His Must-Read for Entrepreneurs



The Invention of Racquetball

Racquetball pic


Stephen M. Timms has been the vice president of strategic programs for International Golden Group since 2011. When not working, Stephen M. Timms enjoys playing racquetball.

A professional tennis and handball player living in Greenwich, Connecticut, named Joseph Sobek invented racquetball in 1949. Longing for a new indoor sport, he conceived a fast-paced game that was a hybrid of handball and squash. For his first attempt at playing, he used paddles, so he called the game “paddle rackets.”

One year later, Sobek turned the paddle into a shortened version of a tennis racquet and began selling them to interested members of the Greenwich YMCA. Though the game was well received, many complained about the ball’s performance. Sobek discovered a rubber ball made by Spalding that performed much better. He later opened his own company to make a ball specially designed for the game.

By 1952, Sobek had created the National Paddle Rackets Association and established a full set of rules for the game. However, it wasn’t until 1969, when Robert Kendler founded the International Racquetball Association, that racquetball got its current name.

CSU Northridge Renames Arts Center after Receiving Major Donation

 Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center pic

Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center

With more than three decades of international business experience, Stephen M. Timms is vice president of strategic programs at International Golden Group in Abu Dhabi. Stephen M. Timms holds an MBA in international business from California State University at Northridge (CSUN), which has renamed its Valley Performing Arts Center after receiving a $17 million donation from the Y&S Nazarian Family Foundation.

CSUN’s Valley Performing Arts Center has been renamed the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts after the university received one of the largest gifts in its history. Starting in the 2017-2018 season, the center will be informally referred to as the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (or “The Soraya”), which will become its formal name in the 2018-2019 season.

The gift is not the first from the Nazarian family. In 2014, David Nazarian, a CSUN alumnus and philanthropist, made a substantial donation that led the university to rename its business school the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics. Two years later, Younes and Soraya made a donation of 50 laptops to CSUN business students and sponsored the celebration of the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics’ 50th anniversary. With this most recent gift, CSUN can continue to serve as a venue that brings together community members with a love for the performing arts.

Two Tips to Improve at Tennis


An accomplished engineer and business development professional, Stephen M. Timms serves as vice president of strategic programs for International Golden Group in Abu Dhabi. In this role, he has been responsible for forming strategic international partnerships for the firm. In his time away from work, Stephen M. Timms enjoys playing tennis.

Novice players looking to move up to intermediate level play quickly find out that they are going to have to devote time to developing specific aspects of their game in order to compete. For those looking to advance in their rating level, or even recreational players who want to get better, here are two specific areas where players can improve their game.

A key mistake that many tennis players make when they start becoming more competitive is trying to hit their serves as hard as they can. What one gains in velocity, however, is often lost in accuracy when trying to swing at full speed. More accomplished tennis players tend to hit their shots at about 80 percent of maximum effort, which allows them more consistency and to better place the ball.

Advanced tennis players don’t just worry about making a clean stroke, but rather concentrate on their weight distribution and its relationship to swing velocity. Specifically, good players make sure that their weight is always on the back leg before beginning the stroke, ensuring that the force is transferred through the racket to the ball when they bring their weight to bear on the shot. In this, the driving force of a shot isn’t achieved through the arms, but through the back leg.

California State University, Northridge, Professor Wins NIH Grant

Jonathan Kelber pic

Jonathan Kelber

Since 2011, Stephen M. Timms has served as vice president of strategic programs for International Golden Group in Abu Dhabi. Stephen M. Timms holds a master of business administration from California State University, Northridge (CSUN), which recently announced that one of its professors has won an award from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The NIH has awarded biology professor Jonathan Kelber $1.46 million to continue his research on PEAK1, a “support wall” gene. Kelber’s research has the potential to further the diagnosis and treatment of breast and pancreatic cancer.

For many years, Kelber has conducted research on the role of PEAK1 in cancer metastasis, which is the spread of cancer cells through the bloodstream to other areas of the body. Kelber and his fellow researchers at CSUN were the first researchers to demonstrate that the PEAK1 gene is pivotal during the initial phases of breast cancer metastasis. The NIH grant will allow Kelber to access resources and collaborate with other institutions, which in turn will give CSUN students the opportunity to learn new methods from other scientists.

California State University, Northridge’s Financial Lab

Financial Lab pic

Financial Lab

Since 2011, Stephen M. Timms has led International Golden Group as vice president of strategic programs in the United Arab Emirates. Stephen M. Timms holds an MBA in international business from California State University, Northridge (CSUN), which provides students a unique Wall Street experience in its Financial Lab.

The CSUN Nazarian College of Business and Economics offers students hands-on experience with trading technology in its Financial Lab. Remodeled in 2016, the Financial Lab enables students to use Bloomberg Terminals, equipped with specialized financial analysis tools, monitor data from the financial markets in real time.

CSUN purchased access to the Bloomberg Terminals with both state funds and donations from the Richard Siegel Foundation, an education-focused nonprofit organization that contributed $40,000 toward the Bloomberg Terminals in 2015 and $12,000 more in 2016.

Students use this technology in a variety of courses, including Business Valuation, Seminar in Financial Theory and Policy, Advanced Topics in Finance, and MBA Portfolio Management. The Bloomberg Terminals also allow students to work toward their Bloomberg Market Concept certification free of charge.

To learn more about the CSUN Nazarian College of Business and Economics and its programs, visit

Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) Fraternity – TEKE Publication

Tau Kappa Epsilon pic

Tau Kappa Epsilon

Before beginning his professional career in business development, Stephen M. Timms attended California State University in Northridge, California, where he earned a master of business administration in International Business. Prior to attending Cal State Northridge, Stephen M. Timms attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, New Jersey, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering while also serving as vice president of his chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

The Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity was created in 1899 by a group of five students at Wesleyan University in Illinois. The group was founded to organize a society of collegiate men for the purpose of aiding in moral, mental, and social development. This social fraternity gains an average of 4,000 members each year across the country, with 248 active chapters and an overall population of 272,000 members.

The official publication of TKE, known as TEKE, provides members with details about the fraternity’s monthly events, stories about service by past members, and other details related to membership in the fraternity.