TKE’s Charles R. Walgreen Leadership Academy

Tau Kappa Epsilon pic

Tau Kappa Epsilon

As the vice president of strategic programs for Abu Dhabi-based International Golden Group, Stephen M. Timms is responsible for developing and growing the defense firm’s international relationships. A graduate of Fairleigh Dickson University, Stephen M. Timms served as the vice president of the college’s Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity.

Founded in January of 1899 by five Illinois Wesleyan University students, TKE is a national fraternity with the majority of its chapters on the east coast of the United States. With a goal of preparing better men for a better world, the fraternity hosts the Charles R. Walgreen, Jr. Leadership Academy each year. Only TKE members in good standing with their university (2.5 GPA or higher) and chapter are eligible to attend.

Funded by donations made through the TKE Educational Foundation and a small registration fee, the leadership academy features workshops, outdoor activities, and various keynote speakers. The 2016 TKE Leadership Academy took place from Aug. 5-9 in Colorado Springs.


Building Strong Business Relationships with New and Existing Clients


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Business Relationships

Based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Stephen M. Timms serves as vice president of strategic programs at International Golden Group. In this position, Stephen M. Timms is responsible for maintaining the company’s complex technological systems and growing strategic relationships and business with international firms.

Strong strategic relationships are an asset to any business. However, these are not built in a day or after one networking seminar. They take time and investment. Communicating openly and personally is the first step to building strong relationships with your existing and potential clients.

With regard to existing clients, it is all about making actual contact. Send them a newsletter or even better, call them to let them know what you are doing for them. Tell them about the excellent service you’re providing; that you’ve double-checked their orders or that their packages are being shipped with special care, or that they can easily reach your customer care department at any time of the day. Keep it personal. Remember special occasions such as birthdays or wedding anniversaries and send a card ahead of the holidays. Write handwritten notes to old customers to check up on them, or even schedule lunch together. When you do meet, use such platforms for business development and get referrals. Putting a personal touch on communication builds customer loyalty.

For potential clients, it’s all about keeping lines of communication open. After a networking event, follow up. This could be as simple as sending a “nice to meet you” email, and later on a notification that you have added them to a newsletter list. Keep such relationships warm by periodically reaching out. A fail-safe way of doing this is by sharing useful information. Found a book, article, or workshop invitation the other person may be interested in? Pass it on.

California State University Hosts Unique Innovation Conference


Art of Innovation Conference pic

Art of Innovation Conference

Stephen M. Timms is the vice president of strategic programs at International Golden Group (IGG). In this role, Stephen M. Timms specializes in international business relations, which he studied while completing the international business MBA program at California State University, Northridge, the site of the annual Art of Innovation Conference.

Sponsored by the university’s Engineering and Computer Science program, the Art of Innovation Conference provides students, educators, and professionals within the innovation domain an opportunity to discuss and collaborate on the challenges associated with technological developments in fields such as wireless sensor networks, nanotechnology, and artificial intelligence. The event, the only one of its kind in the region, identifies trends in start-up opportunities related to advances in the aerospace, transportation, and military industries, thereby giving future and current business leaders insight into leading-edge technology and entrepreneurial opportunities in the 21st century.

Benefits of Doing Business in the UAE

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A strategy executive based in Abu Dhabi, Stephen M. Timms serves as vice president of strategic programs with International Golden Group in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In his leadership role with the company, Stephen M. Timms establishes relationships with international partners in the UAE and beyond.

In recent years, the UAE has emerged as one of the fastest growing business regions in the Middle East. The UAE hosts a number of “free trade zones,” where business owners enjoy access to a number of tax breaks and other benefits. Businesses in free trade zones pay no corporate taxes on their profits, while business owners and employees pay no income taxes on their earnings.

In addition to free trade zones, businesses operating in the UAE can take advantage of the geography of the country, as it is located at the center of trade routes between the East and West. The UAE has also established itself as a leader in telecommunications and IT, making it an ideal place for businesses to upgrade their current operations.

Three Important Thai Customs

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Thai Customs

Holding a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University and an MBA from California State University, Northridge, Stephen M. Timms serves as vice president of strategic programs at International Golden Group, a company based in the UAE that focuses on defense and security solutions. With experience living and working in both Kuala Lumpur and Abu Dhabi, Stephen M. Timms enjoys learning about the cultures of other countries and spends leisure time studying Thai customs.

As with any country, visitors should learn a bit about the background and culture of Thailand so as to be a courteous and informed guest. The following three customs are merely a starting point for anyone who is interested in understanding this region and its culture.

1. Salutation – Pressing your palms together at nose or chest level while simultaneously bowing your head serves as a way of saying hello, goodbye, or thank you. This gesture is referred to as a “wai,” and it shows respect.

2. Respect the monarchy – The head of the monarchy since 1946, the king of Thailand is highly beloved and revered by his people. Avoid speaking negatively of him or the royal family, and always stand when his anthem is played before movies, concerts, or sporting events.

3. Relax – Much of Thailand’s philosophy can be captured by the phrase “Mai pen rai,” which means “never mind.” Locals do not tend to stress about trivial matters and often have a healthy sense of fun.

Southeast Asian Countries Come to Fore as Economic Growth Drivers

ASEAN Economic Community pic

ASEAN Economic Community

Stephen M. Timms serves as vice president of strategic programs with International Golden Group in Abu Dhabi and engages with a range of international clients. Stephen M. Timms has extensive experience working in Southeast Asia and was based in Kuala Lumpur for nearly four years while an executive at a high-tech defense company.

A recent New York Times article highlights the way in which Southeast Asia is poised to take over as a driver of global economic growth after years of being under China’s shadow. The recently created ASEAN Economic Community includes a population of 600 million and approximately $1.3 trillion in combined GDP.

Key growth drivers are forecast to be the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam, with the latter country getting over headwinds caused by anti-Chinese riots related to China’s placement of an oil rig in contested waters. This has pushed Vietnam, which is highly reliant on China as a trade partner, toward a Trans-Pacific Partnership spearheaded by the United States.

Less exposed to China, the Philippines has a different challenge to circumvent focused on rebuilding ports, roads, and critical infrastructure. Close collaboration with development partners, including South Korea, Japan, and the World Bank, are seen as critical in getting the Philippines into a position where it can thrive economically.

Three Important Elements of Asian Business Etiquette

Stephen M. Timms is the vice president of strategic programs for the International Golden Group (IGG), a strategic defense company located in Abu Dhabi. Previous to his employment with IGG, Stephen M. Timms lived and worked in the Asia-Pacific region. Awareness of certain business etiquette rules can help foreign professionals working in Asia maintain politeness and make a good impression on local business leaders.

Accepting business cards: Business people in Asian countries consider the exchange of business cards an opportunity to show respect. A business card should always be presented with two hands. If you are the recipient of a business card, it is important to give the card several seconds of inspection before putting it in your wallet or card holder. Taking a business card and storing it away without examining it first is considered poor manners.

Punctuality: Being late to a business appointment is a serious sign of disrespect throughout Asian countries. Foreigners who do business in Asia should always plan ahead to give themselves more time than they think is necessary to arrive punctually for a meeting.

Professional demeanor: Business executives across the Asian continent are known for their composure, and do not indulge in visible anger or contentious actions. Many businesspeople of Asia place a high value on respecting others, even those with whom they disagree. Avoid raising your voice, using excessive hand gestures, or expressing discontent in an undiplomatic way.