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SMA Spotlight
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SMA 2019: Hundreds Gather in Norfolk for Annual Meeting


The Southern Management Association welcomed 555 registered attendees to the Hilton Norfolk the Main in Norfolk, VA October 8-12 for another enlightening and exciting annual meeting.


Presenters shared more than 200 accepted submissions, including papers, Professional Development Institutes (PDIs, put together by Hettie Richardson), and symposia, in nine different tracks (chairs in order by track: Josh Daspit, William Gillis, John Kirk Ring, Andrew Loignon, Brad Harris, George Banks, Jane Thomas, Olivia Aronson, Sohrab Soleimanof and Lance Frazier). The meeting was held in a prime location, a short walk from some of Norfolk’s famous sites, such as the Nauticus museum and the Battlefield Wisconsin, as well as the Waterside dining area.


“Based on feedback from membership via our survey, in person comments and the Whova app, we know people were happy with SMA 2019—90 percent of respondents said they were happy!” explained Program Chair Janaki Gooty. “And 77 percent were happy with Norfolk as a location. People loved the conference hotel, the availability of multiple on-site dining options as well as things within walking distance, and innovations such as the Red Carpet Photo Session and Yoga on the Deck.”




Preconference events kicked off Wednesday with SMA’s signature doctoral consortia (chaired by Robyn Brouer) as well as a pre-doctoral consortium (coordinated by Gary Castrogiovanni) designed for students who have not yet begun their doctoral studies. The doctoral consortia were designated specifically for early stage (1st and 2nd year, coordinated by Donald Kluemper) and late stage (3rd and 4th year, coordinated by Melissa Carsten) doctoral students.


The conference officially began Wednesday at the Red Carpet Photo session and Awards Ceremony. Program Chair Gooty and track chairs presented the plaques, which recognized this year’s award recipients—from the best papers in each track to the best in the conference overall. New this year, award winners were invited to accept their awards and take photos with SMA’s leadership on the special “red carpet” before the public awards ceremony. This session helped save time and make the awards ceremony move more smoothly. You can read about all of this year’s award winners beginning on page 15 of the conference program! 



After welcoming everyone to the ceremony,
Gooty congratulated the award winners and acknowledged their commendable efforts. This year, SMA reviewers fielded 416 submissions and accepted 52% of them (47% acceptance rate excluding invited submissions). The award winners represent the best of those accepted submissions, she explained.


“To rise to the top really means you put a lot of work into it, and we want to celebrate your accomplishments,” she added. 


SMA's Welcome Reception immediately followed the awards ceremony.


At the SMA Business Meeting, held Thursday, President Adams introduced several members who gave reports on various SMA initiatives and projects. Reports included those given by Journal of Management (JOM) Editor David Allen and SAGE Senior Editor Cynthia Nalevanko.


 Also at the meeting, a financial report was presented by Treasurer Scott Geiger.


“Overall SMA is in great shape, and that has to do with the leadership of this organization currently and in the past,” Geiger noted. “I would also like to thank all of the past presidents. They have made my job easy… We are in very good financial and, I believe strategic, shape because of the leadership that we have and the people that we work with.”

President Adams thanked all of this year’s attendees as well as those who worked diligently to organize and put on 

the conference. He also acknowledged the board, for which the following members concluded their service at the conference: LaKami Baker, Timothy Munyon, and Jennifer Sexton. Outgoing officers included Past President Kevin Lowe and Secretary Rachel Frieder. New members joining the board include Carla D. Jones, Joy Karriker, and Sharon L. Segrest. Incoming officers include Vice President/Program Chair Elect Russell Crook and Secretary Vickie Gallagher.


Two prestigious award winners were also recognized at the business meeting.

Michelle Kacmar Volunteer of the Year Award

Each year, SMA recognizes an individual who goes above and beyond in their service to the association. The 2019 winner of the Michelle Kacmar Volunteer of the Year Award is Joy H. Karriker, of East Carolina University. Karriker is the 2019 Conference Coordinator, and she has served in a conference coordinator role for the last 13 years.


“Every time you walk into a reception and everything is going smoothly, that’s because of Joy,” Gooty said. “She does it all with a smile. I have never seen Joy sweat anything, she never seems frazzled, and that is just incredible that she is able to pull it off with such a calm demeanor.”


James G. Hunt SMA Sustained Outstanding Service Award

The most prestigious award presented by SMA is the
James G. Hunt SMA Sustained Outstanding Service Award. The Hunt Award recognizes individuals who have consistently helped SMA reach its goals and mission over a period of years. This honor is awarded based upon the magnitude and impact of the nominee’s contributions to SMA, the variety of contributions, and the length of service to SMA. The Hunt Award was sponsored this year by Texas Tech University’s Rawls College of Business.


The winner of the 2019 Hunt Award is Tim Barnett, of Mississippi State University. Barnett was recognized for his more than 30 years of service to SMA and for being a person “who has given his heart and soul” to the organization.


“I don’t know if I spoke up here for an hour that I could convey what this means to me,” Barnett said, upon receiving the award. “I want to thank Jerry Hunt for the example that he set, and we can only hope to emulate that.”


Barnett thanked those who nominated him for the award.


“This award, that I am so happy to receive today, really says more about those people than it says about me, because it really was through the efforts of those people that has allowed me to be who I am today,” he said, giving gratitude for his colleagues’ guidance, collegiality, and friendships.


Barnett also noted the role his membership in SMA played in his career.


“If you are new to this really could not pick a better organization to be a part of,” he said. “Whatever I have done in my career, or for SMA, it is totally outweighed by what it has done for me and what it means to me... This is my professional home, and it always will be. I love SMA. Whatever I have done in my career, it would not have been nearly as much fun or rewarding without you. Thank you for being SMA.”


Finally, Barnett thanked his parents.


“They didn’t always understand what I was doing, and they really didn’t understand why I wanted to go to school for so long,” he said. “I always try to be a son that they would be proud of, and I hope they are proud today.”


The business meeting concluded with outgoing President Adams passing the reigns of leadership to incoming President Hettie Richardson. Afterward, attendees enjoyed a welcome reception where they could network and meet with old and new friends.


The rest of the annual meeting was brimming with intriguing sessions and speakers. This year’s conference theme was “The Future of Work is You,” which captured the idea that “every member of the SMA community has a significant and unique contribution to make in crafting a future workplace that is agile in responding to challenges and creating value for all stakeholders.” Some of the sessions that helped expand on this idea included those on open science and research credibility, women in leadership, onboarding veterans in the workplace, teaching in a gig economy, leveraging inclusion, and buffering stigmas.


Other SMA crowd favorites included methods-oriented sessions co-sponsored by the Consortium for the Advancement of Research Methods and Analysis (CARMA) and the Research Methods Division of the Academy of Management. In addition to the methods sessions, the PDI’s cover a range of topics and interests, such as the trials and tribulations of being in an editorial position and post-tenure career paths.


New Innovations and Activities

New innovations and activities this year included yoga on the patio and walking breaks with SMA Past Presidents, in addition to the usually coffee and snack breaks.

“This year we built in some active networking breaks in addition to the usual coffee,” Gooty noted. “All of these networking events are meant to get people out and about and doing different things instead of just sitting in a conference room.”




In addition, attendees had a chance to sign the SMA community mural, or get creative and write their favorite moment or pin a picture of their favorite memory from the conference. For each post made to the mural, attendees were given a star to drop into a collection jar. At the end of the conference, SMA donated $1 for every star to the Disabled American Veterans charity. The mural was displayed at the Friday night closing reception.



“Personally, the SMA community mural was the most meaningful part of SMA 2019 for me.” Program Chair Janaki Gooty said. “It was overflowing with words like ‘belonging, inclusion, connection, community, scholarship, supported, fun,’ and we donated the maximum limit we’d set—$250 to a local charity.”


Extra Conference Fun


For a little fun outside the conference room, SMA offered several off-site excursions and events throughout the week. The Second Annual “Southern Scramble” Golf Event (organized by Jon Carr and Russell Crook) took place Wednesday morning at Cypress Point Country Club. It offered a fun networking opportunity where players participated in a scramble format, with foursomes competing against each other for a prize.


A “Late Night Trivia Challenge,” emceed by Journal of Management Editor David Allen, was also held on Thursday evening.



To conclude the meeting, attendees also enjoyed the 2019 Friday night closing reception with the theme of “Enjoy the Journey!” Attendees were treated to dancing, music, and plenty of fun games and activities, such as a photo booth and oversized tricycle races!

SMA is an event for making connections, and that stands out when speaking with attendees who have met others in the field and made new friends.


Attendees Yankun Jia (University of Mississippi) and Qinglin Liu (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), who teach in different universities in different states, found a common connection when they began a conversation during one of their shared SMA sessions. They were surprised to discover they are from same city in China.


“The conference is a great chance for unions and reunions,” Liu noted as he enjoyed the closing reception. “It’s a great chance to make connections and see old friends and new.”



Off-site Excursions


In SMA tradition, meeting attendees had a chance to experience the meeting city by traveling to local venues of interest in the Norfolk area. Attendees participated in a “Tour and Talk” Wednesday afternoon at the Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval installation in the world. Home port to 59 ships, ranging in size from aircraft carriers to submarines, 18 aircraft squadrons and headquarters of the Atlantic Fleet, this naval complex occupies over 8,000 acres of land and is home to more than 70,000 military personnel. Also on Wednesday, attendees had the chance to visit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Oyster Experience, where they toured the Brock Environmental Center, one of the world’s greenest living buildings, and learned about the magical world of the oyster.


On Saturday evening, attendees had the chance to take a walking tour of Norfolk’s NEON (New Energy of Norfolk) District, Norfolk’s creative arts district, where they explored the vibrant murals and sculptures that pepper the streets and buildings of the neighborhood, learned about its history, and discussed the fascinating intersection of private property, ownership, artists, and the organizations steering the curation of public art in the NEON.


“Going into SMA 2019, we did not know how it would turn out, as it was the second year in a row we were heading into an untested, small town location,” Gooty explained. “But the actual attendance and energy around SMA 2019 was in line with what we know and love, as always!”


Looking Forward to SMA 2020


Mark your calendars for the 2020 Annual Meeting! Next year’s event will take place October 20-24 at the TradeWinds Island Resort in St. Pete Beach, Florida!


Opening of submissions will in February and announced to all members. The deadline for submissions will be April 27, 2020.



Past Spotlights


Sponsors of the 2019 SMA Meeting

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