April 20, 2012


KD Kulper

April 20, 2012


As a Boston College graduate, College of Arts & Sciences, cum laude, 1974, I got to enjoy more than a few games at Fenway Park from the vantage point of the bleachers; tickets were $1 and cold Narragansetts were quite reasonable.  Many of us who are baseball fans and fondly remember our days of hitting, fielding and running the bases love to wax nostalgically on the smell of the grass, the feel of fielding a ball and the special moments when we connected and the ball flew off our bat to a spot that an opposing fielder could not cover; ah, sweet memory.

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Today the Boston Red Sox welcome the New York Yankees ( Highlanders) to Fenway Park to celebrate the 100th anniversary of that famous “field of dreams”.  Truly, every memory I have of walking into Fenway’s cozy environ—in comparison with the cathedral like eminence that is Yankee Stadium---is yet another tangible reason for my love of the game.  Because spectators are so close to action on the field, no matter where one’s seat is located, there is a feeling that you are in the game---not just watching it.   For me, that is something truly authentic in this day of pre-packaged “nostalgia” meant to endear a fan to the place of the action, the team and the game.   Every moment in Fenway or Yankee Stadium is pregnant with possibility; they really don't need the soundtrack of the gushing announcers, overwhelmingly loud music, unfortunate mascots--( remember the laughable bull from Bull Durham?) and the like, to stoke or anchor our emotional response.   Think about it: for the fans that attended last night’s seemingly unremarkable Yankee game against the Twins, who would have guessed that they would have gotten an opportunity to witness a 5 for 5 performance ---3 HRs/2 singles—from NY Yankees centerfielder, Curtis Granderson?   Did you ever hit a homer in a back yard game? How about in a Little League or Babe Ruth or High School game?  It is a great and unforgettable feeling for sure...   Curtis hit 3 in one game last night in Yankee Stadium; just amazing….

Who knows what today’s game up at Fenway will bring for loyal Red Sox fans and die hard "Highlanders" partisans?   The teams will don historic uniforms in honor of the occasion.  Clearly, with the day shaping up to be clear, warm and perfect for baseball, can the lucky ones who will be in the dugouts and in the stands be any more fortunate?   So, good luck to both teams… there will be a lot of special memories made today for young and old alike.   The game will start at about 3PM; hope you get to watch it on TV if not in person.


Our current searches are all wrapping up.  Finalist candidates are at the reference stage for the Dean search at Norwich University and we expect a hiring decision from NYU Poly momentarily on the Civil Engineer leadership search.  That said, we are now awaiting word from several universities and corporations on several interesting new assignments.   We tackle strategic hires, as you probably already know, so, if you are in need of the right person for a key position in your organization we should talk; we would love to help.   Many clients tell us that they have never experienced such a detailed, thorough and personalized approach to identifying, qualifying and hiring the right person, as when they work with KULPER & COMPANY.   So, give us a whirl….you will be in great company; I can be reached directly at (973) 285-3850.

KDK Musings….

  I played golf with my college roommate Neil Sattler, Boston College, SOM, 1974, last weekend and Neil, being the clever guy he is termed my Musings---“Amusings”.  I was impressed with his display of wit, as well as turn of phrase. His golf game was even better; I lost $2 to him on the par 3s.  Nonetheless,  it was great to be with Neil.  He is from Cleveland, Ohio, and his Midwestern ways and outlook have always made the fun we have that much more special and enjoyable. His wife Carol is an extraordinary cook, too; thanks again for the great dinner!

 My view of the economy and the world continues to be very upbeat despite the recent up and downs resulting in a hovering DOW in the low 13,000 range.  We all need to feel more confident in the future of the world economy and I think that will steadily happen over the next few years.  Confidence will come from clarity around the doings in the financial markets as well as from smart moves by the leaders of large and small organizations.  What happened in 2008, resulted from the gross irresponsibility of Wall Street, inadequate regulation and misplaced trust ....all of which served to sap confidence from the financial markets that the world relies upon to fuel economic growth and development.  Aren't you glad those days are in the rear view mirror?  

Despite the fact that all the necessary economic safeguards are not in place---probably never will be--- the US economy continues to steadily recover; can DOW 14,000 or 15,000  be that far off?   The"big cap" companies have their formulaic approaches down pat and while they don’t react to market opportunities as quickly as smaller companies can and do, the big dogs are turning in consistently impressive results.   Kimberly Clark, KMB , is a good example of what I am talking about. The company has significant global presence, great products and is generating great earnings growth; the same is true for companies like 3M, IBM and Honeywell.  


Commitment to research, innovation and entrepreneurship is seen as the key to future growth and development not only, for commercial enterprises of all sizes, but also, for universities who focus on the discovery of important new knowledge that can be readily commercialized by savvy corporate innovators.   For example, our client, NYU Poly, is hiring scores of new program leaders and faculty who will drive the university's vision to become a world leader in urban systems, healthcare, IT and other areas the institution is uniquely suited to pursue by virtue of its New York City base and worldwide presence. The companies that ally themselves to the brilliant researchers at NYU Poly will undoubtedly flourish.  

More broadly, the City of New York, is now working with Cornell/Technion to implement the new  engineering and innovation campus that will be built on Roosevelt Island.  The vision is to create a whole new academic innovation zone that will birth new knowledge as well as companies.  Nice to see this happening....and with New York City flair, too, no less!

We will continue to see some fits and starts where the doomsayers might serve to give you pause with respect to making a decision to expand, hire or commit to a new area of research---but, as always it is execution that drives performance so, certainly, weigh the pros and cons, but go forward if you think it will provide your organization with the competitive advantage you seek.  If you don't do it, your rivals most certainly, will.

Here in the KULPER/KENNY family we are happy to report that our newest arrival, young Lan O’Rourke is now duly baptized.   We attended his christening last week in Washington, DC, at the Methodist Church in Seward Square; it was a special time for everyone to gather together for such a happy event.  My brother-in-law, Mike O’Rourke, now a granddad 4 times over, was over the moon; his son, Michael, the proud papa of Lan could not have been happier, too.   Father and son are both Nationals fans these days; a new team in one of America’s oldest baseball towns.   As some might recall, Mickey Mantle, may have hit the longest home run ever, in the old Washington Senators ballpark, Griffith Stadium, back when Harmon Killebrew, Roy Sievers, Pedro Ramos and were Senators stars.  Nice to see major league baseball being played in our nation’s capital----the home of the Nationals, who are “first in war, first in peace and first in the National League East”….(at least at the time of Lan’s christening!)

I hope all is well with you and your family.  As always, please drop me a line or give a call it will be great to hear from you.  Let’s work together on a key search for your company or university; we will deliver the results you and your team need and want!