Fort Hays State University Relations
Sabrina William, former executive director of the Downtown Hays Development Corporation and online course developer for Kansas EnergyWORKS, is the new director of the Management Development Center (MDC), an initiative of the College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Fort Hays State University.
The “new” part has an added dimension: The position is now full time rather than a slot occupied by a person whose full-time job is as a teaching faculty member. William began work in her new position on June 9.
“I am excited and thrilled at the prospect of working with the business community again,” she said. “I’m looking forward to getting out and working with them directly.”
The full-time position was made possible by a grant from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation. It allows substantial expansion of the MDC’s support of businesses and particularly those in northwest Kansas.
The MDC claims a mission of helping organizations to be successful by developing people. In executing that mission, the center conducts workshops throughout the year, offers customized training on site and has consultants available to provide assessment and feedback in a variety of areas. The MDC also leads the entrepreneurship internship program for the College of Business and Entrepreneurship.
Workshops scheduled for this fall are Project Management Essentials; Supervising with Confidence; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas Presents: A Workplace Response to Violence; and Marketing You: Personal Branding Workshop.
The key tasks and opportunities ahead for William are making the change to a year-round slate of opportunities for businesses, instead of one tied to a semester schedule, and expanding the offerings, opportunities and geography.
“A full-time director can greatly expand the center’s reach,” said William. “We will bring expertise into the region in areas of additional focus that are important to business leaders. Management skills, HRM compliance, marketing, finance and other topic areas will be expanded.”
All of this addresses the needs and goals that led to creating a full-time directorship for an organization that has been operating since the early 1980s under the extra-duty leadership of people whose primary job is as a full-time faculty member.
“The MDC simply became too successful and active to be led by someone who simultaneously has a significant faculty load of teaching, service and research,” said Dr. Mark Bannister, dean of the College of Business and Entrepreneurship.
“The last two directors, Dr. Kyle Stone and Dr. LeAnn Brown, both grew the center substantially while still filling their teaching, research and service responsibilities, but a full-time director was needed to take the MDC to a new level of service and activity,” he said.
Bannister cited William’s experience in an executive role and in instructional development, her “extensive economic development and regional business ties,” and, he said, “She has worked effectively in leading projects, organizing teams, managing organizational budgets and working within the guidance of boards.”
“She served as the executive director of the Downtown Hays Development Corporation for 10 years, and she was especially noted for her initiative, follow-through and attention to detail.”
These are the qualities needed to take FHSU’s Management Development Center into the next stage of its evolution, where it will fully become “a valuable tool in building relationships with businesses throughout the region and beyond, filling important business needs, and raising the visibility of the university,” said Bannister.
William expressed the nature of the FHSU-business relationship from another perspective.
“We have excellent faculty here with good trainers and facilitators and a wealth of knowledge,” she said. “We want to get them introduced into communities all across the region. They are great people and great assets, and we need to let people know they are available for the benefit of organizations large and small.”
William can be reached at 785-628-4124, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The center website is www.fhsu.edu/mdc.