Thursday, December 17, 2015

"Service Guarantee" Lecture to MBA Students at HEC-Ulg, Liege, Belgium

For my last day of "work" before returning to the U.S., I gave a lecture to about 200 MBA students at the HEC School of Management in Liege, Belgium.  The focus was on service guarantees and how they might be used as a strategic marketing tool by firms.
Preparing for my lecture at HEC-ULg
What a great looking set of students!
Student teams were asked to propose a service guarantee for one of the firms in the case studies they had previously examined this semester.  Four teams were selected to give a brief presentation of their proposed service guarantee in class, including teams E12 (for Shoes Plazza), C6 (for Starbucks), D6 (also for Starbucks), and the overall winner D2 (for Flexpoint).

The Top Four Service Guarantee Teams

Monday, December 14, 2015

HEC-ULg Marketing Faculty Team Building Exercise, Chaudfontaine, Belgium

After a morning of discussing how to best position the HEC-ULg marketing faculty and their research interests, we spent the afternoon at a team-building event in at Fort Adventure (an old World War I bunker at Fort de Chaudfontaine) high above the village of Chaudfontaine, about a 25-minute drive to the east of the HEC building.
It was dark and dirty in this old bunker!
The faculty (red hats) were pitted against the PhD students (white hats) in a series of mental and physical challenges.  (The faculty had planned, from the start, to let the PhD students win most of the contests in order to boost their egos!)  We also had to overcome a series of climbs, ropes, and a zip line above a 30' ravine.  I would love to see the Marketing Department in Bowling Green do this!
Hanging on for dear life!
The seven-person group included (starting from the bottom left) Dr. Zelal Ates, Simon Hazee, Marta Lara-Quintanilla, Anais Grety, Fanny Deliege, Dr. Cecile Delcourt, and Dr. Dwayne Gremler.
The HEC-ULg Marketing Dream Team

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Delivering Christmas Presents at the Cercle de Wallonie, Namur, Belgium

Wafa Hammedi, one of the organizers of the Let's Talk About Service Workshop, asked Parsu Parasuraman and I to take on the role of "The Christmas Man" (Sinterklass) and deliver gifts to all of the PhD students and other attendees at the dinner (at Cercle de Wallonie) after Parsu's discussion of Service Research Priorities in the morning and my CIT seminar in the afternoon.  (Sinterclass is "an elderly, stately, and serious man with white hair and a long, full beard."  Other than being elderly, I am not sure I was well qualified for the job. But, no one complained about the gifts they received.)
Dwayne, Wafa, and Parsu
Attendees of the 2015 Let's Talk About Service Workshop

Conducting "Critical Incident Technique" Seminar at the "Let's Talk About Service" Workshop in Namur, Belgium

I was asked by the organizing committee of the 4th Annual "Let's Talk About Service" Workshop to conduct a seminar on a qualitative research method to a little over 30 PhD students.  The focus was on "The Critical Incident Technique in Service Research" and was based upon an article I published on the method about a decade ago.
The seminar was in the "Arsenal" at the University of Namur
One of several "hands on" activities I had the attendees doing.
After a long day of discussing Service Research Priorities and then working at the CIT seminar, the entire group  went to a wine tasting at Grafe Lecocq.
Sampling the wine with Bart Larivière, one of the organizers of the LTAS workshop.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Belgian Waffles for Lunch in Liege, Belgium

We decide to go out to lunch once we returned from our trip to Ottignies, so we picked a very nutritious choice...waffles!  :o)

I had a banana split waffle!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Visiting My Cousin Veronica, near Ottignies, Belgium

After 25 emails to make arrangements, we were finally able to select a time to visit my cousin Veronica Gremler.  She prepared a nice dinner at her country house (near Ferriere).
Dinner at Veronica Gremler's

As we talked, we discussed the May 2012 Gremler meeting (organized by Detlef Gremler) in Heiligenstadt, Germany, and how we are related.  Veronica brought out family tree documents from both sides of her family.  Both of her parents were born in Chile.
Veronica and Dwayne examining her family tree documents!
As it turns out, Veronica spent a few years of her childhood in the U.S., including a couple of years living in Ohio...about the time I was born...but, our paths would not cross until more than 50 years later! 
Distant Gremler Cousins!

Friday, November 27, 2015

"Publishing Scholarly Research" Seminar at WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management, Vallendar, Germany

A major part of what I proposed to do during my sabbatical was to deliver my "Publishing Scholarly Research" seminar at universities abroad.  My German colleague, Tillmann Wagner, arranged for me to conduct this seminar at his university, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, just outside of Koblenz, Germany.
Another chance to conduct my publishing WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management
The 21 Ph.D. students who participated in the 20-hour course (spread over three days) were very engaged and asked great questions during the three day seminar.
The left half of the class............and........the right half of the class.

When we finished the seminar, we had a drink to celebrate the end of three very intense days together discussing the research publication process from beginning to end.
Learning to celebrate success!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Dinner in Koblenz, Germany

For the first time since we have been married, Candy and I were both out of the country for Thanksgiving.  My friend Tillmann Wagner, and his wife Monica, took us out to dinner to Buffalo in Koblenz, Germany.
Monica Wagner, Candy, Dwayne, and Tillmann Wagner at "Buffalo"
Candy enjoyed NOT having to fix dinner for 18 (as she did in 2014).  She did like having someone else preparing her meal, But, we both  missed the time we normally spend with family and friends.
The group of 18 that came to our house for Thanksgiving in 2014.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Weekend as a Tourist in Brugge, Belgium

One city that we never made it to when we lived in Maastricht in 2006 was Brugge, Belgium.  So, Brugge was at the top of our list of places to visit while we are in Liege.
Christmas Market at the Belfort Tower in Brugge, Belgium
It was cold and rainy all weekend...we are told that is almost always the case.  But, we did all of the typical tourist bus tour, boat ride, chocolate, fries, waffles, and the beer museum.
Candy and Dwayne in the "Venice of the North" (Brugge, Belgium)
Over 500 Belgian beers...where does one start?  (Where's my buddy Kirk when I need him?)
Belgium...home of the French Fries.  (So, why are they called "French" fries?)
I continue to take pictures of steps...this is on a bridge over the canal in Brugge.

Friday, November 20, 2015

"Students as Customers" Presentation in Liege, Belgium

I was invited to make a presentation to the faculty at HEC School of Management at the University of Liege.  The presentation was entitled, "Thinking of Students as Customers: Implications for Teaching and Serving Students in Business Schools".

I gave my presentation over lunch, which was free to attendees...probably the main reason 20 people attended!

The Dean of HEC School of Management, Adrain Hopgood, was among those in attendance; he even tweeted about the presentation.  (Click here.)  I am seldom the focus of a tweet.  (Is that the way to say it?)
Using my hands to help me present!

HEC had my name on monitors throughout the building...not sure you can read it here.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Candy's Return to Maastricht, The Netherlands

We took the train up (north) to Maastricht on Sunday morning (about 20 miles).  Although I have probably been to Maastricht about 15 times during the past 17 years, Candy had not been back since we lived there for 7 months in 2006 when I was on a Fulbright scholarship to teach at the University of Maastricht.  So, we invited Jos and Marian Lemmink for lunch on the Vrijthof.
On a bridge over the Maas River, with the St. Servaasburg bridge (the oldest bridge in the Netherlands; circa 1200) in the background.
Candy, Marian and Jos Lemmink, and Dwayne (with another Tripel Karmeliet) on the Vrijthof in Maastricht
Afterwards we took the bus (still Bus Number 3) to Wolder to walk through our old neighborhood. On the street we met Ber and Ria Schrijnemeeckers...our former neighbors (across the street...which, as it turns out, is Belgium).  They invited us into their home for coffee and pie.
Ria, Dwayne, Candy, and Ber
We finished the day by walking to Lisa Bruggen's house (another colleague and co-author of mine) before we walked back to the Maastricht train station.  (Too bad Candy lost her Fit-Bit...she would have easily bested Mallory today!)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Dinner at Cecile's in Liege, Belgium

The day after the tragedy that occurred in Paris, my Liege colleague, Cecile Delcourt, invited Candy and me to dinner at her house on Saturday evening.  (Yes...we are fine here in Liege!)  We tried to use Google Maps and GPS on my phone to walk there, but the technology got quite confused (as did I) for the last 400 meters.  But, we did make it to her house where we had a wonderful dinner with her family (Fabrice and Stina) and another visitor, Damilare--a former graduate student at BGSU.
Dwayne, Candy, Stina, Fabrice, Cecile, and Oluwadamilare Adeyeri
I should point out that Stina is quite the (service marketing) child prodigy...Cecile started her out early reading a certain textbook on the topic...what a bright kid.
Stina's first book...on Services Marketing (the European edition)!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Settling into a New Work Routine (at the Liege "Panera"), Liege, Belgium

About halfway between our apartment and my office in Liege I have found a reasonably close Panera "equivalent," Le Pain, to get breakfast and work.  Unfortunately, it does not have unlimited tea refills, but the pastries are quite nice.  And, free WiFi, of course!
Working at Le Pain in Liege.

Monday, November 9, 2015

First Day in the HEC-ULg Office, Liege, Belgium

I have about a 10-minute walk to the next office on my sabbatical HEC Management School at the University of Liege.  (Unlike Paderborn, the ground between the apartment and this building is flat.)
First day as Visiting Professor at HEC Management School ULg
In order to get me into the system (and access to the internet) at the University of Liege, as a Visiting Professor, they had to put me into the system somehow.  Since I am not faculty here (although, I am listed on the Department of Marketing web here), they decided to enter me into the system as a student.  So, I got a student ID today…apparently I can now use it to get student discounts!!!

My new student ID!

Lots of space, but not many books, in my HEC-ULg office.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sunday Lunch (and Beer!) in Liege, Belgium

After shopping at the Market (on Sundays in Liege), we walked over to where my office will be while I am in Liege.  Just down the street we went to Le Vaudree II for lunch.  They have about 300 different beers there, so I asked for a recommendation as to which "blonde" beer I should have with my sandwich.  "Tripel Karmeliet" was the waiter's recommendation.  It was excellent!
Two days in Belgium, two beers..Finding a better beer than Tripel Karmeliet is going to be a challenge!
Later, to get a least a little bit of exercise, Candy and I hiked up the 384 steps of Montagne de Bueren.  If we do that every day then perhaps I will be able to do a beer a day.

Another picture of steps for my collection...or, at least a justification for my one beer/day diet.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Arrival in Liege, Belgium (Leaving from Paderborn, Germany)

We had quite the adventure today in traveling from Paderborn, Germany, to Liege, Belgium.  Our German train arrived one hour after it was supposed to in Cologne.  Fortunately, my Paderborn assistant (Carina Witte) scheduled a 90-minute gap between switching, we had enough time to drag all of our luggage from one track to another, get a very quick lunch, and have Candy go quickly out of the train station so she could see the Cologne Cathedral next door.  Once we got to our Liege apartment I had to drag all of our bags up the three flights of (very narrow) steps.  (We will pack much lighter next time!)  We quickly unpacked so that I could set up our Internet connection to watch the University of Pittsburgh-Notre Dame football game (recall that she is in the Pitt band)...I got it all working just minutes before the game began.
Rooting for Pitt (we did see Samantha!) and drinking the Leffe beer that was left in the refrigerator.

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Relaxing Walk though the Woods near Paderborn, Germany

For my last afternoon in Paderborn, the Marketing Department (minus Andreas Eggert, who "doesn't do Fridays") took Candy and I for a walk in the woods just outside of Paderborn.
The path we walked on at Alter Pilgerweg.
A (the?) reason for the walk was so that we would have an "alibi" to stop and get dessert and a coffee at the Wald und Wiesen restaurant next to the woods.  (Someone has suggested that I have included many pictures with food as a prevalent theme!)
Dwayne, Carina, Eva, Cristina, and Candy after dessert and coffee.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Final Session of "Publishing Scholarly Research" Seminar, University of Paderborn, Germany

The last 30 minutes of our 20-hour "Publishing Scholarly Research" seminar was held in Student Pub at the University of Paderborn.  There the students were taught (and then practiced) the final step of the publishing process...celebrating good news!  (Usually that would mean celebrating the happiness that comes from knowing that a manuscript was accepted for publication at a journal...but, in this case, it meant celebrating that the seminar was over.)  I felt that it was important to make sure that the students knew how to, I treated them to a drink and observed their celebration activities!

The successful conclusion of the "Publishing Scholar Research" seminar.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Presentations and Discussions at the University of Paderborn, Germany

On Monday I gave a presentation to about 20 of the business faculty at the University of Paderborn on our paper entitled, "Extreme Makeover: Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Remodeled Servicescape."  On Tuesday I met with Prof. Dr. Stefan Jungblut and several graduate students at the University of Paderborn's International Forum in Economics and Management to discuss issues around pursuing Ph.D. degrees abroad.

Some of the IFEM students and Prof. Dr. Stefan Jungblut next to me in the back row.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Visiting Automobile Museums in Stuttgart, Germany

Anja, Dieter, and Helga took Candy and I to the Mercedes-Benz museum and for a brief stop at the Porsche museum in Stuttgart, Germany.  There were some very nice-looking cars being displayed at each.  (You could purchase a Mercedes in the basement of the museum...Anja was a bit disappointed that neither of her "dads" bought her one.)  And, outside of the Porsche museum, an incredible Porsche sculpture displayed three cars about 40 meters above the ground in a round-a-bout.  Very cool.  Here are two of the pictures I took...

Just outside of the Porsche museum in Stuttgart, Germany

And, in black and white...

Friday, October 30, 2015

Visiting Our German (Exchange) Daughter and Family in Schlaitdorf, Germany

During the 2013-14 school year, just as Samantha went off to college, Anja Class came to live with use for a year.  So, we spent the weekend (and Candy much of the next week) visiting Anja and her family.  We arrived quite late on Friday evening, but they picked us up a the train station in Stuttgart, took us to their village of Schlaitdorf, and served us pumpkin soup for dinner.  And, I had a special prize awaiting me in the pumpkin they had carved and set on their front step.
Candy, Dwayne, and Anja Class in the front, Helga, Kathrin, and Dieter Class in the back row
The next day the Class family took us on a tour of Tubingen, an old university town where both Helga and Dieter attended law school.  During the tour we saw two statues depicting two men arguing.  Dieter and I then decided to argue over who should get to keep Anja. 

Statues of two Tubingen patrons arguing

Dwayne and Dieter arguing over who gets to keep Anja.
The next day we visited the Mercedes Benz Museum.  In the lower level of the museum you could purchase a car.  Anja declared that whomever purchased a car for her could keep her.  Neither Dieter nor I were interested in making such a purchase...I suggested that perhaps that means Anja is now an orphan!