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David Stockbower

David Stockbower

Vanderbilt EMBA 2011

Director Business Development at Fiberweb plc


Understanding More Deeply

Stockbower makes himself more cross-functional


Every week, it seems, Dave Stockbower recognizes more career dividends from his Vanderbilt Executive MBA.

Not long ago, for example, Fiberweb — Dave manages the company’s sales team in Asia and is marketing lead for new products in its filtration segment — was evaluating the market for several new products. The process involved, among other steps, identifying the customers, examining the financials, and working with the manufacturing quality team to assess the company’s capabilities to make the products.

“What I’ve found,” says Dave, an engineer by training, “is that now I understand at a deeper level what people in other areas are saying, even though I’ve never been in those functions. I don’t have any direct Quality experience in my background, for example, but the manufacturing classes at Owen brought to life what Quality is and does. So I am better able to sit in their seat and make a fast analysis of what they’re saying.”

For all the on-the-job advantages Dave still gains, perhaps the most lasting impression of the EMBA program occurred at the beginning, just after he took the position with Fiberweb and relocated his family from Massachusetts. “When we had just moved into our apartment in Nashville, and while I was at the class immersion experience at New Harmony, Juli Bennett (from the Owen administrative staff) came to visit my wife and dropped off a nice flower arrangement. It just meant so much that the program was welcoming our whole family.”