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Back to All ProfilesMike Piana

Mike Piana

Vanderbilt Executive MBA 2010
Regional Sales Manager/VP Sales Eastern Midwest at Nachurs Alpine Solutions (a TRI company)

Seeing the Bigger Picture

Piana Found Fertile Ground for Growth at Owen

With a degree in chemical engineering, Michael Piana understands the products he sells for his employer, Nachurs Alpine Solutions–a privately held company that makes premium specialty liquid fertilizer. But since his role as Vice President of Sales involves working with other executives in the company to develop pricing, budgets and long-term strategy, Michael believed he needed additional skills.

"I wanted to better understand the total business picture," he says, "and to do that I needed to build a foundation in accounting and finance and learn how to properly market and price products. I also hoped to become a better leader of my team."

In addition to new finance and accounting knowledge that has helped him better understand the impact of capital projects and sales and marketing decisions, Michael says he has benefited significantly from classes in "softer skills" that have improved his ability to "lead, organize and motivate my sales team."

The return he has already seen on his investment has validated his decision. "I wanted a degree that I would carry with me wherever I go," he says. "A Vanderbilt degree can open doors.

"Ultimately, you can only get one MBA. Make it count."
Since 1969, Vanderbilt Business has been building a new kind of business leader. The kind who aren't afraid to challenge old ways of thinking. Who don't think they've heard it all before (or pretend they will ever know it all). The persistent kind. People who are ready to work harder and dig deeper, and who put ideas over ego and performance over pedigree.

We attract the kind who are looking not only to succeed in the business world but to shape it for the better. While also shaping their skills, their careers and their futures. All while shaping our own community in ways that make a lasting difference for themselves and others.

You'll find stories here of Vanderbilt Businesspeople, people much like you, who have done all these and more.

We invite you to become a World Shaper yourself. Or to recruit one. And, most of all, to read how Vanderbilt Business has become such a richly shaping experience for so many. Close