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Tami Fassinger First Recipient of EMBA Council “Spirit of Innovation” Award

Nov 9, 2017
Vanderbilt Business Chief Recruiting Officer lauded as a “true pioneer” for Executive MBA

By Nathaniel Luce

Tami Fassinger, Chief Recruiting Officer at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management, received the inaugural Spirit of Innovation Award at the EMBA Council’s 2017 Annual Meeting, on October 24 in Seattle.

Tami Fassinger poses with Elmer Almachar (L) and Michael Desiderio (R) of EMBAC

The award acknowledges the innovative contributions to the Executive MBA industry and community. Recipients must have launched an innovation or series of innovations with significant material impact in areas such as admissions, curriculum, program delivery, operations, and outreach.

Fassinger, who held the role of Associate Dean of Executive Programs at Vanderbilt Business from 2004-2011 before assuming her current position, was lauded for her contributions to data collection and measurement, as well as new global programs.

“I can’t think of anyone more worthy to bear this honor than (Fassinger),” said Elmer Almachar, Chair of the Board of Trustees for EMBAC, in his award presentation. “An industry strategist, leader, and innovator, she is perhaps above all else our teacher, our role model, and our mentor.”

An industry strategist, leader, and innovator, she is perhaps above all else our teacher, our role model, and our mentor. – Elmer Almachar

Fassinger downplayed her individual contributions in her acceptance speech, crediting her teams with bringing her ideas to life. She did mention three personal attributes that led to her success.

“In my career,” she said, “I was always trying to be approachable. People could tell me what was really in their heart and know that I wouldn’t judge it.

“The next thing is being really curious about people and their stories. My ideas…usually came from listening a lot to those stories.

“And lastly, I love being networked. This (EMBAC) group is a networking group that I rely on a lot.”


The academic association that represents the Executive MBA (EMBA) industry, the Executive MBA Council (EMBAC) advances the cause of EMBA Programs by serving as a facilitator of best practice sharing and knowledge dissemination, and fostering a community among high-quality programs.

About the Executive MBA at Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management

Vanderbilt’s Executive MBA Program is a globally recognized MBA program for working professionals, with world class faculty and resources. The program offers two tracks — Executive Edge or Global Immersion — that provide options to focus on leadership and strategic skills or explore the nuances of doing business globally. For more information on the Executive MBA program, click here.

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