Rizzuto and Lewis co-teach two finance workshops
If you get Randy Lewis talking, you’ll find out fairly quickly that he believes learning is not a one-way street in the classroom.
“There is a difference between teaching and talking,” said Lewis. “Professors need to be leading conversations, not listening to themselves talk.”
Lewis, who is a consultant and adjunct faculty at the Daniels College of Business, has extensive experience developing and managing successful business solutions in highly contested environments. He regularly serves as a court-appointed receiver, liquidating trustee, turnaround advisor, expert witness and mediator in distressed business situations.
He also co-teaches several finance courses with Professor of Finance Ron Rizzuto for Daniels’ Executive Education. The duo teach both Strategic Finance and Finance for Non-Financial Managers, complementing one another with their diverse professional backgrounds and skillsets. Lewis brings his strategy and legal insights, while Rizzuto offers a deep understanding of financial tools, techniques and theory.
“The combination of Ron and Randy made an engaging learning environment for the entire team,” said Charlie Dietrich, CFO of ISEC, a national construction company headquartered in Denver. “The DU Strategic Finance workshop provides a great forum to ponder new approaches to real-world business challenges.”
In both three-day workshops, attendees become more intelligent users of finance and accounting reports. Specifically, in Strategic Finance, participants will go deeper, connecting finance, strategy and value creation. The two tag-team the teaching, inviting participants to use real-world examples and even bring their own financial data.
“We really want people to go away feeling they can ask better questions,” Lewis said. “Teaching in that environment is exhilarating. We cover real things that participants are facing that day. Done well, they can make a big difference [in their organizations] almost immediately.”
Rizzuto has worked with Lewis for years.
“Randy is able to look at problems from all dimensions. He is a three-dimensional thinker and he brings that thinking and discipline to the classroom,” Rizzuto said. “He wants students to develop a cross-disciplinary understanding of the problem as well as develop case solutions that deal with all aspects of the problem.”
While the two might approach finance from different angles, their motivation for teaching is mutual.
“We are both passionate about teaching and enhancing students’ career opportunities,” Rizzuto said.
Lewis noted that one workshop attendee brought his organization’s financial data to talk through, then made recommendations to his CFO based on the course. Lewis said he later found out that the CFO was implementing what they had discussed in the workshop the day before.
“We’re genuinely interested in the advancement of people in the room. That is what drives me,” Lewis said.
Continuing the team-teaching concept, Adjunct Accounting Faculty Keely Gohl has recently joined Rizzuto and Lewis to teach the Finance for Non-Financial Managers workshop. Executive Education offers Finance for Non-Financial Managers online April 27–29, 2020. Strategic Finance is offered online May 6–8, 2020.