With the holidays upon us, you may be planning stories about holiday travel, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, holiday spending, credit card debt, charitable donations and tax preparations. The University of Denver Daniels College of Business has several experts ready to talk about these issues:


  • Employment/HR issues during the holidays
    Cindi Fukami, professor of management, is an expert in organizational behavior and human resource management. She can comment on employee productivity during the holidays, end-of-year bonuses, strikes, lay-offs, unions and labor disputes.
    “There are a lot of distractions for employees and employers at this time of year,” Fukami says. “How do employers balance flexibility and compassion while at the same time ensuring productivity among their work forces?”
  • Charitable donations, end-of-year giving/planning
    Rick Leaman, professor of accountancy, is a tax expert. He’s also an attorney and has served as a tax partner and manager for KPMG Peat Marwick.
    “Year-end is always a good time to consider charitable contributions,” Leaman says. “2017 might be an especially good year since the pending Republican tax plan will reduce the number of taxpayers who itemize and benefit from charitable contributions by two-thirds. If rates also decline, the deduction will be less valuable so consider ‘doubling up’ in 2017.”
  • Holiday travel – airlines
    Lowell Valencia-Miller, assistant teaching professor, is an expert on airline deregulation and consolidation. He can speak to holiday travel, airline marketing and airline information technology.
    “The holidays are a time when we should be happiest but air travel has become increasingly commoditized with more people, more seats and less room. Taking a few extra steps will result in less stress when you get to the airport.
    Note: Lowell will be unavailable Dec.10-14. 
  • Holiday travel – airlines, hotels
    Karen Xie, assistant professor at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management, can speak about the best ways for travelers to save money and the best travel options for families. She can also discuss the outlook for the winter travel season, some logistical do’s and don’ts for winter travel, and the top five indicators in evaluating the best cities for winter holiday travel.
    “Finding affordable hotels can be challenging for those planning to travel this holiday season. Review sites like TripAdvisor, Expedia or even Airbnb can be helpful if travelers are savvy. Online reviews from previous customers and replies from the hotel managers (or hosts in Airbnb’s case) can tell a lot about the value of the properties, tricks to secure the most decent deal, the logistical do’s and don’ts for a stay, and the best ways to save money.”
    Note: Karen will be unavailable Dec. 8-29.
  • Holiday travel – lodging and restaurants
    David Corsun, associate professor at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality management, is an expert on hotels and restaurant trends.
    Note: David is traveling Nov. 23-Jan. 2, but can be available for a phone interview with advance notice.
  • Holiday shopping, Black Friday, credit card debt
    Ali Besharat, assistant professor of marketing, studies consumer behavior. His current projects explore how financial decisions can be translated into sub-optimal choice preference, unhealthy consumption and overspending. He also researches brand alliance, effectiveness of marketing communications and branding within digital environments, competitive advertising and brand phonetics.
    Note: Ali will be unavailable Dec. 15-19.
  • Holiday advertising
    Gregory Wagner, teaching associate professor, is a 30-year veteran of the ad wars, serving as creative director at four D’Arcy and Leo Burnett’s offices in St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit and Denver. Wagner believes that creative advertising sells.
    “’Tis the season to be shopping, retailers hope. Will a healthy stock market spur healthy sales? We’ll certainly see more online shoppers, more stores struggling (Sears, Target, even Toys R Us … say it ain’t so, Santa!) and more Thanksgiving Day sales, Black Friday and Cyber Monday marathons.”

For interviews with any of these experts, please contact Kristal Griffith.