Ara Management Academy

Thunderbird School of Global Management

Thunderbird School of Global Management


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Who should attend

This program further develops managers and leaders within the agronomic organizations. It is especially valuable for salespeople, agronomists and middle managers who expect to have more management responsibilities in the future. Previous participants have held positions such as sales representative, location manager, sales manager, operations manager and general manager.

About the course

Develop your management skill set while sharing ideas with peers at the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) Management Academy. Over the course of this three-day program, you will sharpen your management, leadership and decision-making capabilities by engaging in faculty-led presentations, interactive exercises and small-group discussion. Designed in partnership with Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and Purdue University Center for Food and Agricultural Business, the ARA curriculum includes a broad-based selection of managerial courses chosen specifically to meet the needs of managers in the agricultural retail industry.

The ARA Management Academy allows you to:

  • Build on your understanding of core business functions and how to leverage the powerful linkages between them
  • Explore management challenges with the goal of uncovering business opportunities
  • Strengthen your leadership qualities through effective communication and relationship building that will lead to improved business results
  • Network with peers from across different markets and geographical regions of the U.S.
  • Debate and discuss industry issues with well-known management faculty

Program Content

The learning environment consists of a mix of discussion, small group exercises, case study application, and debate and dialogue with experienced instructors and a network of colleagues.

Marketplace Trends and Competitive Positioning

This session will view the industry from 20,000 feet—laying the groundwork for the class to discuss implications to their businesses throughout the entire program.

Thinking Strategically

A strategic mind-set is important in the daily operation of your business and in meeting long-term business goals. Learn how to use decision analysis tools in your operation.

Examining Profitability

Financial statements provide valuable data for decision-making purposes. A profitability linkage model evaluates your company's position and performance within the industry.

Creating Value for your Customers

At the core of this session is an examination of what it takes to create value in the marketplace and differentiate your organization from the competition.

Implementing Organizational Leadership Strategies

Your leadership skills impact your ability to motivate and influence team members and managers up the line. Learn how to thrive in environments with constant change.

Services Excellence and Blueprinting

Service Blueprinting is a versatile and practical technique used for service improvement and innovation. This technique allows you to clearly visualize your service processes and delivery from the customers’ point of view. The uniqueness of Service Blueprinting is the unrelenting focus on the customer as the center and foundation of your business towards service excellence.


Douglas Olsen

Douglas Olsen is an associate professor with W. P. Carey School of Business and Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University. He joined the ASU in 2008. His research focuses on innovation and consumer behavior. Prior to coming to ASU, he hed positions at University of Alber...

Suzanne Peterson

Dr. Suzanne Peterson is the newest full-time member of the Thunderbird Faculty. As an Associate Professor of Leadership she is squarely focused on bringing her leadership expertise and content to Thunderbird's executive education clients. She has previously served as Faculty Director of Executive...

Scott Downey

Scott Downey is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics, where he teaches courses in sales and marketing. He is the lead author of “ProSelling: A Professional Approach to Selling in Agriculture and Other Industries.” Scott is also an associate director of the Center fo...

Michael Gunderson

Michael Gunderson is passionate about agriculture and improving the management competencies of agribusiness professionals. He is committed to lifelong learning and professional development. He conducts research that aims to improve the efficiency of the food and agribusiness value chain, recogniz...

Mark Manfredo

Mark Manfredo is a professor and director of the Morrison School of Agribusiness at the W. P. Carey School of Business. His research focuses on commodity price analysis and agribusiness risk management, with particular emphasis on futures and options markets and price forecasting. His work has a...

Allan Gray

Allan Gray serves as executive director of the Center for Food and Agricultural Business and director of the MS-MBA in Food and Agribusiness Management program. He joined the agricultural economics faculty at Purdue University in August 1998. Allan is currently the Land O’Lakes Chair in Food and ...

Videos and materials

Ara Management Academy at Thunderbird School of Global Management

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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