By Omar Sofradzija
For Frank Yang, the Broad College Executive MBA program provided a springboard to his journey as an entrepreneur. “The EMBA program at MSU means a lot to me,” said Yang, adding that “the vibrant college culture, strong branding, and networking associated with MSU made a very big impact on me.”
In return, the metro Detroit automotive industry supplier is giving back in the form of a $500,000 gift from his family to the Business Pavilion project.
The Frank Yang family is offering the gift toward one of four flexible classrooms in the new facility, scheduled to open in summer 2019. Yang (EMBA ’12) is president of INCODEL Michigan LLC in Romulus, Mich.
“Frank Yang’s gift for the Business Pavilion is a testament to his belief in our commitment to provide the best possible student experience to every Broad Spartan,” said Eli and Edythe L. Broad Dean Sanjay Gupta. “We are very proud to have someone of Frank’s stature associated with this project. This investment in our students will fundamentally transform the Broad student experience.”
The flexible classroom being funded by Yang’s gift – which will be known as the INCODEL Michigan classroom – can be customized for multiple uses, amplifying the $62 million, 100,000 square foot building’s mission to be a place of engagement and team-building for students, faculty, alumni, and employers.
“This building is not just a space to enhance the student experience. It goes far beyond this,” said Dean Gupta. “The new Business Pavilion is a symbol, a point of pride, and a statement made toward teaching and learning, while ultimately achieving one’s Spartan goals and dreams.”
The gift developed out of the professional relationship between Yang and Lucy Maillette, the college’s current director of new academic initiatives and former EMBA director. During his time at MSU, Yang credits her “positive thinking and flexibility” as critical to his success. “She and some EMBA faculty are among the essential mentors in my career and life,” said Yang.
Joining the EMBA program came at a critical point in Yang’s career. He had just left a full-time job, determined to start his own business.
“The first step of my business plan was to apply for the EMBA program at MSU,” he said. Originally from China, with a BS in materials science and engineering from the University of Science and Technology Beijing, and an MS in engineering from Wayne State University, the EMBA program offered Yang an opportunity to share ideas and test business concepts. During his time in the EMBA program, Yang logged many trips to China, Europe, and Brazil, building his business along the way.
Yang’s international career includes roles in international shipping, the steel industry, and as a global automotive supplier. INCODEL is a vertically integrated supplier of components and supply chain services to the global automotive industry. Yang is a member of the American Foundry Society, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the Detroit Chinese Business Association advisory board.
For more information on how to contribute to the Business Pavilion, go to https://giving.broad.msu.edu/business-college-pavilion/.