Excellence in Operations Management Course Instructors

Cyrus Aram

Cyrus Aram has over 20 years of private and public sector experience in the areas of customer strategy, business transformation, planning, program, change and quality management. He has domain level expertise in customer strategy, business process transformation, lean sigma, program and change management, performance management and business controls, and thought leadership.

Aram earned his MBA from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management and his B.A. in English, political science and philosophy from UC Davis. He also received his Six Sigma Master Black Belt from the American Society for Quality, Black Belt certification and Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institute.

Scott Bush

Scott Bush is president of Bredison & Associates, an international sales and sales management training company. He has provided sales and sales management training to thousands of professionals worldwide. Bush has authored the widely popular course, “Coaching Your Sales Team,” for the American Management Association. He has partnered with many institutions and universities to develop online learning education through their online course curriculum and is very pleased to announce his more recent partnership with UC Davis.

Bush received his bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in business from California State University, Pomona. He is on the board of directors for two different successful institutions as well as a member of numerous chambers and associations within Southern California. Bush has spent more than ten years in the telecommunications industry and has held key senior level positions with several prominent companies including Global Crossing, Sprint, and Cable & Wireless.

Rachel Chen

Rachel Chen is an expert in operations research and supply chain management. Her work has been published in leading journals, including IIE Transactions, Management Science, Marketing Science, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Operations Research Letters, and Production and Operations Management. She taught for three years at the UC Riverside Graduate School of Management before joining the faculty at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

Chen grew up in central China and moved to Shanghai to attend Tongji University and pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science. She obtained her master’s in management information systems from Fudan University. She received her M.S. from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management and her Ph.D. in operations management.

Andrew B. Hargadon

Andrew B. Hargadon is at the forefront of teaching, research, and practice in cross-disciplinary entrepreneurship and is the founding director of two key centers at UC Davis—the Mike and Renee Child Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Energy Efficiency Center. These centers are dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship and innovation through educational programs bridging science, engineering, and business. Hargadon received the 2009 Olympus Emerging Educational Leader Award in recognition for his strong entrepreneurship curriculum and success with the two centers.

Hargadon received his Ph.D. from Stanford University’s School of Engineering, where he was named Boeing Fellow and Sloan Foundation Future Professor of Manufacturing. He received his M.S. in mechanical engineering and B.S. in engineering from Stanford University’s Product Design Program.

Jim Olson

Jim Olson founded the WestShore Management Group in April 2007 after leading several high technology businesses for two Fortune companies and serving for nine years as CEO of SkyStream Networks, the top-rated IPTV video head-end provider worldwide. In April 2006, TANDBERG Television’s acquired SkyStream. Olson left TANDBERG in early 2007 when ERICSSON acquired TANDBERG for $1.4 billion.

Olson is a guest lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and at the University of California, Davis, Graduate School of Management where he served as Executive in Residence in 2013 and Teacher of the Year in 2016. Olson holds a BSEE degree from the University of California, Davis, and MSEE and MBA degrees from Santa Clara University.

Diane Polnow

Diane Polnow is CEO and founder of Elite Sales Leaders, a global company specializing in management consulting and sales training. She teaches corporations how to build top performing sales teams and achieve peak performance. Her mission is to help people save money and make money using her proven techniques and principles.

Polnow is an expert at driving sales results at some of the most recognizable Fortune 100 companies. She spent nearly 20 years with Sprint and American Express amassing numerous awards for top performance. Polnow was a consistent top performing sales leader at Sprint, and when she moved to American Express, she inherited a team ranked #33 in the nation and led them to #4.

B.J. Susich

A partner at the law firm of Murphy Austin in Sacramento, California, B.J. Susich is also a CPA and a former accountant. He teaches graduate accounting courses and business law at UC Davis Graduate School of Management.

Susich earned a JD from the UC Davis School of Law, an MBA from UC Davis Graduate School of Management, an E-LL.M. in taxation from New York University, and a B.S. in business administration from Humboldt State.

David Woodruff

David Woodruff’s research expertise is in business analytics, operations and management science, planning and scheduling under uncertainty, and optimization. He has worked on applications in operations, logistics, and science and has been involved in a number of applications in electrical energy planning and scheduling. Woodruff is editor-in-chief of the INFORMS Journal on Computing, which is a publication of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science. He is presently principal investigator for additional Department of Energy funded research on grid planning in the presence of uncertainty due to renewables.

Woodruff earned his Ph.D. in industrial engineering and management sciences from Northwestern University. He received both his M.S. and B.S. in industrial engineering and engineering management from Stanford University.