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SBL Hosts Networking Exchange

By Brett Wilson | May 14, 2014

Bob Coughlin '06 (School of Business & Leadership).

When Bob Coughlin '06 (School of Business & Leadership) was looking for a higher education program to enhance his budding business skills, he knew the one determining factor that would set Regent University ahead of any other school: ethics.

Coughlin shared his story at the SBL annual networking exchange event on Friday, May 9, where prospective students, current SBL students, faculty and alumni connected with business representatives from the Hampton Roads community.

As the vice president of product integrity for Kids II®, a children's toy company headquartered in Atlanta, Coughlin ensures the safety of his company's products and maintains the standards of their products that reach 70 countries around the world.

"How I execute my job has an effect on people's lives," said Coughlin as he addressed the Exchange attendees in the University Library Atrium. "I knew back when I started at Regent I needed to learn how to do my job in an ethical way; I needed to be grounded in it."

Kids II®—the parent company for brands such as Baby Einstein™, Disney Baby™, and Bright Starts™—boasts approximately 450 employees, and 13 global offices. Coughlin takes special care in upholding his company's responsibility for providing safe toys to their consumers.

"Sometimes, it's easier to make an aircraft than it is to make a toy that costs between five and 20 dollars," said Coughlin with a laugh.

Coughlin explained that the leadership skills he learned at Regent helped propel his career forward, teaching him the responsibilities and values of a "servant leader," an individual who puts their constituents before themselves in the workplace.

"I put my staff first and myself last; all of my direct reports know that's what I expect of them, too," said Coughlin. "You will reap what you sow with servant leadership; no matter how far you go, you won't go far without people."

Coughlin recalled a moral issue that evolved in the children's toy market in 2007. Studies reported that a manufacturer in China was covering toys with lead-based paint just over the legal limit. As a result, 8,000 shipping containers full of toys needed to be tested, resulting in a recall of millions of toys.

"That's the sort of stress that really shows your ethics," said Coughlin. "There was a lot of pressure."

However, Coughlin is convinced that his testimony reflects the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25: he believes his faithfulness with what he has been given led to his current position.

"I like to move forward," said Coughlin. "But I know, looking back, much of the success I've had has to do with the tools I learned at Regent."

Learn more about Regent University School of Business & Leadership.


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E-mail: mhughes@regent.edu



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