2011 LeMoyne-Owen College FOCUSS Idea Competition Sponsored by Cummins, Inc.

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The presidios campus of LeMoyne-Owen College was the site of the FOCUSS (Framework for Opportunity Convergence and the Utilization of Sustainable Solutions) Idea Competition, which was held on 4 November 2011.

Created to stimulate constructive thought surrounding concepts of innovation and discovery, the FOCUSS Idea Competition provided students a unique opportunity to share and cultivate creative solutions to a sponsoring corporation. Competition was open to all current LeMoyne-Owen College students. The corporate Sponsor of the competition was Cummins, Inc..

Areas of Concentration

  • Policy Development and Effectiveness
  • Minority Business Enterprise Growth and Development
  • Minority Business Enterprise Growth and Development Tracking and Reporting Measures


Platform for Idea Competition

Guided by the FOCUSS Areas of Concentration, students (with the optional assistance of associated LeMoyne-Owen College faculty advisor) proposed an idea that resolved the following problem statement submitted by Cummins, Inc.:

To develop a strategic approach that will enable a global Fortune 500 manufacturing concern to pro-actively increase its level of business activity with Business Enterprises owned and operated by minority individuals and /or women. This framework must address the elements of execution (how?) and assessment (how well are we doing?) in the following dimensions:

  • Policy Deployment - Ensuring that qualified MBE suppliers are sought out and given appropriate consideration in a diversity of spending categories (products, services, consulting, etc.).

  • Policy Effectiveness - Recommending a process for evaluating success in terms of soliciting and selecting MBE suppliers in Company purchasing decisions.

  • Relationship Strength - Recommending a process for evaluating the growth and development of individual MBE suppliers to the Company.

  • Scorecard - Defining the appropriate tracking and reporting measures to provide a long-term view of program success/need for corrective action.

Proposals were judged on the following criteria:

  • Ability to communicate the proposed solution
  • Innovative nature of the Idea
  • Creative nature of the presentation displaying creativity and logic using both quantitative and qualitative methods of reason
  • Social responsibility and citizenship
  • Involvement of the University or business community
  • Potential impact of the Sustainable Solution from a global perspective
  • $1,000 First Place
  • $750 Second Place
  • $500 Third Place


LeMoyne-Owen College (LOC) occupies a beautifully landscaped campus at 807 Walker Avenue in South Memphis.

The principal buildings on campus include: Brownlee Hall, the major administrative building; Steele Hall Fine Arts and Humanities Center, the oldest building on campus; C. Arthur Bruce Hall, housing the gymnasium, pool and other physical education facilities; The Alma C. Hanson Student Center, housing student lounges and recreation rooms, meeting rooms, dining hall, staff offices, the Little Theater and the College bookstore; The Hollis F. Price Memorial Library; The Gibson-Orgill Mathematics and Science Learning Center, housing faculty offices, laboratories, and classrooms; a Natural Science Library; the Teaching and Learning Center; and the Computer Center. Institutional Advancement, Alumni Relations and Public Relations are in Sweeney Hall. The Center for African and African American Studies houses classrooms, conference rooms and office space.

LeMoyne-Owen College provides a transformative experience educating students for urban-focused leadership, scholarship, service and professional careers. Its vision is to be an exemplary historically black college providing an excellent liberal arts education that transforms urban students, institutions and communities.

Purpose Statement: LeMoyne-Owen College strives to:

  • provide an exciting and challenging academic and intellectual atmosphere and culture in which to teach and learn.
  • provide the spiritual and moral development of each student.
  • encourage the spirit of generosity and reinvestment in LOC graduates giving time, talent and financial resources.
  • prepare students to be able to thrive in a diverse community.
  • open new vistas of what is possible in the lives of all students by providing educational opportunities to those for whom these may not be readily available, especially the disadvantaged.
  • foster self-sufficiency, self confidence and positive attitudes among out students.
  • render high-quality service to all our constituents - students, faculty, staff, alumni, and all other supporters.
  • produce highly qualified and sought-after graduates.
  • become a resource to address social and economic issues of the community.
  • contribute to the preservation of African American culture.
Dr. Katherine W. Causey
Dr. Cheryl Golden
Johnnie B. Watson


Leading the Idea effort at LeMoyne-Owen College is Dr. Katherine W. Causey, Chair - Division of Business and Economic Development; Dr. Cheryl Golden, Vice President and Chief Academic Officer; and LeMoyne-Owen College President, Johnnie B. Watson.



Cummins Inc., a global power leader, is a corporation of complementary business units that design, manufacture, distribute and service engines and related technologies, including fuel systems, controls, air handling, filtration, emission solutions and electrical power generation systems.

Headquartered in Columbus, Indiana, (USA) Cummins serves customers in approximately 190 countries and territories through a network of more than 500 company-owned and independent distributor locations and approximately 5,200 dealer locations. Cummins reported a net income of $1.04 billionĀ in 2010.

The Company takes pride in manufacturing engines, generators, filters and related products that serve the varied needs of its customers worldwide. To do that, Cummins unleashes the power of its employees: Their energy and commitment make it possible for the Company to maintain a leadership position in the markets it serves.

Cummins also recognizes that with its role as a corporate leader comes a responsibility to help improve the communities in which employees work and live. It is a responsibility the Company brings to life through its actions and the activities of its employees.

Leading the Idea effort at Cummins, Inc. are: Gordon Fykes, Allen Pierce, Brent Lollar, and Joyce Thomas

Gordon Fykes
Allen Pierce
Brent Lollar
Joyce Thomas