Balloon animals, prizes, games, speakers and alumni were just part of what made up this year’s Hoff School of Business Dean’s Reception. Chris Corrado, chief operating officer of Rigado, opened up the night by speaking on the idea of making a difference. After being introduced, Corrado made his entrance by starting his speech from the back of the room. Corrado, who once owned his own circus, walked around the room blowing up balloon animals and giving them to students as he encouraged them to be passionate and a “lifelong learner.” “You might not pick your own life’s direction, but every step you take builds upon itself,” Corrado said. “I think everybody can use their unique talent to further the world and make a difference.” Besides giving out balloon animals, Corrado also gave the students multiple business lessons he learned from his own life and experiences such as having a good team of people. After making Griffith Lindell, dean of the Hoff School of Business, a balloon crafted giraffe, Corrado gave one final lesson to the students. “What I want to challenge everybody to do tonight is to take each experience you have as a learning experience,” he said. Sam King hopes to use his college education to “make a difference.” “I want to go into a business that helps people and makes lives better, and through that I’d like to point people to Christ and really be able to invest in people’s lives,” King said. The other main speaker was Jonathan Booth, a LegalShield associate and regional manager in Oregon, who spoke on the importance of mentorship. Booth used the story in Luke 24 about the road to Emmaus to introduce a new program in the Hoff School of Business. “It is my chance this evening to introduce the concepts and the programs that are being launched this evening. The program is brand new and it is one that is very dear to my heart. The program of mentoring,” Booth said. “You have the opportunity, ladies and gentleman, to make as much or as little of your time here at Corban as you wish.” The students, if interested, could fill out a card at their table to request a mentor from the Executive Advisory Board. Booth also explained why he used this story to introduce the program. “You know, I read to you about that walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus because it speaks to the essence of mentorship,” Booth said. “[Mentorship is] when one person comes alongside another and journeys with them. Wouldn’t you agree that Jesus mentored the 12, and they through the inner power of the Holy Spirit changed the world? Walking with Jesus was and is powerful beyond words.” The Dean’s Reception also had individuals from different business, some of whom were alumni, explain their companies and let the students know what internships were available. Fellowship of Companies for Christ International was the focal internship opportunity where the first 15 students who applied and qualified would be given a paid internship with a Christian company leader. Kelli Gassman, assistant professor of business and marketing, enjoyed the alumni aspect of the event. “We actually included alumni in terms of trying to give students a vision of what could be,” Gassman said. “I think students got to have a little bit of fun, as they did previously. Each year continues to build on each year after.” In addition to internship opportunities, Dr. Shawn Hussey spoke on the international trip business students can take to earn credit for school and meet international business executives. The trip has included taking students to places such as South Korea, Singapore and Indonesia. Hussey showed a vlog one of the students had made of the trip to highlight the different features. This impressed Missy LeDoux who was surprised at the laidback nature of the event. “It was a lot more youth-oriented and social media-oriented so that was an interesting surprise,” LeDoux said. “I saw the passion some of these speakers have for their jobs, and, even though marketing and business isn’t my passion, I hope to find that in a career.” In between presentations, the evening included games, such as students guessing professor preferences on food, cartoon characters and other categories, and ended with a grand prize drawing of an Apple iPad Air 2. The honored guests who were in attendance included Jonathan Booth; Linda Hoff, widow of the man who is the Hoff School of Business namesake – Reno Hoff; Steve Sammons, vice president for marketing and communications; Holly Flores, administrative assistant of the Hoff School of Business; and Sheldon Nord, president of Corban University.