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Gregory Stoup, Director of Research

The Center for Regional Economic Issues

Weatherhead School of Management
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

July 28, 2003

Dear [name withheld],

Since joining the REI team as our marketing and communication consultant, Betsey Merkel
has demonstrated a remarkable talent for cultivating strategic relationships on behalf of
WSOM. In less than a year, she has launched several communication initiatives that have
positively impacted faculty and community awareness of REI. On reflection, it seems to me
that her success has been due to something beyond the requisite skill set expected of a
strategic marketing professional. Betsey is creative and possesses a unique understanding
of today’s varied communications technologies. She is organized, disciplined, and highly

Betsey is also the kind of thinker who can take giant leaps under and around complex
issues, with a strong ability to grasp high-level concepts and apply them to meet a market
need. She is able to quickly and effectively identify commonalities across disparate groups.
Time and time again I have seen her identify connections where others have failed; to
discover them and illuminate them to the benefit of all concerned, both within and beyond
the university. Since joining us, Betsey has immersed herself in the WSOM culture. She
has conducted multiple interviews with constituencies: core funders and sponsors; policy
and decision makers; students and alumni; the academic faculty, administration, and staff;
the media; and the wider community. The equity that has been generated by this work has
fueled multiple development opportunities and strategic partnerships for REI.

Betsey Merkel has already become an invaluable asset to this university. Given her
successful work directing the implementation of the transformational methodologies
conceived here at Weatherhead, I believe that placing Betsey in a permanent position at
this school would facilitate a critical aspect of the university’s strategic marketing agenda:
the prolific generation of marketable product.

It is my belief that Betsey can bridge the ideas being generated all over this campus to
marketable projects: demonstrable research, entrepreneurial partnerships, and world-class
publication. Therefore, I am recommending Betsey for your consideration for the open
position of WSOM Director of Strategic Marketing.

Best regards,
Gregory Stoup
Director of Research
The Center for Regional Economic Issues
Weatherhead School of Management