Cindi Bigelow, president of Bigelow Tea in Fairfield, Connecticut, the #1 market leader of specialty teas in the United States, spoke to 45 MBA students recently in the Stamford Learning Accelerator (SLA) Rotunda at the University of Connecticut’s Stamford campus. Also present from Bigelow Tea were Lauren Westbrook, Brand Manager, and Patrick Rowan, Sales Representative.
Cindi was invited by Brian Brady, director of the SLA and faculty Instructor in Residence for “Thinking, Acting and Managing Entrepreneurially” in the Management Department, one of the MBA classes Bigelow addressed. Additionally in attendance were Professor Wynd Harris of the Marketing Department and students from her MBA course, “New Product and Management Innovation.” Also attending was Professor Tim Dowding of the Operations and Information Management Department and Associate Director of the International Business Accelerator at UConn Stamford.
Under Cindi’s energetic leadership, Bigelow Tea has embraced social media and continues to expand a product line that now includes over 120 varieties of black, green, decaffeinated, herbal and iced teas. The company produces over 1.6 billion tea bags annually.
Weeks prior to Cindi’s visit, the MBA students conducted research on tea drinkers and shared their findings with Cindi who led an interactive discussion on what it’s like to be the third generation running a family business, staying ahead of the competitive tea industry and why Bigelow Tea’s over 300 employees are like family. Cindi also engaged all of the students in a hands-on Earl Grey tea cutting demonstration, comparing Bigelow Tea’s brand to major competitors.
Photos from the event can be viewed at http://uconn.biz/SV0vZE
To learn more about the Stamford Learning Accelerator, please visit http://sla.business.uconn.edu/