ARA Management Academy

ARA Management Academy

Program Overview

Develop your management skill set while sharing ideas with peers at the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) Management Academy. Over the course of this program, you will sharpen your management, leadership and decision-making capabilities by engaging in faculty-led presentations, interactive exercises and small-group discussion. Program curriculum includes a broad-based selection of managerial courses chosen specifically to meet the needs of managers in the agricultural retail industry.

We find that when managers attend as a team, they are more successful in implementing new ideas and tools when they return to the work environment. Consider a team of three or more for preferred pricing.

Key Benefits

The ARA Management Academy allows you to:

  • Build on your understanding of core business functions and how to leverage the powerful linkages between them
  • Explore management challenges with the goal of uncovering business opportunities
  • Strengthen your leadership qualities through effective communication and relationship building that will lead to improved business results
  • Network with peers from across different markets and geographical regions of the U.S.
  • Debate and discuss industry issues with well-known management faculty

Program Content

The learning environment consists of a mix of discussion, small group exercises, case study application, and debate and dialogue with experienced instructors and a network of colleagues.

Marketplace Trends and Competitive Positioning

This session will view the industry from a broad overview, laying the groundwork for the class to discuss industry disruptions, innovation and the implications to their businesses.

Thinking Strategically

A strategic mind-set is important in the daily operation of your business and in meeting long-term business goals. Learn how to use decision analysis tools in your operation.

Examining Profitability: Your Role and Impact

Financial statements provide valuable data for decision-making purposes. A profitability linkage model evaluates your company’s position and performance within the industry.

Creating Value for your Customers

At the core of this session is an examination of what it takes to create value in the marketplace and differentiate your organization from the competition. An opportunity to spend time with Southwest producers is a part of the session.

Implementing Organizational Leadership Strategies

Learn how to thrive in environments with constant change by exploring ways to embrace organizational transitions, overcome resistance to change, and develop the skills needed for adaptive leadership.

Services Excellence and Blueprinting

Service Blueprinting is a versatile and practical technique used for service improvement and innovation. This technique allows you to clearly visualize your service processes and delivery from the customers’ point of view. The uniqueness of Service Blueprinting is the unrelenting focus on the customer as the center and foundation of your business towards service excellence.

Who Should Attend

This program provides professional development for managers and leaders within agronomic organizations. It is especially valuable for salespeople, agronomists and agronomy managers who expect to take on more responsibilities in the future. It is also beneficial for experienced managers interested in refreshing best practices in our changing industry.

Program Partners

The center offers this program in partnership with the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) and Arizona State University.

Program Agenda

*Please note that Arizona is on MST time.
*A printable pdf of the agenda is available for download here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

8:00 a.m. MST
Program overview and introduction

8:30 a.m.
Business strategy: Future drivers of change

10:00 a.m.

10:15 a.m.
Cont’d – Business Strategy

12:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.
Services Blueprinting: Visualize you Services Processes and Delivery from Customer’s Point of View

3:00 p.m.

3:15 p.m.
Cont’d – Services Blueprinting

5:30 p.m.
Networking reception

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

8:00 a.m. MST
Financial Management: Examining Profitability Your Role and Impact

10:30 a.m.

11:00 a.m.
Special Issue Session

12:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.
People: Leadership, Communication and Relationships

2:30 p.m.

3:00 p.m.
Conversations with Arizona Growers

5:15 p.m.
Depart for Networking Dinner

Thursday, January 30, 2020

8:00 a.m. MST
Financial Management: Examining Profitability Your Role and Impact

10:00 a.m.

10:30 a.m.
Sales and Marketing: Understanding The Large Grower Through The Discovery Process

12:00 p.m.

1:00 p.m.
People: Leadership, Communication and Relationships

2:15 p.m.

2:30 p.m.
Cont’d –

3:30 p.m.
Now What? Action Steps After The Academy

4:00 p.m.

Safe travels home!

Participant Specifics

Program Location

McCord Hall, Arizona State University
450 E. Lemon St.
Tempe, Ariz. 85281


Due to the Residence Inn Tempe being sold out, we now have a second room block with Holiday Inn Express & Suites Phx Tempe – University during your stay with us. The rate per night is USD$159 + taxes. It includes breakfast. This group rate is available three days pre- and post-program. Additional nights are based on hotel room availability. Reservations after this date are subject to hotel rooms and rate availability as well.

The hotel is about a 5-minute drive OR about 15-minute walk from the hotel to class, should you choose to stay.

To make your reservations at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Phx Tempe – University, please use this Reservations Link or call Alfredo Sierra at (480) 966-7202, and mention you are part of the group Agricultural Retailers Association Management Academy, so that you get the USD$159 + taxes group fee.



Please eat breakfast before attending the program. We will provide lunch to the group each day. Coffee, soft drinks and refreshments will be available throughout each day, as well.

What to Wear

Attire for the conference is business casual. January in Arizona is typically a low of 40 degrees with a high of 71 degrees. Layers are recommended for the classroom.


Materials will be provided for you throughout the program. All of the presentations will also be emailed following the program.

Program Payment/Cancellation

Payment for the academy is due upon registration
Please refer to our cancellation policy.

For more information, contact:

Selene Collins
Program Manager | Executive Education
Thunderbird School of Global Management
o: 602.496.7034 |  c: 602.930.0177 | e:

ARA Program Cancellation Policy

It is the responsibility of participants to read and understand the policy and procedures outlined below. Upon registration and payment, participants will receive program specific information via email. All communication will be sent to the participant’s email account collected in the registration process.

Payment, Cancellation and Postponement Policy

Payment of program fee is due at time of registration by credit card. This agreement is voidable and refunds granted according to this schedule:

  • Cancellation after access to program materials will not be eligible for a refund.
  • Cancellation more than 60 calendar days prior to the program start will be eligible for a 100% refund if access to program materials has not yet been granted.
  • Cancellation between 30-59 days prior to the program start will be eligible for a 50% refund if access to the program materials has not yet been granted.
  • Cancellation 29 days or less prior to the program start will not be eligible for a refund.

Suitable replacement:
A suitable replacement participant can attend in lieu of originally registered participant from the same organization with a minimum 14 day notice.

ASU/Purdue Cancellation

Arizona State University in conjunction with Purdue University reserve the right to cancel a program prior to its start date. In the event a program is cancelled prior to its start date, the applicants will be notified in writing and will be entitled to a full refund of the program fees. The schools are not responsible for reimbursement of any other costs.

Contract Acceptance

Submittal of this registration form signifies that you have read and understand all aspects of this agreement.

For additional questions regarding the policies outlined in the Enrollment Agreement, please contact: