University of Maine at Fort Kent Assistant Professor of Business Leo Trudel has conducted research for his doctoral dissertation in which he showed that successful farmers in Maine tend to use business plans. Trudel recently graduated from North Central University in Prescott, Arizona, with a Ph.D. in Business Administration with a concentration in Financial Management.
Trudel said he wanted to address two questions with his research. First, he wanted to know if there are material characteristics that are common among successful farmers in Maine when using a business plan. The second question he wanted to answer was, do business plans really work?
The title of his dissertation was “Exploring Relationships between Business Plan Development and Meeting Projected Goals for Maine Farmers”.
Describing a resource-base view (RBV) for farmers in Maine, Trudel said he addressed five key resources – human, finance, capital, technology, and entrepreneurship. “How do you manipulate them in order to optimize your profitability, or whatever your objective is (in the case of non-profits)?” Trudel said.
Regarding business plans, UMFK's newest Ph.D. holder said, “What we found was that business planning does work. The other component we found was assessing financial capital and entrepreneurship (from an experience perspective), as well as technology really mattered.
“The funny thing was when we assessed education. It didn't matter. What mattered was experience more than education. We had people with Ph.D.s that weren't successful and people with eighth grade educations that were successful, extremely successful.”
While at UMFK, Dr. Trudel serves on the Diversity Committee; Peer Review Committee; Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee; Centre for Rural Sustainable Development Advisory Council; Education Advisory Council; French Heritage Advisory Council; and the Professional Management Advisory Council.
He earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Plymouth State University and a Masters in Finance from North Central University.
In addition, he holds several security licenses: Registered Investment Advisor, a General Securities Representative, Equity Trader Limited Representative, as well as a Proprietary Trader designation.
Dr. Trudel is a member of the Maine Center for Tourism Research and Outreach (CENTRO) and Aroostook Country Tourism Crown of Maine.
Trudel has taught at UMFK for 10 years as an assistant professor of business specializing in finance and entrepreneurship.