Guest article by Katja Gelbrich.

There is a golden rule that a role model should always be at least 20 years older than you, right? Here comes the exception: Yany Grégoire from HEC Montréal.

Yany is about my age, and the first time I saw him was at the AMA summer conference in Washington in 2007. Yany was my session chair, and he took this job seriously. After (or before, I do not remember) everybody else had presented, he came up with an elaborated, brilliant summary of the three session talks. I thought: Wow, he could have let the session run and limited himself to calling out those who want to make comments. But he was so enthusiastic, waving his hands and making a lot of gestures to support his arguments. If somebody has so much fun doing his academic job, it must be a good one.

Shortly later, Yany became one of the reviewers for my first publication in a high-ranking journal and gave me a hard time (I only realized later that it was him), but his comments were constructive, rather than destructive, and they helped me a lot to improve the paper and get it published (after a painful process, in which I learned a lot). Later, Yany became my co-author with other projects, and I got to know him as a committed, creative person and a great writer – anything you need for being an excellent scientist. And he is a proud father with a lovely wife. All in all, a warm and pleasant person. That’s why I forgive him for sometimes complaining that I am so “German” (I am afraid he means being organized and even a bit pushy while on a project). I cannot help it, Yany, but I thank you for everything.

Katja Gelbrich
Professor of International Management,
Catholic University Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany