It’s appropriate that the curriculum of Dwight Stagner’s firm American Business Training includes courses on motivation and initiative.

Based in Moscow, Mr. Stagner’s company teaches American-style business courses to Russian employees of multinational firms including Ciba, PepsiCo, RJR Nabisco, Occidental Petroleum-CIS, Baxter International among others.

In August of last year, Mr. Stagner, who was teaching at the Gupton Jones funeral college in Atlanta, landed what he thought would be a “dream job.”  It was his idea that a U.S. company sponsor a chair at Moscow Linguistic University where he would teach Western business fundamentals while the company benefited from the  recognition of its contribution to bringing the Russian economy more in line with capitalistic practices.

But he didn’t find any company willing to fund the chair until he met William Loiry of Global Business, Inc., an international trade development firm which had just opened an office in Atlanta.

He moved to Moscow to begin his new career on Sept.1 teaching basic economics and English to classes at the university thanks to Mr. Loiry’s funding of the “Global Business” chair.

Within a short time, however, Mr. Loiry’s company was bankrupt, Mr. Stagner said, totally stranding him where he hardly spoke the language and no longer had any means of support.

Mr. Stagner decided to implement first hand the business concepts of motivation and initiative he had planned to teach. During what he terms “a difficult three months” he developed a curriculum for Russian employees including 10 hour training classes on topics such as basic salesmanship, advanced marketing, and customer service.

“We stress and teach such concepts as initiative, teamwork, motivation, time management, problem solving, decision-making and attention to details,” Mr. Stagner wrote Globalfax this week via e-mail. “Business is booming and I can hardly keep up.”

Despite Russia’s many economic problems including inflation, Mr. Stagner reports that “the stores, shops and kiosks are brimming and bursting with all types of imported goods,” and that a survey recently showed that there are more U.S. $100 bills in circulation in Moscow than in any other capital city in the world.

Mr. Stagner’s company now employs 10 people including David Horne, formerly of the Habersham Group who is fluent in Russian.

For more information about American Business Training, Mr. Stagner may be reached by e-mail at