Welcome to the beautiful island of Maui and the Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the Western Decision Sciences Institute (WDSI). On behalf of the WDSI Board, I encourage you to enjoy a fun-filled week, to reconnect with old friends and to share research and ideas with new colleagues from around the world.

Organizing a conference of this magnitude requires the unyielding efforts of countless volunteers. This year, the 2015 WDSI Annual Meeting was supported by the Program Planning Committee consisting of a strong team of Track Chairs and Country Contacts. I would like to thank each member of the Committee for his/her efforts in managing the review process, organizing sessions, and assisting in the annual meeting planning. Thanks are also in order for everyone who submitted papers, abstracts and panels as well as all of the reviewers. The authors have appreciated all the valuable manuscript feedback.

Several individuals provided valuable assistance during the organization and execution of the conference. In particular, the current WDSI Board members assisted me throughout the year and provided invaluable advice and guidance. I would like to thank each of them: David Yen, Hamdi Bilici, Debbie Gilliard, Natasa Christodoulidou, Albert Huang, Nafisseh Heiat and Sheldon Smith. A heartfelt ‘thank you’ also goes out to Lisa Murray for editing this year’s conference program. Finally, I would like to thank the Past Presidents of WDSI who actively share in the planning and organization of our annual meeting. We are a much stronger organization due to the commitment of these mentors.

I am also grateful for the support of our sponsors: the Management Department and College of Business at the Metropolitan State University of Denver; the School of Economics and Business SUNY at Oneonta; the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee; the Eberhardt School of Business at the University of the Pacific; and the Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University.

On behalf of WDSI President, Hamdi Bilici, the Board of WDSI, and the 2015 Program Planning Committee, I extend a warm welcome to the participants of this Forty-Fourth Annual Meeting. Enjoy the meeting, the warmth and the hospitality of Maui and the Westin Maui Spa and Resort!

John E Bell

Vice-President for Programs and Program Chair
Haslam College of Business, University of Tennessee