Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actress Roma Downey of “Touched by An Angel” and her husband, visionary Hollywood producer and “The Apprentice” creator Mark Burnett , will deliver the keynote address and accept an honorary doctorate of law at spring commencement ceremonies for Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. John Figueroa, MBA 1997, President of McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of career achievement and values-centered leadership in the Pepperdine tradition.
Graduation will be held Saturday, April 18, 2009, starting at 10:30 a.m., at Pepperdine University’s Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, CA.
Mark Burnett is one of the best known television producers globally, and has produced over 1,100 hours of programming which regularly airs in over 70 countries around the world. He revolutionized television with hits such as “Survivor” (CBS), “The Apprentice” (NBC); “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” (FOX), and the daytime syndicated hit “Martha”. Burnett has also executive produced the MTV Movie Awards for the past three years.
Since 2001, Burnett’s companies have garnered 51 Emmy nominations. Burnett has personally won 2 Emmys along with 4 People’s Choice Awards. He has been named one of TIME magazine’s Most Influential People in the World and TV Guide’s Most Valuable Player. He has won both BRANDWEEK’S Marketer of the Year Award and the prestigious ROSE D’OR FRAPA Format Award. In 2008, Burnett was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. In 2009, he is to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Burnett has served two elected terms on the Board of Directors for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Los Angeles and is a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Currently, Burnett serves on the Board of Directors of the Elizabeth Glazer Pediatric Aids Foundation and is a strong supporter of the charity Operation Smile, which provides free surgeries to children around the world who suffer from cleft lips or cleft palettes.
Roma Downey, the acclaimed Irish-born actress, starred in the top rated long-running CBS series “Touched By An Angel” as the compassionate angel Monica. Her work inspired millions of people and she garnered best actress nominations for The Emmys and The Golden Globe awards. People Magazine named her among the “Most Beautiful People of the Year”. Downey played the title role of Jackie Onassis in Emmy-winning six hour NBC miniseries “A Woman Named Jackie”. She also starred in and was executive producer of six CBS movies of the week and she hosted a series for the PAX network called “Its A Miracle”.
Downey has published the children’s book “Love is A Family”, released the inspirational spoken word album “Healing Angel” and is spokesperson for www.cvn.org, where shopping online donates a percentage of every purchase to your designated Christian organization. Ms. Downey has also been a board member and international spokesperson of “Operation Smile” for 15 years. She has traveled on international medical missions to Vietnam, Honduras and most recently Asia, Central America and the Middle East.
John Figueroa is President of McKesson U.S. Pharmaceutical. He oversees the business unit’s operations and distribution of pharmaceuticals and other healthcare related products to customers in four primary segments: national and regional retail pharmacy chains, hospital providers, retail independent pharmacies and mail pharmacy. Mr. Figueroa’s extensive experience continues to further strengthen McKesson’s operational excellence and leading market share position. The U.S. Pharmaceutical business generates more than $86 billion in annual revenue.
Figueroa began his career with McKesson in August 1997 as Vice President of Sales for California for McKesson Health Systems. He has held positions of progressive responsibility for McKesson Health Systems to include Group Purchasing Organization national accounts. As Senior Vice President, Customer Operations for the Southwest Region, he headed up the region’s sales and operations management for its five pharmaceutical distribution centers.
Prior to his current role, Mr. Figueroa was responsible for McKesson’s relationships with retail chains (food, drug and mass merchandisers) and mail service customers, the largest and fastest growing segments for McKesson Pharmaceutical representing more than $43 billion in annual revenue. He continues to be responsible for the Pharmaceutical Packaging business located in Memphis, TN and Charlotte, NC as well as Corporate National Accounts and Federal Government sales. In addition, Figueroa is a board member on the McKesson Shared Services Council, the HDMA Government Public Policy Council, GS1 US Board of Governors, Boys Hope Girls Hope Board of Directors and sits on the Pepperdine University Business School Board of Visitors Executive Committee.
Prior to joining McKesson, Figueroa was Director of Sales and National Accounts at Baxter Healthcare for seven years. He also served as a Captain in the United States Army. He holds an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University and received a B.A. in English Literature and a B.A in Political Science from UCLA.
Figueroa has been married for over 20 years to his wife Becky and they have two children, Michael who is 17 years old and Ann Marie who is 13.