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Derek Folk, PKE Candidate

Graziadio Spotlight Stories

Why did you choose the Pepperdine Graziadio PKE program?

"I came and I observed a class. And after I observed that class, I knew this was where I needed to be. I saw a number of executives and entrepreneurs presenting their capstones. As I was looking to launch a new division, this was the best place for me."

What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?

"Learning is important to being a successful entrepreneur...Step outside your comfort zone, make the time to apply yourself, and commit yourself to ways of learning and broaden your circle of relationships and your information base."

What makes Pepperdine Graziadio special?

"Pepperdine has a huge commitment to the PKE program and it's evident. The things they're teaching us will not only apply today, but will apply into the future. They are preparing us to lead companies long beyond today."

"I just think that for me, at this stage of my life, the best commitment that I could have ever made, and the best dollar I could have ever invested in myself is by enrolling in the Pepperdine PKE program. It's changed my life, and through it I believe i'll be able to change other people's lives and impact the world."

Derek Folk is a current student in the President's Key Executive Program and part of cohort 139. He is President of Williams Tax & Financial Group, Inc. He has more than 16 years of experience providing tax, accounting, and business advice to clients, with a strong focus on professional athletes, entertainers and other high net worth clients. He spent the earlier part of his career working for consumer products companies including Walt Disney, Petersen Publishing and Thomas Kinkade where he honed his skills in the areas of Product Development, Sourcing and Operations. He has been able to combine his entrepreneurial and corporate experiences to help launch a newly formed division of the 59-year-old family owned Tax & Accounting Firm. He has served on several Advisory Boards and Boards of Directors.