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Together, Apart: How The Graziadio Alumni Community Has Come Together During COVID-19

During this time of profound uncertainty, we relish in the fact that our Pepperdine community continues to come together without hesitation. While separated by distance, we remain connected by our intrinsic values to manifest service, purpose, and leadership. As constant advocates for our community, we would like to honor and recognize some of our Graziadio alumni for their significant contributions during COVID-19. 

As we highlight simply a few in our vast network of generous alumni, it is important to remember that every contribution matters, and not one gesture of kindness goes unrecognized. Thank you to all of our Graziadio alumni for exhibiting what it means to be a Best for the World Leader. 

Computer icon for Jesse TorresJesse Torres, MBA '07

Jesse Torres, principal at ArroyoWest LLC, created a COVID-19 "micro-site" dedicated to providing small businesses in California with tools and resources they need to navigate through their current business challenges. The site is designed in an easy-to-use, simple format so companies can quickly access useful information from private, public, and nonprofit entities. Visit his website to learn more.

People connection icon for Renee SmithRenée Smith, MSOD ‘05

Renée Smith, chief executive officer of a Human Workplace, gathers individuals from around the world for "Working Alone, Together," a series of virtual meetup events dedicated to creating human connection amidst the practice of social distancing. The goal of each meeting is to establish how we can strengthen our leadership, values, and connectivity in the workplace in a time of uncertainty. Visit her website to learn more and join a virtual gathering. 

Icon of gloves and mask for Jennifer CavenessJennifer Caveness, BSM '02

CEO of PIC Consulting, Jennifer Caveness, combined efforts with a non-profit organization, Rebuilding Together, to donate 200 masks and gloves to MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center. They are continuously collecting and donating extra supplies from their vendors for community hospitals suffering from shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nora Crivello icon of stethoscopeNora Crivello, MBA '14

President and CEO, Nora Crivello, and her company WESTPAK, had the unique opportunity to test COVID-19 rapid testing kits developed by Abbot. WESTPAK has affirmed the distribution testing they conduct plays an essential role in the supply chain for medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers. As the two companies continue to foster collaboration, there is a sense of confidence that communities will exit this crisis healthily.

Jefferey Dunn alumni icon with fruitJeffrey Dunn, MBA '84

Bolthouse Farms CEO, Jeffrey Dunn, implemented newer strategies to keep his employees safe during COVID-19 working operations. From available off-site testing, hiring additional workers, and strategic workplace procedures, Bolthouse Farms is still able to provide consumers with healthy, essential food while keeping their employees protected.

Icon of earth with gift icons around itInternational Alumni

After Clemens Kownatzki, PhD, assistant professor of finance, shared a photo of his homemade mask on WeChat, a Chinese messaging and social media app, numerous Graziadio alumni residing in China came forward to offer their support. Aware of the shortage of medical masks in the United States, they banned together to send a supply to Pepperdine as "thank you" to the Graziadio community.