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2010 Award Recipient Bios

Student Awards

James Neas

James Neas, BSM ’10
Vice President, Financial Analysis Manager, Union Bank
Bachelor of Science in Management Program

Throughout Jim’s time in the program he has demonstrated maturity, leadership in the classroom, and has earned the respect of his class members. He has demonstrated a commitment to high performance, hard work, and enthusiasm, while acknowledging the value of others’ contributions. Inspired by a note he wrote in 2000 – it read, “2010: Achieve Your Goals.” This simple statement has been the catalyst for his academic and business achievements since. Jim graduated in April and has enrolled in the MBAJ program.

Bruce Wilson

Bruce W. Wilson, MBA ’10
Manager, Internal Application Development, The Boeing Company
Fully Employed MBA Program

Bruce seized the opportunity to grow as a leader by managing his study groups as he would a corporate business function. In turn, his colleagues rose to every challenge and achieved excellence on every project. Blessed with a broad conceptual understanding of science and technology, Bruce is also a true renaissance man of unusual business acumen and diverse musical talents.

Raymond Gale

Raymond “Chip” Gale, EMBA 78N
District Manager, Emerson Network Power
Executive MBA Program

Chip strives for the highest standards, and inspires his classmates to “raise the bar” in their own dedication to learning. Although already accomplished in his field, this dedicated family man is clearly committed to lifelong learning and personal development. He also demonstrates both humor and humility, and serves as an inspirational model to his classmates and faculty alike.

Dan Sanders

Dan Sanders, PKE 124
President, ACME Markets
Presidents and Key Executives MBA Program

Dan is committed to faith, family, and country to a degree that is all too rare for today’s business executives. A senior Air Force pilot, Dan flew the U-2 spyplane and was a member of the Air Force One Presidential Advance team. He is also a best-selling author and serves on a variety of non-profit boards. From his dedication to our country to his commitment to his church, Dan exemplifies the best of Americans.

Yana Melnikova

Yana Melnikova, MSOD ’10
Head of Learning and Development, PricewaterhouseCoopers Russia B.V.
Master of Science in Organization Development Program

Yana is making an incredible contribution to the MSOD program and to her field. Born in Siberia and raised in Lithuania, she speaks about differences in culture and understanding to the benefit of other students. She has been an outstanding academic performer and travels from Russia to participate in the MSOD program.

Sebastian Bartl

Sebastian Bartl, MBA ’10
Head of Marketing and Finance, BeTheBuilders
Full-time MBA Program

Sebastian shows a strong level of leadership both in and out of the classroom. He served as vice president of the Entrepreneurship Society, was a member of the Ethics Committee, founded the “Students of Christ” initiative, represented Pepperdine in multiple case competitions, and was part of the winning ’09 team at the Baylor Ethics Case Competition.

Alumni Awards

Nick Mitchell

Nick Mitchell, EMBA ‘07
Chief Executive Officer, Sohve
Chair, GAN Council, Los Angeles

Nick has elevated the stature of the GAN LA Council through his personal passion for all things Pepperdine. His tireless dedication can be evidenced through his presentations to prospective students, his mentorship of contestants in the 2010 Pepperdine Business Plan Competition, his outreach to faculty and university alumni groups and his limitless desire to connect with Pepperdine students – past, present and future.

Sheri Osborn

Sheri Osborn, MTME ‘03
Chief Executive Officer – USA, Mineseeker Operations
Director of Membership and External Relations
GAN Council, Northern California

As the current director of membership and external relations for the council, Sheri has provided outstanding leadership helping to establish GAN NorCal as a benchmark alumni group and a community touch point for thousands of Graziadio School alumni in the Bay Area. She has been commended by her fellow council members for her “outstanding ethical values, bottom line results and great talent.”

Zubin Mehta

Zubin Mehta, EMBA ‘06
Founder, President & CEO, Global Wave Group
Vice Chair, GAN Council, Orange County

Since graduating from the Executive MBA program in 2006, Zubin has been setting a new standard for alumni participation in Orange County. In addition to mentoring students and attending innumerable alumni events, he is a fixture on both the Orange County Waves and Graziadio Alumni Network Council leadership boards. Perhaps the ultimate testament is that Zubin named his software services firm after our school’s mascot.

Faculty Award

Don Atwater

Donald M. Atwater, Ph.D.
Practitioner Faculty of Economics

A faculty member at Pepperdine for 15 years, Don teaches a wide array of classes, and has taken a leadership position in our full-time program. The field he teaches – economics – can sometimes strike students as theoretical or dry, but Don is praised by his students for his applied approach to economics. He brings the subject to life, and integrates his own rich experience into the classroom. The business connections in his background are impressive, and include creating and implementing decision-support technologies at a number of Fortune 100 companies, including AT&T, Intel, Dell Computer, Apple Computer, BHP Minerals, IBM, Bank of America, and Nestle USA. Don also serves as the faculty lead for the Full-time MBA Internship Program and facilitates experiential learning experiences for over 150 students each summer.

Community Service Award

Rodney Boone

Rodney E. Boone, PKE ’04
Operating Partner, DW Healthcare Partners
Chairman & Founder, Mesesso Foundation

Rod has been building and operating healthcare companies for over 20 years. Prior to DWHP, Rod was President and CEO of Royce Medical Holdings, an orthopedics manufacturer. He is also founder of the Mesesso Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships to vulnerable children in Ethiopia. Rod is honored by the generous support his foundation has received from his PKE classmates, faculty members, and the Graziadio School.

Outstanding Corporate Partner Award



AT&T’s emphasis on leadership and service resonates with the mission of the Graziadio School. We are delighted to honor the organization as our Outstanding Corporate Partner for its contributions to the community and the specific investment it has made in Graziadio talent. We are also pleased that five new graduates will join AT&T’s Leadership Development Program in the summer of 2010.

Our alumnus Kieran P. Nolan, MBA ’89, vice president, Construction & Engineering-West, AT&T Operations, Inc. accepted the award on AT&T’s behalf.