We're Making Waves
Executive MBA Programs
Summer 2017 Cohort
General Manager, Winterborne Division
Pacific Southwest Container
Bryson is the General Manager of the Winterborne Division of Pacific Southwest Container (PSC). This newly acquired division of PSC specializes in the design and manufacture of eye-catching, high-graphic retail packaging and point-of-purchase displays, with a focus on the design and execution of retail/club store display programs. Bryson started his career with PSC on the manufacturing floor, progressing through various roles until earning the position of Account Executive. In that role, he started knocking on doors with zero dollars in sales, quickly building a book of business approaching $7MM. His experience ranges from working with companies of varying sizes, from startups to Fortune 500 companies, and in industries varying from agriculture to high-tech electronics. In his new role, Bryson will lead the sales efforts of PSC's Winterborne Division as well as oversee the operations of the business. He holds Bachelor's degrees in both Economics and Political Science from the University of Oregon.
Data Center Facilities Manager
Brian is currently a Data Center Facilities Manager for Cyxtera Technologies. He oversees a team responsible for ensuring environmental conditions and power are maintained to critical customer environments. His role includes preventative maintenance planning and execution, budget development, and various tasks associated with operational life cycles for HVAC and electrical distribution infrastructure. Brian earned a Bachelor's degree from Excelsior College; in addition, he also served in the US Navy for 20 years. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, especially when it involves playing almost any kind of game and is an avid fan of the NFL.
Quantum Secure Inc. (part of HID Global)
Carol is an Accounting and Finance professional with a vast array of global and domestic experience in managing publicly-held and private companies. She is currently the Head of Finance for a software company located in Silicon Valley where she oversees the financial budget and forecasting, helps drive key strategic initiatives, and analyze financial and business impact of contracts/agreements with customers, vendors, and partners. Previously, she was the Corporate Controller at two publicly-held companies where she provided her technical accounting expertise, managed all internal and external reporting (SEC), Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), and other compliance requirements. Carol received her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Santo Tomas, one of the top four universities in the Philippines. In addition, she also received a Certificate in Accounting from UC Santa Cruz and is currently pursuing her Executive MBA from the Graziadio Business School at Pepperdine University. She volunteered for three years to oversee the $500M Bond Measure for San Jose City College and Evergreen College as a Citizen's Bond Oversight Committee member.
Pacific Southwest Container
Allison is an account executive for Pacific Southwest Container (PSC), the largest privately held paper-based packaging company in the western United States. Over the past eight years, she has worked to build the Bay Area territory into a $12 million dollar book of business. In 2015, Allison was the first woman in the history of PSC (founded in 1973) to earn President's Club. She is passionate about driving growth through new client acquisition and is responsible for the management of all critical project details, including the execution of pricing strategies yielding the highest profit margin. Allison's clients include Fortune 500 companies such as: Hershey's, WhiteWave Foods, Kraft Heinz and Hormel Foods, among others in the consumer goods, brewery and pharmaceutical arena. Allison earned a Bachelor's degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
Director of Business Development
Taqnia International Company
Mashael is currently the Director of Business Development at Taqnia International Company (TIC), a technology investment and development company. Previously, she was the Public Relations and Communications Manager at The Dow Chemical Company. Upon joining TIC, Mashael played a key role in developing the company's corporate strategy, as well as its services, such as Venture Capital and Startup Acceleration/Incubation.
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
Adventist Health Lodi Memorial
Janelle is passionate about marketing and has 10 years of experience in marketing, event planning and community relations. She is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Adventist Health Lodi Memorial, leading a team working to enhance patient experience, employee engagement and community relations, and grow the number of patients served. Adventist Health Lodi Memorial is a healthcare organization in San Joaquin County comprised of a 190-bed hospital and more than 15 clinics and several additional services. The organization is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based nonprofit integrated health system serving more than 75 communities on the West Coast. Their mission is to live God's love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope. In addition to healthcare, Janelle has experience in retail real estate and earned a designation as a Certified Marketing Director through the International Council of Shopping Centers. She is passionate about serving her community and brings energy, enthusiasm and dedication to her projects inside and outside of work. Janelle holds a Bachelor's degree from Azusa Pacific University.
Clif Bar & Co
Melanie is a senior-level business optimization consultant who empowers Finance & Accounting organizations to work better, faster, and smarter. She specializes in building high-performing teams and aligning business processes and technology with company goals. A consummate teacher and mentor, she thrives on developing people to maximize their strengths and succeed. She values excellence, balance, and the right results through creative solutions.
Melanie’s expertise draws from more than 17 years of corporate experience leading multi- functional teams at startup, private, and public companies. Currently Melanie works at Clif Bar & Company, the leading manufacturer of organic energy bars and drinks. She is an active volunteer at a local grassroots organization dedicated to feeding and reducing harm in the West Oakland homeless community. She lives in Albany, CA, with her two children and dog. The sunny outdoors is where she recharges her energy and smile.
Young's Market Co.
Carl is currently the Vice President Division Manager for Young's Market managing execution for the East Bay. He has been in progressive leadership roles at Young's Market for the past five years and has led his teams to continual growth year over year.
Customer Success Manager
Swetha is an accomplished customer success manager with more than nine years of experience in managing client relations. In her role as a Customer Success Manager at Prysm Inc., she serves as a key strategic liaison and project manager, partnering with clients and executive leaders in all aspects of culture-shaping engagements to ensure their successful outcome. Previously, she was responsible for various initiatives in the strategy, organization and process improvement areas within multiple industries. Swetha is multilingual and earned a Bachelor's degree in Business Management from San Jose University.
Summer 2017 Cohort
Bank of America Small Business
For the last 12 years, Uriel has held numerous roles in the financial industry. While at Bank of America, he has supported various regions nationwide, worked closely with high-level executives, and directed projects impacting and improving sales performance for hundreds of Small Business associates. Passion in using critical thinking, problem solving, and strategic management skills have aided Uriel in implementing strategies, leading, and motivating teams to drive results. Currently, he consults and provides financial services to Small Businesses in Los Angeles and is committed to understanding businesses' uniqueness to plan for the future and deliver financial solutions helping businesses grow and endure.
District Manager II
Alex is a District Manager II with Oportun where he is an experienced multi-unit manager who currently oversees a $55 million portfolio. Prior to joining Oportun, Alex worked in various roles from Sales to Sales Director for companies such a Thomson Reuters and HSBC. His extensive experience in training, people management, and projects has brought him national recognition for having the highest profitable offices for various companies. His proudest achievement has been developing leaders who have made their own impact to their companies.
Director of Public Affairs
Edwards Air Force Base
Ed is the Director of Public Affairs at Edwards Air Force Base, the world-renowned center for developmental flight test, where he leads a team of 30 corporate communication and support professionals. He is a retired U.S. Navy Captain with 26 years of active-duty leadership experience as a Naval Flight Officer and Public Affairs Officer. He served at Navy and joint headquarters in San Diego, Washington, Norfolk, Miami, New Orleans, aboard two aircraft carriers, the Green Zone in Baghdad, and a four-star command in Stuttgart, Germany. Ed earned his Bachelor's degree in Communications at the University of Southern California.
Dwight works for MJ Group as a Senior Manager, providing accounting and advisory services for start-ups to Fortune 500 companies including MGM Studios and Snapchat. Prior to joining MJ Group, he held management positions at PwC and EMI Music. In addition, he served as a consultant for companies including Warner Bros. Entertainment, Directv, Lions Gate Entertainment and Nintendo of America. He has extensive experience in Internal Audit, Financial Reporting, Forecasting and ERP systems (SAP). Dwight earned his Bachelor's degree in Accounting from Tuskegee University, Alabama.
Assistant City Attorney II
City of Fort Collins, Colorado
Jody is an attorney with nine years of expertise in government affairs and regulation. As in-house counsel for the fourth largest city in Colorado, he has drafted legislation that has garnered nationwide attention and he helped acquire properties for a $90 million rapid transit project. Previously, he was a US Army Officer in the JAG Corps who led a team of 28 to provide tax services to active duty and retired Soldiers. A serial entrepreneur, last year, Jody launched a company with a single product that is expected to exceed $250,000 in sales by December.
Risk Management Officer
Northgate Gonzalez, LLC
Teresa is currently the Risk Management Officer at Northgate Gonzalez, LLC dba Northgate Markets. Teresa has been with Northgate for 22 years in multiple roles, including Risk Manager, Risk & Safety Manager, and HR consultant. She currently owns the process of identifying, measuring and managing insurable and hazard risks. She is accountable for effective Enterprise Risk Management of insurable hazards and risks for the organization. Her extensive knowledge and experience with Risk Management has helped her implement risk solutions that help optimize operation within the organization.
Manager of Business Development, Marketing and Program Management
The Gill Corporation
Kenneth has been working in Aircraft interiors for the last 11 years and is currently the Manager of Business Development, Marketing and Program Management for The Gill Corporation which is one of the world's largest manufacturers of honeycomb, high performance floor panels, cargo liners and original equipment for passenger and freighter aircraft. Prior to working with aircraft interiors, Kenneth was an US Army Intelligence officer leading multiple intelligence sites supporting real world indicators and warnings collection and analysis on the South Korean peninsula. Kenneth holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance from Creighton University.
Senior KC-135R Pilot Instructor
Delaware Resource Group, LLC
Kris provides aircrew training to US Air Force (USAF) pilots. Prior to joining DRG, Kris retired as a Lieutenant Colonel; his career culminating as the 452 Air Mobility Wing Director of Inspections, where he was responsible for preparing and leading more than 3,000 military and 1,000 civilians through numerous combat readiness inspections. During his military career, Kris amassed 5,000 flying hours in various rotary and fixed wing aircraft and is a distinguished graduate of the US Weapons and Tactics School. Kris earned an MBA from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor's degree in Engineering/Physics from Pacific Lutheran University.
Project Task Manager
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Bernardo is a Senior Engineer in the Communications, Tracking and Radar Division, leading tasks on the Deep Space Network Antennas at JPL in Pasadena. He has responsibility for the structural and mechanical health of the antennas tracking NASA's interplanetary spacecraft from three locations around the world. He has also worked on several spacecraft such as Mars 2020, OCO-2, MSL, Aquarius, Terra, and Chandra both at JPL and at Northrop Grumman. Bernardo loves spending time with family and friends, and enjoys a variety of past-times including mentoring young students and engineers.
Chief Financial Officer
Allied Refrigerator Inc.
Navi is the CFO at Allied Refrigeration Inc., a wholesale refrigeration and air-conditioning distributor. She has been in her role since 2009. As a member of the executive management team, Navi is responsible for the company's finances, accounting, corporate policies and relationships with lending institutions and external auditors. Prior to Allied, Navi held leadership roles in public accounting and private industry. Navi earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics with an emphasis in Accounting from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is thrilled to be a part of this EMBA program.
Director of Customer Engagement
Pree is currently the Director of Customer Engagement for a healthcare administration start up, Flock, and is a Customer Success Advisor for two venture capital funded startups in the Silicon Valley. Spending his entire career in the fast-paced startup world, Pree has put a strong focus on company management of key enterprise partnerships and the customer journey these partnerships are taken through during their account life cycle. Pree earned his Bachelor's degree at the University of California, Davis with a degree in Clinical Nutrition and Neurophysiology.
Jose Luis Sanchez Munoz
Jose Luis is currently the Commercial Director at Amgen for their Intercontinental Region. In this role, he is responsible for the management, oversight and direction of the operations in Latin American Distributor Markets, managing performance, sales, market share and profitability for those countries. Jose Luis has more than 25 years of strong experience in sales and marketing in the pharmaceutical industry. He has diverse leadership skills working with different teams across functional and geographic boarders; as soon as Jose Luis completed his Bachelor's degree in Marketing, he started developing his career taking different roles in multinational companies as Sanofi, Wyeth, Pfizer and Amgen.
Director of Operations
Juan is currently the Director of Operations at Cell Nation, one of the largest Metro PCS authorized master agents in the United States. Juan began his telecommunications career as a wireless-customer service rep, an opportunity that opened a learning path through diverse roles including sales, marketing, operations and customer service. Previously, Juan was a cost controller for Saudi Arabian Saipem, a construction and installation company in the oil & gas market. Born in Bogota, Colombia, he earned a Bachelor's degree in Finance and International Relations from the Universidad Externado de Colombia.
Head of Production
Jorva Entertainment Productions
As Head of Production at Jorva Entertainment Productions, Tamanna is responsible for overseeing multiple films in various stages of production. Prior to Jorva, Tamanna gained experience in the industry working at companies such as Paramount Vantage and Clarius Entertainment. Tamanna has also worked as an Independent Producer and Unit Production Manager on numerous theatrical and TV feature films. She is an active member of the Directors Guild of America as well as the Producers Guild of America. Tamanna holds a Bachelor's degree in Video & Film from Savannah College of Art & Design, and a Master's degree in Film Producing from the American Film Institute.
Keon Jin (Paul) Shin
Marquis Worldwide Specialty
Keon is a qualified international trade specialist. The knowledge and experience that he acquired as an agricultural specialist made him a professional marketer, salesman and leader. He helped the Korean Ministry of Agriculture with developing and marketing Korean produce in the United States, and around the world. He also launched his own brand CONAH (Convenient, Natural and Healthy), which is a special brand focusing on convenient packaged and organic food. Keon is also a guest professor at Seoul National University.
Kimberly N. Stokes
Director of Rehabilitation
Interface Rehab, Inc.
Kim is an Occupational Therapist currently working at a subacute rehab facility in Los Angeles as Director of Rehab for Interface Rehab, Inc. She has 12 years of industry experience and is licensed to practice in nine states. In her current and previous roles, Kim's duties have included marketing, multi-site management, HR, staff management and development, as well as working as a clinical instructor for Level II Occupational Therapy students for the promotion of the profession. In her spare time, Kim is a volunteer with the American Red Cross as a donor and likes traveling abroad for leisure.
Vice President, Finance & IT
Young Women's Christian Association of Greater Los Angeles (YWCA GLA)
Noël is currently the Vice President of Finance and Information Technology at YWCA of Greater Los Angeles, a Los Angeles based Non-Profit organization with 123 years of service to the community. She embodies the development of financial, operational and technological initiatives that contributes to the growth and success of the YWCA's strategic goals. Noël has successfully completed a $70 million New Markets Tax Credit project that serves Urban Youth ages 16-24 in the Greater LA area. She was also the CFO for a local non-profit leading the organizations operations. Noël earned her Bachelor's degree in Management from Pepperdine University.
Aprilfawn White, PMP
Global Program Manager/Scientist
Aprilfawn currently serves as a Global Program Manager at Biosero. As a passionate leader who developed critical thinking skills early in the US Navy, she has since developed her professional skills as a scientist at several companies including the Genomics Institute of Novartis & Millennium Health. She has co-authored 38 publications with a focus on developing and automating high throughput assays using advanced automation technologies. Aprilfawn is a certified Project Manager Professional (PMP) and is in charge of implementing process improvement, key metrics and strategies to increase profitability at Biosero Inc., an automation company in the Life Science market.
Director of Operations
Source Refrigeration & HVAC
Justin is the Director of Operations for the Energy Optimization division of Source Refrigeration & HVAC. In his current role, Justin oversees a team of 24 employees with an annual department revenue stream of $11M. He is skilled in technical project scope development and project return on investment analysis. He is experienced in facilitating collaboration between energy end use customers, utilities and contractor project implementation. Justin is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM), accredited by the Association of Energy Engineer (AEE). Justin resides with his family in Chino Hills.
Fall 2017 Cohort
Michelle D. Aburto
Source Refrigeration & HVAC
Michelle is an energetic Operations Manager responsible for region-wide field support staff at Source Refrigeration & HVAC, a market-leader in the design, installation, repair, maintenance, and optimization of refrigeration and HVAC systems. In this organization, Michelle has directed and worked on various projects developing and executing new strategies that have streamlined process issues. In doing so, she was chosen to lead the procurement/inventory organization where she structured a nationwide team that supported over 500 service technicians working in locations across 24 states. As Operations Manager, Michelle has direct ownership over service and installation value streams.
Erick M. Armelin
Founder and CEO
3Sphere Innovation Inc.
Erick's career as an entrepreneur began as a hobby developing quality components for liquid cooled computers. After establishing a reputation in this niche sector, Corsair Memory Inc. commissioned him to design and supply components for the Nautilus 500, the most popular liquid cooling system during its lifecycle. In 2011, Erick founded 3Sphere Innovation Inc. with the vision to develop software applications that improve the Department of Defense's tooth-to-tail ratio by making knowledge worker support processes more efficient, effective, and less costly. Erick is a 28 year veteran Marine Corps Officer and a native of Southern California.
Chad J. Brock
Founder and CEO
Brock Realty Advisors
Chad is the founder and owner of Brock Realty Advisors, a commercial real estate services company in Bakersfield, California. Chad's career in commercial real estate spans over 12 years with a focus on investment sales, industrial, office and retail brokerage, and property and asset management. In addition to his firm's primary roles, he also has participates and manages investor based ground up development projects. Chad holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology (School of Business) from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and lives in his hometown of Bakersfield with his wife, two young children and two dogs.
Tri-Brand Area Manager
The Hertz Corporation
Jerynn Brooks is currently the Tri-Brand Area Manager for Ontario Airport Hertz, Dollar, and Thrifty Car-Rental location. She began her career with Hertz six years ago as a Location Manager Trainee and has since worked several other positions at various Southern California airport locations. In her role of Area Manager, she is responsible for the profit and loss, forecasting, budgeting, sales, marketing, staffing and customer service for the entire operations. She also serves as a board member for a non-profit organization, Cause for Celebration. Jerynn earned her Bachelor's degree in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
CEO / Executive Creative Director
Brain Zoo Studios
With more than 25 years of experience in the entertainment and animation industry, Mo is an Emmy award-winning and Academy Award Selected CEO and Executive Creative Director of Brain Zoo Studios. At Brain Zoo, he oversees the vision and creative standards of the company, and is instrumental in the company's growth to 85 employees. Mo manages business development, client relations and the day to day operations, while maintaining working relationships with clients like Activision/Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Sony, Microsoft, Disney and Marvel. Mo received a BS degree in Industrial Design from Art Center College of Design and is a member of Visual Effects Society.
Director, Inventory Control & Warehouse
Cara Day began her career in Accounting and has since used that background as a foundation to a successful Operations role. She is currently Director of Inventory Control and Warehouse at Hybrid Apparel specializing in business analysis, acquisition implementations, and most passionately team building. She has been part of the strategic leadership team for the past 10 years, helping her company grow from $80M to now $600M and growing. She has previous acquisition implementation experience with Villeroy & Boch. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting and currently sits on the Board of Directors for Hybrid Foundations.
Regional Sales Manager
BJ currently is responsible for regional expansion of commodity ingredient sales in the western United States. Previously, his role as financial controller for a start-up sugar company proved vital in acquiring necessary funding to support high growth over a five-year period, leading to an eventual sale to his current employer. During his eight-year involvement with Royal Sugar, he gained first-hand experience in manufacturing, purchasing, and logistics before taking a lead in sales. BJ holds his Bachelor's degree in Finance from Lehigh University.
Sheena Jongeneel L.Ac.
UpRise Classical Pilates and Wellness Center
Sheena Jongeneel is the founder of UpRise Classical Pilates and Wellness Center in Santa Monica, CA. This center was born out of her passion and belief in the prolific benefits of Pilates and acupuncture. For over 20 years Sheena has specialized in this unique combination to aid in increasing whole body health and for recuperation from a plethora of physical ailments. She oversees the daily operations of her team, clients, and the business in its entirety. Sheena is a licensed acupuncturist in CA and a classically trained Pilates instructor.
Tim La Viano
Senior Business & Financial Manager
Artists Financial Management
Tim has more than 10 years of experience as the head of the West Coast Division of Artists Financial Management, a business management firm that oversees the personal and professional affairs of actors, directors, and other entertainment industry professionals. Under Tim's tenure, his division's client base has grown to seven times its original size and implemented organizational processes to streamline work product while expanding the scope of services provided. He has extensive experience with banking and investment matters, financial reporting, supervising tax strategy and estate planning.
Roscoe Capital Group, LLC
>Nicholas is an agent with Californian Estates in West Hollywood, and is the CEO of Roscoe Capital Group, LLC, a real estate investment and development company. Previously, he served as Vice President for New Development at Beverly Hills Realty, and as an Acquisitions and Development Associate with Gotham Corporate Group. In 2014, he was elected to the Greater Valley Glen Neighborhood Council. He was appointed Chair of the Public Safety Committee, where he helped to secure tens of thousands of dollars in city funding. From 2008-2013, he served as a Captain with the US Army, including 12 months deployed to Iraq.
Sheniqua G. Maefau
Education Program Director
As the Education Program Director at Montes HealthCare College (MHCC), Sheniqua's position encompasses various elements of the classroom as well as the boardroom. Being a 20-year college educator, Sheniqua instructs anatomy, physiology, and clinical courses to aspiring allied health care professionals. Additionally, she is a part of the executive management team and plays an integral role in organizational leadership, strategic planning, and curriculum development. Her passion for service drives her to be the community liaison for the college, which includes volunteer opportunities to serve the underprivileged while motivating and inspiring those with unconventional backgrounds to realize their life's purpose and destiny.
Associate Product Line Manager
Linden is a Product Line Manager for Patagonia's Alpine Product Line, responsible for bringing Patagonia's technical climbing related products to market. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Linden began his professional career as a mountain guide, leading over two dozen international expeditions around the world, from the Antarctic to the Himalaya, and going on to establish international operations for one of the U.S.'s largest mountaineering guide services. Prior to Patagonia, Linden implemented on-demand transit solutions in major U.S. cities with Via Transportation. Linden is a climber, skier, and ultra-marathoner and lives in Santa Barbara.
Owner and Founder
Lift Your Business
As the owner of Lift Your Business (LYB), Ami helps leaders grow their impact, well-being and prosperity for their employees and their firms. As a coach and a multi-media agency, Ami has helped business owners double their profit, politicians and non-profit leaders expand their impact, and entertainment entrepreneurs improve their well-being. Prior to starting LYB, Ami worked in the camera department on numerous studio films and TV shows as a member of the International Cinematographers Guild. Recognized as one of America's Top 25 Up and Coming Photographers, Ami has taught art to people of all ages at the MOCA and the Guggenheim.
U.S. Sales Manager
Jason is responsible for leading U.S. sales and business development initiatives for a global medical device company. He was also instrumental in launching the upstart U.S. division while securing national contracts and distribution channels. Prior to joining Serres, Jason excelled in the highly competitive orthopedic world for 10 years selling devices used in spine, trauma and orthopedics surgery. He currently resides in Orange County with his wife and son where they proudly display their love of the Ohio State Buckeyes and NY Giants.
Region Business Manager
Campbell Soup Company
Jessica is a driven sales professional with close to 8 years of customer management experience including four years of people leadership in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry. In her current role as a Region Business Manager with Campbell's Soup Company, Jessica oversees a $10 million product portfolio and is responsible for driving gains in revenue, market share and profit performance within the Convenience channel on the West Coast. Prior to joining Campbell's, Jessica was with PepsiCo in multiple sales leadership and account management positions. Jessica earned her Bachelor's degree in Business Management from Florida State University.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Jonathan is currently an FBI Special Agent assigned to the FBI Los Angeles Field Office. He is responsible for investigating white collar crime specifically insider trading, market manipulation, corporate fraud, investment fraud and money laundering. Prior to joining the FBI, Jonathan was a Senior Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he worked with the Office of Naval Research. Jonathan also served as an Infantry Officer in the United States Marine Corps. Jonathan earned his Bachelor's degree in Finance from University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Chief Investment and Communications Officer
As a licensed investment executive, Cassandra is an expert in both capital raising and marketing, with deep expertise in neuro-finance and communications. Over the past decade, she has enabled Benefit Corporations as a conduit for ultra-high net worth investors to advance social enterprise and raise awareness. Cassandra sits on the advisory boards of four social impact companies and is currently Chief Investment and Communications Officer for a transformative genomic analysis biotech company. Cassandra is passionate about empowering social enterprise through effective communication and targeted capital placement.
Yuriy has spent 20 years as a serial entrepreneur. Initially, he shipped exotic automobiles for sale in the former Soviet Union. He then served as a marketing and distribution consultant to a chemical company within the automobile industry. He also experienced a decade of success in the merchant services industry. His current endeavor is a product in the children development and education market called SmartyDots. Yuriy brings personal drive, innovation, and a desire to collaborate with others. He is very excited about joining the EMBA program and the Pepperdine family.
Spring 2018 Cohort
Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis
Customer Acquisition & Retention
With more than eight years of corporate experience, Cosmin is a Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis - Customer Acquisition & Retention at TPx Communications. Previously, he also served as a Major Account Executive at Time Warner Cable in the Enterprise and Strategic department. He has effectively led and directed cross-functional activities (strategic planning, forecast, management, and implementation) across multiple departments. Cosmin has been awarded a Master of Ecumenical Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2007 and in March 2018 he completed the Harvard Business School program in Financial Accounting, Economics for Managers and Business Analytics.
Legal Professional and Paralegal Administrator
Latham & Watkins LLP
Kimberly currently oversees and manages close to 200 legal professionals and paralegals at Latham & Watkins LLP, a global AmLaw 100 law firm. She is responsible for maintaining the professionalism, skill level, training, certification, and success of the legal professionals and paralegals around the world. Prior to joining Latham & Watkins, Kimberly served as a heavy motor vehicle operator in the United States Marine Corps Reserves and also served during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Kimberly holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Justice Studies from Montclair State University and a Master’s Degree in Paralegal Studies from The George Washington University.
Sabrina is a Leasing Administrator at Equity Residential within the Affordable Housing sector. She is responsible for maintaining the affordable housing occupancy for Equity in the Los Angeles downtown market. Previously, as a General Manager with LOMCO, she found her passion for helping those in need of affordable housing. She also has a proven track record of working with clients on the market side of residential housing. She is skilled in profit generation through proven leadership, strategic planning, sales, marketing, and tenant relations. Sabrina earned her bachelor's degree in Family Financial Management from The Ohio State University.
Strategic Opportunity Analyst / A989 Co-Founder
Independent Consultant/Adventure 989
Kristen’s specialty is strategic planning, market research, and opportunity analysis: creating informed decisions with powerful implementation. She has participated in FDA regulatory submissions, authored reports and analysis supporting medical device spinouts, and has created and managed systems for government reporting requirements. She has experience working on clinical trial recruitment strategies, including creating clinical trial documentation and case report forms. She is also a co-founder of Adventure 989, a mountain bike tour company located in Southern California. Kristen is committed to making a positive impact and a difference in the lives of others.
Nettwerk Music Group
Robert is currently a Project Manager at Nettwerk Management Group in Burbank and is a VP of Operations with Grammy-nominated artist Mike Posner since August of 2011, overseeing the Live Entertainment department. Robert has 12 years of music industry experience wearing many hats. Robert was in charge (globally) of budgeting, contract negotiations, appearance contracts, import/export, logistics, vendor selection, travel/immigration, and stage design of events ranging up to 85,000 patrons. Robert manages an internal team of 12 and a daily team of up to 100 employees.
Ben L. Fong
Ben works for Paramount Pictures as the Executive Director of Studio Finance. In his current role, he leads a team that manages the day-to-day operations of the studio group. Prior to working at Paramount, Ben was the Director of Finance for Warner Bros. Technology division. As part of the Technology team, he gained valuable experience working with executives from the Television, Home Entertainment, and Digital groups. He spends his free time with his family camping or snowboarding in the local mountains. Ben earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Management Information System at CSU, Northridge.
Oxnard Fire Department
Alex currently serves as Assistant Chief of the Oxnard Fire Department, an agency providing fire protection services to 250,000 residents and visitors to the City of Oxnard. Overseeing a budget of $28 million, he is responsible for the operations, training, prevention and strategic planning of the department. Alex has risen through the ranks, serving in a variety of roles and leading a range of initiatives, including providing better metrics on real-time data to make informed decisions, while also improving worker safety and resilience.
J.P. Morgan Chase Business Banking
As a Vice President of Business Banking at J.P. Morgan Chase, Bassem is responsible for defining long-term organizational strategic goals, building key client relationships, identifying business opportunities, negotiating and closing business deals and maintaining extensive knowledge of current market conditions. He also has a decade of extensive international business experience in financial services having worked for Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and American Express MENA in the State of Qatar. Bassem earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Christie is a former U.S. Diplomat with a Master's degree in International Affairs from UCSD. She started her academic journey as a Pepperdine Wave at Seaver College and now works as a Director of Strategy and Operations at Pepperdine Law. After living overseas while working at the U.S. Embassy, London, Christie returned to California to pursue a degree in Design. She graduated valedictorian and started her own interior design company shortly thereafter. While running her business, Christie taught classes at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Christie is a prolific writer and speaker specializing in global trends and design forecasting.
Jaime A. Mata
Educational Business Management Executive
Jaime is currently assigned as the Regional Director for the Center for Employment Training, where he is responsible for post-secondary institutes across California, Texas and Virginia. Prior to his current assignment, he served for eleven years as the Chief Operations Officer of Academic Tutoring Services, Inc., a California Department of Education approved program under Title I. His advocacy for struggling students, program innovation and marketing outreach approach lead to the expansion of the company in providing services to over 150 school districts across the state. Mr. Mata is currently appointed to the Ventura County Workforce Development Board.
Vice President and Founder
Robert’s decades of experience in the small business and entrepreneurial arenas began in the investment industry in 1990 with R&A investment group. He has served as the Director of Fidelity West Mortgage, President of Heritage Wealth and sits on the board of three non-profits. He learned to day-trade and count cards in blackjack "just for the fun of it," won Publisher’s Clearing House and hosted the Faith & Finances Radio Show in CA and AZ.
Vice President of Content
Yara is currently the Vice President of Content at MelodyVR, a music virtual reality content platform aiming to bring fans closer to the music. She has more than 10 years of experience in the music industry including artist management, record labels, and concert promotion. Her areas of expertise include music, artist development, project management, creative concepts, international marketing, and team building. Yara received her Bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University and her Master's degree in Music Business Management from the University of Westminster in London.
Mine Safety Appliances Co.
Andrew is Operations Manager of Mine Safety Appliance Company's systems division, a group responsible for the design and manufacture of systems to prevent fire/explosion at petrochemical and pharmaceutical facilities. In his current role, he has responsibility for overall project management and approval of engineering designs. A registered Functional Safety Engineer with TÜV Rheinland and a Chartered Engineer with the Institute of Measurement and Control (London), he has more than 17 years of engineering experience in the oil and gas sector for multiple organizations including BP and ConocoPhillips. Andrew holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Engineering from The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.
Manager of Operations
With more than 15 years of business experience, Manny is responsible for the oversight of one of Prudential Financial's largest and most profitable relationships: The Western Conference of Teamsters—a $37+ billion pension trust that serves more than 220,000 participants across 13 states on the west coast of the United States. He is also the Director of Operations and Board Member for the Young Investors Society, a non-profit organization that educates High School students on financial literacy, and is an author and founder of Enlightened Ventures, LLC, a private equity seed fundraising firm that also publishes his book series on personal development.
Director, Business Development
IntelliSense Systems Inc.
Ben is the point man for IntelliSense Systems’ ability to create, develop and sustain relationships with a dynamic set of clientele. With a military background as a Special Operations Forces operator, he focuses on the technology requirements within the Department of Defense and specifically the Special Operations Forces market sector. He serves in a consulting capacity for his organization connecting real-world requirements with the engineers creating solutions through technology. Ben earned his bachelor’s degree in Communications from Clemson University and a Master’s degree in Operations Management from Embry Riddle University.
Sales and Operations Executive
Jennifer is native Texan with a worldly vision. She is sales and operations leader with more than 12 years of seasoning and senior management experience in the health, fitness and hospitality industries. She has aided in the successful rejuvenation of various health and fitness companies across the nation with her entrepreneurial spirit and intellectual curiosity. Always the entrepreneur, she has effectively owned and operated two businesses and thrives on leading the internal and external components of development.
Premier America Credit Union
Alen is currently the Regional Director for Premier America Credit Union, one of the largest credit unions in California. He has more than 20 years of experience in the banking industry, in a variety of roles. In his current role, Alen oversees a total of five branches and 30 employees. He is responsible for the branches’ performance in total sales, member experience, and operations. Alen is also actively involved in the community as a Board of Director for the West Valley Woodland Hills Chamber Commerce.
Business Operations Executive
Arron is a skilled and dedicated professional with more than a decade of fostering business as an entrepreneur. He specializes in providing a hands-on approach to finding creative solutions for complex problems. He has 14 years of training and development experience in the government sector where his business has teamed with Fortune 500 companies such as Jacobs and SAIC. Arron is focused on employing knowledge and ability to bolster an established organization with a passion to exceed expectations and challenge the status quo. His areas of expertise include leadership, team building, project management, business operations, and consulting.
Dollar Tree, Inc.
Lamont recently completed more than a decade of Naval Service. He was responsible for multi-million dollar budgets, hazardous material, part support, retail management, inventory management, and operation management. During his service he logistically supported sailors in Japan, Afghanistan, San Diego, and Central California. He served as a Supply Officer for the Surface, Littoral Combat, and Aviation Communities. As the Operations Manager for Dollar Tree’s San Bernardino Distribution Center, an 800,000 square foot distribution center, he is responsible for providing merchandise for Southern California, Utah, Arizona, Southern Nevada, and Southwest Wyoming.
Isaias is a top performing process specialist at Andeavor, a leading Fortune 100, and Fortune Global 500 refining, marketing, and logistics company. With 23 years of leadership experience in Project Management, Logistics, and the Fitness Industry, he is an innovator, strategist, and an agent of change, always looking to improve on synergistic solutions that will support corporate goals. Isaias also served as a Logistics Officer leading a Military Transition Team during Operation Enduring Freedom where together they implemented a logistics system for the Iraqi Army in Northern Iraq. Isaias enjoys quality time with his beautiful wife and children.
Summer 2018 Cohort
SAP Applications Manager – IT Operations
Sekisui Specialty Chemical
As an experienced IT Project Leader, Lakshmi offers expertise in project transformation, SAP operations leadership, business improvement strategies, IT management and focused on defining technology road maps in collaboration with business partners and architecture teams to support business growth. Lakshmi is responsible for the oversight of Global IT operations (SAP) for Sekisui Specialty Chemicals and enjoys crossing the boundaries between Business and IT to achieve business results. Lakshmi earned her Bachelor's degree in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering at Osmania University, India.
Laz is a Software Defined - Wide Area Networking Specialist at Citrix Systems targeting the Telecommunication and Managed Service Providers in North America. With more than 20 years of experience in technology and as an entrepreneur, he has successfully run a 40-person organization for more than a decade in the telecommunications industry. When not working, he is fond of skiing the Rockies, playing tennis, and coaching his kids football teams. In addition to pursuing his EMBA at Pepperdine, Laz is leading the efforts to kick start a new division at Citrix.
Federal Bureau of Investigations
Michael has been a Special Agent with the FBI since 2006. Following nearly a decade of National Security experience in New York City, Michael took a Public Affairs & Media assignment with the Los Angeles Field Office in 2015, where he's currently assigned. Prior to joining the FBI, Michael had careers in both finance and the military, to include a combat deployment to Iraq's Anbar Province with the U.S. Army in 2003. In addition to his career, Michael founded and continues to serve as the Executive Director of OnBehalf.org, a nonprofit that raises funds and professional services for wounded veterans of Iraq & Afghanistan. Michael graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Biology from Union College in Schenectady, New York.
Board Member & Marketing Director
Paige is currently a member of the Board and the Marketing Director of Hardy Realtors. As a top agent and leader of Hardy Realtors, she has effectively changed the dynamics and success of the organization in a short period of time. Paige develops and implements strategic and tactical marketing plans for the sales organization to accelerate their current market share growth. Not only does she run a successful real estate brokerage but is the International Chair of the New Generations Rotary Club and gives back to the community. Prior to joining the family business, she earned her Bachelor's degree in International Business and Culture at St. Francis College, NY where she was a Division 1 NCAA water polo player, swimmer, diver, and team captain.
Hawk and Horse Vineyards
Tracey is a Founding Partner and Executive Winemaker at Hawk and Horse Vineyards. She holds a degree in English/Creative Writing, Cum Laude, from San Francisco State University and has completed coursework in Winemaking at U.C. Davis and Marketing at Sonoma State University. Her work at Hawk and Horse Vineyards is inspired by a lifetime of experience in the wine industry, a passion for business development, and a love of the outdoors. The winery is a leader in biodynamic viticulture and a pioneer in a relatively new growing region in northern California—Lake County. Tracey is a member of the board of directors of the California Wine Institute, the premier lobbying organization of California's wine industry. Embracing a lifestyle which puts family and community first, Tracey enjoys volunteering at local schools, charity events and mentoring young people.
Marc Hayashi, DMD
Clinical Education Director
UCLA School of Dentistry
Marc currently serves as the Director of Clinical Education in the Section of Restorative Dentistry at UCLA. Here he leads the clinical portion of the Restorative Dentistry curriculum to ensure the students are learning at the highest level, and that the 60 plus faculty members he leads are calibrated to that same standard. Marc also conducts research, maintains his technical skills in the Faculty Practice, and serves as Secretary of the Western Los Angeles Dental Society (a non-profit component of the American and California Dental Associations). Marc received his Bachelor's degree in Zoology at Washington State University and his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.
Owner and Founder
Herbert Law Group PLLC
Zach graduated from Pepperdine University School of Law and joined the United States Marine Corps, where he honed his trial and leadership skills for four years. Upon leaving the Marine Corps, Zach joined a large personal injury litigation firm in Dallas, Texas. A passionate technology and workflow user, Zach helped develop and implement a paperless workflow system that scaled as the firm grew to over 150 employees. Eventually, Zach was put in charge of managing three teams and the assignment of caseloads for the entire Dallas office. Last year, Zach left and started his own firm, Herbert Law Group PLLC, where he specializes in personal injury and military discharge upgrades. He is a board member for F.A.R.M. (Farmers Assisting Returning Military), a nonprofit that prescribes "dirt therapy" to military veterans by teaching organic farming. He is the proud father of three and enjoys woodworking and bicycling in his limited free time.
Vice President, Real Estate Acquisitions
Mahil Family Group, LLC
Bobby is currently the Vice President of Mahil Family Group (MFG). He has more than eight years of experience, specializing in property management, leasing negotiations, and real estate redevelopment. MFG is a vertically integrated commercial real estate firm, with active projects within the United States, India, and the UAE. He has direct oversight of over +500,000 Square Feet of commercial office, retail, hotel, and land development projects. Before joining MFG, Bobby was a Property Manager with PM Realty Group, specializing in real estate redevelopment. He has had the opportunity to work with various organizations such as Roku, Life Factory, Google, Nest & Machine Zone. His most notable redevelopment project was the recovery of The Oakland Tribune Tower in 2011.
With more than ten years of experience in the aerospace industry, Harout is the principal architect for all HaWC (Harms Way Controller) products at Esterline. Previously, he worked at the Boeing Company as a flight controls engineer, led the aftermarket department at Rexnord Aerospace, and was the lead engineer for all F5-T38 trainer aircrafts for the Air force. Harout earned a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering, and a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering, emphasizing on Dynamics and Controls from California State University, Northridge. Harout was the recipient of the distinguished Engineering Project Achievement Award from the Engineers' Council in 2013. In addition, Harout speaks four languages, and was a former professional basketball player.
Ebi is a HR Leader with more than 10 years of hands-on roles in various industries including: Oil & Gas, technology, Sports & Entertainment, and transportation. He has had the opportunity to work as an expatriate in the Middle East - Qatar, and currently resides in Silicon Valley where he enjoys working and learning emerging technologies, meeting exciting and brilliant people, and expanding his network across the globe. His specialties include: talent management, learning & development, HR strategy, and building partnerships across organizations and communities. He is involved in several philanthropic organizations and enjoys social progress that touches the hearts and minds of our world.
City National Bank
Nicole is Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager in commercial banking, advising commercial businesses with revenues from $20MM-$250MM, in all their operational and cash management needs. Some of her areas of expertise include financial and credit analysis, strategic development and securing services for businesses including: Commercial Real Estate, working capital lines of credit, Asset Based lending, SBA loans, Equipment Finance, Treasury Management (Cash Management) services, Merchant services and Foreign Exchange. Additionally, Nicole manages each business relationship quarterly and annually reviewing their financial statements and ensuring they remain on track to sustain and/or promote growth. Outside of her day job, Nicole remains active within her business community serving on boards for top quartile non-profits and business organizations. She remains in advisor and educator to the Small Business community, including start-up companies often teaching courses on "Access to Capital", "The Top Ten Reasons Why Small Businesses Fail", "Top Decline Reasons and how they are Preventable", and she frequently spotlights on business radio shows providing insight from a lenders perspective.
Portfolio Operations Director
Eric is a Portfolio Operations Director with AvalonBay Communities, one of the largest REIT's in the United States. In this role, he oversees an operations budget of $70 million annually and manages 3,000 homes in Northern California. With 20 years of leadership experience in both multi-family housing and financial services, Eric has excelled in talent development, growing revenues, and fostering new initiatives. In addition, Eric is active in the community, serving as a committee member for the Housing Industry Foundation, a non-profit that facilitates housing initiatives and emergency housing grants. Eric holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Management from San Jose State University. Personally, Eric enjoys traveling the world with his wife and young daughter.
Vice President Portfolio Management
Barrister Executive Suites, Inc.
Derek currently serves as Vice President for Portfolio Management at Barrister Executive Suites, Inc. With more than nine years of commercial real estate experience, Derek leads in the lease renewals, prospecting new locations for expansion, budgets of current locations to meeting future market trends. Before his current role at Barrister Executive Suites, he had been a sales and marketing manager, where he refreshed the image of the company through reorganization of marketing collateral, increases sales by encouraging proper team communication, developing a CRM which put the company at a competitive disadvantage. Through his previous experience as a sales associate at Newmark Knight Frank, a commercial real estate advisory firm, he developed invaluable skills to build a foundation applicable to a wide range of business challenges. In his free time, he can be found at the beach playing volleyball or at the airport traveling the world. Making a positive impact on the world by putting others before self and constant action to improve the community in which he lives. Derek earned his Bachelor's degree in Religion Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Regional Sales Director
Merit Medical Systems
Erik works in the Peripheral Interventional division of Merit Medical, a global manufacturer of products used to identify, diagnose, and treat patients with end-stage renal and vascular disease. Currently, Erik is managing nine sales representatives in the western United States and accountable for delivering revenue growth while managing operating expenses and margins in his region. Before transitioning into management, Erik achieved multiple President's Club awards during his 13-year sales career in the medical device industry. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Bioengineering from Oregon State University.
Sr. Director, Public Relations and Corporate Communications
Janus Henderson Investors
Taylor is a Senior Director of Corporate Communications and Public Relations at Janus Henderson Investors, an approximately $370 billion global active asset manager. Taylor builds brands and protects the reputation of the organization, executives, and investors. Taylor brings global expertise and experience running complex, high-profile public relations programs, teams, and agencies. Prior to Janus Henderson, he served as Associate Vice President at Communications Strategy Group, leading the firm's asset management practice. Prior to that, Taylor represented large financial services clients for a New York City-based integrated communications agency.
Vice President Global Operations
Capital Brands, LLC
Eric is currently Vice President of Global Operations at Capital Brands, a multi-channel B2B and B2C consumer products company, where he is responsible for overseeing the international business division. Over his 17-year career, he has held senior leadership positions in finance, operations, sales and category management, strategic planning and business development in media/entertainment and consumer products industries. Prior to Capital Brands, Eric spent ten years at NBC Universal where he held several executive management positions in the company's Universal Pictures Home Entertainment U.S. and Canadian business, including Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance. Prior to NBC Universal, he spent five years in financial and operational management positions at General Electric. Eric earned a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton.
Area Sales Manager
Ingersoll Rand Inc.
Brandon is currently an Area Sales Leader with Ingersoll Rand for the Compression Technologies division. In this role, he is focused on revenue growth through team building, technical training, negotiations, and operational excellence. This role, along with his previous roles in business development has allowed him to gain experience across all varieties of commerce. He has more than 12 years of experience growing market share via distribution channels and direct sales of engineered product. Brandon holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Auburn University.
Deputy Director of Human Resources
International Medical Corps.
Suzanne Weragoda has 18 years of Human Resources experience in various industries. In her current role Suzanne is the Deputy Director of Human Resources for the International Medical Corps. A non-profit, global first responder, comprising of dedicated doctors and nurses delivering emergency health care to those affected by conflict, natural disaster, and disease. Suzanne received her Bachelor's degree in Industrial Systems and Business Management from the University of Westminster, London, UK; and a Postgraduate Diploma in Finance and Investment from Brunel University, Middlesex, UK.
John is Vice President of Legacy Air, a leader in HVAC and Refrigeration in the retail and restaurant facility management field. Currently responsible for Operations, IT, Business Development, & assisting with Finance his leadership has stewarded Legacy into being listed as one of the fastest growing companies in America thrice by Inc.com. John started as an intern at Legacy while attending Arizona State University. Over the last 12 years, he has held positions all over the organization including Dispatcher, Installer, Account Manager, Service Manager, Branch Manager, Director, & Vice President. Prior to joining Legacy, Sergeant Wittman served with distinction as a United States Marine. He was honored on multiple occasions by the Secretary of the Navy during deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.