Meet EMBA 103S | Pepperdine University | The Graziadio Business School

Meet the EMBA103S

Summer 2014

Hooman Afghanir

Hooman Afghani
Technology Strategy Manager, Assistant VP

Fidelity National Financial

Hooman is an assistant vice president and holds a position of technology strategy manager at Fidelity National Financial (FNF). He has more than 11 years of experience in information technology. During his career at FNF he has ensured that numerous key technology solutions have been placed into production and has overseen activities that have saved FNF millions of dollars in annual operating expenses. He has been involved in various company acquisitions and multiple company spin-offs. He is known for having strong creative energies and a refreshing idealism. He earned his bachelor's degree in information computer science from University of California, Irvine.

Vattana Cheth

Vattana Cheth
Assistant Senior Manager
AT&T Mobility

With more than 13 years of telecommunications experience, Vattana currently serves as the assistant senior manager and functions as the chief of staff for the vice president at AT&T. She plans and directs administrative and operational activities providing oversight and support across 10 counties and 2000+ employees. She has held various management roles in the organization including company retail, authorized agents and national distribution channels. She has managed sales portfolios exceeding $1M, earning her top performance awards. She earned her bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Phat Chiem

Phat Chiem
Senior Manager, Homepage
Yahoo!

Phat spent the last seven years as a senior editor for Yahoo's homepage, the web's largest destination for news and information. In his most recent role, he led a team of editors focused on programming lifestyle, sports and business stories. He upheld standards for editorial voice and quality, supported advertising and revenue opportunities, served as a creative consultant to various Yahoo teams looking to engage the broad web audience, and hired and trained new editors. He also oversaw Yahoo's Twitter account (@Yahoo), and contributed to the company's overall social media strategy. Before Yahoo, Phat was a staff reporter for the Chicago Tribune. He earned his bachelor's degree in english literature at the University of California, Irvine.

Nicolas Christou

Nicolas Christou
District Sales Manager
Paychex, Inc.

Nick is a successful sales executive for Paychex Inc., the leading provider of payroll and HR solutions for small businesses in North America. In his current role as district sales manager of North Los Angeles County, he is responsible for developing and implementing tactical sales strategies in order to grow market share. With a proven track record in yearly revenue growth, talent development programs, and innovative leadership strategies, Nick aspires to move into a senior leadership role within the organization. Nick earned his bachelor's degree in business administration with a focus in finance and real estate from California State University, Northridge.

Gary Davis

Gary Davis
Staff Meteorologist
412 Operational Support Squadron

Gary serves as staff meteorologist at Edwards AFB, CA where he provides customized, non-standard forecasting products and services to DoD, NASA, various national defense contracting and aerospace agencies, and other federal and state organizations requiring meteorological support. He also maintains and develops new products using state-of-the-art meteorological systems and data sources for weather operations support of flight test operations. He manages a six member, $5M weather station services contract and serves as the chairman of Range Commander's Council's Atmospheric Modeling Committee. Gary earned his bachelor's degree in natural science from the University of Hawaii-Hilo and a master's degree in environmental policy management from American Military University.

Eric Fishman

Eric Fishman
Vice President – Operations
SAFER Systems

Eric is the VP of operations at SAFER Systems, a software and integrated solutions provider for the chemical, oil and gas market. He directly supervises a team of 7 people located in North America and Asia. Eric is responsible for product management, business operations, customer service, and quality assurance serving a customer base on 4 continents. His mission is to bring value to customers through culture, innovation, customer-focused technology development, and efficient business operations. He earned his bachelor's in chemical engineering from Michigan State University.

Paulina Garcia Gonzalez

Paulina Garcia Gonzalez
Senior Buyer
Shasa USA, LLC

Paulina is a clothing senior buyer for Shasa, a junior global retailer. With more than 8 years of experience in the fashion industry, she specializes in global sourcing, trends forecast, product design and development and business planning. Throughout her career, she has managed different business categories with a team passionate for fashion. As a strategic business woman, she has contributed to the company's growth with successful merchandise buys and gained the ability to act quickly to the market demands to satisfy the fashionista client. She earned her bachelor's degree in marketing from ITESM Mexico.

Justin Ghadery

Justin Ghadery
District Manager
24 Hour Fitness USA

Justin currently manages a portfolio of 12 clubs for the leading fitness brand throughout Los Angeles. His pursuit of a multi-unit managerial leadership role began as a personal trainer, who in 6 years earned more responsibility in diverse markets from San Diego, New York City, and Los Angeles. 24 Hour Fitness sent him to the 2012 London Olympic Games to serve as brand ambassador for the organization's partnership with Team USA. Prior to this role, he served 8 years in the infantry for the Marine Corps. His experience equips him with a precise understanding of performance management, collaboration, and strategy.

Hector Gonzalez

Hector Gonzalez
Category Director
Northgate Gonzalez Supermarkets

With more than 10 years of experience in management positions and knowledge in all aspects of the supermarket business, Hector is a strategic and enthusiastic director of center store at Northgate Gonzalez Markets. Family-owned and operated, servicing in 40 + locations through Southern California, Northgate Gonzalez Markets is a thriving Hispanic supermarket chain based in Anaheim, California. Having been raised in the family business and part of the 3rd generation, Hector developed great leadership qualities. Fluency in Spanish and exceptional communication and motivation skills have helped him in achieving great personal and professional results.

Christina Jones

Christina Jones
Vice President
Province Consulting Group, Inc.

Christina is a co-founder of Province Consulting Group, Inc, a boutique consulting firm that specializes in positioning small and medium-sized businesses for government sales. A practiced senior consultant with over 20 years of accomplishments, her experience encompasses a wealth of knowledge gathered while leading high-impact projects during her tenure in management at a Fortune 500 company and current leadership of PCG's procurement team in contract administration and business development. She has traveled throughout the country training small businesses on government procurement and formerly served as Government procurement consultant for the Small Business Development Center, an SBA partner.

Shane Jones

Shane Jones
Realtor/Broker
National Association of Realtors

As a member of the prestigious Air Force Band, Tops In Blue, Shane has traveled to 32 countries and every U.S. state to perform for and raise the moral of over 100 million people. He has performed at the Super Bowl, for international dignitaries, and for deployed military personnel overseas. Responsible for multi-million dollar assets, he acted as team supervisor and facilitator of operations. After discharge from the military, he broke the regional rookie sales record at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and is excited to break ground in commercial real estate. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles.

Anthony La Fleur

Anthony La Fleur
Integrated Marketing Communications
Pepperdine University

Anthony currently works in Pepperdine University's integrated marketing communications department, providing creative media services and assisting with the development of the institution's visual branding strategy. In the past, he served as an executive leader within a prominent Christian media organization, and also consulted individual companies with marketing and branding solutions. He is a graduate of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where he majored in motion pictures and television with a focus on advertising. He is happily married to his lovely wife of eight years and enjoys spending time with his two rambunctious children.

Eric Lytle

Eric Lytle
Civil Affairs Plans Officer
US Army Psychological Operations and Civil Affairs Command

Captain Eric Lytle is specialized in a US Army Special Operations function, focusing on strategic relations, foreign humanitarian assistance, and populace and resource control. He recently returned from an assignment in Southwest Asia, where he planned and executed symposiums with Saudi and Kuwaiti forces to develop their logistics capabilities and promoting interoperability with US Forces. Additionally, he participated in strategic humanitarian and logistics planning for the ongoing refugee crisis in Jordan. As a Project Manager, he established and operated a humanitarian assistance complex in Kuwait servicing 23 countries in the region.

Rahquaill Morris

Rahquaill Morris
Vice President, Operations
Crump Life Insurance Services

Rahquaill is the vice president of operations for Crump Life Insurance Services. She has a strong background in leadership, HR, and business development, servicing high net worth clients in independent and bank channels. She is a key contributor to her organization, leading the team in supporting sales and driving revenue. She received her bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, and is expanding her academic resume in Pepperdine's EMBA program. She attributes her success to hard work and the example of determination set by her mother. She shares her passion for leadership with her siblings, who are also in senior HR roles.

Darryle Nelson

Darryle Nelson
Assistant Vice President - Account Transitions
State Street IMS

Darryle is an assistant vice president of account transitions at State Street IMS, a global custodian bank. He mentors a team of 11 individuals while working closely with global custodian banks, brokers, clients, and internal stakeholders to facilitate successful transition projects. Prior to his current role, he worked in London, England and Munich, Germany, as a lead/specialist. He earned his bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in strategic management, from California State University of Sacramento.

Christopher Pelley

Christopher Pelley
General Manager, Direct Sales
TelePacific Communications

Chris has more than a decade of sales, marketing and management experience in the telecommunications industry. He is an innovative sales leader with the experience and credibility to leverage growth markets, delivering a proven record of sustained profitability with the best in customer support. He is a team builder and accomplished motivator, engendering collaboration and capitalizing upon the diversity of the team to create customer-centric service models and compelling solutions that win business in new markets, along with expanding sales results within established channels. He earned his bachelor's degree in corporate communications from Framingham State University in Massachusetts.

David Rozar

David Rozar
Finance and Insurance Professional
Retail Automobile Business

With more than 25 years in the Southern California retail automobile business, David has demonstrated expertise in the vehicle sales process. His focus is on maintaining high quality relations with banking partners to provide competitive financing, while eliminating wait times. His strategies have helped dealerships to increase profits by 20% and raise customer satisfaction to over 93% approval. By developing a model to streamline the contract process, his team was successful in reducing the in-dealership experience by an average of 20 minutes. He holds a bachelor of science from Pepperdine University, and an associates degree in math science from The College of the Canyons.

Brian Singleton

Brian Singleton
Director of Special Projects
Local Corporation

Brian comes from a highly competitive venture capital and start-up background. His strengths include defining and launching cutting edge technology product offerings. He played an executive role in the launch, profitable growth, and exit of three diverse digital marketing companies; including co-founding a direct to consumer mobile content company, which became one of the top 5 mobile content companies in the United States. He was recently hired to run the research and development arm of Local Corporation, responsible for developing new search and ad technology business units.

Serop Stepanyan

Serop Stepanyan
Vice President, Sr Operations Consultant
Bank of America

Serop is a vice president of senior operations consultant for Bank of America. In this role, he is responsible for leading, developing and implementing complex products, systems and services in an operations environment. He is also responsible for coordinating policy, procedural changes and project plans, including cost and resource estimates. Prior to his current role, he was AVP for Bank of America, responsible for analytics and reporting which analyzed trends, forecasting and capacity calculating. He holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from California State University, Los Angeles. He is Six Sigma Certified and Project Manager Professional.

Carol Tabor

Carol Tabor
Assistant Controller
TriMark Raygal

Carol is a CPA with 13 years of both private and public accounting experience. She creates and streamlines accounting process to maximize efficiency, reducing average close times from 12 to 3 days while maintaining controls in line with the Treadway Commissions. She has taken the lead on system conversions; creating technical white paper, purchase accounting, and one time valuation of debt forgiveness . Carol has worked with companies ranging from the development stage to Fortune 100 companies with $9 billion in revenue. She is currently working with Trimark Raygal, a construction company specializing in commercial kitchens and company division of Trimark USA.

Tolga Tarhan

Tolga Tarhan
President / Co-Founder
NetBrains, Inc.

As the president and co-founder of NetBrains, a software and network engineering professional services firm, Tolga is responsible for operations, finance, technical leadership, and sales. Prior to founding NetBrains, he led teams in the telecommunications industry, developing software and hardware products for carriers. His career started during the height of the dot-com boom and he was featured in "Fortune" magazine in 2000 for being one of the youngest participants in a company funded by the Tech Coast Angels. His experience includes hands-on engineering, the leadership of technical teams and management of large and complex technical projects.

Daniel Walker

Daniel Walker
Senior Vice President – Business Development
Young's Market Company

Daniel is the senior vice president of business development for California sales and Operations at Young's Market Company, a leading distributor of spirits and wine. In addition to driving strategy and financial results as the regional CFO, he oversees four departments providing support to the business. Prior to joining Young's, he worked at Diageo in various finance and sales roles in both domestic and international capacities. He earned a bachelor of commerce degree with distinction from the University of Alberta where he majored in finance. He enjoys spending free time with his wife Megan, and two kids Marlowe and Charlie.

Lionel Yu

Lionel Yu
Chief Operating Officer
Garfield Health Center

Lionel is the COO at Garfield Health Center, which provides medical services to under-privileged Asian and Hispanic communities. He manages five privately owned clinics; including two pediatric and three family practices. With his experiences in non-profit work, he supervises the management, human resources, and patient services. Healthcare service is his passion, and he is proud of the work he has accomplished every day. He is honored to join Graziadio School of Business and Management, and hopes to apply this exquisite experience to further develop clinics and to provide enriched services for the patients and community.