Executive MBA Cohort | Pepperdine University | The Graziadio Business School

Meet EMBA 115S

Spring 2017 Cohort

EMBA 115S Executive MBA Cohort


Ahmed Al-Tuwaijri

Ahmed Al-Tuwaijri

Board Member

Al-Thomad

Ahmed currently serves on the Board of Directors at Al-Thomad, an investment holding company, which specializes in various industries in the Gulf Region. Al-Thomad was established in 1982 to improve the management of a number of diversified family-owned business operations by the application of sound business practices. Ahmed is responsible for the company's real estate investments throughout the Saudi Arabian region, including investments in healthcare, industrial, and land development. He was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


Sharifa Batts

Sharifa Batts

EH&S Program Director

Ports America

Sharifa is a Corporate Safety Manager at Ports America, the largest Terminal Operator and Stevedore in the United States. In her current position, Sharifa is a leader in safety as she provides strategic guidance and professional expertise to all business Units. Sharifa has been with Ports America for 17 years in multiple roles, including leading initiatives for safety strategies, regulatory compliance, training components, and developing/implementing a new safety database. She has extensive experience in projects, people management (union & management), and business unit collaboration to drive efficiency and compliance with Ports America's goals and objectives.


Ryan Campbell

Ryan Campbell

Manager, International Finance

The Walt Disney Company

Ryan is a seasoned entertainment executive with a range of experience in finance, operations, and sales. In his current role at The Walt Disney Company, Ryan oversees the financial planning and strategy for the international cable business. Previously, he worked at Sony Pictures Entertainment, where he was instrumental in facilitating operations to drive revenue during the notable cyber-attack in November 2014. Before moving into the entertainment industry, he oversaw logistics for the U.S.'s largest exporting company of recovered materials, as well as conducted business-to-business software sales. Ryan received his Bachelor's degree in Business from the University of California, Riverside.


Jason Dennison

Jason Dennison

Human Resources Executive

Jason is a dynamic Human Resources leader who began his career in logistical operations. With more than 15 years of experience in human resources, organizational development, employee relations, compensation, absence management, and benefits, coupled with his exposure and service at organizations such as UPS, Coca- Cola Enterprises, and Providence Health & Services, Jason has a wealth of experience creating and implementing a wide range of strategic initiatives. Through his keen ability to collaborate and understand stakeholder needs, Jason deploys a methodical approach to build and maximize team efforts and driving positive results.


Sarah Gabriel-Specland

Sarah Gabriel-Specland

Senior Vice President of International

Lotus Entertainment

Prior to working at Lotus Entertainment as Senior Vice President of International for four years now, Sarah spent years handling International Sales at XYZ Films. Being part of an elevated production company, she helped grow their film slate and establish strong relationships throughout the entertainment industry. She began working at New Line Cinema in International Marketing and Servicing, before pursuing a career in International Sales at Lionsgate under the leadership of Helen Lee Kim. Sarah received her Bachelor's degree from Ithaca College, New York in Marketing, Organizational Communications, with a minor in German.


Michael Henderson

Michael Henderson

Specialist / Founder

Apple / AguaBumm

Michael works for Apple as a Specialist, providing innovation for businesses and customers in the IT field. As the founder for AguaBumm, a lifestyle clothing brand, Michael oversees the day to day operations in marketing, sales, and merchandizing. Michael also served in the Marine Corps as a Staff Noncommissioned Officer, where he participated in numerous training and combat operations. He is dedicated to serving others and providing mentorship. Michael earned his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from California College, San Diego.


Matthew Ibarra

Matthew Ibarra

Senior Industrial Designer

Innovation Lab

As a Senior Industrial Designer in product development at the Innovation Lab, Matthew works with healthcare professionals of all disciplines to incubate novel ideas into products and solutions to improve healthcare needs. He is a hands-on designer with an out of the box imagination, balanced with astute product to market strategies. His experience has produced innovative products in the consumer, industrial, law enforcement, and healthcare industries and holds more than 20 patents. Matthew earned his Bachelor's degree in Industrial Design at CSU, Long Beach. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family in the great outdoors.


Nathan Keilholz

Nathan Keilholz

Senior Division Sales Manager

Johnson and Johnson Medical Devices

Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) Medical Devices. In his current role at JNJ, Nathan oversees a $27 million product portfolio and a medical device sales team responsible for accelerating sales across nine distinct device categories. Prior to joining JNJ, Nathan served as a Naval Officer, leading a team of 23 as a Mission Commander before accepting a nomination to instruct at Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center as a Weapons and Tactics Instructor. Nathan holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance from Oklahoma State University and a Master's degree in Management/Risk Management from Florida State University.


Reza Khan

Reza Khan

Senior Vice President of Corporate Development

ASE

Reza is responsible for Corporate Development, Strategic Business Alliances, Mergers & Acquisitions, Technology Development and Proliferation/Advancement of Semiconductor Technology covering North America, Europe and Singapore. Prior to ASE, Reza served as Corporate Vice President with AMD and Broadcom where he was responsible for Global Back-End Engineering and Operations including R&D, Development and Manufacturing. He serves as Technology Advisor to the Founder/CEO at Movandi Corporation. Reza is a named inventor on more than 100 issued US and European patents and many pending patents.


Monika Khare

Monika Khare

Marketing Executive

Monika is a marketing, creative and social impact executive with more than a decade of experience in all aspects of the marketing, creative, production and impact building disciplines. Monika has worked at some of the largest entertainment and most recognizable companies such as NBC Universal and The Walt Disney Company. Monika has a strong record of developing and implementing marketing partnerships, strategic alliances and branded content programs across multiple media platforms, as well as leading and building social impact initiatives for top global brands.


Tom Klecker

Tom Klecker

Marketing & Communications Manager

Hensel Phelps

Tom is responsible for strengthening Hensel Phelps communication channels across multiple sectors. Previously, he was the Proposal Manager leading RFQ/RFP pursuits. Based in Southern California, Tom is a graduate from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing. Early in his career, Tom held multiple positions in both the field and office at Parsons Corporation. He worked on the $300 million USACE Nationwide Replace Military Housing program and was a key player for the $942 million PMO start-up for PG&E. He has assisted in more than $1 billion in proposals.


Mike Ossmen

Mike Ossmen

Financial Services Executive

Mike is an external sales executive with more than 20 years of successful experience covering asset management sales, third-party distribution, client service and retention, and new business development. He is skilled in territory management building regions in the broker dealer, independent, bank, and RIA channels. Mike is experienced in facilitating collaboration between portfolio managers, analysts, product specialists, financial advisors, and their clients. He has earned his CIMA, CRPC, CMFC, and CFS designations. He attended the University of San Diego and the University of Utah and graduated with degrees in Economics and Sociology. Mike resides with his family in Pasadena.


Zarin Godrej Paghdiwalla

Zarin Godrej Paghdiwalla

Executive Assistant

Human Longevity

In her role as Chief of Staff for the Office of Chief Executive Officer, President and the Governing Board, Zarin has lead business strategy and planning initiatives, provides market insights to support investment and technology strategies, and informs the CEO and Board of Directors on organizational issues. Zarin has played a key role in critical enterprise-level initiatives, including management of organizational change, increased operational effectiveness, and accelerated business growth. She has also worked closely with senior executives of enterprises on people transfer initiatives. Zarin earned her Bachelor's degree in Business Administration at the University of Texas at Dallas.


Marko Puljic

Marko Puljic

Key Account Manager

Swagelok Los Angeles

Marko is a key account manager for Swagelok Los Angeles where he is responsible for business development and sustaining the relationships of key accounts. He specializes in providing technical expertise while developing complex solutions for clients reaching various industries including oil and gas, power generation and biopharmaceutical fields. He has an extensive background in manufacturing, specifically with Swagelok Company and their product offering. He was born in Bosnia, then moved to Germany before settling in the United States, allowing him to speak three languages. Marko holds his Bachelor's degree in International Business and Marketing from Cleveland State University.


Robina Smith

Robina Smith

Medical Director for Medical Affairs/Oncology

Ambry Genetics

Dr. Smith is an expert in Breast Oncology and a highly trained and renowned Oncoplastic Breast Cancer Surgeon, specializing in treatment and breast education, as well as an award-winning speaker, presenter, and author. Robina worked as a Breast Surgeon at St. Jude Medical Center and Physician liaison for Commission On Cancer, American College of Surgeons. She is a member of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, Association of Woman Surgeons and Association of Black Women Physicians, and sits on the Board of Directors for Susan G. Komen OC and is CEO/founder of Treasure Your Chest, LLC.


Breanna Stott

Breanna Stott

Vice President & Private Wealth Advisor

Union Bank

Breanna started her career in finance securitizing home loans but then transitioned into banking and wealth management and now works with high net worth individuals. Breanna holds her series 7, 66, and Life & Health licenses, as well as her Personal Financial Planning Certificate. She was previously ranked #2 in the nation amongst her peers at Wells Fargo and awarded the company's highest acknowledgment, given to the top 1% of the company. Breanna was recently recognized in Pacific Coast Business Times "40 Under 40" for her work throughout the community, including her volunteer contributions to the Big Brothers - Big Sisters Program.


Daniel Taphorn

Daniel Taphorn

Estimator

Bergelectric Corporation

Daniel is currently an Estimator with Bergelectric, a Los Angeles-based commercial electrical construction company founded in 1946. He recently joined Bergelectric as a new endeavor to transition from the military to the construction industry. With more than 10 years as a commissioned officer in the United States Navy, Daniel successfully led multiple teams across the globe in the execution of a wide range of mission sets from satellite operations to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Daniel holds a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Wright State University in Dayton, OH.


Wesley Wilson

Wesley Wilson

Director of Accounting and FP&A

Avanath Capital Management

Wesley is the Director of Accounting and FP&A at Avanath Capital Management, a real estate investment firm that specializes in niche strategies for institutional investors. He oversees all aspects of Accounting and FP&A. Prior to Avanath, he was with CIM, where he was responsible for the accounting and finance of $28 billion in Opportunistic Real Estate. He has also managed the finance and accounting for a diverse field of domestic and international alternative investment products at large public companies like BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, and SS&C. Wesley is also a CPA and a Board Member of an LA-based non-profit.