Hall of Fame member biographies
Our Hall of Fame members have extensive and diverse backgrounds in industry, interests, and areas of study. They have been brought together by their shared passion for The W. A. Franke College of Business and its dedication to business students. To read a biography on any of our members, please click on their name below.
Note: FCB alumni honored by the NAU Alumni Office 1996-2001 were inducted into the 2003 Hall of Fame.
If you would like more information on the FCB Hall of Fame, please contact Pam Ramos.
Matt Casado, Professor Emeritus, School of Hotel and Restaurant Management, 1991 MA in education. Matt Casado was born and raised in Spain where he managed hotels after having trained in Switzerland and England. He and his wife Mary Natali lived in Europe for five years before moving to the United States where Matt continued working in the hospitality industry. He joined the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management in 1988 where he taught, researched and published academic papers and books until his retirement. Mary and Matt have three children, two of which are proud graduates of Northern Arizona University. Cristina is a school teacher in Prescott Valley while Martin went on to earn a PhD from Stanford University and become a renowned computer scientist still actively engaged with NAU. Matt continues writing, publishing and reviewing academic papers for refereed journals and doing some serious traveling when he and Mary have time to spare. 2017 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Paige Lund, 1993 BS in hotel and restaurant management. As General Manager, Lund oversees all operations for the 520-room Renaissance hotel. Lund also supports the Sheraton Grand Phoenix and the Westin Phoenix in her role as area general manager. She enjoys investing in the hospitality industry and contributes to the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association Board, the Arizona Office of Tourism Stakeholder Council, the City of Phoenix Tourism and Hospitality Advisory Board, Northern Arizona University School of Hotel and Restaurant Management National Advisory Board and is also a member of AzLTA Women in Lodging. Paige remains active in the education and development of the next generation of hospitality professionals. She encourages interns at her hotel, speaks in classes at HRM, is a mentor for students in the Franke College of Business and she and her husband have established the Kathryn Stevens Lund Memorial Scholarship fund benefiting students of HRM at NAU. With a strong spirit to serve, she is passionate about giving back. The Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel has partnered with and supported many local organizations such as HopeKids, Make-a-Wish, St. Mary’s Food Bank, Washington Elementary School District and Grace and Mercy to name a few. Lund serves on the Arizona HopeKids State Board. Prior to her career at Marriott, she served Starwood Hotels and Resorts, The Canyons Ski Resort and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. She resides in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, Clark, and two beautiful daughters, Allyson and Abigayle. 2017 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
John Ferron, 1986 BS in finance. John Ferron is currently the Executive Chairman of Ivanti Software. John brings an extensive and diverse leadership background in high growth, technology-driven companies. John most recently served as Chairman and CEO of HEAT Software in Silicon Valley. Prior to HEAT, John served as CEO at NetMotion Wireless located in Seattle, where he accelerated growth while servicing new customers across various vertical markets. Prior to NetMotion he served as CEO of Purple Communications, transforming the company to be a leading provider of innovative communications for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. In addition, Ferron is an operating advisor to Clearlake Capital and Ferron has been affiliated with the private equity firm since its inception in 2007. Prior to 2007, John was CFO and COO of Celerity, Inc. and Kinetics Group, Inc. In addition, John served as vice president of finance for Compaq Computer’s Commercial PC Group as well as general manager of an R&D optical display division, and vice president of strategic planning and business development for Science Applications International Corporation. An expert in business transformations and operational improvement with a primary emphasis in late stage private equity held companies, John earned a bachelor’s degree (emphasis in finance) from Northern Arizona University in 1986 and a master’s degree in tax from San Diego State University. 2017 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Jim Travis, 1970 BSBA in marketing. While at NAU, Jim was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, the NAU freshman football team, and the manager of the NAU “Beaver Den” snack car in the student activity center. Upon graduation Jim began his career joining Allstate Insurance Company in their “Management Development Program” in Tucson, Arizona. In January of 1972 he resigned his position with Allstate and founded Travis and Associates Inc., a manufacture representative sales agency providing a variety of industrial electrical products to government, mining, power generating utilities and heavy industry. The company grew and prospered under his leadership adding additional product lines and employees for the next 39 years. In 2011, he negotiated the sale of his company to an international industrial electrical motor manufacturing company that was seeking a presence in the Southwest United States. Providing all his employees with positions within the new corporation, he subsequently accepted a 5 year consulting contract with the purchaser assuming the role of general manager of their Tucson facility until he retired in 2016. His interest outside of the business world included a 20 year off road racing career highlighted by victories in the Baja 500 and 1000 off road races, appearances on ESPN and ABC’s Wide World of Sports, and races in Tokyo, Guam and Hawaii. He currently is active in a number of civic organizations, including the El Ranchito de Los Niño’s Orphanage in Las Lunas, NM, Wild Sheep Foundation in Bozeman, MT and has established a scholarship at The W. A. Franke College of Business in memory of his late wife Mary Carol Travis. 2017 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Bill Nyman, 1970 BS in Business Administration, Marketing. While at NAU, Bill was a member of Blue Key National Honor Society and Sigma Chi Fraternity. Upon his graduation from NAU, Mr. Nyman attended the University of San Diego School of Law and received his Juris Doctor degree in 1973. He was admitted to the California State Bar that same year as well as United States District Court of Appeals. During his 35 year career as a civil litigator, Mr. Nyman tried numerous jury trials to verdict. He was an active member of the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel as well the Los Angeles County Trial Lawyers Association. He was the founding and managing partner of Nyman, Johnson, Maguire and Dyer, a mid-sized southern California defense litigation firm. During his career as a litigator he handled many complex civil litigation cases, including construction defect and land subsidence cases. He was involved as a lead counsel on many landmark civil cases, including the MGM Grand Hotel Fire, Las Vegas, Nevada and Big Rock Mesa landslide, Malibu, California. He also was appointed as a temporary sitting judge for the Orange County Superior Court and served as both a court appointed and private mediator and arbitrator on numerous cases. He currently is a member of the NAU Alumni Association Board of Directors and on occasion has enjoyed the opportunity to speak to The W. A. Franke College of Business student leadership group as well as upper division business classes. He resides in Prescott, AZ with his wife Cindy, who is also a graduate of NAU and a member of the College of Education Hall of Fame.
Kay Pitt and her husband, Ron, joined the Northern Arizona University accounting faculty in August, 1981. She previously taught financial and managerial accounting and worked in the Comptroller’s Office at Arizona State University. Kay taught financial and managerial accounting at NAU for 30 years. It was a great place for her to reach out to students who showed an aptitude for accounting and encourage them to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the subject. In 2004, the accounting faculty began offering a course in Governmental Accounting and asked Kay to teach it. She enjoyed working with the senior level students as they worked to learn a topic that was “so different” from other accounting courses they had taken. Kay served as the faculty advisor to Beta Alpha Psi, the International Honor Organization for Accounting, Finance and Information Systems students, for six years. She also served as faculty advisor to Cardinal Key, a national honor society for students at the junior and senior level for three years. One of Kay’s accomplishments that she is proud of is the chartering of the Flagstaff Chapter of the American Society of Women Accountants in December of 1982. The chapter is still active thirty-four years later. It provided the opportunity for continuing education and networking for local women accountants. She also served on the national board of ASWA from 1990 – 1992. The organization has changed its name to Accounting and Financial Women’s Alliance. Professor Pitt is very much honored to become a member of The W. A. Franke College of Business Hall of Fame. She has many fond memories of the faculty and staff she worked with during her thirty years at Northern Arizona University.
Ron Pitt and his wife, Kay, joined the Northern Arizona University accounting faculty in August, 1981. He previously taught at Arizona State University, where he received the College of Business Administration Outstanding Undergraduate Faculty Award in April, 1981. Ron taught in the financial accounting area and specialized in the senior-level courses of consolidations and theory. Ron served as Accounting Area Coordinator from 1984 to 1988 and as Associate Dean of the College from 1986 to 1995. During his tenure as Associate Dean, he was instrumental in the 1989 implementation of the first NAU college-based student exchange program with the Haarlem Business School in The Netherlands. This was followed by the faculty exchange program which began in 1992. Ron and his wife, Kay, participated in the faculty exchange program spring semester, 1995. In August, 1995, Ron was appointed to the position of Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies and in 2002 became the Associate Provost for Academic Administration, a position he held until his retirement in July 2010. His responsibilities during this time-period encompassed most of the university’s undergraduate, academically-oriented functions. He was also responsible for all university commencements from 1998 until his retirement. Nationally, Ron served seven years on the Board of Directors of Beta Alpha Psi, the International Honor Organization for Accounting, Finance and Information Systems students, and was President in 1992. He twice served as chair of the American Institute of CPAs five-day Faculty Summer Seminar for faculty teaching at HBCUs. Dr. Pitt is honored to become a member of the college’s Hall of Fame and expresses his appreciation to all faculty and staff of the college for their support and friendship during his tenure at NAU.
Timothy M. Rastello is a 1975 magna cum laude graduate of the College of Business where he earned a BS in Accountancy degree and was named a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the premier business honor society. He obtained his license to practice as a CPA in both Arizona and Colorado before attending and graduating from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1981. Mr. Rastello practiced law with the national law firm of Holland & Hart for 32 years where he became a senior trial partner. His trial practice includes complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, civil rights, and constitutional law. Mr. Rastello was named a “Trial Lawyers of the Year” in 2009 by Colorado Law Week and a Colorado Super Lawyer during multiple years between 2006 and 2014. In 2014, he opened his own law practice in Boulder, Colorado.
Fred W. Smith II earned his BS in Business Administration, Marketing degree from Northern Arizona University in 1983 and is currently Regional Manager West of Novitex Corporation, a document outsourcing company that focuses on custom solutions and document processing to streamline workflows. At Novitex, Fred manages the on-site support services of records management, receptionist, copy, mail, and guest services for the western 15 states supporting PriceWaterhouseCoopers. After graduating from NAU, Fred joined the sales force at XEROX Corporation in Montebello, CA, quickly moving into management roles for marketing and sales activities throughout greater Los Angeles. In ten years at XEROX, Fred consistently increased sales revenue and customer satisfaction. In 1996, he joined Danka Corporation as Regional General Manager, managing an operating budget of $30 million. There, he doubled the customer base and received the General Manager Leadership Award three years in a row. In 2000, IKON Office Solutions hired Fred to create an operations and audit process through a period of corporate re-structuring. He reduced operational, selling, and administration expenses and led an employee-based quality team resulting in a company-wide recognition program that improved overall employee satisfaction by nearly 20%. In 2001, Fred joined Ricoh Americas Corporation in Irvine, as their western region Operations Manager, where he consistently exceeded revenue, net profit, and DSO targets. When Fred was a student at NAU, he received the Golden Eagle Student Athlete award. Today, he serves on several local boards and is a charter member of The W. A. Franke College of Business National Advisory Board. He is also founder of the Malachi Smith Scholarship Education Endowment Fund at Henderson State University, Ark.
Kathy Finnerty Thomas grew up working in her family’s business and graduated from NAU with honors with a degree in Marketing and Management. Upon graduation, Kathy joined Eastman Kodak, where she held several positions at Kodak in sales, sales training, national accounts and marketing. In 1998 she joined AirTouch Cellular as Director of Marketing. After AirTouch merged with Verizon, she joined her husband in the promotional product company he started. Today, as President of Stowebridge Promotion Group in Chandler, AZ, she works with her husband, Ron, the Founder of Stowebridge. They help companies in North America and around the world create promotional products and programs to promote their brand, grow their business, reward employees, thank customers, promote safety and other key messages. In addition to her responsibilities at Stowebridge she gives talks, provides training, and writes articles on values-based corporate culture, vision, and leadership. At The W. A. Franke College of Business, Kathy gives back as a Business Leadership Mentor, President of the NAU Professional Selling Advisory Council, the Business Shadowing Program, and classroom guest speaker. She is inspired by working with the FCB’s great students, faculty and administration.
Samia Ashraf, 1984, BSBA in management and computer information systems. Ms. Ashraf was born in Pakistan where she was inspired by her parents’ family business at an early age. After completing her degrees at NAU, Ms. Ashraf’s career in the Seattle-based transportation industry included work in information technology, training, sales, marketing, and logistics. Ms. Ashraf managed the logistics at SeaLand and information technology at Terminal Management Services. Ms. Ashraf now lives in the Puget Sound area with her husband and daughter. She volunteers her time helping immigrants adjust to life in the U.S. In 2002, Ms. Ashraf founded the Khursheed Fatima Scholarship to honor her mother, a gift that continues to benefit international students at NAU. 2015 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Robert Jordan, 1990, BSBA in Finance. Mr. Jordan is currently CEO of Tribeca Capital Partners LLC, a private investment holding company focused on making control investments in distressed lower middle market technology, logistics, distribution, retail and other business services related companies. Mr. Jordan worked for Pepsi-Cola and The Walt Disney before pursuing his own entrepreneurial interests. In 2003, Mr. Jordan acquired Knowledge Management Systems (KMS). Over the next decade, he led the firm’s transformation into one of the leading SaaS-based human capital management software. KMS was acquired 2013. In 2014, Mr. Jordan founded Tribeca Capital Partners LLC where he currently serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Robert Jordan is a recognized authority and thought leader on corporate transformations and is frequently called upon to provide advice and counsel to industry groups, corporate boards and management teams across the U.S. 2015 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Ken Lorek has a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, an MBA and BSC degrees from De Paul University, and is a Certified Public Accountant. He spent 21 years on the accounting faculty at The Florida State University. Mr. Lorek joined The W. A. Franke College of Business Accountancy faculty in 1996. He became NAU’s first endowed chairholder, The Ralph M. Bilby Chair in Business Administration, until his retirement in May 2015. He has published over 45 articles in leading academic journals. On four separate occasions he was designated the Outstanding NAU MBA Professor. In May 2015, he was the first recipient of the Kenneth S. Lorek Research Leader Award by The W. A. Franke College of Business. Currently, he serves as a Director of the NAU Foundation Board. 2015 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Mark Minter, 1975 BSBA. Mr. Minter is the Executive Director of the Arizona Builders’ Alliance (ABA), a trade association of commercial and industrial builders including general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and service companies. In 1977 he joined the Associated General Contractors in a variety of positions, including executive director, assistant director and Tucson branch manager. As Executive Director of the ABA, his duties include overall operation of the alliance. He has worked extensively in the areas of labor relations, lobbying, government relations, safety and oversees the Alliance’s educational programs. In 1998, Mr. Minter was the inaugural winner of the Arizona Society of Association Executives, Executive of the Year Award. In 2013 he was awarded the “Distinguished Alumni Award” from Northern Arizona University’s Construction Management School. 2015 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Glenn Tubb, 1975 BSBA in accountancy magna cum laude. Mr. Tubb is the Senior Vice President of Products for Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc., a successful start-up that provides electronic monitoring technology and services to the community corrections market. He is responsible for all product development and delivery, including engineering, software development, web operations, manufacturing and logistics. Mr. Tubb also holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and his Certified Public Account designation in Arizona. 2015 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame
Bill Heibel, 1970 BSBA in marketing and 1973 master or business administration. The period between undergraduate and grad school included two years in the U.S. Navy. Mr. Heibel’s business career covered over forty years in the aerospace & defense industry in finance management and government compliance. Immediately after graduating from NAU’s MBA program he joined Hughes Aircraft in Southern California. He later relocated to the Washington D.C. area as part of Hughes Technical Services Company’s Headquarters. When Hughes was acquired by Raytheon in 1999, Mr. Heibel helped lead a team responsible for the combination of financial systems and cost structures of the two companies’ service businesses. Throughout his career, Mr. Heibel’s responsibilities included leadership roles in financial planning, cost structure designs, financial system designs, and mergers and acquisitions. After retiring from Raytheon in 2006, Mr. Heibel served as a consultant to General Dynamics Information Technology Company until late 2013 assisting the two companies with their financial planning and reporting systems. 2014 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Kristy O’Bannon, 1997 BS in accountancy from Northern Arizona University’s Yuma, Arizona campus. Ms. O’Bannon is the co-owner of O’Bannon Anaya & Company Ltd located in Henderson, Nevada. Ms. O’Bannon was recruited prior to graduation in 1996 by the then big-five accounting firm, KPMG LLP, to work in their Las Vegas, Nevada office. She subsequently worked for a mid-size Las Vegas, Nevada accounting firm, where she obtained licensing as a Certified Public Accountant. Ms. O’Bannon is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and is a member of the Nevada and Arizona Society of CPAs. 2014 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Thomas B. Perkins, 1980 BS in Lodging, Restaurant and Tourism. Upon graduation, Mr. Perkins went to work in the restaurant industry in Southern California. In 1985, he joined Arthur Andersen as a Certified Public Accountant. Mr. Perkins worked for PepsiCo and Pepsi-Cola Company in a variety of finance roles from 1987 – 1993. In 1993 he joined Core-Mark International, Inc. as a controller of the Los Angeles Division. He was the Division President of the Spokane Division from 1996 – 2000, the President of the Arizona Distribution Center from 2001 – 2003, the Vice President of U.S. Divisions from 2003 – 2007, and the Senior Vice President of Resources from 2007 – 2013. Mr. Perkins was appointed the President and Chief Executive Officer and Director of Core-Mark Holding Company on January 18, 2013. Core-Mark Holding Company is one of the largest distributors to the convenience store industry. Core-Mark services approximately 33,000 customers from 31 divisions in Canada and United States. Mr. Perkins and his wife Martha live in San Francisco. 2014 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Joe Walka, PhD served as dean of the college from 1987 to 1996, the longest tenure of anyone in that position. He came to NAU in 1985 as founding director of the Center for American Indian Economic Development and director of the MBA program. He is now Professor of Economics and Dean Emeritus of the college. Prior to coming to NAU, Dr. Walka was on the faculty of Idaho State University and the University of Arizona. He served as Assistant to the Chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. A graduate of Grinnell College, where he received a BA in English and American Literature, an MBA from Indiana University and a PhD in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. 2014 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Robert Williams along with his family, arrived on the Northern Arizona University campus in 1978, retiring in 2010. He taught primarily in the marketing area with a specialty in marketing research. However, he also taught forecasting, consumer behavior, and introduction to business. Dr. Williams served as Associate Dean of the college and the Director of the MBA program from 1981 to 1986. He also served as the first faculty chairman of the University Academic Standards Committee and as a member of that committee for 11 years. Dr. Williams believes that his primary contribution during his years at NAU was encouraging and motivating his students to master the course material and to better understand the primary role that marketing plays in business success and in the free enterprise economy. 2014 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Larry Gardner, MA, CPA, (posthumously). Nomination by Lisa Autino. “Larry was perhaps my favorite accounting professor despite his tendency to occasionally jump on desks and scare me. He was also one of the most kindhearted people who invited students to his home for Thanksgiving, or otherwise. Larry’s method of teaching made accounting principles real and easily understood. I recall his faith in me as I sat for the CPA exam before finishing his auditing course. He was truly memorable as a professor.” For more than 25 years, Accounting Professor Larry Gardner was much beloved by his students and colleagues alike. An extraordinary teacher known for his high academic standards, he was committed to his students’ success, both in the classroom and in his role as the Golden Key Honor Society faculty advisor. Receiving the President’s Award for Teaching in 1986 and the Outstanding Accounting Faculty award in 1988, Larry made a difference in the lives and careers of thousands of students. 2013 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
George Gresham, 1999 BS in accountancy – Corporate Executive. Former CFO/executive vice president for NetSpend Corporation, George began his career at Deloitte & Touche, LLP as senior manager supervising all aspects of audits, primarily publicly traded companies. Mr. Gresham has extensive experience building, leading, and advising enterprises through complex transactions, restructuring, international expansion, capital market transactions, and changing regulatory landscapes. NetSpend sold for $1.4 billion in June, 2013. Prior to NetSpend, Mr. Gresham was the CFO for GCA Holding, Inc. where he was engaged in providing specialty merchant payment processing solutions to operators of gaming properties. Coming into the company in the midst of a number of operational and regulatory setbacks, Mr. Gresham was able to contribute to stabilize the company’s operational performance, resolved regulatory and reporting issues, executed three acquisitions, and supported development of a strategic roadmap that would carry the company well into the future. As chief financial officer of EFD Corporation, Mr. Gresham provided complex technology solutions to a customer base largely comprised of financial institutions spanning the globe. Mr. Gresham has been an engaged FCB alumnus who has served on the Accounting Advisory Board and is a generous supporter of NAU and FCB. 2013 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Jeri Jones, 1982 BS in accountancy. Ms. Jones has been with UnitedHealthcare since 1999, and is the West Region president. Prior to taking this role, Ms. Jones was CEO for UnitedHealthcare Employer and Individual business in Arizona, Utah, and Idaho. She has held several executive positions within UnitedHealthcare in national and market leadership including west region chief of staff and national senior vice president of Key Account Sales. Prior to joining UnitedHealthcare, Ms. Jones spent several years as an executive in the provider community, including her tenure as chief financial officer of a large medical group practice and as chief executive officer of a significant multi-specialty IPA/MSO. She also spent 10 years in various management roles with another national carrier. Ms. Jones serves on the Board of Directors of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Greater Phoenix Board of the American Heart Association, and the Downtown Phoenix Partnership. Ms. Jones is a dedicated FCB alumna who participates in many NAU and FCB events. 2013 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame. 2013 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Alden (Al) Lorents, PhD, professor of computer information systems, joined the faculty of the College of Business in 1971 as an associate professor, and was promoted to full professor in 1975. He started programming in 1960 as a programmer/analyst for Honeywell Aerospace in Minneapolis after graduating in accounting and math from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. In 1966 he took over responsibilities for computing at Bemidji State College, where he installed their first computer and taught beginning courses in data processing. Dr. Lorents did his graduate studies at the University of Minnesota obtaining an MBA in 1963 and a PhD in MIS in 1971. During his 37 year tenure at NAU he participated in a number of faculty internships that included Lawrence Livermore Labs, Sandia Labs, McDonnell Douglas, Arizona Public Service, Micron and the University of Kuwait. His research focused on the continuous development of Information Systems curriculum. Dr. Lorents was well-liked by students, faculty, staff and was known for his high energy and can-do spirit. 2013 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Ms. Fitzgerald is a senior advisory partner and practice leader at Ernst & Young (EY). She serves a wide range of companies, including several Fortune 1000 companies. She leads innovation in EY’s National Advisory Practice Center of Excellence for Risk Transformation and Enterprise Risk Management. Ms. Fitzgerald serves as a mentor for the college’s Business Leadership Program. She has been a champion of diversity by leading the Arizona Professional Women’s Network and serving on Ernst & Young’s America’s Gender Equity Task Force. She was appointed by the governor to the Arizona State Board of accountancy and eventually served as its president. She is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor. Ms. Fitzgerald is married and has three children. 2012 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Jon Ozmun, PhD, came to NAU in 1974 as an assistant professor of economics. He was promoted to associate professor in 1978 and to full professor in 1982. He served as assistant dean for three years and served as interim dean from 1980–81. In his tenure at NAU he served on, and chaired, numerous committees for both the college and the university. His most notable service was to the students as both a teacher and an advisor. He taught many economics and management courses and was respected for his knowledge, personal teaching style, concern, and encouragement of each individual student. He had a unique ability to pinpoint student problems and concerns, to anticipate questions, and to develop individualized academic and career plans for students. He routinely followed through with those students as they progressed through the business program. Dr. Ozmun once wrote an email to the faculty which included “… changing lives is the fulfillment of the opportunity that comes with the territory of our chosen profession – college education.” This quote epitomizes his service to the students, faculty, and staff of NAU. 2012 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Rick Rodriguez, 1984 BS in accountancy. Mr. Rodriguez played four years of basketball at NAU. After graduating in 1984, he played one year of professional basketball in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. Mr. Rodriguez, a veteran of the entertainment industry, has held various finance and accounting positions for media giants Sony Pictures Entertainment, MGM, Turner Entertainment Company, and Columbia Tristar Television. He has shared his career experiences with NAU business students through on-campus lectures as well as participating in the FCB Executive Job Shadow Program. Mr. Rodriguez lives in Costa Mesa, California with his wife Melody and is the proud parent of twin daughters, Briana and Brittany, NAU students. Mr. Rodriguez serves as a mentor for the college’s Business Leadership Program, and is a member of the FCB National Advisory Board. 2012 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Lisa Autino, 1986 BS in accountancy. After earning her degree, Ms. Autino received her CPA designation in 1989 and began her career in public accounting. She started in the construction industry when she joined Corbins Electric in 1992. After more than 21 years there, 12 of them as an owner, Ms. Autino opted to pursue another challenge. Ms. Autino is currently the CFO for Caliente Construction, Inc. Her commitment to continued education is evidenced by her participation in the Executive Job Shadow Program, BizBlock, and her desire to give back by establishing a scholarship at NAU. She is currently a mentor for a deserving student through St. Vincent de Paul’s One At A Time program. Ms. Autino serves as a mentor for the college’s Business Leadership Program. FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame 2011.
Scott Coor, 1976 BSBA in marketing. He is a third-generation Arizonan who grew up in Phoenix and graduated from Camelback High School in 1972. While at NAU, Mr. Coor was a member of the Blue Key National Honor Fraternity and served in leadership positions as a member of Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity. He began his career with Southwest Forest Industries and currently serves as vice president of Sales and Marketing for Trendwood, Inc., a company he began with four partners in 1985, which manufactures solid wood youth bedroom furniture. In fall 2006, he was recognized with the Volunteer of the Year Award from Northern Arizona University for his key role in helping to secure the $25M contribution from Mr. Bill Franke and arranging student field trips to visit Mr. Warren Buffett. He continues to be instrumental in connecting FCB with potential supporters of the college. Mr. Coor is married to Debbie Weber Coor, an NAU nursing graduate. They have two grown children, Tiffany and Steve. He currently serves on the FCB National Advisory Board, on the Board of Director of the Northern Arizona University Foundation, and is an Executive in Residence. Mr. Coor serves as a mentor for the college’s Business Leadership Program. 2011 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Jack Dustman, PhD, emeritus professor of management, retired May 2010 after 41 years of teaching at Northern Arizona University. During that period Dr. Dustman provided intellectual and academic leadership and service for FCB and NAU. His service included work as an area coordinator, serving on the FCB Promotion and Tenure Committee, and the NAU Faculty Senate. In addition to working at NAU, Dr. Dustman worked at California Lutheran University, California State Polytechnic University, University of Southern California, and Arizona State University. He held degrees from Arizona State University (BS and MS), and University of Southern California (PhD). Dr. Dustman passed away in 2010. 2010 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Tom Palmer, JD, (1970 ASU), BS in accountancy (1967 NAU). Mr. Palmer practiced law in Mesa, Arizona from 1970–1974. In 1974, he was hired as an assistant professor of business law for FCB, where he taught for 26 years. Mr. Palmer retired as Professor of Law Emeritus in 2000. Since his retirement, he and his wife, Gretna, have spent several years overseas in India, Indonesia, and the Caribbean as humanitarian volunteers and trainers through their church. 2011 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
R. Keith Newlon, 1979 BSBA in finance and economics. Mr. Newlon is the president of Pioneer Title Holding Company which owns Pioneer Title Agency and Yavapai Title Agency. Pioneer Title has 51 offices and Yavapai Title has eight offices throughout Arizona. Mr. Newlon has served in many community and professional organizations. 2010 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame Inductees.
David Chase managing member of Vestor Associates, LLC, Santa Fe, New Mexico, has led Vestor since its founding and has been active in private equity investing since the late 1960s. Dr. Chase is involved with Vestor’s acquisition strategy, equity investing, financing, and investor relations. He has served on and advised the boards of the portfolio companies of Vestor Partners, LP. In addition, Dr. Chase is a trustee of Thornburg Investment Trust, the governing board of the Thornburg Mutual Funds, and an emeritus director of the Museum of Northern Arizona, the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, and the College of Santa Fe. He holds degrees from Principia College (BA), The Amos Tuck School at Dartmouth College (MBA), and Arizona State University (PhD). Dr. Chase was a professor at NAU from 1966 to 1978, teaching corporate finance, investments, and banking courses. 2009 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Thomas P. Smith, 1991 MBA, is co-founder and former chairman of the board of TASER International, headquartered in Scottsdale. Mr. Smith served as the company’s president from April 1994 through October 2006. As the prime manager of domestic and international sales, he travels worldwide to conduct presentations for government officials and law enforcement agencies. Along with his brother Rick, Mr. Smith was awarded the 2002 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, awarded by CNN, AT&T, NASDAQ, and USA Today. Mr. Smith now serves on the board of EPIC Diagnostics and is involved in two new startups, Set Jet and All Clear Fire Systems. Mr. Smith holds a BS in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Arizona. 2009 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Jim Upchurch, 1980 BS in accountancy, is the founder, president and CEO of Caltius Capital Management, a mezzanine and private equity firm headquartered in Los Angeles. Since Caltius’ inception in 1997, Mr. Upchurch has overseen the deployment of more than $1 billion of capital in over 70 debt and/or equity funded transactions. Mr. Upchurch started his career as an accountant in the Phoenix office of KPMG. 2009 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Rick Blomquist, 1981 BSBA in marketing. Mr. Blomquist spent 29 years of his post-graduate career at Farnam Companies, Inc. in Phoenix, working in many areas of the company including purchasing, manufacturing, distribution, new product development, acquisitions, and business development. He served as a division president for the company’s equine group and subsequently as the company’s president and CEO. After the company was acquired, he continued on as president of Branded Consumer Products for the Central Life Sciences operating group within the Central Garden and Pet Company. Since leaving Central Garden in 2011, he has done management consulting and is currently the Vice President and General Manager, Consumer Animal Products for PBI-Gordon Corporation, a Missouri based company. Mr. Blomquist serves as a mentor for the college’s Business Leadership Program. 2008 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Rebecca Hickman, 1974 BS in accountancy, magna cum laude. Ms. Hickman is a CPA and has an MBA, summa cum laude, from Grand Canyon University. She became an FCB Executive in Residence in 2013 and currently teaches accounting ethics and finance. Previously, she was director of Investor Relations for Pinnacle West Capital Corporation in Phoenix, a Fortune 1000 company with a market capitalization of $6 billion. She served as the company’s primary liaison with the investment community, overseeing relationships, communications, and marketing globally. Ms. Hickman was named to Institutional Investor magazine’s “All-America Executive Team” and among the best investor relations professionals in the electric utility industry for three years (2010-2012). She is a member of the National Investor Relations Institute, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants and Soroptimist International. Ms. Hickman currently serves on the FCB National Advisory Board, serves as a mentor for the college’s Business Leadership Program, and is an Executive in Residence. 2008 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Neil Jacobs, PhD, retired from his faculty position with The W. A. Franke College of Business in 2007. Students and the university community benefited tremendously from the extraordinary contributions Dr. Jacobs made throughout his career with the college. He guided the college’s efforts toward reaffirmation of its AACSB accreditation while serving as associate dean from 1996–1999. As a teacher of computer information systems and management, Dr. Jacobs embodied the spirit of the FCB – dedication to student learning. Caring about the futures of his students, he challenged them to do their best and expected no less. Prior to joining NAU he worked for IBM and Memorex in management positions in manufacturing, materials management, and information systems. 2007 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Sherri Slayton, CFA, 1985 BSBA finance. Ms. Slayton is an Executive Vice President of Western Alliance Bank. She joined Alliance Bank of Arizona, a division of Western Alliance Bank in March 2006 and has more than 30 years of commercial lending, small business and retail banking experience. An active member of the community, Ms. Slayton is a currently a member of the Boards of Northern Arizona University Foundation and Vitalyst Health Foundation. She has previously served on the Boards of The W. A. Franke College of Business at NAU, Arizona Bankers Association, Flagstaff Medical Center and Northern Arizona Healthcare, Boys and Girls Clubs of Flagstaff and Coconino Regional Council for First Things First. For her accomplishments, Sherri was inducted into the NAU W. A. Franke Alumni Hall of Fame and was named one of Arizona’s Most Influential Women in Business. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst. 2007 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Richard Stone, 1977 BS in accountancy. He also completed Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development in 1994. Mr. Stone is currently a consultant with Gray Stone Advisors (business aviation industry), after eight years in public accounting (Arthur Andersen & Co.) and 24 years in the recreational marine industry, including serving for several years as the president of the Sea Ray Boats, Knoxville, Tennessee. Sea Ray Boats is the world’s largest manufacturer of superior quality pleasure boats and is part of Brunswick Corporation’s Boat Group. Rick also serves on the board of directors of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (1986), The Tennessee Theatre Foundation (2007), and The Fort Loudoun Lake Association (2009). 2007 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Michelle Kerrick, 1985 BS in accountancy. Ms. Kerrick is the managing partner for Deloitte & Touche LLP–Los Angeles Practice. With 25 years of experience, she has served a diverse group of publicly and privately held clients, assisting them with acquisitions, divestitures, and equity and debt offerings. In addition to serving many companies as lead client service and audit partner, she has acted as co-leader of the High Tech Industry Group and leader of the Real Estate Group. Ms. Kerrick’s professional and community activities include American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Arizona Society of CPAs, Arizona Host Committee Super Bowl XLII, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation board of directors, past board of directors for Greater Phoenix Leadership, Herberger Theater, Arizona Technology Council, Contemporary Forum, the Phoenix Art Museum, and member of Valley Leadership of Phoenix Class XVII, and Maricopa Partnership for Arts and Culture. 2006 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Bob Montoya, 1972 BSBA in management. Mr. Montoya was a third generation resident of Flagstaff. While attending NAU, in 1968 he founded Bob’s Shamrock and U-Haul Moving Center & Goodyear Tire Store. In 1970, Mr. Montoya founded Sun Mountain Real Estate and Development which he has turned into a successful real estate/development/consulting firm. He, along with various business partners, developed many of the beautiful buildings in downtown Flagstaff. Mr. Montoya served on the Arizona Department of Transportation Board, Flagstaff Medical Center Board, and was the chair of Northern Arizona Health Care System. Mr. Montoya passed away in 2013. 2006 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Michael Ceballos, 1980 BS in accountancy. Mr. Ceballos received an MBA from the University of Colorado in 1997. Mr. Ceballos retired as Qwest Communications’ President for Wyoming in 2011. He is currently working on an EdD at the University of Wyoming and will begin his dissertation in 2015. Mike serves on the boards of McREL (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning), Wyoming Business Alliance, University of Wyoming College of Business, Wyoming National Teacher Certification, Wyoming P-16 Education Council, Leadership Wyoming, and Chairman of Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Art Show. In addition, he is a member of the inaugural Leadership Wyoming’s Class of 2001, Telephone Pioneers, and HOPE (Hispanic Organization for Progress and Education). 2005 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Jana Turner, 1977 BSBA in marketing. As a principal/partner with RETS Associates, Jana Turner brings clients more than 35 years of experience in the real estate services sector. Jana joined RETS Associates in 2008, utilizing her extensive networking and recruitment experience. The firm provides talent exclusively for the commercial real estate industry and offers interim, permanent and executive talent solutions ranging from financial analyst to executive-level positions. Prior to RETS Associates, Jana served as President of the Asset Services Division for Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis, the world’s largest commercial real estate services firm and an S&P 500 company. Jana’s community and philanthropic activities include serving as a state wide Board Member and Executive Committee Member for Uplift Family Services, being an active member of Working Wardrobes as well as serving on the Advisory Committee for the Building Blocks Foundation. Jana is a graduate of Northern Arizona University with a degree in Business Administration, and she holds a Certified Property Manager (CPM) accreditation from the Institute of Real Estate Management. 2005 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Frank Besnette, PhD served as executive director of the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) from 1992–1999. Prior to moving to his role with the Regents, Dr. Besnette enjoyed a long association with Northern Arizona University. He joined NAU in 1967. Over the next 24 years he served in a variety of academic and administrative roles including professor of marketing and management, and dean of the The W. A. Franke College of Business. He served as vice president for administration and finance, senior vice president, and in 1987, was named executive vice president of NAU. In 1978, Dr. Besnette received the Distinguished Faculty Award from the NAU Alumni Association. He was honored again in 1985 when the students named him Homecoming Dedicatee. In 2017, Dr. Besnette received the AZ Board of Regents Award for Outstanding Service to Higher Education. Homecoming Dedicatee. 2004 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Pamela DiGiovanni, 1968 BS in business education. Ms. DiGiovanni retired as Senior Vice President, Labor Relations for Fox Entertainment Group, Beverly Hills, California. Her 39 year career at Fox began working for Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. As the Company expanded, so did Ms. DiGiovanni’s responsibilities, which grew to include handling labor-related matters for Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Twentieth Television, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox TV Studios, Fox Broadcasting Corporation, Fox Cable Networks, Fox Sports Network, Fox Television Stations, Hulu and related companies. Ms. DiGiovanni served on the Board of Trustees for the Motion Picture Pension & Health Plan, as well as the Directors Guild, Writers Guild and Screen Actors Guild Pension & Health Plans. 2004 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Gregory Norwood, 1979 BS in accountancy. Mr. Norwood is the chief financial officer of First Niagara Financial Group, a top 30 bank serving the northeastern U.S. Prior to joining First Niagara in 2011, he held various leadership positions with Ally Bank, the successor organization to GMAC Financial Group. Previously, Mr. Norwood was treasurer of Wachovia Corporation responsible for funding, liquidity, analytics, and balance sheet management. Mr. Norwood joined Wachovia in 2005 and held various positions in the Treasury Group. Prior to that, he was the corporate controller of Bank of America from 2001 to 2005 and a partner in the Charlotte office of KPMG, LLP. He began his career with KPMG in 1980 in the Houston office. Mr. Norwood served a two-year appointment as a professional accounting fellow in the Office of the Chief Accountant of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. Norwood also served as an accounting policy advisor to Fannie Mae, Washington, D.C. Mr. Norwood received the FCB Outstanding Senior Award in 1980 and the Beta Alpha Psi Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1994. 2004 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Dennis Austin, 1969 BSBA in finance. Mr. Austin is the president and CEO of Denmar Corporation, Scottsdale. The Denmar Corporation owns and manages a number of Phoenix-area retail businesses, including several Shell and Chevron convenience stores and car washes, and DenMart Convenience Stores. 1998 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Lisa Rojas Bacus, 1986 BSBA cum laude in management, BA in Spanish. Ms. Bacus earned her dual degree while working as an interpreter for the law offices of Aspey, Watkins & Diesel. She also holds an MBA from Duke University, Fuqua School of Business. Ms. Bacus is Global Chief Marketing Officer for Cigna Corporation and also serves as President of the Cigna Foundation in Bloomfield, Connecticut. She previously served as executive vice president and chief marketer at American Family Insurance (Madison, WI) and also held several roles with Ford Motor Company including director of global marketing strategy (Detroit) and director of marketing for Ford of Mexico (Mexico City). She has been the recipient of a number of professional awards and honors, including four Effie Awards for marketing excellence. Ms. Bacus currently serves on the board of Culver’s Restaurants and also serves on the FCB National Advisory Board and the NAU Foundation Board. 2000 NAU Alumni Honoree; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Jim Bolin, 1973 BSBA in finance and accountancy. Mr. Bolin graduated magna cum laude and was recognized as the FCB’s Outstanding Senior in Finance. Following graduation, he held positions with PriceWaterhouse & Co., Hometels Management Company, and as president of Rural/Metro Corporation. Mr. Bolin served on the Employee Stock Ownership Plan Association Board (Washington, D.C.) and is a past chair of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society–Arizona Chapter. He is a past president of the NAU Foundation Board and serves on the FCB National Advisory Board. 1996 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Dale Butcher, 1977 BS in accountancy – Semi-retired – Partner and Co-Owner, Conquest Holdings, LLC. Mr. Butcher enrolled at NAU in 1973 shortly after completing a tour of duty in Vietnam with the U. S. Navy. After graduation, he worked in public accounting and the insurance industry. He entered the oil and gas business in 1987. In 1993 he and his business partner (a fellow Vietnam veteran) founded Conquest Water Services, an oilfield service company that handles the water that is a byproduct of oil and gas drilling and production. Conquest Water Services was the largest company of its kind in Colorado at the time of its sale in 2010. Mr. Butcher is very appreciative of the way he and his fellow veterans were welcomed at the university, the ease with which he enrolled, and the excellent education he received. With their recent generous contribution to the college, Mr. Butcher and his wife Julie have been instrumental in the development of the new FCB Veteran Student Center. Mr. Butcher serves as a mentor for the college’s Business Leadership Program. 2013 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Tom Cullen, 1981 BSBA in marketing. After graduating from NAU, Mr. Cullen earned his MBA at the University of Colorado. He is currently executive vice president of Corporate Development for Dish Network. He has held various leadership positions in the media, telecom, and wireless industries including executive vice president of Charter Communications and president of MediaOne Ventures. Mr. Cullen has served on the board of directors of various public and private companies in the technology sector. 2001 NAU Alumni Honoree; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Randy Davidson, 1966 BS in accountancy. At NAU, he was a member of the Alpha Sigma Chi accounting club. Mr. Davidson practiced public accounting as an audit partner for 10 years. He began his copier career in Phoenix, as an owner from 1974–1986 of the Sharp Dealer Uni-Copy Corporation and served as its president and COO. In 1986, Mr. Davidson formed Dahill Industries, Inc. in Austin, Texas as a full line authorized Sharp Dealer. From 2000–2006, Mr. Davidson built the Regional Sharp and Savin (Ricoh) Copier Dealership of Imaging Systems of Arizona to include eight branch office locations in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. In 2006 Mr. Davidson sold six of the locations to Sharp Electronics Corporation to concentrate on his Texas Operations of Texas Document Solutions based in Austin. He has been honored with the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the Dealer of the Year Award by Global Imaging Systems, Inc. He currently serves on the FCB National Advisory Board. 2000 NAU Alumni Honoree; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Joe Dox, 1970 BS in accountancy. While at NAU, Mr. Dox participated in Sigma Nu and was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma. He earned his MBA in 1973 at Santa Clara University. Prior to retiring, he was the president and COO of Novellus Systems. Before joining Novellus, Mr. Dox held several senior financial management positions with Exel Microelectronic, SEEQ Technology, and Applied Materials. He served on the board of directors of Novellus Systems, Electroglas, Obsidian, Mars Technology, Accent Optical (purchased by Nanometrics), Eagle Test, and Nanometrics. 1999 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Theresa Jeszka Drew, 1979 BS in accountancy with highest honors. Ms. Drew is currently managing partner of the Carolinas practice of Deloitte, based in Charlotte, and responsible for the firm’s operations in North and South Carolina. Ms. Drew’s career spans 35 years, during which she has served both public and private companies, primarily in the consumer business and manufacturing industries. She is active in her community, serving on the Board of Directors of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA, and the Arts & Science Council. She also serves on the Board of Trustees at the University of North Carolina Charlotte and at Charlotte Country Day School. During her career, Theresa has received various regional and national recognitions, including being named the 2014 Newcomer of the Year by Leadership Charlotte and the 2010 Woman of the Year by San Diego Magazine. In 2005, Beta Alpha Psi recognized her as its Business Information Professional of the Year and in 2004, the San Diego Business Journal recognized Theresa as one of their 25 Women Who Mean Business. In 1995, she received the Outstanding Woman CPA of the Year Award from the American Woman’s Society of CPAs. She was also named to the list of Top 100 Women in Business in Arizona from 1996–2001. Ms. Drew is a past NAU Foundation Board member and has established an accounting scholarship at NAU in memory of her parents. 1997 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Steve Harris, 1977 MBA. Mr. Harris also received his BS at NAU in physics. While at NAU, he was a member of Sigma Pi Sigma. Mr. Harris is the vice president of SimDesk, focused on international markets. Previously, he was president and CEO of Elite Logistics, the senior managing partner of the Forte Group, and general manager responsible for developing foreign markets at Compaq. As Europe, Middle East and Africa Business Development marketing director for Compaq, he was responsible for all marketing and product activities. 1999 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Scott Hill, 1977 BSBA in business administration, magna cum laude. Mr. Hill earned the FCB’s Wall Street Journal Outstanding Senior Award, the Gold Axe Award, and the President’s Award for outstanding service to the university. He is currently the Managing Partner of Tax and Law for Ernst & Young’s (EY) Mediterranean Region, and is based in Milan, Italy. After earning his masters in Business Taxation degree (University of Minnesota – 1984) and being promoted to partner in EY’s Minneapolis office in 1987, he moved to Dallas where he was the Regional Director of International Tax Services, and to Chicago where he served as the Regional Managing partner of Tax. In 2002 Mr. Hill moved to New York City where he was the Americas Director of International Tax Services, before taking his current position in the Mediterranean in 2010. He will be returning to the US and retiring from the firm later this year. 1999 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Marsha Jones, 1979 BS in accountancy. While attending NAU, Ms. Jones was a member of Beta Alpha Phi and Phi Kappa Phi. She operates her own financial accounting consulting practice, Marsha C. Jones & Associates (Los Gatos, California), specializing in technical accounting projects. Prior to this, Ms. Jones was a partner for Deloitte & Touche. 1998 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Kelley C. Knutson, 1981 BS in accountancy. While attending NAU, Mr. Knutson was a Phelps Dodge Scholar and selected by the Alumni Association as the Outstanding Male Student Mr. Knutson also holds an MBA in finance and international business from Loyola Marymount University. Currently, he is group executive, Global Services and a member of the management committee at TSYS, based in London, and is responsible for international growth plans outside North America. He was previously the CEO for Clear Money Limited. Mr. Knutson joined Clear Money from GE Capital, where he was senior vice president of the Global Cards business within the Global Consumer Finance (GCF) division. 1996 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Robert Korte, 1981 BS in accountancy. While attending NAU, Mr. Knutson was a Phelps Dodge Scholar and selected by the Alumni Association as the Outstanding Male Student. Mr. Knutson also holds an MBA in finance and international business from Loyola Marymount University. Currently, he is group executive, Global Services and a member of the management committee at TSYS, based in London, and is responsible for international growth plans outside North America. He was previously the CEO for Clear Money Limited. Mr. Knutson joined Clear Money from GE Capital, where he was senior vice president of the Global Cards business within the Global Consumer Finance (GCF) division. 1996 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Mark Layton, 1981 BSBA in business administration and management information systems. Mr. Layton is currently serving as the CEO of Success Partners in Lake Dallas, Texas. For over 25 years, Mr. Layton served as chairman of the board and CEO of PFSweb, Allen, Texas, since its inception in 1994 and as past chairman, president, and CEO of Daisytek International, the former parent of PFSweb. He is a recognized leader in the utilization of technology in business. He served as a management consultant with Arthur Andersen & Co. SC, (Accenture), from 1981–88. Mr. Layton currently serves on the board of directors of Johnstone Supply Group and as an advisory board member for Agilone, a leading silicon valley “Big Data” software company. Previously, Layton served as chairman of the board for both PFSweb and Daisytek and has also served on the public company boards of uBid, Inc. a leading internet auction site, ISA PLC, a European office products distributor, and with PC Mall. Mr. Layton has also served on the private board of Stampede Brewing Co. and is the owner of Markian Enterprises, a franchise restaurant operator. He is a past NAU Foundation Board member and chairs the FCB National Advisory Board. 1997 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Bruce Leadbetter, 1958–1960 at NAU. Mr. Leadbetter was the CEO of Sponsor Investments, LLC, Dallas, Texas. He was a partner of the Beta Capital Group, LLC and the CEO of Dalfort Aviation, Dallas, Texas. Mr. Leadbetter served on the boards of Adam Aircraft, iSecuretrac, and North American Technologies Group. He also served on the boards of the Post Company as director and CEO, as director for Fore Golf Partners, The Dropout & Truancy Prevention Network, and Levitz Furniture Company. He also served as director and chairman of the executive committee for Braniff II. Though he is retired, Mr. Leadbetter still serves as CEO of the Astraea Companies and on the Board of Millennium Partners, a golf course ownership company. 1996 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Mark Malinski, 1977 BS in accountancy and data processing management. Mr. Malinski also graduated from Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program in 1996. He is currently a co-founder, EVP and CFO of PetroEdge Energy III LLC, an independent oil and gas company in Houston, Texas. Mr. Malinski began his career with Pennzoil as an EDP auditor. He later became corporate secretary and finally group vice president – accounting and information technology. 1996 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Vince McKee, 1979 BSBA in management and marketing. He is currently the president and CEO of Pinal County Federal Credit Union in Casa Grande, Arizona. While at NAU, Mr. McKee was a member of the Quarterback Club, the FCB Community Advisory Board, and the Skyjacks. He was with Arizona State Savings and Credit Union, Flagstaff, Arizona, for 24 years, most recently as the vice president and northern regional manager. 1999 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Brad Meuli, 1979 BSBA in marketing. Mr. Meuli was named president and CEO of the Denver Rescue Mission in January 2001. He joined the Mission after an extensive career in banking and having served as chairman of the mission’s board of directors. Mr. Meuli has served as president of the board of trustees of the Bonfils Blood Center, is an alumnus of Leadership Denver, has his MA in Leadership from Denver Seminary, and an honorary doctorate from Colorado Christian University. 2001 NAU Alumni Honoree; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Tom Modisette, 1970 BSBA in finance. In 1980, Mr. Modisette formed the RAM Group, a management services company to the food services industry, and served as president and CEO until 1986. In 1985 he led a team to acquire six macadamia orchards in Australia and a large macadamia orchard and processing facility in Hawaii, becoming the largest vertically integrated macadamia company in the world. The business was sold to Campbell Soup in 1990. He bought Honey Hill farms frozen yogurt in 1993 and sold the company in 1998 to Cool Brands International. In 2002, he founded the Greater Pacific Food Holdings, which bought MacFarms of Hawaii and Jeremiah’s Fine Foods (2004), and Buderim Ginger America (2005). These businesses were sold to Buderim Ginger in 2010. Today Mr. Modisette owns and operates Pan Pacific Foods in Hawaii. This company is a food distributor to all the islands. 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Don Murray, 1961 BSBA in economics. In addition to his bachelor’s degree from NAU, he holds an MBA from St. Mary’s College, Moraga, California. Prior to Mr. Murray’s retirement, he was the group vice president after serving as international vice president for the Clorox Company, Oakland, California, with responsibility for more than half of the company’s sales and profits for the last 11 years of his career. He is past president of the NAU Foundation Board. Mr. Murray was conferred the Doctor of Humane Letters by NAU in 2004. 1996 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Julie Nackard, 1978 BSBA in marketing. Ms. Nackard is the executive vice-president for the Nackard Companies, Flagstaff, Arizona, which include Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company, Nackard Beverage, Hi-Line Vending, and Jewel Trucking. While maintaining multi-faceted executive responsibilities, she has provided leadership to a myriad of community organizations including the American Cancer Society, the Flagstaff Main Street Foundation, Make-a-Wish, Oktoberfest, St. Mary’s Parent/Teacher organization, and the Flagstaff Alpine Ski Team. Ms. Nackard is an NAU Foundation Board member as well as an FCB Community Advisory Board member. 1997 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
J. Duross O’Bryan, 1978 BS in accountancy. Mr. O’Bryan is a partner with Resolution Economics in Los Angeles, California. He was previously with AlixPartners, LLP as a managing director. Prior to that he was with PricewaterhouseCoopers as the partner-in-charge of the dispute analysis and investigations practice of the western U.S. region, partner-in-charge of the New York Metro practice, and an audit partner of the Los Angeles office. Mr. O’Bryan has provided numerous services to the FCB accounting area, including recruiting and speaking with student accounting societies. 1996 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Mike Santellanes, 1960 BS in accountancy. Mr. Santellanes also attended the Thunderbird School of Global Management. He is retired as senior partner and chairman of PriceWaterhouse Interamerica and is currently president of Compania Agropecuaria Las Brisas, S.A. in Costa Rica. Mr. Santellanes also served as a member of the Price Waterhouse World Board and the PriceWaterhouse World Firm General Council. 1987 Alumni Achievement Award; 1990 The Jubilee Year Distinguished Alumnus Award; 1996 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Ronald Simonsgaard, 1966 BS in marketing. While at NAU, Mr. Simonsgaard participated in many student activities, including Sophos, Pi Sigma Epsilon- Marketing, Sigma Pi, and Blue Key. He also represented married housing as a student senator. After graduating from NAU, he worked in sales for Xerox. Now, he is a retired senior vice president of Grubb & Ellis Co. 1998 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Tony Skrelunas, 1992 BSBA in management, 1994 MBA. Mr. Skrelunas directs a highly innovative program for the Grand Canyon Trust that assists Hopi and Navajo communities with focused sustainable economic development expertise. He is a partner in several companies including Southwest Tradition Log Homes and Keya, Inc. He is the former director of the Navajo Nation Economic Development Division. He has helped secure federal delegation of business site leasing authority, leading efforts to create business -friendly legal changes ranging from delegation to chapters allowing for local governance, privatizing several tribal owned companies including shopping centers and the Navajo Times newspaper, and institution of a sales tax at the local level. He served as the first president of the newly privatized Navajo Shopping Centers Corp., a $50 M asset management company. 1998 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Renee Teran, 1978 BSBA in business administration and communications. Ms. Teran currently is the Principal of Lorena Global Enterprises, San Diego, California. She was the principal of the San Diego based New York Life insurance practice, Lorena International, specializing in asset preservation of world wide, executive benefit planning, and investment consultation to companies. 1991 NAU Alumni Achievement Award; 1998 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
James Umland, 1978–1980, later graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a BS in accountancy. While attending NAU, Mr. Umland was a Phelps Dodge Scholar and president of Sophos. He is now the owner and CEO of Johnson Precision, one of New England’s fastest growing plastic injection molding companies. Previously, Mr. Umland was a CPA, a founding partner of a Wall Street private equity firm and then director of acquisitions and strategic planning for two Fortune 500 manufacturing companies. 1996 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Cheryl Wilson, 1969 BS in accountancy. Ms. Wilson, a CPA, earned her MBA from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. She began her career with Ernst & Young then moved to Coopers & Lybrand, now PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she became their third woman partner and served as a partner for 18 years. Prior to retiring, she was president of THEATREplex Entertainment Properties, Inc. Ms. Wilson is a past governing council member of the AICPA, a past chairperson of the Illinois Society of CPAs and recipient of their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004. She is a past chairperson and a current member of the State of Illinois Board of Examiners. 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.
Larry Wilson, JD, 1967 BS in accountancy. After NAU, Mr. Wilson earned a law degree from the University of Arizona. He was a CPA and a practicing lawyer before he made his way to radio. Prior to Mr. Wilson’s retirement, he was CEO of Citadel Communications Corporation, which was sold in 2001 to Forstman Little. 1997 FCB Centennial Alumni; 2003 FCB Alumni & Faculty Hall of Fame.