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John F. Nielsen ‘47, retired Regional General Manager for Sears Roebuck & Co.-Hawaii and community leader passed away on October 15, 2016 in Honolulu. A Marine Veteran of WWII, he was a graduate of Pepperdine University and the first (1947) class of Thunderbird School of International Business in Arizona. Activities in Hawaii included Board Directorships for First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaiian Electric, Iolani School, Hawaii Visitors Bureau, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, Hawaii Army Museum. Trustee for H.M. Dowsett Estate, Past President of the Rotary Club of Honolulu, the Aloha Bowl and Co-Founder of the Annual Boy Scouts Aloha Council Golf Tourney.

George Nicholaw ‘49 the longtime general manager of KNX-AM (1070) who oversaw its rise into an award-winning, all-news giant and delivered on-air editorials that made his voice familiar to millions of Southern California listeners, died on Sunday August 10, 2014 in Los Angeles. He is survived by Betty, his wife of 50 years. He was 86 years old. James O. Maher ‘47 died January 31 in Washington, D. C.  he was one of the first graduates of Thunderbird. 

Murray (Mike) Rudd ’47 passed away on September 7, 2015, due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. He joined the Army Air Corps the week after Pearl Harbor. He served in the Pacific Theatre flying in B-24s with the 819 Squadron as an intelligence officer. He served his country with duty and pride and left the service with the rank of captain. Mike received his Bachelor of Foreign Trade degree and was a member of the inaugural graduating class.



Mirian Taddei ’53, passed away June 25, 2017.  She met her husband Armando Taddei ‘53 at Thunderbird and they were married in 1954. After graduation from Thunderbird the couple moved to Naples Italy 4 years later they returned to Arizona to take over her father’s irrigation company (Hunter Ditch Lining).  Soon after, they expanded it to Humber Contracting Company, both companies continue to operate today.

Edward Campeau ’53, passed away on Sunday, June 4, 2017 at Mercy Medical Center in Canton, Ohio. He was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity. A veteran of the U.S. Army, he was stationed in Korea. Edward retired from IBM as a Senior Systems Engineer and was a member of St. Anne Catholic Church in Sebring. He enjoyed crossword puzzles and sudoku puzzles in his retirement.

George Peckham ’52, passed away on Sunday, April 30, 2017 following some recent health challenges. He was a World War II Veteran of the United States Marine Corps who saw combat operations in the Pacific Theatre. He was an accomplished agricultural nutritionist who specialized in the proper care and maintenance of livestock with a specialty in poultry.

Boye Lafayette De Mente ‘53, passed away on May 12, 2017. He went on to have a remarkable life. As editor of The Importer magazine in Tokyo in the late 1950s and early 1960s and as the author of numerous pioneer books on the mindset and business practices of the Chinese, Japanese and South Koreans, he made major contributions to the initial rise of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China as economic superpowers. Boye's encounters and relationships with such extraordinary individuals as Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, America's ranking naval officer during World War II; Akio Morita, co-founder and leading light of what was to become the Sony empire; Toshio Karita, former protocol officer for the Imperial Family of Japan; and Daisetsu Suzuki, Japan's leading Zen master, plus many more, were experiences he could not have even dreamed about before they happened.

Robert T. Mott ’57, passed away April 2, 2017.  Bob was born in Berkeley, and grew up there and in Alameda. He attended San Jose State and graduated from Michigan State. He earned a BFT from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and an M.A. in Economics from UC Berkeley. Bob lived in the Bay Area most of his life. He was a long-time member of Tiburon Yacht Club, and took great pleasure in sailing on the bay. 

William Rodgers ’56, After graduation I left Glendale with my wife, small son and newborn daughter and drove to New York to take a job in the firm that I obtained through the Thunderbird placement office.  The firm was EBASCO and electric utility holding company.  After working in their headquarters for a year, I was posted to Chile for three years.  After that, we moved to New Mexico where I was involved in ranching but missing my overseas life, I joined the Peace Corps and was sent to Bogota, Colombia as the Deputy Mission Director of the PC mission at that time the largest mission with over 500 PCV’s.  After two years I joined the State Dept. and after a few months in Washington DC, I was posted to Lima, Peru.  Where I was in charge of the Agricultural development office in USAID.  After several years, I was sent to Brazil where I spent six years with USAID in charge of the Agricultural program.  Following that assignment I worked in Ecuador and Guatemala.

Raymond Hagen ’50, of Coral Gables, Florida succumbed to a lengthy illness on January 13th at the age of 92.  A career with Goodyear International took the family to Akron, Ohio, New York City and Miami and entailed responsibilities for managing sales of aviation products in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and later Latin America.  He was an active member and leader of the Lions Club, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Board.

Harold W. Yost Jr. ‘54 passed away on March 2, 2014. He was 85 years old. After graduating from Thunderbird he was employed by Addressograph Multigraph. During his employment with AM he and his wife lived in Manila, Philippines for three years. He enjoyed living and working overseas… 

John Forster ‘55 writes: I am a member of Thunderbird’s eighth graduating class from May 1955. Eighteen months after graduation I went to Bolivia with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), a job I found through T-bird graduate Jim Noel ’54 of Pennsylvania. Jim was working in Peru at that time and we worked for CRS for some 12 or 13 years before I decided to remain in Guatemala after taking my family to Argentina, Uruguay and back to Bolivia in l963. In l963 we were transferred to Guatemala where I have lived ever since… 

Robert A. Shuman ‘56 passed away on April 5, 2014 in Puerto Rico. He was 84 years old… 

David Wayne Parkinson ‘56 passed away at his home in Lawrence, KS on July 18, 2014.  He was 87 years old. He grew up in the Bay Area, and received a business degree from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, where he was active with the Kappa Alpha fraternity and rowed on the varsity men’s crew team. Wayne earned a graduate degree in International Management from Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management, in Glendale AZ. He worked for Standard Oil International in Karachi, Pakistan. Wayne went on to work for Investors Overseas Services, a mutual fund company based in Geneva, Switzerland. He lived and worked in Bangkok, Thailand and in Jakarta, Indonesia. After returning to the U.S., Wayne worked for National ChemSearch and for Transworld Systems. Wayne had lived Lawrence since 1983… 

Stanley Ely ‘57 has published his sixth book, Life Up Close, A Memoir, from Dog Ear Publishing. Stanley also publishes blogposts regularly on The Huffington Post. He lives in New York City… 

David Youmans ‘59 writes: I graduated from Thunderbird in 1959. In 1979, as a new faculty member at Washington State University, I wrote and published an article entitled “A Thunderbird’s Perspective” published in the Thunderbird Magazine in which I used (and possibly coined) the term The Thunderbird Mystique. That term has been used hundreds of times since in Thunderbird publications. My third book, Morning Mists, was featured in the Bookshelf section of the Magazine and included a story titled “The Thunderbird Mystique.” 

Lawrence Pentoney ’56 passed away March 26, 2014. 

Don Bohning ‘59, who spent three decades building up the Miami Herald’s Latin American coverage, died September 25, 2015, after a long battle with cancer. He was 82.  From the mid-1960s to the turn of the century, there was scarcely a war, coup, revolution, massacre, assassination, volcanic eruption, hurricane or other act of political or environmental mayhem that Bohning didn’t cover. And when he couldn’t get there himself, he was editing copy from an all-star cast of reporters he assembled that won two Pulitzer Prizes under his command. 

Marshall Charles Miller ’50, of Chevy Chase MD, passed away on December 3, 2015.  After graduating from Thunderbird he began his work career with the Singer Sewing Company in Brazil for three years, traveling widely in the Amazon region and throughout South America.  After returning to the U.S., Marshall met his wife, June, on a blind date. They settled in Bethesda, Maryland, where their three boys were raised.  Marshall opened three stereo/television stores called Sound Incorporated, and in the mid-70s, he moved into insurance sales, working the rest of his career with the Principal Financial Group.

Daniel Boller ’56 passed away April 12, 2016 in Tucson AZ.

Walker McMillan Reid ’55, of Madison, WI died November 28, 2016 at the age of 87.  Fluent in Spanish, Walker worked for the Stewart Warner Company to bring potable water to mountain villages in Guatemala.  Thereafter, he settled in Guatemala City where he founded The Community Theater of Guatemala.  From 1974 to 1993 he served as Cultural Affairs Director for the National Park Service’s Chamizal National Memorial, El Paso, TX, a theater which celebrates the cultures of the United States and Mexico.  In 2011, he returned to Madison, where he lived at Capitol Lakes Retirement Community. 



William (Bill) Hartley '62, died November 29, 2016 in Inverness FL of congestive heart failure. A Hofstra University graduate and U.S. Army veteran, he became a field geologist for Core Laboratories, Inc.., living for five years  in Argentina, Colombia and Venezuela.  Later, following graduation from AIFT he worked as a sales representative in the Far East and Indonesia for Celanese Corporation.  In 1967 he began a 27-year career with Goulds Pumps  Inc., serving first as International Sales Manager and later as Regional Sales Director for Central America and the Caribbean.  His career with Goulds included spending two years in Sao Paulo, Brazil as sales manager for the company's new manufacturing plant, Bombas Goulds.  In retirement he was a founder of the  Apalachicola Bay and Riverkeeper environmental organization, serving as the volunteer Riverkeeper and Board Chairman.  He loved fishing, hunting and golf, according to his wife Shirley Wood Hartley, also a 1962 AIFT graduate. 

Richard Strayer ’65, passed away on December 22nd in Tucson after a brief battle with lung cancer. He served his country as a member of the Arizona Air National Guard. As an executive with international companies, Dick and family traveled and worked in developing countries and Canada. Upon retirement, Dick and Louise returned to Tucson. For the remainder of his professional life, he joined The University of Arizona Department of Parking and Transportation /Special Events. Dick loved boating on Canadian and U.S. waterways. He was also an avid cyclist qualifying for the National Senior Olympics and enjoyed touring throughout many States and most of all Arizona.

Jack Stein ’66, passed away on Sunday, April 30, 2017. Jack was a resident of Wichita, Kansas at the time. Jack was an avid golfer, a Boeing employee for more than 30 years, a graduate of Wichita State University and Thunderbird School of Global Management, and a Vietnam veteran.

Chuck Hazen ’69 &’72, I wish to record extreme gratitude to the Lord God Almighty for the privilege of unimaginable vistas opened up by pursuing graduate education at the American Institute for Foreign Trade (AIFT) AKA the American Graduate School for International Management (AGSIM) AKA the Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management (TGSIM). When my first of two Thunderbird degrees was conferred in 1969 that era was the initial stage of a “golden age” for international/global career aspirants. Subsequent stages have brought additional richness and options for those of like mind. But in those earlier days, American business was just awakening to profit-expanding opportunities cross-border. When I received my second Tbird degree in 1972 that awakening was just gaining momentum. Adding to the advantages enjoyed by us “international types,” most U. S. business, or nonprofit, or public sector employees who had offshore opportunities found them unattractive compared with domestic assignments, believing, often mistakenly, that a career of travelling abroad for work, or expatriate living career assignments, meant obscurity, invisibility from promotion decision-makers at headquarters. The coming decades proved them wrong to a substantial extent. In addition, those who opted for international assignments commonly found less competition for choice postings and advancement owing to corporate prejudice in favor of domestic careers. Therefore the globalists often enjoyed greater responsibility, authority, and compensation relative to experience than did domestic counterparts. And those who took the risk and the plunge internationally were often/usually rewarded with a richness of professional and cultural experiences, in addition to excellent promotion prospects, that would have been the stuff of unattainable dreams just one generation prior. There’s a diversity of worldviews among Thunderbirds. Mine is a worldview of faith in God to whom I offer heartfelt thanks for leading me to Thunderbird, and allowing me to taste the richness of outcomes that attend the Thunderbird experience.

John Paul Lewis ’64, passed away on Sunday, February 19, 2017.  He started his career in commercial banking, first focusing on loans to international markets in Asia and South America, then later transitioned to Oil & Gas financing. After travelling around the world, John eventually formed his own private equity fund, which invested in a variety of manufacturing and service companies throughout the United States. Prior to his banking career, John served in the United States Air Force as part of the Strategic Air Command. He was an avid golfer, loved music, and actively supported numerous charities.

Charles Friend ’65, passed away on February 20, 2017. He served two tours in the United States Air Force and subsequently attended the Marshall-Wythe School of Law of the College of William and Mary, where he was editor-in-chief of the "William and Mary Law Review." In academics for nearly two decades, he taught law at William and Mary, Virginia; the University of Richmond, Virginia; the University of Houston, Texas; Campbell University, North Carolina; and George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. He directed the University of Richmond's summer law study program in England and was acting dean at Richmond. He held the Distinguished Educator Award from Richmond and the Professor of the Year and Outstanding Professor awards from George Mason. He practiced law in Richmond in 1969-70, and then was in private practice in York County from 1970-72. He was president of the York County Bar Association in 1971-72. He was commissioner in chancery of the York Circuit Court 1970-72, substitute judge of the York County Court in 1972. Friend was editor of the Virginia Bar Association Journal from 1974-1998.

Charles A. (Sandy) Nalle ’66, passed away December 18, 2016 from a sudden heart attack.

Charles V. Cupp II ‘67, passed away at his home in Rancho Mirage, CA from throat cancer. Charly worked for the Libbey Owens Ford International Division and owned Lehman Insurance. He moved to California where he owned several businesses as well as investing in real estate.

Diego Veitia ’66, married 3 years ago to my longtime friend Marsha Lewis a journalist 20 years with ABC news and eventually her own company doing research and news stories of “Smart Women” for TV and Film…I am now retired from founding and building INTL FCStone now a Fortune 500 company with 37 offices worldwide. We reside between Costa Rica, Florida and Telluride Colorado…Pretty active investing with the family Foundation and Family business and helping young Cubans (in Cuba) become entrepreneurs … If you ever in my area do not hesitate to visit.

Kathy M. Kosaitis ‘64 formerly of Los Angeles, CA, died on October 26, 2013 at her home in Walnut Creek, CA. She received a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and her master’s degree in 1979 from Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona. She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay and worked most recently in Executive Tax Support in the East Bay area of California. She was a strong, brave person with an easy wit, winning personality and big heart. Her many colleagues and long-time friends miss her deeply… 

Kenneth W. Holbrook ‘66 passed away on February 23, 2014… 

Peter Feddersen ‘67 passed away in Bangkok Thailand on August 12, 2014…  

David Marshall Hunt ‘68 writes: I have experienced over 40 years of international business, consulting, and teaching, in South Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Southeast Asia, Pakistan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, South Africa, Canada, and the USA. The people of these many countries and places and their historical roots and legends have always fascinated me and I retold many tales in my classes and lectures. Now I have turned to writing fiction which I hope reaches a broader audience…  

Frederick H. Opper III ‘68 passed away on January 28, 2013…  

Stanley Loar ‘69, former CEO and currently Chairman of the Board of Woodruff-Sawyer & Co. (insurance brokerage) in San Francisco, is incoming chairman of World Federation of Insurance Intermediaries which deals with insurance regulators worldwide. He just received the Ramsden-Sullivan Memorial Award for service to the insurance industry. Currently he serves on the following boards: PAR (Bermuda), Loar LTD (London), and AG Re (Bermuda). He and his wife, Sue, live on a ranch in Marin County, CA where eight grandchildren visit often. 

Dan Partel ’62  I have had a busy year having launched a new company Calibra Technology Ltd on Jan 2 1014 and next week a Second with the launch of Sentronics Ltd at the Professional Motor Sport World Conference in Koln Germany. After three and a half years of R&D our Ultrasonic Fuel flow meter brand Flowsonic will be introduced. The significance of this product to the motor racing world is it will refocus the Auto industry from promoting power and performance to promoting fuel economy a pocket book issue now and even more so in the future A new high profile platform to promote energy efficiency. An example of the impact ,by implementing the new 2014 fuel flow rules with the use of this technology Mercedes is winning the Formula 1 world championship using 30% less fuel than last year and Audi won the 2014 24hrs. of Le Mans using 27% less fuel than 2011. These are incredible results and impossible to repeat year to year but an example of what can be achieved to reduce fuel consumption in the transportation sector when we want to. 

Allan Brenteson ’60 died in Miami on January 20th.  He was former Rohm & Hass Latin American manager and Director of Baptist Health Systems Miami for many years.  He is survived by wife, Maria.

Peter Bachhuber ‘68, died of prostrate cancer on April 18, 2015 in Kansas City MO. 

John Edstrom ’62 joined  AK Steel after graduation  because of their extensive operations in Latin America.  Of course, they sent me to Africa - The Dem. Rep. of the Congo and then to Europe where I have been since 1965. First as European Sales Manager for a steel plant in Belgium then as MD for a new factory in Greece.  I then joined Federal Signal as Area Director, Europe in Brussels before becoming Sales & Marketing VP for Europe for ARA Services near London. Redundancy then led to my setting up an agency for Belgian and Swedish factories to sell in the UK.  Along the way I married an English girl and have a son and daughter and two grandchildren.  Now 80 I retired two years ago, living South of London.  I have had a happy “Thunderbird” life. 

Suzanne Williamson ’69 of Naples FL.  passed away August 25th 2015 after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer. 

James Rooney ’67 who has been living in Bangkok Thailand passed away October 3 while on holiday in Seattle Washington. 

Richard C. Harnett ’67:  My wife and I recently returned from a 3-week trip to Europe.  Visited Paris, Normandy, Hannover, and Berlin. Europe is where the seeds of my international life were sown. I was stationed in Germany with USAF when the Berlin-Wall-Crisis provoked JFK to activate and deploy the NY Air National Guard.  On a weekend pass I visited Berlin and touched that tragic wall at Bernauer Strasse 39 on 17 June 1962. I returned to civilian life with the thought that there is another, larger word out there than just my narrow existence.  It took a few years but I finally figured out that my path to international life had to be via AIFT.  Thus I became a member of the Class of ‘67. My career started with being extremely lucky.  I was recruited from school by American Express {CARD DIVISION} to join their start-up team as Manager – Card Processing Operations.  Even more lucky – destination: Mexico City. As my career progressed, I moved intermittently in-out of international.  Xerox – Latin American Group {Info-Systems 1972-1974}, CBS Records International {IT-Consultant 1978-1980 Europe-Latin America}, CBS – International Publishing {IT Director 1980-1986 Worldwide}.  Then as an independent contractor: International Project Manager {1995-1996} for Smith Kline. Thanks to my international career., I met my wonderful wife while I was with Amex in Mexico {1967-1969}.  She was a Mexican National employed by the US Embassy.  We married in 1981.  I wonder why my Mexican family calls me the “Tortuga”.  Every year we travel from our home in South Jersey to spend a month or three with her family. 

John Cooper ’61, I continue to enjoy my sixteenth year of retirement in Islamorada, Florida Keys, where my wife, Bernie, and I have lived since our retirement from London, where I had been the Managing Director in charge of International Banks, Trust Companies, Swiss Banking, Credit and Treasury for Merrill Lynch & Co. In retirement, I have devoted myself to volunteer activities as a way to “pay back” to Society what it had provided me throughout my banking career, serving as Director of Marine Safety and Environmental Protection as well as Director of International Affairs for the National Staff of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary. I am also the President of the not-for-profit Florida Keys Concert Association and a member of the board of directors of AFRAS - Association for Rescue at Sea. Too, I have spent the last six years teaching English to a group of Mexican-American cooks in the Keys as part of the Literacy Volunteers of America organization and am the Class Secretary for my PMD class at the Harvard Business School. For the past several years, I am also a guest lecturer to MBA students at FIU - Florida International University. Lastly, I serve as the Crime Watch Coordinator for the 430 homes in our neighborhood. At the age of 79, life is definitely good! 

John Unruh ’68, it’s just amazing how the years have flown by since graduating from Thunderbird in 1968. Since then I have worked in a range of small entrepreneurial companies and done several projects for myself, which included the re-design of an Alaskan-made golf putter inlaid with semi-precious stone for distribution in Japan through a wholesale company. It sold well until the small ‘Mom and Pop’ went out of business in the middle of the night and took my investment with them. After way too many years in business from sales, marketing and management, I went into teaching full-time. Armed with an MA in Management, I signed on with City University of Seattle European programs where I lived in Slovakia for over three years (1999-2004) and taught MBA courses in marketing and management in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and five cities in Germany for up to a month at a time.  In 2002, I became a certified online MBA instructor with the University of Liverpool (UK). UoL was the first European university to offer online graduate programs and is now an AACSB university. I continue to teach “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” for them and have held positions of Faculty Manager, Course Developer, Dissertation Advisor, New Faculty Mentor and of course, Instructor. It’s always a fabulous experience to have students from around the world discussing the pros and cons of topics; many say they can take what they learned in class to the workplace. Sounds like Thunderbird, doesn’t it? My wife and son live in our newly built home on 17 acres of beautiful forest outside of Fairbanks, Alaska where we have as many as four-footed visitors as we do the two-legged kind. Unfortunately, the moose liked our new pear trees a little too well! Thunderbird has definitely made a difference in my life, both professionally and personally. Best wishes to the ‘new’ T-Bird institution and to all who graduate from it. 

John Ives ’69, after spending a decade with the CIA slogging through the Vietnam-Laos years, I eased in to the relaxed T-bird life where I prepped for a return to the real world at New York’s Chemical Bank in early 1969 and marriage in 1970. Thence to an investment banking tour in Beirut, Riyadh and Jeddah, followed by a couple of years in lovely Lagos with United Technologies. Then back again to Riyadh for an extended stint as US Middle East Treasury Attache.  Still hooked on Arabic food, we made a final stop in Abu Dhabi with Brown and Root before sliding gently into retirement and occasional consulting. After 9/11 was recalled to Riyadh in 2004 for a last hurrah as senior member of the Joint Task Force on Terrorist Financing. Quickly and easily resumed retirement in Charleston SC where, surprisingly, I find there are not enough hours in the day. I remain grateful to Thunderbird for providing what is now termed, I believe, an “inflection point” in my life. 

William (Bill) Kirkman ’62 passed away on March 19, 2016 in Sosua, Dominican Republic. He was 78 years old. Bill and his first wife Carol attended the American Institute of Foreign Trade after which they accepted job offers with Citibank with foreign assignments in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and later in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Bill spent over 50 years in Dominican Republic in various positions launching entrepreneurial ventures in the tourism industry. Bill enjoyed the fruits of his creativity, for many years living in his house on the ranch and participating in Dominican life to the fullest. He played golf, tennis and traveled around the world. 

David McIntyre ‘68 - I am in my 14th. year of retirement which has turned out to be the ” Best Job” I ever had.   Now able to do the things I have always wanted to do but did not have the time, or financials resources, before.   With no pension in my future, I invested in Miami, Florida rental properties at age 55 which after ten years, began to pay off.   I now travel the world with my second wife, Lois,…became a selling painter ( artist ), a national and world champion master swimmer now entering the 80-84 age group,…  will publish a book this year, on the life of famous artist Paul Gauguin’s first born son, Emile, who is buried here in my retirement home of Englewood, Florida, and became friends with many of the great artists descendents mostly in Denmark,… lead various international discussion groups weekly but am still waiting for President Obama to call our six member group, mostly born overseas with some form of doctorate degree, for our advice.   Am healthy and pain free … Life is Good !    David McIntyre

Robert N. Malcolm ’60 passed away December 13, 2015 in Lakewood, NJ at the age of 81.  Robert was a long-time investment advisor and analyst; he was also an active community member in Princeton, NJ.

John Rutten ’61, passed away on Jan. 17, 2017 at age 80.  He was enjoying a beautiful winter day cross country skiing when he passed.  A perfect way to go for a wonderful man.

Kurt Reiswig ’66, passed away in September 2016. He truly enjoyed his time at Thunderbird and had many fond memories of the campus, the friends he made, his instructors and the staff.

J. Clark Hallmann, ’67. After graduating in business administration and pre law from the University of Wyoming I travelled south to more clement weather at Thunderbird.  I graduated in June, 1967, joined American Express Co., and went on August 1, 1967 to NYC for the company introduction phase.  On September 1, 1967, I was in Frankfurt Main, Germany for two years training—and managed the bank at the U.S. Embassy in Bonn.  I met my future wife, Ulla, a Finnish national, who also worked at Amex Bank, and we were married in Finland in June, 1968.  I spent 21 years with Amex, working in Mexico City, NYC, and Frankfurt, marketing financial products to banks.  I then worked in London, Stockholm and Zurich, either as marketing head for Amex Card, or running Card companies.  Finally, my last position with Amex was in Hong Kong, where I ran a private bank.  During the next 20 years I had three different jobs:  the first was on the Executive Committee of County NatWest Investment Management, a UK pension fund asset manager, in London for five years—responsible for marketing and for clients in Asia and the U.S.  Then I worked at the oldest UK private bank, Coutts & Co., in Zurich, for five years—responsible for Nordic private clients. And, finally, I was on the Executive Committee of a family owned private bank in Switzerland—Union Bancaire Privée—for 10 years in Zurich—responsible for the Nordic area, for private clients, institutions, companies and trusts.  Those last 10 years of my career were the best, as this Swiss private bank was superbly run; it was the second largest global supplier of hedge funds to our clients, and my colleagues were very professional.  I worked one month shy of 41 years; retired on July 1, 2008, and we moved to our home on a golf course, in Prescott, Arizona.  We travel annually to Europe to visit relatives, friends, work colleagues, and to the cities in which we lived and worked. We have also kept in almost permanent contact with two of my Thunderbird 1967 classmates:  Horst Nolden in northern Germany, and David Carpita, in southern France.  Thunderbird provided me not only the education and introduction to international business, but the desire to excel in working and living globally.  It also gave me the opportunity to meet and marry Ulla, and to enjoy the international lifestyle, experience, and friends, we both enjoyed.

Victor Fontaine ’67, passed away August 19, 2016 in Boca Raton, FL.   

William B. Martin ’68, passed away December 26, 2016 in San Diego, CA. 

Mel Brown ’69, Greetings from SW Florida where we have finally settled after some 40+ years living and working overseas, the last three in beautiful downtown Gaborone.  We (my wonderfully supportive Swiss wife of some 38 adventurous years—we married in Indonesia in 1978) are now back in the nice lakeside home that we built in 2001 and trying to decide on where to vacation where we haven’t already been! By my latest calculation I have worked in some 30 counties and have, up to mid-2016, actually lived overseas more years than I have in the States.



Stan Schatt ’76, just published a cozy mystery set in a retirement home, Murder at the River Bend Retirement Resort.

Richard Holst ’78, passed away at his home on July 8, 2017. Richard worked as a consultant in the printing industry and had been an Arizona resident for the past 28 years.

Chris Morrison '73, long-time alumni chapter leader passed away Friday May 19, 2017 after a brief battle with cancer. He was a friend and mentor to many and had been a driving force behind the reinvigoration of the South Florida Thunderbird alumni chapter and the Thunderbird Executive Alumni of Miami (TEAM) club. Chris spent most of his career managing Hyatt, Radisson and Omni hotels. After living all over while working in the hospitality industry, he and his wife Debbie eventually found their way to Coral Gables, where they lived for many years, and where Chris began working as a mortgage banker.

ARTHUR WEHRMEISTER JR. ’73, passed away March 20, 2017, in Las Vegas. Arthur grew up in the Los Angeles area and joined the U.S. Air Force. His tour of duty included some interesting assignments and ended in Taipei, Taiwan, where he continued to work for the U.S. government. In Taipei, Arthur and Anne were married and daughter, Joyce, was born. The family moved to the U.S. with a job transfer to Washington, D.C. in 1972. In the coming years, Arthur graduated from the University of Maryland, Thunderbird School of Global Management and received his law degree from the University of San Diego. Arthur moved his family from San Diego to Las Vegas in 1979. Subsequently, he practiced law in several settings in Las Vegas. Arthur served as County District Attorney in Nye County, and later in Esmeralda County, Nev. Throughout his life, Arthur loved playing tennis, keeping up with politics and world events. Arthur continued to enjoy traveling and, intermittently, working and living in Asia. Arthur was able to make his last trip traveling to the Philippines in 2015.

Todd M. Stafne ’76, passed away in his home in Bellevue on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Todd worked in various countries in South America, became bi-lingual in Spanish. He developed manufacturing facilities for several US pharmaceutical companies in Panama and Chile.  Workers loved him. Instead of packing toiletries and clothes when he traveled, he loaded his luggage with books and magazines to teach his workers about the world outside their countries. He was devoted to learning and inspired his workers to do the same. Todd had inexhaustible energy. When he committed himself to completing whatever he set out to do, his focus was riveting. Whether negotiating contracts with government employees, working with contractors, or devoting himself to hard work, he woke up every morning raring to go.

Phillip Moore ’70, I attended T-bird after the Marines, and was hired by a global insurance group out of New York, then spent 22 yrs. in total out of the US, mostly in Southeast Asia and South America, running insurance companies and eventually M&A work, with stints at head offices in NY, Philadelphia, and Boston. Retired as Senior VP of a Fortune 100 company after a 30 yr. career. Could not have asked for or imagined a more interesting or challenging life.   Kick off was in Glendale, and “the world has turned over many times since then”, but I’d do all again today.  Youth is not a gift, but just a loan.

Todd Stevens ’72, of Glen Rock, passed peacefully on Monday, February 13 following a long battle with vascular dementia. Todd spent most of his career in Real Estate.

Rich Pedersen '76, has retired to rural life in the Texas Hill Country north of Enchanted Rock, raising chickens, cattle, bees, fruits and vegetables and enjoying his grand-children.  Rich's last position before retirement was as a risk advisory director with KPMG, working to help clients manage commodity risk exposure across their global enterprise.

Randal Glenn Pearson ‘74, passed away on October 22, 2016.  He had a good career, spending many years doing business in Japan and Southeast Asia area. 

Ed Auble ‘72 writes: My undergraduate school, Lafayette College, will open its new $10 million Center for Global Education in January. Our class established and is funding the International Speakers Series, a program to bring in outside speakers on current international topics…On a personal note, my third grandchild was born in August. His name is Sebastian, a name that works well in the U.S. and his father’s home country of Colombia. In mid-September, I was invited, along with other T-birds, to 

Joe Nassif’s ’08 Paella Party in Wayne PA…  

Richard Burris ‘72 passed away on April 6, 2013. He was 68 years old…  

Byron G. Tosi ‘73 died on May 23, 2014 of complications from emphysema at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was 70 years old… 

Richard L. Saint-Amant ‘75 of Marlborough, MA died peacefully on June 28, 2014 surrounded by family at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital after a two-year battle with cancer. He was 65 years old… 

M. Camper O’Neal Jr. ’75 died while jogging in San Diego, CA on March 8, 2014.  He was 66 years old…  

Andrew Lubin ‘75 was on Iwo Jima in March 2014 to attend the 69th Anniversary Reunion of the Honor Ceremony held by the U.S. Marines and Japanese Self-Defense forces to commemorate the courage and determination of both sides in World War II’s most costly battle. General James Amos, Commandant, USMC, spoke, as did the Honorable Mr. Nobuo Kishi, Japan’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. Andrew was invited by the 3rd Marine Division, and was the only U.S.-based journalist to attend… 

Michael Wright ‘76 has joined Segal Rogers Casey as Senior Vice President and Senior Consultant. Michael is focusing on pension risk and asset liability management for defined benefit plans and on strategic defined contribution plan consulting. He has spent the past 20 years at Buck Consultants, most recently as National Investment Consulting Practice Leader…  

Donald R. Gibson ’77 died on July 10, 2013 in a motorcycle accident while in New Mexico on a business trip. He was a government contractor based at Fort Huachuca, Sierra Vista AZ…  

Cynthia Schreuder ‘77 created CLS Printing, which is now headquartered in San Mateo, CA, in April 1990 after growing frustrated with being part of a male-dominated business. Her company provides specialized publishing and distribution of financial documentation such as bond offerings, annual reports for big time businesses like Cypress Semiconductor, official statements and prospectuses…  

Sherry Greaves ‘77 passed away unexpectedly on July 22, 2013 at the Ottawa General Hospital…  

Cramer Owen ‘78 has been named Key Equipment Finance national leasing manager. In this role, Cramer will focus on establishing new relationships with manufacturers, dealers and end-users with the objective of providing equipment financing solutions to medium and large fleet specialty vehicle operators…  

John D. Walker ’78 passed away suddenly in August 2012. After graduating from Thunderbird, he led the State of Tennessee’s fledgling export office which required substantial overseas travel. Later, he moved to international banking serving the trade needs of corporate clients for 26 years. He was actively engaged as a founding member or in leadership positions on the boards of the International Business Council of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, the World Trade Council of Middle Tennessee and the Japan-America Society of Tennessee (JAST). Through his service with JAST, he was closely aligned with the longstanding partnership of seven member states of the Southeast US/Japan Association. As a tribute and in honor of his legacy to the international business community, JAST has established the John D. Walker Iris Award which recognizes unique and lasting contributions toward the enhancement of Japan-Tennessee relations by an individual or company. Proud of his connection to Thunderbird, John spent many hours promoting the school in the Middle Tennessee area. Whether responding to local universities’ requests to give a presentation regarding Thunderbird’s programs, organizing T-bird Tuesdays, taking time to meet with a prospective student or welcoming a fellow graduate to the vicinity, he was always pleased to represent the school. Earlier this year, Nashville T-bird alumni, together with former classmates, purchased a Tower Pub bar stool in his memory. As two alumni commented, “He epitomized everything that is great and unique about the school” and “He understood what it meant to be a T-bird for life.” John is truly missed by all who knew him and will long be remembered for his kindness, generosity of spirit, contagious laughter and good humor. 

Daniel J. Donahue III ‘77, specialized in Operations work for the Central Intelligence Agency during his 40 years with the CIA, died of a glioblastoma brain tumor on October 7, 2014, at his home in McLean, Va. Mr. Donahue joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1977 after leaving active military duty as an officer in the US Army, where his assignments included Commander of two Special Forces “A” teams in Vietnam. He was with the 101 Airborne Rangers. During his years with the CIA, he served in numerous capacities including CIA Representative, Professor and Chair in National Intelligence at the US Naval War College and Senior Fellow on the US National Intelligence Council. 

David Mullon ‘77, former Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chief Counsel and Tribal Attorney, joins Venable LLP as a counsel in the Washington office.

Roger W. Titley ’75, Senior Vice President and Managing Director at InterContinental Hotels Group, London retired to Coral Gables, FL and Sun Valley, ID after a 35-year, globe-spanning career in hospitality management. 

Brian Black ’75, retired from full time work on September 1st, 2014 after working as Senior VP, Global Sales for Skyjack Industries in Guelph, ON. Company manufactures, Self Propelled Aerial Work Platforms and is rated Number One in the world in the sales of Electric Scissor Lifts. Began working in Construction Equipment Industry in 1976 with Caterpillar. I was fortunate to serve in; Mexico, Brazil, France, The UAE, China and South Africa.  I am married with two terrific Daughters.  I am working part time as a Consultant helping companies locate distribution, agents and rental customers in Latin America and Africa. Thunderbird set my feet on the right path and I never deviated from it over 40 years! Great experience, loaded with a potful of wonderful memories! 

John F. Jones ’78 passed away on March 24, 2015 in Minneapolis, MN from complications of ACC - Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. He worked as an international banker for Chemical Bank and Norwest (now Wells Fargo) Bank for 17 years. He and his wife Susan ’78 founded our natural fiber rugs business - Sustainable Lifestyles - and worked together for over 20 years. Their sons, Koby and Colin, joined them in the business. John lived life to the fullest and loved his time in Brazil. 

T J Sinha ’74 is the General Manager, Worldwide Operations for American Completion Tools, a company that received the prestigious  Presidents E-Award for 2015 in Wasington DC. 

Dr. Leonard J. Kistner, ’74, is now Program Director for the B.S in Management program now being launched at Bainbridge State College in southwestern Georgia. He and his wife Gisela live in rural Climax, Georgia.

Larry (Lawrence ) Mueller  ’74, now living in Thailand, enjoying life in Hua Hin about 2 ½ hours south of Bangkok—-but working hard and traveling regularly while under contract with medium size company in Wisconsin,  assisting in growing their business and local presence in all of Asia/Pacific countries.

Michael Robert Conwell ‘74, of Beaumont Texas, died Friday, November 28, 2014. Mike spent his career traveling the world and applying his knowledge and skills to numerous financial and trade institutions.

Thomas Halder ‘ 77, recently retired after giving almost 40 years of his post-AGSIM life to several manufacturing companies in So. California, serving in various senior management financial and administrative positions.  While never having had the opportunity to live overseas, he and his wife, Kimiko, traveled to many parts of the world, concentrating mainly on areas with warm temps and sunny beaches. Having traveled to the majority of the Caribbean islands on over two dozen lengthy excursions, they also had occasion to visit their daughter and son-in-law while they were living in Tahiti.  And the many trips to Okinawa to visit Kimiko’s family were very memorable, with an occasional trip to various European locations. Following retirement, Thomas took up the activity of selling residential homes as a Realtor in the active retirement community of Sun City, Az. where they have resided for the past 10 years. 

George L. Miller ‘79 has been appointed Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for West Pharmaceutical Services. Miller will serve on the senior leadership team and will oversee the Company’s global legal function and corporate governance. 

Virginia McCampbell Plekenpol ’75 passed away Jan. 29, 2016 in Oklahoma City, after a courageous battle with cancer.   Family and friends gathered on Feb. 20, 2016, to celebrate her life. 

Deborah Gaylord Woodall ’75 passed away in Phoenix AZ on March 9, 2016. 

Mark Werts, ‘70, has just written “America’s Simple Solutions” published by Cool Titles, is on Pre Release at Amazon, and Barnes and  On the Amazon New Releases Hot Seller’s list for Political/Economy, America’s Simple Solutions has recently been as high as #2, but has been consistently in the top 30 new releases nationally this year.  Mr. Werts suggests common sense solutions to the major issues America is facing today, and uses examples of success and failures internationally that the international businessman author has actually viewed and experienced in the new global world.  The book has had rave reviews.  The conversational “easy to read” approach belies the seriousness of the subject.

Rudolph Zepeda, Jr. (Rudy) ’72, after spending 16 years in the international banking sector, Rudolph joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and served as an Examiner in foreign bank supervision for 23 years.  He retired and was contracted by the World Bank to provide consulting services in the area of supervision.  He is now fully retired and living in Miami, Florida, where he keeps in touch with fellow classmates Rama Vyasulu ’73 and Juan Manuel de Cárdenas ’72.

Paul Kegel ’76, I just recently completed my doctorate, at the age of 63. In my dissertation research I examined the impact of the physical work environment on employee performance, well-being, engagement, and organizational commitment.

James F. Haag ’77, valedictorian and Barton Kyle Yount recipient, has been appointed to the newly created position of Managing Director of Verdura and Belperron.  Jim will report to Verdura and Belperron President, Nico Landrigan, and will be responsible for marketing and communications as well as sales and product development. With over 25 years in luxury retail experience, Jim joined Verdura in 2006 as Vice President of Sales and Business Development. He has played a major role in growing Verdura’s business in New York and across the U.S. through its retail partnerships.  Jim also played a pivotal role in creating Verdura’s 75th anniversary exhibition in 2014 and in launching the Belperron brand the following year. Prior to joining Verdura and Belperron, Jim headed the U.S. marketing activities for The Diamond Trading Company/DeBeers Group from 1990-1998 and led Harry Winston’s Sales and Marketing worldwide from 1998 - 2006.   During Jim’s time at Harry Winston he was responsible for several high profile sales that triggered a dramatic increase in interest in colored diamonds.

Lenore Ramsaier Kelly '78, passed away on June 9, 2016 after a long, hard-fought battle with breast cancer.  Since Thunderbird, she worked at several companies in a variety of marketing capacities in the Chicagoland area.  She and her husband, John, raised a beautiful daughter, Alyssa, and saw her graduate from Ohio State University in May.  She and John loved to travel.  They spent several years living in Paris for his work. Lenore always enjoyed a good time, especially one involving dancing.  After all, she was the disco queen.  She loved to laugh and was a very loyal friend.  A life-long Chicago Cubs and Green Bay Packers fan, Lenore would be over the moon to know that her Cubs finally won the World Series in 2016. 

Dennis D'Oria ´79, joined Interscope Medical, Inc., headquartered in Boston, MA, as Vice President of International Sales & Marketing to develop and lead commercial operations in Europe, Middle East & Africa. Dennis continues to be based in Wiesbaden, Germany.



Gary Geller ’83, has been appointed to Atradius Special Products head of London underwriting team. As an industry veteran, Geller brings over 30 years of experience in trade finance, commodity trading and management of commodity-related projects to the new role. Geller has since led investment projects related to oil trading, shipping and logistics in a trading company and worked on alternative fundraising strategies for trade finance clients across a variety of sectors.

Ed Camargo ’86, passed away Sunday April 30. 2017 in Nantou Hospital, surrounded by four members of this Spiritual Assembly. He had been joyfully elected a member of this Assembly on the First Day of the Festival of Ridvan and was to host the Twelfth Day of Ridvan’s community celebration the evening of April 30, the day he ascended. His sudden death was caused by acute cardiopulmonary failure. Eddie was born on December 10, 1952 and came to Taiwan as a Baha’i pioneer in 1989. 

Lisa Woods Ploeg ’89, has joined Baylor Scott & White Health in Dallas, Texas as Leadership Development Program Manager. Baylor Scott & White Health is the largest not-for-profit health care system in Texas and one of the largest in the United States, with 48 hospitals, more than 1,000 patient care sites, more than 5,500 active physicians, over 44,000 employees and the Scott &​ White Health Plan. Lisa will be developing and managing leadership programs to serve the entire system.

Daniel Bonilla ‘81 passed away on May 19, 2014…  

Christopher Hargitt ‘82 passed away on January 10, 2014 in Lake Forest IL at the age of 54…  

Gregory A. Duncan ‘82 was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Susquehanna Bank, effective October 10, 2014. Greg, currently Executive Vice President of Susquehanna Bancshares, Inc., also will assume the role of president of the holding company. “During Greg’s 24-year career with Susquehanna, he has held key roles leading front-line banking teams as well as our operational support departments,” said William J. Reuter, Susquehanna Bancshares’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “His expertise in the industry, ability to guide teams and dedication to the ideals of community banking will serve him well as he assumes leadership of Susquehanna Bank”…  

James (Jeb) Buffinton ‘89 writes: After 23 years in Paris, I’ve returned to the U.S. and founded a consulting company in Atlanta, GA. Taking lessons from my experiences in high-tech marketing, strategic communications consulting and as a former producer of events for foundations, European royalty, and corporations, I founded J. E. Buffinton Consulting LLC to work via agencies with their clients on communication projects. On the personal front, I’m married to Andria Mikoloski, a certified massage therapist with her own practice, and have two boys, Dylan and Clement. Dylan is in the master’s program at Science Po in Paris; Clement is finishing his first year studying agronomy at Groupe ESA in Angers…  

Bill Schrom ‘81 has served as CEO of Houston-based Geotrace Technologies since December 2003. Geotrace is a leading energy company that provides high-tech analysis of geological formations. With more than 200 employees at locations throughout the world, Geotrace is an international company on the cutting edge of technological advancements for the energy industry. Bill has been involved in the geophysical industry for more than three decades, and provides leadership and expertise in a field that is continuously adapting and evolving in the ultra-competitive energy landscape…  

Christophe Bellinger ‘80 has retired from the Asian Development Bank as Lead Guarantees and Syndications Specialist. His first exposure to risk mitigation products was in a case study at Thunderbird involving the use of political risk insurance with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). He later went to work for OPIC, then joined the political risk insurance department of the American International Group. In 1988, he joined a team to establish the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank Group, where he spent 16 years. Since studies show that political risks remain a top concern of foreign investors, Christophe plans to continue to work in this field advising investors and exporters on how to protect themselves…  

Rachel McKinney ‘83has been named Vice President of Human Resources for the Marcus Corporation. Rachel joins the company with over 30 years of human resources (HR) experience. Prior to joining The Marcus Corporation, she served as executive vice president, chief human resources officer for School Specialty, Inc. based in Appleton, WI for five years… 

Bruce Moore ‘84 died of complications from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) on January 6, 2014. 

Sol “Rusty” Dworkin ’82 has joined AIG as Vice President of Global Network Services Business Office in Fort Worth, TX. 

Douglas Sanders ’87 has been appointed as chief financial officer by Indi (Integrated Diagnostics.  Indi is the creator of Xpresys® Lung, the first non-invasive molecular blood test for the assessment of pulmonary nodules. Sanders is a prominent international life sciences CFO and entrepreneur who most recently served as CFO of CMC Biologics. 

Alan Musso ‘88, appointed as Bellicum’s CFO and Treasurer, has over 25 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry experience in both large and emerging growth companies, including capital raising, corporate partnering, finance, strategy and the financial stewardship of publicly-traded companies. Prior to being CFO at Targacept, Inc., he began his career working in the public accounting field at KPMG and later held positions of increasing responsibility with Pfizer. 

Bert Pijls ’89 was appointed by Hellenic Bank’s Board of Director’s the Chief Executive Officer of Hellenic Bank. A Dutch national, Pijls has over 20 years banking experience at positions in the financial services sector of Citigroup and American Express in England, USA, Germany, the Czech Republic and Belgium. 

Trevor Shine ‘84 is still living and working in the UK. He is a partner in TICTAC Communications Ltd, a company involved in specialised drug analysis. 

Lynda Clugston Webster ‘80 and her global event design and production company are celebrating twenty years! Serving corporations, the US government, NGOs, embassies and numerous non-profits, The Webster  Group has proudly planned and executed stage shows, conferences and gala events both across the country and internationally. Signature projects include  the Pentagon and Air Force Memorial, the latter being a dedication that included over 40,000 attendees. 

Craig Briggs ‘81, founder of design firm Passionfruit Asia in Hong Kong has recently won a Vertex award for Top Packaging Design. 

Joseph O’Neill ’80, recently joined Sikich Investment Banking as a managing director. Based in Seattle, O’Neill will serve technology and other high-growth company clients based in the Pacific Northwest and West Coast.  He is a 25-year veteran of the technology industry. 

Muhannad Kamal ‘80 has been appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer, International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) effective July 2015. Prior to this appointment he had been IBQ’s General Manager with responsibilities for wholesale banking operations. 

Bjorn Kirchdorfer ’87 is in his 8th year as a Partner at Top Gun Ventures, LLC – a global boutique executive recruiting firm based out of Dallas, Texas with offices across the US.   In true T-Bird fashion, Bjorn has been able to deliver senior executive talent from start-up to Fortune 1000 companies, including retained exec search projects not just in the US but also in London, Dublin, Sydney, Munich and Dubai. 

Sheila Bravo ‘88 has been named President and CEO of DANA (Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement).  She comes to DANA after spending five years as executive director of the Rehoboth Art League. 

Tatsuo Doko ’84 has been appointed Managing Director of Toshiba Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. Mr Doko is also the Corporate Representative - Asia, Toshiba Corporation and he will be responsible for overseeing and expanding the business in Asia and Oceania (excluding Japan, mainland China and Hong Kong). 

Ralph Jarvis ’80 was invited to speak to the East Africa Chamber of Commerce on current and future sustainability trends in Africa. The conference was attended by people interested in sustainability, including business executives, entrepreneurs and government officials. Mr. Jarvis is an author in sustainability, business consultant, speaker and a board member of the Econautics Sustainability Institute. 

Theresa Marcroft, ’83, is Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of MarketSavvy, a marketing consulting agency in San Jose, CA.  Now in their 14th year, her firm works with high tech companies all over the U.S.  Read about their messaging or branding work at and contact her through the site if your company needs marketing work done. In her spare time, Terri  is executive director of a nonprofit called Unplanned Good, which encourages teens facing unplanned pregnancy to consider making an adoption plan. The cause is very close to her heart, since Terri became a mom when a 16-year old chose to make an adoption plan; now Terri encourages others in the same way.

Janet Almroth Robertson ‘88 has joined the U.S. Department of Commerce, Foreign Commercial Service, assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, China. 

Sara Augustine ’89 passed away May 1, 2015 at her home in Princeton NJ. 

Mark Whitcraft ‘84 the chairman of RMA Group of Companies who first came to Thailand in 1957, died peacefully on Sunday at Bumrungrad Hospital in Bangkok surrounded by his family. Mark was a much respected figure in the long-term foreign business community, and the longest-standing member of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), which was founded shortly before his arrival.  Having spent two years with the US military in Korea and Japan, Whitcraft came to Thailand with the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, and went on to work for many years with Diethelm & Company, a Swiss trading company. 

John Schuldt ‘85 has been selected to succeed Amy Jackson as the AMCHAM Korea President.  John’s official first day in the office will be January 7, 2016.  John has lived in Seoul for more than 3 years and joins AMCHAM from Ford Motor Company where he most recently served as Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.  In his 30 year career, John has held a variety of executive positions in the United States and Asia representing corporate interests in developing mutually beneficial business relationships between customers and distribution channels.  Given his background and time in a Fortune 10 company, I am confident that John is bringing a wealth of experience that will serve him well in his new position as he works to advocate for members across sectors and lead AMCHAM successfully into its next 60 years.  I am very pleased that many of you already know John through his active participation in AMCHAM events and his work as co-chairman of the AMCHAM automotive and golf committees. 

Stephen Hargreaves ’87 has joined ACDI/VOCA as Senior Director of Financial Systems.ACDI/VOCA is an international Development NGO located in Washington DC. 

Lawrence Allen ’87 joins Intrepid Consulting Group as Intrepid’s newest Managing Partner. Intrepid is , a fast-growing boutique retained executive search firm.  Allen started November 1st with the opening of the firm’s Dallas office. 

Michelle Senecal de Fonseca ’87 has been appointed as a Non-Executive Director for FDM Group (Holdings plc. an international professional services provider focusing principally on Information Technology. Michelle has more than 25 years of experience in international telecommunications and technology and, until the start of this year, served as the global Director of Cloud & Hosting Services at Vodafone, which she joined in July 2012 through its acquisition of Cable & Wireless Worldwide, where she was Managing Director of Hosting. From 2007 to 2011 Michelle worked at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) where she managed the Telecom, Media and Technology banking team and its associated €3 billion investment portfolio. 

Lisa Woods Ploeg ‘89 recently authored a white paper for Bloomberg BNA titled “Optimizing Global Work Teams via Cultural Training”. Lisa lives in Dallas, TX where she is the Senior International Learning and Development Specialist for Mary Kay Inc. She is a frequent speaker on the subject of cross cultural training and cultural issues in the global workplace. She develops global training modules and supports learning and development  in Mary Kay’s Latin American and European markets. From 

Jeff Easum ’85.  “After 13 years at the Inter-American Development Bank (Washington and Mexico) I have just joined a start-up investment banking concern in Mexico called Caaapital as Managing Director.  The company provides selected investment banking services to infrastructure projects and their developers and strives to match them with debt, equity and other service providers, in order to speed the process to financial close.  Its initial focus is renewable energy in Mexico and Chile but we hope to diversify sectors and expand our regional focus to other countries in Latin America in the medium term. Part of what we do will be web-based and you can check it out at  We are working on a revamped site that should come out in about six weeks, but this one will give you a good idea about the company.  The family is doing great.  Nicole, born in São Paulo, just started at the British school here and is in seventh grade.  Andre (born in Washington DC) is in third grade at a Mexican Montessori school.  Alessandra is trying her hand at being a real estate agent, a pretty crazy undertaking in Mexico.” 

Gerald Reed ‘88 is serving as a Peace Corps Response volunteer. Gerald is an Organizational Development Advisor to the Rector of the Universidad Polytécnica de Santa Rosa Jáuregui in Quéretaro, Mexico. 

Mark W. Carman ’89, is currently Regional Operations Manager for General Motors Customer Care and Aftersales based in Westlake Village, California.  Sales and Marketing overseas assignments with General Motors in Puerto Rico and Venezuela. Our oldest daughter Anne is a 2014 graduate of Arizona State University.  She is currently the Internal Events Manager for Make A Wish Arizona based in Scottsdale, Arizona. Our son Richard is currently a Junior at Arizona State University majoring in Construction Management with a minor in Sustainability.  He is also in Air Force ROTC. Our youngest daughter Susan is a Sophomore in High School. My wife Meg is a graduate of Arizona State University with her Master’s Degree in Education.  She teaches Pre-School in the Simi Valley Unified School District. 

John Mansfield ‘84 has been named Vice President, Strategic Development for CTC Global. In this newly created position, Mr. Mansfield is responsible for expanding CTC’s presence in international markets through company and JV-owned manufacturing facilities and relationships. Mr. Mansfield will work very closely with CTC’s senior management team and reports to J.D. Sitton, CTC’s Chief Executive Officer.  Prior to joining CTC, Mr. Mansfield served as Vice President for Infinia Corporation. During his tenure at Infinia, Mansfield led the formation of joint ventures and operating entities in Spain, India, and the United States and he led the launch of the initial state of the art production facility developed around the Toyota Production System and an automotive production model. Mr. Mansfield’s career has included manufacturing, technology and service launches in the renewable energy, automotive, power generation and business outsourcing industries.

Winston Barrie ’80, passed away on January 1, 2017.  From the Thunderbird community both here in Vietnam and abroad, we are greatly saddened by the loss of one of our true brothers. Winston was a rock in the T-bird community, always lending a hand and helping newcomers to Vietnam. We will treasure the great memories and good times.

Luis Matías Olarte Villamil ’83 is the Governor of District 35 N, Lions of Florida and the Bahamas.

A member of Lions Club International since 1989, Lions Club International is the largest service organization of the world with more than 1.4 million volunteers around the world. The organization is celebrating 100 years of service to the world. District 35 N covers south Florida from Sebastian in the north to Key West in the south and Lake Okeechobee in the west to the Bahamas in the east. District 35 N is composed of 56 Lions Clubs.

M. Tim Weaver ’89, is back on the Thunderbird campus as a marketing manager with a focus on the Executive Education programs. Tim worked for Thunderbird in the career services center from 1993-1997, then on campus with Global Sources from 2000-2004. Prior to rejoining Thunderbird, Tim was the content manager and copywriter (remote) for a Portland-based enterprise web hosting company. Having worked from home for the past decade, he reports he is adjusting well to having to wear shoes every day.



Kathryn Ang ’91, has joined Korn Ferry as Senior Client Partner for the Consumer sector.  She will be based in Korn Ferry’s Singapore office. 

Nikhil Arora ’98, has been named Vice President and Managing Director for GoDaddy for its India operations. In this role, Arora will lead corporate strategy, business development and customer experience for GoDaddy in the country.

Andreas Sigl ’95, has joined Burson-Marsteller in Switzerland as Managing Director, Geneva and as Member of the Executive Board.  He is also working as Strategic Advisor at the International Olympic Committee to keep the Olympic Games relevant for future youth audiences.  Previously, Andreas was the Director for Nissan’s brand and sponsorship strategy worldwide, and as Global Director Infiniti Formula One he was responsible for the partnership with Red Bull Racing in Formula One across all Infiniti markets. In this capacity he took a major worldwide project from concept to four consecutive F1 World Championships.   Andreas lives at Lake Geneva, Switzerland with his wife and their sons.

Bo Herbst ’98, Heidrick & Struggles a premier provider of executive search, leadership consulting and culture shaping services worldwide, has appointed Bo Herbst to lead its Industrial Practice worldwide as Global Practice Managing Partner. “ In this expanded role, Bo will lead Heidrick's global Industrial Practice in further enhancing our impact with clients, leveraging a global network of experienced consultants and complementary leadership services," said Krishnan Rajagopalan, Acting President and CEO, Heidrick & Struggles.

Lisa Tanen-La Fontaine ’91, is Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at LIMRA

Fred Joseph Farris, Jr. ’92, passed away in January 2017.

Gregory Simmons ’96,is the senior vice president of sales for Amplifire in the company's higher education and test prep division.  Simmons, with his 20 years' experience in higher education and educational technology, will be responsible for the growth and strategic direction of amplifire Advanced Education, which partners with colleges and universities on curriculum innovation and student analytics resulting in higher retention rates.

Samir Kumar ’92, was a delegate of the Governor of Idaho Clement Otter's trade mission to Beijing and Shanghai to explore business opportunities in China.

Amy Barone ’90 is a finalist in the New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition from Finishing Line Press. Her new poetry book, Kamikaze Dance, will be released in January 2015. She sits on the board of the Italian American Writers Association and is a professional member of PEN America Center…  

Tony Louis Browning ‘90 passed away in Brazil on April 19, 2014. He was born on March 10, 1954 in Austin, TX. Tony lived in Miami, FL and most recently in Brazil with his wife, Fatima, and their daughters, Camila and Marina. Tony was the president of Meridiano Agrotrade, a wholesale dried fruit and nut business established in 1994. He is survived by his mother, Susan Browning, his siblings, Luke and Lauren Browning, and his father, Douglas Browning and his father’s wife, Becky… 

Steven T. Syrmopoulos ‘91, DBA., Englewood CO, will become an associate professor of finance at Upper Iowa University (UIU). He earned his doctorate in business administration at Northcentral University, Prescott Valley, AZ; his master’s degree in international business management at Thunderbird School of Global Management, Glendale, AZ; and his bachelor’s degree at Winona State University, Winona, MN. He comes to UIU from the College for Financial Planning in Centennial, CO where he was an associate professor and chair of the graduate degree program. Previously he served on the faculty of Ottawa University, Western International University, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, all in Phoenix, AZ. Steven’s experience includes financial consulting for Ernst & Young, The Rouse Companies, A.G. Edwards & Sons, and The Prudential… 

Allan Bennett ‘92 is Director of Business Development & Strategic Marketing at the Knox Company in Phoenix, AZ… 

Sara Engber ‘93 married Mark Cordes on May 17, 2014 in Kansas City, MO. The reception was held at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and four Thunderbird alumni were in attendance. Sara was promoted to Vice President Retail Division of Huhtamaki, Inc., a Finland-based packaging and disposable tableware company… 

David B. Coons ‘94, resident of Burlington, WA, died July 9, 2014 at St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham, WA. He was 45 years old… 

Jerry Pupillo ‘94 has been named General Manager of Hawai’i’s “Best of Honolulu” family attraction and #1 season pass venue, Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawai’i. In his role, Pupillo will oversee strategic planning, development and implementation, sales, marketing and promotions… 

Brian Charles Vaughan ‘94 passed away from cancer on February 20, 2014… 

Alla Weinstein ‘97 is President & CEO of Principle Power which has been named in the 2014 Global Cleantech 100 List which recognizes the top private companies in clean technology. The company’s floating support structure for offshore wind turbines, the WindFloat, represents a paradigm shift in the offshore wind market and enables the installation of offshore wind farms in water depths previously inaccessible due to technology limitations… 

Cindy Han ‘99 has been appointed as Managing Director of Radius, Asia, a Global Market Research company. She has more than twenty years experience in market research and business development. 

Sasha Ablitt ’93 is celebrating the 30th anniversary of her business—Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners and Launderers. Founded in 1984 by Sasha’s parents, Neil and Sue Ablitt, Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners started with a boiler, a flatwork ironer and a vintage dry-cleaning machine in Santa Barbara, Calif. From there, the business has grown to now more than 30 employees, with their signature pick-up and delivery service along the Central Coast of California. For the Ablitt family, high-quality dry cleaning is a family legacy. Neil Ablitt’s parents first met working at the dry cleaners owned by his maternal grandfather. After his parents were married, they started their own dry cleaning business in the same building where Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners now operates. After living in Mexico and Canada for a decade, Mr. Ablitt brought his family back to Santa Barbara and started Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners in 1984. His daughter, Sasha Ablitt now owns and operates the business. In total, the Ablitt’s family has been in the dry cleaning industry for more than 100 years. “It has been wonderfully rewarding managing the business I watched my parents build when I was growing up,” said Sasha Ablitt. “Dry cleaning is so much more than doing a load of laundry. Every day, I want to grow the legacy left by my parents and grandparents.” In addition to traditional dry cleaning services, Ablitt’s Fine Cleaners offers a Concierge Service that provides free pickup and delivery; specialized cleaning for household linens, expert wedding dress cleaning and preservation, bedspreads and sofa covers; leather and suede care; expert alterations. Sasha Ablitt graduated from Thunderbird School of Global Management in 1993 with her Master of Business Administration degree in international business. For more information, visit

Michael Zuieback ’91 has been named Discount Tires  CEO to succeed Tom Englert, who will remain an advisor and member of the board of directors.  Zuieback has been with Discount Tire for 14 years, first acting as the executive vice president of strategic planning before becoming the company’s president. His successor as president hasn’t been named. 

Brad Brooks ‘91 has joined DocuSign as Chief Marketing Officer to help more customers experience the power of DocuSigning anything, anytime, anywhere, on any device. Securely. Brooks brings more than 25 years of experience leading global marketing and business strategy for blue chip technology companies – including Microsoft, Juniper Networks and AT&T Lucent Technologies – to his role at DocuSign. 

Uli (Ulrich) Wassmer ’95 died from cancer, on Dec 20. He died age 45, leaving his wife Christina and two sons Fabio (9 yrs) and Dario (4 yrs). 

Kelli Crain ’97 has been named Vice President of Marketing by Group 1200 Media, the parent holding company of FUNimation Entertainment, Giant Ape Media, and Group 1200 Products. 

Thomas Idzorek ‘99, CPA, CFA, who has served as president of the Morningstar Investment Management group since 2013, is taking on a new role as head of investment methodology and economic research for Morningstar. 

Seraphin (Sarry) Padamadan ’94 passed away peacefully on March 6, 2015 with her husband, Philip and their children, Faith, Joshua, Sarah, Lewis and Maria by her side. 

Mark Field ’95 was selected 2015 Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year for the State of Arizona by the US Small Business Administration.

Alex Shay ’96, “Since graduating I ran a corporate law firm in Kiev, Ukraine, which was both enjoyable and challenging. We helped numerous companies, including KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Unilever, and Fiat Auto, navigate practical aspects of “Doing Business in Ukraine. We also survived the 1998 Ruble Crisis and the rebirth of the Ukrainian economy, including helping investors establish off-shore production and programming facilities I sold my share in that firm in 2006, and launched Carbon Solutions Northwest in 2007. Since founding Carbon Solutions Northwest eight years ago, I have helped local project developers identify and develop agreements that deliver revenue to rural renewable-energy projects. This can mean assessing & negotiating power purchase agreements or off-take agreements that put Renewable Natural Gas into a pipeline, or the work can involve monetizing environmental attributes, transferrable tax credits, or other project incentives.”

Scott Perlov ‘94 has joined the Global law firm Bryan Cave’s Boulder office. He joins the firm’s Technology, Entrepreneurial and Commercial Client Service Group, focusing on corporate and transactional issues among rapidly growing startups. 

Sanjeev Chowdhury ‘91 is Consul General of Canada in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Appointed in 2011 originally for a three year term, he has been extended in that position to the end of 2016 to allow him to oversee the Canadian diplomatic missions’ part in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.  Mr. Chowdhury is Dean of the diplomatic corps in Rio, and on August 18, 2015, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from UNISUAM University in Rio. 

Atsushi Suzuki `91 is now General Manager, Automotive Department of Marubeni Corporation after returning from Los Angeles, CA in 1993. His responsibility is to grow Automotive business through Vehicle & Spare Parts Distribution, Retail, Finance, and International Trading. He covers markets globally. 

Eric Geis ’96 passed away on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 in Grande Prairie, Alberta Canada. 

Nancy Gastel ’91 was elected to the World Trade Center Board in September 2015. She is a licensed real estate Broker in GA and NY working in Commercial real estate along with helping friends and family with residential projects. 

Brian Modoff  ‘93  has joined the Qualcomm as executive vice president of strategy, M&A and ventures, reporting directly to Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm.  Brian will have companywide oversight for strategy, M&A and the venture investment portfolio. 

Heidi Stephens-Metz ’98 is the creator of Imani which means trust in Swahili and has big goals for the mobile bank.  The development of mobile technology makes it possible to provide safe and secure banking services which can help alleviate poverty in the developing world. That makes it possible to provide services for a one percent flat fee anywhere in the world via a push system. The market is huge, Ms. Stephens-Metz said. 

Brian Vestergaard ’94 has been named vice president of Sales and Marketing for LifeSecure Insurance Company. This is an expansion of Brian’s previous position, in which he served as the company’s vice president of Product and Marketing. He will now lead LifeSecure’s Sales, Product, and Marketing areas. 

Philip Graham ‘96 is a candidate for the California State Assembly (AD76). 

Bashar Nejdawi ’90 has been named CEO of Global Wireless Business Unit by Clover Technologies Group.  In this newly-created role, Mr. Nejdawi will be responsible for Clover’s rapidly growing global wireless device repair and aftermarket services business, including Clover Wireless and Valutec, and managing the business’ global operational footprint. 

Thomas (Tom) DuCharme ’90 has been named by Wells Fargo as the new head of its Global Banking division. In his role, Tom will manage the sales and product development for Wells Fargo’s Global Banking operations. He is based in New York and reports to Richard Yorke, head of Wells Fargo’s International Group. 

William (Lin) Humphrey ’94,  I finished my Ph.D. in marketing and am now an Assistant Professor of Marketing (teaching international marketing, coincidentally) at Ithaca College.  My first book was just released by Business Expert Press, Fostering Brand Community Through Social Media…, which is aimed to an executive MBA audience (short read with theory tied to practical examples—meant to be consumed over 2-3 sittings as part of a marketing MBA class).   Additionally, I just had a 2 page article published analyzing the marketing and advertising for Q1 on the cruise industry in Seatrade Cruise Review. 

Oscar Verges ’95,  has been named International Chief Operations Officer for Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, Inc. a global blueberry breeding and nursery stock company.  In his new role at Fall Creek, Verges will be responsible for Fall Creek’s international subsidiaries including Europe, Mexico and Peru and will oversee Fall Creek’s licensee relationships in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and South Africa.

Adnan Shamsi '96, Princeton New Jersey Alumni Chapter Leader, is President of the financial leadership consultancy The Shamsi Group, and Founder of The Special Needs Advocacy Partnership which globally serves vulnerable populations in planning for long-term independent sustainability goals. As committee member for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) he was inspired this year to launch The Compassion Project, which sponsors its 1st annual Suicide Prevention Community Forum to initiate stigma-free dialogue on work-life balance and mental health challenges in high performance business and academic environments. He lectures also on Positive Psychology and Global Political Economics in Princeton. 

Dr. Eileen (Sheridan) Wibbeke '92 recently completed a Fulbright Specialist grant project in New Zealand. Eileen lectured on the Geoleadership Model at four universities in and around Auckland. She also recently participated on a panel regarding Geoleadership at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) with high-level military personnel from all branches of the military.

Mark Field ’95 is the publisher of the National Veterans Magazine which started in Arizona and has now expanded to Texas, California, Colorado, Nevada, Tennessee and Louisiana. He served eight years in the U.S. Navy on board submarines. He is working with Arizona State Senator Catherine Miranda to develop the Arizona Veterans Diversity Memorial to honor the service of all veterans.

Adnan Shamsi '96, Princeton New Jersey Alumni Chapter Leader, is president of the financial leadership consultancy The Shamsi Group, and founder of The Special Needs Advocacy Partnership which globally serves vulnerable populations in planning for long-term independent sustainability goals. As committee member for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) he was inspired this year to launch The Compassion Project, which sponsors its first annual Suicide Prevention Community Forum to initiate stigma-free dialogue on work-life balance and mental health challenges in high performance business and academic environments. He lectures also on Positive Psychology and Global Political Economics in Princeton. 



Sai Honig ’01, I am one of five recently-elected professionals will join the ranks of other top cyber, information, software and infrastructure security professionals from around the world representing academia, private organizations and government agencies. Each of the board members volunteer to provide strategic direction for the organization and are (ISC)²-certified.   (ISC)² is an international nonprofit membership association focused on inspiring a safe and secure cyber world. Best known for the acclaimed Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®) certification, (ISC)2 offers a portfolio of credentials that are part of a holistic, programmatic approach to security. Our membership, over 120,000 strong, is made up of certified cyber, information, software and infrastructure security professionals who are making a difference and helping to advance the industry. Our vision is supported by our commitment to educate and reach the general public through our charitable foundation– The Center for Cyber Safety and Education.

Paul Caldron '02, completed a PhD in Governance and Policy Analysis at Maastricht University, United Nations University - MERIT in the Netherlands after defending his dissertation regarding motivations, economic, and manpower inputs into short-term medical missions by US physicians. Still practicing clinical rheumatology and research at Arizona Arthritis and Rheumatology, a group that has gained state and national notice for its successful business model in a challenged specialty in US healthcare, Caldron anticipates the Maastricht degree may enable a transition into the global health environment. AmeRuss Clinical Trials, founded by Caldron and colleagues after finishing Thunderbird to conduct drug and device trials in Russia and its near abroad, continues to operate in this space. 

Steve A Varela, PhD. ’02, earned a 2017 Fulbright Scholar award for his research and development in international program development for business school programs.

Brandon Bethea ‘04 is a Marketing Consultant for new divers for the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI). His key responsibilities are managing the content and communications for new diver acquisition, youth market, and PADI Canada… 

Jeff C. Frazier ‘05, former General Manager and Partner of Microsoft’s Worldwide Public Sector and previous Managing Director of Cisco Systems’ Consulting Services, has been named Senior Vice President Americas for Wynyard Group. Wynyard Group is a market leader in crime fighting software used in investigations and intelligence operations by government agencies and financial organizations. Frazier will lead Wynyard’s America’s business in the U.S., Canada, Central and South America. Jeff is well known for creating top-and bottom-line impact, working with chief executives and government leaders. He will apply that experience to grow Wynyard’s business in the Americas…  

Uday Marty ‘05 died in the worst accident on Mt. Rainier in 23 years. He and five others were killed while trying to reach the 14,417 foot summit. He was 41 years old… 

Matt Harker ‘06was a loving husband to Stacy and father to three young boys – Quinton, Sawyer and Gavin – known by family and friends for his irrepressible optimism. Matt died of brain trauma May 30, 2014 at Swedish Medical Center in Denver after being struck by a car in Casper WY while riding his bike to work the previous day. He was 39 years old… 

Aaron Wilder ‘08 has been traveling to destinations including Ohio, North Carolina, and Massachusetts as a consultant helping clients on a range of issues relating to organization design and training. Additionally, Aaron has been exhibiting his mixed media, two dimensional art in Washington, DC. Aaron’s first ever show in Manhattan was April 17-30 at SPACEWOMb Gallery. The group exhibition, titled “Spring Art Market,” featured two pieces from Aaron’s “Work on Paper” series. 

Brent Byers’11 is the new Southeast Territory Manager for BioSafe Systems agrichemical division.  He will be supporting the crop protection, water treatment and food safety business segments.  Based in Pittsboro, North Carolina, Brent will spearhead sales goals to establish consistent, direct communication with strategic distribution partners, growers and packers and market influencers. In his role, Brent is charged with increasing the market penetration and sales of BioSafe’s crop protection, water treatment and food safety solutions. 

Mark Edwards ’00 has been promoted to Senior Vice President, commercial loan unit manager and bank economist by Northrim Bank. 

Jill Tracy Khoury ’02 has been promoted to Global Alliance Director, responsible for Dell partnerships. 

Aaron Wilder ‘08  will begin a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) at San Francisco Art Institute in the Fall of 2015. 

Jeewat Bijlani ’02 is the  senior vice president of global marketing, business development and strategic planning at Houghton International, and has been appointed to the additional role of president of Houghton Americas and the newly created position of president, Global Strategic Businesses. In these expanded roles, Bijlani will be responsible for managing the operations of the Americas region and the global oversight of Houghton’s steel, non-ferrous, metal finishing, offshore, and beverage containers business. 

David Dodge ’06 is the founder of Codakid.  He prepares kids for the jobs of the future by teaching them to code.  The kid’s coding and game design academy that holds classes in Old Town Scottsdale has five instructors teaching kids ages 6 to 14 computer programming, game design and digital art. 

Michael Speetzen ‘05 has been appointed Executive Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer for Polaris Industries Inc. 

Suz (Graf) O’Donnell ‘08 married John O’Donnell in 2010, has two great kids and an energetic dog.  She recently left the corporate world to focus exclusively on her executive development business at Thrivatize LLC where she coaches successful leaders through everything from expatriate assignments to leading major corporate change initiatives to female leaders planning to maintain their career trajectory before and after maternity leave.  She’s also helping companies design programs to enhance their female leader retention and succession while also enhancing team performance before and after their leader’s maternity leave.  She’s loving the freedom her own company gives her to focus on helping the best leaders become even better! 

Matt Trakimas ‘09 and Beth (Howell) Trakimas ‘08 welcomed their son (and future Tbird) Calvin Wyatt into the world on Saturday, May 30 in San Francisco, California. 

Marcelo Quaiatti ‘04 and his wife, Ana Paula Guimarães Quaiatti had a daughter last July, her name is Julia Guimarães Quaiatti. 

Samuel Drennen ’04 has been promoted to group Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for First American.  He moved to Athens in 2003 to work as a strategic consultant for the bank. He has more than 20 years of financial services experience, most recently managing the Retail Banking Division of First American Bank & Trust. 

Megan Ronk, ‘07 currently Chief Operating Officer at the Idaho Department of Commerce, has been appointed by Idaho Governor Otter to director of the agency.  The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Idaho Senate. 

Adam Hawkins ’09 is founding his own firm: Global External Relations. Global External Relations will be a multidisciplinary firm focused on helping clients with complex external relations challenges. Hawkins’ firm will specialize in the following areas: strategic consulting; strategic outreach (including stakeholder identification and mapping); regulatory and government relations; permitting; fatal flaw analyses; and legislative matters. 

Samuel Drennen ’04, has been promoted to group vice president and chief operations officer at First American Bank.  Originally from Charleston, W.Va., Drennen moved to Athens in 2003 to work as a strategic consultant for the bank. He has more than 20 years of financial services experience, most recently managing the Retail Banking Division of First American Bank & Trust. 

Megan Ronk ’07 has been promoted from Chief Operating Officer at the Idaho Department of Commerce, to director of the agency by Idaho Governor Otter. The appointment is subject to confirmation by the Idaho Senate. 

Brian Robert Davis ’00 passed away on November 26, 2015 in the loving arms of his family at the Hope Hospice House in Bonita Springs, Florida. 

Steve A. Varela ’02 successfully completed his dissertation on The Influence of Cultural Intelligence on Intercultural Business Negotiation, and was awarded a Ph.D. in International Management from the International School of Management, based in Paris, France. He currently serves as Business Program Director and leads the internationalization efforts of Calumet College of Saint Joseph, located in Whiting, Indiana. 

Jeff Boyd ’03 recently bought an adventure travel business (Untamed Path Adventures) focusing on South America’s Andean region & Galapagos Islands, and moved to Bogota, Colombia to run it from there.  Colombia will be their focus area for future growth. 

Nayef  Perry ’08 will assume leadership of Hamilton Lane’s Fort Lauderdale office. Nayf is a vice president with the company. Founded in 1991, Hamilton Lane manages more than $34 billion in discretionary assets. The firm is based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania and has 12 offices around the world. 

Robert Clark ‘00 has been appointed to the position of Vice President to head up this new unit. Robert joined Everest in late 2015 from Axis Insurance Company, where he was Vice President of the Private Equity Group. Prior to that, Robert worked for Moody’s Investor Service as an analyst for the P&C Insurance Team, which included responsibility for a portfolio of insurance broker credits that were purchased in private equity sponsored transactions.

Sai Honig ‘01, was elected to the Board of Directors of (ISC)² - an international professional membership organization. She will be serving a three-year term on the board.

Sami P. Myohanen ’02 of Carefree, Arizona passed away on December 30, 2016. Sami was born in Trelleborg, Sweden. Comfort at Dial/Henkel was his Arizona home during his remaining, active years. Here, he magnificently loved his brilliant, amazing, balanced children, Isaak, Daphni and Holli. He was proud of them every single minute. First date excitement was present for Sami and Cherie for their 19 years united with a love that has no dominion. The last minute of Sami the Bull’s life was spent cycling on an epic glory ride with friends, doing what he loved with a passion. In spirit of Sami’s entire life, no regrets. Sami’s final generous wish was to give the heroic gift of life to others.



Andrew Goehl '13, recently accepted a three-year National Office rotation with EY that will relocate he and his family from Seattle to Cleveland through the summer of 2020.  I am excited for this unique opportunity.  While it's going to be a tough transition to move from a place that we absolutely love - this is an opportunity that will really define and accelerate my career.  My family and I are looking forward to new adventures - and I'm looking forward to reaching out and connecting with the Cleveland alumnae.    

Barbara Noseda '14, was named to the 30 under 30 for the Institute for Supply Management (ISM). Barbara joined LifeScan, a Johnson & Johnson company, in March 2015 as a member of the Procurement Leadership Development Program (PLDP), a highly selective two-year leadership program for recent MBA graduates that gives them a deep insight into the business and prepares them for future leadership.

Jeremy O’Brien ’11 is the new Vice President of Human Resources, Latin America for Ecolab based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Jeremy has more than 15 years of experience in HR supporting multiple geographies across several lines of business. He joined Ecolab from CNH/Fiat Industrial, where he was head of HR for Australia/New Zealand and Far East Asia. Prior to Fiat, Jeremy held several HR roles at Kohler Company and Kimberly-Clark Corporation. 

Gavin Smith ‘13 recently re-launched/re-branded his independent consulting business, Gavin Consulting.  Their goal is to deliver meaningful insights and solutions in the areas of global management, leadership, strategy, media and digital marketing. He has also launched Civilian Exposure a 501c3 non-profit organization supporting workers and veterans exposed to toxic water and soil contamination aboard US military installations. Civilian Exposure is quickly creating greater awareness, accountability and assistance for victims and families impacted by adverse health problems as a result of their exposure. 

Mitch Epstein ‘13 was recently promoted to a Sr. Analyst & Project Manager position at American Airlines and have been invited to relocate to the headquarters of the new company in the Dallas area.  I look forward to meeting fellow t-birds in my new home this summer!

Amanda Gibson ‘14 has joined the United Dairymen of Idaho (UDI) as the new manager of business development and processor relations.  In her role, she will serve as a link between Idaho’s dairy producers and the supply chain, seeking to build demand and sales. 

Mark Rikkers ’11 since graduating from Thunderbird, I have been the Executive Director of dZi Foundation, an international NGO (Colorado based 501c3) whose mission is: The dZi Foundation works in partnership with remote communities in Nepal to create lasting improvements in their quality of life. We accomplish this through implementing community-driven programs that improve public facilities, public health, income levels and educational opportunities while preserving community unity, the natural environment, and indigenous culture. 

Edward Matloub ’12, died suddenly and unexpectedly February 7, 2016.  Edward was beloved by his family and the many friends he had around the world.  Ed suffered a life-threatening illness at the age of 10 months, but his irrepressible soul would burn bright in the world for another 31 years. 

Seth Page ’11, was appointed Executive Vice President of DataRPM, the award-winning Cognitive Data Science Company whose automated Machine Learning platform proactively delivers Recommendations & Predictions. Seth is EVP of Corporate and Business Development.