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They're all represented in the newest cohort for Thunderbird's Executive Master of Global Management program! This marks the 27th cohort in our executive program, fondly referred to as E27. We're thrilled to have this diverse group of executive learners join the Thunderbird family
In early September, the new cohort took part in a kick-off residence week that featured classes and activities dedicated to team building and preparation, as well as a healthy dose of marketing, states & markets, managing people, and cross-cultural communications. This week-long residency offered them an opportunity to get to know one another while marking the start of a unique experience, a time of immense professional and personal growth.
Jonna is an Electrical Engineering Director at M+W Group and oversees 30 direct reports. Her long-term international assignments have included Ireland, Singapore and Argentina as well as short-term assignments in over 17 countries. Over the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday, Jonna met her Thunderbird recruiter, Suzanne Sanchez, at a hibachi restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico. When the two of them started talking Jonna mentioned she splits her time between Phoenix and Albuquerque for work and family commitments. They continued to talk and Thunderbird came up at the table. Turns out Jonna’s supervisor at the time was an E25 student, Denis Bacon, who was graduating that December. What a small T-bird world!
Tom has 45 years of management experience with 28 of those years spent overseas in Asia. He is prior military and, after serving overseas, he stayed in Asia, taking his first job in advertising and international trade. Ironically, Tom’s first employer in Asia was working for T-bird Merle Hinrich. Tom also worked as a country manager and then went on to run his own business. His social circle in Asia consisted of many Thunderbird alumni during the 1980s and 1990s until the Asia Financial Crisis. Tom then returned to Florida where he made a new home for himself in the hotel business. Tom first met his recruiter, Suzanne Sanchez, in early 2017 when he drove 3 hours to meet her in Miami for an event. He then made up his mind to apply and interview in June, right before his birthday. Tom is our most senior student to date “at the young age of 71”--fulfilling his 30+ year dream of being a T-bird. Go, Tom! It is never too late to realize a dream!
Tara is an integrative medicine physician with a specialization in treating chronic illness. Tara just relocated to Arizona from Washington State and is working on an ongoing project in Bali, Indonesia where she spends time studying Botanical Medicine with the locals. Tara wants to set up her own online supplement store and increase her business knowledge through the Executive MGM program to get that going. Prior to medical school, Tara served in the Peace Corps in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, where she gained her fluency in Portuguese. Tara just happened to come to the Thunderbird campus the day we had “On the Spot Interviews.” It was a whirlwind and all meant to be. We are thrilled to have her as part of the cohort!
Dr. Ramirez has 15 years of global management experience working with Fortune 500 companies in many different industries such as healthcare, banking, investments, government and e-commerce. Martin is an engineer with a Ph.D. in Philosophy. He primarily works in the space of product design and mobile web launches. Top companies he has worked for over the years are Samsung, CNN, LG, Orbitz, Sears, United Healthcare, JC Penney, and Santander. Martin has worked all over the world in Singapore, Japan, Chile and Brazil. He is fluent in Spanish, German, and French. Some of Dr. Ramirez’s success stories were the launch of the camera phone and the Orbitz website. He has worked on recent projects for Google including their wearable glasses designed for doctors in the operating room during surgery. He currently commutes in for the Executive MGM program from California with his dog Bear. Or as we call him “Thunderbear” because we already fell in love with Bear’s fluffy face. We are thankful to have Dr. Ramirez’s level of expertise and knowledge of e-commerce and wearables!
Helen is a Chief Financial Officer at Insight Enterprises Inc., a local IT company based in Tempe, Arizona that operates in over 22 countries. Helen has a background in accounting and her claim to fame is working on mergers and acquisitions. She has 17 years of experience working for multinationals and in her current role oversees Canada and USA. Helen has extensive knowledge in regulatory, currency and tax rules of foreign markets. She currently oversees a department of 300 direct reports and manages the budget planning cycles globally. Helen is also very involved in charity work and currently sits on the Arizona Board of Directors for Make-A-Wish. Helen knew about Thunderbird from a former E24 student, Michael Walker, who also works at Insight. Helen, your current cohort will be thankful for your finance knowledge when it comes time to take Professor Michael Moffett’s finance class!
Paul is a Program Management Specialist for Systems Technology Forum, a defense contracting company for the US Navy. Paul has a background in physics and works to make sure US Navy ships have technology platforms that talk to each other. Paul oversees the installation of software on over 50 Navy ships and has great insight given that he is prior Navy himself. During Paul’s Navy service he traveled to Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Persian Gulf, Bahrain, Djibouti, Panama, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Ecuador. Paul is fluent in English and Vietnamese and moved to the United States as a Vietnamese refugee as a child. Paul currently commutes to Thunderbird from San Diego where he enjoys the beautiful weather and instructing power yoga in his spare time. Paul plans to lead breakout yoga sessions in Glendale when the energy level gets low and we look forward to it!