GWSB Alumni Profiles

Shonodeep Modak

DEGREES: Mississippi State University, Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering, BS, ’00; GWSB, MBA, ’07

CURRENT POSITION: Market development manager in GE Energy’s Jenbacher gas engine division, responsible for driving growth in new energy-generation markets, focusing on landfill gas-to-energy, animal waste-to-energy, combined heat and power, and zero-emission waste-heat recovery projects.

FIRST JOB: I actually started as an entrepreneur with my own car wash service when I was 15. After college, I joined ExxonMobil as an account executive in the industrial fluids division, where I helped develop Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy, a fully synthetic, high-performance motor oil.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Making the difficult decision to leave ExxonMobil, whichmeantleaving the wonderful D.C. metro area and saying goodbye to all the great friends I made at GW.

BEST B-SCHOOL MEMORY: Going to the U.K. with Dr. Jennifer Griffin’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) class. We met with representatives of several large companies in London, giving me new perspective on business strategy.

HOW GWSB LED TO YOUR CAREER: The international marketing and CSR classes were extremely influential in giving me a less myopic view of business strategy and helping reset my personal career goals.

GOAL: To lead a GE Energy business in an emerging or developing country.

RECENT READING: I have not had a chance to read much recently, with the exception of industry trade magazines and 900-page clean energy and tax bills.

PERSONAL: Lives in Atlanta with wife, Gayatree, and baby son, Kartik. Volunteers for the United Way and enjoys taking Kartik for a stroll in nearby Piedmont Park “when Atlanta is not iced over.”

Richard Y. Pineda

DEGREES: Virginia Tech, BS, Finance, ’95; GWSB, MBA, ’01

CURRENT POSITION: Vice President of Dell Corp.’s Federal Government Services, responsible for managing business strategy, overall operations (including oversight for a dedicated group of 4,000 team members) and long-term growth of the organization, which consists of a roughly $4 billion portfolio of work.

FIRST JOB: Manager at First Virginia Bank.

BIGGEST CHALLENGE: I was motivated to pursue a business career at an early age and have achieved a relative degree of success at a young age. Over the course of my career, I’ve had to push back against the perception of being the “young guy” and shift the focus to what I bring to the table.

BEST B-SCHOOL MEMORY: I enjoyed the professional collaboration with my MBA program cohorts and peers, who were some of the best and brightest. I learned as much from them as I did from the faculty and staff.

HOW GWSB LED TO YOUR CAREER: My GWSB MBA gave me the certification and accreditation to help advance my career significantly.

GOALS: My family has always been my first priority. I have to ensure that I’m balancing work and life with my wife and children. As far as professional goals, I’m not limiting myself. I’m incredibly excited about leading Dell’s Federal Services business.

RECENT READING: I’m currently reading Stephen R. Covey’s The Speed of Trust.

PERSONAL: Lives in Fairfax Station, Va., with wife, Kathryn, and their three children, 7-year-old Rachel, 5-year-old Richard Jr. and Reagan, 16 months. Active in several professional associations, including the GWSB Corporate Collaborative Council. Enjoys golf, automobile restoration and amateur car racing.