Alumni News & Class Notes

Recently promoted? Found a new job or started a new business? Drop us a line and let us know what you’re up to!

Alumni News and Class Notes

You can check back here every spring and fall for updates on your friends and former classmates. Expand the tabs below to catch up on the latest news!

The Forte Foundation recently recognized Titilola Harley, BBA '07, MBA '09, as an MBA on the move. Titlola and her husband Kiyon welcomed their son Caleb into the world in January 2017, who was joined by daughter Chloe in October 2018.

Kenny Emson, BAccy '89, was named COO of the National Multifamily Housing Council, a D.C.-based trade association representing the apartment industry.

Professor Lisa Delpy Neirotti teamed up with Chris Kang, MTA ’99, to host the second World Sport Event and Tourism (WEST) conference in Yangzhou, China, with Shizhou You, MTA '18, and current student Cheng Xue, MTA '20, providing support. David Cipullo, MTA '03, and head of MMCC for Infront Sports & Media, spoke at the conference. While in Shanghai, Dr. Neirotti also dined with alums Jonathan Chuck, CCAS BA '09, Mike Ding, MTA '17, YJ Jiang, MTA '18, and Yiran Guo.

Graham Quinn, MBA '09, was named Philly311's executive director this past fall. Graham has worked for Philly311 since 2012 and has been instrumental in launching the organization's first mobile app and working with Philly311's Customer Relationship Management system.

Inesh Singh, MBA '17, became the first Chief Sustainability Officer of Sula Vineyards in India. Inesh previously interned with PepsiCo's North America unit.

Bridget Dooling, BBA '01, recently returned to GW as a research professor with the GW Regulatory Studies Center and is thrilled to be back.

Thomas Sherman, MBA '81, received the Five Star Wealth Manager award for the 7th consecutive year. Of the 3,000-plus advisers in Westchester County considered for the award, fewer than 100 receive this honor. Thomas also received the 2018 Top Wealth Adviser award by Westfair Communications, publisher of the business journals for Westchester and Fairfield counties. The award was given to 40 individuals among all advisers who live or work in the two counties.

Kathy Warden, MBA '99, was named chief executive of Fortune 500 company Northrop Grumman, having previously served as the company’s president and chief operating officer.

Toya L. (Atkinson) Evans, BBA '85, is launching her first Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchise. She and her partners (who are also her daughters) are working to bring multiple units to Prince George’s County, MD. The first will open late summer/early fall at the new Bowie Marketplace shopping center.

March of Dimes recently named Cindy Rahman, MBA '12, its senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Cindy, who has 15 years of integrated communications experience, joins the organization from BRG Communication, where she served as senior vice president.

In a recent PCMA videoJenny Abreau, MTA '09, discussed the ways in which businesses can better incorporate diversity and inclusion in their event planning.

Paul Ried, MBA '78, was named one of Forbes' Top Wealth Advisors for 2018. Paul is the president and CEO of Paul R. Ried Finacial Group, LLC, in Bellvue, Washington.

Jessica Brown, BBA '08, founded advertising agency Joy Riot in 2017 and was recently named one of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce's 40 Under 40 Honorees.

Auburn University hired Frank Cilluffo, ESIA '93, to lead its cybersecurity institute. Frank is a former Homeland Security official who directed GW's Center for Cyber and Homeland Security and worked with GWSB to launch the World Executive MBA in cybersecurity.

Karen Kline, GWSB '04, LAW '08, was one of 22 attorneys that the Florida Bar honored for pro bono work. Karen is a partner at Duane Morris in Boca Raton, FL, where she has increased participation on the company’s Pro Bono Committee from 46 to 100 percent, takes on pro bono clients, and volunteers with the Girls Educational & Mentoring Services organization.

Sabrina Ashjian, BBA ’01, was recently appointed by Governor Brown of California to serve on the Cannabis Control Appeals Panel and has been elected as chair of this panel.

A tech CEO by day, Chris Formant, MBA '79, just published his second bookSaving Washington: The Forgotten Story of the Maryland 400 and the Battle of Brooklyn, a historical novel told from the perspective of two teenagers.

Anthony Shop, MBA '11, was featured in the Washington Business Journal's "new guard" list of influential leaders in the region in honor of his work with Social Driver, for which he serves as chief strategy officer. 

Lee Hurwitz, MBA '82

Lee Hurwitz, MBA '82, was recently interviewed on WPFW radio’s “On The Margin,” where he discussed his novel Capital City.


Roger Staiger, MBA ’96, MS ’01

Roger Staiger, MBA ’96, MS ’01, has published the second edition of his book, Foundations of Real Estate Financial Modelling.


Brian Katz, MBA ’06

Brian Katz, MBA ’06, formed Tampa-based Katz Capital in 2011 and has since seen his portfolio’s enterprise value reach over $40 million. In addition to his role as Katz’s CEO, Brian serves on the boards of Resource Bank NA and Anchor Specialty Insurance Company.


Erica Thomas, BBA '04

Erica Thomas, BBA '04, works at Tradeweb Markets and recently won the 2018 Markets Media Markets Rising Star award.


Brett Berman, BBA '03

Brett Berman, BBA '03, was named one of The Legal Intelligencer’s “Lawyers on the Fast Track” earlier this month. Brett is a partner at Fox Rothschild, specializing in commercial and business litigation.


Barry Grossman, BBA '81

After 25 years at WorldStage, Barry Grossman, BBA '81, moved over to Clark Media, a company specializing in broadcast remote production services. Barry writes that his primary role is system design and engineering, and additional roles include corporate strategy and marketing, allowing him to dust off his GWU BBA!


Marj Press, MURP '90

Marj Press, MURP '90, was elected director at-large of the American Planning Association. She will serve a four-year term.


Tyrell Charles, BBA '16

Tyrell Charles, BBA '16, has a new job as a sales assistant at Disney ABC Television Group in New York City.


Daniel Bernstein, CCAS BA '09, GWSB MBA '11

Daniel Bernstein, CCAS BA '09 & GWSB MBA '11, joined Hancock Capital Management as an Associate Director based in New York City.  In this new role, he is focused on sourcing, executing, and managing mezzanine debt and equity investments in middle market companies.


Jhaymee Wilson Heinlein, MSPM '09

Jhaymee Wilson Heinlein, MSPM '09, was selected as a 2018 ACHE Thomas C. Dolan Executive Diversity Program Scholar. This year-long program will help further prepare mid and senior level careerists to advance to higher leadership roles in healthcare.


Rachel Schopler, MBA’17

Rachel Schopler, MBA’17, joined Amazon.com's human resources leadership development program, a three year rotational program designed to prepare high potential candidates for accelerated careers in HR at the organization. Her first role brings her to Phoenix, AZ, where she works as a Human Resources Business Partner at one of the company's fulfillment centers.


Justin Bakewell, MBA’09

Justin Bakewell, MBA’09, Executive Director of J.P. Morgan Private Bank, was included in Washington Business Journal’s list of 40 under 40. Read More.


Brett Ciarelli, BBA’05

Brett Ciarelli, BBA’05, was recently included in Forbes’ inaugural listing of America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors. Read More.


Xavier Manrique, BBA’05

Xavier Manrique, BBA’05, following graduation went into film production and has been working on film sets ever since. He recently completed directing his first feature film, Chronically Metropolitan, which was released in theaters and on iTunes Friday, August 4th. The film has a stellar cast including Mary-Louise Parker, Chris Noth, Ashley Benson and Shiloh Fernandez.


Kate Waterson, MBA’09

Kate Waterson, MBA’09, co-founder of insight and innovation consultancy WatersonGarner, was profiled in BusinessBecause.


Kate Pena, BBA’14

Kate Pena, BBA’14, has recently accepted a new position as Global Strategy Manager at McCann Worldgroup. In her new role, she will help develop and manage the processes and projects related to digital strategy development that impact the global network, including social, innovation, analytics and digital thought leadership. She previously was a social strategist at McCann New York, one of the McCann Worldgroup agencies.


John Sakakini, MBA’17

John Sakakini, MBA’17, was the first GWSB MBA student to be selected for a summer associate role at Delta Air Lines. Following time spent as a summer associate at Delta Air Lines, John will be joining the Atlanta-based airline’s MBA rotation program in a full-time role from July this year.


Jeffrey Libman, BBA ’77

Wells Fargo Advisors of Short Hills, New Jersey has, for the 7th consecutive year, designated Jeffrey Libman, BBA ’77, Senior Vice President of Investments, as a member of the firm’s Premier Advisor Program.


Hal Nesbitt, MBA’09

Hal Nesbitt, MBA’09, promoted to Vice President of Information Technology at the American Society of Nephrology


Timothy Derdenger, BBA’02

Timothy Derdenger, BBA’02, was promoted to Associate Professor of Marketing and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business.


Janice Heinold BBA’91

Janice Heinold BBA’91 joined the law firm of Raymond Coleman Heinold LLP as a Partner on April 1, 2017.


Joe Donohue MBA ’90

Joe Donohue MBA ’90 was appointed chief financial officer of DLT Solutions, an award-winning technology partner to the public sector. As CFO, Mr. Donohue will oversee accounting, finance and order management.


Tia Loftin MS ’12

Tia Loftin MS ’12 was honored as a recipient of the 2016 Federal Computer Week Rising Star Award.


Daphne Palmer Geanacopoulos MBA ’85

Daphne Palmer Geanacopoulos MBA ’85 historical non-fiction book, The Pirate Next Door: The Untold Story of Eighteenth Century Pirates’ Wives, Families and Communities (Carolina Academic Press, 2017 ISBN: 978-1-61163-875-2). Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and many other publications.


Rahul Nagar MS ’02

Rahul Nagar MS ’02 co-founded a new venture, Str8bat: wearable technology that enables passionate baseball players the ability to develop and gain insight regarding the enhancement of their batting skills.


Dana Sleeper BBA’12

Dana Sleeper BBA’12 recently hired as the Director of External Affairs at SEIA, the national trade association for the solar industry and HQd in DC.


Anthony Shop MBA ’12

Anthony Shop MBA ’12 and his company social driver were honored with LearnServe’s Civic Champion award at the LearnServe “Gala” — on Tuesday, March 7 at the Howard Theater.


Nicole and John Samuel MBA’14

Nicole and John Samuel MBA’14 welcomed a baby boy on Tuesday, February 7th –Elias Isaac Samuel. Nicole and Eli are both doing well.


Tyrell Charles’16

Tyrell Charles’16 landed my first full-time position w/ Mediaplanet this past January to start off the New Year!


Jason Juranek MBA ’07

Jason Juranek MBA ’07 joined Globecomm as the CFO in 2015 and was promoted to CEO in 2016.


Din Merican MBA ’70

Din Merican MBA ’70 was recently awarded a doctorate in International Relations (honoris causa) by The University of Cambodia at the 12th Commencement.


Dan Kessler BBA ’12

Dan Kessler BBA ’12 was accepted and will be attending MIT Sloan for an MBA starting in August of 2017.

Crystal Kinzel, ’78

Crystal Kinzel, ’78 promoted to Chief Deputy Clerk in Southwest Florida. The Chief Deputy Clerk serves as Accountant, Auditor and Custodian of funds for a 2,025 sq. mile, billion dollar county.


Morris Steen, MS 77

Morris Steen, MS ’77 is enjoying his eighth year of retirement following his service as president of North Florida Community College in Madison, FL from 2001 to 2008. Prior to the college, Morris Steen was an aviator with the U. S. Navy for 27 years. He served his last Navy tour of duty as Commanding Officer of Naval Air Station Mayport, FL.


Marko Okoye, BBA 08

Marko Okoye, BBA ‘08 was awarded as Africa’s Young Person of the Year by The Future Awards Africa.


Jeff Blake, MBA ’07

Jeff Blake, MBA ’07 was recently published in the American Journal of Managed Care. The piece, “Drivers of Patient Experience in Medicaid Managed Care“, outlines best practices in patient satisfaction for health plans serving the complex needs of Medicaid enrollees.

Based on his interviews with top industry executives and a review of current literature, Jeff presents the business case for making patient experience a key strategic priority and offers real-world examples of Medicaid plans improving customer loyalty – and profitability – by focusing on patient experience.


John Pavlovsky, MS ’80

John Pavlovsky MS ’80, was recognized by the American Volkssport Association (AVA) for completing 10 Kilometer walks in all of the fifty State Capitols plus Washington DC.


Catherine Hogan EMBA’03

Catherine Hogan EMBA’03 left Verizon last year, after more than 30 years in the telecommunications industry and joined the Greater Washington Urban League as Chief Program Officer in early 2016.


Ahmad Ishaq MSIST ’07

Ahmad Ishaq MSIST ’07 founder of ByteCubed celebrates a spectacular year of growth.


Usha Chaudhary WEMBA ‘12

Usha Chaudhary WEMBA ‘12 lands Chief Operating Officer position at Kettler


Jade Ademiluyi MSPM ’16

Jade Ademiluyi MSPM ’16 is working fulltime with TxDOT


Ruth J. Person MSA ‘74

Ruth J. Person MSA ‘74, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Indiana University in May. She currently holds the position of Professor of Management at the University of Michigan-Flint.


Gerald L. Patterson MBA ‘82

Gerald L. Patterson MBA ‘82 has retired as Director of Training for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after 41 years of serving the federal government. He currently serves as an advisor to Oratorio Media and Presentation Training regarding its government contracts.


Irwin D. Nathanson MS ‘74

Irwin D. Nathanson MS ‘74 is currently focusing on pursuing large, multi-year opportunities with the Air Navigation Service Providers (i.e. FAAS) of Germany and France.


Roberta Miller BA ‘04 MS ‘05

Roberta Miller BA ‘04 MS ‘05 promoted to Senior Internal Auditor for the University System of Maryland.


Kristin and Nick Messina, both MBA ’15

Kristin and Nick Messina, both MBA ’15 just launched YonderWork an international travel experience for remote workers which combines travel, coworking, and professional development.


Ovie Mughelli, EMBA ’14

Ovie Mughelli, EMBA ’14 is working with the White House and various Fortune 500 companies to advocate environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

Thabani Mthiyane, WEMBA ’13

Thabani Mthiyane, WEMBA ’13 is the first African elected to the helm of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO


Toya L. (Atkinson) Evans BBA ’85

Toya L. (Atkinson) Evans BBA ’85 is launching her first Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchise.


Tony Dokoupil BBA ’03

Tony Dokoupil BBA ’03 has been named a correspondent for CBS News based in New York. Dokoupil will report for all CBS News broadcasts and platforms beginning in August.


Aaron Leong BBA ’08, MTA ’09

Aaron Leong BBA ’08, MTA ’09 was recently promoted to Senior Revenue Manager for the Crystal Gateway Marriott and the Courtyard Arlington Crystal City.


Jeff Blake MBA ’07

Jeff Blake MBA ’07 was published in Becker’s Hospital Review for his article, Applying Restaurant Customer Service Principles to Healthcare.

Michael A. Brown BBA ’98

Michael A. Brown BBA ’98 was selected as the 2015-2016 Department of Homeland Security Fellow at the RAND Corporation.


Solomon Kassa MBA ‘11

Solomon Kassa MBA ’11, producer and host of Tech Talk with Solomon recently filmed an episode at GW in January 2016.


Kristen Gaerlan BBA ’11

Kristen Gaerlan BBA ’11 was a speaker at BinderCon NYC – A conference for female and gender nonconforming writers.


Matt Scott BBA ’14

Matt Scott BBA ’14 after two years with the GWSB-alum operated digital marketing agency Social Driver, Matt Scott has accepted a position at SecondMuse.


Greg Vallarino MBA ’15

Greg Vallarino MBA ’15 “I started a goal to visit all 30 ballparks shortly after I committed to GWSB in 2013. Just over three years later, I have visited 23 parks”.


Rebecca Peress, BBA ’14

Rebecca Peress, BBA ’14 has launched a unique food-product line, Swapples™, an all-vegetable alternative to traditional waffles.


Ari Astles, MBA ’10

Ari Astles, MBA ’10 married First Lt. Erin Elizabeth Bevacqua February 22, 2016.


Peter A. Korbel MBA ‘12 

Peter A. Korbel MBA ‘12 is a Co-Founder of BLENDER WORKSPACE opening this spring in New York’s NoMad neighborhood located at 135 Madison Avenue.


Aditi Anand BBA ’14

Aditi Anand BBA ’14 has recently accepted a position and has begun to work at Invest India.


Joshua Pavano MBA ’14

Joshua Pavano MBA ’14 is a co-founder of an umbrella enterprise, Jonas Umbrellas of which 40% of the profits fund clean-water wells.


Mike Morath BBA ’98

Mike Morath BBA ’98, Dallas Independent School District Trustee was appointed as Texas’ new education commissioner by Texas Governor, Greg Abbott.


Natalie Hunter, MBA ’10

Natalie Hunter, MBA ’10, launches consulting start-up, Sherhunt solutions following US Army service.


John Pavlovsky MS ’80

John Pavlovsky MS ’80, completed accumulation of 5500 Kilometers walking in events sponsored by the American Volkssport Association(AVA).


Ben Trajtenberg BBA ’06 and Ariel Wade BA ’06 JD ‘10

Ben Trajtenberg BBA ’06 and Ariel Wade BA ’06 JD ’10, married on September 6, 2015.


Haiyi Chen MA ’15

Haiyi Chen MA ’15, as of September has been working as an Accounting Assistant for Environmental Investigation Agency.

GWSB Sweethearts

Expand the tab below to see which GWSB alums went from colleagues to couples!

Jonathan Read BBA ’12 & Aria (Morris) Read BBA’12

Jonathan Read BBA ’12 & Aria (Morris) Read BBA’12 married on August 21, 2015 in Bristol RI.


Zach Parharm GMBA ’10 & Cassie Durkin Parham GMBA ’10

Zach Parharm GMBA ’10 AND Cassie Durkin Parham GMBA ’10 married on September 19, 2015.


Karli Kasonik Susi GMBA ’11 & Alan Susi GMBA ’10

Karli Kasonik Susi GMBA ’11 and Alan Susi GMBA ’10 married September 15, 2012.


Nicole Samuel MBA ’14 & Johnny Samuel MBA ’14

Nicole Samuel MBA ’14 AND Johnny Samuel MBA ’14 married on August 22, 2015.


Brandie Kalinowski GMBA ’10 & Paul Kalinowski GMBA ’10

Brandie Kalinowski GMBA ’10 and Paul Kalinowski GMBA ’10 married November 16, 2013.

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