New Job: “I am a Business Systems Analyst for Consumer Digital Technology for Nike, Inc., working on the back-end order management and fulfillment systems, which work in conjunction with SAP, for all our Digital Sport and Nike iD Products. I will be working with the business, the consumer, and our developers, along with everyone in between, to understand system or tool issues, pain points and recommended user experience improvements. I will be responsible for identifying the root issues, recommending a solution, and writing the requirements for said solution. The most exciting things about this role are the professional opportunities and opportunities for global travel, as we are working to expand into Europe, Japan and more in the next year. This opportunity is also allowing me to combine my passion for sports and technology into one. (Plus, the perks are pretty good, too! )
It was very hard to leave Gonzaga and my amazing friends and family in Spokane, but this is an incredible, once in a lifetime opportunity that I know I would not have if it weren’t for the education I received at Gonzaga and the connections I made. My undergraduate education helped me learn how to think outside the box, challenge the status quo, and make my own decisions. While my MBA challenged me even more to make better arguments, find more concrete facts, and to once again think outside the box. But above all else, Gonzaga provided me with lifelong friendships all along the way. And without those friendships, I would not be at Nike today because many of them turned into professional connections, which helped me get to the interview. I will never be able to say “Thank You” enough to my friends, professors, and the staff at GU.
“How do you go from where you are to where you want to be? I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream, a goal, and you have to be willing to work for it.” – Jimmy Valvano
I may be an Oregonian now, but I will always be a Zag and you better believe I will be making a few trips back for some games!”
Reconnect with Andrew at email@example.com
Damon Pilgrim, MBA 2012
New Job: “My job title with Shriners Hospitals for Children® — Spokane is Public Relations Specialist. My job is to tell stories. Not just any stories, though. I tell the awesome stories about amazing kids. Kids like a girl who had her leg amputated at 1, hiked Mt. St. Helens on crutches with her 8th grade class, and is the current reigning Miss Spokane. I tell these stories through many different outlets, including a quarterly newsletter called Leaders in Care and three social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress). Most of the responsibilities of marketing, communications, and PR are split evenly between the PR Director and me.
Everyone at Shriners is amazing. I’ve never worked at a place with less drama or more camaraderie. Everyone has been very welcoming and is there for the right reasons. We all understand that we are in a very special place with a very special mission, and we both enjoy it and take it seriously. I couldn’t have fallen into a better place for my new career after earning my MBA.”
Reconnect with Damon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kellie Jewett, MBA-AIE 2011
Kellie recently began working as the Development Director for the Cheyenne River Youth Project. CRYP is an after school program serving children, teens, and families on the Cheyenne River Sioux reserve ration and offers programs in education, health and wellness, arts and culture, and more.
From the CYRP website: “Poverty has a profound effect on family structure and self-esteem, which contributes to a variety of social ills. Located in one of the nations 5 poorest counties, CRYP serves the community by offering youth programs and family services that foster healthy choices and life practices, as well as provide immediate relief and create opportunities for the future. Daily, we lay the groundwork for long-term solutions so that each program and/or service has a purposeful foundation and potential for longevity. Our vision also includes infrastructure to house our growth as we work to meet our community’s needs today and in the future.”
In addition to the valuable work Kellie is doing with CRYP, she is also engaged to be married in June 2013!
Since Dane graduated in 2011, his family has grown. His energetic son, Boston, now is now a big brother to Isaac!
Surely these boys are very proud of their father who was recently hired as the Field Marketing Manager for US Cellular, located at the Corporate Office Building in Richland, WA. His new role requires that he monitor and educate both agent-owned and corporate-owned stores on current marekting initiatives, campaigns, promotions, and branding in order to unify US Cellular’s message nationally.
Dane is excited about his new position and looks forward to applying his Gonzaga education in his local market. He misses Gonzaga every day and never passes on the opportunity to talk about the quality of education he received.
David Plut recently earned an exciting position through Volt Workforce Solutions. He is a Project Coordinator at Avista Corporation, where he is working with the financial budgeting/reporting and management of the project to upgrade to Windows 7. David is very excited about the new position, and, even though he has only been with Avista since January, he has already learned a great deal.
Stephen Grant has recently started a consulting practice in Spokane called Bus OPS, LLC that focuses on finance and strategy for small businesses. “I am eager to provide these services to a community which has been so supportive to me over the past seven and a half years.”
Spike Bighorn was a member of Gonzaga’s MBA in American Indian Entrepreneurship program funded by the Johnson Scholarship Foundation, and he graduated with an MBA in 2005. He is currently employed as the Chief Operating Officer for New West Technologies. New West is an energy consulting firm specializing in renewable energy and advanced vehicle technology contracts. Its corporate headquarters are in Greenwood Village, CO, and the firm has additional offices in Washington, D.C.; Landover, MD; and Utica, NY.
In January of 2008, Alicia, Julianna D’Angelo Yamamoto, BA `05, MAcc `06 and Rebecca Hardy, BA `04 started Women’s Philanthropic Investment Group (WPIG) of Seattle. WPIG is a non-profit 501c3 approved organization invested in helping woman and children move from places of need to self-sufficiency and stability through advocacy, outreach and charitable giving. Alicia Stedman works in Commercial Real Estate at Schnitzer West in Seattle, WA. Julianna D’ Angelo Yamamoto currently works in Accounting at Vulcan in Seattle, WA.
Dr. Eddy Birrer, MBA `69
In March, Eddy visited Charleston SC, where his daughter works as an English Professor at the College of Charleston. During his visit, Eddy attended the Carolina Challenge Cup, a four-team, round robin, pre-season soccer tournament hosted by the Charleston Battery, a professional USL First Division Soccer Team. The picture above was taken at the The Three Lions Pub in the Charleston Battery Soccer Stadium. This pub boasts a diverse collection of sports memorabilia from around the world, including the signed game ball from the Houston Dynamos’ MLS championship, where Gonzaga alumni Brian Ching was named game MVP. In July, Eddy will be taking members of the Gonzaga Prep High School Soccer Teams to London to see the sights, play in a tournament and attend the 2011 Emirites Cup. Eddy is the Gonzaga Prep Women’s Soccer Team Assistant Coach and has coached soccer teams in Spokane for 30 years.
Robert Anselmo, MAcc `01
Robert joined Apollo Spas in Spokane Valley, WA as a Corporate Accountant in January 2011. Before Apollo Spas, Robert worked in the beer and wine distribution industry for 13 years.
Amy Biviano, CPA, MAcc `07
Amy recently joined Spokane Mayor, Mary Verner’s re-election campaign as the Campaign Manager. ”What many GU alumni might not know, is that Mayor Verner is a Gonzaga lawschool alum and is the only Spokane mayor to be successfully re-elected since the 1970′s,” said Biviano. Before Amy’s position as Mayor Verner’s Campaign Manager, she worked as a CPA at Santschi and Nelson, in Spokane, WA and was the Chair of the Spokane County Democrats.
William VanMeter, MBA `08
William is currently a 2L at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and expects to graduate in May 2012. He works as a law clerk at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, a non-profit legal aid firm that has been providing free civil legal assistance to residents of Cook County for over 40 years.
Mark J. Bergam, P.E., MBA `79
Mark Graduated in 1979 with his MBA and a BS in Civil Engineering. After graduation, Mark attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where he earned a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Mark was hired by NASA and worked in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for 11 years (7 years in Pasadena, CA and 4 years at the Space Station Program Office in the D.C. area). Mark married fellow Zag alumnus, Linda Freeburg Bergam and returned to the northwest to raise three children. After the move, Mark began working for King County residential and commercial land development, where he had the chance to use his civil engineering experience. It was through King County, who owns and operates Boeing Field that his career came full circle as the Airport Engineer for Boeing Field.
Aaron Martin, MBA `07
After graduation, Aaron worked at the Financial Planning Firm of Priority Financial Group from 2007 – 2010. He also worked at Gonzaga University as an adjunct Faculty member during the 2007-2008 school year. In 2010 Aaron was hired by Deaconess Medical Center in Spokane, WA to work in the Accounting and Finance Department. Recently Aaron earned the Clinic Financial Manager Position at Deaconess. He’s responsible for the financial reporting of the urgent care and specialty clinics affiliated with the hospital. Aaron received his CPA license in January 2011 and plans to use it as a tool throughout his career in the healthcare industry.
Elizabeth Connor Arrigotti, MBA `79
Betty (Elizabeth) Arrigotti recently released her first novel, Hope and a Future, an inspirational novel about a marriage counselor/professor who teaches her students how to overcome loneliness but whose grief over the loss of her husband eclipses her attraction to an Irish professor who is fighting his own phobias. The book offers current counseling advice for people who are seeking a relationship, or who would like to improve the one they have.
Betty’s a 1977 graduate of Gonzaga School of Arts and Sciences, and received her MBA from Gonzaga in 1979. Since then, she’s trained as a spiritual director and received her Master’s in Counseling from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Betty is married to George Arrigotti (GU Engineering `79) and has four daughters, Melissa and Theresea, both Gonzaga graduates and Kathleen and Jennifer. Betty recently finished a second novel and is writing a sequel to Hope and a Future.
Mark Van Gemert, MBA `05
After graduating in 2005, Mark worked in the Healthcare industry for 4 years with a focus in Marketing and Sales. In 2008, Mark decided to pursue his Doctoral of Dental Surgery (DDS) at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. He’s currently finishing his second year of school and is set to graduate in 2013.
Ryan McNeice, MBA/JD `05
After starting his own law firm in 2006, Ryan has added a partner to his firm and changed the name to McNeice Wheeler PLLC. Becki Wheeler, Gonzaga Law School Graduate `05, has been an associate at the firm for 2 years before becoming a partner. Monica Holland was recently hired as an Associate Attorney and Alison Mattiz was hired as a Law Intern. McNeice Wheeler, PLLC handles a wide variety of cases ranging from Business Law, Wills & Trusts, Employment Law, Real Estate, Family Law, Personal Injury to Civil Litigation.
In 2010, Ken moved from Vancouver, Canada to Edmonton, Alberta. He was hired by Investors Group in April 2010. Investors Group was established more than 80 years ago and together with its sister company (Mackenzie Investments) is the largest asset management firm in Canada. He’s been with Investors Group for a year now and really enjoys the work. It’s a comfort to Ken that every person he meets with will be financially better off, whether they become a client of his or not. Ken is in a happy relationship with his girlfriend and plans to ask her to marry him when the time is right. He is thankful for his experience at Gonzaga, the business internship program that gives young MBAs a chance to work with major corporations and the effort professors put into ensuring their students succeed.
Greg Loew, MBA `07
After spending the last 4 years in Raleigh, NC leading product development teams for a utility equipment manufacturer, Greg recently moved back to Spokane and began work at Avista Utilities as the New Vehicle Acquisition Manager in May 2010. Greg and his wife welcomed their second child, Henry Loew, on October 7, 2010.
Vance Hilderman, BSEE `81, MBA `82
Vance Hilderman retired after selling his avionics consulting company in 2004. He wrote a book on Avionics Certification during retirement and it’s now the best-selling book in its category, with all royalties donated to Gonzaga University. Vance started a nonprofit divorced parent’s service group named Weekend Warrior Men which has donated thousands of hours and dollars to various youth causes in San Diego and Rancho Santa Fe where he resides. Vance started another aviation company named HighRely which continues to expand with operations in Europe and Asia. His son Dan recently graduated from USC, while son Evan is attending Northeastern and daughter Anna will spend her senior year in the Czech Republic. Vance’s wife Colleen is a Managing Director at Hermes. Vance admits that he’s finally being educated in fashion and has learned that shorts and sandals are no longer appropriate attire at the Opera. Vance and Colleen’s wine cellar is always open to fellow Zag and USC alumni.
Bruce Bernardi, MBA `07
In 2008, one year after graduating from the MBA program, Bruce opened up Waggin’ Tails Professional Pet Sitting, in Spokane, WA. Waggin’ Tails provides in-home pet sitting, and other services, to the residents of Spokane and the surrounding area. Pet sitting services can be stopping by a client’s home to let their dog(s) out for a potty break, visiting pets while their owner is out of town, or just playing and socializing with the pet. The service provides a way for owner’s to fulfill their daily obligations, while not having to worry about their pet and its well-being. If you would like more information about Waggin’ Tails please visit the website at: www.waggintailsspokane.com.
Elaine T. Cullen, MBA ’92, PhD ’04
In 2008, after a 38 year career in mining research with the U.S. Bureau of Mines and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NNIOSH), Elaine retired and started her own consulting company, Prima Consulting Services, Inc. Her business specializes in safety and health for high risk industries. For the past 2 years she’s been working in the Oil and Gas Extraction industry, researching the occupational culture of roughnecks in order to create more effective safety training for these workers. Prima has just completed their first training video, called “Move It! Rig Move Safety for Roughnecks,” which will be released at the November OSHA Safety and Health Conference in Dallas. Elaine has been selected to be included in the 100 Women Project for the 100th anniversary of the American Society for Safety Engineers. The Project profiles 100 women who have made a difference in occupation safety in the past 100 years.
Robert H. Buckham, MBA ’88, PhD ’09
After working many years as an executive for international mining and retail companies, Robert H. Buckham, PhD is now a full-time lecturer in Whitworth University’s School of Global Commerce and Management. He’s teaching numerous graduate and undergraduate level classes such as International Human Resource Management, International Management and Business Ethics. Dr. Buckham also serves as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Idaho where he teaches Human Resources Management and Organization Design classes. When not in the classroom he continues an active research program, focused on the role of hope in the workplace and provides consulting services to a variety of industries. Dr. Buckham lives in Hayden Idaho with his wife Sara.
Jason Wurz, MAcc ’01
Jason and his wife Kim welcomed their first child, Rachel Elizabeth Wurz, on August 20, 2010. Jason is an Assurance Manager for BDO USA.
Steve Taborek, MBA ’82
Steve is the Strategic Sourcing Manager for Supervalu, Inc., owner and operator of over 200 corporately owned grocery stores under such banner names as ACME, Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Bristol Farms, etc. He’s been with the company for 27 years and has held such previous titles as: Buyer, Category Manager and Merchandiser. His current responsibilities include assisting internal customers with external suppliers to provide materials and services used by the enterprise at the best negotiated price, while maintaining quality and service. Steve’s been married to his wife Vicki for 23 years and they have two adopted children both in high school. When not at work Steve enjoys fishing, gardening, playing guitar at church and leading a prison ministry team, which provides teaching, worship and prayer support at a womens’ prison in Minnesota.
Amy Biviano, CPA, MAcc ’07
Amy is serving a two year term as the chair of the Spokane County Democrats. Her responsibilities include messaging for the county, fundraising, managing roughly 200 volunteers and an executive board of 20 people. “It can get time consuming as we move through election season, but it’s very exciting as well.”
Jeremy T. Claeson, MBA ’09
After earning his MBA at Gonzaga, Jeremy started a new position at Amazon.com as the Vendor Manager for Body, Trim and Crash in the Automotive store. Automotive is one of Amazon’s newest an fastest growing stores and Body, Trim and Crash is one of the newest categories in Automotive. He’s responsible for all profit and loss activities for the category, including inventory purchasing, vendor management, merchandising, promotions and customer experience. There are many jobs open at Amazon, currently there are 4 openings on the Amazon.com Automotive team. Upon taking this position Jeremy’s family moved from Denver, CO to Seattle, WA. Hi wife, Christy, is a stay-at-home Mom. They have two daughters – Claire (7) and Isabella (4).
Marianne Fernandez, MBA ’07
Marianne has artwork on www.art-mine.com through the 1st week of July. Marianne says about her artwork, “I enjoy playing with different mediums and challenging myself either with techniques, color, or subject matter.”
Earlier this year she had a group show at Agora Gallery in NY. Established in 1984, Agora Gallery is dedicated to the promotion of national and international artists, providing quality and original Art to established and emerging collectors and catering to special events in support of fine art.
Marianne also volunteers for Specialized Needs Recreation in Coeur d’Alene. Annually they put on a theatre production as the main fundraiser of the year. For this years production Marianne designed and built their flats (sets), created new scenery, incorporated the scenery and props from other volunteers, and worked backstage as the scenery director.
In 1992, after receiving his MBA, Steve and his family moved from Spokane, WA to Lubbock, TX to pursue his PhD at Texas Tech University. In 1998, his family moved to Little Rock, AR for a teaching position at University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Dr. Edision is a Professor of Marketing and Advertising and teaches Principles of Marketing, Marketing Management, Sales Management and various seminar courses. He’s been at UALR for 12 years and is immensely enjoying his teaching career.
Shantanu Namjoshi, MBA ’09
Shantanu, wife Kavita and older brother Atharv welcomed baby Aarav on May 03, 2010 in Thane, India. The family is currently residing in India and looking forward to returning to the United States in late June.