With one of the top design studios in the country, DIME Research & Development, an elite automotive manufacturing company, opened its doors in February 2016. Graziadio alums Steve Atneyel, Justin Atneyel and Sean Rad, launched DIME R&D along with Rod Shegem. DIME R&D specializes in incubating innovative technologies for the automotive and racing industry. Steve is the company’s Chief Technology Officer, while Sean heads the company’s marketing effort as Chief Marketing Officer at both DIME R&D and Dime Racing, and Justin serves as the company’s Chief Financial Officer.
Prior to DIME R&D, all three worked at a smaller automotive firm perfecting their skills for DIME. Sean served as the Marketing Director, responsible for developing marketing strategies, creating production schedules in accordance to supply and demand from international and domestic clients, and identifying the changing needs of the company while monitoring its competitors. Steve served as Operations Manager while heading the Software Calibrations department and Justin served as Controller for the entire organization. Steve and Sean earned their Bachelor of Science in Management from the Graziadio School of Business and Management in 2014, while Justin earned his in 2015.
Sandra Sellani has been named the Chief Marketing Officer for See Jane Go, Inc., a ride sharing app creating a community of women helping women to achieve personal and professional goals through a women-centric platform. See Jane Go offers women a trusted alternative driver experience in comparison to its competitors Uber and Lyft, and provides an enhanced option for women to make a lucrative income driving for a company that supports women worldwide. The See Jane Go app launched in September 2016 and will soon have new features, including a way for riders to designate a portion of their fare to a charity of their choice. Although the ride hailing app is tailored for women, the service doesn’t entirely exclude men. To use the service, a male passenger must be hosted by a female driver. The Orange County based company was recently named among the Top Ten Automotive Startup Winners and featured in Fortune Magazine.
As Chief Marketing Officer, Sellani is responsible for the company’s overall brand and marketing strategy, and brings over 20 years of industry experience to See Jane Go. She previously held executive marketing positions leading teams at NVISION Laser Eye Centers in Newport Beach and Sperry Van Ness Commercial Real Estate Advisors in Irvine. Sellani earned her Executive MBA from the Pepperdine Graziadio School of Business and Management in 2003.
In October 2016, author and public speaker William Sparks published Process Mapping Road Trip: Improve organizational workflow in five steps—an organizational development guidebook to help managers and directors map out their organization’s processes to improve workflow efficiency. Based on a highly acclaimed workshop Mr. Sparks delivers annually at the InsideNGO conference in Washington, D.C., this book uses the analogy of a road trip to follow a process through its various stops to arrive at its final destination. Winner of the Dr. J.P. London Award for Promoting Ethical Behavior, Mr. Sparks has over twenty years of management and international development experience in building organizational capacity abroad. InsideNGO also awarded him the Operational Excellence Award for his contributions over the years in developing international NGOs. He currently serves as Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at ACDI/VOCA, an international organization building social and economic opportunities in over 40 countries. Mr. Sparks earned his M.S. in Organization Development from the Graziadio School of Business and Management in 2004.
The book is available for purchase on Amazon.
Pepperdine Graziadio alum Daniel Aleksander is Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Riviera Bronze Manufacturing (RBM), a custom steel and bronze door and window manufacturer in Ventura, California. The company caters to boutique commercial projects ranging from wineries to restaurants, and high-end residential construction such as beachside bungalows up to 40,000+ square foot estates.
Under his management, the company has experienced double digit growth every year for the last 5 years, while maintaining the strictest standards of ethics and quality. His leadership and communication skills have enabled him to take an incredibly complex product and a diverse group of people to create companywide growth. Previously, he served as V.P. of Commercial Sales for Ventana Fine Windows And Doors, Inc. Mr. Alexander earned his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Leadership and Managing Organizational Change from Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management in 2014.
Paul Martello was awarded “Product of the Year” for the Yummy Spoon at the 2016 ECRM Baby & Infant EPPS Showcase, one of the nation's largest tradeshows for baby products. The Yummy Spoon is a self-feeding baby spoon designed to puree whole fruits and vegetables, helping parents create homemade baby food. The portable and easy to use baby spoon was originally conceived by Gina Cormier, Martello’s sister and a stay-at-home mom. Martello first pitched the Yummy Spoon while earning his MBA at the Graziadio Business School.
After making it to the final round of the Graziadio 2012 Business Plan Competition, which offers student entrepreneurship teams venture capital feedback and the chance to win cash prizes, Martello refined the Yummy Spoon over the next three years and launched Martello, LLC, headquartered in Calabasas, CA. Before Yummy Spoon, Martello held marketing positions at Guitar Center and Hyland’s Inc. He is currently the President of Martello Consumer Products and Yummy Spoon. Inspired by the Pepperdine motto, “Freely ye received, freely give," he donates a portion of all sales to feed hungry children across the U.S. Martello earned his MBA from the Graziadio School of Business and Management in 2013.
Lauren Gibbs is a sales executive and Olympic hopeful for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Friend and member of the USA National Rugby team Jill Potter introduced Gibbs to the sport of bobsledding and recommended that she try the sport. Currently, Gibbs is gearing up to try out for her third National Bobsled Team at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. Gibbs works for the U.S. Olympic Committee in business development, helping with fundraising for the Olympic training center, and is actively working to qualify for the 2018 Olympic bobsled team.
Previously, Gibbs served as Regional Sales Director for Trumaker, a San Francisco-based made to measure men's apparel company. Gibbs is a Los Angeles native and earned her EMBA from the Graziadio School of Business and Management in 2014.
Angela recently added Chief Marketing Officer to her professional repertoire. In March, along with co-founders, Michael Lucarelli and Paul Sirisuphang, Angela launched RentSpree, an apartment listing website that's altering the apartment rental landscape in Southern California. RentSpree is a one-stop- shop for all rental properties in the Los Angeles region, featuring a universal application and tenant pre-screening, which allows tenants to experience their entire rental process on the RentSpree website. Angela has more than three years of working experience as a project manager with L’Oreal in Shanghai, where she oversaw the cosmetic company’s new product development for the Asia-Pacific region. She is a 2016 MBA graduate from the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School.
Steve Marcus and his business partner and wife, Kasondra Marcus recently launched MP Additives LLC, a metalworking company based in Florida. MP Additives LLC produces additives for metalworking fluids such as machining and grinding coolants, corrosion inhibitors, mass finishing compounds and special purpose water based lubricants. Steve remains Chairman of Markee International Corporation, another metalworking company he started in 1971. The difference between the two companies is Markee makes products for the user of metalworking fluids, while MP Additives makes products that are used as ingredients by the manufacturers of those fluids.
Marcus also makes metalworking fluids and is a leader in the elimination of petroleum oils from manufacturing products. In addition, he has a patent for a lubricant that replaces four times the amount of petroleum oil and is water based as well as environmentally safe. He has also authored a column in Products Finishing Magazine for over twenty years on the subject of mass finishing, and was one of the first individuals trained in vibratory finishing when it replaced conventional tumbling barrels for deburring and polishing metal parts. Marcus earned his President and Key Executives MBA from Pepperdine University in 1979.
Pepperdine Graziadio Alumnus Michael Bennett, EdD, is the Founder and Chief Adventure Officer at Muddy Shoe Adventures, where he creates and delivers handcrafted, life-changing adventure programs in some of the world’s most incredible and iconic destinations. Built around Michael’s doctoral research into the transformational power of travel experiences, every Muddy Shoe Adventure is an opportunity to explore the world in a fun, yet meaningful way with a small group of fellow explorers. Travelers challenge themselves with exciting adventure activities while immersed in different cultures and connect with new people, places, perspectives, and ideas. Muddy Shoe Adventure offers both fixed date programs and customized adventures. The adventure travel company also works with corporate groups looking to improve performance and build leadership skills through Muddy Shoe Team Adventures.
Prior to launching Muddy Shoe Adventures, Michael worked four years in higher education administration, and six years as a senior level organizational development consultant and personal and professional development coach. He earned his Master of Business Administration from the Graziadio School of Business and Management in 2006 and his Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership (EDOL) from the Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology in 2012. In addition to his work at Muddy Shoe Adventures, Michael is a life and career coach, as well as Co-Founder of the Transformational Travel Association.
Tara Saboff recently accepted a position as an accounting and business analyst at Hughes PR Industries Inc. based in Malibu. In her new role, Tara is responsible for the day-to-day accounting, budget analysis, financial models, audits, taxes, and any additional finance ad-hoc projects. She develops, analyzes and monitors all budgets, revenue, and expenses at Hughes PR Industries as well as handles the daily cash flow. Tara works closely with all 22 entities the company manages and reports directly to the CFO.
Tara is a recent 2016 MBA graduate from the Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management. Prior to starting her MBA, Tara worked for Marriott International as Assistant Director for Finance and Accounting in Florida. In her position, Tara managed daily office operations and oversaw staff members completing accounting functions on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. During her time at Pepperdine, Tara was a General Ledger Finance Intern at Cornerstone OnDemand, a global leader of cloud-based talent management software solutions.