David Fontanese, FEMBA ‘84

David Fontanese is in his fourth year of retirement and says he attributes his success to the education and experience he received while attending Pepperdine Graziadio Business School. Previously David worked for Citicorp and Boeing, for 27 years of his 40 year working career as an IT project manager and IT Director. He feels the class he took on Human Behavior in Organizations was a key learning experience that was significant to his professional maturation.

During this class, he was the lead manager for one of the team projects, where the objective was to take a harmonica and ramp up an organization from scratch to dissolution to produce 10,000 harmonicas. The final cost per harmonica decided who won, much like in real world capitalism. Their team came in second, but the process they went thru impressed on him that he could successfully do this in the real world, which is what he went on to do.

David earned his MBA from the Graziadio School in 1984.

Roy Nolan, FEMBA ‘14

Roy Nolan launched Gearhead Zone, an innovative start-up company based in Los Angeles, based on his invention that he first pitched during an entrepreneurship elective in the FEMBA program. Its goal is to help motorcycle riders with cumbersome maintenance issues. Roy’s products are conceptualized, CAD designed, 3-D printed and extensively tested by riders. His first design prototypes took a year and a half to design, make and test. The results were less than satisfactory, he then scrapped the design and decided to move on. He then refined the designed with a much simpler solution, printed and tested it. This is a what you call a classic Pivot Point during the entrepreneurship journey. New prototypes were tested extensively by the motorcycle community, adjustments were made and the leap to production was made. To view Roy’s products please visit www.motochainmate.com.

Roy says the entrepreneurship elective classes he took while attending the FEMBA program provided a solid foundation for his business start-up. He really enjoyed the camaraderie between the professors and students while taking the classes. It created a special bond that will always stick with him which he is very grateful for.

Roy earned his MBA from the Graziadio Business School in 2014.

Greta Couper, FEMBA ‘08

Greta teaches Interior Design and Marketing classes at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), and is a Realtor at Coldwell Banker Residential Estates in Pacific Palisades. Previously she was with Rodeo Realty, where she maintains many connections in Beverly Hills. She sells and manages property from Huntington Beach to Santa Barbara, and is happy to assist any alumnus for staging, design, remodeling, and all real estate needs. Her expertise includes architecture evaluations and very unique marketing of properties. Greta’s main emphasis includes Santa Monica and West Los Angeles, as well as adjacent UCLA and Pepperdine residential properties.

Greta earned her MBA from the Graziadio Business School in 2008.

Jessica Jensen, MBA ‘06 and Tuck Ross, MBA ‘06

Tuck Ross and Jessica Jensen (Buell) launched the podcast Social Currency. Their podcast is aimed at business owners, executives and leaders who want to learn about key topics in digital and social marketing but don’t have a lot of time. Tuck and Jessica say they know not everyone grew up a digital native and may be embarrassed to ask questions, yet as a leader, need to understand how these tools can drive business. Find all of their episodes and show notes on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher or visit their website.

Tuck Ross is an award-winning, results-driven strategic innovator with over 15 years of marketing strategy, digital, ecommerce/retail & marketing management experience in fast-paced, high-pressure, consumer-focused environments. He says with his experience from brands like Disney, Hasbro, Guitar Center, across entertainment, consumer products, financial services and others, his focus is always consumer first.

Jess Jensen has 17 years of experience driving business growth through integrated marketing programs in the Consumer Packaged Goods, Sport/Lifestyle, and Technology industries. She has had the privilege to work for four Fortune 500 brands throughout her career, managing multi-million dollar marketing budgets, and gaining expertise across a diverse range of channels including: Social Media, Content, TV, Print, Digital, PR, and Experiential.

Tuck and Jessica earned their MBA’s from the Graziadio Business School in 2006.

Shivaune Field, FEMBA ’17

Shivaune Field is a journalist who writes a column on entrepreneurs and leaders for Forbes. Field is fascinated by culture, leadership, behavioral economics, and entrepreneurship. She hosts a podcast on artificial intelligence and leadership skills required in the future, and was a 2016 co-chair of the UN Women L.A. Media Summit in support of HeForShe focused on gender equality in the media. Field founded the Demeter Group in 2016, is a GSEP doctoral student, and is writing a book.

Larraine Segil, PKE ’84

Larraine Segil is currently the Chair and CEO of the Exceptional Women Awardees Foundation, aimed at changing women’s lives through a proprietary, metrics-based mentoring program. The program selects mid-career women from multiple industries and provides mentorship, guidance, and career redesign advice to propel them to sustainable success, known as the Exceptional Women Awardees (EWA). Ms. Segil also runs a family-held, small urban farm company called the Little Farm Company and holds an adjunct professor position at Southwestern Law School and Pepperdine School of Law Straus Center for Conflict Resolution. She served on Frontier Communications’ board and presently holds board member positions at Kandela Inc. (Chairman), Vanir Construction Management (Audit and Nom), NACD Southern California section (Chair Nom/Gov), and APCO Worldwide.

Larraine’s previous accomplishments include Partner Emeritus and former owner and director of Vantage Partners LLC, member of UNICEF’s Tropical Diseases Special Advisory Group on Alliances (SAAG), global alliance educator for 30 years in the Americas, Europe, United Kingdom, China, and Singapore, and practiced immigration, litigation and corporate law as a licensed attorney.

Larraine holds a BA, BA Honors in Classics, Juris Doctorate from Southwestern School of Law, and an MBA degree from the Presidential Key Executive MBA program at Pepperdine Graziadio Business School.

Daniel Linde, MBA ’00

Daniel Linde co-founded the Bardstown Bourbon Company in 2014 and currently works as their Chief Financial Officer. Located in Kentucky, Bardstown Bourbon has grown to become one of the largest bourbon producers in the world. This summer, visitors can take a tour, eat at their restaurant, bar and tasting room.

Previously, Daniel worked in investment banking as the CFO of a small manufacturing and consumer goods business, and held a position as a startup business consultant. Daniel received his MBA in 2000 from the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School.

Dr. Shawn Andrews, FEMBA ’96

Dr. Shawn Andrews has recently published a book titled The Power of Perception: Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, and the Gender Divide. It was based on her 2013 doctoral dissertation research on leadership, emotional intelligence, and gender. Her book covers wide-ranging issues related to women and leadership. The Power of Perception can be found on Amazon and other retailers.

Dr. Andrews is also a keynote speaker, organizational consultant, workshop facilitator, and adjunct professor at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School. Dr. Andrews teaches courses on Organizational Behavior, Leadership and Ethics, Diversity in Organizations, and Women in Leadership.

Dr. Andrews holds an Ed.D. degree in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine GSEP, an MBA from the Graziadio Business School Fully Employed program (1996), and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine.

Jesse Heller MA, ’04, FEMBA ’11

Jesse Heller is the creator of the goal-setting app, GoalWard. The GoalWard app was developed to raise funds for cardiovascular research to honor of his mother, who recently passed away due to heart disease and his father, who also recently passed away from cancer. The app helps track individual and team goals and can also be used by employees and managers in a corporate environment. GoalWard is available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play. All proceeds from the app go towards the UCLA Cardiovascular Discovery Fund (CDF) for cardiovascular disease research funding.

Jesse is currently the Marketing Director at FayeBSG, a software company based in Woodland Hills, CA. He received an MBA from the Graziadio Business School Fully Employed program in 2011 and his MA from the Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology in 2004. He received his B.A. in American Literature from UCLA.

Verginie Touloumian, MSML ’15

Verginie Touloumian was appointed the Executive Director of the Armenian Relief Society (ARS) in October 2017. ARS, founded in 1910, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the humanitarian needs of Armenians and non-Armenians. Her duties include managing the activities of all 26 ARS branches internationally, overseeing strategic operations, planning long-term projects, and using outreach and activism to further the organization’s objectives. Previously, Touloumian worked as a project coordinator and Armenian Studies (Hai Tahd) teacher at Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School in Los Angeles. Additionally, she has served the Armenian Youth Federation – Western United States organization as a secretary for the Central Executive team and Vice-chairperson. She has also actively contributed to Haytoug Magazine, Woodbury University’s Armenian Student Association, and the ARF Shant Student Association.

Verginie Touloumian, received her B.A. in Business Management from Woodbury University, obtained a certificate in Human Resources Management from Loyola Marymount University, and graduated from the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School MSML program in 2015. More details about her recent position can be found by visiting Armenian Weekly.