Justin Sylvester, FEMBA ‘16

Justin Sylvester is the co-founder and CEO of PerfectQuote, an insurance technology firm, which was recently selected to participate in the Quake Capital Incubator in Austin. PerfectQuote allows insurance firms nationwide to compare hundreds of insurance plans in seconds for their clients. Justin says, “Industry-wide the only way firms can compare data is manual via an excel spreadsheet. This process can take up to 120 hours per client and is filled with errors. PerfectQuote does this in about 3 seconds, without error.”

He says, “We are the industry’s first solution and pioneered this product.” He shares a quote received from one of his top largest clients that says, “Everybody else is building a faster old way. PerfectQuote is definitely not the old way. They have completely torn apart, redesigned, and reimagined insurance.”In May 2019, PerfectQuote was successfully awarded its patent. Justin says, “Their goal is to become the kayak of commercial insurance.”

He shares a quote received from one of his top largest clients that says, “Everybody else is building a faster old way. PerfectQuote is definitely not the old way. They have completely torn apart, redesigned, and reimagined insurance.”In May 2019, PerfectQuote was successfully awarded its patent. Justin says, “Their goal is to become the kayak of commercial insurance.”

Justin received his MBA from the Graziadio Business School in 2016.

Keith Eshelman, MBA ‘08

Keith Eshelman

Keith Eshelman is the co-founder and CEO of Parks Project. Parks Project, founded in 2014, came from the idea that we can all do more to support America’s parklands. In the early days, he was doing volunteer trail days in local national parks and realized there was a huge lack of participation from the next generation. To change that, he created collections of apparel and accessories that would further connect consumers with the parks they love. 

Raising awareness of the projects taking place daily, activating conservationists, and giving folks a story to wear is the mission behind the social enterprise. All products give back to and support specific projects in the parks. Parks Project can now be found in REI, Urban Outfitters, Free People, and many other outdoor and fashion boutiques across the nation. Parks Project continues to host volunteer days to this day. Keith says, “If we all pitch in a little bit, we will be more connected with these lands and leave them better than we found them for future generations to come.”

Keith received his MBA from the Graziadio Business School in 2008.

Cynthia Tucker, FEMBA ’01

Cynthia Tucker is the Assistant Director of Event Operations for Trojan Event Services, and Co-Instructor for USC’s Venue Management course taught through the Thornton School of Music. Cynthia recently won the Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award by the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Development at the University of Southern California. She was nominated by many fraternity and sorority chapters on campus.

Cynthia says, “It’s always nice to be recognized, but those Iota Beta Sorors, they won several awards – Member Civic Engagement & Impact Award, Leadership Engagement Award, Diversity & Inclusion Community Award, Recruitment/Intake & Retention Award, and Leadership Excellence Awards.” She is proud of the Iota Beta and Alpha Gamma Omega for their involvement with the chapter at USC. Cynthia is a proud alumnae member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and says, “I try to live by example and be the Best Staff Advisor to these young sisters. I’m so proud of those Sorors!”

Cynthia received her MBA from the Graziadio Business School in 2001.

Charles Wynn, EMBA ‘10

Charles Wynn EMBA '10

Charles Wynn is the Director of Sales and Strategy North America for KloudGin, an Enterprise Resource Planning B2B cloud solution headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA. KloudGin provides cloud-based solutions focused on Field Service, Asset & Inventory Management, and Procurement processes. Charles is also a Board Member of the Denver Business Series representing the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School in the Colorado area. The Denver Business Series is comprised of alumni representatives from leading national and local (to Denver) graduate business schools, working with its alumni representatives to organize a speakers’ program featuring outstanding business speakers and dynamic events.

Charles received his MBA from the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School in 2010.

Jonathan Tan, EMBA ‘14 and Mark Scholnick, EMBA ‘14

Jonathan and Mark met at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School in EMBA 95S. Mark says, “While we came from different career backgrounds, we always thought one day we would work together because of how well we worked together in school. Using what we learned at Pepperdine, and building off the great relationship we forged, we founded SimplySourceful.”

Jonathan Tan and Mark Scholnick (EMBA 95S) founded SimplySourceful, a new aftermarket parts business, leveraging technology and process innovation to serve grocery stores and convenience stores. SimplySourceful takes a customer-first approach to improve inefficiencies in the industry by analyzing data. 

Jonathan and Mark earned their MBA’s from the Graziadio Business School in 2014.

Daniel Schainen, MSML ‘18

Daniel Schainen portrait

Daniel Schainen is the Branded Marketing, Strategic Account Manager for Carivino, a lifestyle brand catering to wine enthusiasts around the world. Carivino developed an outdoor wine bottle with glasses nested inside. Their patent-pending product allows people to enjoy a full wine experience anywhere and without compromise. Daniel is proud to be part of the founding team and unveil Carivino (Learn more at http://carivino.com/).

Daniel earned his M.S. in Management and Leadership from the Pepperdine Graziadio School in 2018.

Iliana Nikova, EMBA ‘15

Iliana Nikova is the General Manager at The Riveter West LA, a network of coworking and community spaces built by women, for all. The Riveter offers innovative space, learning, and development that spans industries and career stages, and flexible memberships.

They curate programming relevant to all, including conversations about implicit bias, training on salary negotiation, and breakfasts for working parents. In Los Angeles, all of their memberships include access to their spaces in West Los Angeles, Marina Del Rey, and their eastside location, as well as benefits like discounted childcare. The Riveter offers a discount to Pepperdine alumni. You can read more about The Riveter on their website www.theriveter.co.

Iliana received her MBA from Pepperdine Graziadio Business School in 2015.

Cristian Quintanilla, MBA ’16

Cristian Quintanilla launched his own business, Don Leo Coffee, the first 100% Salvadorian brand of gourmet coffee in the US. It is grown, processed, roasted, ground and packaged by the farmers in El Salvador. He named the brand after his grandfather, whom everyone used to call Don Leo. His coffee is currently sold online at www.DONLEO.coffee, and he is working on finding distribution channels.

When he was going through the MBA program at Pepperdine Graziadio School, he says the idea of creating a Salvadoran brand of gourmet coffee kept popping into his head while he worked on projects that taught him how to operate a business efficiently. After grad school, he worked in corporate finance for a Fortune 500 company, and in February 2018 he was able to raise enough capital through angel investors to get his business started.

In December 2018, Cristian was interviewed by VoyageLA. Cristian earned his MBA from the Graziadio School in 2016.

Natalie Rebot, MBA ’09

Natalie Rebot

Natalie Rebot is the creator and inventor of the Moonlite Storybook Projector, a product that turns any mobile device into a magical storytime experience for children of all ages. Moonlite uses the flashlight of your mobile device to shine children’s bedtime stories onto the ceiling or wall. Moonlite is an award-winning product that went viral with over 50M organic video views to date. The product that came to life via Kickstarter in 2017 and is now sold in retail stores worldwide. View the Moonlite video on YouTube.

Natalie is a mom to a six-year-old girl, named Chloe. Chloe was the inspiration behind Moonlite as she loved to do shadow play based-stories before bed. Natalie loved how Chloe’s whole room became part of the storytelling experience and thought she could enhance the shadow play experience, and that’s how Moonlite was born.

Natalie has a vast range of work experience. She is an ex-Googler who worked in a variety of different roles during her seven-year tenure at Google. Some of the products Natalie developed have since been integrated into Google Adwords. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering in 2005 and then went on to get her MBA at Pepperdine Graziadio Business School and graduated in 2009. 

Jennie Yoon, FEMBA ’13

Jennie Yoon launched Kinn, a fine jewelry brand offering modern heirlooms designed to last a lifetime. In 2017, Yoon found the jewelry industry filled with over-priced, over-complicated jewelry, or low-quality, disposable jewelry. Through Kinn, she sought to offer a third option. Kinn’s mission is to restore the thoughtfulness and intangible value behind fine jewelry. Paired with education and transparency in the supply chain, Kinn pieces are meant to last through generations. Today, tomorrow and years to come. 

Yoon was recently interviewed by several publications including Forbes in January 2019 for starting her side hustle, splitting her days between two passions: her corporate job during the days, and Kinn after hours and before dawn.

Yoon was the former Chief Business Officer at a global tech accessories brand, Casetify, focused on maximizing growth and generating revenue through new distribution channels and strategic partnerships. Managing talent relationships and brand development, past collaboration includes celeb partnerships (Sarah Jessica Parker, Pharrell Williams), retail channels (Colette, Nordstrom, Anthropologie), and brand collaborations (Saint Laurent, Clare V.).

Jennie Yoon earned her MBA from the Graziadio Business School in 2013.