Pramod Kunju, FEMBA ‘08

Pramod Kunju has had the honor of serving as President of the Asian Business Association of Orange County (ABAOC) from 2017 to 2018. ABAOC’s Directors on the Board, including Pramod, are all volunteers dedicated to their mission of empowering small and diverse businesses to succeed and thrive.

During his presidency, Pramod was able to take ABAOC to new heights. ABAOC more than doubled their membership and facilitated several hundred “business matchmaking” sessions between large corporations, and small/diverse businesses.

As a Pepperdine alumnus, Pramod says the accomplishment that he is personally most proud of is the launch of “ABAOC Giving,” a platform established to enable their members to give back directly to the community. 

He was humbled to receive ABAOC’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions at the Annual Gala on November 10th, 2018 at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel in Anaheim.

Pramod’s experience has inspired him to continue to give back to the community and hope to share more such stories with fellow Pepperdine alumni in the future. He says, Pepperdine certainly reinforced my guiding principle to, “give more than we receive.”

Pramod earned his MBA from the Graziadio Business School in 2008.

Mark Bowles, MSMT ’96

Mark BowlesMark was featured on SmartPlanet.com in an article about his company ecoATM. The ecoATM is an automated, consumer self-serve kiosk that quickly evaluates and buys back used consumer electronics directly from consumers for cash. The company’s website claims that the process takes just a few minutes to complete. Read more about Mark on SmartPlanet.com, a destination for savvy advice, thought-provoking analysis and expert discussion on the intersection of technology, business and life.

According to the SmartPlanet.com article:

… Bowles has been involved with no fewer than six venture-backed companies in the past two decades, most of them in the semiconductor or technology hardware space.

Mark has more than 23 years in the semiconductor and wireless industries. He has been involved in the formation and funding of 5 technology start-ups and has successfully raised 14 rounds of Venture Capital financing totaling more than $140M raised and has been part of some very nice financial exits for these investors.

Since his last update 5 years ago Mark has been quite busy. A start-up he founded, ecoATM, was acquired by a public company for $350M and he spent a couple of years earning out and left in 2015. Mark co-founded another company (his 7th) in the blood diagnostics space to dramatically lower the cost and complexity of routine blood testing. That company, Truman Sciences, is now well-funded ($20M+) and making great strides with the science, technology, and FDA.

He also sits on a number of non-profit boards, his favorite (other than Graziadio) is a research institute named La Jolla Institute of Allergy and Immunology, where the mission is literally “Life Without Disease” and they are making great strides toward that goal. Mark is also doing a lot of angel/VC investing in early stage local SoCal start-ups. In fact, he and a few investors have begun filming their investment process and have turned it into a TV Show called VCs in a Van, that just began airing episodes on cable and YouTube. Also, he has become quite involved with teaching entrepreneurship in prison to inmates through and organization called Defy Ventures.

He also works with recently released inmates to help launch their businesses when they get out. You can read about one of them here, Timothy Jackson, who recently launched a thriving cleaning service in San Diego. Finally, he is also finding a little time to relax, travel, sail, and do surf trips with his three sons.

Rossina Gil, MSOD ‘07

Rossina Gil is the author of The Corporate Looking Glass: Using Culture for Your Competitive Advantage, available on Amazon. This text is currently being used as one of the required readings for the course Global Foundations, led by Dr. Miriam Lacey at the Graziadio Business School. Gil wittily offers that her name on Dr. Lacey’s syllabus is most probably the only chance she’ll get to be sandwiched between Thomas Friedman and Al Gore. The book is also on the syllabi at California State University Northridge, and at CEFAM, Centre d’Etudes Franco-Américain de Management à Lyon (The Lyon Center for French-American Management Studies).

Gil’s book is written for anyone who is interested in applying the Behavioral Sciences towards understanding themselves, others, and organizations around the world. Based on a corporate global program usually delivered over the course of two full-working days, it is designed for both the fast-paced executive who doesn’t have time to waste, and anyone wishing to peer into the looking glass for comprehension on how systems (i.e. ourselves as individuals and organizations) can deal with change and develop productively. Once one’s cultural values are determined, the process of assimilation and strategy can begin. This is the Competitive Advantage. The reader is kept entertained by the author’s writing voice, testimonials from international executives, and general drollery.

Rossina graduated with a MS in Organization Development from the Graziadio Business School in 2007.

Daniel Carlson, FEMBA ’17

Dan CarlsonLieutenant Colonel Daniel Carlson was selected to lead the 640th Aviation Support Battalion of 450 soldiers in October, 2018 and is based at the Los Alamitos Army Airfield in Orange County, California. Army leaders are called Commanders and are solely responsible for success of the mission, and the welfare of their soldiers during peacetime and war. Daniel says the Pepperdine Graziadio School MBA helped him emerge to become a better leader by focusing on qualities that he wanted to bring forward in his style.

Lieutenant Colonel Carlson enlisted for active military service as a private first class in Fort Lewis, Washington in 1990. He was promoted to Sergeant and became an Infantry Fire Team Leader by August 1993. He received his ROTC commission as an Aviation Officer in February 1996. He completed the Aviation Officer Basic Course at Fort Rucker, Alabama in 1999. Lieutenant Colonel Carlson’s first assignment was to 1st Squadron,18th Cavalry in Los Alamitos, California. He further served in the California Army National Guard. He also served in the Army Reserves from 1993 to 1996. He is a recipient of the following awards: Bronze Star, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M device, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, and the Overseas Service Ribbon. LTC Carlson has been awarded the Master Army Aviator Badge, Ranger Tab, and the Parachutist Badge.

Daniel earned his MBA from the Graziadio Business School in 2017.

Manuel Robles, FEMBA ’83

Manuel Robles retired in 2012 after a fulfilling 34 year career at Rocketdyne now Aerojet Rocketdyne, a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to its space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical missile and armaments customers throughout domestic and international markets.

At Rocketdyne, he was responsible for market planning, and then leading strategic planning and internal resources investment efforts. During that time Rocketdyne was owned by Rockwell Int’l., then Boeing, then United Technologies Pratt & Whitney, and now Aerojet, all the while remaining the premier liquid rocket engine company in the world, providing engines for the Atlas and Delta expendable launch vehicles and the world’s first reusable engines on the space shuttles. Manuel says Aerojet Rocketdyne is a great company whose heritage he is honored to be a part of with his Pepperdine MBA.

Manuel earned his MBA from the Graziadio Business School in 1983.

Ken Kladouris, MBA ’09

Ken is Partner and President at Platinum Wealth Group. In September 2018 Ken released his new book, “Get There! Chart Your Course to Financial Abundance and Live the Life You Desire”. This book guides readers to formulate a personal vision statement, create the path forward and take action.

When Ken is not helping clients create purpose-filled life plans, he enjoys being an active member in the community and spending time with his family, preferable on the water, whether sailing or aboard a powerboat.

Ken earned his MBA from the Graziadio Business School in 2009.

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.